Top Business News of the Day: PM Modi launches digital payment solution e-RUPI; High GST and acquisition cost slowing down car demand.

A view of the BSE building in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

6:10 P.M.

PM Modi launches digital payment solution e-RUPI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched e-RUPI, a person and purpose specific digital payment solution that is aimed at improving transparency and targeted delivery of benefits.

"Today the country is giving a new dimension to digital governance. eRUPI voucher is going to play a huge role in making digital transactions, and DBT more effective. This will help everyone in targeted, transparent and leakage free delivery," the Prime Minister said while launching e-RUPI.

To begin with e-RUPI facility is available for health services and will be expanded to other segments.

e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment, an official statement said, adding, it is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries.

The users of this seamless one-time payment mechanism will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access, at the service provider, PTI reported.

4:56 P.M.

High GST, acquisition cost slowing down car demand, says MSI chairman

High cost of acquisition due to a variety of reasons, including higher GST than all other major countries, is slowing down car demand in the country and unless the Centre and states take steps to reduce it, the industry is unlikely to experience reasonable growth, according to Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava.

Addressing shareholders in the company's Annual Report for 2020-21, he said after the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hitting the first quarter of FY22, the performance in the next three quarters will largely depend on how effectively people get vaccinated and observe safety protocols.

Production and sales again dropped and the recovery that had started in the previous quarter suffered a set-back. Q1 sales were limited at 3,53,600 units, PTI reported.


4:42 P.M.

Paytm Money records over Rs 70,000 avg investment from 2.1 lakh demat a/c holders in FY21

Digital financial services firm Paytm Money recorded an average investment of over Rs 70,000 per Demat account holder in FY21, with millennials leading the segment, according to an annual report data published in a Paytm blog.

Paytm Money has opened 2.1 lakh Demat accounts till March 31, 2021, of which 80 per cent were below 35 years of age, according to the report.

4:35 P.M.

Sensex rallies 364 pts; Nifty ends above 15,850

Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 364 points on Monday, driven by gains in Reliance Industries, Infosys and TCS amid a positive trend in global equities.

Sensex ended 363.79 points or 0.69 per cent higher at 52,950.63, while the NSE Nifty surged 122.10 points or 0.77 per cent to 15,885.15.

Titan was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, followed by M&M, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, TCS, Maruti and Infosys.

Energy companies gained after a pickup in fuel demand, while a recovery in July sales lifted auto stocks after a second wave of COVID-19 cases had dented demand.

On the other hand, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s and HDFC Bank were among the laggards.

4:19 P.M.

Asian factory activity hit by rising costs, Delta variant

Asia's factories hit a rough patch in July as rising input costs and a new wave of coronavirus infections overshadowed solid global demand, highlighting the fragile nature of the region's recovery.

Manufacturing activity rose in export powerhouses Japan and South Korea, though firms suffered from supply chain disruptions and raw material shortages that pushed up costs.

China's factory activity growth slipped sharply in July. Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia saw factory activity shrink in July due to a resurgence in infections and stricter COVID-19 restrictions.

While still grappling with infections, easing restrictions helped India's factory activity bounced back in July as demand surged both at home and abroad.

4:07 P.M.

Gold tumbles Rs 124; silver marginally lower

Gold in the national capital on Monday dipped Rs 124 to Rs 46,917 per 10 gram amid a decline in international precious metal prices and rupee appreciation, according to HDFC Securities.

Silver went marginally lower by Rs 18 to Rs 66,473 per kilogram from Rs 66,491 per kilogram in the previous trade.

In the international market, gold traded lower at USD 1,808 per ounce and silver was flat at USD 25.47 per ounce, PTI reported.

2:55 P.M.

Policybazaar files IPO papers with Sebi

Online insurance and credit comparison platform Policybazaar has filed preliminary papers with market regulator Sebi to raise ₹6,017.50 crore through an initial public offering (IPO).

The IPO will comprise of a fresh issue of ₹3,750 crore worth of equity shares and an offer for sale of ₹2,267.50 crore by existing shareholders, according to the red herring prospectus.

The proceeds from the IPO will be used for funding strategic investments and acquisitions, expanding presence outside India and general corporate purposes, PTI reported.

2:33 P.M.

Dollar resumes downward trend after worst week since May

The dollar fell on Monday continuing its downward trend after hitting one-month lows last week after the Fed expressed it was in no hurry to tighten economic policy.

The dollar index eased 0.14% to 91.98, just off Friday’s one-month low of 91.775. The index dropped 0.88% last week, the worst since early May, Reuters reported.

1:52 P.M.

HDFC’s profit rises 31% in June quarter

India’s largest mortgage lender HDFC on Monday reported a 31% rise in net profit in the June-ended quarter.

The company’s profit rose to ₹5,311 crore last quarter compared to ₹4,059 crore in the same period last year, PTI reported.

HDFC added that the demand for housing continues to remain strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and that business has reverted to normalcy in June and July.

1:51 P.M.

Ashok Leyland vehicle sales jump 81% in July

Hinduja Group’s Ashok Leyland on Monday reported an 81% rise in total commercial vehicle sales in the month of July.

The Chennai-based firm sold 8,650 units in July compared to 4,776 units in June, PTI reported.

The July sales figure also represents a 90% increase from its year-ago period. The company sold 3,473 units of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCV) and 4,656 units of light commercial vehicles last month.

1:09 P.M.

Twitter's Dorsey leads $29 billion buyout of lending pioneer Afterpay

Square Inc, the payments firm of Twitter Inc co-founder Jack Dorsey, will purchase buy now, pay later (BNPL) pioneer Afterpay Ltd for $29 billion, creating a global transactions giant in the biggest buyout of an Australian firm.

The takeover underscores the popularity of a business model that has upended consumer credit by charging merchants a fee to offer small point-of-sale loans which their shoppers repay in interest-free instalments, by passing credit checks.

It also locks in a remarkable share-price run for Afterpay, whose stock traded below A$10 in early 2020 and has since soared as the COVID-19 pandemic - and stimulus payments to a workforce stuck at home - saw a rapid shift to shopping online.

The all-stock buyout would value the shares at A$126.21 ($92.65), the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

12:43 P.M.

Glenmark inks pact with SaNOtize to produce, market anti-COVID-19 nasal spray in India, other countries

Canadian biotech firm SaNOtize Research & Development Corp. has entered into an exclusive long-term agreement with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of its breakthrough Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) for COVID-19 treatment in India.

Glenmark will also be handling other Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nepal, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

Available in the form of a nasal spray, it is designed to kill the virus in the upper airways, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs.

It is based on nitric oxide (NO), a natural nano- molecule with proven anti-microbial properties, and which has a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, Glenmark said.

12:25 P.M.

M&M posts nearly two-fold jump in passenger vehicle sales in July

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd on Monday reported a nearly two-fold jump in passenger vehicle sales in July. The company sold 21,046 units in July this year as against 11,025 units in the year ago period.

M&M’s utility Vehicles sales surged 91% to 20,797 units in July 2021 compared to the same month last year.

Cars and vans sales were at 249 units in July this year as compared to 127 units in the year-ago month.

11:57 A.M.

India's manufacturing sector sees strongest rate of growth in three months in July

India's manufacturing sector activities witnessed the strongest rate of growth in three months in July amid better demand conditions and easing of certain local COVID-19 restrictions, a monthly survey said on Monday.

The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) soared to 55.3 in July from 48.1 in June.

“It's encouraging to see the Indian manufacturing industry recover from the blip seen in June. Output rose at a robust pace, with over one-third of companies noting a monthly expansion in production, amid a rebound in new business and the easing of some local COVID-19 restrictions,” said Pollyanna De Lima, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit.

Lima further said that “should the pandemic continue to recede, we expect a 9.7 per cent annual increase in industrial production for calendar year 2021.” On the recruitment front, there was a marginal increase in employment in July that ended a 15-month sequence of job shedding, a PTI report noted.

11:30 A.M.

HSBC profit more than doubles as economies rebound

HSBC Holdings on Monday reported its first-half pre-tax profit that more than doubled from last year, boosted by an economic rebound in two of its biggest markets – Hong Kong and Britain.

Pre-tax profit for the bank by assets was at $10.8 billion as against $4.32 billion in the year ago period. The profit was higher than the $9.45 billion average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank, a Reuters report noted.

The bank’s revenue, however, fell 4% due to the low interest rate environment. HSBC said given the brighter outlook globally as economies recover better than expected from the pandemic, it expects credit losses to be below its medium-term forecast of 0.3%-0.4% of its loans.

11:10 A.M.

Bajaj Auto sales jumps 44% in July

Bajaj Auto on Monday reported 44% jump in its total sales at 3.69 lakh units in July 2021, compared to 2.56 lakh units in the year ago period.

Domestic sales increased 5% to 1.67 lakh units in July 2021 compared to the previous year.

Total motorcycle sales in July were at 3.30 lakh units, up 39% year-over-year, while total commercial vehicle sales more than doubled to 38,547 units in July 2021 compared to the same month last year.

Exports in July also more than doubled to 2.02 lakh units as against 96,856 units sold in the corresponding month last year.

10:50 A.M.

Rupee opens higher, gains in early trade

Indian Rupee opened at 74.38 against U.S. dollar on Monday, higher than its Friday closing of 74.42.

In Monday’s early trading, the rupee gained 9 paise over its previous close, touching 74.33 against the dollar.

The rupee’s gain was supported by a firm trend in domestic equities and weak American currency, a PTI report noted.

10:35 A.M.

Earnings announcements expected today

Several companies are expected to release their earnings report on Monday, for the June ending quarter, including Ajmera Realty & Infra, Avi Products, Asian Star, Avadh Sugar & Energy, Balaji Amines, Carborundum Universal, Castrol India, CG Power and Industrial Solutions, Emami, HDFC, Kalyani Steels, Nahar Spinning Mills, Orient Cement, Punjab National Bank, RBL Bank, Shree Renuka Sugars, and Varun Beverages.

10:15 A.M.

GST collections recover to ₹1.16 lakh crore in July

India's gross GST revenues in July recovered sharply to ₹1,16,393 crore, after slipping below the ₹1 lakh crore mark for the first time in eight months in June.

The government called the collections a sign of a rapid economic recovery from the second COVID-19 wave, though economists said they indicate an ‘incomplete’ rebound.

The July collections were 33% higher than a year ago, with GST collected on the import of goods rising 36% and domestic transactions (including import of services) growing by 32%.

10:05 A.M.

Gold gleams, silver struggles

Precious metals remained broadly range bound in July. After a distinctly weak performance in June, Comex gold managed to close in the green.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on interest rates and the soft trend in the U.S. dollar helped gold prices recover in July. Comex gold gained 2.6% to close at $1,817.2 an ounce. But Comex silver lost 2.5% to $25.45 an ounce.

Mirroring the global trend, MCX gold futures gained 1.9% to close at ₹48,001 per 10 gm. MCX silver futures closed 1.8% lower at ₹67,847 per kg.

9:42 A.M.

Oil prices slide on worries over China economy, higher crude output

Oil prices fell by more than $1 on Monday on worries over China's economy after a survey showed growth in factory activity slipped sharply in the world's second-largest oil consumer, with concerns compounded by a rise in oil output from Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producers, Reuters reported.

Brent crude oil futures fell 1.5%, to $74.29 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped 1.3%, to $72.98 a barrel.

Also weighing on prices, a survey found that oil output from the OPEC rose in July to its highest since April 2020, as the group further eased production curbs under a pact with its allies while top exporter Saudi Arabia phased out a voluntary supply cut, the report noted.

9:28 A.M.

Benchmark Indian indices open higher

Indian indices opened higher on Monday. BSE Sensex opened at 52,901.28, up 314.44 points, while Nifty opened at 15,874.90, up 111.85 points.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:15:03 PM |

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