BQuick On Oct. 22: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
A man reads a newspaper while riding on board a Star Ferry Co. vessel, owned by Wharf Holdings Ltd., in Hong Kong, China (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Oct. 22: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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

1. India Sets Aside Funds For Covid-19 Vaccination Drive

India’s government has set aside Rs 50,000 crore ($7 billion) to vaccinate the world’s second-most populous country against the coronavirus, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration estimates an all-in cost of about $6-$7 per person, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.
  • The money provisioned so far is for the current financial year ending March 31 and there will be no shortage of further funds for this purpose, they added.

Here’s how India’s vaccine math would work out for 1.3 billion citizens.

2. SBI Cards Sees Spike In Bad Loans

SBI Cards & Payment Services Ltd. has reported a sharp rise in bad loans for the July-September quarter due to defaults brought on by the Covid-19 crisis.

  • The credit card NBFC, a subsidiary of India’s largest lender State Bank of India, reported a gross non-performing asset ratio of 4.3% compared with 1.4% as on June 30, a rise of 290 basis points.
  • The rise in bad loans would have been sharper had a Supreme Court order not come in the way.
  • In the ‘Gajendra Sharma vs Union of India’ case, popularly known as the interest-on-interest case, the top court of the country had ordered lenders to not downgrade accounts to NPA category after Aug. 31.

Most of the company’s asset quality stress is concentrated in the accounts that availed moratorium.

Also read: RBI Bars Payments Firms From Issuing Proprietary QR Codes

3. How Asian Paints And Bajaj Auto Fared In Q2

Asian Paints Ltd. saw demand rise as India eased lockdown curbs, while lower costs aided its margin in the second quarter.

  • Net profit rose 1% year-on-year to Rs 831.
  • Revenue increased 6% to Rs 5,350 crore.
  • Operating margin expanded from 18.9% to 23.7%.

Find out what aided the paintmaker’s financial results in the September quarter.

Bajaj Auto Ltd.’s profit fell in the first full quarter of operations after India eased lockdown curbs as sales remained under pressure.

  • Net profit fell 19% year-on-year to Rs 1,138 crore.
  • Revenue fell 7% over the year ago to Rs 7,156 crore.
  • Operating margin, however, rose to 17.7% from 16.6% a year ago.

Yet, the company is witnessing a demand revival outside India.

4. Nifty Ends Four-Day Win Streak, U.S. Stocks Rise

Indian equity markets ended their four-day winning streak after a choppy weekly expiry session. Benchmark indices continued to fluctuate between the day's high and the day's low, ending off the lowest point of the day.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.37% lower at 40,558 points while the NSE Nifty 50 failed to hold the mark of 11,900, ending 0.35% lower at 11,896.
  • Most sectoral indices recovered from the day’s low but ended with losses.
  • Broader markets outperformed the benchmarks for the second straight day.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

Globally, cases passed 41.3 million while deaths exceeded 1.1 million.

  • A resurgent pandemic is sweeping across Europe as the Netherlands joined Germany and at least six other nations in reporting a record gain in coronavirus infections.
  • AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson may resume U.S. trials as soon as this week after the companies previously halted testing when participants fell ill.

Follow the global spread of the virus here.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.