BQuick On Nov. 2: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
A passenger reads a newspaper as he rides on a train during the morning rush hour in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

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

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

1. Ambani Loses $7 Billion As RIL Shares Sink

Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, lost almost $7 billion from his net worth as Reliance Industries Ltd.’s shares tumbled the most in over seven months following a drop in quarterly profit.

  • The stock of India’s most-valuable company closed 8.6% lower in Mumbai.

  • The slide also shaved down Ambani’s wealth to about $71 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Slip in RIL’s earnings highlights the increasing need for it to reduce its dependence on oil and gas.

Also read: Most Analysts Remain Bullish On RIL, Unfazed By Profit, Revenue Drop In Q2

2. Banks Cushion Nifty; Oil Touches 5-Month Low

Indian equity markets ended a volatile trading session little changed, after banking stocks managed to offset the fall in the RIL stock.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.4% or 143 points higher at 39,757.

  • The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 23 points higher at 11,653.

  • The Nifty Bank index gained nearly 1,000 points, ending 4.1% higher at 24,892.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

U.S. equity markets started Monday with gains as investors prepared for a crucial week spanning the presidential election and a Federal Reserve meeting.

  • The S&P 500 climbed 1% following last week’s sharp selloff.

  • Equity benchmarks across Europe and Asia were also higher, and investors took comfort in data that showed strength in China’s economic expansion.

  • Oil prices touched a five-month low after Libya accelerated production and the U.K. joined other European countries in toughening travel restrictions.

Get your daily fix of global markets.

Also read: Q2 Results Review: Private Banks Bruised But Not Battered By Covid-Hit

3. HDFC’s Profit Slips In Q2

Housing Development Finance Corp.’s earnings declined in the quarter ended September on account of lower revenue and a one-time gain a year earlier.

  • Net profit plunged 27.5% to Rs 2,870 crore.

  • Net interest income, however, rose 21% to Rs 3,647 crore.

  • Total advances rose 10% to Rs 5.4 lakh crore.

Find out more details about the housing financiers Q2 earnings here.

Also read: Q2 Results Review: Private Banks Bruised But Not Battered By Covid-Hit

4. Manufacturing PMI At Decade High

A gauge of activity across India’s manufacturing sector jumped to the highest in more than a decade as sales continued to surge.

  • The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 58.9 in October 2020—the highest since mid-2008—from 56.8 in September.

  • New orders and output at Indian manufacturers continued to recover from the Covid-19-induced contractions seen earlier in the year.

Yet, manufacturers recorded a further reduction in employment. Find out more.

5. Bajaj Clocks Record Sales; TVS, Ashok Leyland Rise

Auto sales continued to improve in October as vehicle manufacturers ramped up production anticipate strong sales during the ongoing festive season.

  • Bajaj Auto Ltd.’s two-wheeler sales rose 18% to 4.7 lakh units, its highest ever monthly sales.

  • TVS Motor Co. sales grew 22% to 3.94 lakh units.

  • Hinduja flagship firm Ashok Leyland Ltd. reported 1% increase in total commercial vehicle sales at 9,989 units.

Get a complete picture of how automakers fared in October here.

6. The Form That Split The Patent World

There are those who believe that patent holders shouldn’t be asked to make disclosures that hurt innovation. There are others who emphasise that innovation shouldn’t be rewarded at the cost of public interest.

  • This summarises the diametrically opposite views on the newly notified Form 27 under the Patents Act, 1970.

  • The form requires patent holders to disclose the extent to which a patent has been worked in India—details of its commercial use and whether the public requirement is reasonably being met.

Read this BQ Blue Exclusive to see why the form has been so divisive for intellectual property law experts.

7. NIIF's Maiden Road Purchase

India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd., backed by the central government and others including Canadian pension firms and sovereign wealth funds, has purchased its first road assets.

  • NIIF, which has a corpus of $4.3 billion, acquired Essel Devanahalli Tollway in the southern state of Karnataka and Essel Dichpally Tollway in Telangana through its NIIF Master Fund, it said in a statement Monday.

Attracting foreign investment is crucial to Modi’s goal of spending $1.5 trillion on infrastructure over the next five years.

Also read: Government Extends MSME Loan Guarantee Scheme By One Month

8. SBI Life’s Bullish Outlook

SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd. expects the second half of this year to be much better as its new business collections improve every month.

  • “This quarter (ended Sept. 30) has been better than the previous one, and sequentially every month we are registering growth,” Sangramjit Sarangi, president and chief financial officer at SBI Life, said in an emailed response.

The sector coming out of this crisis looks completely revamped, the life insurer said. Read more.

Related Coverage

9. Nitish Kumar's Confidence

Bihar’s incumbent Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party government has shown above-average performance during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the proof will be visible in the upcoming election results, according to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

  • “I don’t talk about it so many people won’t know this,” Kumar told Quintillion Media’s Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia in an interview, referring to job creation and pandemic relief work in the country’s third-most populous state.

  • The Bihar government has offered Rs 1,000 as aid to over 21 lakh people during the pandemic, he said, over and above the free ration provided by the state and centre.

Kumar also touted Bihar's Covid-19 testing rates.

10. What Modi Can Learn From Nehru And Shastri About U.S. And China

India cannot merely depend on American firearms to contain China, writes Raghav Bahl.

  • India’s 1962 border war with China provided the U.S. with an unexpected opportunity to help India.

  • When Delhi came asking Washington in 1965 to shore up its wheat aid programme, known as PL-480, President Johnson said no.

  • United by this indignity, India’s politicians and scientists launched a frontal attack on low crop yields.

  • Just as we became self-sufficient in agriculture then, we must ignite an economic revolution with double-digit growth and lessen the six-time differential with China.

Read more.

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