Business Live: G7's draft coronavirus statement makes no direct calls for fiscal, monetary response

Global spread of the virus will hit supply chains and limit recovery for Chinese manufacturers.

Global spread of the virus will hit supply chains and limit recovery for Chinese manufacturers.  

 

1:30 PM

Trump says Fed should deliver big interest rate cut

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates significantly, saying higher borrowing costs are tough on its exporters and puts the country at a disadvantage.

“Our Federal Reserve has us paying higher rates than many others, when we should be paying less. Tough on our exporters and puts the USA at a competitive disadvantage. Must be the other way around. Should ease and cut rate big,” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump has repeatedly criticised Fed Chair Jerome Powell in the recent past and has said that the bank has kept interest rates too high. Reuters

1:00 PM

FICCI calls for measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 in India

Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Monday called for measures to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) in India, even as two more cases – one in Delhi and another in Telangana – were reported in the country.

It suggested adoption of infection control practices and strengthening of screening at airports, among others.

“Till date India has been relatively untouched. The most important part of our strategy must be screening and ensuring that the virus does not enter and parallelly a hospital preparedness strategy is in place,” FICCI president Sangita Reddy said.

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12:30 PM

Apple to pay $25 each to iPhone users for slower performance

Apple will pay nearly $25 to affected iPhone users — mainly owners of iPhone 6, 7 and SE devices — as part of the $500 million class—action settlement in a case which involved slowing down older iPhones with a battery software update in 2017.

The preliminary proposed class—action settlement still requires approval by the US district judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, reports Inc.com.

If you owned an iPhone that suffered from performance throttling —— iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7Plus or SE, running iOS 10.2.1 prior to December 21, 2017 —— you are entitled for the claim.

Apple admitted in 2017 that the software update slowed down certain iPhone models with degraded batteries. The iPhone maker said that the update was necessary to prevent unexpected shutdowns and preserve the life of the devices.

However, the Cupertino—based tech giant also apologised for not communicating to users properly and offered affected customers cut—price iPhone battery replacements.

France’s consumer fraud group earlier last month imposed a 25 million—euros fine on Apple for deliberately slowing down certain older iPhone models. IANS

12:15 PM

Sharp decline in PSB fraud amount, Centre tells Lok Sabha

Comprehensive steps taken to curb fraud in public sector banks (PSBs) have resulted in a sharp decline in the amount involved, from ₹50,329 crore in 2013-14 to just ₹3,781 crore in the first three quarters of 2019-20, according to the Finance Ministry.

An online searchable database of frauds reported by banks, in the form of Central Fraud Registry, has been set up to enable timely identification, control and mitigation of fraud risk and for carrying out due diligence during the credit sanction process, the Ministry said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act is being invoked to attach and confiscate the assets of violators and strip them of the entitlement to defend any civil claim.

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12:00 PM

India housing market to keep struggling this year

India's housing market is likely to struggle throughout 2020 as sluggish demand and a weak economic outlook overpower recent government measures efforts to boost activity, a Reuters poll of market experts found.

House prices rose 5.7% on average in 2018, the weakest since comparable records began in 2010, and data available for last year suggest a much weaker market despite a rapid-fire succession of interest rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of India.

The Feb 19-March 2 Reuters poll of 17 property analysts showed average house prices predicted to rise 2.0% this year and 2.5% in 2021.

That is well below 3.0% and 4.25% expected in a poll three months ago and only about a third of the latest reported rate of consumer price inflation. Reuters

11:45 AM

Nevatia is COO of Mindtree

L&T-owned Mindtree has appointed Dayapatra Nevatia as the chief operating officer effective March 2. In this new role Mr Nevatia will support the company into its next phase of growth, as per a company statement.

Debashis Chatterjee, CEO and MD, Mindtree said, “This appointment is a testimony of the company’s focus on its leadership expansion across the globe.”

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11:30 AM

No action against independent directors without evidence: MCA

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs assured on Monday that prosecution proceedings will not be initiated against independent and non—executive directors without strong evidence of their complicity in frauds committed by the companies.

Amidst the instances of independent and non—executive directors coming under the scanner for alleged corporate wrongdoings, the ministry has sent out a circular to its Regional Directors, Registrars of Companies (RoCs) and official liquidators with respect to prosecution proceedings.

“In case, lapses are attributable to the decisions taken by the Board or its Committees, all care must be taken to ensure that civil or criminal proceedings are not unnecessarily initiated against the IDs or the NEDs, unless sufficient evidence exists to the contrary,” the communication said. IANS

11:15 AM

AI on our radar: Vistara chief

With the government restarting the process of Air India’s (AI) disinvestment this year, Vistara chairman Bhaskar Bhat said they were evaluating the national carrier and that a decision on bidding would be taken later.

After its unsuccessful bid to sell 76% stake in AI in 2018, the central government, this time, has decided to offload its entire stake.

Mr. Bhat told reporters, “We are evaluating AI. Which company would not be interested in evaluating a sovereign airline of the country?... Whether we bid or not comes later.”

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11:00 AM

G7's draft coronavirus statement makes no direct calls for fiscal, monetary response

Group of Seven nations are drafting a statement on how they plan to soften the global economic hit of the coronavirus but are not yet making specific calls for new government spending or coordinated central bank rate cuts, a G7 official said on Tuesday.

In the statement, expected on Tuesday or Wednesday, the G7 countries will pledge to work together to mitigate the damage to their economies from the fast-spreading epidemic, the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Global financial markets had rallied sharply on Monday as central banks from Japan, Britain and France followed the lead of the U.S. Federal Reserve in saying they stood ready to support the global economy.

The U.S. dollar and Wall Street futures gave up some of their earlier gains after the Reuters report that the statement does not include any immediate calls for fiscal or coordinated monetary stimulus.

The language of the statement could change as it is still under discussion, the source said. Reuters

10:45 AM

Used car sale platform Spinny raises $43.7 million

Spinny, an online used car retailing platform, has raised $ 43.7 million in a Series B funding round led by The Fundamentum Partnership, a growth-capital fund for mid-stage technology companies in India backed by Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal.

The round also counts new investors, U.S.-based General Catalyst Partners, KB Financial Group from Korea and existing investors Accel, SAIF Partners and Alteria Capital as co-investors.

The funds would be used to invest in technology, strengthen business teams, enhance customer experience and, expand to newer cities, said the company.

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10:30 AM

India's electricity supply rises 7.1% in February

India's electricity supply rose 7.1% during February, provisional government data showed, marking the second straight month of growth after five straight months of decline.

Power supply rose to an average of 3.62 billion units per day in February, up from 3.38 billion units last year, an analysis of daily load despatch data from state-run Power System Operation Corp Ltd (POSOCO) showed.

India's Central Electricity Authority (CEA), an arm of the federal power ministry, is expected to release official data on power demand later this month. POSOCO releases provisional load despatch data every day.

Higher electricity supply could mean a rise in power demand, as electricity deficit in India is marginal. Electricity demand is seen by economists as an important indicator of industrial output. Reuters

10:15 AM

Rupee rises 33 paise to 72.43 against US dollar in early trade

The Indian rupee appreciated by 33 paise to 72.43 against the US dollar in early trade on Tuesday tracking positive opening in domestic equities.

At the interbank foreign exchange the rupee opened at 72.50, then gained further ground and touched a high of 72.43 against the US dollar, registering a rise of 33 paise over its previous close.

The domestic currency, however, could not hold on to the gains and was trading at 72.64 against the American unit at 1002 hrs.

On Monday, rupee had settled at 72.76 against the greenback.

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10:00 AM

Sensex rallies over 500 points; Nifty tests 11,300

Market benchmark Sensex surged over 500 points in opening session on Tuesday tracking firm gains in global stocks amid hopes that policymakers across the world would take measures to ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from G7 countries will hold talks later in the day to discuss ways to coordinate their responses to cushion the epidemic’s impact on the global economy.

The 30-share index was trading 533.37 points, or 1.40 per cent, higher at 38,677.39, and the NSE Nifty jumped 179.75 points, or 1.61 per cent, to 11,312.50.

All Sensex components were trading on a positive note. Top gainers included Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank and HCL Tech.

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9:45 AM

Vodafone CEO may meet Minister on AGR

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read is likely to travel to India this week amid its India joint venture Vodafone Idea struggling to pay its adjusted gross revenues (AGR)-related dues ahead of the next Supreme Court hearing on the issue on March 17.

Mr. Read has also put in a request to meet Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, a source who did not want to be named, told The Hindu. “Mr. Read has requested a meeting with the Minister on March 6 (Friday),” the source said.

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9:30 AM

OECD lowers India’s FY21 GDP growth to 5.1% on coronavirus concerns

Global agency OECD on Monday lowered its India’s GDP growth forecast to 5.1 per cent from the earlier projection of 6.2 per cent for 2020 on concerns of impact of deadly coronavirus on the domestic as well as the global economy.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said the adverse impact on confidence, financial markets, travel sector and disruption to supply chains contributes to the downward revisions in all G20 economies in 2020, particularly ones strongly interconnected to China.

India is a member of G20, a grouping of developed and developing economies.

According to the latest OECD Interim Economic Outlook Forecasts, India’s real GDP growth is expected at 5.1 per cent during the fiscal year starting April 1, 2020 and improve to 5.6 per cent in the following year.

The latest projection for 2020-21 is 1.1 percentage point lower than the November 2019 forecast. PTI

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 2:30:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/businesslive-3-march-2020/article30969329.ece

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