1. The government is planning to spend Rs 700 crore on setting up 2,500 farmer producer organizations (FPOs) in 2021-22.
This will help the government reach out to 60,000 farmers and provide them with a better farming ecosystem. A group of small and marginal farmers as FPOs will have better bargaining power and financial strength to cultivate high-value crops said, officials. This is part of the government’s endeavor to create 10,000 FPOs with a provision of Rs 6,865 crore in five years.
FPOs will play a key role in the successful implementation of the new farm laws which, the government claims, will enhance the income of farmers. Whether it’s selling produce directly to traders and companies or contract farming, FPOs will play a critical role in bringing a large number of farmers and huge chunks of land together.
2. The International Finance Corporation picks up 10% of the first green bond
IFC has picked up 10 percent of the first green bond issuance worth $561 million by Continuum Wind Energy as the anchor investor. The IFC has subscribed to 10 percent or $56 million of Continuum Energy’s first green bond sale closed earlier this month, the World Bank Group member said.
On February 2, was the first to report that Continuum was in the market to raise $560 million via a six-year green bond issue. Finally, it closed the issue raising $561 million at a price of 4.5 percent over the US treasury.
The bond, which had an order book of $3.2 billion, was rated BB+ by Fitch and Ba2 by Moody’s and was listed on the Singapore Exchange on February 10. The dollar-bond offering was heavily oversubscribed almost seven times and the proceeds will primarily be used to refinance existing debt.
Continuum is one of the largest providers of renewable power to corporates in the commercial and industrial sectors, with roughly 2 GW of wind and solar projects across the country.
3. Sun Pharma settles with SEBI
Sun Pharma, officials including Dilip Shanghvi settle the case of alleged market norms violation with SEBI. According to separate settlement orders, Sun Pharmaceutical paid over Rs 56.11 lakh towards settlement charges and Shanghvi paid Rs 62.35 lakh.
4. Airlines permitted to fly only 80% of pre-COVID flights till March-end.
The cap on the number of domestic flights that Indian airlines are permitted to operate will remain at 80 percent of their pre-COVID levels till March 31 or till the summer schedule begins, said the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday. The ministry had set the 80 percent limit on December 3, 2020, without specifying till what date it would remain in place.
The summer schedule begins at the end of March for all the airlines. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approves both the schedules – summer and winter – of all the airlines.
India and Russia have concluded an air-bubble arrangement and it will come into effect from Friday, the Russian Embassy said.
Under the pact between the two countries, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines into each other’s territories under restrictive conditions.
5. Signs of life in the US dollar threaten India’s post-Budget stocks rally
The foundation of the ongoing bull run in domestic and global equities rests on three assumptions: continuation of ultra-loose monetary policies, vaccine-induced economic recovery and the impending bear market in the US dollar. Of these three assumptions, the last one is about to be tested severely in the coming weeks.
The US dollar is expected to witness a sharp recovery in the coming weeks and that will test several global investors’ call of a multi-year bear market in the reserve recovery in the coming weeks and that will test several global investors’ call of a multi-year bear market in the reserve currency of the world. The near doubling of Nifty50 since April and the multi-year highs hit by the MSCI Emerging Market Index have been attributed to the severe weakness seen in the US Dollar Index over the past 10 months.
6. SEBI fines OPG Securities, its directors in co-location case
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has imposed a penalty of Rs 5.20 crore on OPG Securities and its directors in the co-location case. The OPG Securities directors who have been penalized include Sanjay Gupta, Sangeeta Gupta, and Om Prakash Gupta.
Sebi alleged that OPG used NSE’s system to its advantage by having an arrangement with an NSE staff that helped it to connect first. The first one to connect to the lowest load server would get an advantage in terms of receiving data faster than others.
Sebi had asked the NSE board to initiate a forensic investigation of all the concerns raised by it, for which the NSE board appointed Deloitte. The regulator had instructed OPG Securities to give access to computers, terminals, and electronic records to Deloitte. It also directed OPG not to delete or make modifications to any of the records, emails, communications, and IT logs.
7. NSE to buy 26% stake in Indian Gas Exchange
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) is likely to pick up a 26 percent stake in the newly launched Indian Gas Exchange (IGX). After Adani Total Gas, Torrent Gas, and Gail (India) acquired a 5 percent stake each in the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX), an arm of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), National Stock Exchange (NSE) is likely to acquire at least 26 percent stake in IGX.
According to a source aware of the development, the NSE board has already given clearance to this proposal and has approached markets regulator SEBI in this regard. In the Adani Total Gas, Torrent Gas, and Gail deals, the value of the transactions was not available for the public.
The source added that the deal has also got a go-ahead from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) and is in an advanced stage.
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