India central bank cuts policy interest rate
MUMBAI • India's central bank cut its policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 per cent yesterday, reducing it to a more than five-year low while dangling the prospect of another cut later this year if inflation trends stay benign.
To make policy rate cuts more effective, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also took steps to ensure increased liquidity in the financial system, as banks had cited tight cash conditions as a reason for not cutting their lending rates by more earlier.
The moves signalled a new approach by RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, who was disappointed that its aggressive easing last year failed to have the impact he hoped for due to banks' reluctance to lower rates for borrowers.
Indonesia to lower tax rate for individuals
JAKARTA • Indonesia plans to lower income tax rates for individuals, finance minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said yesterday, in its latest bid to get better tax compliance.
Previously, the minister has said some rates for companies should be lowered. Current tax rates for individuals range from 5 per cent to 30 per cent. Mr Brodjonegoro said the current income tax law will be revised, but did not give any details of what changes he would seek.
ArcelorMittal raises $4b in rights issue
LONDON • Steel giant ArcelorMittal said yesterday that it had successfully completed a US$3 billion (S$4.1 billion) rights issue aimed at cutting its debt pile amid a global steel glut.
The group, the world's largest steelmaker, announced a total subscription rate of 126.9 per cent and issued 1.6 billion new shares an issue after strong investor support.
ArcelorMittal announced the rights issue in February, saying it would use net proceeds to reduce indebtedness and bolster its balance sheet.The company posted a US$6.7 billion loss in the fourth quarter amid falling commodity prices for a 2015 net loss of US$7.95 billion.