BQuick On Nov. 10: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes    
Surfers wait to catch a wave as the sun rises over Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. (Photographer: Dallas Kilponen/Bloomberg)

BQuick On Nov. 10: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes   

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

1. Bihar Cliffhanger!

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance continued to maintain an edge over the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan in Bihar.

  • The NDA has won or is ahead in 122 constituencies, just ahead of the half-way mark of 121.

  • The RJD and its partners have won or are leading in 114 seats, according to the Election Commission website as of 7:50 p.m.

  • The saffron party was leading or had won in 73 seats in the 243-member assembly, while the corresponding figure for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) was 41.

Get more details here.

2. Raamdeo Agrawal On Balancing Greed And Fear

The year was marked by greed and fear and first-time investors should come to terms with such a quick change in fortunes, according to veteran investor Raamdeo Agrawal.

  • Equity benchmarks swung between decadal highs and lows in the last six months. And this roller-coaster was triggered by fears about the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, not the impact itself, Agrawal told BloombergQuint.

  • Now, greed has started to seep in as people expect the markets, already at record highs, to be much better than everyone thought a few months ago, he said.

Watch the full interview to see Agarwal’s assessment of the markets and what he suggests newer investors should do.

3. How Hindalco, GAIL And M&M Fared In Q2

Hindalco Industries Ltd. operating profit surpassed expectations on higher volumes and lower costs in the second quarter even as its net profit missed estimates.

  • Net profit fell 60% to Rs 387 crore.

  • Profit tumbled due to a loss of Rs 1,398 crore from running and divestiture of discontinued operations during the quarter.

  • Operating profit rose 32% to Rs 5,171 crore.

Read more to see what boosted operating profit.

GAIL (India) Ltd.’s quarterly profit surged as other income rose and domestic demand revived, and performance of the petrochemicals and natural gas segments improved.

  • Net profit rose to Rs 1,239.7 crore from Rs 256 crore in the last quarter.

  • Revenue rose 12.9% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 13,643 crore.

  • Operating profit rose to Rs 1,338 crore from Rs 622.2 crore.

More details here.

India’s biggest tractor maker saw its quarterly profit fall even as tractor sales rose on better rural demand.

  • Net profit of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. fell 3% year-on-year to Rs 1,311 crore.

  • Revenue, however, rose 6% to Rs 11,590 crore.

The automaker said it has had its best July-September sales for tractors.

4. Global Stock Rally Tempers

Global equities are losing momentum after a six-day rally that sent stocks to all-time highs.

  • The S&P 500 declined from a two-month high, led by technology and consumer-discretionary companies.

  • Inc. slumped, with the online-retail giant facing an antitrust complaint from the European Union.

  • American depositary receipts of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. tumbled after China tightened the scrutiny over big internet companies.

  • West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1.5% to $40.89 a barrel.

Get your daily fix of global markets.

Sensex Tops 43,000-Mark

Indian equity markets continued their record-breaking run and closed at fresh lifetime high.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 1.6% or 680 points higher, above the 43,000-mark.

  • The NSE Nifty 50 index ended above the 12,600-mark.

  • The Nifty Bank ended at its highest level since March, ending 1,071 points or 3.9% higher at 28,606.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

Related Coverage

5. Covid-19 Changed India’s House Renting Habits

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused two trends to emerge in India's rental housing market: vacancies rose as tenants left in a reverse migration, and demand for larger homes went up with people needing more space to work from home.

  • Given the widespread work-from-home arrangements, a lot of young professionals are opting for slightly more affordable housing options, now that the proximity to workplace isn’t a top priority.

Read more to understand the changing dynamics of the rental housing space.

6. Godrej Launches Housing Finance Arm

Godrej Group has forayed into the financial services industry by launching its housing finance arm.

  • The Indian conglomerate said that Godrej Housing Finance would offer home loans at interest rates starting from 6.69% and aims to build a balance sheet of Rs 10,000 crore in three years.

  • The lender in a statement said it will initially offer home loans in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Pune and Bengaluru and will also partner with developers, including Godrej Properties Ltd.

The group said that the housing lender and its real estate arm will have no links in terms of the company structure.

7. Private Insurers Back At Pre-Covid Levels

Premium collection of private life insurance companies returned to pre-pandemic levels, aided by reopening of the economy.

  • Total new business premium—individual plus group policies—returned to pre-Covid levels in October with Rs 22,776 crore worth of policies underwritten, according to BloombergQuint's calculation based on disclosures.

  • This was the highest in nine months.

  • Annualised premium equivalent of private life insurers rose 14% year-on-year.

Here’s what drove the improved performance of the insurance industry.

8. India’s Mobile Money Boom

As the cash-using Indian economy gradually shifts to digital modes of transactions, further accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of registered mobile money accounts in the world’s fifth-largest economy jumped nearly 95-fold between 2014 and 2019.

  • Based on data from the eleventh annual Financial Access Survey 2020 report released by the International Monetary Fund on Monday, there were about 13 such mobile money accounts per 1,000 adults in 2014. That rose to 1,265 in 2019.

  • The report highlighted that digital financial services, both mobile money and mobile and internet banking, have two key features that can support undisrupted financial transactions during the current pandemic.

Find out what those two features are here.

9. How India’s Most Profitable Banks Plans To Stay That Way

Indian micro-financier Bandhan Bank Ltd. will diversify lending and selectively tap more rural markets to cement its position as the nation’s most profitable lender after loan repayments improved.

  • “There is a big demand,” founder and Chief Executive Officer Chandra Shekhar Ghosh said in a recent phone interview.

  • “Rural India is untapped and people there are not getting credit service. Lifestyles are going to change and they also have business needs,” Ghosh said.

Despite the rise in repayments, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could slow Bandhan’s loan growth this year.

10. Azim Premji Tops List Of Indian Philanthropists

Wipro Ltd. founder Azim Premji donated Rs 22 crore a day or Rs 7,904 crore in a year to emerge as the most generous Indian in FY20 topping the list of philanthropy in the country.

  • Premji pipped HCL Technologies Ltd.’s Shiv Nadar, who had earlier topped the list collated by Hurun Report India and Edelgive Foundation, by a wide margin.

  • Nadar’s donations stood at Rs 795 crore for FY20 as against Rs 826 crore in the year-ago period.

  • Premji had donated Rs 426 crore in the previous fiscal.

The raging pandemic had the corporate honchos repurposing their donations to fight the Covid infections.

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