BQuick On Sept. 29: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
This is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.
1. India Considers Selling 25% Stake In LIC
India is planning to seek cabinet’s approval to sell 25% stake in the nation’s largest life insurer, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News.
- The Narendra Modi government plans to amend the act of parliament under which the state-run Life Insurance Corp. of India was set up to prepare for the sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions were private.
- The timing of the insurer’s initial public offering will be depend on market conditions, and the sale is likely to be done in tranches, they added.
A stake sale in LIC will help the government bolster its finances amid the pandemic.
2. SEBI Board Decisions
Securities and Exchange Board of India announced a series of approvals to debenture trustee, delisting and alternative investment funds regulations, late on Tuesday evening.
Here are the key highlights:
3. Nifty Flat; U.S. Stocks Fluctuate
Indian equity markets took a breather after strong gains over the last two days.
- The S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty 50, ended 8 and 5 points lower at 37,973 and 11,222 respectively.
- Banks were the major laggards today, with the Nifty Bank index falling 1.2% and the PSU Bank index ending 2.2% lower.
- The outperformers of the day were metal stocks.
Follow the day’s trading action here.
Hospitals in several Indian states are struggling for medical oxygen as the country’s pandemic surges at the fastest rate in the world and manufacturers scramble to plug the gaps in the supply and transportation.
- Most plants producing medical oxygen are concentrated in eastern and western India, leaving large areas of the densely populated north and center without quick access to the essential medical supply.
- The capital, New Delhi, and the states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, with a combined population of some 200 million don’t have a single unit manufacturing oxygen.
Apart from the pressure to produce more medical grade oxygen, manufacturers are also dealing with a storage problem.
7. Covid-19 And Insurance: Who Pays?
IndiaSpend spoke to families around India that struggled to get insurance claims paid for Covid-19 treatment and found that they had been turned away on multiple grounds -- the price charged by private hospitals, pre-existing ailments, or the ‘mildness’ of their Covid.
- Even patients covered by insurance are paying for their own Covid care as a three-way conflict rages between insurance companies, private hospitals and government regulators over the cost of treatment and the amount insurers must reimburse.
- These uncertainties affect patients who have bought, or want to buy, health insurance to protect themselves from high-priced Covid-19 treatment.
- Besides regulation by government agencies like the IRDAI, customers have approached various courts to seek regulation of Covid-19 treatment prices at private hospitals and complaining about non-reimbursement of claims by insurance companies.
Read the full story here.
8. Separating The Wheat From The Chaff In India’s Farm Policy
The recently enacted farm laws should have brought joy to the farming community. On the contrary, the farmer agitations against them are growing and gaining ground. Why? Shweta Saini offers some answers.
- A known devil is always better than an unknown angel.
- Agricultural Produce Market Committee markets—for all their inefficiencies and corruption—are functioning.
- Unless the new system is able to establish its benefits, the discomfort and uncertainty will prevail pushing farmers away from being subjected to these risks.
There are some gaps in the laws too, that need to be fixed. Read more.
9. Amnesty Shuts India Office Blaming ‘Witch Hunt’
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International said it has been forced to halt its India operations amid “constant harassment” from government agencies, including the freezing of its bank accounts in the country.
- “This is latest in the incessant witch-hunt of human rights organizations by the government of India over unfounded and motivated allegations,” Amnesty International India said in a statement on Tuesday.
- Amnesty International said its India unit’s bank accounts have been suspended earlier this month and it was compelled to let go of staff and halt its research and campaigning activities in the country.
The rights group has faced multiple investigations in India over the last few years.
10. India's Rich List: 77-Year-Old New Entrant
The personal net worth of Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani rose by 73% to Rs 6.58 lakh crore, helping him retain the title of being the richest Indian for the ninth consecutive year with a wider margin.
- Gujarat-based Gautam Adani, who is diversifying into many businesses, saw a 48% rise in his wealth to Rs 1.40 lakh crore and moved up two places in rankings to being the fourth richest Indian, the report prepared by Hurun in association with IIFL Wealth said.
- Cyrus Mistry and Shapoor Mistry of Shapoorji Pallonji group, which is seeking to sell its 18% stake in Tata Sons Pvt., saw a 1% decline in their wealth at Rs 76,000 crore each.
- On the back of a blockbuster IPO, 77-year-old Ashok Soota of Happiest Minds debuted on the list with a net worth of Rs 3,700 crore.
Find out more about how the pandemic hit India’s richest.