BQuick On Nov. 1: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
Pedestrians are silhouetted as they walk past the Statue of Ismoili Somoni in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, (Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg)

BQuick On Nov. 1: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

Here is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.

1. Bajaj Finance’s Rs 8,000-Crore QIP

Bajaj Finance Ltd. plans to launch its Rs 8,000-crore qualified institutional placement offer within a week as it plans to boost its capital adequacy ratio and consumer lending business, according to two persons privy to the development.

  • The management of the non-bank lender is expected to conclude meetings with investment bankers and roadshows with domestic funds today, one of the persons cited earlier said.
  • The company had said in an prior exchange filing that its management was meeting investors in Mumbai between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1.

Here’s how the fundraise will also help reduce the non-bank lender’s leverage.

2. Another Stake Sale In Zee Entertainment Soon...

Essel Group is planning to sell more stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. as the promoter looks to pare debt, two people involved in the transaction said.

  • As part of the process, mutual funds will transfer shares of the broadcaster offered as collateral by the Subhash Chandra-led group into an escrow account, the people told BloombergQuint on the condition of anonymity.
  • About 5.5 percent of Zee Entertainment’s total equity pledged with mutual funds will be moved into the separate account, so the promoters can eventually sell the shares, one of the persons quoted above said.
  • The promoters are in talks with large long-only funds and strategic investors for a stake sale, the person said.

Here’s what has happened so far.

3. GST Collection Rises From 19-Month Low

The government’s goods and services tax collection for September rose after dropping to a 19-month low for the previous month.

  • The GST for September, collected in October, stood at Rs 95,380 crore compared with Rs 91,916 crore for August and Rs 98,202 crore for July.
  • That’s a year-on-year decline of 5 percent and 3 percent lower than the monthly average of Rs 98,114 crore for FY19.
  • GST collections rose after two months but remained below Rs 1 lakh crore amid a slowing economy, held back by a decline in consumption and a liquidity crisis in the non-bank lending sector.

Click here for a breakup of the tax revenue.

4. Yes Bank’s Bad Loans Spike, Dr. Reddy’s Profit Doubles

Yes Bank Ltd. slipped back into loss in the quarter ended September as bad loans spiked and the private lender made a one-time tax adjustment.

  • Net loss stood at Rs 600 crore.
  • Higher loss was due to a one-time direct tax asset adjustment of Rs 709 crore.
  • Bad loan ratio rose to 7.39 percent from 5.01 percent.

Unexpected events led to a rise in credit costs.

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd.’s quarterly profit jumped more than twofold on the back of a one-time tax gain and higher licence fees from sale of brands.

  • Net profit rose 117 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,092 crore.
  • Profit was aided by a tax write-back of Rs 326 crore and a licence fee worth Rs 723 crore.

Operating profit, too, almost doubled.

5. Nifty On Its Second-Best Run In 2019

Indian equity benchmarks ended marginally higher after a volatile trade as gains in HDFC Bank Ltd. and IndusInd Bank Ltd. were offset by losses in Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex rose 35 points or 0.09 percent to 40,165.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 rose 0.11 percent to 11,890.60.
  • The benchmark indices have rose for the six straight trading sessions, their best gaining streak since March when it rose for eight sessions consecutively.
  • Nine out of 11 sectoral gauges compiled by NSE ended higher.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

BQuick On Nov. 1: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

6. Maruti’s Sales Rebound, Other Automakers Struggle

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.’s sales rose the most in 16 months during October. India's largest carmaker sold 1.22 lakh units during the festive season, a rise of 4.5 percent over the same month last year.

But other automakers were not so lucky.

  • Tata Motors Ltd.’s sales fell 33 percent due to a decline in demand for passenger and commercial vehicles.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s total sales fell 11 percent to 51,896 units, while tractor sales declined 4 percent.
  • Ashok Leyland Ltd.'s sales fell 35 percent. The commercial vehicle maker said it will observe further non-working days in November.

Find out how other automakers fared in the auto sales live blog.

Also read: Why A Jump In Retail Auto Sales Is Nothing To Cheer About

7. Flipkart's Loss More Than Halves

Flipkart trimmed its losses for the first time in four years as the Walmart Inc.-owned e-commerce giant shifted focus towards profitability.

  • Flipkart, which also owns fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong, and PhonePe payments platform, more than halved its loss to Rs 17,231 crore, or about $2.4 billion, in the financial year 2018-19.
  • Flipkart’s loss for the year ended March 2018 stood at Rs 46,901 crore or about $6.7 billion, the filing showed.
  • Meanwhile, the online retailer’s revenue jumped 42 percent to Rs 43,615 crore, or $6.14 billion, in FY19.

Flipkart’s rising losses were among the biggest concerns after its acquisition by Walmart.

8. UPI's 1-Billion Milestone

A payments platform created by India’s largest retail banks surpassed a billion transactions in October, a milestone that affirms the tremendous growth of services offered by U.S. giants from Walmart Inc. to Inc. and Google.

  • The Unified Payments Interface or UPI has now surpassed a 100 million users three-and-a-half years after its launch, thanks to booming smartphone use and wireless data rates among the lowest in the world.
  • Amazon and Google now vie with local startup Paytm, Walmart-PhonePe and a host of other players in a digital payments market forecast to quintuple to $1 trillion by 2023.

While it growth has been a breeze till now, competition is set to worsen.

9. RBI Moves To Strengthen Supervision

The Reserve Bank of India has reorganised its supervision department amid concerns that the regulator failed to catch the build-up of risk across banks and non-bank lenders. Recent instances of fraud, such as the one at Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, have also damaged the regulator’s credibility.

  • As a start, the central bank will consolidate supervision under a single department.
  • Along with the creation of a new department, the RBI will also change its approach to supervision, it said.
  • Supervisory and regulatory process will be more activity based.

Here are the other changes in RBI’s approach and how a series of misses prompted these.

10. Five-Phase Battle For Jharkhand

Jharkhand assembly polls will be held in five phases between Nov. 30 and Dec. 20, and the counting of votes will take place on Dec. 23, the Election Commission said on Friday.

  • Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora told reporters that the polls to 81-member assembly will be held on Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 12, 16 and 20.
  • The assembly polls in the Naxalism-affected state were held in five phases in 2014 as well.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party is in power the state, which has a large tribal population, and an alliance of opposition parties, mainly the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, is making a determined bid to oust the government headed by Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
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