The US oil prices for the first time ever trading in a negative territory as the physical demand for crude has dried up, creating a supply glut. In India, RBI has revised up its ways and means advances limit for the government to Rs 2 trillion as the country slowly emerges out of lockdown situation. Here are the top 10 business stories that made headlines today.
Oil crashes, ends negative for the first time in history on weak demand
US crude oil futures collapsed below $0 on Monday for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut, ending the day at a stunning minus $37.63 a barrel as desperate traders paid to get rid of oil. Read more here
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is likely to make investment rules more stringent for China and other neighbouring nations.
This follows the recent modification in the Union government’s foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, with China at the centre of the tweak. Read more here
Lockdown 2.0: With state govts cautious, relaxation some way off
Despite the partial relief offered by the central government, the once bustling industrial hub in Noida-Greater Noida continues to remain shut. None of the large electronics manufacturers in the region has managed to secure a go-ahead from the local authorities.
Teams of Samsung to LG, Vivo to Oppo, had held several rounds of discussion with the state labour department, industrial authorities, and the district magistrate’s office since the MHA order, but to no avail. Read more here
Infosys won’t pause hiring even as it freezes salary hikes and promotions
Infosys on Monday said it had suspended promotions and salary increments for employees this year, with an eye on cash conservation, to tide over the uncertain business environment.
However, the company also plans to hand out 35,000 new offers in FY21 — including freshers and lateral (people with prior work experience) hires. Read more here
Covid-19 impact: RBI increases centre’s WMA limit sharply to Rs 2 trillion
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday revised up its ways and means advances (WMA) limit for the government to Rs 2 trillion from Rs 1.2 trillion announced on March 31, as the country slowly emerges from a nationwide lockdown and clamour for a stimulus package to rescue the economy becomes louder. Read more here
Coronavirus outbreak: India Inc asks RBI for one-time loan recast
With zero sales and rising fixed costs, India Inc finance heads are expecting several firms, across sectors, to default on bank loans in the June quarter. As a result, they have asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow one-time restructuring of accounts without downgrading the same to the non-performing asset (NPA) category. Read more here
The future is back in the pits for steelmakers as demand falls rapidly
For all commodities from crude oil to alumina to steel, the market remains firmly in a bearish grip. Iron ore might have escaped bear hammering for a good number of weeks since the surfacing of coronavirus at Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. But the mineral has now fallen in line with other commodities. In mid-January, iron ore traded at over $97 a tonne. It is now hovering around $80 a tonne. Read more here
Covid-19 impact: NLC, TCS employees top EPF advance withdrawal list
Information technology firms, including Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Technologies, and power firm NLC India (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation) saw the highest withdrawals of employees’ provident fund (EPF) advance since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Read more here
TV broadcasters seek economic relief and rehabilitation package from government
The top body of TV broadcasters, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), on Monday requested the government for a stimulus package in the form of economic relief and regulatory flexibility, the Economic Times reported.
As economy reboots, Centre raps states for violations
As work in rural India started in some parts of the country after being stalled for 26 days, the central government, however, is criticising some states for violating safety norms, the Livemint reported.