As 2019 hobbled its way to the exit door, one cannot help but look back wistfully – from the stock market perspective; it was one great year! But on all other fronts, it was essentially a year of protests, not just in India but world over. Climate change is very very real now and affecting our lives – that was the central message of the year gone by. And of course there remained farmers distress, bad politicking, Modi, Amit Shah, Kashmir, Ayodhya, Trump, Brexit. Yes, all this remains even as the date changed from 2019 to 2020 but somehow, this change in the calendar ignites a sense of hope that all these ruffled feathers will smoothen as we greet this new dawn.
As we get ready to sit back and reminiscence about the year gone by, let us do the ritual of taking a quick look at the year that was. Its back to basics - an A,B,C,D... of 2020.
The Year that was:
A – Article 370 revoking was the single biggest event of the year
Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dealt a body blow to the India telecom sector, crippling it further
B – Banks remained in focus, with the collapse of PMC Bank spooking people all around India.
The crash and now the stop in production of Boeing 737 Max 8’s shocked the entire world
C – Chandraayan raised the hopes of millions of Indians; it failed but we are so close!
The boss at the European Central Bank changed to Christine Lagarde from Mario Draghi.
D – Divestment target most likely to be missed this fiscal by Rs.50,000 crore, notwithstanding the privatisation plans for BPCL, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India (Concor).
Everyone was left bewildered by Divergence reporting of banks; how much window dressing really happens?
E – Elections dominated the first half of the year with the Modi Govt returning with a thumping majority
F- Fraud by the employees of CG Power led to all hell breaking loose in the company
G - Greta Thunberg is today the face of teenage climate activist, motivating so many around the world
H – Halla bol! That’s probably how the youth of India are reacting to the CAA and NRC proposed by the Govt
I - Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) by banks was once again postponed… will it happen on 1st April 2020?
IL&FS crisis continued to cast its dark shadow, plunging the financial sector into further red zone
J - – Jet Airways stopped flying and the creditors continue looking out for a suitor; hopefully 2020 will end the story of this airline.
K – Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj was a gargantuan event, touted to be one of the best managed.. we now wait for the Maha Kumbh in 2022 in Haridwar
Already numb people were shocked by Karvy– you can’t trust a bank, you can’t trust a NBFC and you can’t trust a well known broker.
L- L&T’s hostile takeover of Mindtree left everyone wondering how this could happen?
M – McLeod Russel faced the ire of its shareholders, putting its entire borrowing plans into a tizzy
India’s rating was cut by Moody’s from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’
N – Ness Wadia caught red-handed in Japan for substance abuse
Flames tore through Notre-Dame cathedral, causing the collapse of its spire
O – Onions continued to make people cry and political parties wry
Operation Twist by the RBI was one very mature move to spur lending
P – Protests marked most of 2019 not just in India but world over – France, Columbia with Hong Kong dominating all
Q - Quarterly earnings did well thanks to the tax cut but that is nowhere in concurrence with the falling GDP and IIP rates.
R – Rupee recorded a total loss of 159 paise or 2.28% in 2019 amid trade war concerns, a rebound in crude oil prices and higher import bill.
S – Shaktikanta Das, the RBI Governor dominated the year with his rate cuts, especially the 35 bps rate cut did what was best for the country
Spat between the Govt and Reliance Industries over pending dues got uglier
T – Tata’s were back in the spotlight after NCLAT gave Cyrus Mistry more than what he asked for!
U – USA pretty much hogged the headlines all the time, thanks to the Tweeting Trump, tariff war with China and engaging with North Korea.
V- VG Siddhartha, the owner of CCD’s suicide left the entire country completely shocked
W – Whistleblowing employees made serious ‘ethical’ allegations against Infosys
X – Xenophobia. This is supposed to be a dislike for people of other countries. But in India, we witnessed this feeling for our countrymen. Scarily, it is only increasing…not just in India but all over the world.
Y - Yes Bank very much remained in the limelight for all the wrong reasons and hope it settles in 2019
Z - Zee group coming down in a pile of rubble after the debt crisis catches up