BQuick On Oct. 30: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  
A man walks a horse past a food stall along Galle Face promenade as a dredging vessel operates at the construction site for the Colombo Port City development in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photographer: Atul Loke/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On Oct. 30: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

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

1. Nasdaq Drops 3%; Nifty Extends Losing Streak

U.S. stocks dropped, extending their worst weekly rout since March, after earnings from the biggest tech companies disappointed investors concerned that a slowing economy will damp profit.

  • The Nasdaq 100 led losses among major U.S. stock gauges, dropping as much as 3% after Apple Inc.’s iPhone sales and Twitter Inc.’s user growth both missed estimates, though Google parent Alphabet Inc. jumped after reporting a rebound in digital advertising.
  • The S&P 500 extended its weekly decline to about 6%.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.7% to $35.55 a barrel.

Get your daily fix of global markets.

Indian stocks fell for a third consecutive session as economic concerns weighed on investor sentiment in a volatile week of trading.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.3% to 39,614.07, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index slid 0.2%.
  • Both gauges erased earlier gains to clock their worst weekly decline since the end of September.
  • A measure of volatility climbed to its highest level since early August..

Follow the day’s trading action here.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.’s quarterly profit rose on the back of a dominating market share that rose despite the pandemic.

  • Net profit rose 13.2% sequentially to Rs 2,844 crore.
  • Revenue rose 5.5% to Rs 17,481 crore— in line with the Rs 17,628-crore estimate.
  • Average revenue per user rose for the fourth straight quarter to Rs 145 per month.

Jio is the first Indian telecom provider to cross 40-crore customer mark.

3. It’s A Buyers Market And Home Sales Are Back

Homebuyers are taking benefit of record-low interest rates, relief in statutory levies and discounts by developers in Mumbai, India’s financial hub, helping real estate demand recover after the Covid-19 lockdown and migration of construction workers crippled the sector.

  • According to data by PropStack, sales registrations are at 90% of the pre-Covid levels in the city.
  • Innovative deals and discounts by developers coupled with unprecedentedly low loan rates and the Maharashtra government’s limited-period stamp duty incentive are driving sales.

It’s not just Mumbai. Other metros have also seen a rebound. But will this recovery sustain?

BQuick On Oct. 30: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

4. DHFL Administrator’s Legal Adviser Pushes Back Wadhawans’ Offer

AZB & Partners, legal adviser to the administrator for Dewan Housing Finance Corp., has said a settlement offer by the promoters of the home financier can’t be considered, according to two people familiar with the matter.

  • The response came after the Wadhawan family offered to repay lenders Rs 43,000 crore from family assets.
  • According to the people quoted above, the legal adviser has raised two primary objections.

Find out what the law firm is expecting DHFL to offer.

5. IndusInd's Profit More Than Halves

IndusInd Bank Ltd.’s profit fell by more than half in the quarter ended September as provisions rose over the year ago.

  • Net profit dropped 53% year-on-year to Rs 663 crore in the July-September period.
  • Net interest income, or core income for the bank, rose 12.7% to Rs 3,278 crore.

Its asset quality improved in the reported quarter.

Related Coverage

6. Why Private Equity Has Its Eyes On Indian Pharma

Investments into India’s pharmaceutical and healthcare companies have jumped more than fourfold so far this year as the pandemic aided growth for the sector while decimating demand in the rest of the economy.

  • The sector has seen 19 deals valued at more than $1.56 billion (Rs 11,762 crore) during the period, according to data compiled by Axis Capital.
  • That’s the highest deal activity in the sector in recent years.
  • The heightened interest in the sector comes when companies are keen to move part of their supply chain away from China.

More details here.

7. After A 350% Surge, This Firm Eyes Boosting Capacity

Indian pharmaceutical company Laurus Labs Ltd. plans to spend as much as $202 million over the next 24 months to expand its production capacity, according to its chief executive officer.

  • “We have a good visibility of orders going forward and this large capital outlay will help us meet the needs of the customers,” Satyanarayana Chava, also the company’s founder, said in a phone interview Thursday after it reported second-quarter profit that rose more than fourfold.
  • Laurus, which supplies ingredients used in antiretrovirals to treat HIV, has seen its stock surge 350% so far in 2020, the second-biggest gain on the 69-member S&P BSE Healthcare Index, which is up 44%.

Find out what Laurus Labs will do with its increased capacity.

BQuick On Oct. 30: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

8. Festive Gold Sales Could Be Worst In A Over A Decade

Jewelers in India may be staring at their worst sales in the key festival quarter in 12 years, as the coronavirus pandemic slams the ability of buyers, especially in cities, to purchase gold.

  • Demand typically jumps in the last three months of the year, when the biggest Hindu festivals combine with the peak wedding season to boost sales.
  • This year, the outbreak and weak economic growth are likely to push sales below last year’s 194 tonne to the lowest quarterly numbers since 2008, according to Chirag Sheth, a consultant at London-based Metals Focus Ltd., which provides data to the World Gold Council.

Still, demand will fare better than the first nine months of the year. Read more.

9. Ant IPO: $3-Trillion Retail Frenzy

The biggest initial public offering of all time has unleashed an investor frenzy for the record books.

  • Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. attracted at least $3 trillion of orders from individual investors for its dual listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai, enough money to buy JPMorgan Chase & Co. 10 times over.
  • Bidding was so intense in Hong Kong that one brokerage’s platform briefly shut down after becoming overwhelmed by orders.

Demand for the retail portion in Shanghai exceeded initial supply by more than 870 times.

10. Is It Finally Time To Look Beyond GDP?

The damage unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic might turn out to be the catalyst for weakening our fixation with gross domestic product.

  • A renewed push to demote GDP as a measure of economic welfare has emerged amid a crisis that brutally exposed gaps in healthcare and social safety nets.
  • The indicator has dominated for nearly a century, and its endurance has much to do with its simplicity. But GDP’s hegemony has come under assault in recent years.

Here’s what the big problem with GDP is.

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