US manufacturing improves
Manufacturing across the globe showed improvement in December 2011. In the US, a report showed factory output grew at the fastest pace in six months. The Institute for Supply Management's index of national factory activity was above 53.9. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Another report on Tuesday showed US construction spending neared an 18-month high in November 2011.
Disinvestment in India
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs holds a meeting later on Wednesday and is likely to take up the finance ministry's proposal to allow the Department Of Disinvestment to respond to a public sector unit's proposal for share buyback or for cross holding of stake in another PSU. Given that some PSUs have openly opposed crossholdings and PSU buybacks, it will be interesting to keep track of what the Cabinet proposes. Sebi has simplified rules to make the disinvestment process easier for the government.
In what could come as a boost for the flagging oil & gas production from the KGD6 block, the Reliance Industries management committee has approved RIL's $ 1.5 bn dollar satellite field development plan. By starting development work in these fields now, Reliance Industries and partners UK's BP and Canada-based Niko Resources can hope to revive natural gas production by the year 2014. These fields can produce 10 mmscmd of gas.
Montek on twin deficits
The Government appears to be hit by not just growing fiscal deficit, but the rising current account deficit too is threatening to get out of hand. Planning Commission deputy chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia says with lesser revenue collection and slow growth, the current account deficit number is expected to overshoot the usual three per cent mark. He also said that slowing growth may push the government's fiscal deficit target out of the window.
Industry body, ISMA, has said that sugar output rose by 17 per cent to 7.57 million tonne in the first three months of the current season that started in October 2011 due to higher production in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Sugar mills had produced 6.45 million tonne of the sweetener in the same period of 2010-11 season. The output in Uttar Pradesh rose almost five lakh tonne so far due to early start of crushing operation.
Tata Motors Evoque
Evoque is turning out to be a new growth driver for Tata Motors. It is learnt that the company is targeting 90,000 to 100,000 unit sales for Evoque in 2012-13. Analysts expected the company to plan about 60,000 units earlier. An increase in Evoque volumes, currency movement favourable for both profits and reporting in the falling Indian rupee, means better profitability going forward.
Bank of Maharashtra
Bank of Maharashtra, the state-owned bank, has received a letter from the finance ministry stating that the government would invest in the bank’s recapitalisation. The bank has been told that the request for fund infusion was under active consideration for the fiscal 2011-12. The bank is seeking Rs 860 crore from the government.