A study by UK-based consumer group 'Which?' has showed that technology products, including smartwatches, cameras, headphones, of unknown brands on Amazon have received five-star ratings by unverified buyers. Amazon prides itself for its authentic user reviews for products. The study says that search results for electronic gadgets are dominated mostly by unknown brands, but receive hundreds of potentially fake five-star reviews within hours of these products being listed onto Amazon. Headphones have the highest number of false reviews.
The country's second largest private lender, ICICI Bank is optimistic about achieving steady growth in the auto loans segment despite a slowdown in vehicle sales volumes. As on December 31, 2018, the bank had an outstanding auto loan book of Rs 53,000 crore. As per the latest data released by the RBI, vehicle loans grew 7.8% year-on-year in February 2019.
ICICI Bank on April 17 launched its Insta car and two-wheeler loans that will provide its existing customers final sanction letters instantly. The first service, ‘Insta Auto Loan’ will offer its over 2 million pre-approved customers instant digital loan facilities of up to Rs 20 lakh for a tenure of up to seven years. The second initiative, ‘Insta Two-Wheeler Loan’, offers over 12 million pre-approved customers the facility to get instant loan sanction of up to Rs 2 lakh for a tenure of up to three years. Both the plans will offer 100% of the on-road price of vehicle.
Market research firm Nielsen India expects FMCG sector in India to grow in the range of 11-12% in 2019 as against the growth rate of 13.8% in 2018. Further, the volume growth is expected to grow around 8.5-9.5%, lower than the 11% growth rate in 2018. Rural consumption will be one of the key drivers of FMCG growth story.
Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala departed from his earlier views and said on April 16 that the ruling BJP would not get a clear majority in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, but it would be a major partner in the next government. Jhunjhunwala in February had said that Narendra Modi would be triumphant in the polls.
A survey has revealed that consumers in southern India tend to buy small pack sizes, are more experimental, and on average, spend more on groceries compared to the rest of India. According to a study by research firm Kantar Worldpanel, India's five southern states are more urbanised, economically progressive, better developed and lead the country socially. The southern states have a per capita net state domestic product (NSDP) of over Rs 130,000, as against a national average of Rs 85,229.
Jet Airways will temporarily halt all domestic and international operations from April 17 onward after banks rejected the debt-laden carrier's request for emergency funding. The cash-strapped airline has shut down operations with immediate effect since it will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. The lenders, led by SBI, were originally expected to transfer Rs 1,500 crore but some lenders are not willing to infuse any fresh funding in the struggling airline. Jet has a debt of over Rs 8000 crore.
Brent oil hit a 2019 high above $72 a barrel on Wednesday. The price surge was led by steady economic growth in China and a fall in US crude stocks. China's economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter. China is the world's second-largest crude consumer. Global supply has also been further tightened by US sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran. An unexpected drop in US crude inventories also supported oil prices.
Steel demand in India is expected to grow above 7% in the current as well as next year, according to the World Steel Association. The steel body, which represents steel producers, including nine of the world's 10 largest firms, expects global steel demand to jump 1.3% to 1,735 million tonnes (MT) in 2019. Steel demand in emerging economies, excluding China, is expected to grow 2.9% and 4.6% in 2019 and 2020, respectively, it said.
Vodafone Idea said the telecom sector is being taxed like non-essential items such as liquor and cigarette, instead of being treated as a critical infrastructure. “We have got customs duty at 23%, GST at 18%. We paid lot of money for the spectrum. On top of that, you pay SUC (spectrum usage charge), USOF charges and other charges," Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma said. Vodafone Idea has debt of around Rs 1.2 lakh crore. Spectrum related payments account for 80% of the current net debt of the company.
IDBI Bank has launched 'NRI-Insta-Online' account which will enable the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) living in nearly 40 FATF member countries to open account in IDBI Bank without submitting paper documents. NRIs residing in Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member countries will not be required to furnish physical documents as well as KYC proofs for opening an account with the bank. The NRIs can upload the supporting documents on the lender’s website. On successful upload and verification of the scanned documents, the account is instantly opened and an electronic advice is sent to the customer.
The United Nations owes India $38 million for the peacekeeping operations as of March 2019. This is the highest amount it has to pay to any country, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said. The total amount payable by the UN to troop- and police-contributing countries with respect to active peacekeeping missions was $265 million. Of this, the UN owes $38 million to India, followed by Rwanda ($31 million), Pakistan ($28 million), Bangladesh ($25 million) and Nepal ($23 million), Guterres said in his report.
Income Tax officials and the Election Commission's static surveillance team on Tuesday carried out a joint search at the house of DMK Lok Sabha candidate K. Kanimozhi in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukodi on Tuesday. Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha member, is contesting against the BJP's state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan in the Thootukodi Lok Sabha constituency.
The RBI on Tuesday said it will issue Rs 50 denomination banknotes signed by its Governor Shaktikanta Das. The RBI will issue Rs 50 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series bearing the signature of Das. The design of these notes is similar in all respects to Rs 50 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series. "All banknotes in the denomination of Rs 50 issued by the Reserve Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender," the RBI said.
BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager, reported first-quarter profit beating street expectations. Total assets under management (AUM) grew 3% year-on-year to $6.52 trillion in the quarter through March 31. Total quarterly net inflows across all product types jumped 13.6% to $64.67 billion from a year earlier. BlackRock lost more than $26 billion in its equity portfolio during the first quarter, but this was more than offset by a jump in fixed income of nearly $80 billion. Long-term investments rose by $59 billion.