The Reserve Bank said the first pilot of the Central Bank Digital Currency -- Digital Rupee (Wholesale segment) will be launched on Tuesday for transactions in government securities. Nine banks -- State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC First Bank and HSBC -- have been identified for participation in the pilot.
Nestle CEO Mark Schneider said the company will examine its banking relationships following Credit Suisse's planned takeover by UBS. Schneider said Nestle had been a client of Credit Suisse for many decades and that the intervention by the Swiss government to engineer the merger had stabilized the situation. Price increases by Nestle are likely to offset inflation of raw material costs, but Schneider said they will be done in a responsible way. The company is also working on savings to reach its goal for a full-year underlying trading operating profit margin.
Freshworks, a Nasdaq-listed SaaS firm, has laid off 114 employees, 90 due to performance-related issues and 24 due to eliminated roles. CEO Girish Mathrubootham attributed the job cuts to 'tight macroeconomic conditions' and indicated that 'worst is yet to come'. The latest layoffs come three months after the firm laid off 90 staff members globally.
Gold and silver prices are down on Tuesday compared to Monday. 22-carat (K) gold per gram is ₹5,450, 8 and 10 grams of 22K gold are at ₹43,600 and ₹54,500 respectively. 24K gold is priced at ₹2,400 per 100 grams. Rates are without GST and other levies.
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's apex decision-making body Central Board of Trustees has decided to provide 8.15 per cent rate of interest on EPF deposits for 2022-23. This is the lowest since 1977-78 and will be sent to the Ministry of Finance for concurrence before being credited into the accounts of over five crore EPFO subscribers.
From April 1, the new financial year 2023-24 will bring into effect new income tax rules announced by the Union Budget, including default tax regime, higher tax rebate limit, standard deduction, income tax slabs, LTA, LTCG tax benefits, MLDs, life insurance policies, senior citizen benefits and physical gold conversion.
The Indian stock market opened on a positive note, with the Sensex rising to 57,838 and the Nifty crossing the 17,000 mark. Both indices opened higher, with strong gains across sectors.
Google's parent company Alphabet has asked a US federal judge to dismiss a Justice Department lawsuit alleging that the search giant illegally abused its dominance of online advertising. The government had argued that Google should be forced to sell its ad manager suite, which Google denies. This follows a separate lawsuit filed in 2020 accusing Google of violating antitrust law to maintain its dominance in search. The Biden administration is seeking to toughen antitrust enforcement.
Petrol and diesel prices in India have remained steady for nine months. Prices differ depending on local taxes, VAT and freight charges. Mumbai has petrol at ₹106.31 and diesel at ₹94.27 per litre, Delhi petrol at ₹96.72 and diesel at ₹89.62, Kolkata petrol at ₹106.03 and diesel at ₹92.76, and Chennai petrol at ₹102.63 and diesel at ₹94.24. Some states have decreased VAT or introduced cess on petrol and diesel. Crude prices moved in a narrow range in early Asian trade on Tuesday.
The CAG report presented in Parliament on Monday said the Department of Financial Services had given Rs 8,800 crore to State Bank of India as part of recapitalisation exercise without the lender asking for it in FY18. DFS did not assess the capital requirement and infused Rs 7,785.81 crore in excess. It also infused Rs 831 crore into Bank of Maharashtra against the bank's demand of Rs 798 crore.
The World Bank warned Monday that global growth could slow to its lowest level this century due to an anticipated economic slow-down in China. Factors such as Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and financial risks in Europe and the US are contributing to the expected 1.7% growth rate. China's 5% growth rate this year will help keep the global economy afloat, however its ability to do so will wane over time. The World Bank suggests solutions to capitalize on structural changes to boost potential growth.
Saudi Aramco has agreed to buy a 10% stake in a Chinese oil complex for $3.6 billion, and will supply 480,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Rongsheng Petrochemical Co's refinery in Zhejiang over 20 years. Aramco will also provide a $800 million credit to Rongsheng for the purchase. The deal follows an agreement to build a refining and petrochemical complex in China’s northeast.
The Sensex rose 127 points to close at over 57,650 and the Nifty rose to 16,986, in line with positive global cues. It was the highest closing level since February 2020. Banking and financial stocks led the gains.
RBI is expected to pause their interest rate hike and the current 6.5 per cent repo rate could be the terminal rate for now, according to SBI Research. Retail inflation in India fell marginally but remained high in February 2023, leading to RBI's delicate balancing job of either looking forward or looking backwards at the January and February prints in their April policy. US Fed has been on an interest hike spree in the fight against inflation, with consumer inflation moderating in February to 6.0 per cent.
Economists are lowering their forecasts for India's current-account deficit, which is providing a tailwind to the rupee. This is due to favorable trade trends such as a drop in goods imports and strength in services exports, which is attributed to Global Capability Centres set up by large multinational corporations. This trend is expected to continue, however, global volatility and the Reserve Bank of India's aim to build back reserves could adversely impact the rupee.
Flipkart's Chief People Officer has said the company has no intention of making mass layoffs and that they do not hire in thousands. They have also not delayed onboarding freshers and will be joining in June. This is in contrast to Amazon, where over 27,000 employees have lost jobs since January.