Things we are reading today - April 2nd, 2024

Gold prices reached a record high of ₹69,487 per 10 gm, causing a downturn in demand among jewellers in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, with a 70% drop reported in the March quarter. Despite this, investment in gold bars and coins increased by 20-30%.

Analysts predict further price increases due to uncertainty over central bank interest rate cuts and rising oil prices. Jewellers hope for a sales boost during Akshay Tritiya, but current trends indicate a preference for exchanging old gold rather than fresh purchases amidst soaring prices.

Despite increased borrowing costs and supply constraints from geopolitical crises, Indian companies saw more upgrades than downgrades in credit ratings during October-March reviews.

This trend, driven by factors like domestic consumption, government infrastructure spending, and healthy balance sheets, stabilized the ratio of upgrades to downgrades at pre-pandemic levels. Sectors like roads, renewables, and hospitality drove upgrades, while export-oriented sectors faced challenges. Looking ahead, the outlook remains positive for credit quality in FY25, supported by domestic demand and infrastructure projects.

However, factors like monsoon patterns and geopolitical uncertainties could pose risks.

SCORES 2.0, introduces auto-routing of complaints to the concerned regulated entity to eliminate time lapses. Sebi on Monday launched the new version of its complaint redressal system.

In FY24, Indian companies increasingly turned to the bond market for fundraising, with privately placed corporate bonds reaching a record high of ₹9.77 lakh crore, a 15% increase from the previous year. This preference for bonds over equities was driven by their cost-efficiency and quick capital raising capabilities. Equity fundraising, including IPOs and QIPs, totaled ₹1.26 lakh crore, with QIPs contributing ₹66,806 crore. Notably, fresh equity issues were lower compared to offers for sale by existing shareholders.

April brings significant changes for mutual fund investors and insurance policyholders in India.

Existing mutual fund investors must validate their contact details by March 31 to continue transacting, while new investors must undergo KYC based on officially valid documents like Aadhaar or voter ID.

Additionally, all insurance policies are mandated to be converted into electronic form from April 1, streamlining policy management. However, the IRDAI’s retention of surrender charge regulations disappoints policyholders seeking higher payouts upon premature exit.

On the banking front, SBI has raised debit card fees, while Axis Bank has revised benefits on its credit card portfolio. ICICI Bank and YES Bank have updated their minimum spending criteria for airport lounge access on select credit cards. Moreover, SBI Card has discontinued reward points on rent payments for specific credit cards effective April 1st.

Despite a slight dip in February due to fewer days and increased investment activities, UPI marked a record-breaking end to FY24, with transactions soaring to ₹19.78 lakh crore in March 2024, surpassing the previous record set in January 2024.

The volume of transactions reached 1,344 crore, with a 55% year-on-year increase. Throughout FY24, UPI processed 13,115 crore transactions, amounting to ₹199.29 lakh crore, showing significant growth compared to the previous fiscal year. Projections indicate UPI transactions could exceed 100 crore per day by FY27, with UPI expected to dominate retail digital payments, constituting 90% of total transaction volumes over the next five years.

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i am holding 2000 grams of gold - accumulating from 1999

last year i earned 28 lakhs without doing anything - now my gold networth is 1.25 crore
super asset - now i am acumulating every month 5 grams of gold in the form of SGB
:sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses: