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Let us dive into some news from past week 

The Indian Mutual Fund Industry Soars 19%, Outpacing the US, Japan, and China

The mutual fund industry's assets surged by 19%, outpacing major economies like the US, Japan, and China. Over the past 11 months of 2023, India has drawn in over 20 million new investments, with local equity funds witnessing continuous inflows for 33 consecutive months. This growth primarily stems from equity funds, with assets managed by Indian funds now comprising approximately 16% of the South Asian economy—a figure that has doubled in the last decade.

Technological advancements have simplified mutual fund accessibility, empowering individuals to manage their entries and exit effectively. Despite a population of over 1.4 billion, there are currently around 40 million distinct mutual fund investors in the country. Seasoned professionals in the industry foresee mutual funds claiming a larger portion of households’ financial assets in the forthcoming years.

Can the world handle another war?

Kim Jong un, North Korea's leader, has urged military readiness and a ramp-up in their nuclear program. North Korea is cozying up to Russia while the US accuses them of arming Moscow for the Ukraine conflict, with Russia offering military support to enhance North Korea's capabilities.

Kim's remarks signal no slowdown in weapons tests or military upgrades, though some experts believe this might be a move to gain negotiation power after the US presidential election. Recently, a US nuclear submarine docked in South Korea, while joint drills with long-range bombers took place in Seoul and Tokyo.

Despite this, South Korea promises a firm response to any North Korean provocations. With two wars already claiming lives and resources, the world braces for the possibility of yet another war. The question looms: can the world handle another war?

Rise in consumer loan, a concern for the economy

In November, RBI had raised the risk weights of consumer loans not backed by collaterals. There were a couple of reasons for the Central Bank to take this step. More people are now considered to have a higher risk of not repaying their consumer and personal loans. A significant number of personal loans, about 8.2%, are not being paid back promptly, suggesting a decrease in the careful evaluation of loan applications. Many customers taking out consumption loans already have three existing loans, and a good number have taken more than three loans in the last six months. Around 7.3% of customers with a personal loan below ₹50,000 have not repaid a previous personal loan on time. During the latest speech, RBI Governor stressed on the rising asset quality of banks, yet RBI is keeping a close watch on the possible threats. 

More news from the week ...

  • Criminal laws get assent from the President: After the suspension of 146 opposition MPs, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cleared the three bills to which President Murmu eventually gave assent. The opposition MPs called the laws draconian laws and asked for a review. 

  • Nifty and Sensex high: Nifty 50 and Sensex hit a record high this week and the domestic market has been on a strong bullish run since November and in December alone saw an 8% jump. This surge is said to be attributed to healthy domestic macro numbers. 

  • OLA Electric IPO: OLA Electric is all set for IPO in the early months of 2024. Ola Electric founder Bhavish Aggarwal is planning to sell 47.4 million shares of the company and the proposed IPO includes a fresh equity share release of Rs.5500 crore with a target valuation in the range of $7-8 billion by early 2024. 

  • Gas leak in Chennai: There was a leak of ammonia gas from the sea pipeline linked to the fertilizer manufacturing unit. This resulted in shortness of breath, eye irritation, and nausea for residents in the surrounding area. Fifty-two casualties were reported to the hospital, even though the leak was stopped within 20 minutes. 

Check out the awesome content from Ambrela 

Visual of the week

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This is the picture of immigrants crossing the Rio Grande River in the US-Mexico border. Authorities encountered 12,600 people on a single day from the Mexican side to the US borders seeking asylum. This was the highest single total ever crossing borders. People are seeking asylum in the US before new Texas law takes effect where such entries will be made illegal. In November, authorities encountered 242,418 illegal immigrants at the border.  

Test you knowledge !

Illegal migration is a concern for many countries. Did you know which country is home to the greatest number of illegal migrants?  

[A]   USA 

[B]   Saudi Arabia 

[C]   Germany

[D]   Russia

With 52 million immigrants, about 15% of the total population, USA is home to the greatest number of illegal migrants in the world.

The other top countries in the list are:

2. Germany: 16 million immigrants, 18.8 percent of population 

3. Saudi Arabia: 14 million immigrants, 39 percent of population  

4. Russia: 11 million immigrants, 7.9 percent of population 

[Source: worldpopulationreview] 

That’s all from us 

Until next week 👋 

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