Bringing you up to speed on the financial world this week.
- India Overtakes China as World’s Fastest Growing Economy
In the July–September quarter of the current fiscal, India’s economy saw an annual growth of 7.4%, overtaking China’s 6.9% growth in the same period. India’s growth was attributed to improved domestic demand and manufacturing.
- Repo Rate and CRR Held Steady by RBI
Following its bi-monthly monetary policy review recently, the Reserve Bank of India kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.75%. The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) was also held at 4%.
- Employer’s Attestation Not Required for PF Claim
The Employee’s Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) recently permitted direct filing of withdrawal of PF applications, without the employer’s attestation. This does away with the present requirement for mandatory attestation from present or former employers.
- Gold Prices See near Six-Year Low
Gold prices recently fell to a nearly six-year low. Spot gold prices decreased to $1,045.85 an ounce, the lowest since February 2010, before steadying at $1,052.35 an ounce. The slump followed comments by Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve chair, hinting at a US rate hike this month.
- RBI’s Projection of GDP Remains Unchanged
The Reserve Bank of India revealed recently that its projection of GDP for the current fiscal remained unchanged at 7.4% The RBI Governor announced that weak rural and external demand were restricting overall growth.
- Canada’s Sun Life to Raise Stake in Indian Insurance Joint Venture
Canada’s Sun Life Financial Inc. announced plans to increase its stake in its Life Insurance joint venture Birla Sun Life Insurance to 49% from 26% currently. This move highlights the significance of the growing Indian Insurance market.
- Senior Government Official Suggests Idea of National Gold Exchange
Shaktikanta Das, the Finance Ministry’s Economic Affairs Secretary, recently suggested the idea of establishing a national gold exchange to provide an opportunity for transparent trading. A gold exchange could help set a price benchmark in the market. This follows the recent launch of gold monetization schemes by the Government.
- Gold Bond Scheme Rakes in Rs. 246 Cr in First Tranche
The Government’s Gold Bond Scheme reaped Rs. 246 Crores in the first tranche with 63,000 applications for 917kgs of gold. This is in stark contrast to poor public response to the Gold Deposit Scheme which attracted a paltry 400gms of gold – barely a sliver of the estimated 20,000 tonnes in India.