Top business news of the day | Govt to change tax laws to include crypto gains; China, U.S. look at releasing oil from reserves, Japan forms record spending package, and more

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

4:15 P.M.

Mindhouse raises $6 mn funding from Binny Bansal, others

Curative wellness platform Mindhouse on Friday said it has raised $6 million (about ₹44.5 crore), led by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.

Other investors include General Catalyst, Better Capital, Kwaish Capital, Anicut, and Mindhouse founders — Pooja Khanna and Pankaj Chaddah, according to a statement.

3:25 P.M.

Kerala got ₹3,600 cr investment commitments in 6 months: Minister

Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev

Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev   | Photo Credit: File

 

Asserting that the state has a good atmosphere for investments, Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev on Friday said the state has received investment commitments worth over ₹3,600 crore in the last six months and the focus is on having ease of doing business in a realistic manner.

As the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan completes six months of its second tenure, Rajeev said the state is getting offers from several big industrial houses, and termed the recent Kitex group controversy as a "planned attempt" to show that Kerala was not investment-friendly.

2:56 P.M.

Govt to change tax laws in Budget to tax crypto gains

The government is mulling changes in the income tax laws to bring cryptocurrencies under the tax net, with some changes that could form part of the Budget next year, a top official has said.

Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said that in terms of income tax, some people are already paying capital gains tax on the income from cryptocurrency, and in respect of Goods and Services Tax (GST) also the law is "very clear" that the rate would be applicable as those in case of other services.

2:37 P.M.

Agri, processed food products rose in Apr-Oct

Exports of agricultural and processed food products rose by 14.7% to $11.65 billion during the April-October period on the back of healthy growth in commodities including rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables, the commerce ministry said.

2:21 P.M.

U.S., China, others take aim at OPEC with potential reserves release

Governments from some of the world's biggest economies said on Thursday they were looking into releasing oil from their strategic reserves, following a rare request from the United States for a coordinated move to cool global energy prices and ahead of a meeting of major oil producing countries.

The Biden administration has asked big oil buyers such as India and Japan - as well as China for the first time - to consider releasing stocks of crude, several people familiar with the requests told Reuters on Wednesday. Oil prices fell on the news.

2:05 P.M.

Alibaba slashes sales outlook as competition bites

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd slashed its forecast for annual revenue growth on increased competition and a regulatory crackdown, sending its stock tumbling 11%.

Alibaba now expects revenue for the year ending in March to rise between 20% and 23%, the slowest pace since its 2014 stock market debut and down from a May forecast of 29.5% growth. The company also undershot expectations for earnings per share in the second quarter.

1:40 P.M.

FPI stock holding value soars in Sept-ended quarter

The value of the foreign portfolio investors' (FPI) holdings in the domestic equities reached $667 billion in three months ended September 2021, a surge of 13% from the preceding quarter, according to a Morningstar report.

This was largely on the back of strong performance by the Indian equity markets along with net inflows from FPIs at the later part of the quarter.

1:30 P.M.

Flipkart buys stake in healthcare platform SastaSundar.com

Walmart-owned Flipkart on Friday said it will acquire majority stake in Kolkata-based Sastasundar Marketplace that owns and operates online pharmacy and digital healthcare platform, SastaSundar.com.

While the deal size was not disclosed, Flipkart said it is foraying into the healthcare sector through the launch of Flipkart Health+.

12:45 P.M.

Binance’s U.S. unit may raise ‘couple hundred million’ dollars

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the company’s U.S. unit could raise a “couple hundred million” dollars in a funding. He noted that the unit also has the option to go for an initial public offering (IPO), and that he was not ruling out listing the parent firm in future.

“For an IPO perspective, it’s probably best to have a few rounds of financing before that,” Zhao said.

Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volumes, has come under scrutiny from regulators.

12:17 P.M.

Turkey’s lira dives back into crisis territory

Turkey’s lira suffered one of its worst days in three years after the central bank slashed interest rates by 100 basis points, defying warnings of a currency meltdown and even higher inflation.

Turkey, the largest economy in the Middle East and the 20th biggest in the world, has been hit by two sharp contractions. Its currency has shed two-thirds of its value since mid-2018.

11:41 A.M.

China’s Weibo cleared for Hong Kong listing

Chinese social media company Weibo Corporation has received approval for a secondary listing in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to regulatory filings.

The company is also listed in New York, where its stock is up 1.88% for 2021 to date, and it has a market capitalisation of $9.5 billion.

10:53 A.M.

Oil prices rise

Oil prices rose today, after fluctuating yesterday, prompted by the prospect of coordinated action by the world’s major economies to release official crude reserves from stocks.

Brent crude increased 0.7% to $81.77 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI’s January future rose 0.8% to $79.01 a barrel. Both Brent and WTI are set for a fourth week of declines.

10:39 A.M.

Evergrande contagion | Property developer resumes construction on 63 projects

Debt-laden real estate developer China Evergrande has resumed construction of 63 projects in the southern Pearl River delta, a regional subsidiary said.

The company will “speed up and conquer difficulties” in the next stage, to ensure the projects are delivered on time and in line with standards of quality, it added.

10:21 A.M.

Bitcoin falls to one-month low

Bitcoin plunged to a one-month low and was headed for its worst week in six months as traders have booked profits from a long rally. It was down 1.6% at $55,980, its lowest since mid-October and 20% below last week’s record high.

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, was near a three-week low at $4,014 and set for a 14% weekly loss.

9:58 A.M.

Japan’s record stimulus package

Japan, the world's third largest economy, is set to compile a record 56 trillion-yen ($490 billion) spending package to cushion the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The package has more than enough content and scale to deliver a sense of security and hope to the people,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.

The total package, which includes funds that do not lead to immediate spending, will likely reach 78.9 trillion yen. The government will compile an extra budget of around 32 trillion yen to fund part of the cost.

9:26 A.M.

Alibaba shares dive

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plunged over 10% in early trade after its second-quarter results missed expectations due to slowing consumption, increasing competition and China’s regulatory crackdown. Its U.S.-listed stock fell over 11%.

Alibaba’s revenue growth increased 29% to 200.69 billion yuan ($31.44 billion) in the July-September period, its slowest rate of growth in six quarters. It expects fiscal year 2022 revenue to grow by 20% to 23%.

9:00 A.M.

Markets update

Indian indices will remain closed today on account of ‘Guru Nanak Jayanti’. This week, Sensex slumped 1,050.68 points or 1.73%, while Nifty tanked 337.95 points or 1.86%.

Asian shares slid as disappointing earnings from Alibaba increased worries about China’s broad regulatory crackdown and slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.44% and set for a weekly decline of 1.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.7%. However, in Japan, Nikkei gained 0.41% and Topix added 0.11% after Japanese PM Fumio Kishida announced a fresh stimulus package.

In U.S., the S&P 500 and Nasdaq touched record closing highs, driven by upbeat corporate earnings. The S&P 500 rose 0.34%, to 4,704.54 and the Nasdaq Composite surged 0.45%, to 15,993.71, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 0.17%, to 35,870.95.

 

----  Edited by John Xavier

 

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

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 10:54:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/business-news-live-markets-update/article37572924.ece

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