For the fourth quarter ended December 2022, the US economy grew 2.9% despite pressure on interest rates and fears of a looming recession. This is slightly lower than the 3.2% reported in the September 2022 quarter. However, these estimates are likely to be revised. For calendar year 2022 overall, the US GDP was up by 2.1%, as compared to 5.9% in calendar 2021. In year 2022, the US economy added 4.5 million workers, over and above the 6.7 million added in 2021. Experts peg growth at 1.5% in March 2023 quarter.
As Russia keeps its oil prices low, Indian oil refiners are making hay and going overboard buying Russian oil. In the last 2 months, Russia has already emerged as the larger exporter of oil to India, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Iraq. India has drastically cut its oil purchases from the OPEC. Both India and China are now the big oil markets for Russia. However, India has confirmed that it would maintain its long term supplies from Saudi Arabia. In December 2022, Russia sent 137,000 barrels per day to India, the highest level ever.
With India moving to T+1 settlement from Friday 27th January 2023, and secondary markets gradually progressing to ASBA system, brokers may have a lot of thinking to do. ASBA would mean that there would be less of funds flowing through the broker accounts as most of the transactions will now happen directly between the customer and the clearing corporation. Brokers have already pointed out that shifting to ASBA in secondary markets would mean that brokers will have to charge higher brokerage to customers.
Adani Group is evaluating remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research of the US. The research firm had accused the Adani group of improper use of offshore tax havens. In the last couple of trading sessions, Adani group lost nearly $11 billion market cap. Adani has called it mischievous and now plans to proceed against Hindenburg under the US and Indian laws. Ironically, Hindenburg has also taken short position in Adani group and it is not clear if the report was meant to give short traders an exit route.
Tata Motors posted its first quarterly profit in 2 years amid rising demand for passenger cars and CVs. Its net profits turned around to Rs2,958 crore in Q3FY23 against a net loss of Rs1,516 in the year ago period. Its UK unit, Jaguar Land Rover, reported 22.5% higher revenues at Rs88,489 crore. EBITDA surged 11% to Rs9,900 crore yoy while EBITDA margins improved 90 bps to 11.1%. This ten times the street estimates of net profits for Tata Motors. Tata PV revenues grew 37% yoy amidst higher volumes and price realizations.
Bajaj Auto reported 22.8% higher net profits for Q3FY23 at Rs1,492 crore. However, total revenues from operations were up just about 3% yoy at Rs9,315 crore. Domestic growth was robust and compensated for the sharp drop in exports in Q3FY23. Bajaj Auto also reported record EBITDA at Rs1,777 crore even as EBITDA margins improved by 350 basis points yoy to 19.1%. Profits were higher than street estimates. Bajaj also launched its motorcycles in Brazil, led by the Dominar brand, and is bullish on Latin America.
With the UN declaring 2023 as the International year of Millets, ITC unveiled “Mission Millets” to ensure food security. ITC is looking to leverage its enterprise strengths in agriculture and the synergy of foods businesses. Both the agri-foods business and the hospitality business of ITC have joined hands to make millet a preferred food for the masses. ITC is developing a comprehensive millets-based portfolio too. It is also looking to build an integrated Millet value chain. Even ITC hotels is creating focused millet recipes.
The CBI registered a case against GTL Ltd as well as some bankers allegedly defrauding banks to the tune of Rs4,760 crore. This was done by creating an array of shell firms to divert bank money. GTL Infra got loans from over 24 lenders and siphoned off most of the funds using fake invoices to vendors. ICICI Bank had the highest exposure of Rs650 crore to GTL Infra, followed by Bank of India and Canara Bank. GTL group provided telecom network deployment services and operations & maintenance services to telcos.