Top business & economy news of the day | India’s services sector expands at fastest rate; SBI net profit jumps 67%; Maruti Suzuki’s Dhanteras sales fall, and more

4:32 P.M.

SAIL expected to make investment under PLI scheme: Chairman Soma Mondal

SAIL Chairperson Soma Mondal
| Photo Credit: File


State-owned SAIL is expected to make investments under the PLI scheme for specialty steel as the steel giant is in process of “examining categories under the scheme.”

SAIL is evaluating the guidelines of the scheme and would reach a conclusion with respect to investments under it accordingly, according to company’s chairperson Soma Mondal.

4:15 P.M.

Sensex, Nifty slump ahead of Fed policy outcome

Equity indices Sensex and Nifty tumbled at market close today, ahead of U.S. Fed’s policy outcome.

Sensex fell 0.43% lower at 59,771.92, while Nifty declined 0.33% lower at 17,829.20.

The Fed is expected to announce the tapering of its asset purchase programme in the near-term while any hint on interest rate reversal is keeping investors on the edge.

The rupee appreciated by 22 paise to close at 74.46 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar. Separately, gold price tumbled by ₹375 to ₹46,411 per 10 grams.

3:05 P.M.

Only a third of financial claims have been recovered since IBC launch: Crisil

Only a third of financial claims of insolvent companies have been recovered since the launch of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), according to credit rating agency Crisil.

With only ₹2.5 lakh crore in recoveries, there is a need for a “stronger push” to make resolutions under the IBC process more effective, Crisil said, admitting that the law has tilted the power equation in favour of creditors from debtors.

3:02 P.M.

Credit Suisse to tighten reins after scandals

Swiss bank Credit Suisse said it will announce a new centralised structure to bring its several divisions in control, a move aimed at countering various public scandals.

Over the past year, Credit Suisse has been fined for arranging a fraudulent loan to Mozambique, tarnished by its involvement with defunct financier Greensill, racked up $5.5 billion in losses when U.S. family office Archegos collapsed, and been rebuked by regulators for spying on executives.

3:01 P.M.

SBI Q2 net profit jumps nearly 67%

State Bank of India’s (SBI) net profit for the quarter ended September rose 66.7% compared to last year, as provisions for bad loans more than halved.

Provisions for bad loans slid 52%, while the bank’s gross bad loan ratio slipped 4.9% from 5.32% a year earlier.

SBI’s shares were up 1% after the results.

3:00 P.M.

Cipla unit gets notice for termination of acquisition deal

Drug maker Cipla’s subsidiary InvaGen Pharmaceuticals has received a notice from U.S.-based Avenue Therapeutics for termination of the acquisition deal inked in 2018.

The drug major’s subsidiary acquired Avenue Therapeutics in 2018 for up to $215 million (₹1,560 crore).

2:58 P.M.

Maruti Suzuki’s Dhanteras sales fall

India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki said it sold around 13,000 units on the day of Dhanteras, lower than last year hampered by supply constraints due to semiconductor shortage.

On the other hand, Tata Motors stated its deliveries grew 94% on the same day.

Automakers’ federation body FADA has termed the current festive season the worst in terms of business in a decade for its retail partners across the country, as chip shortage impacted suppliers in the passenger vehicle segment.

2:50 P.M.

BMW reports higher Q3 profit

German luxury automaker BMW reported strong performance during the third quarter, driven by a better product mix and good price setting of new vehicles alongside a stable pricing trend of used vehicles.

The group posted third-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of 2.88 billion euros compared with 1.92 billion euros in the year-ago period. Its net profit rose to 2.58 billion euros compared with 1.81 billion euros in Q3 2020.

12:50 P.M.

Germany’s largest airline jumps back to profit

Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa returned to profits in the third quarter for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by of pandemic-related travel restrictions and demand for air travel during the summer months.

The group reported adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 17 million euros in the September ended quarter, compared with a loss of 1.262 billion euros a year ago.

12:20 P.M.

India’s services sector activity expands at fastest pace in a decade

The recovery of the Indian service sector was extended to October, with companies indicating that a notable pick-up in new business led to the fastest expansion in output in over a decade, according to IHS Markit’s monthly survey.

Rising from 55.2 in September to 58.4 in October, the seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index signalled the strongest rate of growth in ten-and-a-half years.

October data highlighted a sixteenth successive monthly increase in input costs at Indian services firms. The rate of inflation was at a six-month high and outpaced its long-run average.

11:45 A.M.

Adani Power to acquire Essar’s 1,200 MW project

The National Company Law Tribunal has approved Adani Power’s acquisition of Essar Power’s 1,200 MW thermal power project in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh.

Adani Group’s power unit had emerged as the successful bidder for the Essar Power’s project in June.  Essar Power M P Ltd is undergoing insolvency resolution under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

11:20 A.M.

Rupee rises against U.S. dollar

The Indian rupee continues to appreciate against the U.S. dollar. The domestic unit opened strong at 74.64 against the greenback and gained further ground to 74.54 in early deals, a rise of 14 paise over its previous close. The Indian currency was supported by a positive trend in domestic equities market.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.01% to 94.07.

10:45 A.M.

China’s Oct services activity expands

China’s services sector activity expanded at a faster pace in October, driven by strong demand, according to a private survey.

The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 53.8 in October – the highest since July – from 53.4 in September.

“Supply and demand recovery both retained momentum. Employment was more or less stable. Gauges for prices were high,” Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group, said.

10:20 A.M.

ByteDance founder steps down as chairman

ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming.

ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming.
| Photo Credit: Reuters


ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming has stepped down as chairman of the company. He will be succeeded by Liang Rubo, the new chief executive of the Chinese firm. Zhang had announced his resignation as ByteDance CEO in May.

The development comes a day after Rubo announced a major organisational reshuffle at ByteDance by creating six business units. He also noted that ByteDance CFO Shou Zi Chew will step down to focus on running TikTok fulltime.

9:55 A.M.

Oil prices dip

Oil prices dipped as industry data indicated a large build up in crude oil and distillate inventory in the U.S. Brent crude futures fell by 1.2%, to $83.74 a barrel, while U.S. WTI crude futures dropped by 1.5% to $82.65 a barrel. Crude stocks rose by 3.6 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 29.

9:25 A.M.

Asian markets update; Sensex opens

Indian indices opened higher amid mixed global cues. The Sensex opened at 60,275.21 up 246.15 points after slipping over 100 points in the previous session. Similarly, the Nifty opened at 17,970.90, up 59 points after dropping 0.23% yesterday.

Asian stocks were mixed in the morning trade as investors await the Federal Reserve’s plans to taper its massive stimulus.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.33% in early trading. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.18%. South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.23%.

In U.S., all three major stock indexes touched intraday record highs during the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.39%, and the S&P 500 added 0.37%. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.34%.

9:00 A.M.

Morning note:

Concerned about stubbornly high inflation, major central banks across the world, have been moving forward with plans to raise rates. On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia signaled it would raise interest rates sooner than expected. 

Canada’s central bank suggested last week that it could do so as soon as April. The Bank of England is expected to increase rates when it meets on Thursday.

The Reserve Bank of India may also start winding back its loose monetary policy. The central bank has cut the repo rate – from 6.25% in February to 4% in October 2021 – and embarked on a liquidity infusion plan. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve will wrap up its two-day policy meeting later today. Investors will look for cues on the Fed’s thinking on policy rates.

In another major development, Barclays Plc.’s CEO Jes Staley stepped down under pressure from regulators over how he characterised his ties with convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein. C.S. Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, will replace Staley as CEO, and continue his predecessor’s strategy of betting big on investment banking. – John Xavier


—-  Edited by John Xavier


(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)

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