MICS CURRENT AFFAIRS 23rd JAN 2018

1 . National  Investment  and  Infrastructure  Fund  (NIIF)  makes its  First  Investment

The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has made its First investment . NIIF has partnered with DP World to create an investment platform for ports, terminals, transportation and logistics businesses in India.

The platform will invest in opportunities in the ports sector, and beyond sea ports into areas such as river ports and transportation, freight corridors, port-led special economic zones, inland container terminals, and logistics infrastructure including cold storage.

About  National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is a fund created by the Government of India for enhancing infrastructure financing in the country . Its creation was announced in the Union Budget 2015-16. NIIF got registered with SEBI as Category II Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) on December 28, 2015.

NIIF was proposed to be set up as a Trust, to raise debt to invest in the equity of infrastructure finance companies such as Indian Rail Finance Corporation (IRFC) and National Housing Bank (NHB). The idea is that these infrastructure finance companies can then leverage this extra equity, manifold. In that sense, NIIF is a banker of the banker of the banker.

Objective

The objective of NIIF would be to maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects. It could also consider other nationally important projects, for example, in manufacturing, if commercially viable.

Functions of NIIF

The functions of NIIF are as follows:

1 . Fund raising through suitable instruments including off-shore credit enhanced bonds, and attracting anchor investors to participate as partners in NIIF;
2 . Servicing of the investors of NIIF.
3 . Considering and approving candidate companies/institutions/ projects (including state entities) for investments and periodic monitoring of investments.
4 . Investing in the corpus created by Asset Management Companies (AMCs) for investing in private equity.
5 . Preparing a shelf of infrastructure projects and providing advisory services.

 

2 . RIL  becomes  India’s  first  firm  to  cross  Rs. 6-lakh  crore  in market  cap

Reliance Industries (RIL) become the first Indian company to cross the Rs. 6-lakh crore mark in market capitalisation as its shares touched a 52-week high of Rs. 974.5 following the announcement of robust Q3 profits recently.

RIL shares rose 4.5% to Rs. 971.2 valuing the company at Rs. 6,15,150 crore. RIL is owned 40% by its chairman Mukesh Ambani, making him the richest Indian with personal wealth of $40.7 billion and the 20th richest globally, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire index.

India’s largest software exporter, Tata Consultancy Services follows RIL with market capitalisation of Rs. 5,95,946 crore. HDFC Bank become the first bank to cross market capitalisation of Rs. 5 lakh crore.

What is ‘Market Capitalization’?

Market capitalization is the aggregate valuation of the company based on its current share price and the total number of outstanding stocks. It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of the company’s share with the total outstanding shares of the company.

For instance, a company has 20 million outstanding shares and the current market price of each share is Rs100. Market capitalization of this company will be 200,00,000 x 100=Rs 200 crore.

Types of Stocks

Stocks of companies are of three types. The stocks with a market cap of Rs 10,000 crore or more are large cap stocks. Company stocks with a market cap between Rs 2 crore and 10 crore are mid cap stocks and those less than Rs 2 crore market cap are small cap stocks.

 

3 . Bayer  launches  new rice  hybrid  seed  Arize AZ 8433 DT

Bayer has launched a first-of-its-kind hybrid rice seed, Arize AZ 8433 DT with strong inbuilt tolerance to Brown Plant Hopper (BPH) and Bacterial Leaf Blight (BLB). BPH is the most destructive pest in rice growing areas of India and caused huge losses to farmers in the 2017 kharif season.

Bayer has developed hybrid seeds, where pest tolerance has been achieved in the seed through innovative technologies based on marker-assisted breeding.

About  Marker-assisted selection

Marker assisted selection or marker aided selection (MAS) is an indirect selection process where a trait of interest is selected based on a marker (morphological, biochemical or DNA/RNA variation) linked to a trait of interest (e.g. productivity, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and quality), rather than on the trait itself. This process has been extensively researched and proposed for plant and animal breeding .

 

4 . India  asks  Germany  to  help  relax  new  EU  rice  import  rule

As the new stringent EU rice import rule kicked in this month, India has asked Germany to use its good offices to resolve the issue at the earliest.

The European Union (EU) has reduced the maximum permissible residue level (MRL) of Tricyclazole (a fungicide) in basmati rice to 0.01 mg per kg from the present limit of 1.0 mg per kg effective January 1.

India, the world’s largest producer of the aromatic grain, has made several representations to some European countries, to convince them on the need to relax the rules.

 

5 . India  fifth  most  attractive  market  for  investments: CEOs survey

India has emerged as the fifth most attractive market for investments and the optimism over global economic growth is at a record level,according to  a survey of CEOs by global consultancy PwC .

Aided by opening up of several key sectors over the last few years, foreign direct investment in India surged 17 per cent to over $25 billion during the first half of the current financial year, even as private investment has remained muted due to excess capacity and high financial stress.

It had for the first time topped $60 billion in 2016-17, but remains less than half of China’s $137 billion in 2017, which was an increase of around 8% . The US remains the top spot for global investment, while India moves into the top 5.

Around 46 per cent of global CEOs consider the US as one of the three most important countries for growth, followed by China (33 per cent) and Germany (20 per cent) at second and third places, respectively. At the fourth spot is the UK (15 per cent).India (9 per cent) bumps Japan (8 per cent) as the fifth most attractive market in 2018.