Top business news of the day | Oil prices rise; Swiggy to invest $700 million in Instamart; Maruti Suzuki to hike vehicle prices, and more

Top news of the day from the world of business, finance and economy

December 02, 2021 09:00 am | Updated 04:36 pm IST

People walk past the BSE building in Mumbai

People walk past the BSE building in Mumbai

4:34 P.M.

Honda Motor sets up battery sharing subsidiary in India

Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co on Thursday said it has set up a battery sharing service subsidiary in India with a capital of ₹135 crore.

The new subsidiary, Honda Power Pack Energy India Pvt Ltd, will offer battery sharing service for small mobility, which will accelerate the penetration of electric vehicles (EV), and will also provide technical support to vehicle OEMs, the company said in a statement.

4:30 P.M.

Sensex soars 777 pts; Nifty ends above 17,400

Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 777 points on Thursday, tracking gains in index majors HDFC twins, Infosys and TCS despite largely negative cues from global peers.

Rising for the second consecutive session, the 30-share index ended 776.50 points or 1.35% higher at 58,461.29. Similarly, the NSE Nifty surged 234.75 points or 1.37% to 17,401.65.

Meanwhile, the rupee on Thursday slipped 8 paise to close at 74.99 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar as investor concerns grew over the impact of the new coronavirus variant on the economy.

3:43 P.M.

Swiggy to invest USD 700 million in Instamart

On-demand delivery platform Swiggy on Thursday said it will invest USD 700 million (about ₹5,250 crore) in its express grocery delivery service Instamart.

Launched in Gurugram and Bengaluru in 2020, Swiggy Instamart is now serving customers across 18 cities and doing over one million orders per week.

3:10 P.M.

China issues draft rules requiring e-cigarette firms obtain licences

China's tobacco regulator issued on Thursday draft rules governing e-cigarettes, moving the product away from a regulatory grey area and under the oversight of the state.

The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration's draft rules follow China's cabinet last week amending its tobacco monopoly law to include e-cigarettes.

2:36 P.M.

Shriram City Union Finance disburses highest ever loan

Shriram group's two-wheeler financing arm Shriram City Union Finance disbursed the highest ever loans worth ₹1,022 crore in November, the company said on Thursday.

Shriram City Union Finance has disbursed the highest ever loans amounting to ₹1,022 crore for 1.6 lakh two-wheelers in November 2021.

This is the second consecutive November when the NBFC has crossed the ₹1,000 crore disbursement mark, the company said in a release.

2:22 P.M.

SBI join hands with Adani Capital for co-lending to farmers

Country's largest lender SBI has joined hands with Adani Capital as a co-lending partner to provide loans to farmers in the country.

State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a master agreement with Adani Capital Private Ltd (Adani Capital), the NBFC arm of Adani. 

2:15 P.M.

Central spending seen jumping 12% over pre-pandemic level: Report

Indicating durable recovery to the pre-pandemic levels, the public Capex cycle has turned the corner with the Central and states capital expenditure nearly crossing FY20 levels, growing faster than the gross domestic product rate, according to a report.

While the Central Capex has already crossed the pre-pandemic trendline, states too should do so if the budgetary targets are met, which implies that the pandemic did not cause a major permanent loss in the government Capex in terms of trend, said a Crisil report.

2:01 P.M.

NeML partners with FINCHAIN for trade financing

NCDEX e-Markets Ltd (NeML) on Thursday announced signing of an agreement with FINCHAIN Technologies to provide collateral-free trade finance at competitive rates to participants on its platform.

As per the agreement, FINCHAIN will make available bill discounting and trade-financing options to buyers and sellers on various NeML online spot delivery-based platforms, the company said.

1:35 P.M.

OYO ropes in former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar as strategic group advisor

Global travel technology platform OYO on Thursday announced the appointment of Rajnish Kumar, former Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), as its strategic group advisor.

Kumar, who has spent over 40 years in the financial sector, will play a key role in advising OYO's management on short-term and long-term strategy, regulatory and stakeholder engagement and enhancing the brand of the company globally, the company said in a statemen

1:04 P.M.

Maruti Suzuki to hike vehicle prices from January

Maruti Suzuki India said it is planning to increase vehicle prices from January 2022 to offset the impact of the rise in input costs. The price increase would vary from model to model, it added.

“Over the past year, the cost of company’s vehicles continue to be adversely impacted due to increase in various input costs. Therefore, it has become imperative for the company to pass on some impact of the above additional costs to customers through a price hike,” the country’s largest carmaker noted.

12:57 P.M.

Aston Martin CFO steps down

Aston Martin CFO Kenneth Gregor will step down due to personal reasons after about 18 months in the role, the luxury carmaker said.

Gregor will step down as finance chief and executive director by June 30, 2022, and the board has initiated a process to appoint a replacement, the firm noted.

12:18 P.M.

Uber to allow users to book rides via WhatsApp

Uber and WhatsApp have joined forces, enabling people to book an Uber ride with the help of an official Uber WhatsApp chatbot. Everything from user registration, booking a ride, and getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface, Uber noted.

The new service will be rolled out first in Lucknow, then in New Delhi, Uber said, adding that it is looking forward to going India-wide next year.

11:42 A.M.

NSE Indices launches new Nifty Bharat Bond index

NSE’s index services subsidiary, NSE Indices Limited, has launched one more index under the Nifty Bharat Bond index series.

It follows a target maturity date structure wherein each index in the series measures the performance of a portfolio of “AAA” rated bonds issued by government owned entities maturing in a specific year.

Nifty Bharat Bond Index - April 2032- has been launched within the Nifty Bharat Bond index series.

10:44 A.M.

Rupee depreciates against U.S. dollar

The Indian rupee depreciated against the U.S. dollar in early trade. The domestic unit opened weak at 75.06 and lost further ground to quote 75.07 against the greenback, registering a decline of 16 paise.

Investor concerns over the impact of the Omicron variant weighed on the Indian currency. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell by 0.01% to 96.01.

10:32 A.M.

Tight liquidity, credit polarisation persist for China property: Fitch

The operating environment for Chinese developers is likely to remain challenging, with a meaningful recovery of funding likely to take place only towards second half of 2022, with the potential to lead to further defaults or distressed debt exchanges in the sector, Fitch Ratings said.

“We expect the increase in credit polarisation of developers and sector consolidation to expedite a decline in annual property sales volumes, underscoring our deteriorating sector outlook,” it added.

The credit rating agency expects a 10%-15% year-on-year decline in annual sales volumes, with an average selling price decline of around 5%.

10:17 A.M.

Oil prices rise as investors focus on OPEC+ decision

Oil prices rose, recouping the previous day’s losses, as investors focused on OPEC+ decision over supply policy. Brent crude futures gained 1.2%, to $69.72 per barrel, while U.S. WTI crude futures rose 1.3%, to $66.42 a barrel.

OPEC+ will likely decide whether to release more oil into the market as previously planned or restrain supply. Since August, the group has been adding an additional 4,00,000 barrels per day of output to global supply each month.

9:57 A.M.

Dorsey-led Square rebrands to Block

Jack Dorsey-led payments firm Square said it was changing its name to ‘Block’ . It said the name ‘Square’ had become synonymous with the company’s seller business.

As a result of the name change, Square Crypto, a separate initiative of the company dedicated to advancing Bitcoin, will change its name to Spiral.

The legal name “Square, Inc.” is expected to be legally changed to “Block, Inc.” on or about December 10. The company’s NYSE ticker symbol “SQ” will not change at this time, it said.

9:31 A.M.

Indian indices open flat

Indian indices opened flat amid mixed global cues and advanced in early trade. At 9:30 A.M., the Sensex was up 259.06 or 0.45% to 57,943.85, while Nifty rose to 17,247.60, up 80.70 or 0.47%.

On Wednesday, the 30-share Sensex rose 619.92 points or 1.09% to 57,684.79. Similarly, the Nifty gained 183.70 points or 1.08% to close at 17,166.90.

9:00 A.M.

Asian shares mixed

Major Asian stock indices were mixed, as fears about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus weighed on investor sentiment.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.2%, boosted by Chinese blue chips up 0.25% and Hong Kong up 0.20%. However, in Japan, Nikkei fell 0.66% and Topix dropped 0.46%. South Korea’s Kospi was trading 0.94% higher.

In U.S. all three main benchmarks closed lower after advancing as much as 1.9% by late morning. The S&P 500 lost 1.22% to end at 4,511.14 points, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.88% to 15,244.20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.38% to 34,014.22.


----   Edited by John Xavier


(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)

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