BQuick On Nov. 26: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
The sun rises beyond the Singapore Flyer in Singapore (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Nov. 26: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. Lakshmi Vilas Bank Shareholders Denied Interim Relief

The Bombay High Court has denied interim relief to the shareholders of Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. who had sought a stay on the lender’s merger with the Indian subsidiary of Singapore’s DBS Bank Ltd.

  • The bank’s shareholders approached the court challenging the merger on various grounds, including cancellation of their existing shares in the bank.
  • Indiabulls Housing Finance also challenged certain aspects of the scheme floated by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The high court will later pass a detailed order giving reasons for rejecting the interim relief, it said.
  • Counsel for the shareholders alleged that DBS Bank India had been given a “free gift” under the scheme.

Here are the key arguments made by both parties before Bombay High Court.

2. Laurus Labs’ Finds ‘Fourth Lever Of Growth’

Pharmaceutical ingredients maker Laurus Labs Ltd. has found its “fourth lever of growth” in the biotech space, according to Chief Executive Officer Satyanarayana Chava, and its most recent acquisition will fast-track this ambition.

  • “The gestation period to enter the biotech space is a 6-7 years,” he told Bloomberg Quint’s Menaka Doshi in an interview. “Our idea is to cut down this gestation period significantly by making an acquisition.”
  • On Nov. 26, Laurus Labs closed a Rs 250-crore deal to acquire a majority stake in Richcore Lifesciences, marking its entry into the biotech space. It currently has three divisions: active pharmaceutical ingredients, formulations and synthesis.

Chava expects a significant return from the investment to come from Richcore’s contract manufacturing. More details here.

3. Nielsen Cuts India’s FMCG Growth Forecast, Again

India’s FMCG sector is expected to contract more than expected in 2020, owing to the lingering effects of the Covid-19 lockdown in the April-June quarter, Nielsen India said.

  • The market researcher has cut the growth forecast for India’s consumer goods makers to -3% to -1% from the earlier projection of -1% to 1%.
  • This is the third time Nielsen India has made a downward revision to the consumer sector’s outlook this year.
  • At the start of 2020, the forecast was pegged at 9-10%, which was later revised to 5-6% and then to -1 to 1%.

Consumption was partly aided by rural demand. Still, that may not have aided recovery for the full year.

4. Nifty’s Second Best F&O Series Of 2020

Indian equity markets saw a sharp surge in the final hour of trading to end the November F&O expiry session on a strong note.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 1% higher at 44,259 points while NSE Nifty 50 index recovered over 200 points from the day's low to end just below the 13,000-mark.
  • For the November Series, the Sensex ended with gains of 11.7% while the Nifty ended 11.5% higher. Out of the 20 sessions this series, the Nifty gained in 16 of them—the best since April F&O Series.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

10. Trump-Bump, Troll Factories And Lessons For Indian News Media

If we have learned anything from the news nightmares of the last four years in the U.S., it is that alternate news media doesn’t sound the death knell of journalism with integrity, writes Parry Ravindranathan.

  • The media has been split along partisan lines for some time and both sides of the aisle have benefitted hugely from it.
  • You have several instances today where a set of media will interpret a story or even economic data in completely opposing ways.
  • Credible news media organisations will need to evolve from being stuck in a vicious news cycle generated by any one character.

Read more.

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