Flipkart on Monday introduced SuperCoin Pay where customers will be able to pay up to 100 per cent of their bill value across more than 5,000 partner stores (online and offline) using only SuperCoins.
SuperCoin Pay will enable customers to pay their bills at the partner stores using the SuperCoins they have earned on Flipkart.
The company said that all benefits can be accessed by simply scanning a QR code at the partner store using the Flipkart app.
Customers can also access the entire list of stores and partner brands on the Flipkart app under ‘Rewards store' in the ‘SuperCoin' section.
"Over the past year, SuperCoin has developed into a highly successful rewards programme, with over 10 billion SuperCoins earned by millions of Flipkart customers," informed Prakash Sikaria, Vice President, Growth and Monetisation, Flipkart.
"Building on this success and with the intention to create a larger and more inclusive ecosystem, we are thrilled to announce the launch of SuperCoin Pay," he added.
Being a part of the SuperCoin programme would enable Flipkart partners to reap the benefits of Flipkart's 300 million customer base through a truly integrated rewards initiative.
This will also enable customers to pay through SuperCoins across health and wellness, food and beverage, travel, grocery and fashion retail outlets.
Flipkart recently introduced SuperCoin Exchange which allows customers to exchange their SuperCoins into the partner brand's Rewards points and vice versa, to make purchases at the store.
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) Rising trade deficit along with chances of a populist budget might dampen rupee's prospects during the coming week.
Nevertheless, persistent interest of FIIs in India's equity market will arrest any sharp depreciation moves.
"The 25-month high trade deficit may put brakes for strong rupee appreciation. Equity markets also looks stretched and a cool-off looks imminent now. Eyes will be on the budget and the ballooning fiscal deficit, which can be a challenge for the local currency," said Sajal Gupta, Head, Forex and Rates, Edelweiss Securities.
On the other hand, new IPOs and hopes of healthy Q3 earning results will retain FIIs' interest in equities.
"We have two IPO subscriptions next week, which can attract FII participation and keep the USDINR spot lower," said Rahul Gupta, Head of Research-Currency at Emkay Global Financial Services.
"However, RBI's intervention will be eyed. In spot 73 is acting as strong support, a break of which will push prices towards 72.70-72.75 and then the 72.50 zone. However, 73.50 will act as immediate resistance," he added.
Till now in January, FIIs have invested around $ 2.3 billion in equities.
Consequently, the rupee continued to appreciate and closed at 73.07 to a greenback.
"We have an important event this week. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in during the 59th inaugural ceremony in Washington DC on January 20. It is important that this event passes peacefully in light of the recent violent attack by Trump supporters on the US Capitol. We expect rupee to consolidate in the range of 72.75 to 73.3 for this week with depreciating bias," said Devarsh Vakil, Deputy Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
The swearing-in assumes significance since the incoming US administration has announced a new stimulus package. If enacted, the $1.9 trillion package will deliver a further jolt of fiscal stimulus to the struggling US recovery.
"As the newly elected President takes charge more clarity on the stimulus package will be important to watch. Market participants will also be keeping an eye on the ECB and Bank of Japan policy statement; expectation is that the both the major central banks are expected to maintain a dovish outlook," said Gaurang Somaiya, Forex & Bullion Analyst, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The Centre is likely to intimate the qualified bidders for national carrier Air India by the end of the month, as the evaluation of the expressions of interest (EoI) is still underway, official sources said. The government was to intimate the bidders by January 5.
People in the know of the developments said that the transaction advisors are in touch with the interested bidders regarding several queries and the qualified bidders will be intimated only after the government is satisfied with the responses from the bidders.
The second phase of the strategic disinvestment of Air India was scheduled to start on January 5 with the announcement of the names of the qualified bidders. Tata Sons and the New York-based Interups Inc backed by strategic NRI investors from the US and Europe are said to be the interested bidders for the national carrier.
DIPAM Secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had earlier said that the government has received multiple expressions of interest for the strategic disinvestment of Air India. The process has been divided into two stages. In stage I, expressions of interest have been submitted by the interested bidders and they will be shortlisted based on the eligibility criteria and other terms mentioned in the Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM).
In stage II, the shortlisted interested bidders will be provided with a request for proposal (RFP) and thereafter there will be a transparent bidding process.
In view of the prevailing situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the last date for submission of EOIs was extended up to December 14, 2020.
The privatisation of the flag-bearer has already faced several hurdles with initial lack of interest for the airline.
Last month, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had said that in view of the post-Covid situation and the severe impact on the aviation sector, the government has considered various options related to disinvestment, including bidding parameters in the PIM, while meetings have been held regularly of the inter-ministerial group and the core group of secretaries on disinvestment to review the disinvestment process.
The interested bidders were asked to indicate their interest on the enterprise value of Air India.
The PIM for inviting EoI issued on January 27, 2020 had offered 100 per cent sale of equity share capital of Air India Ltd (AIL), sale of AIL's 100 per cent shareholding in the Air India Express Ltd (AIXL) and sale of 50 per cent shareholding in Air India Airport Services Private Ltd (AISATS).
Even as China featured among the few countries that managed to post a healthy growth in 2020 notwithstanding the severe economic and health impact of the coronavirus pandemic, several economists have questioned the veracity of the data. While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 7.9 per cent growth for China in 2021, it said that the dragon must allow its overburdened lenders to be liquidated for economic growth to be sustained in the medium term, the Nikkei Asia reported.
The opaque nature of information flow from the country has added to the worry for think tanks and ratings agencies across the world.
Spanish economist Daniel Lacalle in his blog, about two months ago, said that China's is a "planned GDP" and that the growth is not demand driven but is pushed by a tactfully expanded government expenditure.
"A planned GDP. The GDP of China is dictated by production, not demand. It is not an observed GDP, but rather planned by the government together with the provinces. For this reason, many analysts scrutinize the data and deduct various factors, including the increase and valuation of inventories," Lacalle pointed out in his blog.
However, he also noted that economic recovery is underway but "it is not dissimilar to that of many of the leading Asian countries".
"It is not by chance that inventories of iron ore, automobiles and finished goods have risen to the highest level in seven months as the economy recovers. If the economic situation were in the announced expansion, inventories would be falling rapidly when sold. Much is produced that is then not sold and remains in warehouses," Lacalle added.
Interestingly, China also does not follow the practice of revising GDP figures. The final December figure "stands and is consolidated without question".
China's rising debt problem
As China has been expanding its hold over the world through the much hyped Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which runs across over 70 countries, its debt is rising continuously.
The Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF) last year said that China's debt was on track to hit a whopping 335 per cent of GDP. This however included debt across all sectors such as household, government, financial and non-financial corporate.
The country's overall level of debt is driven primarily by real estate, corporates and shadow banking.
Deftly, China has kept direct borrowings by the central government at a reasonable level but the accounts of the local governments and its companies and banks are mired in a web which is difficult to analyze.
The Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt, in a study done before the Covid-19 outbreak highlighted that China's overall debt calculation is complicated though "research has been able to estimate central government debt with precision".
What makes it murky is the accounts of the local governments and state owned enterprises. "The central government is not over-leveraged and benefits from ample foreign currency reserves. But regional governments have expanded unsafe financial operations since 2007, and often resort to off-the-counter loans or shadow banking.
Analysts said that while the Chinese government had started the exercise of cleaning up the mess, the pandemic has derailed the drive.
"While China's lending traditionally comes from the major state-controlled banks, there has been a gradual shift towards less transparent alternative lending sources that can produce high-risk loans and contribute to China's debt woes. This lending is at times done through smaller local and provincial banks that sell lightly regulated investments," wrote ChinaPower.
The Harvard Business Review in an article pointed out that China has turned into a major global lender in the last two decades with outstanding claims exceeding more than 5 per cent of global GDP. Almost all of this lending is official, coming from the government and state-controlled entities.
According to the HBR, "China has extended many more loans to developing countries than previously known" and the "systematic under-reporting of these loans has created a ‘hidden debt' problem – meaning that debtor countries and international institutions alike have an incomplete picture on how much countries around the world owe to China and under which conditions".
It said that the Chinese state and its subsidiaries have lent about $1.5 trillion in direct loans and trade credits to more than 150 countries around the globe, making China the world's largest official creditor.
However, the country has never published any official data on this despite the huge lending size.
Surprisingly, China is not a member of the Paris Club, an informal group of creditor nations with the aim to strike workable repayment solutions. Not just that. The country is also not part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Both Paris Club and the OECD maintain loan records of official creditors.
China's financial assistance is directed in the form of trade credits, foreign direct investment advances under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) besides direct loans. An analyst on condition of anonymity said that China's immediate problem emerges from the fact that most of the countries that have benefited from the dragon's loans have been "badly hit" by the coronavirus pandemic and are in no position to repay the debt.
(This content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)
Strong demand and prices for steel in China should provide a cushion to regional and Indian steel prices already at lifetime high levels, Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities said in a report on Friday.
"China's domestic steel prices remain strong and are at nine-year highs (led by robust overall demand and higher raw material cost locally) which we believe should provide a cushion to regional and Indian steel prices (at lifetime highs)," the brokerage said in its report on the steel sector.
Steel prices have already touched all-time high in the domestic market and are currently hovering around Rs 57,250 per tonne. Through Q3, HRC (hot roller coils) and Primary rebar prices increased by Rs 12,000 per tonne and Rs 15,500 per tonne respectively.
On average, per-tonne HRC/Rebar prices were up by Rs 6,500/Rs7,200.
Higher prices have also been supported by increase in Iron ore prices, which on an average, rose by Rs 1,270 per tonne in Q3, driven by strong steel production and also iron ore shortage after the auction of 19 mines in Odisha which did not match up the production rates prior to the auction.
But one of the reason for an upturn in the steel sector is rising demand in China. The country's December 2020 trade data exhibits a normalization of the steel trade as net steel exports turned positive YoY for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. While the country's steel exports rose marginally YoY for the first time in eight months, imports (which had surged 100 per cent due to supply disruption in China) also declined YoY for the first time in ten months.
According to the brokerage, demand for flat steel remains strong, with passenger car sales up 7 per cent YoY.
"We believe demand for long steel has however moderated, possibly weighed by weakened construction activity due to weather conditions and the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in parts of the country," the report said.
The new year had brought better prospects for country's trade with exports rising 16.2 per cent year-on-year between January 1-7 driven by good performance from engineering goods and petroleum products.
In value terms, the exports in the first week of the new year grew by $866 million with the bulk of this increase (73.5 per cent) coming from 51.8 per cent or $686.8 million growth in exports of engineering goods. Engineering goods performance was led by a 30 times rise in exports to South Africa at by $462.2 million.
Petroleum products also contributed to increase in the exports and accounted for 13.2 per cent of the total increase. The exports increased by 17.3 per cent YoY at $114.7 million. This was driven by increase in exports to South Africa (+$71 million) and Australia (+$93 million).
Some of the increase in exports in week one was offset by decrease in exports of readymade garments (-26.0 per cent YoY, -$87.3 million), man made yarns (-22.0 per cent YoY, -$23.2 million) and inorganic and organic chemicals (-5.5 per cent YoY, -$22.0 million).
During the week, overall imports grew by 1.1 per cent YoY or an increase of $92.4 million.
Imports of pearls, precious and semi-precious stones increased by 86.5 per cent YoY (+$220.6 million) accounting for 238.8 per cent of the overall increase.
The import growth was led by increase in imports from UAE (63.4 per cent YoY, +$74.2 million) and USA (345.8 per cent YoY, +$47.6 million)
Vegetable oil also registered significant increase of 88.2 per cent YoY (+$121.4 million) accounting for 131 per cent of the total increase
Some of the increase in imports was offset by decrease in imports of Transport Equipment (-59.8 per cent YoY, -$425.4 million), Petroleum Products (-14.5 per cent YoY, -$324.6 million) and Fertilizers (-35.9 per cent YoY, -$88.0 million).
The key Indian equity indices traded on a negative note on Tuesday amid choppy trade, with the BSE Sensex losing around 150 points.
Selling pressure was witnessed in the banking, finance, IT and consumer durables stocks.
Analysts said that concerns regarding rising non-performing assets of banks raised by the Reserve Bank of India in its Financial Stability Report for January 2021 weighed on the banking and finance stocks.
Around 10.15 a.m., Sensex was trading at 49,124.91, lower by 144.41 points or 0.29 per cent from its previous close of 49,269.32.
It opened at 49,228.26, and recorded an intraday high of 49,267.06 and a low of 49,082.04 points.
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 14,464.75, lower by 20 points or 0.14 per cent from its previous close.
New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) Amazon has written to SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi informing that the regulator should not give no-objection to the Future Retail transaction with Reliance as the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has constituted an arbitral tribunal.
In a letter to Tyagi, Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings said, "We write to inform you that the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has constituted the arbitral tribunal in the arbitration proceedings initiated by Amazon against inter alia FRL, Kishore Biyani and Rakesh Biyani.
"We wish to highlight that in view of the constitution of the arbitral tribunal, the interim award passed by the EA stands automatically extended for the duration of the arbitration proceedings unless it is reconsidered/modified/vacated by the arbitral tribunal."
"We wish to highlight Rule 10, Schedule I to the rules of the SIAC, 2016 (SIAC Rules) in this regard, which provides that: 'The Emergency Arbitrator shall have no power to act after the Tribunal is constituted. The Tribunal may reconsider, modify or vacate any interim order or Award issued by the Emergency Arbitrator, including a ruling on his own jurisdiction. The Tribunal is not bound by the reasons given by the Emergency Arbitrator. Any interim order or Award issued by the Emergency Arbitrator shall, in any event, cease to be binding if the Tribunal is not constituted within 90 days of such order or Award or when the Tribunal makes a final Award or if the claim is withdrawn'," Amazon said.
Future Retail stands injuncted from proceedings with the transaction with Reliance and restrained by the award.
"We reiterate that FRL continues to be expressly injuncted and restrained by the interim award from taking any steps in furtherance of or in aid of the impugned transaction, including filing or pursuing any application before any person, including SEBI or agencies in India. As the interim award is deemed to be an order of the court and now stands automatically extended pursuant to the SIAC Rules, FRL continues to suffer from a fatal disability to pursue its application for issuance of observation letter/no-objection letter before any regulatory authority," Amazon said.
The impugned transaction as per the letter is the purported resolution dated August 29, 2020 (Impugned Board Resolution) passed by the board of directors of FRL approving the amalgamation of FRL, along with other group companies, with Future Enterprises Limited (FEL) and the subsequent transfer and vesting of the ‘retail and wholesale undertaking' from FEL as a going concern on a slump sale basis to the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani (Reliance Industries) Group.
In view of Section 17(2) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, the interim award passed by the EA is deemed to be an order of a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and continues to be in force, it said.
"We extract Section 17(2) for your convenience: '(2) Subject to any orders passed in an appeal under section 37, any order issued by the arbitral tribunal under this section shall be deemed to be an order of the court for all purposes and shall be enforceable under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), in the same manner as if it were an order of the Court'," it added.
It is a matter of record that no appeal under Section 37 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 has been filed against the interim award.
"In view of the directions in the operative part of the interim award and the above, we request your good offices to take action by inter alia: (a) suspending review of the impugned transaction as well as the scheme involving the impugned transaction, and not granting any no-objection in relation to the same; and (b) directing the Indian stock exchanges not to issue any no-objection/approval letter to FRL," Amazon said.
New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Bitcoin represents a legitimate alternative to gold for risk averse capital looking for a store of value, according to Christopher Wood of Jefferies.
In his note to investors which runs under the title, Greed and Fear, Wood said Bitcoin was up 305 per cent for the whole of 2020. It has since risen by a further 28 per cent so far in 2021 to $36,999.
"It has now become clear to GREED & Fear that Bitcoin represents a legitimate alternative to gold for risk averse capital looking for a store of value, amidst accumulating evidence of policies of currency debasement in the G7 world", Wood said in the note.
In this respect, the total market capitalisation of Bitcoin at the end of 2020 was $539 billion, compared with estimates of $12 trillion in above ground gold, Wood said.
Recently, Bitcoin surpassed Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathway in market capitalization and only ranks behind Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Tencent, Tesla, Alibaba and Taiwan Semiconductor in global market capitalization league tables.
Wood said the global portfolio for US-dollar-based long-term global investors, such as pension funds, remains dominated, as it has been since inception at the end of 3Q02, by the weightings in physical gold bullion and unhedged gold-mining stocks, which still account for 45 per cent and 20 per cent of the portfolio respectively
Still a major change was made in the portfolio last quarter when a 5 per cent allocation was made in Bitcoin on 17 December at a price of $22,779, by reducing the allocation to gold bullion by 5ppts.
"The major reason for this allocation is that Bitcoin has now become investible for institutions with custodian arrangements in place for digital assets", Wood said.
Wood has said a bearish US dollar calls for a recommendation to overweight Asian and emerging market equities. From a global equity asset allocation perspective, it is a further confirmation of the case to own cyclical stocks over growth stocks long propagated here as reflected in the action this week in bank stocks, courtesy of a steepening US yield curve, and energy stocks, he said.
Expectations of US infrastructure stimulus are rising while it looks ever more likely to be the case that the FANG stocks have peaked as a share of S&P500 market cap, Wood said.
Mumbai, Jan 8 (IANS) Favourable global cues along with positive domestic macro economic data pushed the Indian equity indices higher during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday. Accordingly, Nifty opened at record highs and continued its positive momentum towards 14,300 levels.
Buying interest was visible across sectoral indices. Amongst sectors, Media, Auto, IT, Realty and Pharma space is outperforming.
At 1.30 p.m., the NSE Nifty50 traded at 14,287.35 points, higher by 150 points, or 1.06 per cent, from its previous close.
Similarly, the S&P BSE Sensex made gains. It traded higher by 467.67 points, or 0.97 per cent, at 48,560.99 points from its previous close. "The advance decline ratio continues to signal the bullish mood of the market," said Jay Purohit, Technical & Derivatives Analyst, MOFSL. "Market seems to conclude the week on a bullish note."
According to Likhita Chepa, Senior Research Analyst at CapitalVia Global Research: "Markets opened on a positive note at 14258.40 following the global market cues and made a high of 14296.25."
"Indian sugar mills are aggressively signing export contracts after New Delhi approved a subsidy for overseas sales and global prices hit their highest level in 3-1/2 years. The result of which can be seen in the price of sugar stocks."
New York, Jan 5 (IANS) India's economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic is forecast to crater by 9.6 per cent during the current financial year but can recover by 5.4 per cent next financial year if there is wide vaccination against the disease and it is contained, the World Bank reported on Tuesday.
The Bank's Global Economic Prospects Report said that the optimistic forecast for 2021-22 "assumes that a vaccine will be distributed on a large scale in the region starting the second half of 2021 and that there is no widespread resurgence in infections".
About the economy's contraction, the report said, "In India, the pandemic hit the economy at a time when growth was already decelerating" and "the estimated contraction of the economy by 9.6 per cent during 2020-21 reflects "a sharp drop in household spending and private investment".
Looking ahead, the report said that India's recovery would be constrained by the weak financial sector. The 5.4 per cent growth rate forecast for in 2021-22 -- a "rebound from a low base" -- would be "offset by muted private investment growth given financial sector weaknesses", the report said noting that "in the financial sector, non-performing loans were already high before the pandemic".
In the South Asia region, the Bank said that the economy overall fell by 6.7 per cent in 2020 "reflecting the effects of the pandemic and nationwide lockdowns, particularly in Bangladesh and India". But it added, "Activity rebounded in the second half of last year, led by industrial production, as initial stringent lockdowns were eased."
The global economy, which contracted by 4.3 per cent in 2020 is forecast to grow by 4 per cent next year if "an initial Covid-19 vaccine rollout becomes widespread throughout the year", the report said. The report warned that for the South Asia region, "Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside."
Besides severe and longer-lasting coronavirus infection rates, the other risks include "financial and debt distress caused by an abrupt tightening of financing conditions or possible widespread corporate bankruptcies".
"Additional stress on domestic banks in the region could be triggered by the economic consequences of a more protracted recovery from the pandemic, which in turn could lead to a rise in bankruptcies and weaken the balance sheets of the banking and non-banking sectors," it added.
China, from where the Covid-19 pandemic spread, is expected to see its economy grow by 7.9 per cent -- the world's fastest -- this year after contracting 2 per cent last year.
The report's forecast for the US economy is a 3.5 per cent growth in 2021, after an estimated contraction of 3.6 per cent in 2020.