BQuick On Aug. 17: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  
Pedestrians walk past the Red Fort (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Aug. 17: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

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

1. Legal Trouble Brews For HDFC Bank

A New York-based law firm has initiated an investigation of potential securities claim on behalf of the shareholders of HDFC Bank Ltd. following allegations that the private lender may have “issued materially misleading business information to the investing public”.

  • Rosen Law Firm—that according to details on its website represents individual and institutional investors injured by corporate fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and other financial wrongdoings—is preparing a securities lawsuit against HDFC Bank, and has invited the lender’s shareholders to join the class action lawsuit, according to a media statement released on Aug. 16.
  • The law firm cited media reports on alleged impropriety in the bank’s vehicle financing department and delays in reporting customer data to the Indian unit of Experian Plc, a credit bureau, which drew the attention of the Reserve Bank of India.

The statement highlighted that the bank missed analyst estimates while its asset quality deteriorated. Read more.

2. Why India’s Defence Manufacturers Are Confused

India has released two draft plans over the past few months on acquisition and production of defence equipment to boost domestic manufacturing. Yet, the local industry is confused.

  • The draft acquisition policy released in May and the draft policy on local production released over the previous weekend are aimed at making India a defence manufacturing and export hub. But the government also raised foreign direct investment cap to 74% earlier this year, making it easier for overseas firms to set up local subsidiaries.
  • That sent conflicting signals to the industry.
  • While India’s private defence manufacturers publicly hail the initiative, they privately voice concerns about lack of clarity.

Find out how multiple laws, regulations and policies are creating confusion for Indian companies.

3. Nifty’s Late Recovery, S&P 500’s Relentless Rally

Indian equity markets began the new trading week with gains led by a recovery in banking stocks that bounced off their lows in the half hour of trade.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.6% higher at 38,099 while the NSE Nifty 50 ended above the mark of 11,250, up 0.72% at 11,259.
  • The recovery was led by the banking stocks.
  • The Nifty Bank recovered 350 points from its day's low of 21,404 to end 0.3% higher at 21,754.
  • Pharma and PSU banking stocks were the laggards in today's session.
  • Broader markets were in-tandem with the benchmarks. The Midcap index ended with gains of 0.5% while the smallcap index rose 0.9% at the close of trade.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

Globally, the virus has now infected over 21.6 million people globally with the death toll over 7,75,000.

  • France’s public health agency warned that all of the country’s Covid-19 indicators are trending upward.
  • A cluster of infections from giant churches in South Korea is reviving concern the country could again become a hotspot.
  • Australia had its deadliest day, and the state of Victoria extended a state of emergency.

Follow the global spread of the virus here.

Also read: India’s Flimsy Virus Testing Regime ‘Like Flipping a Coin’

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