An effective way to detect a Budget’s underlying message is by tracking moments during the speech when the Opposition’s murmur becomes an incessant wail. Today was no different. (Tweet This)
In the end, the present government’s last Budget before Elections was what many had expected. But also, what many hadn’t.
Let us assess what came in-line. This wasn’t a Vote-on-Account; but a chronicle of achievements garnished with expected pre-poll Populism. Farmers were kept in mind second year running. Commentators were on-the-money in expecting the return of the Middle Class. Private Sector like last year, was forgotten again.
So, what eluded expectations?
One can say that the government opted for sops but stopped short of defying logic, at least from a realpolitik standpoint. Fiscal Deficit breach stopped at 3.4% (vs. the initial target of 3.3%) and below market expectations. Loan write-offs and soft credit was thankfully avoided. Yes, a roadmap for the future envisaging the return of the government was thrown in. One may term it as political grandstanding, but still not an offence worthy enough to express much fuss.
Now to Today’s End of Day Wrap Up:
Interim budget promises direct income support for farmers, tax relief for middle class. Govt to breach fiscal deficit target for current FY.
One For All: Piyush Goyal presents a Budget which pleases all. Key highlights include:
Farmers with up to 2 hectares of land to get direct income support of INR6,000 per year under PM KISAN scheme
An increase in income tax exemption limit to INR5L per year
Announcement of a mega pension scheme to provide assured pension of INR3,000 per month to people working in the informal sector
Fiscal deficit for the current FY has been revised upward to 3.4% from the budgeted target of 3.3%.
Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce removed from PCA framework. SBI posts highest quarterly profit in seven years, improves asset quality.
Sigh of Relief: As per a Times of India report, RBI has removed three PSBs – Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce from its prompt corrective action framework which put severe lending restrictions on stressed banks. The move comes after a review of their performance as per their reported results for the quarter ending December 2018.
Beating Expectations: SBI recorded a net profit of INR39.55bn in Q3 vs a loss of INR24.16bn last year and meaningfully ahead of analysts estimates. Provisions for bad loans dropped 21.3% to INR139.71bn vs last year.
New FDI rules to impact over 50% of Amazon, Flipkart’s businesses. Amazon reports third record profit in a row, but issues warning on restrictions in India.
This Item is No Longer Available: The new FDI norms in the Indian e-commerce sector which kicked in today are likely to impact over 50% of the businesses of the likes of Amazon and Flipkart. Amazon India has already taken down numerous items sold by vendors such as Cloudtail and Shoppers Stop in which it holds a stake. It’s own range of Echo speakers, its Presto-branded home cleaning goods and other Amazon Basics products such as chargers and batteries are also no longer available.
Amazon posted record profit at $3bn, up 63% from a year earlier, but flags a possible uptick in spending in India on back of the new ecommerce policy.
You’re Halfway There
Which one doesn’t fit into the given sequence of numbers?
36, 54, 18, 27, 9, 18.5, 4.5
(Answer at the end of the newsletter)
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Zach Kirkhorn, Tesla’s Vice President of Finance to take over as CFO. Tesla makes its patents public.
Following Deepak Ahuja’s re-retirement from Tesla, Vice President of Finance, Zach Kirkhorn is set to take over as the new CFO.
Know more about Tesla’s McKinsey-groomed, newly minted millennial CFO here.
For the Greater Good: In a rather extraordinary gesture, Elon Musk has made Tesla patents public.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Tesla quarterly results webcasts are never boring! See 5 unsettling comments from Q4 earnings call here.
Israeli scientists may have found the first complete cure for cancer.
Scientists at an Israeli biotech company Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies believe they will develop a complete cure for cancer within a year.
Science Talk: The potential treatment called “MuTaTo,” or “multitarget toxin” would consist of peptides that will bind to multiple sites on a cancer cell, restricting its mutation rate.
However, with no data to review, some believe that this solution is unlikely.
TIMEOUT ANSWER: 18.5 (The terms are alternatively multiplied by 1.5 and divided by 3)
FINIS (If you found today’s Newsletter share-worthy…seriously…don’t hold back.)
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