BQuick On Dec. 2: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  
A pedestrian crosses a street in Tokyo, Japan (Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Dec. 2: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

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

1. Maruti Suzuki’s 2021 Optimism

India’s biggest carmaker is expecting next year to be “much better” than 2020 as the economy rebounds and consumers emerge from pandemic-induced lockdowns to buy its vehicles.

  • Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the local unit of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp., is expecting retail sales in December to be “pretty good” as there are pending orders with its dealerships and the rate of enquiries has sustained even after the festive season, Chairman R.C. Bhargava said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

  • “The pending demand has been very much in the forefront of what is causing the increase in sales,” said Bhargava.

“We lost the first quarter so I definitely expect 2021 to be much better than 2020,” Bhargava said.

2. Economic Ups And Downs? Not For These Companies

Corporate earnings suffered as India’s growth slowed even prior to the pandemic as mounting bad loans slowed credit growth, defaults by IL&FS group caused a credit crisis and slowing consumption cooled GDP growth.

  • Despite a slowing GDP growth prior to Covid-19, four companies delivered returns better than the nominal GDP growth in the last five years.

  • Four companies that showed resilience to a slowing economic cycle include Avenue Supermarts Ltd., the operator of D-Mart supermarket chain; KEI Industries Ltd., a wire and cable maker; Safari Industries (India) Ltd., a luggage manufacturer; and ready-to-cook food maker Tasty Bite Eatables Ltd.

Curious about how these firms outpaced the economy? Read this BQ Blue exclusive.

BQuick On Dec. 2: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

3. Sensex Pares Losses; U.S. Stocks Decline

Indian equity markets recovered from the lowest point of the day to end largely unchanged.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 37 points lower at 44,618 while the NSE Nifty 50 index ended flat at 13,114.

  • The Sensex recovered nearly 450 points from the day's low while the Nifty bounced 130 points from the lowest point of the day.

  • Broader markets were mixed in today's session.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

9. Covid-19: India’s Cases Climb; U.K. Authorises Vaccine Use

India’s coronavirus tally continued to climb at a slower pace even as states braced for the possibility of a second wave of infections.

  • India reported over 36,600 new cases in 24 hours, taking the total tally to 94.9 lakh.

  • That includes over 89 lakh recoveries and more than 1.38 lakh deaths.

  • Authorities reported 43,062 recoveries in a day, making it the fifth straight day that new cases trailed recoveries.

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

The U.K. became the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, with its regulator clearing Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s shot ahead of decisions in the U.S. and European Union.

  • The emergency authorization clears the way for the deployment of a vaccine that Pfizer and its German partner have said is 95% effective in preventing illness.

  • The shot will be available in Britain from next week.

Here’s how the U.K. is ramping up preparations for a vaccination drive.

10. Farmers Refuse To Budge, Call For Repealing New Laws

Protesting farmers have demanded that the central government call a special session of Parliament to repeal the new farm laws and threatened to block other roads of the national capital if their demands are not met.

  • Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Darshan Pal accused the Centre of dividing farmer organisations and said protests will continue till the three farm laws are repealed.

  • Meanwhile, the number of protesting farmers swelled at Delhi border points as police stepped up security after thousands blocked key gateways into the national capital for the seventh day on the trot.

More details here.

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