Top economy and business news of the day | Global oil refiners ramp up output; Foxconn eyes India for EVs; IMF cuts Asia growth forecast, and more

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. File | Photo Credit: PTI
Ishan Patra Sowmya Ramasubramanian 20 October 2021 09:00 IST
Updated: 20 October 2021 17:31 IST

Top news of the day from the world of business, finance and economy

Evening wrap:

Fossil fuel target to far exceed Paris Agreement temperature limits as major world economies plan to double production in 2030, according to a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

“The devastating impacts of climate change are here for all to see. There is still time to limit long-term warming to 1.5°C, but this window of opportunity is rapidly closing,” Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UNEP, said.

In other developments, Taiwan’s Foxconn is looking to make electric vehicles in India, and few other countries.


The IMF has downgraded economic growth in Asia due to Covid-19 and warned that U.S. financial tightening to combat inflation may negatively impact the region. The fund has also confirmed, in a separate release, that its Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will return to Harvard University in January 2022 after her public service leave ends. - John Xavier

For other developments on global economy, corporations and markets

5:17 P.M.

Oil and gas giant Total downplayed climate threat: study

French oil firm Total deliberately downplayed the threat of global warming from the 1970s onwards, according to research and internal company documents seen by AFP.

The company is said to have been aware of the dire risks posed by rising temperatures, and undermined confidence in climate science in their public pronouncements. 

5:14 P.M.

India to witness 9.3% salary hike in 2022: report

India is expected to see higher salaries with a 9.3% hike in 2022, from 8% in 2021, according to a report by broking solutions company Willis Towers Watson.

This comes as companies continue to face mounting challenges of attracting and retaining employees.

5:10 P.M.

Sensex, Nifty end lower

Equity indices Sensex and Nifty ended lower at market close, dragged by metals and energy stocks. The NSE Nifty index fell 0.8% at 18,266.60, while BSE Sensex dropped 0.7% at 61,259.96. 

Both indices have risen more than 3% and 4% respectively, in the past week. 

The rupee surged 47 paise to close at 74.88 against the U.S. dollar on easing crude oil prices.

4:35 P.M.

NPCI launches tokenisation of RuPay card for safety

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced a tokenisation system for RuPay cards to improve the safety of card data, by providing an alternative to storing card details with merchants.

Sensitive card information will now be stored in the form of an encrypted ‘token’ to help secure transactions, in accordance with RBI guidelines.

4:12 P.M.

Yes Bank showing remarkable progress: Former SBI chief

Former SBI Chief Rajnish Kumar | Photo Credit: PTI


Crisis-hit Yes Bank has shown remarkable progress after a clutch of investors led by the State Bank of India took over the management last year, and may take two more years to stabilise, former SBI chief Rajnish Kumar has said.

The country’s fifth largest private lender was taken over by the state in March last year following ballooning NPA crisis and the fall of its top management led by promoter Rana Kapoor.

4:11 P.M.

Jubilant Foodworks Q2 profit jumps 58%

Second-quarter net profit of Jubilant Foodworks Ltd  rose 58.11% to ₹119.82 crore, driven by strong momentum in delivery and takeaway channels.

The company that operates popular fast food chains Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin Donuts earned a revenue of ₹1,116.19 crore in the September-ended quarter, up from ₹816.33 last year.

4:08 P.M.

Alibaba shares soar over 6%

Alibaba Founder Jack Ma | Photo Credit: Reuters


Shares of Alibaba rose more than 6% on Wednesday after its billionaire founder Jack Ma was reported to be in Europe. 

Ma has kept a low profile since Chinese officials spiked Alibaba’s $37-billion IPO last November.

The firm’s share price has surged 23% so far this month as hopes rise the company is now off the radar with Beijing’s authorities.

4:01 P.M.

Global oil refiners ramp up output

Global oil refiners are ramping up output to meet the rising demand in Asia, Europe and the U.S. However, plant maintenance and high natural gas prices will constrain supply in the fourth quarter, according to company officials and analysts.

Analysts also forecast a “big increase” in crude runs this winter, led by India, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

3:16 P.M.

China raises $4 billion through U.S. dollar bond issue

China has raised $4 billion through a U.S. dollar sovereign bond issue, after attracting robust demand from offshore investors despite an ongoing problems in the property market and crackdowns on several industries.

Investor bids for the four tranche deals reached $23.2 billion, nearly six times the amount raised, according to official statistics.

China is currently facing a tricky time — its economy is showing signs of slowing, investors are worried about a regulatory crackdown and potential contagion from China’s Evergrande debt crisis.

2:57 P.M.

Air India move will give new energy to aviation sector: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the decision of Tata group acquiring Air India will give new energy to the country’s aviation sector. The comments come weeks after Tata group emerged as the winning bidder for taking over the debt-ridden national carrier.

2:50 P.M.

Excessive tightening to property sector being corrected: China regulator

China foreign exchange regulator head Pan Gongsheng | Photo Credit: Reuters


China’s foreign exchange regulator has said the excessive tightening of the country’s financial institutions and markets for the property sector is being gradually corrected, and financing activities are normalising.

Pan Gongsheng, head of the regulator, added spill-over effects from policy shifts by developed countries are controllable, according to state media reports.

2:17 P.M.

Credit Suisse faces penalties over money laundering charges

Zurich-based bank Credit Suisse said it will make settlements with British, Swiss and American authorities in connection with loans it provided to state companies in Mozambique.

This comes after the Swiss financial authority set new restrictions saying the bank “seriously violated” anti-money laundering requirements in the case. 

The bank’s British subsidiaries arranged two loans guaranteed by Mozambique’s government totalling in $1 billion in 2013. The move was said to be a high reputational risk associated with large loans to a financially weak or corruption-prone country.

2:12 P.M.

U.K. inflation dips

Inflation in Britain eased to 3.1% in September, according to official data, close to a nine-year peak. The annual rate fell 3.2% in August, the highest level since early 2012.

However, analysts still expect Bank of England to raise its main interest rate next month from a record-low of 0.1%. 

High inflation is weighing on companies and consumers globally, while interest rate tightening is used by central banks to try and dampen price rises.

2:09 P.M.

Foxconn eyes making EVs in India

Foxconn CEO Liu Young-Way | Photo Credit: Photo by special arrangement


Taiwan’s Foxconn is looking at making electric vehicles in India, Europe and Latin America, including an indirect collaboration with German automakers, the CEO has said.

Foxconn had recently expressed interest in becoming a major player in the global EV market by cracking deals with U.S. startup Fisker Inc and Thailand’s energy group PTT PCL.

The company said it will focus on its BOL model — meaning build, operate and localise — by investing with partners to build and operate local factories and sell to local consumers.

1:30 P.M.

Dubai’s biggest lender’s Q3 net profit surges

Emirates NBD posted strong Q3 results with its net profit surging 61% to 2.5 billion dirhams ($682 million) from a year earlier, as loan mix improved on strong demand for retail financing, and a substantially lower cost of risk.

The bank’s impairment allowances for the first nine months of 2021 were 42% lower at 1.15 billion dirhams due to improving economic conditions.

The outlook for the UAE economy is positive, with Expo 2020 Dubai predicted to boost domestic demand and the easing of travel restrictions in key markets expected to support the recovery in tourism and hospitality.

1:15 P.M.

Fossil fuel production to far exceed climate targets: UN

According to UN Environment Programme (UNEP), major economies still plan to double fossil fuel production in 2030 compared to Paris Agreement temperature targets.

“The devastating impacts of climate change are here for all to see. There is still time to limit long-term warming to 1.5°C, but this window of opportunity is rapidly closing,” Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UNEP, said.

The world’s 15 major fossil fuel-producing countries, including China, India, and the U.S., plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 45% more than consistent with 2°C, according the 2021 Production Gap Report.

Representatives from nearly 200 countries will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12 for climate talks to strengthen action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UNEP. | Photo Credit: UNEP


12:59 P.M.

Global smartphone market shrinks

The global smartphone market contracted 6% in the third quarter of 2021 as vendors struggled to meet demand for devices amid component shortages, according to a report by market analyst firm Canalys.

Samsung took the top spot in the overall smartphone market with 23% share. Apple regained the second position with 15% share, while Xiaomi slipped to the third spot with 14% share, followed by Vivo and Oppo with 10% share each.

“On the supply side, chipset manufacturers are increasing prices to disincentivise over-ordering, in an attempt to close the gap between demand and supply. But despite this, shortages will not ease until well into 2022,” Ben Stanton, Canalys Principal Analyst, said.

11:55 A.M.

China’s new home prices stall

China’s new home prices stalled in September amid government's sustained crackdown on speculative investment. The average new home price in 70 major Chinese cities was unchanged in September month-on-month, compared with 0.2% growth in August.

The tight property curbs in China are likely to continue as the leaders are worried that a persistent property bubble could dent the country’s long-term rise. The debt-laden property developer Evergrande is also adding to the concerns about the sector.

11:38 A.M.

Rupee surges against U.S. dollar

The domestic currency market opened on a strong note today after a holiday as the Indian rupee appreciated against the U.S. dollar. The domestic unit opened at 75.10 against the U.S. dollar and further strengthened to 75.09, showing a sharp gain of 26 paise against the previous close.

The Indian currency is buoyed by lower oil prices and a weak greenback in the overseas markets. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, slipped 0.06 per cent to 93.67.

10:58 A.M.

IMF cuts Asia’s growth forecast

The IMF downgraded economic growth in Asia due to Covid-19 and warned that U.S. financial tightening to combat inflation may negatively impact the region.

“The increase in inflation in Asia, however, has been more subdued than in other regions so far. But the risk is rising,” Changyong Rhee, IMF Director of the Asia Pacific Department, said.

The fund expects Asia’s economy to grow by 6.5% in 2021, compared with its April forecast for a 7.6% expansion, it said. India is expected to expand 9.5% this year. China, the world’s second largest economy, will grow by 8% this year and 5.6% in 2022.

Changyong Rhee, IMF Director of the Asia Pacific Department. | Photo Credit: IMF


10:05 A.M.

IMF chief economist Gopinath to return to Harvard

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Gita Gopinath, the fund’s chief economist, will return to Harvard in January 2022 as planned when her public service leave ends.

“Gita’s contribution to the Fund and our membership has been truly remarkable —quite simply, her impact on the IMF’s work has been tremendous,” IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva, said.

Gopinath, who made history as the first female chief economist of the fund, co-authored the “Pandemic Paper” on how to end the COVID-19 pandemic that set globally endorsed targets for vaccinating the world.

“Gita also won the respect and admiration of colleagues in the Research Department, across the Fund, and throughout the membership for leading analytically rigorous work and policy-relevant projects with high impact and influence,” Georgieva said.

9:18 A.M.

Asian markets update | Sensex opens

Indian indices opened higher amid positive global cues after snapping their seven-session rising streak yesterday and closing with marginal losses. The BSE Sensex opened at 61,800.07, up 84.02 points, while the NSE Nifty opened at 18,439.90, up 21.15 points.

Sensex touched its lifetime high of 62,245.43 during the previous session, and Nifty hit a new intra-day record of 18,604.45 yesterday.

Shares in Asia-Pacific advanced following a rally in Wall Street as investors bet on a positive corporate earnings season.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%, and Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.42%. South Korea’s Kospi opened at 3,043.13, marginally higher than its previous close. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.66%.

In U.S., the S&P 500 rose 0.74% to 4,519.63, the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.71% to 15,129.09, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.56% to 35,457.31.

Morning note:

Oil slips from its seven-year high. Futures in New York traded below $83 a barrel after climbing more than 3% over the past four sessions. China’s new home prices stalled amid the government’s sustained crackdown on speculative investment.

Earnings results from consumer goods makers Procter & Gamble Co and Danone SA show higher costs and supply chain disruptions, signalling more margin pressure for global firms and higher prices for shoppers.

In India, the government has constituted an expert group to develop a proposal for a comprehensive tax policy for all tobacco products. Shares of ITC, India’s top tobacco products maker, tanked 6.23% in yesterday’s trading session.

Domestic coal situation at thermal projects improve as less than 4-day coal-stock dips to 58 on Monday, from 69 a week ago. – John Xavier

Our live blog will track news on world economy, corporations and markets


----  Edited by John Xavier


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