India’s crude imports from Russia crossed 1 million bpd in December 2022, touching a high of 1.19 million bpd. Now, Russia has been India’s top crude supplier for the third month in a row, pushing Iraq and Saudi Arabia behind. India had imported 909,403 bpd from Russia in November and 935,556 bpd in October. The import surge was due to the price cap agreed by EU at $60/bbl for Russian oil, which gave incentive for Russia to export to India. India refused to be party to the oil sanctions imposed on Russia by the west.
For the month of November 2022, the number of demat accounts rose 34% yoy to 10.8 crore accounts. This was spurred by a sharp recovery in the stock markets by more than 26% from the lows of June and India emerging the top performing stock market in the world. The ease of demat account opening has also helped. However, the total account accretion of 21 lakhs in December was much lower than average of 29 lakh demat accounts opened per month in FY22. This could be attributed to fewer IPO issues in FY23.
The combined market cap of 7 out of the 10 most valuable companies on the NSE by market cap surged by Rs107,225 crore in the previous week ended 13th January. Solid results led to TCS and Infy emerging as the top gainers. Big gains came from TCS Rs59,350 crore, Infosys Rs22,997 crore, Hindustan Unilever Rs10,515 crore, HDFC Rs4,905 crore, LIC Rs3,669 crore, HDFC Bank Rs3,625 crore and ICICI Bank Rs2,165 crore. Among big losers; Reliance Industries ceded Rs47,291 crore and Bharti Airtel fell by Rs17,374 crore.
Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) stayed sellers for 16 days in a row worth Rs23,887 crore with nearly Rs17,500 crore of equity selling in January 2023 alone. Despite better than expected macro data, the FPIs remain cautious due to hawkishness shown by the Fed in in its minutes. In the previous week alone, FPI outflow aggregated to Rs9,606 crore in Indian equities. FPIs were net buyers last on 22nd December. In fact, FPIs have been moving money out of India and into markets like China, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
According to a recent note by SBI Research, India’s retail CPI inflation is expected to fall to 5% by March 2023. For December 2022, retail inflation had already fallen to 5.72% with moderation across food, energy and core inflation. Retail inflation had remained above the outer tolerance limit of 6% for over 3 quarters which led to the government calling for an explanation from the RBI. The note also underlines that the RBI may not have the incentive for more rate cuts. RBI has already hiked repo rates by 225 bps in 2022.
For the Q3FY23, HDFC Bank reported 18.5% growth in net profits at Rs12,260 crore. This was led by 24.6% growth in net interest income (NII) at Rs22,988 crore. Provisioning for the quarter was 13.4% lower QOQ at Rs2,806 crore. Net revenues were up 18.3% at Rs31,488 crore for the quarter. Credit cost ratio fell by 20 bps to 0.74% in the quarter, which bolstered profitability. While gross NPAs stood at 1.23%, net NPAs were also lower at 0.33% in the quarter. The stock is up 18% in six months, but is well below its peak price.
NDTV reported that a number of its senior executives had put in their papers. This includes the President Suparna Singh, CSO Arijit Chatterjee and CTO Kawaljit Singh Bedi. It may be recollected that Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy have already resigned. On the core journalism side, high profile journalist Ravish Kumar had also resigned. Apparently, many of these resignations have to do with Adani taking control of NDTV. While Adani promised full freedom to the NDTV staff, many of the senior staff have decided to move on.
RBI chief, Shaktikanta Das, recently highlighted that core inflation remained the area of concern and India had to be vigilant about it. Core inflation was pegged at 6.1% for December, as it remains sticky at higher levels. Das suggested targeting of core inflation, apart from the headline inflation. However, Das has alluded to rates staying higher for much longer. He also added that core inflation being structural in nature was tough to address. However, the US has progressively brought down core inflation to below 6% levels.