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Read more: Apple

Real estate may not follow gold, experts say

Real estate prices in India are unlikely to go the way of gold and decline, experts said. Gold and real estate are primary targets for retail investors in India.

“The drop in gold rates could have some knee-jerk reactions and impact short-term sentiments, but fundamentally speaking, gold and real estate have their own dynamics that drive their prices,” said Samir Jasuja, founder and chief executive at PropEquity a real estate research firm. “At the face of it, gold prices may look correlated but structurally, the demand-supply equation for gold and real estate are different.”

The argument that the sudden drop in gold prices would have a knock-on effect on real estate may not be correct, he said.

Gold prices collapsed internationally last week after the European Commission said Cyprus—one of the countries in the European Union—may have to sell gold worth about €400 million (around Rs2,845 crore today) to rein in its fiscal deficit.

“The correlation between gold and real estate prices is not as distinct as one may at first assume, but the demand drivers for real estate are not the same as for precious metals,” said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head at real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle India, adding that the fundamentals of India real estate are strong.

Read more: Mint

Economy

FDI may increase to $36 billion in 2013-14: PM’s Economic Advisory panel

The PM’s Economic Advisory panel expects foreign direct investment (FDI) in India to increase to $ 36 billion this fiscal on the back of supportive policies.

“For 2013-14, we are projecting that with supportive policies it is possible to generate higher levels of inbound FDI flows of the order of $ 36 billion, comparable to four of the previous six years,” the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) report said.

The outbound FDI is also expected to increase, resulting in net FDI inflow of $ 24 billion, it said.

From 2007-08 to 2009-10, the annual foreign inflows ranged from $ 33-35 billion, while outbound FDI was $ 14-19 billion.

During the first nine months of the 2012-13 fiscal, India received foreign inflows worth $ 21 billion, lower than the $ 29 billion in the corresponding period of 2011-12.

The outbound FDI was marginally smaller and the net inflow of $ 15 billion in the first nine months of 2012-13 was significantly smaller than the $ 21 billion in the same period of the previous year.

PMEAC has estimated that for the entire 2012-13, FDI into the country may reach at $ 26 billion, while outbound FDI may touch $ 8 billion.

Read more: The Economic Times

Economy has bottomed out, to grow 6.4% in FY14: PM’s council

Dr C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (file photo)

The Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.4 per cent in 2013-14, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council has estimated.

This is much higher than GDP growth estimate of 5 per cent for 2012-13 put out by the Central Statistics Office.

Addressing a press conference to release a report on Review of the Economy 2012-13, the Council Chairman, C. Rangarajan, said that the farm sector is likely to improve and is projected to grow at 3.5 per cent in 2013-14 while the manufacturing sector is projected to grow at 4 per cent and services at 7.7 per cent.

“The economy has bottomed out and the possibility of achieving 7 per cent growth is there,” he added.

Inflation

The PMEAC estimates that headline WPI inflation is expected to be around 6 per cent in 2013-14 with primary food inflation around at 8 per cent, fuel inflation at about 11 per cent and manufactured goods at around 4 per cent. The provisional figure for inflation at the end of 2012-13 is 5.96 per cent.

Read more: Business Line

Banking

HDFC Bank Q4 net up 30% on strong interest income

Continuing its 30-per cent profit growth cycle, private sector lender HDFC Bank ‘s net profit jumped by 30 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,889 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 2013.

Country’s second largest private sector lender had posted a net profit of Rs 1,453 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Paresh Sukthankar, Executive Director, HDFC Bank.

Net interest income (interest earned less interest expended) for the quarter grew by 21 per cent to Rs 4,295 crore (from Rs 3,561 crore in Q4FY12) driven by loan growth and higher net interest margin (NIM).

“Other income declined by 6 per cent to Rs 1,804 crore from (Rs 1,928 crore) due to moderation in fee income and de-growth in foreign exchange trading,” said Paresh Sukthankar, Executive Director, HDFC Bank.

Meanwhile, net interest margin improved to 4.5 per cent from 4.4 per cent in the year-ago quarter.

Gross non-performing asset (NPA) declined to 0.97 per cent in fourth quarter as against 1.02 per cent in fourth quarter last year, while net NPA remained unchanged at 0.2 per cent during the quarter.

Read more: Business Line

Infrastructure/Transportation

Air India’s bonanza offer on Singapore-Chennai-Mumbai route

Aiming to draw more Singaporean tourists to the country, India’s national flag-carrier Air India has launched ‘Summer Holiday Bonanza’ fares on the Singapore-Chennai-Mumbai route.

“Air India is offering highly competitive fares to Chennai and Mumbai from Singapore effective tomorrow till May 15,” Air India’s Country Manager Nirbhik Narang told PTI.

Fare from Singapore to Chennai starts at Rs 16,900 and to Mumbai at Rs 21,200. These fares are inclusive of all taxes and surcharges, said Narang.

The state carrier has also increased its Free Baggage Allowance to 40 kgs for passengers travelling in the economy class on the Singapore-Chennai-Mumbai route. The baggage allowance for business class is 50-kg and first class 60-kg on the same route and comes as a part of the bonanza.

Narang said Air India was putting the Wide Bodied Boeing 747, with 417 seats, on the route.

Air India flies daily from Singapore to Chennai and onwards to Mumbai.

Source: Business Line

Railways’ revenue plans get a new lease of life

The Indian Railways’ plans to unlock its surplus land bank to mobilise additional revenues has gathered steam. The surplus land which is not viable enough for commercial development will now be leased out for opening schools and setting up public utilities. The railways will also be able to exchange the land with other government bodies who intend to take up these non-commercial ventures.

The national transporter expects the exercise to generate a new robust revenue stream and open up its unused land for a wide array of activities.

Last year, the Cabinet allowed the railways to lease out land for commercial development but out of 136 sites identified for commercial utilisation, it declared 47 sites unviable due to their remote location and various other reasons. The latest decision to lease out these pieces of land for opening schools and creating other public utilities would help the railways make better use of its surplus land.

Read more: Financial Express

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