Public Policy

US decision to pull out from TPP may be an opportunity for India

US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that his predecessor Barack Obama pioneered may comfort India and pave the way for a more balanced outcome of the ongoing trade negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).Trump’s focus on signing bilateral trade deals to maximize gain and his “Buy American and Hire American” policy may, however, prove counter-productive to India’s interest. TPP is a trade agreement under negotiation among 12 nations: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam, which together account for 40% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Although the deal is aimed at countering China’s influence in international trade, India feared that it could adversely affect the country through trade diversion and stringent non-tariff measures.

SBI-led consortium moves SC in Aircel-Maxis case

A consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking to be heard before the court decides to cancel Aircel’s use of the 2G licences it acquired in 2006.The government’s top law officer, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, appeared on behalf of 12 banks, including SBI, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank. “Aircel owes the banks around Rs 20,000 crore. Any order on 2G airwaves could have an impact on the creditors,” Rohatgi told the court. On 6 January, the apex court had restrained Aircel Ltd from selling and trading 2G spectrum allotted to it in 2006 and said it would consider cancellation of the licences if the Maxis Group owner T. Ananda Krishnan failed to respond to the court’s summons. Maxis Group has a 74% stake in Aircel. A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has ordered Krishnan to appear before it in connection with the Aircel-Maxis case, but he hasn’t complied. The CBI has set a 27 January deadline for him to appear before it. The Aircel-Maxis case relates to irregularities in allotment of 2G spectrum licences during the previous UPA government. The case will be heard next on 3 February.

Has the govt walked the talk on reviving public investments?

Soon after the Narendra Modi-led government assumed office, key officials began stressing the role of public spending on capex to revive investments and growth . Halfway into the government’s term in office, talk of such spending still dominates news but data on actual spending suggests that the government has failed to raise the level of public investments significantly over the past few years.The Modi government began its term on a promising note.By the end of 2014, government project announcements rose to a record high, an analysis of capex data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd (CMIE) shows. The analysis is based on four-quarter rolling averages of new project announcements (to smoothen the impact of lumpy announcements).

Compiled by Aayush Makharia

Data Analytics

Insurers and professionals are seeking more training in data analytics

Survey conducted by Celent and The Institutes shows that insurance and actuaries professionals are seeking advanced training in data analytics, and also specifies the subjects they would like to specialize in, to grow in their careers. More here.

Advanced Logic Analytics to marry data analytics with financial services market.

The company has been in the R&D stage for quite sometime now for creating analytical solutions across geographies, and plans to focus on London and New York markets before a major expansion in 2018. Explore this topic.

Real-time big data analytics changed the way data is managed.

With the new dynamic ways of using data, static data can take a back seat now, even though it will continue to be used. There are many areas where real-time data is used, like health system enrollment documentation update and fraud detection for credit-card transactions. Companies like IBM, Informatica, SAS Institute are the major players in this field. More on this.

Compiled by DivyaSri Palaparti

Macro-Economics

Dow Tops 20,000 as Earnings Feed Rally, Bonds Fall: Markets Wrap

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed past 20,000 for the first time as stocks around the world extended a rally after corporate earnings reignited investors’ optimism in economic growth. Bonds sold off with oil. The index for American blue chips took the round-number milestone after a handful of rallies fell short in the past month. It was the second-fastest 1,000-point trip in its history. The MSCI All-Country World Index headed for the highest closing level since 2015. European equities were swept up in trades favouring banks and cyclical companies. Bonds fell. The Mexican peso slumped after U.S. President Donald Trump said he plans to unveil actions that include steps toward building a border wall.

China’s Great Rebalancing Has Gone Missing From Stock Market

It was supposed to be the face of new China — a stock market in the technology hub of Shenzhen designed to nurture future stars like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. Yet the ChiNext market set up in 2009 is proving a dud, at least when measured against the old-economy heavy Shanghai Composite Index in recent months. That’s in face of economic data that show how the new growth drivers — consumption and services, where private companies dominate — are in good shape.

FRBM report is out. This is why it matters to you

We seldom worry about the macro part of the budget—about terms such as fiscal deficit and tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio. The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee submitted its report on 23 January 2016, a bit over seven months after it was set up. Though the report is not public, news reports say that the panel has recommended fiscal consolidation, but not at the expense of growth. Reports say that it tells the government not to worry if the fiscal deficit stays at, or just above, 3%. If your eyes are glazing over, unglaze them, because we’ll find out what this means and how it affects our lives.

World Bank Sees Oil, Industrial Commodities Surging in 2017

The outlook for energy and industrial commodities is looking more bullish as stronger demand and supply constraints are boosting prices from oil to zinc, the World Bank said.
Average prices for fuels such as crude, natural gas and coal will rise 26 percent this year from 2016, while those for metals including lead and zinc will climb about 11 percent amid increasing supply tightness, the Washington-based lender said in its quarterly Commodity Markets Outlook released Tuesday.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index advanced 11 percent last year after touching the lowest level in two decades in January. Zinc and Brent crude were among the biggest gainers. Iron ore surged more than 80 percent in 2016 as the credit stimulus in China helped to sustain steel output in the top producer.

“Prices for most commodities appear to have bottomed out last year and are on track to climb in 2017,” World Bank’s economist John Baffes said in the report.
Crude oil prices are projected to average $55 a barrel in 2017, a 29 percent increase from 2016, following the agreement between OPEC members and other producing nations to trim bloated global inventories amid rising demand from Asia. The forecast assumes that producers will partially comply with the pledge, the bank says.

Compiled by Prachi Dosani

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