Top business news of the day: China's central bank rules all crypto transactions are illegal; Sensex crosses 60,000-mark for the first time, and more

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

Equity benchmark Sensex jumped 163 points to end above the 60,000-mark for the first time ever on Friday, led by strong gains in HDFC Bank, Infosys and Asian Paints. Separately, drugmaker Shilpa Medicare Limited said on Friday it had agreed to produce and supply Cadila Healthcare Ltd's three-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

In a landmark development, China's central bank ruled that all financial transactions involving crypto currencies are illegal, the latest in a series of regulatory measures to crack down on crypto trading.

4:37 P.M.

Gold declines ₹365; silver gains marginally

Gold in the national capital on Friday declined by ₹365 to ₹45,141 per 10 grams reflecting an overnight plunge in international precious metal prices, according to HDFC Securities, PTI reproted.

In the previous trade, the precious metal had settled at ₹45,506 per 10 grams. Silver gained marginally by ₹21 to ₹59,429 per kilogram from ₹59,408 per kilogram in the previous trade.

4:35 P.M.

JPMorgan goes 'underweight' EM currencies as China risks rise

Investment bank JPMorgan turned 'underweight' on emerging market currencies on Friday, warning a slowdown of China's economic growth, troubles in its property sector and less supportive global monetary policy were all growing risks, Reuters reported.

4:34 P.M.

Don't see RBI withdrawing ultra-loose policy in FY22: Former DG Gandhi

Former Deputy Governor R Gandhi on Friday said the Reserve Bank is unlikely to roll back its ultra-loose monetary policy at least in FY22, as the economy is still below the pre-pandemic levels.

Gandhi also pointed to RBI DG Michael Patra's recent statement, where he made it clear that the central bank will prefer to have a clearly communicated glide path rather than taking any strong actions, PTI reported.

Former Deputy Governor R Gandhi

Former Deputy Governor R Gandhi   | Photo Credit: File photo


4:29 P.M.

DoT seeks TRAI's views on spectrum pricing, quantum ahead of 5G auction

Telecom Department has approached TRAI seeking its recommendations on pricing, quantum and other modalities pertaining to radiowaves in multiple bands as it prepares the groundwork for holding 5G spectrum auction in the coming months.

The last round of spectrum auction, held in March this year, had raked-in winning bids of over ₹77,800 crore for 855.6 MHz of spectrum, PTI reported.

4:09 P.M.

Sensex scales historic 60K-mark; Nifty tops 17,850

Equity benchmark Sensex jumped 163 points to end above the 60,000-mark for the first time ever on Friday, led by strong gains in HDFC Bank, Infosys and Asian Paints.

The 30-share BSE index rose 163.11 points or 0.27% to its lifetime closing high of 60,048.47. Similarly, the NSE Nifty advanced 30.25 points or 0.17% to record finish of 17,853.20, PTI reported.

It took a little over 31 years for the Sensex to traverse from 1,000 points to the historic 60,000 level.

4:07 P.M.

5 firms in race to be transaction advisor for RINL sale

As many as five firms, including Ernst & Young LLP and SBI Capital Markets, are in the race to act as a transaction advisor for the government's 100% stake sale in RINL, PTI reported.

As per a notice on the DIPAM website, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, JM Financial Ltd and RBSA Capital Advisers LLP are also bidding for acting as an advisor for managing RINL sale.

4:06 P.M.

Rupee slips 4 paise to close at 73.68 against U.S. dollar

The Indian rupee slipped 4 paise to close at 73.68 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Friday, following weaker Asian peers against the American currency.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 73.77. It touched an intra-day high of 73.61 and a low of 73.78 during the day, PTI reported.

4:03 P.M.

Hero Electric joins hands with Massive Mobility to set up 10,000 EV charging stations

Hero Electric on Friday said it has joined hands with EV startup Massive Mobility to set up 10,000 charging stations across the country in next one year.

The EV charging network, when up and running, would be open to all electric vehicles and will lead to for standardisation between manufacturers, PTI reported.

4:01 P.M.

Govt withdraws COVID-linked expenditure restrictions

The Finance Ministry on Friday withdrew expenditure curbs on various departments and ministries imposed in June in the wake of the COVID-19 second wave, reflecting improvement in public finances and the urgency to step up growth.

The expenditure restrictions are being withdrawn with immediate effect following a review of the guidelines, said an office memorandum issued by the Economic Affairs Department of the Finance Ministry, PTI reported.

3:59 P.M.

Disinvestment to increase PSUs' income, create jobs: MoS Finance Karad

The government plans to increase public sector undertakings' (PSUs) income and create employment through the disinvestment process, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat K Karad said on Friday.

He said public sector companies provide employment to 14 lakh people in the country, PTI reported.

Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad with PM Modi

Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad with PM Modi   | Photo Credit: Photo by special arrangement


3:58 P.M.

Vedanta says decision to delist American depositary shares from NYSE aimed at simplification

Mining giant Vedanta on Friday said the decision to delist American depositary shares from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is aimed at simplification and triggered by the low trading volumes in the security.

The statement comes a day after Vedanta announcing that it will delist its American depositary shares and concentrate all trading of its equity shares on the BSE and NSE, PTI reported.

3:42 P.M.

China seeking to resolve issues caused by power curbs, higher raw materials prices

China will look to resolve issues caused by recent power restrictions and in raw materials prices, an official from the National Development and Reform Commission said on Friday.

At least 15 listed firms from provinces and regions including Jiangsu and Yunnan have said recently that their production had been disrupted by power curbs, Reuters reported.

3:40 P.M.

Indiabulls Housing Finance repays ₹7,075.84 cr to NCD investors in Sep

Mortgage financier Indiabulls Housing Finance (IBH) on Friday said it has repaid ₹7,075.84 crore to its non-convertible debenture (NCD) investors this month.

The repayments comprised of ₹6,575.84 crore of public issue of NCDs by IBH and Indiabulls Commercial Credit (ICCL), a 100% subsidiary of IBH, in September 2016 and September 2018, respectively, and ₹500 crore of NCDs issued by IBH in September 2011, PTI report.

3:38 P.M.

India state refiners to buy more light crude to boost gasoline output

Indian refiners are gearing up to alter their crude oil import mix in favour of lighter grades that yield more gasoline to meet a surge in demand for the motor fuel in Asia's third-largest economy, company officials and analysts said.

Refiners in the world's No. 3 oil importer and consumer will increase imports of gasoline-yielding crudes from the United States and West Africa, while cutting heavier sour grades from the Middle East that yield more middle distillates like diesel and kerosene, they said, according to a Reuters report.

3:32 P.M.

China's central bank rules all crypto transactions are illegal

China's central bank on Friday ruled that all financial transactions involving crypto currencies are illegal, the latest in a series of regulatory measures to crack down on crypto trading.

"Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities," the People's Bank of China said in an online statement, adding that it "seriously endangers the safety of people's assets.", AFP reported.

Bitcoin fell nearly 5% on Friday.

A small toy figurine is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency displayed in front of an image of China’s flag in this illustration picture.

A small toy figurine is seen on representations of the Bitcoin virtual currency displayed in front of an image of China’s flag in this illustration picture.   | Photo Credit: Reuters


3:31 P.M.

FinMin notifies procedure to issue duty credit for goods exported under RoDTEP

The finance ministry has notified the procedure to issue duty credit for goods exported under the tax refund scheme Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP).

The rates for 8,555 products - such as marine, agriculture, leather, gems and jewellery - were announced under the RoDTEP scheme in August this year, PTI reported.

3:29 P.M.

Karnataka seeks to ban online gaming, worrying booming industry

Karnataka has proposed a ban on online games involving betting and wagering, sparking concerns that growing state regulations could hit the nascent but booming sector.

Karnataka is proposing an amendment to the Karnataka Police Act to include such online games, seeking to ban "any act or risking money, or otherwise on the unknown result of an event including on a game of skill," according to the bill seen by Reuters. Many offences under the law already attract prison time, and the bill proposes to increase these penalties.

3:27 P.M.

Huawei 2021 smartphone revenue to drop by at least $30-40 billion

China's Huawei Technology will see revenue from its smartphone business drop by at least $30-40 billion this year as the company continues to grapple with U.S. restrictions on its supply chain, its rotating chairman Eric Xu said.

While the firm has been "getting used to U.S. sanctions" imposed on it since 2019, its new 5G related business areas cannot offset the losses from the handset business, Xu said at a press conference in Beijing, according to a Reuters report.


Huawei   | Photo Credit: Reuters


3:25 P.M.

Daimler expands European battery network with 33% stake in ACC venture

Daimler's Mercedes-Benz said on Friday it will take a 33% stake in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company (ACC), expanding its European sourcing of battery cells key to its EV ambitions and currently produced primarily in Asia.

ACC, founded in 2020 by France's Stellantis and TotalEnergies, will begin supplying Mercedes-Benz with batteries from its production locations in France and Germany from the middle of the decade, Reuters reported.

2:44 P.M.

Alarmed by Evergrande, China's lenders hold back on new credit for property developers

As fears of contagion from any default by China Evergrande Group mounted this month, some Chinese banks, insurers, and shadow banks stopped offering new credit to property developers, and ran urgent checks on their exposure to the troubled sector.

Carrying $305 billion in liabilities, China's second biggest property developer inched closer to a potential default on Friday by missing the deadline on an interest payment, Reuters reported.

2:36 P.M.

Twitter appointed officers in compliance with new IT Rules, Centre tells Delhi HC

The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that Twitter has appointed Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), Resident Grievance Officer (RGO), and Nodal Contact Person in compliance with the new IT Rules.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), in a short affidavit, said Twitter has acknowledged that the personnel (CCO, Nodal Contact Person, and RGO) are appointed as the company’s employees and not as 'contingent workers', PTI reported.

2:21 P.M.

Shilpa Medicare to make Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine

Indian drugmaker Shilpa Medicare Limited said on Friday it had agreed to produce and supply Cadila Healthcare Ltd's three-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The country's health authorities had given emergency approval in August for Cadila's vaccine, the world's first COVID-19 DNA shot, in adults and children aged 12 years and above, Reuters reported.

2:18 P.M.

Diesel price hiked, no change in petrol rate

Diesel price on Friday was hiked by 20 paise per litre - the first increase in rates in over two months - as international oil prices neared their highest since 2018.

Price of diesel was hiked to ₹88.82 per litre in Delhi and to ₹96.41 in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers, PTI reported.

Fuel pumps are seen at a Bharat Petroleum gas station in Mumbai.

Fuel pumps are seen at a Bharat Petroleum gas station in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: Reuters


2:16 P.M.

Google plea against 'information leak' attempt to frustrate proceedings, CCI tells HC

The Competition Commission of India told the Delhi High Court on Friday that Google's plea against the alleged leak of confidential probe information was wholly misplaced and an attempt to frustrate the proceedings related to its Android smartphone agreements.

Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, representing CCI, stated that the commission stood by the legal obligation with respect to maintenance of confidentiality and clarified that there was no lapse on part of the body, PTI reported.

1:52 P.M.

Tata Motors achieves cumulative EV sales mark of 10,000 units

Tata Motors on Friday said its electric vehicles have achieved a cumulative sales milestone of 10,000 units.

Tata Motors had entered the electric vehicle space with Tigor EV as a fleet offering, and expanded to the personal segment with the launch of Nexon EV in January 2020, PTI reported.

1:46 P.M.

Shell completes sale of Egypt onshore assets

Royal Dutch Shell, through subsidiaries Shell Egypt and Shell Austria, has completed the sale of upstream assets in Egypt's Western Desert to Cheiron Petroleum Corporation and Cairn Energy, it said on Friday.

The $926 million deal announced in March includes Shell Egypt's stake in 13 onshore concessions and the Badr El-Din Petroleum Company (BAPETCO), Reuters reported.

1:44 P.M.

Premier Energies raises ₹200 cr from GEF Capital

Solar equipment maker Premier Energies on Friday said that it has raised private equity worth ₹200 crore from GEF Capital, a global private equity manager focused on investing in climate solutions.

According to the statement, Premier Energies will use the funds as growth capital to enhance its solar PV cell and module manufacturing capacity, PTI reported.

1:20 P.M.

Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC IPO to open on Sep 29

Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC on Friday said it has fixed a price band of ₹695-712 a share for its over ₹2,768-crore initial share-sale.

The three-day initial public offering (IPO) will open for subscription on September 29 and conclude on October 1, the company announced in a virtual press conference, PTI reported.

1:16 P.M.

Russia's Yandex to launch cloud business in Germany, invest $30 mln initially

Russian internet firm Yandex plans to launch its cloud business in Germany in 2022, with an initial investment of $30 million, the company said ahead of its annual Yandex.Scale cloud conference on Friday, Reuters reported.

Yandex.Cloud's revenue is seen tripling to around 3 billion roubles in 2021 but, having launched in 2018, it remains one of Yandex's smaller business lines. Group revenue for 2021 is seen at between 330 and 340 billion roubles.

1:14 P.M.

U.S. pension fund to vote against Aramco chair for Reliance board

The California State Teachers' Retirement Fund (CalSTRS) has decided to vote against the appointment of Saudi Aramco's chairman as an independent director to the board of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, BloombergQuint reported, according to Reuters.

The U.S. pension fund held 5.3 million fully and partly paid shares of Reliance Industries, as of June 30, 2020, according to the last available disclosure on its website.

1:10 P.M.

Govt seals mega deal with Airbus for purchase of 56 C-295 military transport aircraft

The Defence Ministry on Friday inked a nearly ₹20,000 crore deal with Airbus Defence and Space of Spain to procure 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft which will replace the ageing Avro-748 planes of the Indian Air Force.

It is the first project of its kind under which military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company, officials said.


India’s benchmark Sensex crossed the 60,000 mark for the first time today, driven by tech and private bank stocks. Meanwhile, Asian shares were on edge, hurt by persistent uncertainty around the fate of debt-ridden China Evergrande, even as increased risk appetite drove U.S. stocks.

In commodities, oil prices rose for a fourth straight day due to global supply concerns following powerful storms in the U.S.

Separately, Amazon India launched eight global and local streaming services on its video platform, in a move aimed at boosting subscriptions.

In another development, over 200 Chinese gaming companies pledged to regulate their industry amid crackdown on teen gaming addiction.

12:55 P.M.

Chinese real estate firm Evergrande crisis a ‘Lehman moment’?

Chinese real estate conglomerate Evergrande Group has been in the news recently over its inability to pay interest on its huge debt obligations. The company recently defaulted on interest payment and is set to miss more deadlines. Many fear that the company is insolvent, and its share price has dropped over 80% in the last one year and hit a 10-year low.

12:27 P.M.

CBIC asks taxmen to complete GST evasion investigations within a year

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has asked field offices to draw up an action plan so that no case of GST evasion is pending investigation beyond one year, PTI reported.

In an instruction to field formations, the CBIC has also asked GST officers to speed up investigation and issue show-cause notices in evasion cases, so that enough time is left with adjudicating authority to pass orders, the report noted.

It said that the last date for filing the Annual Returns for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years is already over.

11:53 A.M.

Crackdown-hit Alibaba to divest 5% stake in Chinese broadcaster

An investment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, targeted in a regulatory crackdown, will divest its entire stake of 5.01% in broadcaster Mango Excellent Media Co Ltd, the media firm said.

The sale comes less than a year after the investment in December last year. In Thursday’s filing to the stock exchange, the media company said Alibaba’s investment arm would seek a waiver from a one-year lockup to which it committed at the time of its investment, according to Reuters.

11:36 A.M.

U.S. Commerce chief: more action to be taken on Huawei if needed

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Thursday the Biden administration will take further action against Chinese telecoms firm Huawei, if necessary, after some Republican lawmakers have pressed for more steps, according to Reuters.

Washington says Huawei is a national security threat on a variety of grounds and aggressively lobbied other countries not to use Huawei equipment in next-generation 5G networks. Citing Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government and military, Washington says this makes the company susceptible to “Chinese governmental pressure to participate in espionage.”

11:18 A.M.

Chinese gaming firms vow self-regulation amid crackdown on teen addiction

Over 200 Chinese gaming companies have pledged to regulate their industry to combat gaming addiction, including through the possible use of facial recognition to identify minors, a state-backed gaming association CGIGC said.

The companies also pledged to crack down on content that distort history or promote “effeminate” behaviour and will also work to prevent breaches of these rules, such as the use of foreign gaming platforms, according to a Reuters report.

China has expressed strong concern over growing video game addiction among its youth. Companies and investors worry more actions against the industry could be in store.

People play online games at an internet cafe in China.

People play online games at an internet cafe in China.   | Photo Credit: Reuters


11:07 A.M.

Heavy Industries Ministry notifies PLI scheme for auto sector

The Heavy Industries Ministry notified the ₹25,938 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the auto sector, which is aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing of advanced automotive technology products and attracting investments in the manufacturing value chain.

Its prime objectives include overcoming cost disabilities, creating economies of scale and building a robust supply chain in areas of advanced automotive technology products.

10:57 A.M.

Google offers to settle EU antitrust probe into digital advertising

Alphabet unit Google is seeking to settle an EU antitrust investigation into its digital advertising business, a person familiar with the matter said, a move that could help it stave off a disruptive, lengthy probe and a possible hefty fine.

EU antitrust cases have cost Google more than 8 billion euros ($9.4 billion) in fines in three different cases in the last decade and it has also been ordered to change its business practises to allow rivals to compete, a Reuters report noted.

10:43 A.M.

Rupee falls 13 paise against U.S. dollar in early trade

The Indian rupee depreciated 13 paise to 73.77 against the U.S. dollar in opening trade today, in line with other Asian currencies amid a strong greenback in the overseas market, PTI reported.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a weak note and fell to 73.77 against the dollar, registering a decline of 13 paise from the last close, even as the domestic equity market was trading with handsome gains, the report noted.

10:33 A.M.

Twitter rolls out bitcoin tipping, safety features in product push

Twitter Inc will allow people to tip their favourite content creators with bitcoin and will launch a fund to pay some users who host audio chat rooms on its Spaces feature, the company said.

10:22 A.M.

British FM accepts call for financial reforms after Greensill collapse

British finance minister Rishi Sunak has ordered two immediate reviews of the country’s financial regulation related to the collapse of supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital, according to a Reuters report.

In a letter to a parliamentary committee that issued a report in July related to Greensill’s collapse, released on Friday by the same committee, Sunak said he had accepted its call for reform of the mechanism used by Greensill, known as the “appointed representatives regime”.

Sunak said in the letter that the Treasury had already started to review the regime, including legislative reforms to strengthen the oversight of appointed representatives to prevent opportunities for abuse of the system.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain March 3, 2021.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London, Britain March 3, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters


10:08 A.M.

TSMC says working to overcome global chip shortage

Taiwan’s TSMC said it is actively supporting and working with all stakeholders to overcome a global semiconductor shortage, after its participation at a White House meeting on the issue, according to Reuters.

“TSMC has been a strong partner in this effort, taking unprecedented actions to address this challenge,” it said in a statement.

“We are confident that our capacity expansion plan including the advanced 5nm semiconductor fab in Phoenix, Arizona - one of the largest foreign direct investments in U.S. history - will enable us to support the industry in driving long-term stability in semiconductor supplies.”

9:47 A.M.

Oil edges higher on supply concerns

Oil prices rose today for a fourth straight day due to global supply concerns following powerful storms in the United States, with China’s first public sale of state crude reserves causing a momentary blip in the rise, Reuters reported.

Brent crude was up 0.2%, at $77.37 a barrel, after touching two-month high on Thursday and closing at its highest since October 2018. U.S. oil was up 0.1%, at $73.36 a barrel, having closed 1.5% in the previous session, the highest since the start of August.

9:33 A.M.

Amazon launches bundling service for video streaming apps in India Inc launched in India on Friday a bundling option on its video platform for global and local streaming services, in a move aimed at boosting subscriptions, Reuters reported.

The Amazon Channels service will help customers using its Prime flagship loyalty programme to subscribe to multiple streaming apps on a single interface, Gaurav Gandhi, the head of Amazon Prime Video in India, told the news agency.

The service is launching with streaming apps from partners including Discovery Inc, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and Mubi, said Gandhi, adding that India is the 12th country where it is being launched.

Small toy figures are seen in front of displayed Amazon logo in this illustration.

Small toy figures are seen in front of displayed Amazon logo in this illustration.   | Photo Credit: Reuters


9:18 A.M.

Sensex crosses 60,000 mark, Nifty above 17,900

Sensex crossed the 60,000 mark for the first time today as Indian benchmark indices opened on positive note. Sensex opened at 60,158.76, up 273.4 points, while Nifty opened at 17,897.45, up 74.5 points.

On Thursday, the 30-share BSE Sensex zoomed 958.03 points or 1.63% to end at an all-time high of 59,885.36. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty soared 276.30 points or 1.57% to its new closing high of 17,822.95.

9:09 A.M

Asian stock markets jittery as China woes sap confidence

Asian shares were on edge today hurt by persistent uncertainty around the fate of debt-ridden China Evergrande, even as more risk appetite drove gains for Wall Street and U.S. benchmark Treasury yields, Reuters reported.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.1% and was set for a weekly loss of 0.68%. Australian shares fell 0.41% while the Hong Kong benchmark was mostly flat.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.93%. Chinese blue chips reversed early losses to gain 0.6% after a cash injection from the central bank brought its weekly injection to 270 billion yuan ($42 billion) - the largest since January, the report noted.

9:00 A.M.

Major U.S. indices gain more than 1% as investors assess Fed news

U.S. stocks gained more than 1% on Thursday as investors appeared relieved about the Federal Reserve’s stance on tapering stimulus and raising interest rates, Reuters reported. Also helping sentiment, concern about a ripple effect from China Evergrande continued to ease.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 506.5 points, or 1.48%, to 34,764.82, the S&P 500 gained 53.34 points, or 1.21%, to 4,448.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 155.40 points, or 1.04%, to 15,052.24.

A sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange. File

A sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange. File   | Photo Credit: AP


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