Top business news of the day: Cabinet approves PLI scheme worth ₹10,683 crore for textiles sector; India expected to grow 9.5% in current fiscal, and more

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The cabinet on Wednesday approved the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth ₹10,683 crore for textiles sector with an aim to boost domestic manufacturing and exports. Indian government is considering allowing foreign institutional investment of up to 20% in Life Insurance Corporation.

Separately, India's economic growth will remain strong in the coming quarters while inflation in Asia's third largest economy is likely to remain at elevated levels, analysts at Standard and Poor's said.

4:39 P.M.

Sensex, Nifty end flat after choppy trade

Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended marginally lower on Wednesday, tracking losses in market heavyweights Infosys, Reliance Industries and TCS amid a weak trend in global markets.

After swinging over 400 points in a volatile session, the 30-share Sensex ended 29.22 points or 0.05% lower at 58,250.26. Similarly, the NSE Nifty slipped 8.60 points or 0.05% to 17,353.50, PTI reported.

4:38 P.M.

Rupee plunges 18 paise to close at 73.60 against U.S. dollar

Depreciating for the third straight session, the Indian rupee fell 18 paise to close at 73.60 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, tracking a strong American currency in the overseas market and muted trend in domestic equities.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 73.48 and dropped to a low of 73.70 in the day trade.

The domestic unit finally settled at 73.60 against the greenback, down 18 paise over its previous close, PTI reported.

3:49 P.M.

U.K. watchdog slams government's failed green homes plan

Britain's spending watchdog on Wednesday hit out at a botched government initiative to make homes more energy efficient in the run-up to it hosting a key summit on climate change.

The six-month scheme through to March had been rolled out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, forming part of its efforts to meet targets on net zero carbon emissions, AFP reported.

3:47 P.M.

Reliance Retail contributes 26% of Future Consumer's FY21 sales

Reliance Retail has become the second-largest customer of the Kishore Biyani-led Future group's FMCG arm Future Consumer, contributing over one-fourth of the total sales of the company, PTI reported.

In the financial year 2020-21, the retail arm of Reliance Industries Ltd has purchased goods worth ₹157.54 crore from Future Consumer Ltd (FCL), accounting 26.8% of the total sales of Rs 586.15 crore, as per the latest annual report of the company.

3:45 P.M.

Standard Chartered sees bitcoin hitting $100,000 by early next year

A new cryptocurrency research team at Standard Chartered has predicted bitcoin will double in value and hit $100,000 by early next year and that it could be worth as much as $175,000 longer-term.

The bank also said it "structurally" valued Ethereum, the second-most traded crypto asset, at $26,000-$35,000 although to reach that level bitcoin would have to be near $175,000, Reuters reported.

3:13 P.M.

Edtech firm Lido Learning launches coding programme in U.S., Canada

Domestic edtech company Lido Learning on Wednesday said it has launched its flagship coding programme in the U.S. and Canada.

"Lido Learning has seen encouraging response in our home country, and several early adopters have appreciated our product to be timely, more so during the pandemic when children needed additional support with their school lessons," Lido Learning CEO and founder Sahil Sheth said in a statement, according to PTI.

3:11 P.M.

Coursera says India fastest growth market

Coursera on Wednesday said India is its fastest-growing market with the addition of 7.5 million learners since 2020, and it is looking to accelerate this growth by hiring and forging alliances with top-tier educational institutions in the country.

Of the 87 million registered users on Coursera's platform (as of June 30, 2021), 12.5 million were in India, according to a PTI report.

3:06 P.M.

BASF, others raided over alleged vegetable seeds price fixing

India's antitrust watchdog raided local offices of several vegetable seed companies including a unit of Germany's BASF in a case related to alleged price collusion, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) officials were raiding offices of BASF India and at least three other vegetable seed companies in an operation across the country that included the satellite city of Gurugram near New Delhi, IT hub Bengaluru and the southern city of Hyderabad, the sources said.

3:05 P.M.

Boeing's board face lawsuit from shareholders over two crashes

Boeing's board of directors must face a lawsuit from shareholders over two fatal crashes that killed hundreds of people, a U.S. judge has ruled.

The lengthy ruling stated that "the Board should have heeded but instead ignored" a "red flag" about the aircrafts' safety systems, known as MCAS, following the first crash, AFP reported.

2:39 P.M.

Govt approves ₹10,683 crore PLI scheme for textiles

The cabinet on Wednesday approved the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth ₹10,683 crore for textiles sector with an aim to boost domestic manufacturing and exports, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Wednesday.

The decision was taken in a meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, PTI reported.

2:36 P.M.

ByteDance in talks with banks to borrow over $3 bln, sources say

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of short-video platform TikTok, is in talks with Wall Street banks to borrow more than $3 billion to refinance its debt, Reuters reported citing two people with the knowledge of the matter.

The company plans to take advantage of currently low interest rates to repay its debt, one of the people said, adding that terms and the loan size are still subject to changes.

2:32 P.M.

Amazon Pay to set up deposit booking services in India

Amazon Pay India, the American e-commerce major's payments app, is also set to offer deposit booking services for its customers, even as rival Google Pay's similar facility has invited regulatory attention within days of its launch.

Amazon Pay India on Wednesday announced a tie-up with investment platform through which the former's customers will be able to invest in mutual funds and fixed deposits, Reuters reported.

2:30 P.M.

China's state media tries to reassure investors over crackdown

China's recent clampdowns on a range of industries including tech firms and the education sector will not detract from its goal of opening up the economy, state media said Wednesday, as Beijing rushes to reassure rattled investors.

Sweeping regulatory changes over the past months have targeted everything from monopolistic behaviour to data security, rattling share prices and wiping billions off companies' valuations, AFP reported.

2:28 P.M.

India's criticism of Infosys, Tata worries businesses

A public diatribe against two Indian business giants by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's officials and his ideological allies has unnerved the business community, several industry executive told Reuters.

Over the weekend, a magazine run by members of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) launched an attack on Indian tech giant Infosys for failing to resolve glitches in the income tax website it manages.

2:26 P.M.

Hong Kong watchdog still watching IPO sponsor banks, has several open cases

Hong Kong's markets watchdog expects to penalise more brokers for misconduct over listings in the financial hub, particularly smaller firms, its enforcement director said on Wednesday, despite some large fines levied recently, Reuters reported.

The fines for high-profile firms, such as UBS and Morgan Stanley, were part of a long-running campaign to improve listing standards after newly traded firms were hit by a slew of scandals.

2:05 P.M.

China regulator approves establishment of state pension company

China's banking and insurance regulator said it had approved the establishment of a state pension company to boost funds for its citizens' retirement as the country faces mounting pressures from an aging population, Reuters reported.

China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) approved on Sept. 2 the plan for 17 bank-affiliated wealth management units, insurers and state institutions to jointly set up the state pension company with registered capital of 11.15 billion yuan ($1.73 billion), according to a statement on the regulator's website on Wednesday.

1:59 P.M.

Cabinet did not take up proposal for telecoms relief measures

India's cabinet did not take up proposals on Wednesday for providing financial relief to the country's cash-strapped telecoms sector, a government source said, according to Reuters.

The cabinet was widely expected to take a decision on a so-called relief package for the telecoms industry, which would have helped all wireless carriers but especially the embattled Vodafone Idea.

1:54 P.M.

JPMorgan to buy major stake in Volkswagen's payments unit

JPMorgan has struck a deal to buy a majority stake in German car giant Volkswagen's payments business ahead of a planned rollout of in-car technology that allows drivers to automatically pay for fuel or tolls.

The U.S. bank has agreed to buy close to 75% of Volkswagen Payments S.A. for an undisclosed sum, subject to regulatory approvals, Reuters reported.

1:47 P.M.

Tesla sold 44,264 China-made vehicles in August

U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc in August sold 44,264 China-made vehicles, including 31,379 for export, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Wednesday.

CPCA said passenger car sales in August in China totalled 1.5 million, down 14.7% from a year earlier, Reuters reported.

1:45 P.M.

India considering foreign institutional investment of up to 20% in LIC IPO

Indian government is considering allowing foreign institutional investment of up to 20% in Life Insurance Corporation, according to a government source, Reuters reported.

The listing of LIC is set to be India's biggest ever IPO, with the government aiming to raise up to ₹900 billion ($12.24 billion) from its stake sale.

1:02 P.M.

India's economic growth will remain strong in coming quarters: S&P

India's economic growth will remain strong in the coming quarters while inflation in Asia's third largest economy is likely to remain at elevated levels, analysts at Standard and Poor's said on Wednesday.

S&P said the next rating action on India will depend on the pace of recovery over the next 24-month period. S&P has a 'BBB-' rating with a stable outlook on India, Reuters reported.

12:59 P.M.

First Abu Dhabi Bank hires new head of investment banking from HSBC

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, has hired Martin Tricaud as head of investment banking, sources said.

Tricaud was previously chief executive officer for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region at HSBC, Reuters reported.

12:51 P.M.

Maruti Suzuki reports 8% dip in production in August

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday said its total production in August declined by 8% on a yearly basis to 1,13,937 units as semiconductor shortage impacted its manufacturing schedules.

The company had produced a total of 1,23,769 units in the year-ago period, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a regulatory filing, according to a PTI report.

12:44 P.M.

Sansera Engineering IPO to open on Sep 14; price band set at ₹734-744/share

Auto component maker Sansera Engineering on Wednesday said it has fixed a price band of ₹734-744 a share for its ₹1,283-crore initial share-sale.

The IPO will open for public subscription on September 14 and close on September 16. The bidding for anchor investors will open on September 13, the company said.

The initial public offering (IPO) is entirely an offer for sale (OFS) of 17,244,328 equity shares by promoters and investors, PTI reported.

12:32 P.M.

India to give $3.5 billion in revised clean tech scheme for automakers

India will give about $3.5 billion in incentives to auto companies over a five-year period under a revised scheme to boost the manufacturing and export of clean technology vehicles, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the latest proposal.

The government’s original plan was to give about $8 billion to automakers and part manufacturers but, the scheme was redrawn to focus on companies that build electric and hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles, the report noted.

A government official with direct knowledge of the matter said the initial allocation over the five-year period has been reduced but that up to $8 billion could be made available if the scheme is successful, initial funds are spent, and certain conditions are met.

12:14 P.M.

EV maker Ultraviolette Automotive to invest ₹500 crore to scale up business

Electric two-wheeler maker Ultraviolette Automotive Pvt Ltd will invest ₹500 crore in the next three to five years to scale up business, including setting up of a new manufacturing unit and product development, according to top company officials.

The company, in which TVS Motor Company is an investor, is setting up its manufacturing and assembling facility near Electronics City, Bengaluru, from where it will start producing its high-performance electric motorcycle - the F77 in the first quarter of 2022, a PTI report noted.

In the first year, the company said it will produce 15,000 electric motorcycles and will scale up to an annual capacity of 1.2 lakh units.

11:59 A.M.

Bitcoin nurses losses in wake of El Salvador’s glitched rollout

Bitcoin nursed losses Wednesday after plunging amid El Salvador’s troubled rollout of the largest cryptocurrency as legal tender, according to a Bloomberg report.

The virtual coin was trading at about $45,474, having slid as much as 17% a day earlier before paring some of the losses. The downdraft also swept across tokens such as Ether and Dogecoin, the report noted.

Tuesday’s selloff is the most significant break in a rebound that had lifted Bitcoin almost 75% since late July. Overall cryptocurrency market value fell about $300 billion in the past 24 hours, according to tracker CoinGecko.

11:40 A.M.

Toshiba says detailed talks on buyouts meaningful only after option review

Toshiba Corp said detailed talks on potential take-private deals would make sense only after all strategic options are carefully reviewed, spurning calls from some shareholders to start soliciting buyout bids.

But the latest process is not meant to formally solicit buyout bids for the overall company or some of its assets, puzzling some investors who have questioned why the company has not started an official soliciting process, Reuters reported, citing sources.

11:13 A.M.

SEC threatens to sue Coinbase over crypto lending programme

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has threatened to sue Coinbase Global Inc if the crypto exchange goes ahead with plans to launch a programme allowing users to earn interest by lending crypto assets, according to a Reuters report.

The SEC has issued Coinbase with a Wells notice, an official way it tells a company that it intends to sue the company in court, Coinbase CLO Paul Grewal, said in a blog post. He said Coinbase would delay the launch of its ‘Lend’ product until at least October as a result.

10:54 A.M.

Rupee plunges 23 paise to 73.65 against U.S. dollar in early trade

The Indian rupee plunged 23 paise to 73.65 against the U.S. dollar in opening trade on Wednesday, tracking a strong American currency and muted trend in domestic equities, a PTI report noted.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 73.48 against the dollar, then fell to 73.65, registering a decline of 23 paise from the last close.

10:45 A.M.

VAHDAM India raises ₹174 crore from IIFL AMC, others

Premium tea and wellness products maker VAHDAM India has raised ₹174 crore from investors, including IIFL AMC’s private equity fund, to expand its business globally and enter new categories, PTI reported.

The series D round of funding also saw participation from existing investors, which include a consortium of Sixth Sense Ventures affiliates, the Mankind Group Family Office, Infosys Founder Kris Gopalkrishnan's Family Office, Urmin Group and White Whale Ventures.

10:30 A.M.

OYO increases authorised share capital to ₹901 crore

Oravel Stays Pvt Ltd, that operates hospitality firm OYO, has approved an increase in the authorised share capital of the company from ₹1.17 crore to ₹901 crore, according to a regulatory filing by the hospitality firm.

The development comes ahead of proposed initial public offering (IPO) by OYO, for which a draft red herring prospectus is likely to be filed in the next few months, PTI reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

10:22 A.M.

Apple to hold event on Sept 14, new iPhones expected

Apple Inc said on Tuesday it would hold a special event on Sept. 14, which most industry watchers believe will be used to unveil a new line of its flagship iPhones.

10:11 A.M.

Intel to invest up to 80 billion euros in boosting EU chip capacity: CEO

Intel on Tuesday said it could invest as much as 80 billion euros in Europe over the next decade to boost the region’s chip capacity and will open up its semiconductor plant in Ireland for automakers.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, speaking at Munich’s IAA auto show, also said the company would announce the locations of two major new European chip fabrication plants by the end of the year.

10:01 A.M.

Crypto not currency; needs to be regulated as asset: ex-RBI DG Gandhi

Former RBI Deputy Governor R. Gandhi on Tuesday made a case for treating and regulating crypto as a separate asset class with a view to enabling governments around the world to effectively deal with illegal activities associated with virtual currencies.

After quite a lot of debate over the years, he said, people have fully understood that crypto cannot be a currency because the fundamental element of a currency— that it should be a legal tender— is missing in this case.

9:46 A.M.

RBI enhances scope of tokenisation to ensure security of card data

In a bid to ensure security of card data, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has enhanced the scope of tokenisation and permitted card issuers to act as token service providers, PTI reported.

The RBI extended the device-based tokenisation to card-on-file tokenisation services, a move that will bar the merchants from storing actual card data, the report noted.

It said the decision will reinforce the safety and security of card data while continuing the convenience in card transactions.

9:32 A.M.

Govt. mulls allowing SEZ occupants to sell locally

The government is considering a proposal to allow producers in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to sell their output to the domestic market without treating them as imports. It is also reviewing the exclusion of export-oriented units and SEZs from the recently notified tax refund scheme for exports.

9:19 A.M.

Indian benchmark indices open on flat note

Indian indices opened on a flat note on Wednesday amid tepid cues from global markets. BSE Sensex opened at 58,350.56, up 71.08 points, while Nifty opened at 17,375.75, up 13.65 points.

On Tuesday, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 17.43 points or 0.03% lower at 58,279.48, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 15.70 points or 0.09% to 17,362.10.

9:09 A.M.

Oil climbs amid slow supply return after Hurricane Ida

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, paring overnight losses, with producers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico struggling to restart operations nine days after Hurricane Ida swept through, a Reuters report noted.

Brent crude futures inched up 0.2%, to $71.83 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.4%, to $68.62 a barrel.

9:00 A.M.

Asian shares on edge in choppy trading

Asian shares hovered just off six-week highs on Wednesday, as a more risk-averse mood spread into the market from the United States overnight due to worries about slowing growth that hurt equities, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.13% having posted gains, if sometimes small, for 11 of the last 12 sessions.

Japan’s Nikkei reversed early losses and was last 0.82% higher, Australia slipped 0.32%, Chinese blue chips fell 0.04%, and the Hong Kong benchmark gained 0.12%.

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