Business News – Green Skills Development | Reliance Industries | India-UAE Local Currency | JP Morgan Chase Revenue | Celsius Cryptocurrency
Check out the Top 5 Prime Business News this week in the NF World Latest News section below. This section covers the weekly summary of Economic, Stocks, Industry and Cryptocurrency related Business News.
Green Skills Development Initiatives for India’s Future: A Path to Sustainable Employment
World Youth Skills Day marks the anniversary of India’s launch of the National Skill Development Mission, aimed at equipping its youth with market-relevant skills. As India strives to become the world’s most populous country and undertakes ambitious decarbonisation efforts, it is crucial to enhance skill development initiatives to prepare for the green jobs of the future. This article highlights three essential foundational aspects for designing effective skill development programs, addressing challenges such as low placement outcomes, high dropout rates, and limited women’s participation.
Incubating Demand-Driven Skill Development Programs:
To improve placement outcomes, it is vital to collaborate with the industry as the primary driver of job creation. Engaging employers enables the accurate projection of demand and identification of emerging skill requirements. The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana’s recruit-train-deploy model emphasizes involving industry partners early in the training process. These partners can either provide direct training or utilize existing training centres, ensuring trainees’ deployment upon course completion and certification. Such partnerships enhance employment outcomes and bridge curriculum gaps in training programs.
Consolidated Directory for Employment Opportunities:
Integrating separate employment portals operated under the National Skill Development Mission, Aatmanirbhar Bharat, and other schemes into a consolidated directory will reduce the information gap. This unified platform will provide comprehensive information to both job seekers and employers, expanding the labour market pool. Furthermore, a consolidated directory facilitates improved monitoring and evaluation of skill development initiatives, promoting transparency and accountability.
Continued Support for Unemployed Trainees:
In addition to supporting employed trainees, it is essential to provide continued assistance to unemployed individuals. Training centres should conduct post-placement tracking to monitor career progression, retention, and other relevant parameters. Future initiatives should extend similar support to unemployed trainees by offering post-training counselling, information about new job postings, and job referrals, and encouraging their participation in rozgar melas (employment fairs). The Surya Mitra app serves as a notable example, connecting technicians trained under the scheme with customers in their vicinity through GPS technology, and facilitating support related to servicing, maintenance, and installation of solar-powered systems.
India’s green sectors, such as solar and wind energy, electric vehicles, sustainable cooling solutions, biofuels, circular economy of waste, and nature-based solutions, hold immense potential for job creation. To meet the demand for a skilled workforce in these sectors, skill development initiatives must focus on incubating demand-driven programs, establishing a consolidated directory for employment opportunities, and providing continued support for both employed and unemployed trainees. By implementing these foundational aspects, India can pave the way for sustainable employment and contribute significantly to its ambitious decarbonisation goals.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), led by Mukesh Ambani, is preparing to announce its first-quarter earnings for the fiscal year 2023-24 on July 21, 2023. The conglomerate’s board of directors will review and approve the standalone consolidated and unaudited financial results during a scheduled meeting.
Anticipated Decline in Revenues and EBITDA
Analysts from BofA Securities anticipate a decline in RIL’s revenues and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the first quarter. The drop is primarily attributed to the oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business, although continued growth in the retail and telecommunications sectors may partially offset this decline.
Projected Figures for Q1 FY 2023-24
BofA Securities projects a 16% decrease in RIL’s bottom line compared to the previous quarter, amounting to approximately Rs 16,160 crore. The brokerage estimates a 1% decline in EBITDA both sequentially and annually. RIL’s consolidated revenue is expected to experience a 7% year-on-year drop and a 4% sequential decline, reaching around Rs 2.08 lakh crore.
Performance of the Oil-to-Chemicals Business
BofA Securities predicts a 6.1% quarter-on-quarter decline in O2C EBIT for the first quarter. This decline is primarily due to weaker gross refining margins (GRMs) in the refinery segment, which offset the benefits of cheaper Russian oil. The brokerage believes that the lack of pricing power, driven by ample supply and insufficient demand, will result in a flat quarter-on-quarter Petchem EBIT.
Stability in Oil & Gas EBIT
On the other hand, BofA Securities expects the Oil & Gas EBIT to remain broadly stable, with a 1.6% quarter-on-quarter increase in revenues.
In conclusion, Reliance Industries’ upcoming first-quarter earnings announcement is expected to reveal a decline in revenues and EBITDA, mainly driven by the performance of the oil-to-chemicals business. However, growth in the retail and telecommunications sectors may partially offset this decline. The figures projected by BofA Securities suggest a challenging quarter for RIL regarding financial performance.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) Sign MoUs for Cross-Border Transactions and Payment System Integration. In a significant move to enhance bilateral financial cooperation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). These agreements aim to facilitate cross-border transactions and interlink their payment systems, creating a more seamless and efficient financial ecosystem between India and the UAE.
Establishing a Local Currency Settlement System (LCSS)
The first MoU focuses on the establishment of a Local Currency Settlement System (LCSS). This system enables the use of India’s rupee (INR) and UAE’s dirham (AED) for bilateral transactions, promoting the development of an INR-AED foreign exchange market. The initiative allows exporters and importers to invoice and pay in their domestic currencies, eliminating the need for currency conversions. This move provides greater convenience and flexibility to businesses engaged in trade between India and the UAE.
Linking Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with Instant Payment Platform (IPP)
The second MoU involves the integration of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with UAE’s Instant Payment Platform (IPP). This linkage enables fast and secure cross-border funds transfers, promoting efficient and convenient payment solutions between the two countries. Users in both India and the UAE can benefit from seamless and cost-effective transactions, fostering closer economic ties.
Connecting Card Payment Networks and Payments Messaging Systems
Additionally, the RBI and CBUAE have agreed to connect their card payment networks, specifically RuPay switch and UAESWITCH. This collaboration allows for the acceptance of domestic cards in both countries, ensuring smooth and hassle-free processing of card transactions.
Furthermore, the RBI and CBUAE are exploring the possibility of linking their payment messaging systems. The integration of India’s Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS) with the UAE’s messaging system aims to simplify bilateral financial messaging and enhance communication between the two nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to the UAE
These MoUs were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to the UAE, underscoring the commitment of both countries to deepen their bilateral ties. These strategic collaborations between the RBI and CBUAE seek to foster greater financial cooperation, boost trade relations, and promote economic growth between India and the UAE.
The signing of these MoUs between the RBI and CBUAE marks a significant milestone in strengthening financial cooperation and promoting seamless cross-border transactions between India and the UAE. The establishment of a Local Currency Settlement System, integration of payment systems, and the exploration of further collaborations in card payment networks and messaging systems demonstrate the commitment of both nations to foster greater financial integration and facilitate economic growth.
Three of the largest banks in the United States reported a combined profit of $22.3 billion for the last quarter, showing a significant increase from the same period last year. Leading the pack was JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation’s largest bank, with a profit of $14.5 billion. Wells Fargo reported a profit of $4.9 billion, while Citigroup earned $2.9 billion. All three banks exceeded analysts’ expectations.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Leads the Way
JPMorgan’s impressive profit was driven by growth across various areas, including lending and credit card transactions. As the largest bank in the country, JPMorgan’s performance often serves as a barometer for the broader banking industry. CEO Jamie Dimon, known for his political connections and economic insights, expressed his outlook on the US economy during the earnings call. He mentioned the potential for a “soft landing, mild recession, or a hard recession” but did not provide a specific timeframe.
Challenges and Risks
JPMorgan’s latest report highlighted several risks, such as consumers depleting their cash reserves and persistently high inflation. The bank also experienced a $900 million loss on investments in US Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, which declined in value due to rising interest rates. However, this loss had a minimal impact on the bank’s overall performance.
Wells Fargo Remains Stable
Wells Fargo, a major mortgage lender, closely watched for signs of economic stress, expressed positivity about the US economy’s performance. CEO Charles W. Scharf noted that the economy was outperforming expectations. Although the bank saw an increase in troubled loans in its commercial business, its consumer business remained relatively stable. While credit-card defaults rose slightly, losses on auto loans decreased. Commercial real estate loans, particularly those tied to office spaces, posed challenges, leading the bank to set aside nearly $1 billion more for potential losses.
Citigroup Faces Disappointing Quarter
Unlike its counterparts, Citigroup reported a decline in second-quarter profit. However, the decline was not as severe as analysts had predicted. CEO Jane Fraser expressed disappointment in the quarter, citing the lack of an anticipated rebound in investment banking as a contributing factor.
The major US banks’ robust profits in the second quarter, particularly led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., reflect positive performance and resilience in the face of challenges. Wells Fargo highlighted the stronger-than-expected performance of the US economy, while Citigroup faced a more disappointing quarter. The overall outlook for the banking sector remains positive, with cautious considerations of potential risks and uncertainties.
Celsius Network, a bankrupt cryptocurrency lender, has been fined $4.7 billion and permanently banned from handling consumers’ assets by US trade regulators. Additionally, three former executives of the company have been charged with deceiving users into transferring their digital tokens to the platform.
Deceptive Practices and False Promises
Before filing for bankruptcy in 2022, Celsius Network froze withdrawals and transfers for its 1.7 million customers, citing “extreme” market circumstances. However, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated on Thursday that Celsius had misled users by falsely assuring them that they could withdraw their deposits at any time. The FTC further revealed that the company failed to fulfil its commitment to maintain sufficient reserves to meet customer obligations and maintain a $750 million insurance policy for deposits. Celsius also made false claims about users earning rewards on deposits with high annual percentage yields of up to 18%.
Settlement and Penalties
According to the proposed settlement, Celsius and its affiliates will be prohibited from offering, marketing, or promoting any product or service related to depositing, exchanging, investing, or withdrawing assets. The company has also been hit with a $4.7 billion penalty. However, the FTC stated that this penalty will be suspended to allow Celsius to return assets to consumers through its bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, former Celsius executives Alexander Mashinsky, Shlomi Daniel Leon, and Hanoch Goldstein have not agreed to a settlement, and the FTC’s case against them will proceed to federal court.
Legal Actions and Arrest
In addition to the regulatory actions, Alexander Mashinsky, the co-founder and former CEO of Celsius, was arrested and charged with fraud by the US attorney in Manhattan. The indictment revealed that Mashinsky and former Chief Revenue Officer Roni Cohen-Pavon face a combined total of eleven criminal counts. Separately, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a lawsuit against Mashinsky and Celsius, alleging that they misled investors and raised billions of dollars through the sale of unregistered cryptocurrency asset securities. Mashinsky and Celsius also face a fraud lawsuit from New York’s attorney general.
Celsius Network’s fine and ban, along with the charges against its former executives, highlight the consequences of deceptive practices in the cryptocurrency industry. The regulatory actions and legal proceedings against the company underscore the importance of maintaining transparency, fulfilling promises to users, and complying with regulatory requirements in the evolving landscape of digital assets.