The News International Team
2:00 pm Budget: Finance Minister Arun Jaitely will present his first full -year Budget on February 28, Saturday, for FY16, a government official said Wednesday. The Budget session of Parliament will begin from February 23 and will continue till March 20.
Moreover, the Railway Budget and Economic Survey will be presented on February 26 and 27, respectively.
1:55 pm There can be sizeable job creation even without large capex spends, says Adrian Mowat of JP Morgan. He says the government needs to improve the business environment and that itself will encourage many companies to add to their workforce. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Mowat said things are improving on the macro front, but in absolute terms, the pace is still not satisfying. On the Budget, Mowat feels the government should not be worried about a higher fiscal deficit, and should instead concentrate on narrowing revenue deficit.
“Let’s have a bigger fiscal deficit, but a lesser revenue deficit,” Mowat said, adding that the government should borrow more now that interest rates were cooling, and also because of weak crude prices. “Borrow more, but spend wisely; invest in infrastructure,” Mowat said.
1:30 pm Exclusive interview: As mandated by the Union finance ministry, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has been seeking to invest a chunk of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) corpus into Indian equities. Speaking about it, SEBI chairman UK Sinha there is lost of interest in Indian corporate bonds and the government where must work to bring in liquidity. Noticing a lot on enthusiasm from foreign players in corporate bonds, Sinha said the sector requires a lot of reforms. To begin with Foreign Portfolio Investment limits in corporate bonds must be enhanced. He also said the government must look at boosting retail investor participation in corporate bond market.
Don’t miss: Crude oil bottoming out; $ 60-70/bl likely in a year: Kotak
The market is still holding on to its gains. The Sensex is up 85.98 points at 28870.65 and the Nifty is up 18.85 points at 8714.45. About 1116 shares have advanced, 1645 shares declined, and 261 shares are unchanged.
Bharti Airtel, HDFC, SBI, HUL and L&T are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Sesa Sterlite, Cipla, ONGC and Hindalco.
ITC tanked 4 percent after it announced December quarter earnings. Cigarette-hotel-to-FMCG major missed street expectations on topline as well as bottomline front in the third quarter. Profit grew 10.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 2,635 crore as against expected growth of 12.6 percent. Other income
Net sales rose 2.5 percent to Rs 8,942 crore in the quarter ended December 2014 from Rs 8,727 crore in the year-ago period. According to the average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18, revenue was expected at Rs 9,744 crore, up 11.7 percent.
The slow growth in cigarette business impacted overall revenue growth of the company during the quarter. Cigarettes revenue rose 0.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 4,142 crore due to price hikes in 2014.