BQuick On Nov. 19: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes    
People ride on an escalator. (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

BQuick On Nov. 19: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes   

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

1. Vodafone Idea’s Saviours?

A consortium backed by Oaktree Capital has offered to provide at least $2 billion of funding to Vodafone Group Plc’s listed Indian arm, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News.

  • Oaktree teamed up with several other firms including Varde Partners for the potential deal with Vodafone Idea Ltd., according to the people.

  • The Indian carrier has also been speaking to other potential investors.

A fund infusion is critical for Vodafone Idea’s survival.

2. Titan’s 'Mid-Teens' Festive Growth

Shares of Titan Co. jumped to the highest in nine months after the nation’s largest branded jewellery maker saw its mainstay business grow in mid-teens during the festive month.

  • “The company saw good traction across all its businesses in the festive season. The jewellery business witnessed mid-teens growth (around 15%) for the 30-day festive season starting from Dussehra till Diwali over the corresponding period last year, with a decent recovery in studded jewellery sales,” the owner of ‘Tanishq’ brand said in an exchange filing.

  • Besides, Titan said the watches and wearables business did quite well in the festive season with recovery close to last year levels.

Read more here.

3. Nifty Snaps Record-Breaking Rally

Indian equity markets witnessed a sell-off in the second half of the weekly options expiry session.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 1.3% or 580 points lower at 43,599, its biggest drop in nearly a month.

  • The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 166 points to close at 12,771.

  • Both benchmark indices snapped four-day gaining streaks.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

8. What RBI’s First Regulatory Sandbox Picks Hope To Do

Nearly a year after opening up the process of enrolling new financial technologies into its regulatory sandbox, the Reserve Bank of India has selected six products, two of which have initiated testing.

  • After facing a short delay on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, two of the six selected entities— Jaipur-based Natural Support Consultancy Services Pvt. (eRupaya) and New Delhi’s Nucleus Software Exports Ltd. (PaySe)—began testing their fintech products on Nov. 16, the RBI said earlier this week.

  • It didn’t disclose the other four products that are yet to begin testing.

  • Even as the broader theme was “retail payments”, the banking regulator has chosen to focus on offline payment solutions for the unserved and underserved segments of the population in picking products for testing.

Here's what eRupaya and PaySe offer in rural areas.

9. New Covid-19 Cases In India Hit One-Week High

India’s coronavirus cases, amid signs of slowing, moved closer to the 90-lakh-mark as it reported the most cases in a day since Nov. 12.

  • India added over 45,000 fresh cases in a matter of 24 hours, taking the total tally to over 89.1 lakh.

  • That includes nearly 83.3 lakh recoveries and 1.3 lakh deaths.

Track news and developments about the outbreak in India here.

More Promise On The Vaccine Front

The University of Oxford confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine it’s developing with AstraZeneca Plc produced strong immune responses in older adults in an early study, with key findings from the last phase of tests expected in the coming weeks.

  • The results, published Thursday in The Lancet medical journal, shed more light on preliminary data released in recent months showing the experimental shot generated an immune response in the elderly, who are at highest risk of severe illness.

Researchers still await late-stage trial results that will show whether the vaccine can meet the high bar set by Pfizer and Moderna.

Also read: Russia Cases Top 2 Million; Tokyo on Highest Alert: Virus Update

10. Jail, Bail, And Judgment By Adjournment

The Supreme Court’s failure to decide Mehbooba Mufti’s habeas corpus petition in time calls into question the most basic assumptions underlying our liberal Constitution, writes Abhinav Chandrachud.

  • No matter what the outcome, it is essential for courts to swiftly decide bail applications.

  • In every bail case, a court must be cognizant of the fact that an accused person has been put behind bars on the mere apprehension that he has committed a crime – it would be manifestly unfair to keep him there unless a court finds reasons for doing so.

The Mufti case, therefore, paints a disturbing picture of the legal system in our country.

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