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QBiz: RBI Cuts Policy Rate, Growth Forecast; PMC Bank MD Arrested

1. RBI Cuts Policy Rate and FY20 Growth Forecast

Faced with an economic slowdown driven by weak consumer sentiment and tepid consumption demand, the Reserve Bank of India on Friday, 4 October cut its policy repo rate by 25 basis points, or a quarter of 1 percentage point.

The fifth consecutive rate cut in the past eight months came with an assurance of an accommodative stance till growth revives, suggesting more cuts down the line, but there was also a bit of downbeat news.

The central bank sharply cut the GDP growth projection for FY2020 from 6.9 per cent (made in its August policy statement) to 6.1 percent.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

2. PMC Bank Created Over 21,000 Fake Accounts to Hide Defaults by HDIL

Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank replaced 44 loan accounts of the HDIL group with over 21,000 fictitious loan accounts, and thus "camouflaged" defaults by the group, the police told a court here on Friday.

The Economic Offences Wings of city police disclosed the information while seeking custody of chairman and managing director of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, arrested the day before.

The court remanded them in police (EOW) custody till 9 October.

(Source: The Economic Times)

3. Amazon Clocked ‘Record Sales’ as Indians Splurged on Mobiles in Great Indian Festival

Amazon India on Friday, 4 October claimed that this year’s first Great Indian Festival sale recorded the highest share of transacting customers and purchases across all online shopping platforms in India. The sale commenced at the onset of the festive season in India, famously synonymous with the splurge on a range of products across categories. It started on 29 September and entered its last leg on 4 October.

The e-tailing giant had offered a large number of deals and discounts on smartphones, laptops, TVs, tablets, headphones, and more.

Amazon’s strong sales figures ride on the back of growth led by sales of smartphone brands such as Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Vivo, claims the Jeff Bezos-led company.

(Source: Financial Express)

4. Mumbai Police's EOW Arrests Suspended PMC Bank MD Joy Thomas

Former MD of PMC Bank, Joy Thomas, was on Friday, 4 October was arrested by Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police in connecting with the ₹4,355 crore cheating case at the bank

A TV report said EOW was looking for Joy Thomas from the last four days. Thomas was summoned to the EOW office at the city police headquarters and arrested after questioning, a police official told PTI.

Thomas' arrest comes after HDIL chairman and managing director Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang were on Friday sent to police custody till 9 October in the PMC Bank scam.

(Source: Mint)

5. Services Sector Shrinks on Muted Demand

India’s services sector slipped into contraction in September as new business orders fell for first time since early 2018, according to a private survey, which also found business optimism at its lowest in 2-1/2 years.

Friday’s survey adds to deepening gloom around businesses and consumers, underlining broadening cracks in economy as growth slipped to six-year low in the April-June quarter.

The IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to a 19-month low of 48.7 in September from 52.4 in August.

(Source: The Times of India)

6. Microfinance Limits Raised, Sector Gets Shot in the Arm

Reserve Bank of India has raised the micro loan limits to ensure higher flow of funds to the economically weaker section as their role in the economy has grown over the years with the government’s inclusive agenda.

In a twin-move, the regulator has raised the household income limit for availing micro loans while enhanced the lending limit to Rs 1.25 lakh per eligible borrower from Rs 1 lakh earlier.

“Taking into consideration the important role played by MFIs in delivering credit to those in the bottom of the economic pyramid and enable them to play their assigned role in a growing economy, it is proposed to revise these criteria,” RBI said Friday.

(Source: The Economic Times)

7. Reliance Jio Opposes Regulatory Intervention on Call Ring Time

Amid an industry feud over call ringing time, Reliance Jio has urged the telecom regulator to abstain from mandating a specific duration for calls to ring, and said the matter should be kept under forbearance as “there is no need for any regulatory intervention”.

Jio said if at all the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) wants to take a view on the issue, it should be in form of a “reference guideline and not in form of a mandated value”.

“In such case, the range of 20 seconds to 25 seconds may be prescribed as reference guideline,” Jio informed Trai, which is in the process of finalising its views on the issue through a consultation paper.

(Source: Financial Express)

8. Indian Firms Most Bullish in Asia on New Technology, Reveals Survey

Indian companies are more confident of their ability to adopt new technology than their counterparts in Hong Kong/China, Japan, Singapore and Australia, a survey by international law firm Baker McKenzie has revealed.

Also, the highest percentage (31 percent) of companies that described themselves as a disruptor, rather than disrupted, in the Asia Pacific region, came from India, showed a survey of 600 C-Suite executives, including 100 in India.

Nearly, 31 percent of the 100 Indian business leaders surveyed said they were ‘highly adept’ at exploiting the benefits of new technologies, as compared with 14 per cent in Hong Kong and 8 per cent in Malaysia.

(Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

9. US Unemployment Falls to 50-Year Low of 3.5% in September

America's jobless rate tumbled in September to its lowest level in 50 years, according to government data released on Friday, 4 October delighting the White House even though it may not assuage recession fears as President Donald Trump's trade wars persist.

Meanwhile, with a strong dollar and slowing global economy, the US trade deficit widened in August, as the trade conflicts ate into export growth.

Trump immediately cheered the good jobs data, claiming his economic record should shield him from efforts to impeach him.

(Source: Mint)

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