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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

12 shades of Grey

None   December 31, 2012
First Published: 22:38 IST(31/12/2012) | Last Updated: 22:44 IST(31/12/2012)

January

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All eyes will be on RBI governor D Subbarao for forward looking cues on interest rates. The central bank has so far withstood pressure from industry bodies to cut rates but has obliquely hinted it would start reducing lending costs from January amid signs of cooling prices.

February

Finance minister P Chidambaram will present Budget 2013-14 facing a slew of challenges: control prices, spur growth, rein in mounting subsidies and add more than a dash of populism to boost the government’s sagging political stock in an election year

March

With spring in the air, will there be an encore on Mint Street? The industry would expect the RBI to slash interest rates in its mid-quarter review and do a repeat act of an interest rate cut, assuming it reduces lending costs in January. Stock markets and economists will keenly watch the RBI’s assessment of the Indian economy.

April

If you have been wondering why your bank has been repeatedly sending you text messages and emails to change your cheque book, even though you have plenty of unused leaves left from the older lot, here’s the answer: From April, India will move to a more efficient and secure payment settlement system in which banks will only honour cheques that come embedded with new features.

May

Watch out for the official GDP growth figures for 2012-13. It will only likely confirm fears of a slowdown, clearly caused by an interest rate squeeze. It will also show how deeply investments have been affected.

June

The deadline for companies to adhere to the capital market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-mandated norms of ensuring a minimum public shareholding of 25% in listed companies ends this month. About 200 companies are estimated to be required to meet the norms. Expect a rush of stake sale initiatives as these firms would need to sell shares worth around R30,000 crore to comply with the regulations.

July

If the rains play truant, it could have a domino effect on the economy. The south-west monsoon is crucial for sowing of summer crops like paddy, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and pulses — critical for the government’s food guarantee programme.

August

Caught in a cleft between reforms and politics, the government would be keen to shrug off allegations of another bout of policy paralysis. One would expect Parliament’s Monsoon session to be high on legislative business on key areas.

September

Heads of states of the world's twenty richest nations — G20 —will brainstorm over two days at St Petersburg, Russia to decide on solutions to problems afflicting the global economy. Member countries represent around 90% of world’s income.

October

Industrial output accounts for 17% of the country’s GDP. Slow manufacturing hurts corporate profits and employment prospects. Have corporate income increased or fallen? It will be clear by October when the government announces second quarter and half-yearly results.

November

The festival of Dhanteras, the most auspicious day in the calendar just before Diwali, has traditionally created a strong seasonal surge in sales of most consumer goods. Companies will be hoping that 2013 does not turn out be as bad as last year.

December

21,000, 22,000 23,000? The jury is still out on the levels that the benchmark Sensex will scale by the end of 2013. The markets are eyeing a fairytale all-time high powered by an expected flood of investment from overseas funds.


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