• While the real estate sector in general has slumped, commercial realty has been on an upswing, with some projects yielding as high as 9%. 
  • According to the latest Reserve Bank of India data, Bank lending to commercial real estate projects rose 15% in July compared to 4.2% in the same period last year,
  • Affordable housing financier Aavas said it has received an Rs 345 crore investment from World Bank arm IFC. Aavas will use the proceeds to grow its affordable housing finance programme in rural and semi-urban areas of Rajasthan.
  • The government is finalising a list of functional national highway projects that would be placed under infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) to be offered to potential investors. InvIT means bundling of three to four highway projects to form a special purpose vehicle or a trust to be offered to bidders
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would prefer brown-field projects over greenfield contracts for InvIT.
  • “The projects that are being considered for the InvIT structure comprise nearly 80% brownfield (or existing
  •  projects) and around 20% greenfield (or new) alignments,” an official said, adding that completely new projects are at a higher risk due to long term traffic projections.
  • The government plans closure of the three state-owned trading firms Metals & Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC), State Trading Corporation (STC) and Project and Equipment Corporation Ltd. The department of commerce may soon approach the cabinet with the proposal. 
  • The Commerce and Industry Ministry launched Steel Import Monitoring System (SIMS) which will provide advance information about steel import to government and other stakeholders, including producers and consumers, to have effective policy interventions.
  • In this system, the importers of specified steel products will register in advance on the web portal of SIMS, providing necessary information. 
  • The government expects a 30% rise in export credit disbursals by the end of 2019-20 through greater insurance coverage of exporters and easier inspection norms. 
  • The commerce and industry ministry will soon approach the Cabinet for reduction in insurance premium rates to 0.6% for small exporters having an outstanding limit of less than Rs 80 crore.