BQuick On July 15: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
A pedestrian walks along the Brooklyn Promenade in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On July 15: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. What Was In Store At RIL’s First Virtual AGM

Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani made a slew of announcements at the company’s 43rd annual general meeting—and it’s first-ever virtual one.

  • The big announcement was Google agreeing to buy a Rs 33,737 crore stake in Jio Platforms Ltd., adding to a series of large investments into a digital venture.
  • Google has signed binding agreements to acquire 7.73% stake in Jio, pegging it at a valuation of Rs 4.36 lakh crore—similar to Facebook.
  • That was not it. Ambani also announced that Jio has developed a complete fifth-generation wireless network solution from scratch.
  • The 100% home grown” 5G technology will be ready for trials by next year, he said.

Catch up on all announcements from the annual general meeting here.

Related Coverage

2. Exclusive: A New Tax On Imports?

India is mulling a new tax on all imports to aid domestic manufacturing, a plan that resurfaced after border tensions with China as part of the Modi administration's self-reliance pitch.

  • The proposal is aimed at imposing a ‘border adjustment tax’ by amending Section 3 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975, placing domestic goods on an equal footing with imports, an official said on the condition of anonymity as details are not public yet.
  • Such a levy is charged on imported goods over and above customs duty and can't be availed as a tax credit.
  • The quantum is proposed to be equivalent to non-creditable and non-refundable taxes such as duties on electricity and fuel, clean energy cess, biodiversity fees, among others, on domestic goods, the official told BloombergQuint.

The government sees the tax as a push for making indigenous products and its goal of becoming a self-reliant economy.

3. India’s Rare Trade Surplus

India recorded a trade surplus in June for the first time in over a decade as exports rebounded from pandemic-driven disruptions quicker than imports.

  • The trade surplus for June stood at $0.79 billion as compared to a deficit of $3.15 billion in May 2020.
  • In June 2019, the trade deficit stood at $15.28 billion.
  • Exports fell 12.41% year-on-year in June to $21.9 billion. The fall was steeper at 36.47% in May.
  • However, imports fell even more by 47.59% to $21.1 billion in June, compared to a contraction of 51.05% last month.

But a trade surplus is unlikely to be sustained, as India's domestic demand is inching back towards normalcy.

4. Infosys Profit Falls, Margin Rises

Infosys Ltd.’s profit dropped even as deal wins and cost-cutting measures anchored the company in a quarter marred with challenges due to Covid-19.

  • Net profit fell 1.5% sequentially to Rs 4,272 crore.
  • Revenue rose 1.7% over the previous quarter to Rs 23,665 crore.
  • Margin expanded to 22.7% from 21.2%.
  • Infosys provided guidance of 0-2% revenue growth in constant currency terms in FY21 and sees margin between 21-23%.

Find out how the software services firm managed to keep costs in check and improved margin.

5. Sensex Gives Up Early Gains To End Flat

Indian equity markets gave up all the gains made in the session, led by a last-hour sell-off in heavyweight Reliance Industries.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended little changed at 36,051 while the NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.26% higher at 10,634.
  • Benchmark indices fell 750 and 200 points respectively from their day's high.
  • On the other hand Wipro, gained the most since May 2004, ending with gains of 16.9% after its first quarter results.
  • Among sectoral indices, the realty index ended as the top laggard; with losses of over 2% while the media index ended 1.7% lower.
  • Broader markets too gave up gains. The midcap index ended 0.7% lower while the smallcap index ended little changed.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

9. Covid-19: Almost 30,000 New Cases In India

Total Covid-19 confirmed cases in India rose past 9.36 lakh as authorities reported the largest ever spike in fresh cases.

  • Authorities reported nearly 30,000 cases in just 24 hours, taking the total tally to 9,36,181, according to the Health Ministry’s 8 a.m. update on July 14.
  • Of these, more than 5.9 lakh have been cured or discharged while nearly 3.2 lakh are active cases.
  • A three-day lockdown with stricter provisions will be enforced in Goa from Friday due to the rising number of cases in the state.
  • More than 3.2 lakh samples were tested for Covid-19 on Tuesday, the highest so far on a day, the ICMR said.

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

Globally, total cases have topped 13 million with over 576,000 deaths.

  • Tokyo will raise the Covid-19 warning to the highest level.
  • New Zealand’s prime minister said the country must be prepared for the virus to come back into the community.
  • Singapore expects further increase in cases.

Follow the global spread of the virus here.

Also read: Covid Vaccine Front-Runner Is Months Ahead of Her Competition

10. The Truth About Online Rape Threats

If you’re a woman with a public profile and an opinion that goes against the patriarchy/dominant caste and/or the state, be prepared for a rape threat every time you speak up, writes Priya Ramani.

  • The threats are hurled because our voices provide a much-needed alternate narrative.
  • They are a reflection of offline rape culture.
  • The system won’t fight this battle alongside us.
  • Groups of people have learned to join and protect each other online.

Read more.

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