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Madhabi Puri Buch appointed Sebi chairperson for a term of three years

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Current chairman Ajay Tyagi's tenure as Sebi chairman ends today. He served as chairman for five years. Puri Buch, who has been granted an initial term of three years, will assume charge on March 1

Madhabi Puri Buch

Madhabi Puri Buch has on Monday been appointed as the chairperson for market regulator (Sebi). The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved Buch's appointment for an initial period of three years. Her tenure as a whole-time member of ended in October 2021.

Puri Buch will be the first woman to head the securities market regulator, which has evolved to become one of the most important institutions in the financial market ecosystem. She is also the first person from the private sector to head 

Current chairman Ajay Tyagi’s tenure as chairman ends today. He served as chairman for five years. Puri Buch, who has been granted an initial term of three years, will assume charge on March 1.

Puri Buch has worked closely with Tyagi as she was the WTM between April 05, 2017 and October 04, 2021.

She has handled key portfolios such as surveillance, collective investment schemes and investment management.

An alumna of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Buch has three decades of financial market experience. She joined ICICI Bank in 1989.

At the private lender, Buch worked in corporate finance, branding, treasury and loans, before moving to ICICI Securities. She headed the domestic investment bank before moving abroad, where she headed private equity firm Greater Pacific Capital. She later served as a consultant to the New Development Bank, set up by the BRICS bloc of nations.

Read Also| India skips resolution to call for UN General Assembly session on Ukraine

Article Source:- Business Standard

India skips resolution to call for UN General Assembly session on Ukraine

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The resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour, paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the crisis as soon as Monday.

UN Security Council

India abstained from a procedural vote taken in the UN Security Council to call for a rare special emergency session of the UN General Assembly on Russia's aggression against 

The resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour, paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the crisis as soon as Monday. India, China and the UAE abstained, while voted against the resolution.

The 15-nation Security Council met on Sunday afternoon to hold the vote on the emergency special session of the 193-member General Assembly on Russia's invasion of 

This comes two days after the Russian veto blocked a UNSC resolution on its "aggression" against 

The vote calling for the UNGA session was procedural so none of the five permanent members of the Security Council -- China, France, Russia, UK and the US -- could exercise their vetoes.

President of the 76th session of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, who was to attend the 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, cancelled his trip "due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine and potential developments in the Security Council," for the vote.

He also met with Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya on Saturday after the veto on the draft resolution in the Security Council. Kyslytsya briefed Shahid "on the security situation in Kyiv and the potential action he would be seeking in the General Assembly."

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also cancelled his scheduled trip to Geneva for the Human Rights Council meeting "due to the aggravating situation in Ukraine."

The Security Council on Friday evening failed to adopt the US-sponsored resolution that would have deplored Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine after Moscow used its veto.

On Friday too, India, China and the UAE abstained from the resolution, while 11 members of the Council voted in favour.

The UNSC resolution was expected to be blocked since Russia, a permanent member of the Council and President of the UN organ for the month of February, was certain to use its veto. Western nations said the resolution had sought to show Moscow's isolation on the global stage for its invasion and actions against Ukraine.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield had said after the failed UNSC vote that "we will be taking this matter to the General Assembly, where the Russian veto does not apply and the nations of the world will continue to hold accountable."

While a UNSC resolution would have been legally binding, General Assembly resolutions are not. A vote in the 193-member UN body is symbolic of world opinion.

In the explanation of vote in the Security Council on Friday, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti had said India is "deeply disturbed" by the recent turn of developments in Ukraine and urges that all efforts be made for the immediate cessation of violence and hostilities.

Tirumurti also said India is "deeply concerned" about the welfare and security of the Indian community, including a large number of Indian students, in Ukraine.

"Dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes, however daunting that may appear at this moment. It is a matter of regret that the path of diplomacy was given up. We must return to it. For all these reasons, India has chosen to abstain on this resolution," Tirumurti had said.

In March 2014, after Russia's annexation of Crimea, the General Assembly had adopted a resolution that underscored the "invalidity" of the referendum held in "autonomous Crimea".

By a recorded vote of 100 in favour to 11 against, with 58 abstentions, the Assembly had adopted a resolution titled 'Territorial Integrity of Ukraine', calling on States, organisations and specialised agencies not to recognise any change in the status of Crimea or the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol, and to refrain from actions or dealings that might be interpreted as such. India had abstained from the resolution.

Under the resolution "Uniting for Peace", adopted by the General Assembly in November 1950, an emergency special session can be convened within 24 hours of such a meeting being requested.

The UNGA "resolves that if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security in any case where there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately with a view to making appropriate recommendations to Members...," the resolution states.

"If not in session at the time, the General Assembly may meet in emergency special session within twenty-four hours of the request therefore. Such emergency special session shall be called if requested by the Security Council on the vote of any seven members, or by a majority of the Members of the United Nations," it says.

The UNGA resolution of 1950 also reaffirms the "importance of the exercise by the Security Council of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security, and the duty of the permanent members to seek unanimity and to exercise restraint in the use of the veto.

Also Read|  Russia-Ukraine crisis further complicates matters for RBI, its MPC

Russia-Ukraine crisis further complicates matters for RBI, its MPC

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When one looks back and compares, it feels like the policy stimulus responses during an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic were easy to manage. Exiting the stimulus in the thick of geopolitical risks has just made the equation a difficult one to crack 

RBI's MPC did see Ukraine-Russia tension as a bigger risk than omicron -  The Economic Times

It is clear that governments and central banks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) included, across the world are looking for an opportune moment to exit from stimulus mode and drain out excess liquidity. In its February monetary policy, the RBI deferred the normalisation of policy rates because the weakness in India’s growth recovery continues and it is outweighed by the worryingly high ‘global inflation’.

A few weeks after the policy, global dynamics have changed with rising geopolitical uncertainties following the Russia-Ukraine conflict war, and the consequent sanctions imposed by the West. The ‘normalisation process’, which was difficult, could get worse, mainly because we are moving further into the conundrum of higher inflation and lower growth (at least globally). The MPC will have to delve on how the exogenous geopolitical risk will impact inflation and growth spillovers in the middle of a gradual exit from the accommodative monetary policy.

Firstly, the Economist points out that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is likely to isolate Russia’s economy. The immediate global implications will be in terms of higher inflation, lower growth, and disruptions in the financial markets via deeper sanctions. However, the good news is that the impact on India’s growth is likely to be limited as Russia is not India’s major trading partner with just 0.8 percent share in India’s export and 1.5 percent of its imports.

What’s worrying is the indirect spillovers of a broader growth slowdown. This is important in the context that the MPC has judged that India’s growth recovery is incomplete, and policy support remains inevitable. The IMF, in January, slashed the global growth forecast for 2022 and 2023 by 50 bps and 70 bps respectively due to Omicron-associated restrictions. If global growth weakness emerges and there is further downward revision, India’s buoyant recovery could take a set-back via the trade channel. Also, if supply bottlenecks emerge, the manufacturing and infrastructure sector could have notable repercussions. Given the MPC’s higher weightage to growth over inflation since March 2020, geopolitical risks could make the MPC remain ‘accommodative’ for a longer time.

On the other hand, near-term inflation will play spoilsport. The ‘oil monster’ has woken up from its slumber, boiling at about $100 per barrel, and is likely to remain range-bound in the immediate future. This increase in the crude barrel will seep into the retail inflation through direct channels such as increase in pump prices and the palpable impact via freight rate hikes, which companies would eventually pass on to the consumer.

This could push wholesale inflation higher for a couple of months, but high base-effect of the previous year is likely to temper the spikes. The headline retail inflation number may not come down to the MPC’s inflation forecast of 4.5 percent for 2022-23. The three-month ahead and one-year ahead inflation expectations, which dipped recently as per RBI’s survey forecasts, could see an immediate upward shift for the shorter time horizon.

Inflation in the next couple of months will be high owing to supply side disruptions. Thus, RBI Deputy Governor Michael Patra’s comments in the minutes are important. He points that inflation led by supply constraints cannot be stabilised by monetary policy instruments. Thus, one can infer that change in the ‘accommodative stance’ and raising policy rates could be further delayed.

The one area where the RBI will have a significant intervention will be in the external sector management. The current account deficit is likely to swell due to rising crude oil imports. In addition, with the expected normalisation of monetary policy and rate hikes by key advanced economies, foreign portfolio outflows could weigh on the balance of payments scenario. Ashima Goyal, emeritus professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research, is of the view that interest-sensitive foreign flows are still a small percentage of the Indian market, and, therefore, potential outflows are a miniscule portion of India’s forex reserves (pegged at around $630 billion). With rising imports and likely portfolio outflows as a reaction to geopolitical and monetary policy normalisations, balance of payments and currency management will be more critical than gradual normalisation.

The headwinds from the geopolitical risks coupled with the expected policy normalisation by advanced economies have pushed the RBI’s MPC in a tricky position where there are no easy answers. The added challenges of global growth slowdown spillovers led by global value chains bottlenecks will be an important determinant to look out for. Near-term inflation spikes if led by supply shortages/disruptions is unlikely to shift the policy stance to ‘neutral’ in the coming policy.

When one looks back and compares, it feels like the policy stimulus responses during an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic were easy to manage. Exiting the stimulus in the thick of geopolitical risks has just made the equation a difficult one to crack.

Also Read| Russian participation at Mobile World Congress 2022 to be restricted

Russian participation at Mobile World Congress 2022 to be restricted

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The event organiser Global System for Mobile Communications has said some Russian firms will be barred from the event and there will be no Russian pavilion this time

Russian participation at Mobile World Congress 2022 to be restricted

There would be no Russian pavilion and some firms would also be barred from showcasing products at the annual Mobile World Congress that begins in Barcelona on February 28, the organisers have said.

The Global System for Mobile Communications said the Russian participation at the much-followed annual meet would be curtailed in keeping with the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West after its invasion of Ukraine.

“In light of this emerging situation and considering the tragic loss of life, MWC seems immaterial under the circumstances," GSMA said in a statement shared on its website, condemning the Russian invasion.

The industry body said it would "continue to cooperate with international sanctions against Russia", as the situation evolves.

Also Read: Russia Ukraine News Highlights | More than 50,000 Ukrainians flee country in 48 hours, says UN

It also vowed to follow, "all government sanctions and policies resulting from this situation," and said "there will be no Russian Pavilion at MWC22."

Speaking to Reuters on February 25, GSMA Chief Executive John Hoffman said there were no plans to cancel or put off MWC 2022, which will be held from February 28 to March 3.

Also Read: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuses to flee, asks Ukraine to 'stand firm'

"As we see the situation today, we don't see any need or requirement to do that," said Hoffman. "Of course it's an evolving situation and we will continue to monitor it."

Country pavilions shine a spotlight on smaller companies and this year, the absence of a pavilion could dent prospective deals or opportunities for Russian firms.

Larger exhibitors with ties to Russia, however, can still pay GSMA to be on the show floor and the organiser confirmed it would not stop them until further sanctions force its hand.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuses to flee, asks Ukraine to 'stand firm'

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Russian troops stormed toward Ukraine's capital Saturday as explosions reverberated through the city and the president urged the country to stand firm against the siege.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President

Russian troops stormed toward Ukraine's capital early Saturday as explosions reverberated through the city and the president urged the country to stand firm against the siege that could determine its future. He refused American help to evacuate, saying: The fight is here.

Hundreds of casualties were reported in the fighting, which included shelling that sliced through a Kyiv apartment building and pummeled bridges and schools. There also were growing signs that may be seeking to overthrow Ukraine's government, which U.S. officials have described as Russian President Vladimir Putin's ultimate objective.

The assault represented Putin's boldest effort yet to redraw the world map and revive Moscow's Cold War-era influence. It triggered new international efforts to end the invasion, including direct sanctions on Putin.

As his country confronted explosions and gunfire, and as the fate of Kyiv hung in the balance, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed for a cease-fire and warned in a bleak statement that multiple cities were under attack.

This night we have to stand firm, he said. "The fate of is being decided right now.

Zelenskyy was urged to evacuate Kyiv at the behest of the U.S. government but turned down the offer, according to a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of the conversation. The official quoted the president as saying that the fight is here" and that he needed anti-tank ammunition but not a ride.

For their part, U.S. defense officials believe the Russian offensive has encountered considerable resistance and is proceeding slower than Moscow had envisioned, though that could change quickly.

The Kremlin accepted Kyiv's offer to hold talks, but it appeared to be an effort to squeeze concessions out of the embattled Zelenskyy instead of a gesture toward a diplomatic solution.

The Russian military continued its advance, laying claim Friday to the southern city of Melitopol. Still, it was unclear in the fog of war how much of Ukraine is still under Ukrainian control and how much or little Russian forces have seized.

As fighting persisted, Ukraine's military reported shooting down an II-76 Russian transport plane carrying paratroopers near Vasylkiv, a city 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Kyiv, an account confirmed by a senior American intelligence official. It was unclear how many were on board. Transport planes can carry up to 125 paratroopers.

The U.S. and other global powers slapped ever-tougher sanctions on as the invasion reverberated through the world's economy and energy supplies, threatening to further hit ordinary households. U.N. officials said millions could flee Ukraine. Sports leagues moved to punish and even the popular Eurovision song contest banned it from the May finals in Italy.

Through it all, Russia remained unbowed, vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that it stop attacking Ukraine and withdraw troops immediately. The veto was expected, but the U.S. and its supporters argued that the effort would highlight Moscow's international isolation. The 11-1 vote, with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining, showed significant but not total opposition to Russia's invasion of its smaller, militarily weaker neighbor.

The meeting exposed Russia-Ukraine frictions, including when Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya requested a moment of silence to pray for those killed and asked Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia to pray for salvation." Nebenzia retorted that the remembrance should include people who have died in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region. Pro-Russian separatists there have been fighting the Ukrainian government, which Russia accuses of abuses. A moment of tense silence did ensue.

NATO, meanwhile, decided to send parts of the alliance's response force to help protect its member nations in the east for the first time. NATO did not say how many troops would be deployed but added that it would involve land, sea and air power.

Day Two of Russia's invasion, the largest ground war in Europe since World War II, focused on the Ukrainian capital, where Associated Press reporters heard explosions starting before dawn. Gunfire was reported in several areas.

A large boom was heard in the evening near Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the square in central Kyiv that was the heart of protests which led to the 2014 ouster of a Kremlin-friendly president. The cause was not immediately known.

Five explosions struck near a major power plant on Kyiv's eastern outskirts, said Mayor Vitaly Klitschko. There was no information on what caused them, and no electrical outages were immediately reported.

It was unclear how many people overall had died. Ukrainian officials reported at least 137 deaths on their side from the first full day of fighting and claimed hundreds on the Russian one. Russian authorities released no casualty figures.

U.N. officials reported 25 civilian deaths, mostly from shelling and airstrikes, and said that 100,000 people were believed to have left their homes. They estimate that up to 4 million could flee if the fighting escalates.

Zelenskyy tweeted that he and U.S. President Joe Biden spoke by phone and discussed strengthening sanctions, concrete defense assistance and an antiwar coalition."

Also Read |  CBI arrests ex-NSE GOO Anand Subramanian over alleged irregularities

His whereabouts were kept secret after Zelenskyy told European leaders in a call Thursday that he was Russia's No. 1 target and that they might not see him again alive. His office later released a video of him standing with senior aides outside the presidential office and saying that he and other government officials would stay in the capital.

Zelenskyy earlier offered to negotiate on a key Putin demand: that Ukraine declare itself neutral and abandon its ambition of joining NATO. The Kremlin said Kyiv initially agreed to have talks in Minsk, then said it would prefer Warsaw and later halted communications. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said later that Kyiv would discuss prospects for talks on Saturday.

The assault was anticipated for weeks by the U.S. and Western allies and denied to be in the works just as long by Putin. He argued the West left him with no other choice by refusing to negotiate Russia's security demands.

In a window into how the increasingly isolated Putin views Ukraine and its leadership, he urged Ukraine's military to surrender, saying: We would find it easier to agree with you than with that gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis who have holed up in Kyiv and have taken the entire Ukrainian people hostage.

Playing on Russian nostalgia for World War II heroism, the Kremlin equates members of Ukrainian right-wing groups with neo-Nazis. Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, angrily dismisses those claims.

Putin has not disclosed his ultimate plans for Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave a hint, saying, We want to allow the Ukrainian people to determine its own fate. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia recognizes Zelenskyy as the president, but would not say how long the Russian military operation could last.

Ukrainians abruptly adjusted to life under fire, after Russian forces invaded the country from three sides as they massed an estimated 150,000 troops nearby.

Residents of a Kyiv apartment building woke to screaming, smoke and flying dust. What the mayor identified as Russian shelling tore off part of the building and ignited a fire.

What are you doing? What is this? resident Yurii Zhyhanov asked Russian forces. Like countless other Ukrainians, he grabbed what belongings he could, took his mother, and fled, car alarms wailing behind him.

Elsewhere in Kyiv, the body of a dead soldier lay near an underpass. Fragments of a downed aircraft smoked amid the brick homes of a residential area. Black plastic was draped over body parts found beside them. People climbed out of bomb shelters, basements and subways to face another day of upheaval.

We're all scared and worried. We don't know what to do then, what's going to happen in a few days, said Lucy Vashaka, 20, a worker at a small Kyiv hotel.

At the Pentagon, press secretary John Kirby said the U.S. believes the offensive, including its advance on Kiev, has gone more slowly than Moscow had planned, noting that Ukraine forces have been fighting back. But he also said the military campaign is in an early stage and circumstances can change rapidly.

The Biden administration said Friday that it would move to freeze the assets of Putin and Lavrov, following the European Union and Britain in directly sanctioning top Russian leadership.

Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called the sanctions against Putin and Lavrov an example and a demonstration of a total helplessness of the West.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Article source:- business-standard

CBI arrests ex-NSE GOO Anand Subramanian over alleged irregularities

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Subramanian was questioned for days in Chennai before the agency decided to arrest him, the officials said

CBI arrests ex-NSE GOO Anand Subramanian over irregularities in National  Stock Exchange

The CBI has arrested former Group Operating Officer of Anand Subramanian after expanding its three-year probe into the co-location scam in the exchange in view of "fresh facts" that emerged in a damning report referring to a mysterious Yogi which was guiding actions of former CEO Chitra Ramkrishna and other irregularities, officials said on Friday.

Subramanian was taken into custody late Thursday night in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, they said.

He was questioned for days in Chennai early this week during which he was found evasive in his responses to the sleuths which prompted the (CBI) to examine him in custody, the officials said.

The agency will produce him before a court in Chennai for his transit remand to bring him to Delhi, they said.

Once the plea is granted, the CBI will bring him to the national capital and produce him before a special court for seeking his custodial remand for questioning in connection with the case at its headquarters, they added.

An audit report allegedly referred to Subramanian as a mysterious Yogi, but it was dismissed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in its report on February 11, the officials said.

Ramkrishna, who succeeded former CEO Ravi Narain in 2013, had appointed Subramanian as her advisor who was later elevated as Group Operating Officer (GOO) at a fat pay cheque of Rs 4.21 crore.

Subramanian's controversial appointment and later elevation besides crucial decisions were guided by an unidentified person who Ramkrishna claimed was a formless mysterious Yogi dwelling in Himalayas, a probe into Ramkrishna's email exchanges during the Sebi-ordered audit showed.

It was alleged in an audit that Subramanian was the Yogi, but dismissed that claim in its final report on February 11.

Ramakrishna had left the NSE in December 2016.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India on February 11 has charged former (NSE) CEO Ramkrishna and others with alleged governance lapses in the appointment of Subramanian as the chief strategic advisor and his re-designation as group operating officer and advisor to MD.

has levied a fine of Rs 3 crore on Ramkrishna, Rs 2 crore each on NSE, Subramanian, former NSE MD and CEO Ravi Narain, and Rs 6 lakh on V R Narasimhan, who was the chief regulatory officer and compliance officer.

The CBI, which was probing the co-location scam since 2018 against a Delhi-based stock broker, swung into action after the Sebi report which showed alleged abuse of power by the then top brass of the NSE, the officials said.

The agency expanded its probe and grilled Ramkrishna, Narain and Subramanian in connection with the scam, they said.

The central probe agency had booked stock broker Sanjay Gupta, owner and promoter of Delhi-based OPG Securities Pvt. Ltd, in 2018 for allegedly making gains by getting early access to the stock market trading system, the officials said.

The agency was also probing unidentified officials of the Sebi and the NSE, Mumbai, and other unknown persons.

"It was alleged that the owner and promoter of said private company abused the server architecture of NSE in conspiracy with unknown officials of NSE. It was also alleged that unknown officials of NSE, Mumbai had provided unfair access to said company using the co-location facility during the period 2010-2012 that enabled it to login first to the exchange server of Stock Exchange that helped to get the data before any other broker in the market," the CBI has alleged in the FIR.

Read Also|  Isn’t it a good idea to look at the markets when there is blood on the Street?

Isn’t it a good idea to look at the markets when there is blood on the Street?

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War presents a unique opportunity to buy quality cheap and smart investors got to be greedy when others are fearful.

Isn't it a good idea to look at the markets when there is blood on the  Street?
War jitters have been short-lived, recovery predictable- Inflation bigger concern than war in Ukraine- Ukranian conflict unlikely to involve multiple nations now- Correction an opportunity to buy Blue Chip stocks- Indian recovery gaining momentum – earnings story intact- Be greedy when others are fearful

War is never a pleasant reality for anyone and, since equity markets hate uncertainty, the formal attack on Ukraine by Russia after weeks of posturing, met with jitters in global markets. Mirroring the global sentiment, the Indian benchmark Nifty went into a tailspin with a single-day fall of close to 5 percent on Thursday.

Drawing from history …

Geopolitical conflict tends to cause market volatility, at least in the beginning. Logically, investors may assume that the volatility will continue throughout the war period. However, history shows that this isn’t the case.

From the beginning of World War II to its end, the US benchmark Dow was up more than 50 percent, over 7 percent per year. During both the combined world wars periods, the stock market grew 115 percent.

The Vietnam War and the two Gulf wars are examples of conflicts that brought about extremely short-lived drops followed by long upward trajectories.

On an average, the S&P 500 (US) had been 6.5 percent in the negative territory for 3 months following an armed conflict (either global or smaller), and around 13 percent in the positive zone 12 months after the said conflict. But there are times when the market reactions have been more positive.

Investors can, therefore, see some discerning trends here. War and conflict bring sudden crashes, varying in their degrees and depths. But usually, the recovery is relatively solid and predictable.

Markets worry more about inflation than a WW III

The reason why the current geopolitical tension is so crucial is because the armed conflict coincides with one of the highest threats of inflation since World War II. The Covid-led supply disruption, coupled with unprecedented fiscal stimulus, had already pushed inflation in most nations much beyond the comfort zone. Moreover, with a key commodity and crude exporter at the heart of this conflict, the escalation in commodity prices is here to stay.

However, Ukraine being neither a member of the EU or the NATO, we do not see the Western powers getting involved on the ground at this stage. However, harsher western sanctions on Russia cannot be ruled out. The sanctions imposed so far are wide-ranging but they fall short in terms of severity. Russia is reasonably well prepared to face sanctions and the only meaningful blow could be the exclusion of Moscow from the global payment system. But given Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, a drastic escalation in tension, involving others, is improbable. In a larger war, it's possible to see trade disruptions, but a localised conflict in Ukraine is unlikely to incrementally affect global supply chains.

While every time market capitulates it seems “this time is different”, going by history, the armed conflict in Ukraine will not have a much long-term impact on the markets. Rather, we will continue to be led by the Fed and its policy changes with regard to inflation and overall interest rates. After a long run-up in global equities, war could be a perfect excuse to take profits.

Rather than worrying to catch the bottom, investors should gradually start nibbling at good quality stocks.

What to buy as the guns fire and markets capitulate?

Investors cannot take refuge in fixed-income instruments as rising inflation is bad for bonds.

So the focus should be on bargain-buying quality companies. Investors should look for at least a 10-20 percent undervaluation to conservative fair value for investments. Once this principle is followed, a 5-10 percent drawdown in the general market won't really matter, given the historical appreciation within 12 months.

Companies with business moat, leadership position, and solid balance sheets should be looked into — in short, buy the Blue Chip stocks that you don't get cheap unless there's a drop. This is not the time to experiment with the next multi-bagger.

Isn’t US rate hike round the corner?

The geopolitical jitters could delay the intensity of the US rate hike. Emerging markets, including India, have already seen FII outflows that could aggravate in the coming months.

However, unlike the past, when FIIs used to rule the bourses, the long-term journey of Indian markets will ride on domestic liquidity. India’s changing demographics, with a young population having no social security benefits, and negative real interest rates augur well for domestic inflows into equities. The record number of new demat accounts and the soaring monthly contribution to SIPs (systematic investment plans) stand testimony to the same. This domestic liquidity should provide downside support to equities.

Earnings, which we believe is the ultimate driver of equities, are also looking strong. The recovery from Covid’s deadly second wave and the short-lived third wave has been swift. The recovery is gathering momentum across sectors. Monsoon, which has a great bearing on the rural economy, consumption, and agri-related businesses, is also expected to be normal. Order bookings of capital goods companies are looking up and, after two years of disruption, discretionary consumption is making a comeback while supply chain issues are easing. However, commodity prices remain a niggling worry.

We do not expect any major negative earnings impact on the Nifty in the next couple of years, as the two heavyweight sectors — financials and technology — look to be in fine fettle. Riding on the recovery and better asset quality, we expect financials to manage the marginal pressure on interest margin. The unprecedented demand for digitisation and the gradual easing of talent shortage augur well for technology earnings, while currency depreciation could be a feather in the cap. The diversified heavyweight conglomerate Reliance Industries should continue to benefit from the recovery in all its businesses. With very little weightage of cyclicals, we rule out a meaningful downgrade to Nifty earnings.

The correction is beginning to take away the froth from the market’s valuation. The gap between the bond yield and the earnings yield is down to 1.38 percent, showing that markets are fast entering the value zone.

From the peak of October 21, the benchmark Nifty index has fallen close to 12 percent. However, over 66 percent of the stocks in the BSE 500 have corrected more. So a bottom-up stock picker can land a bargain.

However, if investors are little more risk averse, buying into the Nifty index gradually, with every correction, is a great way of building long-term wealth.

From a top-down perspective, we would go with export-oriented sectors, ranging from technology to chemicals. Leaders from the financial pack and high-touch sectors benefitting from Covid recovery could see strong earnings. The discretionary as well as the non-discretionary consumption should benefit from the normalisation of demand. On the industrial side, companies with order-book visibility, lean balance sheet with minimum leverage, and companies gaining from Atmanirbhar Bharat and, hence from the various PLI (production linked incentive) schemes, should be on the radar

War presents a unique opportunity to buy quality cheap and smart investors got to be greedy when others are fearful.

Read Also:- Get Live indian Stock Market Tips From Shretipsinfo


Putin announces military operation in Ukraine to 'protect' civilians

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In a televised address, Putin said the action comes in response to 'threats' coming from Ukraine

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Russian President on Thursday announced a military operation in and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen.”

He said the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern – a claim the U.S. had predicted he would falsely make to justify an invasion

In a televised address, Putin accused the U.S. and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees. He said Russia's goal was not to occupy Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the “unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine and said the world will “hold accountable.”

As Putin spoke, big explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other areas of Ukraine.

A full-blown Russian invasion could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government. And the consequences of the conflict and resulting sanctions levied on could reverberate throughout the world, affecting energy supplies in Europe, jolting global financial markets and threatening the post-Cold War balance on the continent.

He said the Russian military operation aims to ensure a “demilitarization” of Ukraine. Putin urged Ukrainian servicemen to “immediately put down arms and go home.”

Putin announced the military operation after the Kremlin said rebels in eastern Ukraine asked for military assistance to help fend off Ukrainian “aggression." The announcement immediately fueled fears that Moscow was offering up a pretext for war, just as the West had warned.

A short time later, the Ukrainian president rejected Moscow’s claims that his country poses a threat to Russia and said a Russian invasion would cost tens of thousands of lives.

“The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an emotional overnight address, speaking in Russian in a direct appeal to Russian citizens. “But if we come under attack, if we face an attempt to take away our country, our freedom, our lives and lives of our children, we will defend ourselves. When you attack us, you will see our faces, not our backs.”

READ MORE: Ukrainian president pleads for peace amid growing fears of Russian attack

Zelenskyy said he asked to arrange a call with Putin late Wednesday, but the Kremlin did not respond.

In an apparent reference to Putin’s move to authorize the deployment of the Russian military to “maintain peace” in eastern Ukraine, Zelensky warned that “this step could mark the start of a big war on the European continent.”

“Any provocation, any spark could trigger a blaze that will destroy everything,” he said.

He challenged the Russian propaganda claims, saying that “you are told that this blaze will bring freedom to the people of Ukraine, but the Ukrainian people are free.”

The United Nations Security Council quickly scheduled an emergency meeting Wednesday night at Ukraine's request. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the separatists’ request “a further escalation of the security situation.”

Anxiety about an imminent Russian offensive against its neighbor soared after Putin recognized the separatist regions' independence on Monday, endorsed the deployment of troops to the rebel territories and received parliamentary approval to use military force outside the country. The West responded with sanctions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the rebel chiefs wrote to Putin on Wednesday, pleading with him to intervene after Ukrainian shelling caused civilian deaths and crippled vital infrastructure.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the separatists' request for Russian help was an example of the sort of “false-flag” operation that the U.S. and its allies have expected Moscow to use as a pretense for war.

"So we’ll continue to call out what we see as false-flag operations or efforts to spread misinformation about what the actual status is on the ground,” she said.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian lawmakers approved a decree that imposes a nationwide state of emergency for 30 days starting Thursday. The measure allows authorities to declare curfews and other restrictions on movement, block rallies and ban political parties and organizations “in the interests of national security and public order.”

READ MORE: Ukraine's parliament approves state of emergency amid Russia tensions

The action reflected increasing concern among Ukrainian authorities after weeks of trying to project calm. The Foreign Ministry advised against travel to Russia and recommended that any Ukrainians who are there leave immediately.

“For a long time, we refrained from declaring a state of emergency ... but today the situation has become more complicated,“ Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council head Oleksiy Danilov told parliament, emphasizing that Moscow's efforts to destabilize Ukraine represented the main threat.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Russian force of more than 150,000 troops arrayed along Ukraine’s borders is in an advanced state of readiness. “They are ready to go right now,” Kirby said.

The latest images released by the Maxar satellite image company showed Russian troops and military equipment deployed within 10 miles of the Ukrainian border and less than 50 miles from Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv.

Early Thursday, airspace over all of Ukraine was shut down to civilian air traffic, according to a notice to airmen. A commercial flight tracking website showed that an Israeli El Al Boeing 787 flying from Tel Aviv to Toronto turned abruptly out of Ukrainian airspace before detouring over Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. The only other aircraft tracked over Ukraine was a U.S. RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned surveillance plane, which began flying westward early Thursday after Russia put in place flight restrictions over Ukrainian territory.

Another wave of distributed-denial-of-service attacks hit Ukraine’s parliament and other government and banking websites on Wednesday, and cybersecurity researchers said unidentified attackers had also infected hundreds of computers with destructive malware.

Officials have long said they expect cyberattacks to precede and accompany any Russian military incursion, and analysts said the incidents hew to a nearly two-decade-old Russian playbook of wedding cyber operations with real-world aggression.

READ MORE: Ukraine hit by more cyberattacks, destructive malware amid Russia tensions

In other developments, Russia evacuated its embassy in Kyiv; Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Russia and considered breaking all diplomatic ties with Moscow and dozens of nations further squeezed Russian oligarchs and banks out of markets.

President Joe Biden allowed sanctions to move forward against the company that built the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and against the company’s CEO.

“As I have made clear, we will not hesitate to take further steps if Russia continues to escalate,” Biden said in a statement.

Germany said Tuesday that it was indefinitely suspending the project, after Biden charged that Putin had launched “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine” by sending troops into the separatist regions. The pipeline is complete but has not yet begun operating.

Putin said Tuesday that he had not yet sent any Russian troops into the rebel regions, contrary to Western claims, and Donetsk rebel leader Denis Pushilin insisted Wednesday there were no Russian troops in the region, even though a local council member claimed the previous day they had moved in.

Already, the threat of war has shredded Ukraine's economy and raised the specter of massive casualties, energy shortages across Europe and global economic chaos.

European Union sanctions against Russia took effect, targeting several companies along with 351 Russian lawmakers who voted for a motion urging Putin to recognize the rebel regions and 27 senior government officials, business executives and top military officers.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has shrugged off the sanctions, saying that “Russia has proven that, with all the costs of the sanctions, it is able to minimize the damage.”

In Ukraine's east, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and six more wounded after rebel shelling, the Ukrainian military said Wednesday. Separatist officials reported several explosions on their territory overnight and three civilian deaths.

Facing a barrage of criticism at the 193-member United Nations General Assembly, Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, warned Ukraine that Russia will monitor a cease-fire in the east and emphasized that “no one intends to go softly, softly with any violators.”

“A new military adventure” by Kyiv “might cost the whole of Ukraine very dearly,” he warned ominously.

After weeks of rising tensions, Putin's steps this week dramatically raised the stakes. He recognized the independence of the separatist regions, a move he said extends even to the large parts of the territories now held by Ukrainian forces, and had parliament grant him authority to use military force outside the country.

Putin laid out three conditions that he said could end the standoff, urging Kyiv to renounce its bid to join NATO, to partially demilitarize and to recognize Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine long has rejected such demands.

Article Source:- business-standard.

Moody's raises India 2022 GDP growth forecast to 9.5% from 7%

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The upward revision in the growth forecast for 2022 means the rating agency sees India growing 8.4 percent in FY23 - 60 basis points faster than what the Reserve Bank of India has forecast Moody's raises India 2022 GDP growth forecast to 9.5% from 7%

Moody's Investors Service has raised its GDP growth forecast for India for the current calendar year to 9.5 percent from 7 percent, citing a stronger-than-expected economic recovery from the national lockdown of 2020 and the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2021.

The  GDP growth forecast for 2023 has been retained at 5.5 percent.

The calendar year forecasts translate into a projection of 8.4 percent growth for FY23 and 6.5 percent for FY24. The FY23 projection is 60 basis points higher than the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) forecast of 7.8 percent. However, the central government's Economic Survey for 2021-22 estimated a real GDP growth rate of 8-8.5 percent for the next financial year, with the 2022 Budget assuming a nominal GDP growth rate of 11.1 percent.

"Sales tax collection, retail activity and PMIs (Purchasing Managers Indices) suggest solid momentum. However, high oil prices and supply distortions remain a drag on growth," Moody's said on February 23 in an update to its Global Macro Outlook 2022-23 report.

"As is the case in many other countries, the recovery is lagging in contact-intensive services sectors, but it should pick up as the Omicron wave subsides. With most remaining restrictions now being lifted with the improvement in the COVID situation, including the reopening of schools and colleges for in-person instruction across various states, the country is on its way to normalcy," Moody's added.

The rating agency said that its growth forecast of 9.5 percent for 2022 assumed "relatively restrained sequential growth rates". As such, it sees some upside potential.

It added that 2022 Budget prioritised growth, while the RBI's monetary policy remained supportive.

India will have 20-30 new energy, tech companies which will grow as big as RIL in 10-20 years: Mukesh Ambani

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Mukesh Ambani said that India can emerge as an export hub for green energy, driven by three factors– entrepreneurial spirit, proactive and forward-looking policy support and action from the government, and assured financing options. India can emerge as a green energy export hub and superpower, driven by the entrepreneurial spirit, government policies and availability of financing options, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on February 23.

Mukesh Ambani says these 20-30 companies can become as big as Reliance  Industries in 10-20 years - The Financial Express

Speaking at the ‘Asia Economic Dialogue 2022’, Ambani said that India’s clean and green energy sector has the potential of half a trillion dollars of export in the next 20 years.

In the last 20 years, we were known for India’s emergence as an IT superpower; the next 20 years, I believe, along with technology, will mark our emergence as a superpower in energy and life sciences,” Ambani said.

He said that India can emerge as an export hub for green energy, driven by three factors– entrepreneurial spirit, proactive and forward-looking policy support and action from the government, and assured financing options.

“I foresee at least 20-30 new Indian companies in the energy and tech space which will grow as big as Reliance, if not bigger, in the next 10-20 years,” he said.

Ambani also said that energy transition will determine geopolitical transition in the 21st century, as new fuel would replace conventional fuel.

“When India becomes not only self-sufficient in green and clean energy, but also a large exporter, it will help India emerge as a global power,” Ambani said.

He said that energy transition would boost job creation, and lead to foreign exchange savings on energy and electronics import bills.

Last year, RIL announced an ambitious clean energy plan that will entail three parts, that include, Rs 60,000-core investment in four giga-factories to manufacture and fully integrate all critical components for the business; Rs 15,000-crore infusion in the value chain, partnerships, and future technologies.

Ambani said that India needs to address three challenges– the country must increase energy output at an affordable price to drive double-digit GDP growth, it must increase the share of green and clean energy, it must achieve the goal of ‘Self-reliance or Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Green hydrogen would be a priority, as Ambani said the group aims to offer hydrogen energy at under $1 a kg in a decade.  

Read Also | RBI's digital currency: What the global experience holds for India

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