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India just posted the worst car sales data in eight years

NEW DELHI, May 13: Sales of cars and SUVs in India slumped the most since October 2011, adding to a slew of bad news that points to a slowdown in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Passenger vehicle sales in April fell 17.1% to 247,541 units from a year earlier, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed. Car sales slumped almost 20%, while overall automobile sales dropped 16%.

“The not-so-happy news continues,” Vishnu Mathur, the director general of SIAM, told reporters in New Delhi on Monday, referring to a decline in discretionary purchases from fast-moving consumer goods to travel and tourism. “The sentiment in the market is not very good.”

The slowdown isn’t limited to car sales. Air traffic in India, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market last year, expanded at the slowest pace in almost six years in March, while demand for bank loans grew at 13.2% in March from a year ago, slowing from the 14.5% pace seen in February, according to central bank data. Hindustan Unilever Ltd., India’s largest maker of consumer staples, recently reported March quarter revenue growth of just 7%, the weakest in 18 months.

Economic growth in India slowed to 6.6 percent in the three months to December, the slowest pace in six quarters, amid weak consumption and a crisis in the shadow-banking sector. The next pulse check for the economy comes on May 31, when gross domestic product for the quarter ended March is due.

Taiwan Expo trade show to kick off 5-country tour on May 16 from India

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, May 9: The Taiwan Expo trade show is set to kick off its 2019 tour May 16 in New Delhi, spotlighting the quality of the nation’s products and services and strengthening business exchanges with the Indo-Pacific country.

Co-organized by the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and government-supported Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the three-day event will showcase a wide array of goods and services across such sectors as agriculture, cultural and creative, green tech, innovative medicine, and travel and tourism.

After its run in India, the expo is scheduled to visit Penang, Malaysia from July 5-6; Hanoi, Vietnam, Aug. 8-10; Surabaya, Indonesia, Sept. 26-28; and Davao City, the Philippines, Nov. 8-9.

According to TAITRA, since the launch of the Taiwan Expo initiative in 2017, a total of nine events have been staged in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The fairs have featured over 1,400 Taiwan companies, attracted about 210,000 visitors and helped some 500 firms tap opportunities in regional markets, it added.

Concrete achievements under the program include the introduction of locally made unmanned agricultural vehicles to Thailand; the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Taipei Veterans General Hospital and a children’s medical facility in Ho Chi Minh City; and the expansion of Taiwan e-commerce operators to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Another major benefit is tourism promotion, according to TAITRA. By highlighting signature aspects of Taiwan culture and lifestyle such as cuisine and tea production, the expos have bolstered awareness of the nation’s leisure environment, it said, citing surveys showing that nearly 90 percent of showgoers expressed interest in visiting Taiwan.

US to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports

WASHINGTON, May 8: The United States will raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% effective on Friday, according to a notice posted to the Federal Register on Wednesday.

The US Trade Representative's office will establish a process to seek exclusions for certain products from additional tariffs, the Federal Register notice said.

US President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he would be "very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling US coffers."

His comments followed a report that quoted US government and private-sector sources as saying China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a draft trade agreement with the United States.

During a 10-month US-China war, US tariffs have been imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and retaliatory Chinese tariffs slapped on $110 billion worth of American products. Trump has pushed for sweeping changes to China’s policies on intellectual property theft, technology transfers industrial subsidies and market access.

Trump has criticized the US trade deficit with China, which hit a record $419 billion in 2018, as stealing American manufacturing jobs. His hard line on China has played well with his political base in Midwestern industrial and farm states, with Trump seeking re-election next year.

Trump had initially set the tariff increase to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including internet modems and routers, printed circuit boards, vacuum cleaners and furniture, in January. He delayed the deadline until 1 March to allow negotiations, and then postponed the increase indefinitely, citing progress in the talks.

Global equities tumbled toward five-week lows as the escalating trade fight fed worries about the world economy and investors sought the safety of bonds and the Japanese yen, which hit a six-week high against the US dollar.

Bharti Airtel posts Q4 net profit of Rs 107.2 crore aided by exceptional gain

MUMBAI, May 6: Bharti Airtel May 6 reported a 24 percent sequential jump in its fourth-quarter FY19 net profit to Rs 107.2 crore helped by an exceptional gain of Rs 2,022 crore. Analysts were expecting a net loss of over Rs 1,000 crore.

Revenue for the quarter was at Rs 20,602 crore, roughly in line with estimates.

For the full FY 2019, Airtel's net profit tanked 62.7 per cent to Rs 409.5 crore compared to Rs 1,099 crore in the previous fiscal.

During the period, the revenue of Sunil Mittal promoted company stood at Rs 80,780.2 crore, down 2.2 per cent, compared to Rs 82,638.8 crore.

 

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