BQuick On Oct. 15: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
A man sips a glass of chai as another reads a newspaper in front of an auto-rickshaw in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Oct. 15: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. Global Markets Slump After Sensex, Nifty’s Tumble

Stocks slumped around the world as Europe’s biggest cities clamped down to curb the coronavirus amid waning prospects for more economic stimulus. Treasuries and the dollar rallied.

  • The S&P 500 fell for a third day as traders also assessed data showing an unexpected surge in U.S. jobless claims to the highest since August.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index decreased by 2.4%.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 1.1%.

Track global market updates here.

Gone In 120 Minutes

Indian markets posted their biggest single-day decline in three weeks amid volatility on account of weekly options expiry, pausing 10 straight sessions of gains.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex fell more than 1,000 points, or 2.6%, to end the day at 39,728. The NSE Nifty 50 dropped close to 300 points, or 2.43%, at 11,680.
  • That snapped the longest winning streak in over a decade for Sensex, and Nifty’s best run of gains in more than five years.
  • With Thursday’s fall, Nifty has given up gains worth six of the last 10 sessions.

Here are some highlights of the trading session today.

IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath has called for a more direct fiscal support and additional monetary easing to help India recover faster from the pandemic-induced economic slump.

  • While Gopinath acknowledges the fiscal constraints faced by countries like India when compared to advanced economies, she said there’s “scope to do more”.
  • India has deployed about 7% of its GDP in fiscal measures, she said in an interview with Quintillion Media’s Sanjay Pugalia, but it’s been mostly to help with liquidity in the form of lending support and credit guarantees.
  • She pegs direct spending by the government much lower, at around 2% of the GDP.

The IMF recommended a more direct fiscal stimulus in India, expanding to both urban poor and rural migrant workers.

6. Tata Group Chases E-Commerce Deals

Tata Group, India’s conglomerate that sells almost everything from cars to apparel and steel, is seeking to buy Indian online retailers to beef up its presence in e-commerce, people familiar with the matter said.

  • The group has reached out to IndiaMart InterMesh Ltd., a business-to-business marketplace, for a potential stake purchase, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are confidential.
  • IndiaMart’s shares have surged 140% in Mumbai this year, giving it a market value of about $2 billion.
  • Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt., commonly known as BigBasket, is also among Tata’s potential investment targets, one of the people said.

Tata Group is scouting for local e-commerce assets at a time when the race for Indian online shoppers is heating up.

7. Why Analysts Have Turned Cautious On IEX

Indian Energy Exchange Ltd., the nation’s largest electricity trading platform and a stock that had 100% 'buy' recommendations till recently, has received two back-to-back ‘sell’ ratings.

  • Spark Capital and Axis Capital downgraded the stock to ‘Sell’. The 10 other brokerages that track the company recommend ‘Buy’.
  • That comes when IEX has surged more than 37% year-to-date, beating most power sector peers and benchmarks.
  • The exchange allows distribution companies to buy power to meet the seasonal shortfall and benefit from lower tariffs. It has a near-monopoly in the business.

Yet, Spark Capital and Axis Capital are no longer bullish. Find out why.

Also read: Q2 Results: 10 Mid Caps To Watch Out For This Earnings Season

8. NPS Fund Managers To Charge Higher Fee?

Fund managers of the National Pension Scheme will soon be able to charge a higher fund management fee.

  • A committee, comprising members of Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority as well as representatives of the mutual fund industry, is finalising a proposal for a new fee structure for the fund managers of the NPS, Supratim Bandyopadhyay, chairman at the regulator, said at a virtual conference Thursday.
  • The committee will likely submit its report next week.
  • It will be discussed at PFRDA’s board meeting in November, and once the proposal for the higher fee structure is cleared, “requests for proposal” will be floated and institutions can apply to be pension fund managers, Bandyopadhyay said.

Read more here.

9. BARC Halts TV Ratings For News Channels

The Broadcast Audience Research Council temporarily stopped publishing weekly ratings of niche genres of Hindi, regional English and business news channels, days after the Mumbai Police started investigating alleged manipulation by Arnab Goswami's Republic TV and two other media companies.

  • The board of the ratings council proposed that its technical committee review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres, BARC said in a statement.
  • The move is aimed at improving statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts to infiltrate the panel homes—households reviewed to compile rating.

Starting with the news genre, this exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks including validation and testing.

Also read: Bollywood Vs News Channels: Hate Fanned Against Film Industry, Says Petition

10. India’s Ultra-Rich Keep Getting Richer

India’s ultra-rich saw their wealth grow in the past year, defying the turbulence triggered in global markets by the pandemic.

  • The combined net worth of the nation’s billionaires rose by more than a third between April 2019 and July 2020, according to the Billionaire Insights Report 2020 published by UBS and PwC.
  • And it has surged 90% since 2009 to $422.9 billion—to rank sixth in the world.
  • Globally, total billionaire wealth reached $10.2 trillion as on July 2020, touching a new high after the year’s V-shaped rebound in asset prices.

Billionaires on the wrong side of economic, technological, societal and environmental trends are becoming less wealthy.

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