BQuick On Oct. 29: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
The sun sets behind an apple orchard in Russia. (Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Oct. 29: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra On Slowdown Realities

India is facing a “temporary” slowdown and the recent measures by the government will help reverse the downturn in the coming quarters, according to Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director at Reliance Industries Ltd.

  • “If you look at what happened, yes there has been a slight slowdown but in my own view it is temporary,” Asia’s richest man said at the Future Investment Initiative Summit in Saudi Arabia.
  • “All the reform measures taken in the last few months will see the outcome and I’m quite sure, in the coming quarters, this (slowdown) will reverse.”

Watch the interaction with Mukesh Ambani here.

Anand Mahindra, on the other hand, admits that there was a slowdown but festive season sales have revived consumption.

  • “There was a slowdown but happily now the sales and consumption is picking up,” Mahindra said at the same event.
  • Mahindra also said the group’s domestic businesses are “fairly insulted” from the global headwinds and, in fact, it could benefit if the situation drags down the global commodity prices.

Here’s what Mahindra said about excess inventory.

2. IndiGo’s 300-Aircraft Order

Airbus SE won one of its biggest-ever contracts with a deal for 300 jets from Indian budget carrier IndiGo that’s worth more than $30 billion at sticker prices.

  • The order for the A320neo narrow-body planes includes the latest XLR long-range variant and takes IndiGo’s order book for the family to 730 aircraft, it said in a statement Tuesday.
  • For IndiGo, the purchase will help widen its lead in the world’s fastest-growing major aviation market. It has already ordered over 500 aircraft from Airbus.
  • The deal marks the latest victory for Airbus as rival Boeing Co. reels from the idling of its 737 Max after two fatal crashes in five months.

IndiGo is embarking on an ambitious expansion plan.

3. Indian Stocks Extend Diwali Rally, U.S. Stocks Mixed

Indian equity indices clocked their best post-Muhurat trading session since 2011.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8 percent or 582 points to close at 39,381.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 index rose 1.37 percent to 11,786.85.
  • The broader markets represented by the NSE Nifty 500 index rose 1.27 percent.
  • The 50-stock index closed at its highest levels since Budget 2019.
  • The Nifty continue its consolidation amid positive bias for the week and remain above 11,500, ICICI Securities said.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

Reliance Industries Ltd. touched an all-time high as analysts cheered the company's move to restructure and streamline its telecom and digital businesses, paving the way for its potential stake sale. Shares of RIL rose as much as 2.2 percent intraday to hit an all-time high of Rs 1,465.80 apiece.

Here’s what brokerages have to say about the move.

U.S. stocks fluctuated after closing at a record as investors weighed a spate of corporate earnings ahead of tomorrow’s expected rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

  • The S&P 500 was little changed, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 slumped as results from the likes of Alphabet, Merck and Pfizer pulled on the market.
  • The pound reversed a drop after the U.K.’s main opposition party said it will back an early election.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2 percent to $54.66 a barrel.

Get your daily fix of global markets here.

4. Government Relief For Telecom Stress?

The Committee of Secretaries under the Cabinet Secretary will examine all aspects of the financial stress faced by India’s telecom service providers and recommend a package for the sector, according to a government official.

  • This is in response to representations made by telecom giants including Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. which sought reduction and deferment of dues in the face of the Supreme Court’s verdict on adjusted gross revenue, an official at Department of Telecommunications told BloombergQuint on the condition of anonymity.
  • The government will facilitate an environment which continues to herald growth of the telecom sector, the official said.

Here are the measures telecom operators want the government to take.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel deferred the announcement of its second-quarter results until Nov. 14, saying it has sought more clarity on the recent Supreme Court ruling asking it to pay about Rs 22,000 crore in additional fees related to license.

  • On Oct. 25, the Supreme Court ruled that India’s telecom operators will have to include non-core revenue to calculate levies, dealing a crippling blow to the bruised industry that stares at dues and penalties worth thousands of crores.
  • Airtel said it has approached the Department of Telecommunications seeking clarity on the total amounts involved and to request its support to “deal with this adverse outcome”.

Bharti Airtel will have to pay up over Rs 21,000 crore amid ballooning debt.

5. Collateral Damage Sends Bharti Infratel Stock Into A Tailspin

Shares of Bharti Infratel Ltd. are trading at their lowest in five years as investors fear that cost cuts by telecom operators after a Rs 92,000-crore blow in adjusted gross revenue dispute will hurt growth of the tower arm of India’s second-biggest carrier.

  • The stock has declined by nearly a fourth so far in October—the biggest monthly drop since listing—to hit a five-year low of Rs 193 apiece, according to Bloomberg data.
  • Analysts said telecom operators are incapable of paying thousands of crores as dues and penalties as they continue to bleed from a tariff war unleashed by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

But how are telecom tower companies like Infratel affected? Find out here.

6. Oyo, GoIbibo, MakeMyTrip Under Scanner

The Competition Commission of India is launching an investigation on alleged predatory practices and exorbitant commissions by online travel and hospitality firms MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and Oyo Hotels.

  • Investigation is based on a complaint by hospitality industry trade body.
  • The antitrust watchdog has asked its Director General to carry out a detailed investigation and submit a report within 150 days.
  • The complainant has said that the companies have abused their dominant positions, formed cartels and entered into anti-competitive arrangements.

Oyo has said it will actively engage with the investigation, while MakeMyTrip and Goibibo have contested the allegations.

Also read: Amazon Invests About $500 Million In India Unit In Run Up To Diwali

7. From Asset Allocation To Battling Despair: Top Mutual Funds’ View On Markets

Choosing the right investment strategy is imperative to ensuring steady returns amid an economic downturn. A small change in approach can make or break an equity portfolio.

There’s hope and there’s despair in market. At least that's what comes across when talking to top mutual fund managers of the country.

  • Navneet Munot of SBI Mutual Funds says that the net profit-to-sales ratio of top 500 firms has been 6.8 in the last five years—the lowest since 2002.
  • But Prashant Jain of HDFC Mutual Funds sees a buying opportunity. The market value-to-GDP ratio is near an all-time low. Fall in interest rates and corporate tax rate cuts, hence, are far bigger positives than GDP growth faltering.

BloombergQuint spoke to the heads of six mutual funds that also include Avnish Jain, Anoop Bhaskar, Amandeep Chopra and S Krishna Kumar. Learn from the best in business on how to navigate through uncertainty.

8. India Could Miss The Shift Underway In Global Trade, Unless...

Will India’s slowing growth reduce its attractiveness as global firms assess a shift away from China, ask Hugo Erken and Raphie Hayat.

  • There is definitely a window of opportunity for India, but the potential upside should not be overstated.
  • Trump could launch measures against Asian countries that might benefit substantially from offshoring from China.
  • What is clearly hurting India’s attractiveness as an investment destination, is the current economic slump.

If Modi does not take up the structural reform gauntlet, it will be hard for India to see 7-percent growth any time soon.

9. Breakup Brewing In Maharashtra?

Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray today cancelled his party's meeting with the Bharatiya Janata Party on the formation of the next Maharashtra government, hours after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis denied that Sena was assured the chief minister’s post for 2.5 years as part of their power sharing pact.

  • The development might potentially worsen the already strained relationship between the two parties.
  • The meeting was to be attended by Union minister Prakash Javadekar and senior Sena leaders.
  • Ever since the BJP's tally fell in the recently-held assembly polls, results for which were announced on Oct. 24, the Sena raised its pitch for a rotational chief ministership between the two parties for a period of 2.5 years.
  • Thackeray has been insisting that the 50:50 formula on sharing of power was "agreed upon" between himself, BJP President Amit Shah and Fadnavis ahead of the Lok Sabha polls this year.
  • Meanwhile, the Nationalist Congress Party said that formation of an alternative government can be given a thought in case the BJP fails to prove its numbers on the floor of the Maharashtra Assembly.

Read more about Sena and BJP's alliance troubles here.

10. One Indian’s Cool Is Another Indian’s Science Fiction

We’ve seen decades of the marketing community talking about the ‘many Indias’ – now it’s time to recognise that you must, therefore, learn to communicate to these many Indias, writes Anant Rangaswami.

  • All of them live in an urbanized world, and in this world of echo chambers, they are blind to what their ads do to the larger world outside their echo chamber.
  • For many Indians who have not been exposed to such imagery as seen in the harmless Liril ad, what the ad may cue to girls in their villages or towns may seem truly frightening.
  • History teaches us of the danger, in the communications business, of living in a bubble.

That’s the challenge for the marketer and the creative community today.

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