BQuick On Sept. 23: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  
A train travels across a bridge as the sun rises over the LG corp. twin buildings in the Yeouido financial district of Seoul, South Korea. (Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

BQuick On Sept. 23: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

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

1. Tata And Mistry: The Beginning Of The End?

So what does the Tata-Mistry corporate divorce entail? Mostly money. Lots of it. Somewhere in the region of Rs 2 lakh crore or $27 billion, writes Menaka Doshi.

  • Agreeing on a valuation will be the first and most important step.
  • The amount is large but not insurmountable for a group like Tata.
  • Why, if Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio was able to raise over $20 billion in the midst of a pandemic, surely Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran can pull off the same.

The question is how?

2. Postpaid Wars: Jio Vs Airtel Vs Vodafone Idea

Analysts expect Vodafone Idea Ltd. to witness a churn among postpaid subscribers on account of new plans launched by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and poor connectivity, at a time the cash-strapped telecom operator rebranded itself to take on rivals in India’s fiercely competitive wireless market.

  • Reliance Jio’s new postpaid plus plans offer more content options than both Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea across price points.
  • But analysts see limited risks from these new plans for the Sunil Mittal-owned carrier.
  • Vodafone Idea’s weak financial position and a higher proportion of postpaid subscriber base make it more vulnerable to losses.

Find out more about Jio’s postpaid offerings and how they stack up against rivals’ plans.

BQuick On Sept. 23: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes  

3. Nifty Ends Lower For Fifth Day

Indian equity markets ended lower for the fifth straight day, after a volatile trading session that saw swings between gains and losses.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.17% lower at 37,668 while the NSE Nifty 50 index declined 0.18% at 11,134.
  • Both Sensex and Nifty posted their longest losing streak since early March.
  • HDFC Bank Ltd., Hindustan Unilever Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. were among the gainers, while the Bharti Airtel and Bharti Infratel Ltd. were the top laggards, with both ending 8% lower.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

8. ITC’s Biggest Brands

India’s best-selling branded wheat flour underscores how much ITC Ltd. has diversified outside its mainstay cigarette business.

  • Aashirvaad is worth Rs 6,000 crore as of fiscal ended March, up from Rs 4,600 crore a year earlier, according to an investor presentation by the company.
  • Sunfeast, a biscuits -to-breakfast cereal brand, follows at Rs 4,000 crore, up from Rs 3,800 crore in FY19.

Find out which are the other big brands for ITC.

9. Covid-19: India Cases Cross 56-Lakh-Mark

India’s total Covid-19 tally crossed 56 lakh even as the pace of the pandemic’s spread slowed down.

  • The country added a little over 83,000 new cases in a matter of 24 hours taking the total tally above 56 lakh.
  • This includes more than 45 lakh patients who have recovered and over 90,000 deaths.
  • Active cases dropped further to 9.68 lakh to constitute 17% of the total caseload.
  • Recoveries make up 81% of the tally, while the fatality rate remains below 1.6%.

Track developments around the Covid outbreak in India, here.

The ongoing pandemic has rekindled the debate over the cost of private and government healthcare: How is it that private hospitals, despite their exorbitant bills, claim that they are charging patients their best, most reasonable price while government hospitals charge little to nothing? How do government hospitals absorb this heavy cost?

  • IndiaSpend has investigated various aspects of the distortion in healthcare costs during the pandemic in its series ‘The Price of COVID.’
  • In IndiaSpend’s interviews with people from the corporate healthcare sector, a few common complaints came up which, these representatives said, explains why they need to charge higher prices: The Covid-19 lockdown meant that people postponed their elective surgeries; it also dried up the usually steady inflow of people with chronic illnesses that need regular in-facility interventions such as dial
  • A common explanation by hospital executives is that they do not get any financial help and must generate their own revenues and profits.

Read more here.

10. Heavy Rains Halt Mumbai

Authorities in Mumbai asked offices to close wherever possible and suspended rail services after India’s financial hub saw its wettest September day in three years.

  • Mumbai received about 29 centimeters of rains over the past 24 hours through Wednesday morning, government data show.
  • The weather office predicted moderate-to-heavy showers to continue through the day.
  • Train services, currently operational only for some essential workers like health care, food distribution or banking, were halted in certain parts after tracks got flooded.

More details here.

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