BQuick On Nov. 13: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
Here is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.
1. Ten Lessons From The Samvat Of Coronavirus
This year has been extraordinarily painful for people, economies and, for a time, equity markets, writes Niraj Shah.
But the forced time-out and work-from-home has enabled a lot of reading and contemplative conversations with market veterans.
The most learning though, as is always the case, has come from just watching Mr. Market.
Here’s what the market taught me this year, about pandemics and crises, growth and risk, the joy of giving and the best asset one can own.
2. Tata Steel's Profit Slumps; Announces Restructuring
Tata Steel Ltd.'s quarterly profit slumped due to losses at overseas subsidiaries, even as the India business improved significantly.
Net profit fell 62.7% year-on-year to Rs 1,546.3 crore.
Revenue rose 7.4% to Rs 37,153.9 crore.
Operating profit rose 60% to Rs 6,110.7 crore.
Operating margin improved to 16.4% from 11% earlier.
Tata Steel in talks to sell Netherlands business to SSAB Sweden.
Company has approved an internal restructuring of listed and unlisted Indian units.
Get the earnings fineprint here.
3. Nifty Climbs Above 12,700; U.S. Stocks Rise
India’s benchmark equity indices rose, adding to a weekly gain, as investors assessed the prospects of an exit from the pandemic.
The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.2% to 43,443 after seesawing between gains and losses.
The NSE Nifty 50 Index also climbed by a similar magnitude to 12,719.
Both gauges reached record highs on Wednesday and completed second week of gains by rising 3.7%.
Indian equity markets are open for a special Muhurat trading session on Saturday and closed for a holiday on Monday.
Follow the day’s trading action here.
The world’s largest vaccine maker is ramping up production of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 shot, aiming to have 100 million doses ready by December for an inoculation drive that could begin across India that same month.
If final-stage trial data show AstraZeneca’s candidate gives effective protection from the virus, the Serum Institute of India Ltd. -- which is partnered to produce at least one billion doses -- may get emergency authorisation from New Delhi by December, said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of the family-owned firm based in the western city of Pune.
The haste underlines Poonawalla’s confidence in one of the main vaccine front-runners.
7. India’s Fuel Demand Fuels Optimism
India reported its first yearly increase in petroleum consumption since February, proving the fuel-guzzling nation’s demand is back despite rising coronavirus cases.
Total petroleum demand rose 2.7% year-on-year in October, reaching 17.8 million tons, according to provisional data published by the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell.
Road fuels reached pre-pandemic levels, but it was demand for naphtha that really soared.
The recovery by the world’s third-biggest crude consumer could help to consolidate this week’s rally in oil prices.
8. Future Group Creditors Get Uneasy
Some investors in Amazon.com Inc.’s Indian partner Future Group are getting cold feet as a dispute between the two drags on.
More signs of creditor unease emerged this week.
Major money manager Kotak Mutual Fund said it had sold part of its bond holdings of group firm Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd. at a 25% discount in the secondary market.
The dollar bonds of Future Retail Ltd., the group’s flagship company, are still trading in stressed territory after tumbling last month on the spat.
Amazon and Future Group, whose assets RIL recent agreed to buy, are locked in a disagreement over that deal.
9. Coronavirus Is Worsening Delhi’s Air Pollution Crisis
Air pollution from the annual burning of stubble across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab has yet again covered New Delhi in a thick smog.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Government intervention and higher sales of Happy Seeders--a tool to minimise stubble--have not been enough to end the haze.
Despite reports of fewer fires in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh this year and a smaller area burned in Punjab, the sheer number of fires in that state — the epicenter of India’s seasonal crop burning — is already the highest since 2016, turning satellite monitoring images of the region into a sea of red.
It’s possible that the pandemic itself is making matters worse, writes David Fickling.
10. Disney+ Booms In India
The growth of Walt Disney Co.’s streaming service in India and Indonesia has been staggering, with the countries now accounting for more than a quarter of its 73.7 million customers globally.
What’s less staggering is the price most of the subscribers pay: Even the premium plan is just $20 a year.
That’s a fraction of the $70 that U.S. customers shell out and illustrates the challenge the company faces as it takes its streaming platform to more countries.
India, with its massive population, has the potential to become the biggest market for Disney+.