BQuick On Dec. 11: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
A train travels in the Tottenville neighborhood in the Staten Island Borough of New York, U.S. (Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

BQuick On Dec. 11: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. IIP Rises For Second Straight Month

India’s industrial output rose for the second straight month after six months of contraction.

  • The Index of Industrial Production rose by 3.6% in October over last year.
  • Industrial production rose by 0.5% in September compared to 0.2% estimated earlier.
  • A poll of economists by Bloomberg had forecast October IIP growth at 1.1%.

Among the three key sectors, mining remained in contraction but others saw an expansion in activity.

2. Maruti Suzuki’s SUV Challenge

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. has been dominating the nation’s automobile market for the last two decades. Yet, the sport utility vehicle segment remains a challenge as competition heats up.

  • Maruti’s products in the SUV category, which includes only Brezza and S-Cross, are witnessing intense competition from the Hyundai Venue and Creta, Tata Nexon and Kia Sonet and Seltos.
  • All other segments, including commercial vehicles, have been growing, according to Shashank Srivastava, executive director of sales and marketing at India’s largest carmaker.

Here’s how India’s largest carmaker plans to tackle that.

BQuick On Dec. 11: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

Also read: Passenger Vehicle Sales Rise For The Fourth Straight Month

3. Sensex's Sixth Week Of Gains

Indian equity markets ended yet another week with gains, after trading in a narrow range for the last two sessions.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.3% higher at 46,099 while the NSE Nifty 50 index ended above 13,500, up 0.26%.

  • This was the sixth straight weekly gain for the indices.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

8. A Tax Budget Wishlist

Two Mumbai-based bodies representing chartered accountants and industry have urged the government to simplify and rationalise direct taxes and allow more deductions to taxpayers in their pre-budget memorandum issued in December.

  • The Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society and Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry have sought several changes in the existing tax regime in light of the economic slump caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on taxpayers.
  • This comes at a time when India saw its tax collections drop for the first time in nearly two decades in April, dipping further till August and recovering slightly in the Aug-November quarter.

Here are the key suggestions by BCCI and BCAS made for the upcoming Union Budget.

9. IPO Craze: A 1990s Rerun?

Initial public offerings have been doing extremely well lately, bringing to mind the excesses of the tech bubble in the late 1990s.

  • The FTSE Renaissance Global IPO Index, which tracks the performance of offerings worldwide, is up 82% this year.
  • There are some pretty clear similarities between the Bloomberg index versus the S&P 500 in 1998-99 and the Renaissance gauge now.
  • The performance after that in the late 1990s was even more dramatic.

If IPOs were to follow the same pattern, they would have a huge jump -- before a pretty spectacular drop.

10. Covid-19: New Cases Fall Below 30,000 Again

India's active Covid-19 caseload dropped further as the infection rate slowed.

  • India reported less than 30,000 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally near 98 lakh in the world’s second-worst infected nation, according to the Health Ministry’s update as of 8 a.m.
  • At over 37,500, daily recoveries continued to surpass new cases for two weeks now.
  • Active cases remained below the 4-lakh-mark for a fourth day in a row.

Track news and developments around the Covid-19 outbreak, here.

Vaccine Approval Race—A Dangerous Game

Drug regulators only have two speeds, as an old gag puts it: Too fast, and too slow. That’s certainly the perception in this pandemic, writes Lionel Laurent.

  • Regulators, whose job it is to supervise vaccine's efficacy, safety and distribution are in a very tough spot.
  • The pressure to go fast is immense.
  • Now the urge to win points for speed risks backfiring as regulators indulge in one-upmanship, undermining trust.

Instead of competing, it makes more sense for gatekeepers to work together or risk falling into a reputation trap.

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