• The Indian economy grew 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. The GDP had expanded 5.6%, 6.3% and 7%, in the first three quarters of 2017-18, according to the data released by Central Statistics Office.
  • The Union government has announced a package of more than Rs 8,000 crore aimed to provide relief to sugarcane farmers and to clear their dues. According to a government official, the package includes three elements. A buffer stock of 30 LMT (lakh metric tonnes) of sugar will be created with Rs 1,200 crore. This money will be directly transferred to accounts of sugarcane farmers. Rs 4,400 crore will be used to increase ethanol production to divert sugarcane away from sugar mills which are unable to dispose of their inventories. The government has also decided to ensure a minimum sale price of Rs 29/kg for sugar.
  • Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Reserve Bank of India has increased the policy Repo Rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.25 percent in the Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement (2018-19). Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.0 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.50 percent.
  • The steadily expanding global economy should remain resilient, at least for a couple of years, the World Bank has stated. The anti-poverty agency predicts global growth will decelerate slightly from a solid 3.1 percent this year to 3 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2020. 
  • Foreign Direct Investment to India decreased to 40 billion dollars last year from 44 billion dollars in 2016 while outflows from India, the main source of investment in South Asia, more than doubled, according to a new trade report by the UN.
  • RBI has made changes in the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) to make it more attractive. The revamping of the scheme is aimed at enabling people to open a hassle-free gold deposit account.
  •  Reserve Bank has stated that interest subsidy scheme on short-term crop loans of up to three lakh rupees will be implemented through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode from the current financial year.  The Centre has earmarked 15,000 crore rupees for 2018-19 towards interest subvention for short-term crop loans. 
  • In a bid to check loan defaults, RBI stated that a Public Credit Registry (PCR) will be set up containing information on all borrowers to ensure financial stability.
  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) constituted an Expert Committee to frame rules for direct listing of Indian firms abroad. The committee will examine the economic case for permitting direct listing of Indian companies overseas and listing of Indian companies on foreign bourses in India.
  • At 17.2%, Axis Bank commands the largest value share of mobile banking transactions but it’s Paytm that tops volumes with 22%. However, Paytm’s value share is a meagre 0.25%, according to State Bank of India’s (SBI) annual report for 2017-18 which has put out Reserve Bank of India’s data for January 2018.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the draft guidelines to modify the loan system for delivery of bank credit, making the rules stricter to regulate larger borrowers enjoying working capital facility from the banking system.
  • Inflation based on wholesale prices shot up to a 14-month high of 4.43% in May on increasing prices of petrol and diesel as well as vegetables. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation stood at 3.18%in April and 2.26% in May 2017. inflation in food articles was at 1.60% in May 2018, as against 0.87% in the preceding month. Inflation in ‘fuel and power’ basket rose sharply to 11.22% in May from 7.85% in April.
  • Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for grant of permission to HDFC Bank to raise additional share capital of up to a maximum of 24,000 crore rupees. The composite foreign shareholding in the Bank will not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank.
  •  Flipkart-owned PhonePe has partnered cab aggregator Ola that will allow riders to book rides using the former’s payment platform. With this partnership, users can enjoy the ease of using their preferred ride-sharing app from within PhonePe while being assured of the reliability and integrity of their payments. PhonePe has also added ‘Auto-pay’ feature that allows users to make payments seamlessly.
  •  Marg ERP limited, a leading Inventory and Accounting software solution company has partnered with ICICI Bank, India's largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, to offer an integrated payments platform to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) customers, using MARG's accounting software.
  •  Fitch Ratings raised India growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4% from 7.3% but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth.
  • Housing finance major HDFC has been ranked as the 5th biggest public company globally in the ‘consumer financial services category’ on a list compiled by Forbes magazine. HDFC’s rank has moved up from 7th place last year. American Express has topped this category, while Indiabulls Housing Finance is the only other Indian company (at 13th place) on the list.
  • Global Rating agency Fitch has announced that ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have inequalities in their risk control mechanisms and has revised down its outlook on the latter to negative on sour assets worries.  It downgraded ICICI Bank’s ‘support rating’ to ‘3’, from ‘2’, its support rating floor to ‘BB+’, from ‘BBB-’. But the agency has affirmed the issuer default ratings and viability ratings of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank at ‘BBB-’ and ‘BBB-’. Axis Bank’s rating degraded to negative from stable, pointing to the high proportion of NPAs.
  • The World Bank has approved $700 million to help Bangladesh achieve its education for all vision by improving the primary education sector.
  • Muthoot Fincorp Limited announced its partnership with National Skill Development Corporation to train over 10,000 youth over the next three years and make them job ready.  With the partnership, Muthoot Fincorp claims to have become the first major private sector player to partner with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to launch the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY.2) programme.
  • IRDAI has formed a panel to review the regulations pertaining to insurance marketing firms. The committee is headed by Suresh Mathur, Executive Director (insurance marketing firms), IRDAI, with nine more members.
  • The Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organisation in the field of Water Resources has signed a Collaboration Agreement with Google for flood forecasting. Using its high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Google would help to generate flood inundation maps with the forecast inputs of CWC. 
  • The Reserve Bank of India has eased investment norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in debt, especially into individual large corporates, a move that can help attract more overseas flows and thereby help arrest the recent fall in the rupee.  The RBI increased the FPIs cap on investment in government security to 30% of the outstanding stock of that security, from 20% earlier. 
  • Concerned over funds sent abroad under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has narrowed the definition of relatives to check the flow of funds. Hence, funds under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category can be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses.
  •  The Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) has approved amendments to buyback and takeover regulations and changed the time for announcing the price band of initial public offering (IPO) from 5 to 2 days, according to the chairman of SEBI, Ajay Tyagi.  In a consultation paper, SEBI had proposed that entities would not be required to file draft papers for rights issue worth up to Rs 10 crore.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) revised the upwards housing loan limits under Priority Sector Lending (PSL). Housing loans of up to Rs 35 lakh for residences costing less than Rs 45 lakh will now be treated as Priority Sector Lending (PSL) to give a boost to the low-cost segment. The housing loan limits for eligibility under priority sector lending will be revised to Rs 35 lakh in metropolitan centres and to Rs 25 lakh in other centres.
  • Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, an education start-up with an app that lets students record and share videos on specific topics with their classmates. Microsoft is making Flipgrid free of charge. Schools that already have subscriptions will receive prorated refunds.
  •  The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) announced that it has extended $10 million worth of line of credit (LOC) to Seychelles. This is for healthcare and procurement of goods and projects. It is the first tranche of the $50 million sanctioned by the Exim Bank to the country. It is the first tranche of the $50 million sanctioned by the Exim Bank to the country. 
  • RBL Bank has raised its stake in Swadhaar Finserve Pvt. Ltd to 100% from 60.48%. The bank has bought the stake it did not own from US-based non-profit Accion. Swadhaar FinServe started operations as a non-banking finance company in 2008.