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Economy round-up: India may post current account surplus; minimum wage bill likely

15 September, 2016

India is set to post a current account surplus for the first time in nine years, Reuters reported, citing forecasts by investment houses and analysts.

The report said the country could have a current account surplus of $4 billion, or 0.8% of gross domestic product, for the April-June quarter. This compares with a $6 billion deficit a year earlier.

Yet, this may not be all good news since it means that exports have been sluggish and domestic investment demand has been weak, the report said.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times reported that an aborted equity offering by YES Bank is under the scanner of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The report said that the capital markets regulator is looking into the lender’s notices to the exchanges on the qualified institutional placement (QIP), the surge in the bank’s stock price in the run-up to the issue and the fall in the stock price before the QIP was called off.

The Indian Express reported that the government has said was planning to bring a bill on minimum wages in the upcoming winter session of parliament. Once passed into law, this will make guaranteed minimum wages for the entire workforce in the country.

A group of ministers headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to meet today to work out the code of the bill. Labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Wednesday that the ministerial panel would seek to define minimum wages by amalgamating four wage-related statutes—the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976.   

Ratings firms Moody’s and Fitch have said that State Bank of India’s (SBI) issue of dollar-denominated additional tier 1 Basel-III compliant securities will set the benchmark for other issuers. Moody’s Investor Service said on Wednesday that the issue price will also help Indian banks get an alternative funding option, Business Standard reported. These will be issued under the $10 billion ‘Medium Term Note’ programme by SBI’s Dubai International Financial Centre branch.

Citing top media planners, The Times of India said that Indian companies could spend as much as Rs 20,000 crore on advertisements this festive season. This, the report said, will be a 12% jump over the spend last year during the season that sees festivals like Diwali, Dhanteras, Dussehra and Christmas. Consumer durable companies are likely to lead market spends, upping the same by a tenth over the last year.

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Economy round-up: India may post current account surplus; minimum wage bill likely

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