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India economy & business news in brief for Feb 6: Tata becomes 1st Indian conglomerate to cross £287m market cap

Tata Motors logo (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Tuesday, February 6, 2024:

Tata Group has become India’s first conglomerate to surpass a market capitalization of Rs 30 lakh crore (£287 million), buoyed by strong buying interest in its stocks, The Week reported. Helped by the market performance of some of its major companies, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power and Indian Hotels, the group, which has 30 listed companies, surged ahead to contribute eight per cent to the BSE’s market capitalization. TCS shares surged over eight per cent in the past five trading days, reaching an all-time high of Rs 4,129.35 (£39.47), driving more than half of the conglomerate’s valuation. Similarly, Tata Motors and Tata Power have seen significant gains, with shares rising by nearly 20 per cent and over 16 per cent, respectively, in the past month.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday courted top oil and gas executives in the western state of Goa, showcasing opportunities the world’s fastest-growing economy offers and the reforms that his government has made particularly in exploration and production. He met about 20 top executives of firms ranging from ExxonMobil and BP to QatarEnergy and French giant TotalEnergies, discussing energy scenarios as well as investment opportunities, sources in know of the development said. They added that he spoke on reforms in the oil and gas sector, including a shift from purely revenue-based bidding for oil and gas areas to a exploration-focussed bidding.

Mining conglomerate Vedanta Ltd will invest $4 billion (£3.17 billion) over the next three years to double oil production, its chairman Anil Agarwal said on Tuesday as he pushed ahead with an aggressive oil and gas expansion programme. Vedanta, which more than a decade back acquired Scottish explorer Cairn Energy’s (now Capricorn Energy) India assets, is targeting 300,000 barrels per day (15 million tonnes a year) oil output in 3 years from aggressive exploration campaign, he said on the sidelines of the India Energy Week (IEW) in the western state of Goa. The company is pushing ahead with the investment undeterred by concerns around debt levels at parent Vedanta Resources. “India is the best place to be in right now. It has the resources as well as the market,” he said. “But unfortunately we (as a country) produce just 15 per cent of our need and the rest is imported.”

Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the inflation has come down within the tolerance band as a result of the steps taken by the government to check price rise, especially in perishable commodities. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of the parliament during the budget session, Sitharaman said Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is working with the government on de-humidification of onions through Gamma Rays to give it a longer shelf life. “The government is seized of the difficulties, which arise due to shortage of perishable goods, which are not grown in India. The committee sits and reviews periodically, and the efforts have shown on the ground that inflation is now within the tolerable band,” she said.

QatarEnergy and India’s Petronet LNG on Tuesday inked their largest-ever deal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies, aligning with India’s efforts to mitigate emissions through increased use of the fuel. Under the agreement, Qatar will provide Petronet LNG with 7.5 million metric tons of LNG annually on a delivered ex-ship basis (DES) from 2028 to 2048, as outlined in a statement from Petronet LNG. Qatar, the world’s second-largest LNG exporter, aims to expand its presence in Asia and Europe amidst growing competition from leading supplier, the US. The country plans to boost its liquefaction capacity from 77 million to 126 million tons per year by 2027.

(With agencies)

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