Gold faces more pressure as inflation stays tame

Ireo Waterfront, located in Ludhiana, Punjab, is a 500 acre township

Ireo Waterfront, located in Ludhiana, Punjab, is a 500 acre township

Gold prices are looking even more vulnerable after April’s price crash, as rampant inflation expected from successive rounds of monetary easing fails to materialise.

The idea that record-low interest rates would damage paper currencies and boost inflation was a key factor pushing gold to record highs in the wake of the financial crisis.

Ultra-loose monetary policies are still in vogue, but gold prices have slid nearly 20 percent since the start of the year and are on track for their biggest quarterly drop in more than 15 years.

In recent months the Bank of Japan has unveiled its largest ever stimulus programme, while both the European Central Bank and the Royal Bank of Australia have cut interest rates to record lows.

Read more: The Economic Times

FDI policy clarifications will be prospective: Sharma

There will be some clarifications on the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy. And whatever clarifications will be issued will be prospective, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said after meeting Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, on Thursday.

The clarifications are likely to be mostly related to investment in multi-brand retail, as prospective investors such as Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco have been seeking clarity on a number of issues, including mandatory sourcing of inputs.

On the issue of the Finance Ministry’s proposal to re-define the word “control’’ in the FDI policy to align it with the definition suggested in the Companies Bill, the Minister said there were no differences between the two Ministries on the issue.

“There is a complete agreement and understanding between the Ministries,” Sharma said. The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s takeover code and the proposed Companies Bill define control as the right to appoint majority of directors as well as to control management and policy decisions including via shareholder agreements. The FDI policy defines control only as the right to appoint majority of directors.

Read more: Business Line

Economy

U.S. firms generated 3.5 lakh jobs in India during 2007-11

Painting a buoyant picture of the Indo-U.S. trade ties, Jennifer McIntyre, Consul-General of the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, has said the bilateral trade in goods and services between the two countries has increased by four-and-a-half times in the last decade.

Addressing members of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) here on Thursday as part of an initiative titled ‘Doing business with the U.S.’, Ms. McIntyre pointed to statistics showing trade between the two countries is on an upward trajectory. “Trade between the two countries is expected to cross $100 billion and economic ties are at an all-time high. American firms generated 3.55 lakh jobs in India between 2007 and 2011, and India is the fourth fastest growing source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S.”

According to her figures, U.S. exports to India have gone up by four times and exports to the U.S. from India have gone up by 1.8 times. She said that despite these encouraging developments, India was still only the 13th largest trading partner for the U.S. “Given the size of our economies, we have enormous untapped potential before us,” she said.

Read more: The Hindu

NRIs

Can NRIs benefit from mini INR-USD futures?

Recently the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange launched the Mini Indian Rupee-Dollar futures contract with an aim to support retail remitters. At a contract size of Rs 2 lakh, it is believed to be an attractive proposition for Non Resident Indians (NRIs) seeking to remit funds to India. So does it make sense and what should NRIs keep in mind?

What are currency futures?

Before we get into details of this product, let us quickly understand what currency futures mean. A futures contract is a device to hedge the risks that arise out of foreign exchange fluctuations. In this contract, an individual can enter into a contract to purchase or sell a certain amount of foreign currency at a fixed rate on a certain future date. In a futures contract, you as a trader need to take a buy or sell position and buy a contract.

Read more: The Economic Times

Don’t expect rupee to breach 56.50 in next 1-2 months: Manish Wadhawan, HSBC

In a chat with ET Now, Manish Wadhawan, Managing Director and Head of Interest Rates, HSBC, shares his outlook for currency. Excerpts:

ET Now: After the kind of moves that we saw in the currency yesterday, what can happen in the near term?

Manish Wadhawan: Whenever the rupee moves by 50 to 75 paise, you hear these kinds of sensational news that the rupee could go down to 62 or 65, whatever those numbers are. It should be looked into a bit of perspective what we are talking about since 1st of January this year when we say YTD, the rupee has moved in tandem with Asian currencies.

It is just down 1.7% versus other Asian peers which are even down to the dollar. So I would say that first of all yesterday’s move in the international markets had some kind of an impact on the rupee, but if you see, what has happened in last six months, the rupee has moved just in tandem with other Asian currencies. We do not have view that the rupee is going to be depreciating too much.

Read more: The Economic Times

10% NRI quota in new housing, investment policy: Punjab government

Punjab government today said 10 per cent quota has been fixed for NRI’s in state’s new housing and investment policy as part of its initiative to make them partner state’s progress and prosperity.

“Punjab has set aside 10 per cent quota for Punjabi Diaspora in all PUDA approved schemes and industrial estates under new housing and investment policy,” Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said here today.

Impressing upon the need to take care of NRI families, Badal said he had issued directions to increase marriage registration officers from 22 to 190 so as to expedite the registration of their marriages.

Describing compulsory registration of marriages and human smuggling Acts as path breaking move, Badal said,” state government will be able to tackle fraudulent marriages by NRIs and the menace of illegal travel agents.”

Punjab NRI Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the state government was in the process of taking a new decisions, in which an NRI can get tenant evicted from multiple properties.

Read more: The Economic Times

Infrastructure

Delhi’s iconic Signature Bridge to be ready in 2014

Delhi’s iconic Signature Bridge to be ready in 2014

The capital, which has so far basked in the glory of historic monuments and edifices built by the Mughals and Edward Lutyens, will boast of an iconic structure of its own in the form of the Signature Bridge – a cable-supported steel bridge spanning the Yamuna river – which is set to be ready by September 2014.

And an added attraction will be a recreation park, complete with water sports, boating, walkways and restaurants, developed on a one-kilometre stretch adjoining the bridge in east Delhi’s Wazirabad area.

Coming up 600 metres downstream from the Wazirabad barrage, the Signature Bridge will be 150 metres-tall – double the height of the Qutub Minar. When ready, it will connect Khajuri Khas intersection on the east bank of the Yamuna to the outer Ring Road on the west bank.

“It will be a bow-shaped, cable-stayed structure which is entirely made of steel. Around 80 percent of the work has been completed as the foundation work is over. Pillars have to be erected,” a chief engineer of the Delhi government told IANS.

Read more: India TV News

Highway projects get special green exemption

In a major step towards removing hurdles to implementing national highway projects, the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) today relaxed forest clearance norms for these projects. It decided to give “special exemptions” on forestry clearances. For linear projects, it said it would de-link the grant of environment clearances from forest clearances.

CCI has also raised the ceiling of 4,000 km of four-laning under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) phase-IV to 8,000 km — on a build, operate and transfer (BOT-toll) mode. It also allowed the upgrade of 4,000 km of roads on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis. For public-private partnership projects, the debts due to lenders would be considered “secured” loans.

To look into project roadblocks under NHDP, CCI had set up a committee under the chairmanship of Planning Commission member Kasturirangan, said a government press note.

CCI also directed various security agencies to adhere to the 12-week timeline approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security for granting security clearances for port infrastructure improvement projects. In 2012-13, 32 projects were awarded, resulting in capacity addition of 136.75 million tonnes a year, involving an investment of Rs 6,765 crore.

Read more: Business Standard

Energy

Power demand in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh jumps by up to 23 per cent

With northern region reeling under sweltering heat, demand for power in Punjab, Haryana and UT Chandigarh has jumped by up to 23 per cent in the last ten days.

Though intense heat prevailing in the region has compounded the woes of common people, power utilities claimed that adequate arrangements of power are in place to meet the rising demand for power in coming days. Maximum temperatures in the northern region are hovering at around 42-46 degrees.

UT Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana has witnessed demand for energy rising by 22 per cent in the last ten days.

“The demand for power has risen to 320 MW at present as against 260-270 MW during last ten days because of scorching heat prevailing in the region,” UT Electricity Department, SE, M P Singh told PTI here today.

Last year, the maximum demand for power in Chandigarh was 370 MW.

Claiming that necessary arrangement has been made to ensure uninterrupted power to consumers, Singh said the department is also procuring power on a daily basis through bidding on energy exchange to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

Read more: The Economic Times

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