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Tuesday,25-January-2022

Business

Nifty hits record high, Sensex up 200 points

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 The Indian stock market opened on a positive note on Tuesday with the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) touching a record high.

Nifty hit a fresh high of 17,438.55 points.

Healthy buying was witnessed in auto and banking shares.

Around 10.20 a.m., it was trading at 17,422.10, higher by 66.80 points or 0.38 per cent from its previous close of 17,369.25 points.

The BSE Sensex was trading at 58,417.05, higher by 239.29 points or 0.41 per cent from its previous close of 58,177.76.

It opened at 58,482.62 and has touched an intra-day high of 58,482.62 and a low of 58,310.27 points.

The top gainers on the Sensex were HCL Technologies, Axis Bank and ITC, while the major losers so far were Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever and UltraTech Cement.

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Business

Unilever to cut thousands of jobs globally

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Consumer goods giant Unilever is set to announce thousands of worldwide job cuts this week, the BBC reported.

The Marmite and Dove soap maker will slash the positions in more than 100 countries, with cuts in the “low thousands” planned, the BBC report cited a source as saying.

It comes a week after the firm failed in its bid to buy the consumer health division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for 50 billion pounds.

Unilever, which declined to comment on the cuts, faces mounting pressure from investors to accelerate its growth.

The UK-based firm, which has 149,000 staff worldwide, will make the layoffs as part of a wider restructuring that will see it adopt a more competitive operating model.

It is not yet clear where the job cuts will fall. The firm employs more than 6,000 people in its operations in the UK and Ireland.

Last week, Unilever sparked anger from some investors when it dropped a short-lived pursuit of GSK’s healthcare business, the BBC report said.

Unilever had initially said it wanted a bigger slice of the personal healthcare and hygiene market, to offset slow growth in its foods business.

But GSK, which owns brands such as Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, said the offer “fundamentally undervalued” the division and Unilever has since refused to raise its bid.

The saga has sparked unease about the firm’s management under Chief Executive Alan Jope, with the head of Unilever’s 13th biggest investor labelling the GSK bid as a “near death experience”.

Terry Smith, who runs Fundsmith, urged the company to focus on operating performance its existing businesses “before taking on any more challenges”.

In a further twist on Monday, it emerged that the New York-based activist investor Nelson Peltz had taken a position in Unilever.

Peltz’s hedge fund Trian Partners has previously demanded reforms at rival consumer goods firms Procter & Gamble and Mondelez, the report said.

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Business

Equities reverse from sharp decline

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After a sharp freefall on Monday due to heavy fund outflows by foreign institutional investors as well as fears of policy tightening ahead of the US Fed’s monetary policy meeting, Indian equities rose marginally in early trade on Tuesday.

The gains came after five consecutive sessions fall in the indices.

On Monday, Senses and Nifty declined around 2.6 per cent each as FIIs sold portfolios worth Rs 3,751.58 crore on BSE, NSE and MSEI in the capital market segment, data revealed.

At 10.00 a.m., Sensex traded at 57,565 points, up 0.1 per cent from the previous close of 57,491 points. It opened at 57,158 points.

Nifty traded at 17,188 points, up 0.2 per cent from the previous close of 17,149 points. It opened at 17,001 points.

On the stocks front, Axis Bank, JSW Steel, Bharti Airtel, Hero Motocorp, Power Grid Corporation were the top gainers, while Reliance Industries, Asian Paints, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Wipro were the top losers in the morning session.

“Nifty stares at the prospects of extending downsides aiming for the recent low of 16,410, or even 15,900. Reversal prospects rest on the ability to stage a close above 16,820 today. Prospects of an intraday bounce back will brighten on push above 17,115, but expect 17,240-390 to keep a lid,” said Anand James – Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.

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Measures to widen tax base could be focus area in Union Budget

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Tax.

The decline in the tax-GDP ratio over the years and declining share of direct taxes in total tax revenue, clearly suggest that the Central government should emphasize in the Union Budget 2022-23 on substantially improving the tax revenue, Primus Research said in a note.

The policies regarding ‘tax effort’ could be designed through various ways such as, rationalising tax rates, policies regarding widening tax base and net, and improving tax compliance and tax administration.

This process would have enormous implications on ameliorating economic growth, deficit (in both the absolute term and as per cent to GDP) would come down.

It added that the Budget for FY 2022 should continue to provide more support on the demand side than the supply side by reviving the informal sector and MSMEs.

It is expected that against contraction in revenues, increase in expenditures could collectively revive the aggregate demand in the economy. This could lead to a high growth in the near future, henceforth, reducing the fiscal deficit (estimated to be 6.8 per cent in 2021-22) both in absolute terms and as a percentage of GDP.

In this regard, it is expected that central government would re-assess its ministry-wise allocations, and increase spending on social and economic sectors to boost aggregate demand in the economy.

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