1) Sensex plunges 308 points
The BSE Sensex plunged 308.96 points or 1.8 per cent Monday to close at 17,052. The Nifty ended below the 5,200 mark, shedding 94 points to 5,184. The markets have reached a critical point and any further selling means key supports would be broken and could lead to a further downslide. (Read More)
Realty stocks led the declines (-3.6%). Mumbai based realty stocks came under selling pressure on reports that the government may hike the stamp duty by 160 times. (Read More)
2) Rupee hits 2-month low
The rupee slid to its weakest level in more than two months on heavy dollar buying by oil importers and other companies. A steep fall in local shares and a weak euro further dragged the currency down. The central bank is believed to not have intervened in the forex market as these demand pressures were seen as cyclical.
The rupee ended at 51.2650/2750 to the dollar, sharply weaker than its previous close of 51.17/18, after dipping as low as 51.4850 - a level last seen on January 16, Thomson Reuters data showed. (Read More)
3) Government hikes rates for small savings
The Finance Ministry on Monday hiked interest rates for its small savings scheme by up to 0.5 per cent in a bid to attract more investors. The move was based in the recommendations of the Shyamala Gopinath Committee for Comprehensive Review of National Small Savings Funds. Higher savings rate will also translate into higher income for the government, which is struggling with a ballooning fiscal deficit. (Read More)
4) Mauritius tax haven over, foreign investment could be hurt: Experts
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have invested over $100bn in Indian equities till date, of which 40 per cent has come through Mauritius. Typically, FIIs set up an investment holding company in Mauritius and invest through a company registered in that country to avoid taxation since both countries have a tax treaty in place. These investments are not taxed at Indian rates.
But with the introduction of General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) in the budget, such investments could be taxed, hurting future flows of investment. (Read More)
5) Kingfisher Airlines to shut down 25 centres
Kingfisher Airlines is reported to have almost shut down 25 centres, sources told NDTV Profit.
The company is likely to inform its 7,000-strong workforce about these closures in a day or two, following which they would be asked to go on so-called ‘leave without pay’, sources added.
Shares of Kingfisher Airlines plunged over 6 per cent on the bourses Monday on these reports. (Read More)
6) Diesel cars to outperform petrol, push sales in March 2012
Saving the best for last, March is likely to be the strongest month in financial year 2011-12, that closes at the end of this month, for domestic car sales, according to a report by Kotak Institutional Equities. Strong demand for diesel cars is likely to lead the pickup in March car demand. (Read More)
Most automakers have taken note, and are looking at increasing diesel engine capacities to meet demand for such models.
According to RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki, the decision to increase diesel engine capacities has been prompted by the shift in demand for diesel vehicles. (Read the whole interview here)
7) PM gives Korean firms six reasons to invest in India
Investment from South Korea is a “priority” for India, visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday, adding that the government was taking “proactive” steps to improve the business climate and move forward with the Posco mega steel plant project in Orissa that has been held up by farmer protests.
Manmohan Singh was addressing South Korean chief executives during his two-day official visit to that country. (Read More)
8) Mumbai home prices unlikely to fall despite dip in sales
New home prices in Mumbai are unlikely to come down in 2012 despite a 40 per cent decline in new home sales in 2011, rating agency CRISIL Research said in a note on Monday.
The report says a sharp rise in construction and funding costs, in addition to amendments to the Development Control Regulations (DCR), will increase costs for builders and prevent any reduction in home prices in the metropolis, already home to some of the priciest real estate in the world. (Read More)
9) Small-town India fuels rise of online shopping
A new report by the Boston Consulting Group says online retail in India could be a $84-billion industry by 2016 -- more than ten times its worth in 2010 -- and will account for 4.5 per cent of total retail. Balendu Shrivastava, Group Business Director, Internet & Mobile Association of India, says more than 60 per cent of online shoppers would come from beyond the top 8 metros by the end of 2012. (Read More)
10) Tamil Nadu govt proposes 14.5% tax on liquor to garner funds
The Tamil Nadu government has proposed a 14.5 per cent tax on liquor as part of efforts to generate Rs 1,500 crore revenue.
The 2012-13 budget, presented by state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam in the Assembly, put the government's total debt at the end of next fiscal at Rs 1,35,060.47 crore, 19.6 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and less than Finance Commission stipulation of 24.8 per cent as regards Debt-GSDP ratio. (Read More)