Top business news of the day: India Ratings maintains stable outlook on banking sector in FY22; Passenger vehicle retail sales increase 39% in August, and more

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

Automobile dealers’ body Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) on Tuesday said retail sales of passenger vehicles (PV) in August increased by 39% year-on-year. The Delhi High Court said the ICMR should look into the complaints received against private pathology laboratories and revoke licences in case of breach of conditions.

Separately, a group of bank supervisors from across the European Union called on Tuesday for the bloc to implement global banking rules agreed to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis.

4:55 P.M.

India Ratings maintains stable outlook on banking sector in FY22

Domestic rating agency India Ratings on Tuesday maintained a stable outlook on the banking sector for 2021-22 while it expects an increase in stressed assets in retail and MSME segments by end-March.

It estimates gross non-performing assets (GNPA) of the banking sector to be at 8.6% and stressed assets at 10.3% for fiscal 2021-22, PTI reported.

"We have maintained a stable outlook on the overall banking sector for the rest of FY22, supported by the continuing systemic support that has helped manage the system-wide COVID-19 linked stress," the rating agency said in its mid-year banks outlook released on Tuesday.

4:23 P.M.

EU supervisors urge implementation of global banking rules

A group of bank supervisors from across the European Union called on Tuesday for the bloc to implement global banking rules agreed to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis.

The final tranche of the Basel III rules is now due to be implemented by Brussels after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the European economy, Reuters reported.

4:22 P.M.

Gigforce raises $3mn from Endiya Partners, Unitus Ventures and others

On-demand staffing platform Gigforce on Tuesday said it has raised USD 3 million (about ₹22 crore) in funding, led by Endiya Partners.

Existing investor Unitus Ventures and key angels also participated in the pre-series A round, a statement said, according to PTI.

Unlike classifieds, lead sharing and job-search platforms, Gigforce offers full-stack staffing solutions and provides pre-screened and pre-trained gig workers to various enterprises.

4:19 P.M.

Rupee plunges 32 paise to close at 73.42 against U.S. dollar

The rupee plunged by 32 paise to close at 73.42 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, tracking a strong American currency in the overseas market and muted trend in domestic equities.

Forex traders said the fall in the domestic unit was in line with other Asian peers, according to a PTI report.

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 73.12 and dropped to a low of 73.44 in the day trade.

4:18 P.M.

Markets end flat; HDFC jumps over 2.50%

Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended with mild losses on Tuesday after investors rushed to profit booking at higher levels amid weak cues from European markets.

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

HDFC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 2.56%, followed by Bharti Airtel, IndusInd Bank, ITC, UltraTech Cement, Nestle India and Asian Paints.

On the other hand, Sun Pharma, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank, HCL Tech, Infosys and Tata Steel were among the laggards, PTI reported.

4:16 P.M.

Organisations in India project 9.4% salary increase in 2022: Aon survey

Notwithstanding the COVID-19 second wave hitting the nation hard, Indian organisations have displayed resilience, and the salary increment is being projected to grow from an average of 8.8% this year to an estimated average of 9.4% in 2022, according to a survey, PTI reported.

According to the Aon's 26th Annual Salary Increase Survey released on Tuesday, most businesses have an optimistic view going into 2022, with 98.9% of companies intend to give salary increases in 2022, as compared to 97.5% companies in 2021.

4:05 P.M.

Essar Power commissions system to cut sulphur emissions by 25%

Essar Power said it has commissioned its first flue gas scrubber at the Essar Power Hazira (EPHL) facility which will cut down sulphur dioxide emissions by 25%, PTI reported.

"Essar Power, one of Essar Global Fund’s key investments in the Energy portfolio, has commissioned its first flue gas scrubber at the Essar Power Hazira (EPHL) facility. The scrubber is designed to bring down sulphur dioxide in flue gas by 25%, going a long way in checking emissions and helping the environment," a company statement said.

4:03 P.M.

U.K. warns on cryptocurrency ads after Kardashian post

Cryptocurrency advertisements, particularly from social media influencers, should face regulation according to the head of Britain's financial watchdog, who highlighted a recent ad posted by Kim Kardashian.

"As we live more and more of our lives online, we can't allow online business to operate in ways we wouldn't tolerate with any other business," Charles Randell, head of Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said on Monday, AFP reported.

3:55 P.M.

India Post Payments Bank, LIC Housing tie up to sell home loans

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has joined hands with LIC Housing Finance for selling housing finance products of the latter to its 4.5 crore customers, a statement said, according to PTI.

Through its robust and extensive network of 650 branches and more than 1,36,000 banking access points, IPPB will make LIC Housing Finance Ltd's (LICHFL) home loan products accessible to its customers pan-India, the statement said.

3:47 P.M.

Amazon inks pact with Gujarat govt to drive e-commerce exports

Amazon India on Tuesday said it has inked an agreement with the Industries and Mines Department of Gujarat government to help drive e-commerce exports from the state.

As part of the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), Amazon will train and onboard MSMEs from the state on Amazon Global Selling, enabling them to sell their unique Made in India products to millions of Amazon customers across over 200 countries and territories, a statement said, according to PTI.

3:43 P.M.

Coal India contributes ₹75 crore towards NSDF as CSR initiative

State-owned Coal India Limited on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sports ministry, contributing ₹75 crore towards the government's National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

The MoU signing was held in front of Sports Minister Anrurag Thakur, Minister of State for Sports Nitish Pramanik and Sports Secretary Ravi Mittal, PTI reported.

3:37 P.M.

Mumbai airport sees four-fold growth in passenger traffic in Aug

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) posted a nearly four-fold growth in passenger traffic in August, driven by the onset of the festive season coupled with some countries easing visa and travel curbs.

CSMIA handled 16 lakh passengers in August this year, the private airport operator said, according to a PTI report.

The country's second busiest airport handled four lakh passengers in the same period last year.

3:34 P.M.

ICMR should look into complaints against private labs: HC

The Delhi High Court said the ICMR should look into the complaints received against private pathology laboratories and revoke licences in case of breach of conditions.

It is the ICMR which gives licences to the labs and it cannot be sitting in ivory towers, the high court said, according to a PTI report.

“You have to look into it. You give licences to them. The whole year has gone by. The whole nation is suffering. The whole NCR is suffering,” Justice Najmi Waziri said.

3:32 P.M.

Comm Min recommends anti-dumping duty on Vitamin C from China for 5 yrs

The commerce ministry's investigation arm DGTR has recommended the imposition of anti-dumping duty on Vitamin C, used by pharmaceutical firms for medicine production, from China to guard domestic manufacturers from cheap imports.

The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has concluded in its probe that the imports from China are entering the domestic market at price below the level of the selling price, and even the cost of sales, PTI  reported.

3:20 P.M.

Jindal Stainless Ltd elevates Rajeev Garg as head of sales

Jindal Stainless Ltd (JSL) on Tuesday said Rajeev Garg has been elevated as the company's head of sales.

In his earlier role, as he was head of domestic sales and distribution, JSL said in a statement, according to PTI.

"JSL elevates Rajeev Garg as head of sales. In his new role, he will oversee domestic as well as international sales functions for the company," it said.

3:18 P.M.

EU Commission plans first recovery green bond in October

The European Commission said on Tuesday it planned to issue its the first green bond in October under its "NextGenerationEU" recovery plan to fund projects designed to help the European Union towards its target of being carbon-neutral by 2050.

Green bonds are due to make up to 250 billion euros ($296.8 billion) or 30% of the NextGenerationEU issuance, Reuters reported.

2:46 P.M.

Allianz under investigation in Germany over investment funds

German regulators have launched an investigation into the country's biggest financial company, Allianz, after the demise of some of its U.S. investment funds last year, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The move heightens the pressure on the insurer, which is already facing a slew of investor lawsuits over its Structured Alpha Funds and related investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

2:43 P.M.

Morgan Stanley expands search for Black traders to London

Morgan Stanley is bringing its program to hire more Black and female traders and salespeople to London, hoping to replicate the success it’s had on Wall Street, according to a Bloomberg report.

The Morgan Stanley Experienced Professionals Program is aimed at recruiting Black or female candidates already working in other industries that might not have considered a career at a bank. The program has received more than 800 applications in the U.S. since opening last September and led the bank to hire about 70 staff across its business.

2:35 P.M.

Global reinsurance rates to rise next year: Moody's

Global reinsurance rates are likely to rise in the low to mid-single digit percentage range next year, Moody's analysts said on Tuesday.

Reinsurance rates have been rising in the past few years after natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires, as well as from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.

"We expect this (price) trend to continue," Moody's insurance credit analyst Helena Kingsley-Tomkins told a media briefing.

2:33 P.M.

China state media calls for regulation over quantitative trading

Quantitative trading is growing rapidly in China’s stock market and the authorities should develop a regulatory regime that “best suits” the country, according to a commentary carried by the state-run Securities Times, Bloomberg reported.

Trading volume in the A-share market has been soaring this year, with quantitative trading becoming a force that “can’t be overlooked,” according to the article. Chinese regulators need to step up research into the strategy and provide more relevant data for investors, it added.

2:28 P.M.

Volkswagen signals higher transition cost from autonomous shift

Volkswagen may have to spend more to deliver its planned transformation, the German carmaker's supervisory board chairman said, particularly a shift towards autonomous driving.

The world's second-largest automaker, which plans to invest 150 billion euros ($178 billion) in its business by 2025, has repeatedly said that it can fund the transition towards electric vehicles and autonomous driving based on current cash flows, according to a Reuters report.

2:18 P.M.

Cairn accepts $1bn refund offer, to drop cases against India within days: CEO

U.K.-based Cairn Energy PLC on Tuesday said it will drop litigations to seize Indian properties in countries ranging from France to the U.S., within a couple of days of getting a $1 billion refund resulting from the scrapping of a retrospective tax law.

The firm, which gave India its biggest onland oil discovery, termed "bold" the legislation passed last month to cancel a 2012 policy that gave the tax department power to go back 50 years and slap capital gains levies wherever ownership had changed hands overseas but business assets were in India, PTI reported.

1:51 P.M.

Voda-Idea flags industry's unsustainable financial duress

Ailing telecom operator Vodafone Idea has flagged the industry's "unsustainable financial duress" in its latest annual report and hoped that the government would provide the necessary support to address "all structural issues" faced by the sector.

In the Chairman's letter to shareholders, Himanshu Kapania cited persistent challenges in the operating environment, amid "unsustainable pricing" and "hyper-competition" during FY21. Kapania expressed hope that government will support efforts to generate reasonable returns on massive investments, according to a PTI report.

1:49 P.M.

Britannia says pandemic prompted shifts in consumer preferences

Retail giant Britannia Industries said the pandemic has brought significant shifts in consumer preferences and behaviours, including the growth of online business channels, which are likely to strengthen and present new opportunities for food business in future, PTI reported.

The company is well placed to sustain growth and is confident of addressing the evolving situation with its wide distribution network, intrinsic brand strengths, innovation and technology capabilities and cost efficiency programmes.

1:42 P.M

JSW Steel output grows nearly 5% to 13.77 LT in August

JSW Steel on Tuesday posted nearly 5% year-on-year growth in its crude steel output at 13.77 lakh tonne (LT) during August 2021, as against 13.17 LT steel in the corresponding month last year, PTI reported.

During August 2021, the company said production of its flat-rolled products fell by 8% to 8.99 LT, from 9.80 LT in August 2020. Its output of long-rolled products registered a growth of 30% at 3.01 LT, as against 2.32 LT in the year ago period.

1:28 P.M

Bank of India ties-up with MAS Financial Services for co-lending

State-owned Bank of India (BOI) has entered into a co-lending arrangement with MAS Financial Services for MSME loans, PTI reported. The tie-up comes on the occasion of the bank’s 116th Foundation Day.

The bank will leverage the reach of NBFC to build an MSME portfolio, MD & CEO Atanu Kumar Das said.

1:03 P.M.

OPEC+ keen to keep oil prices at $65-$75 a barrel, Lukoil chief says

The head of Russia’s No. 2 oil producer Lukoil said that oil prices of $65-$75 were “comfortable” for consumers and that the OPEC+ group of leading oil-producing nations was striving to maintain that price range by regulating output, according to a Reuters report.

Vagit Alekperov said curbs on oil output would depend on market conditions.

“For now, September 2022 will mark a milestone when the restrictions should phase out. The company has up to 90,000 barrels a day of idle production, which we hope will be needed by the market.”

12:52 P.M.

Toyota to spend over $13.5 bln to develop EV batteries and supply systems by 2030

Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it expects to spend more than $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system.

The world’s largest automaker by volume uses a range of battery types in its vehicles and is also considered the front runner to mass produce solid-state batteries, a Reuters report noted. If developed successfully, they could replace liquid lithium-ion batteries.

12:29 P.M.

IPO fund outperforms India benchmarks in bumper year of listings

An Indian fund that invests only in recently listed stocks has outperformed the nation’s benchmark indexes in 2021 despite skipping a majority of the initial public offerings in what’s shaping up to be a record year, Bloomberg reported.

The fund run by Edelweiss Management Ltd. has returned 46% this year, according to the firm, beating gains of 24% for the NSE Nifty 50 Index and 22% by the S&P BSE Sensex Index, which still lead the Asia region among country benchmarks, the report noted.

12:14 P.M.

BlackRock’s China investments likely to lose money, Soros says

Billionaire investor George Soros said BlackRock Inc investing billions of dollars into China now is a “mistake” and will likely lose money for the asset manager’s clients, according to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.

Soros said  BlackRock has drawn a distinction between the country’s state-owned enterprises and privately owned companies that is far from reality, as per the opinion piece.

Last month, BlackRock became the first foreign asset manager to operate a wholly owned mutual fund business in China tapping the fast-growing $3.6 trillion retail fund market, a Reuters report noted.

12:01 P.M.

Hyundai to offer hydrogen fuel cell versions of all commercial vehicles by 2028

Hyundai Motor Group said on Tuesday it plans to offer hydrogen fuel cell versions for all its commercial vehicles by 2028 and will cut the price of fuel cell vehicles to battery electric levels two years later.

The group, whose only other fuel cell vehicle on the market is Hyundai’s Nexo SUV, will develop fuel cell vehicles for Kia and its premium Genesis brand, which could be launched after 2025, according to a Reuters report. It did not mention specific targets for fuel cell versions of passenger vehicle models.

11:52 A.M.

JSPL steel output grows 6% in August; sales up 4%

Steelmaker Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) on Tuesday said its steel production increased 6% year-on-year to 6.6 lakh tonne in August. Its sales volume also increased by 4% y-o-y to 7.1 lakh tonne during the month.

Notwithstanding subdued construction activities due to the ongoing monsoons in August, the company has maintained strong momentum in sales and production, a PTI report noted.

11:46 A.M.

Flipkart founder files to launch vehicle to invest in Vanguard ETF

Navi Mutual Fund, the fund unit acquired by Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, is set to make a Vanguard strategy available in the country through a new fund-of-funds scheme, the Financial Times reported.

The Indian fund group, which was previously branded as Essel Mutual Fund, is currently seeking the regulator’s approval to roll out six funds, one of which is the Navi Total US Stock Market Fund of Fund that feeds into Vanguard’s US-listed Total Stock Market Index Fund exchange traded fund, according to the report.

11:35 A.M.

Healthium Medtech files draft papers with Sebi to raise funds via IPO

Healthium Medtech has filed preliminary papers with capital markets regulator Sebi to mop-up funds through an initial share-sale, PTI reported.

The initial public offering (IPO) comprises fresh issuance of equity shares worth ₹390 crore and an offer-for-sale of 3.91 crore equity shares by existing shareholders and promoters, according to the draft red herring prospectus.

11:25 A.M.

Bitcoin becomes legal tender in El Salvador

El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, a real-world experiment proponents say will lower commission costs for billions of dollars sent home from abroad but which critics warned may fuel money laundering, Reuters reported.

The plan spearheaded by the country’s President Nayib Bukele is aimed at allowing Salvadorans to save on $400 million spent annually in commissions for remittances, mostly sent from the United States, the report noted.

11:12 A.M.

L&T Construction bags order for water effluent treatment business

Larsen &Toubro (L&T) on Tuesday said its construction arm has bagged a significant order for its water and effluent treatment business in India.

It has won an order from a state-utility organisation to implement rural water supply projects, providing functional house tap connections under the Jal Jeevan Mission, according to a PTI report.

The business was entrusted to implement rural water supply projects to provide potable water to 800 villages.

11:01 A.M.

Copper falls as China’s August imports hit over 2-year low

London copper prices fell on Tuesday as August imports of the metal in top consumer China fell to their lowest since June 2019, as high prices and sluggish economic growth hit demand, Reuters reported.

China’s copper imports declined 41% year-on-year in August, falling for the fifth straight month to 394,017 tonnes, customs data showed.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.3% to $9,421 a tonne, while the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange eased 0.1% to 69,310 yuan ($10,738.41) a tonne.

10:48 A.M.

Global crypto exchange CrossTower enters India despite policy uncertainty

U.S.-headquartered digital currency exchange CrossTower has set up a local unit in India and launched a trading platform to capture the growing domestic crypto market even though the fate of cryptocurrency in India is still unclear, Reuters reported.

CrossTower India has already hired 35 people and plans to increase headcount to 100 in six to nine months, the company said.

As a late entrant to India, the company plans to increase its market share by providing competitive pricing and relying on advanced technology infrastructure, CrossTower co-founder and CEO Kapil Rathi said.

10:36 A.M.

Rupee slips 7 paise to 73.17 against U.S. dollar in early trade

The Indian rupee slipped 7 paise to 73.17 against the U.S. dollar in opening trade on Tuesday, tracking a strong American currency in the overseas market and muted trend in domestic equities, PTI reported.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 73.12 against the dollar, then fell to 73.17, registering a decline of 7 paise from the last close.

10:24 A.M.

Passenger vehicle retail sales increase 39% in August: FADA

Automobile dealers’ body Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) on Tuesday said retail sales of passenger vehicles (PV) in August increased by 39% year-on-year to 2,53,363 units, as against 1,82,651 units in August 2020.

Two-wheeler sales rose 7% to 9,76,051 units last month, compared to 9,15,126 units in the year-ago period. Commercial vehicle sales surged 98% to 53,150 units last month against 26,851 units in August last year.

The total sales across categories increased by 14% to 13,84,711 units in August as against 12,09,550 units in the same month last year, according to a PTI report.

10:15 A.M.

Edelweiss Financial Services raises ₹400 crore through NCDs

Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd (EFSL) Monday said it has raised ₹400 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures (NCDs).

The company said the issue has seen significant demand in the retail segment with a total collection of ₹279.106 crore. Almost 50% of the total issue size got subscribed for five-year and 10-year tenure, according to a PTI report.

10:07 A.M.

Council to mull capacity-based GST on sectors seeing evasion

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is likely to consider a ministerial group’s report on introducing a differentiated regime for sectors where tax evasion is very high, such as brick kilns, sand mining, and gutkha and pan masala production, even as tax experts have urged caution about such carve-outs.

9:53 A.M.

Murugappa’s turnover rises 9.5% ₹41,713 crore

The turnover of the Murugappa Group has risen 9.5% to ₹41,713 crore for FY21 while net profit surged by almost 53% to ₹4,500 crore.

Profit after tax, excluding profit from stake sale in group companies, grew by 26% to ₹3,713 crore.

9:42 A.M.

NMDC slashes iron ore by ₹1,000 a tonne

Mining major NMDC has reduced prices of iron ore Lump and Fines by ₹1,000 a tonne respectively.

Effective September 4, the new prices are ₹6,150 per tonne for Lump Ore and ₹5,160 for the same quantity of Fines, the company said in a filing.

9:34 A.M.

Indian benchmark indices open higher

Indian indices opened higher on Tuesday. BSE Sensex opened at 58,418.69, up 121.78 points, while Nifty opened at 17,401.55, up 23.75 points.

In Tuesday’s early trade (at 9:32 A.M.), Sensex fell 114.1 points or 0.20% to reach 58,182.81, while Nifty dropped 27.30 points or 0.16% to reach 17,350.50.

On Monday, the BSE Sensex settled 166.96 points or 0.29% higher at 58,296.91, while NSE Nifty climbed 54.20 points or 0.31% to its new closing record of 17,377.80.

9:11 A.M.

Oil wobbles as demand woes stalk market after Saudi price cuts

Oil prices were wobbly on Monday as investors grappled with demand concerns after Saudi Arabia's sharp cuts to crude contract prices for Asia, Reuters reported.

Brent crude futures for November rose 0.1%, to $72.26 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for October was at $68.88 a barrel, down 0.6%, from Friday’s close.

9:00 A.M.

World shares at record high as investors count on Fed largesse

Global stocks inched higher on Tuesday to a record high for the eight straight session as investors wagered the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to delay the start of tapering its asset purchases after the soft U.S. jobs data, Reuters reported.

Japanese shares extended their bull run. Tokyo’s Nikkei rallied as much as 1.3%, moving past 30,000 for the first time since April. Mainland Chinese shares were little changed in early trade while MSCI’s ex-Japan Asian-Pacific index was down 0.1%. U.S. S&P 500 futures were 0.1% higher from Friday’s close after the U.S. holiday on Monday.

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