>> MFs set record in new SIP accounts
>> RIL draws up plan to hive off O2C business
>> US’ First Bitcoin ETF sees solid debut
>> Bigger salary hikes coming for India Inc employees in 2021
Hi there. Welcome to ETMarkets Morning, the show about money, business and markets. I am Sandeep Singh.
Let’s start with a quick glance on the state of the markets.
The trade setup looked weak on Dalal Street this morning. Asian stocks retreated, as investors mulled the impact of the recent climb in treasury yields on equity outlook. Wall Street indices closed lower overnight. Crude oil extended a decline and WTI crude ruled below $ 60. The dollar was little changed. Bitcoin fell back below $ 52,000. Gold prices rose slightly to Rs 46,395 per 10 gm in India but slipped 0.5% to about $ 1,766 an ounce in international markets.
That said, here’s what else is making news?
Mutual fund investors are returning to create systematic investment plans. With the equity market scaling new highs, new SIP account registrations rose to a record 16.4 lakh in January, Amfi claimed. This is the second month in a row when SIP registrations hit record highs. The previous peak was 12.9 lakh accounts in January 2018. The two-month rolling average of new SIP registration reached 30.7 lakh accounts compared with an average 18 lakh in last four-and-half years.
This is good news for the industry after some heavy outflows from equity funds in the recent months.
Reliance Industries is drawing up plan to hive off its oil-to-chemicals biz. The Ambani behemoth is said to be finalising the contours of demerging its O2C business into a wholly-owned subsidiary in order to attract global investors like Saudi Aramco. Talks between both sides are back on track and the deal negotiations are expected to gather momentum from April.
It remains to be seen if this development gives new legs to the stock.
North America’s first Bitcoin ETF has got off to a stellar start, with investors exchanging $ 165 million worth of shares. After a relentless surge in the world’s largest digital currency, the first Bitcoin product that’s officially labeled an exchange-traded fund, debuted Thursday in Toronto. The new fund, called Purpose Bitcoin ETF, invests directly in “physical/digital Bitcoin,” issuer Purpose Investments said.
Do note, it’s not the first of its kind product in the world… Europe has several crypto-tracking products that function like an ETF.
Good news for India Inc employees. After a pandemic-hit 2020, bigger salary hikes are on the cards in 2021. Also, more companies will be handing them out. Average increments for India Inc are expected to go up to 7.3% from 4.4% in 2020 with 92% of companies planning to give increments in 2021, compared with only 60% last year, according to the 2021 Workforce and Increment Trends Survey by Deloitte India. Excluding companies that do not intend to give hikes, average increments will be 8%. It said.
Domestic fuel prices rose for the 10th day in a row on Thursday, setting new records. State oil companies raised prices of petrol and diesel by 32-34 paise per litre. Petrol cost Rs 89.88 in Delhi and Rs 96.32 in Mumbai. Diesel was sold for Rs 80.27 in Delhi and Rs 87.32 in Mumbai. Rising prices have triggered protests on social media with consumers and political opposition demanding cuts in taxes that comprise about 55-60% of retail fuel prices.
NOW Before I go, here is a look at some of the stocks buzzing this morning…
>> Bharti Airtel added more mobile phone users than market leader Reliance Jio Infocomm for the fifth straight month in December 2020, signalling that it is still gaining bulk of the customers leaving Vodafone Idea.
>> Oil India has teamed up with Engineers India to bid for BPCL’s 61.65% stake in Numaligarh Refinery.
>> The Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Group has received RBI approval to complete its acquisition of the debt-laden DHFL
>> Morgan Stanley raised its price target on State Bank of India to Rs 600 from Rs 525, citing improvement in retail business and a turnaround in the corporate cycle
Do also check out over two dozen stock recommendations for today’s trade from top analysts on ETMarkets.com.
That’s it for now. Stay put with us for all the market news through the day. Happy investing!