Top Business News of The Day: Piramal Group completes DHFL acquisition; India outshines FinTech adoption rate with 87% as compared to global average of 64%; China's Belt and Road plans losing momentum as opposition, debt mount and more.

Bombay Stock Exchange at Mumbai. File Photo.

Bombay Stock Exchange at Mumbai. File Photo.

5:42 P.M.

'Huge set of public digital infrastructure created to give shape to PM's Digital India vision'; Piramal Group completes DHFL acquisition, pays Rs 34,250 cr to creditors and India outshines FinTech adoption rate with 87% as compared to global average of 64%: Finance Minister.

China says it hopes U.S. can view bilateral trade properly; Samsung fined $47 mln for price fixing in Netherlands and China's Belt and Road plans losing momentum as opposition, debt mount.

HDFC Bank gains 4 lakh new credit card users post lifting of RBI ban; EU backs U.S. tech trade declaration after French concerns and Housing sales jump over two-fold in Jul-Sep, avg prices up 3 pc across 7 cities.

5:02 P.M.

'Huge set of public digital infrastructure created to give shape to PM's Digital India vision'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India vision is based on driving towards a paperless, faceless and cashless governance model and to give it a shape, a huge set of public digital infrastructure, which is overarching, has been created, National Health Authority (NHA) CEO R S Sharma said on Wednesday.

Interoperability, scalability, frugality and openness are the four attributes of this digital infrastructure, he said while addressing the Global FinTech Fest organised by the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC) and the Payments Council of India (PCI) of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

4:59 P.M.

China says it hopes U.S. can view bilateral trade properly

China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday it hoped the United States could view bilateral trade properly after the U.S. commerce secretary accused Beijing of preventing its domestic airlines from buying Boeing aircraft.

China hopes the United States can follow market principles and work with Beijing, Hua Chunying, spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry, told a regular media briefing, Reuters reported.

4:44 P.M.

Piramal Group completes DHFL acquisition; pays Rs 34,250 cr to creditors

Piramal Enterprises (PEL) on Wednesday said it has completed the acquisition of Dewan Housing Finance (DHFL) by paying Rs 34,250 crore to creditors of the housing finance company, PTI reported.

The company said the creditors of DHFL, including fixed deposit (FD) holders, would recover an aggregate amount of Rs 38,000 crore from the resolution process of DHFL.

The amount comprises approximately Rs 34,250 crore to be paid by Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd (PCHFL) as a combination of cash and NCDs, and an amount of approximately Rs 3,800 crore which is the entitlement of creditors as per the resolution plan from the cash balance available with DHFL, the company said.

4:38 P.M.

Post-COVID world presents a 'Y2K-like' moment for Indian IT industry: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The post-COVID world presents a 'Y2K-like' moment for Indian IT firms, and the industry needs to play a bigger role in tackling skilling-related challenges to ensure that this huge opportunity can be seized, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said at the Global FinTech Festival (GFF) 2021.

He also highlighted how the fintech segment in the country has expanded the economy, created unicorns, and put India in a leading position in terms of the platforms and solutions that are being developed. Chandrasekhar said the IT industry "needs to invest a little bit more capital in this (skilling), and invest a lot more smarts, in terms of predicting which direction the skilling requirements need to come from".

4:34 P.M.

Sensex tumbles 254 pts; HDFC twins weigh

Equity benchmark Sensex dropped 254 points on Wednesday following losses in index majors HDFC twins, Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank.

BSE benchmark closed 254.33 points or 0.43% lower at 59,413.27. Similarly, the NSE Nifty declined 37.30 points or 0.21% to 17,711.30.

HDFC was the top loser in the Sensex pack followed by Kotak Bank, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement, HDFC Bank, HUL and Tech Mahindra. On the other hand, NTPC, PowerGrid, Sun Pharma, SBI and Titan were among the gainers, PTI reported.

4:30 P.M.

Rupee falls 8 paise to close at 74.14 against US dollar

The rupee fell by 8 paise to close at 74.14 against the US dollar on Wednesday amid a lacklustre trend in domestic equities and strengthening of the American currency in the overseas market.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 74.18 and witnessed an intra-day high of 74.08 and a low of 74.26 against the US dollar in day trade. The local unit finally settled at 74.14 a dollar, down 8 paise over its previous close, PTI reported.

4:23 P.M.

Gold jumps Rs 264; silver climbs Rs 362

Gold in the national capital on Wednesday rose by Rs 264 to Rs 45,123 per 10 gram with recovery in global precious metal prices along with rupee depreciation, according to HDFC Securities.

In the previous trade, the precious metal had settled at Rs 44,859 per 10 gram. Silver also jumped Rs 362 to Rs 58,825 per kilogram from Rs 58,463 per kilogram in the previous trade, PTI reported.

4:17 P.M.

Alstom says it has invested Rs 1,255.6 crore in India in the past 5 years

French mobility company, Alstom said that it has invested Rs 1,255.6 crore locally in the past 5 years. In addition, the firm has conducted 21 technology transfers across Alstom locations, to suppliers and other partners.

As of March 2021, Alstom had 7,634 direct employees in India. Additionally, the company has supported 71,340 indirect and 27,770 induced jobs across the country. It is eyeing over 40% growth in its revenue to about Rs 8,650 crore from India operations in the next financial year 2022-23, up from expected about Rs 6,055 crore in the current fiscal.

Alstom India buys Euro 331 million worth of goods and services, among which 75% is made with Indian suppliers, PTI reported.

3:49 P.M.

Power Minister approves dispute avoidance mechanism for hydro power contracts

Power Minister R K Singh has approved formulation of 'Dispute Avoidance Mechanism' for construction contracts of central public sector enterprises executing hydro power projects, the power ministry said on Wednesday.

The dispute avoidance mechanism mandates the appointment of independent engineers having domain knowledge of the subject for a specific project can have regular oversight over the project, with open communication with all the key stakeholders that can play an effective role in the avoidance of disputes, PTI reported.

3:47 P.M.

HDFC Bank gains 4 lakh new credit card users post lifting of RBI ban

Quickly ramping-up its credit card acquisition, HDFC Bank has issued 4 lakh new credit cards after the lifting of the ban by the RBI last month, PTI reported.

HDFC Bank has made a record of over 4 lakh credit cards issuance since the embargo was lifted, the private sector lender said during a presser on Wednesday. These new card issuances are as of September 21, 2021 and it marks bank's aggressive growth path that it has charted post the embargo to re-invent and co-create the credit cards portfolio with strong products and partnerships, HDFC bank said.

3:10 P.M.

India outshines FinTech adoption rate with 87% as compared to global average of 64%: Finance Minister

India has the highest Fintech adoption rate of 87% as opposed to the global average rate of 64%, which establishes the fact that India is a prime destination for digital payments and activities, said Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, India,

Speaking at The Global FinTech Fest, organised by Fintech Convergence Council (FCC) and Payments Council of India (PCI), the two Councils of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), along with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the Finance Minister emphasised that the digital payments have seen a tremendous growth from Rs 2 lakh crore worth of digital transactions in 2019 to Rs 4 lakh crore in 2020. The last eight months from January to August 2021 saw further momentum,  clocking Rs 6 lakh crore worth of digital transactions with number of individual transactions at Rs 355 crore.

2:54 P.M.

Reliance backs Saudi Aramco chairman as independent director

Reliance Industries Ltd said on Wednesday Saudi Aramco Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan met all regulatory criteria for his appointment as an independent director, pending a shareholder approval on the decision.

Last week, shareholder California State Teachers' Retirement Fund had decided to vote against the move based on U.S. proxy advisory research firm Glass Lewis' recommendation. The voting process on the appointment, made on July 19 for a period of three years, will end on Oct. 19, Reuters reported.

2:47 P.M.

Godrej Properties to redevelop housing project in Mumbai

Realty firm Godrej Properties on Wednesday said it has entered into an agreement to redevelop a residential project at Wadala in Mumbai comprising 16 lakh square feet of saleable area.

In a regulatory filing, the company informed that it has entered into an agreement to redevelop a land parcel in the upscale neighbourhood of Wadala, PTI reported.

2:45 P.M.

Samsung fined $47 mln for price fixing in Netherlands

Electronics maker Samsung has been fined 40 million euros ($46.9 million) for price fixing in the Netherlands, Dutch competition watchdog ACM said on Wednesday.

The market regulator said Samsung had pushed up the prices of its televisions in the Netherlands for years, by constantly urging retailers to raise their prices if they were selling them below Samsung's preferred market rate, Reuters reported.

2:41 P.M.

Blue Star to invest Rs 550 cr on new manufacturing plant at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh

Air conditioning and commercial refrigeration major Blue Star Ltd on Wednesday said the company would invest around Rs 550 crore over the next few years for setting up a greenfield manufacturing unit at Sri City, in Andhra Pradesh.

Blue Star Climatech, a newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary, has commenced construction of the new plant, which will be 'highly automated' and will ensure that the products manufactured are globally competitive, said a company statement. The construction of the first phase of 30,000 sq meters will be completed by July 2022, PTI reported.

2:29 P.M.

Britannia collaborates with Accenture to accelerate its digital transformation

Packaged-food major Britannia Industries has collaborated with the global IT and professional services company Accenture to accelerate its digital transformation across multiple retail channels.

Accenture, through a digital transformation program, has helped Britannia Industries to accelerate innovation, capture value and improve the customer and supplier experience, PTI reported.

2:25 P.M.

EU backs U.S. tech trade declaration after French concerns

European Union governments committed to a joint EU-U.S. declaration on technology cooperation on Wednesday, just in time for a key transatlantic meeting, after France threatened to block it unless it was watered down, EU diplomats said.

Senior U.S. and European Union officials aim to discuss semiconductor shortages, artificial intelligence and tech competition issues at the inaugural meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

2:20 P.M.

China's Belt and Road plans losing momentum as opposition, debt mount

China's vast Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in danger of losing momentum as opposition in targeted countries rises and debts mount, paving the way for rival schemes to squeeze Beijing out, a new study showed on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping launched BRI in 2013 to use China's strengths in financing and infrastructure construction to "build a broad community of shared interests" throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. AidData said $11.58 billion in projects in Malaysia have been cancelled over 2013-2021, with nearly $1.5 billion cancelled in Kazakhstan and more than a $1 billion in Bolivia, Reuters reported.

1:46 P.M.

Housing sales jump over two-fold in Jul-Sep, avg prices up 3 pc across 7 cities: Anarock

Housing sales have jumped over two-fold during July-September period at 62,800 units across seven major cities on better demand driven by low mortgage rates and hiring in IT/ITeS sector, according to property consultant Anarock.

Housing prices appreciated by 3 per cent across the seven cities to Rs 5,760 per square feet in Q3 of 2021 calendar year from Rs 5,600 per square feet in Q3, 2020. The seven cities tracked by Anarock are Delhi-NCR, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, PTI reported.

1:38 P.M.

Most Indian millennials prefer intl destinations with fewer COVID cases, easy protocols

Most Indian millennials are keen on taking an international holiday but are cautious about COVID restrictions and better connectivity during the process of selecting these overseas destinations, says a report.

According to BOTT (Business of Travel Trade) Travel Sentiment Tracker, around 73% millennial travellers would prefer overseas destinations with fewer COVID cases, PTI reported.

12:45 P.M.

Veeda Clinical Research to raise Rs 831 cr via IPO

Clinical research organisation Veeda Clinical Research has filed preliminary papers with capital markets regulator Sebi to raise a little over Rs 831 crore through an initial public offering (IPO), PTI reported.

The initial share-sale will consist of an issuance of fresh equity shares worth up to Rs 331.60 crore and an offer for sale (OFS) of Rs 500 crore by promoters and existing shareholders, according to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

Investors participating in OFS include CX Alternative Investment Fund aggregating up to Rs 8.08 crore, Rs 90.19 crore by Arabelle Financial Services, Rs 259.77 crore by Bondway Investment Inc., Rs 0.04 crore by Stevey International Corporation and Rs 141.93 crore by Basil Private Limited.

12:35 P.M.

I-T dept asks taxmen to accept applications till Sep 30 for settlement

The Income Tax department has issued an order asking taxmen to accept till September 30, applications for settlement of pending tax cases, PTI reported.

The 2021-22 Budget, through the Finance Act, amended the provisions of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 to provide that the Income-tax Settlement Commission (ITSC) shall cease to operate from February 1, 2021.

Further, it has also been provided that no application for settlement can be filed on or after February 1, which was the date on which the Finance Bill, 2021 was laid before the Lok Sabha.

12:25 P.M.

China calls for coal transportation to be strengthened to secure supply

China's top economic planner said that railway companies and local authorities should strengthen coal transportation in key areas including the northeast region and ensure stable supply for power generation, Reuters reported.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) sent local economic planners, energy administrations and railway companies a notice urging them to reinforce coal transportation to secure enough supply to meet residents' heating demand during the winter season.

Local economic planning departments should encourage medium- to long-term supply contracts of thermal coal that have a guarantee of transport capacity, the NDRC said.

12:10 P.M.

Mahindra considering funding options for EV supercar unit

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is considering options to raise funds for its unit Automobili Pininfarina, as the Indian automaker looks to start production of its $2.2 million electric hypercar, Bloomberg News reported.

The Munich-based luxury electric vehicle unit had in 2019 rolled out a prototype of its 1,900-horsepower Battista, which had a top speed of 350 km/hour and a range up to 500 km in a single charge.

Mahindra's options include a merger with a blank-check company and a potential overseas listing of the EV supercar business.

11:55 A.M.

Delivery times for iPhone 13 stretch as COVID-19 hits Vietnam suppliers

Buyers of Apple's new iPhone 13 face longer-than-expected delivery times because of a wave of COVID-19 infections in Vietnam, where components for the device's new camera module are assembled, Reuters reported citing a Nikkei Asia report.

The disruption, which could ease as soon as mid-October, is linked to a constriction in supplies of modules for the phone's four models, as a significant number of components are assembled in Vietnam, it said, citing people familiar with the matter.

11:35 A.M.

Godrej Industries raises Rs 750 cr via NCDs

Godrej Industries Ltd has raised Rs 750 crore through private placement of non-convertible debentures, PTI reported.

The management committee of the board of directors of the company has on September 28 approved the allotment of 7,500 rated, listed, unsecured, redeemable, non-convertible debentures having face value of Rs 10 lakh aggregating to Rs 750 Crore to an identified investor, Godrej Industries Ltd said in a regulatory filing.

The company, which is a holding company of the Godrej Group, however, did not disclose the identity of the investor.

11:15 A.M.

Rupee slips 13 paise to 74.19 against US dollar

The Indian rupee declined 13 paise to 74.19 against the US dollar in opening trade, PTI reported.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 74.18 against the dollar, then fell further to 74.19, registering a fall of 13 paise over its previous close.

On Tuesday, the rupee had settled at 74.06 against the US dollar.

10:45 A.M.

Think tank seeks higher 18% GST on tetra pack

A think tank has requested the GST Council to levy a higher tax of 18% on tetra pack, arguing that the product is incorrectly categorised in the 12 per cent slab as a paper-based aseptic packaging, PTI reported.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Manch (PDUSM) pointed out that other aseptic packaging containing plastic or aluminium or multi-materials like tetra-pack attract an 18% GST rate.

Due to its cardboard-ish appearance, tetra-pack (HSN-4811), a multi-layer packaging (plastic+paper+aluminum) inaccurately viewed as a paper-based aseptic packaging during the GST structuring in 2017, the Delhi and Mumbai-based think tank claimed.

10:20 A.M.

OPEC says Oil will be world's No. 1 energy source for decades

The OPEC oil cartel said crude will continue to be the leading source of energy for decades, especially as the world's less-wealthy countries seek higher growth and standards of living, AP reported.

As the world's nations prepare to gather for another climate summit next month in Glasgow, OPEC says that more electric vehicles on the road and the push for alternative and renewable energy will indeed usher in an era of declining demand for oil in rich countries.

But the energy needs of expanding economies in other parts of world will still leave oil as the world's No. 1 source of energy through 2045, OPEC said in its annual World Oil Outlook.

10:00 A.M.

Fitch downgrades China Evergrande Group

Rating agency Fitch downgraded the long-term foreign-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) of Chinese homebuilder China Evergrande Group and its subsidiaries, Hengda and Tianji, Reuters reported.

The downgrades to 'C', from 'CC', reflect that Evergrande is likely to have missed interest payment on its senior unsecured notes and entered the consequent 30-day grace period before non-payment constitutes an event of default, Fitch said

9:30 A.M.

Sensex tanks over 400 points, Nifty below 17,700

The Indian benchmark equity indices, Sensex and Nifty opened lower today with Sensex falling 449.72 points to 59,217.88 at 9:16 IST. The Nifty was also down 121.80 points to 17,626.80.

More shares declined in early trade than those advanced or remain unchanged.

9:15 A.M.

Oil falls for second day

Oil prices fell as doubts re-emerged over demand, with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise worldwide and gasoline shortages in some regions, Reuters reported.

Brent crude fell 1.3% to $78.06 a barrel after touching $80.75, its highest in nearly three years. U.S. oil also fell 1.4% to $74.27 a barrel, having dropped 0.2% in the previous session.

Oil prices have been charging higher as economies recover from pandemic lockdowns and fuel demand picks up, while some producing countries have seen supply disruptions.

9:00 A.M.

Asian shares stumble

Asian shares plunged, tracking declines on Wall Street as investors fretted over economic uncertainties that raised U.S. benchmark bond yields and pushed the dollar to a more than 10-month high, Reuters .

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.43% with Australia off 1.5%, and South Korea falling 2.06%. The Hong Kong benchmark plunged 1.2% and Chinese blue chips were 1.1% lower.

Japan's Nikkei shed 2.35% while all three major U.S. stock indexes slid nearly 2% or more. It was the S&P 500 index's biggest one-day percentage drop since May, and the Nasdaq's largest since March, but U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were up 0.25% in Asian hours.


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