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Top economy and business news of the day| Maruti Suzuki profit plunges 65.3%; LPG price may be hiked further; Rising tea imports, cause of concern and more – The Hindu

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. File   | Photo Credit: PTI
Today’s agenda:
Google owner Alphabet Inc. and software major Microsoft reported their September ending quarterly earnings results. Google advertising revenue rose 41% to $53.1 billion during the third quarter. Alphabet’s overall sales jumped to $65.1 billion, above the average estimate of $63.3 billion among analysts tracked by Refinitiv.
Through its search engine, YouTube video service and partnerships across the Web, Google sells more internet ads than any other company.
Microsoft’s revenue in its "Intelligent Cloud" segment, which includes Azure, rose 31% to $17 billion. Demand for cloud services provided by Microsoft, Amazon’s AWS and Google Cloud has surged since last year as the pandemic pushed more activity online.
In other development, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma is said to touring research institutes in Europe to pursue his interests in agriculture technology. The embattled billionaire was seen at research facilities in Netherlands, according to a SCMP report.
At the International Monetary Fund, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva defended the fund’s actions in changing language on Brazil’s climate risks as part of an economic assessment after nearly 200 IMF staff demanded answers on the topic.
The petition asked whether Georgieva or her office acted to "order, ask or advise staff to remove specific language related to climate change" from Brazil’s annual Article IV staff report before it was sent to the IMF board and after objections from Brazil’s representative on the board.
In India, the Union government on Tuesday said it has issued 202 notices to e-commerce players for incorrect declaration of ‘country of origin’ on products on their platforms in the last one year. The country’s Finance Ministry has hiked Dearness Allowance for central government employees to 31% of the basic pay from 28% with effect from July 1, 2021.  – John Xavier
Our live blog below will be regularly updated with news on global economy, markets and corporations.
Sensex tumbled 207 points on Wednesday, weighed by losses in Axis Bank, Reliance Industries and Bajaj Finance amid a weak trend in global markets.
The 30-share index ended 206.93 points or 0.34% lower at 61,143.33. NSE Nifty fell 57.45 points or 0.31% to 18,210.95.
Axis Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack followed by Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, HUL and Tata Steel. On the other hand, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, Infosys, SBI and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
Gold in the national capital on Wednesday plunged by ₹244 to ₹46,747 per 10 grams from ₹46,991 per 10 grams in the previous trade, reflecting the decline in international precious metal prices, according to HDFC Securities.
Silver dipped ₹654 to ₹63,489 per kilogram from ₹64,143 per kilogram in the previous trade.
In the international market, gold was trading lower at $1,787 per ounce and silver declined marginally to $23.94 per ounce.
Automobile dealers’ body FADA on Wednesday sought legislation to look into the OEM-dealer issues as several foreign companies are shutting operations in the country.
The sudden exits adversely impact the consumers who are often left with no avenues for after-sales services and with resale value of their vehicles nose-diving.
After General Motors (2017), MAN Trucks (2018), UM Lohia (2019), Harley Davidson (2020), Ford is the fifth major auto OEM to stop domestic sales exiting a large and untapped India market.
Cooking gas LPG price may be hiked next week after under-recovery on the fuel widened to over ₹100 per cylinder. 
If allowed, this will be the fifth increase in cooking gas rates across all categories, households using subsidised gas for cooking and heating purposes, non-subsidised fuel and industrial-sized gas.
LPG rates were last hiked by ₹15 per cylinder on October 6, taking the total increase in rates since July to ₹90 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
The government has received a final dividend of ₹6,665 crore from privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) for the 2020-21 fiscal, DIPAM Secretary said on Wednesday.
The government is selling its entire 52.98% stake in BPCL. The sale is key to achieving the ₹1.75 lakh crore disinvestment target set for 2021-22.
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd’s net profit plunged 65.3% in the September-ended quarter as a worldwide semiconductor shortage hammered production at the country’s largest carmaker.
The company’s profit dropped to ₹4.75 billion for the September-ended quarter from ₹13.72 billion a year earlier.
Maruti cut production by 60% in September, citing the shortage. An estimated 116,000 vehicles could not be produced due to the electronics component shortage. Unit sales fell to 379,541 vehicles in the quarter from 393,130 units a year earlier, Maruti said.
PB Fintech, which operates insurance platform Policybazaar and credit comparison portal Paisabazaar, has fixed a price band of ₹940-980 a share for its ₹5,710-crore initial share sale, which will open on November 1.
The three-day initial public offering (IPO) will conclude on November 3. It comprises a fresh issue of ₹3,750 crore worth of equity shares and an offer for sale of about ₹1,960 crore by existing shareholders.
Delhi-based Vistara announced reciprocal partnership with Lufthansa for its frequent flyer programme .
Vistara runs its frequent flyer program under the name Club Vistara (CV), while the German airline under Miles & More. The partnership enables CV members to earn and redeem CV points on flights operated and marketed by Lufthansa, covering an extensive network of nearly 200 destinations across the world.
A body of tea planters expressed their concern over rising imports of the commodity and said a minimum price should be fixed for shipments arriving from overseas to protect the domestic units.
Indian Tea Association said imports in 2020 increased by 47% from 2019, and 176% in the first six months of the current year as against the corresponding period. Imports are taking place at extremely low prices which are much below the cost of domestic production, the planters’ body said.
Paytm will increase its initial public offer size to Rs 18,300 after the company’s biggest shareholder and existing investors decided to dilute more stake in the company. 
Digital financial services firm had planned to raise a total of Rs 16,600 crore by issuing fresh equity worth Rs 8,300 crore and another Rs 8,300 crore through an offer-for-sale.
After shareholders’ decision to dilute more equity, the offer-for-sale will go up by Rs 1,700 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. 
Last week, Paytm received SEBI’s nod for listing on both the Indian stock exchanges – BSE and NSE. 
Glasgow is hosting the United Nations’ climate conference, COP26, where world leaders will be discussing how their countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to minimise the impact of climate change. 
The world’s eyes are on the U.S. as opposition from two Democratic senators may force the Biden administration to scrap a plan that would incentivise utilities to switch to cleaner power sources faster. If Biden’s key plan A for how to reach the 2030 emission target fails, the world will want to see details of Plans B, C or D in Glasgow.
One unfinished task from the Paris conference is to make rules for carbon markets- how countries can trade carbon credits with each other, or between a country and a private company. The objective is to drive down emissions and provide revenue for developing countries. 
Capital markets regulator Sebi has proposed disclosure norms for domestic ESG mutual fund schemes amid increased interest and focus on investments in the ESG space globally. 
Sebi has proposed mandating disclosures pertaining to investment objectives, investment policy, investment strategy, sustainable objectives, disclosure of material risks, asset allocation and decision-making process of investing in the Scheme Information Documents (SIDs) for mutual funds which launch ESG schemes.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has sought comments from the public on the proposals till November 16. ESG, which refers to Environment Sustainability and Governance is gaining momentum due to the rising focus on sustainability.
Following this, Asset Management Companies (AMCs) in India have also been launching equity schemes in the ESG space under the thematic category. However, ESG investments are still at a nascent stage and there are no universally agreed norms and standards.
Google owner Alphabet Inc reported a third-quarter profit, beating expectations on strong Google ad sales. 
The company’s quarterly profit stood at $18.936 billion or $27.99 per share, as compared with expectations of $24.08 per share, marking a third-straight quarter of record profit. 
Google advertising revenue rose 41% to $53.1 billion during the third quarter. Alphabet’s overall sales jumped to $65.1 billion, above the average estimate of $63.3 billion among analysts tracked by Refinitiv.
The higher than expected ad sales show the business is overcoming new limits on tracking mobile users and online shopping is as popular as ever heading into the holiday season.
Microsoft’s third-quarter earnings beat market expectations on account of strong demand for cloud computing and Windows-powered machines.
The U.S. tech giant posted $20.5 billion profit in the September ended quarter. Its revenue climbed to $45.3 billion, a 22% rise from the same quarter last year.
Microsoft’s cloud computing unit generated $20.7 billion in revenue in the quarter, up 36% in a similar year-over-year comparison.
The company’s earnings from its Windows operating software being built into computers rose 10% despite chip shortages. 
The Indian equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty opened higher today amid mixed global cues. At 9:16 IST, the Sensex was up 0.27% at 61518.31 and the Nifty was up 0.21% at 18306.30.
Tech shares slipped as investors expect inflation to prompt interest rate hikes.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5% and Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.6%. Strong earnings had earlier propelled Wall Street indexes to fresh records and U.S. stock futures were flat in early trade.
Oil prices fell after an unexpected rise in fuel inventories and crude oil stockpiles in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer.
Brent oil futures fell 0.3%, to $86.15 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures declined 0.3%, to $84.39 a barrel.
Crude oil inventories rose 2.3 million barrels in the week ending Oct. 22 over the expected 1.9 million-barrel gain.
Gasoline inventories rose by 500,000 barrels and distillate stocks increased by 1 million barrels, compared with a forecast for both to drop.
—-  Edited by John Xavier
(With inputs from Reuters, PTI and other news agencies.)
Printable version | Nov 19, 2021 10:40:21 AM |
Oil prices have jumped from $22 each barrel to $85 in the last eight months, he said


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