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TN extends lockdown till June 28 with relaxations

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday extended the lockdown in the state by one more week till Monday, June 28, while further easing more restrictions.The state government has permitted resumption of public transport, with 50% occupancy and non-AC buses to be operated in four districts in and around Chennai region (Chennai Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet).Metro rail services will resume with 50% occupancy. Film and television serial shootings will resume with 100 people maximum.Dividing the state into three categories, the government retained existing restrictions in 11 districts in the west and central region. In 23 other districts, it has permitted more services and establishments to operate for extended hours.There is no travel restriction in four districts - Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet.Automobile showrooms and service centres can function. sports related training and sports competitions can be held without spectators in these four districts.All state government offices can function with 100% employees, while private offices can function with 50% attendance. Theatres will be permitted to undertake maintenance work once a week with prior approval.Food outlets can function from 6am to 9pm, but only parcel services provided. Tea shops can function from 6am to 7pm, but only parcel service is allowed in these four districts.In the four districts of Chennai region, people are permitted to travel in taxis and autos without e-registration.Private offices can function with 50% employees. Industries already permitted to function can now operate with 100% employees, while other industries can now resume operations with 33% workers.Shops selling vessels and opticals, besides photo copy shops and photo studios can function. Standalone provision, vegetables and fruits shops, besides meat shops can function from 6am to 7pm.In the 23 districts, including Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri and Vellore, standalone provision stores, vegetables and fruit shops as well as meat shops can function from 6am to 7pm.Food outlets can offer parcel services from 6am to 9pm. E-commerce food delivery services can operate during that time. Other e-commerce services also can operate during that time.State government offices involved in essential services can function with 100% employees, while other government offices are permitted to function with just 50% employees. All private offices will function with 33% employees while export units and their vendors are allowed to operate with 100% workers in these 23 districts.(With inputs from ToI)
Categories: Business News

Day trading guide for Monday's session

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
Motilal Oswal Financial ServicesNifty's OutlookAnalyst: Chandan Taparia, Derivative & Technical Analyst, MOFSLNifty index opened positive but failed to hold 15750 and declined sharply to 15450 levels in the initial half of the session on Friday. The latter part however saw good recovery from lower levels and the index closed above 15700 after covering the intraday losses. Technically, it formed a Bearish candle on a daily scale but presence of long lower shadow indicates that declines were quickly bought. Now, it has to hold above 15600 zones to witness an up move towards 15800 and 15900 zones while on the downside support can be seen at 15500 and 15450 zones. 83685659DERIVATIVESIndia VIX fell down by 3.22% from 15.28 to 14.79 levels. India VIX has come to the levels of Feb 2020 when it spiked to higher zones. Lower volatility indicates an overall bullish market bias but small bounce in VIX could give some volatile cues to the market. On option front, Maximum Put OI is at 15000 followed by 15500 strike while maximum Call OI is at 16000 followed by 15800 strike. Call writing is seen at 16200 then 15700 strike while minor Put writing is seen at 15000 then 15600 strike. Option data suggests a trading range in between 15400 to 16000 zones. Bank Nifty opened positive but failed to hold above 34750 zones and drifted towards 33908 levels. The second half of the session saw buying interest at lower levels and the index closed with marginal loss of around 50 points. It formed a Bearish candle on daily scale with long lower shadow and continues to form lower highs – lower lows from the last two sessions. Now it has to hold above 34500 zones to move towards 35000 and 35250 zones while on the downside support exists at 34000-33900 levels.NIFTY: BULL CALL SPREAD: +15750 CE - 15850 CE (24th June, 2021)BUY 1 LOT OF 15750 CALL @ 85SELL 1 LOT OF 15850 CALL @ 46 NET PREMIUM PAID: 39 POINTSKEEP SL OF NET PREMIUM OF 13 POINTS: RISK OF 26 POINTSKEEP TARGET OF NET PREMIUM OF 95 POINTS: REWARD OF 56 POINTSRATIONALE Major trend is positive and declines are being bought India VIX is sustaining at lower zones with hold in PCR OI suggesting an overall bullish undertone of the market. Put writing is intact at immediate strikes which could provide support to the market on declines.Fx TechnicalBy Mr. Kishore Narne, Head – Currency & Commodities, MOFSLUSD/INR Status: Current rally is likely to continue in the short-term! CMP: 74.01, Target: 74.65, Stop Loss: 73.40 Trade: The current up move for the pair is likely to continue in the short-term targeting 74.65. Dip around 73.80 will be a good buying opportunity. Support is placed at 73.40 83685673GBPUSD Status: The pair looks to trade with negative bias in short-term! CMP: 1.3820, Target: 1.3635, Stop Loss: 1.4025 Trade: The pair is likely to continue its weakness in the short-term and selling on rise around 1.39 is advised targeting 1.3635 mark. But our bias will negate if price break above 1.4025 83685679Commodity Calls:By Amit Sajeja, VP- Commodities, MOFSL 83685684
Categories: Business News

MS Sahoo on India's insolvency roadmap

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
Fuelled by a huge unsatiated appetite for freedom of exit, the insolvency law is changing the way society perceives business failures as it becomes a reform by, for, and of the stakeholders, according to IBBI Chairperson M S Sahoo.Little over five years after its enactment, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which provides a time-bound and market-linked framework for resolution of stressed assets, has passed the constitutional muster.In Sahoo's words, with every judgement of the Supreme Court, the Code has developed deeper and stronger roots, and probably boasts of the largest body of case laws.In value terms, the Code has rescued 70 per cent of distressed assets through insolvency resolution plans and has released remaining 30 per cent of such assets through liquidations.Sahoo, who has been at the helm of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) since its inception in October 2016, said the Code is changing the way the society perceives business failures.IBBI is a key institution in implementing the Code.According to the IBBI chief, by rescuing viable businesses through the insolvency process, closing unviable ones through liquidation, and facilitating voluntary liquidations, it is releasing the entrepreneurs from honest business failures."Firms, which may fail to withstand market pressures, would need to use the Code for either a re-organisation of business or a clean and dignified exit. 'Failing in succeeding' will soon be the new mantra for budding entrepreneurs in the country. Days are not far ahead when we will celebrate failure," Sahoo told PTI in an e-mail interview.Since the provisions of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) came into force on December 1, 2016, a total of 4,376 CIRPs have commenced till the end of March this year.Out of the total, 2,653 have been closed, including 348 CIRPs that ended in approval of resolution plans. As many as 617 CIRPs were closed on appeal or review or settled, while 411 were withdrawn and 1,277 ended in orders for liquidation, as per IBBI's latest quarterly newsletter.Citing the takeaways, Sahoo said that a huge unsatiated appetite for freedom of exit "made the Code a reform by, for, and of the stakeholders, and prohibition on undesirable persons to wrest control of a stressed company ushered in fair debtor-creditor relationship.Significant improvements in the score for resolving insolvency made doing business in India easier and emergence of new markets for resolution plans, interim finance and liquidation assets are among others.While pointing out that six amendments and dozens of subordinate legislation have kept the Code relevant with the changing needs and addressed implementation difficulties, Sahoo said that mostly importantly, "the rule of law got institutionalised in an anarchic stressful situation when the claims of all creditors together is inconsistent with the available assets of the company".All said, there are also misses but not many.Apart from the few missing elements such as cross border and group insolvency to complement corporate insolvency, Sahoo said that though the work has begun, an institutional framework for grooming a cadre of valuers is sometimes away."As compared to previous regime which took nearly five years for conclusion, the process under the Code yielding a resolution plan takes on average 400 days. It, however, falls short of intended 180/270 days," he said.He also pointed out that economic legislation is typically a skeleton structure and "judicial pronouncements provide flesh and blood to it" as well as resolve grey areas."While conceding the freedom to experiment to the legislature, the apex court proactively settled the jurisprudence, explained several conceptual issues, settled contentious issues, and resolved grey areas, at an unprecedented pace, bringing in clarity as to what is permissible and what is not," he emphasised.The Code has also helped in building a cadre of 3,500 insolvency professionals, three insolvency professional agencies, 80 insolvency professional entities, 4,000 registered valuers, 16 registered valuers' organisations, and one information utility.
Categories: Business News

China vaccine doses pass one billion mark

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
The number of Covid-19 jabs administered in China has passed the one billion mark, health officials said Sunday, more than a third of the doses given worldwide.The announcement by the National Health Commission comes after the number of shots administered globally surpassed 2.5 billion on Friday, according to an AFP count from official sources.It is unclear what percentage of China's population has now been inoculated but its vaccination drive got off to a slow start after a successful fight against the virus left little sense of urgency to get jabbed.A lack of transparency and previous vaccine scandals have also led to resistance among residents.Authorities have set an ambitious target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of the country's nearly 1.4 billion people by the end of this month.Some provinces are offering vaccines for free to encourage people to roll up their sleeves. Residents in central Anhui province have been given free eggs, while some living in Beijing have received shopping coupons.A recent outbreak of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus in the southern city of Guangzhou has also served as a wake-up call for many dragging their feet.China reported 23 new coronavirus cases Sunday.The country has four conditionally approved vaccines, whose published efficacy rates remain behind rival jabs by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have 95 percent and 94 percent success rates respectively.China's Sinovac previously said trials of its shot in Brazil showed around 50 percent efficacy in preventing infection and 80 percent in preventing cases requiring medical intervention.Sinopharm's two vaccines have efficacy rates of 79 percent and 72 percent respectively, while the overall efficacy for CanSino's stands at 65 percent after 28 days.Many of them require two doses.China is expected to produce more than three billion vaccine doses this year, state news agency Xinhua reported in April.Health authorities have not said when China will reach herd immunity or what proportion of its vaccine doses will be sold abroad.
Categories: Business News

Delhi unlock: Public parks, gardens to open in Delhi

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
In another phase of unlocking for the national capital, the Delhi government on Sunday announced further easing of restrictions, which were imposed due to the second Covid wave.In this phase of unlocking, Delhi will see the reopening of bars, public parks and gardens from Monday.As per the new guidelines:- Bars will become operational from Monday with 50 percent seating capacity from 12 pm to 10 pm.- Outdoor yoga activities will also be permitted from now on.- Private offices will run at 50% capacity from 9 am to 5 pm.- Restaurants to remain open with 50 percent capacity from 8 am to 10 pm.- Public parks, gardens and golf clubs have been allowed as part of the gradual unlock process in Delhi.- Delhi Metro and DTC buses will continue to operate with a 50 per cent seating capacity.- Auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws, Gramin Sewa can operate with two passengers while five passengers would be allowed in maxi cabs- The ban on marriages in public places will continue. However, wedding functions are allowed in homes and courts but only 20 people would be allowed.- In the case of funerals and last rites, only 20 people would be permitted.- All schools, colleges and educational institutions will continue to remain closed till further notice.- Swimming pools, cinema halls, B2B exhibitions, spas, gyms and sports complexes will also continue to stay shut.The relaxations in COVID restrictions in Delhi further extended till 5 am of 28th June. Restaurants and bars allo… https://t.co/BIE1oy97GY— ANI (@ANI) 1624174386000Earlier, on June 14, the Delhi government allowed restaurants to open with 50 percent capacity, allowing markets and shopping malls to operate at full capacity.Delhi recorded seven deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday, the lowest in over two months. The national capital also saw 135 new cases of coronavirus infection as the positivity rate further dipped to 0.18 per cent, data released by the state govt said.
Categories: Business News

4 top firms add Rs 68,458 crore in m-cap

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
New Delhi: Four of the 10 most valued companies together added Rs 68,458.72 crore in market valuation last week, with Hindustan Unilever Limited and Infosys emerging as the biggest gainers. While RIL, TCS, Infosys and HUL were the gainers from the top-10 list, HDFC Bank, HDFC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Bajaj Finance and Kotak Mahindra Bank witnessed a cumulative erosion of Rs 43,703.55 crore from their market valuation last week. The market valuation of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) zoomed Rs 26,832.3 crore to reach Rs 5,82,874.25 crore. The valuation of Infosys jumped Rs 24,628.79 crore to Rs 6,41,108.34 crore. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) added Rs 9,358.6 crore to its valuation to stand at Rs 12,19,577.24 crore, while the market capitalisation of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) climbed by Rs 7,639.03 crore to Rs 14,10,557.79 crore. In contrast, State Bank of India's valuation diminished by Rs 14,948.73 crore to Rs 3,68,407.96 crore and that of HDFC declined Rs 12,796.03 crore to Rs 4,49,176.18 crore. The market capitalisation of Kotak Mahindra Bank dipped Rs 6,908.63 crore to Rs 3,49,019.23 crore and that of ICICI Bank dived Rs 3,644.88 crore to Rs 4,36,390.78 crore. HDFC Bank's valuation eroded by Rs 3,503.96 crore to reach Rs 8,16,587.81 crore and that of Bajaj Finance dipped Rs 1,901.32 crore to Rs 3,67,425.99 crore. In the ranking of top-10 most valued firms, RIL maintained its numero uno status, followed by TCS, HDFC Bank, Infosys, HUL, HDFC, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India (SBI), Bajaj Finance and Kotak Mahindra Bank. During the last week, the 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex declined 130.31 points or 0.24 per cent.
Categories: Business News

Fuel prices hiked again: Petrol crosses Rs 97 in Delhi

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
With a fresh hike in fuel prices by the Oil marketing companies (OMC) on Sunday, petrol price in the national capital surpassed Rs 97 per litre mark.Petrol is selling for Rs 97.22 per litre in Delhi on Sunday, up from Rs 96.93 on Saturday.Cost of diesel in the national capital was at Rs 87.97 per litre, up from Rs 87.69 on Saturday - with a hike of 28 paise per litre. On Saturday, fuel prices remained unchanged across the four metro cities. In the other key metros of Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, petrol prices on Sunday were at Rs 103.36, Rs 98.40 and Rs 97.12 per litre, respectively, higher than Saturday's levels.Lately, petrol prices reached close to hitting the century mark all acorss India, further widening the scoping of climbing a historic high that had already broken Rs 100 per litre mark in various cities across the country in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.Oil companies revise rates of petrol and diesel daily based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15 days, and foreign exchange rates.International oil prices have seen a surge in recent weeks in anticipation of demand recovery following the rollout of vaccination programme by various countries. (With inputs from agencies)
Categories: Business News

Australia accused of 'excessive' secrecy

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
Australia's suppression of information seen as pivotal to a free and open media is at the center of accusations that the country has become one of the world's most secretive democracies.Last week, a former Australian spy was convicted over his unconfirmed role as a whistleblower who revealed an espionage operation against the government of East Timor.It's the latest high-profile case in a national system in which secrecy laws, some dating back to the colonial era, are routinely used to suppress information. Police have also threatened to charge journalists who exposed war crime allegations against Australian special forces in Afghanistan, or bureaucrats' plan to allow an intelligence agency to spy on Australian citizens.Australians don't even know the name of the former spy convicted Friday. The Canberra court registry listed him as ``Witness K.'' His lawyer referred to him more respectfully as ``Mr. K'' in court.K spent the two-day hearing in a box constructed from black screens to hide his identity. The public and media were sent out of the courtroom when classified evidence was discussed, which was about half the time.The only sign that anyone was actually inside the box was when a voice said ``guilty'' after K was asked how he plead.The Australian government has refused to comment on allegations that K led an Australian Secret Intelligence Service operation that bugged government offices in the East Timorese capital in 2004, during negotiations on the sharing of oil and gas revenue from the seabed that separates the two countries.The government canceled K's passport before he was to testify at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2014 in support of the East Timorese, who argued the treaty was invalid because Australia failed to negotiate in good faith by engaging in espionage.There was no evidence heard in open court of a bugging operation, which media reported was conducted under the guise of a foreign aid program.K was given a three-month suspended sentence. If he'd been sent to prison, there were court orders designed to conceal his former espionage career by restricting what he could tell friends and associates to explain his predicament.He had faced up to two years in prison. Since his offense, Australia has continued to tighten controls on secrecy, increasing the maximum sentence to 10 years.As lacking in transparency as K's prosecution was, it was a vast improvement on Australia's treatment of another rogue intelligence officer known as Witness J.J has been described by the media as possibly the only person in Australian history to be tried, sentenced and imprisoned in secret. But no one seems to know for sure.As with K, it is illegal to reveal J's identity.J pleaded guilty in a closed courtroom in the same Canberra court complex in 2018 to charges related to mishandling classified information and potentially revealing the identities of Australian agents. He spent 15 months in prison.The secret court hearing and imprisonment only became public in late 2019 because J took court action against the Australian Capital Territory government, claiming his human rights were violated by police who raided his prison cell in search of a memoir he was writing.Outraged lawyers then called for the first major review of the nation's secrecy laws since 2010. Whistleblowers as well as journalists currently are under threat from more than 70 counterterrorism and security laws passed by Parliament since the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.Andrew Wilkie, a former government intelligence analyst whistleblower who's now an independent federal lawmaker, is a vocal critic of national security being used as an excuse to pander to paranoia and shield embarrassment.Wilkie opposed the prosecution of K and his former lawyer Bernard Collaery. Collaery is fighting a charge that he conspired with K to reveal secrets to East Timor, and wants his trial to be open.``I am in no doubt that one of the reasons for the secrecy around the K and Collaery matter is the enormous political embarrassment that we were spying on one of the poorest countries in the world to get an upper hand in a business negotiation,'' Wilkie said.Wilkie quit his intelligence job in the Office of National Assessments days before Australian troops joined U.S. and British forces in the 2003 Iraq invasion. He publicly argued that Iraq didn't pose sufficient threat to warrant invasion and that there was no evidence linking Iraq's government to al-Qaida.``I basically accused the government of lying,'' Wilkie said.Although the government attempted to discredit him, Wilkie said he was never threatened with prosecution for revealing classified information.For many, Australian authorities took a step too far in June 2019 in their bid to chase down whistleblowers, intimidate journalists and protect government secrets.Police raided the home of News Corp. journalist Annika Smethurst, and the next day the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Both media outlets had used leaked government documents as the basis of public interest journalism.The search warrants were issued under Section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914, which prohibited a government employee from sharing information without a supervisor's permission.That section has since been replaced under national security legislation that expanded the crime to include a government employee sharing opinions or reporting conversations between others.Media law experts Johan Lidberg and Denis Muller said Australia is the only country within the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance - which includes the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand - that gives its security agencies the power to issue search warrants against journalists in the hunt for public interest whistleblowers in the name of national security.Police decided in May last year that they had insufficient evidence to charge Smethurst, the journalist, over an article published in April 2018. She had reported that two government department bosses planned to create new espionage powers that would allow an intelligence agency to legally spy on Australian citizens.Prosecutors also decided in October last year that the ``public interest does not require a prosecution'' of ABC reporter Dan Oakes over a television investigation broadcast in July 2017 that alleged Australian troops killed unarmed men and children in Afghanistan in potential war crimes.But David McBride, a former Australian army lawyer who admits leaking classified documents to the ABC, is fighting multiple charges. He calculates he faces up to 50 years in prison for being a whistleblower.There have been two parliamentary inquiries into press freedom since the police raids, but progress toward change has been criticized as slow and weak.The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which has rubber-stamped many of the problem security laws, said many submissions for change warned that ``the balance in legislation and culture within the Australian government has tipped away from transparency and engagement to excessive and unnecessary secrecy.''A Senate committee inquiry into press freedom last month made several recommendations, mostly for more government investigation. The committee asked whether secret information offenses should be amended to include a harm requirement, and whether journalists should still have to prove that an unauthorized disclosure was in the public interest.Wilkie, the lawmaker, argues Australia has drifted into becoming a ``pre-police state'' through its embrace of secrecy.``It's now unremarkable when a government cloaks something in a national security need for secrecy,'' Wilkie said. ``We don't bat an eyelid anymore. We should be outraged.''
Categories: Business News

Low-intensity earthquake hits Delhi

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.1 hit Punjabi Bagh area of Delhi on Sunday at 12:02 pm, said the National Center for Seismology.The epicentre of the earthquake was 8 km northwest (NW) of New Delhi, the agency said.Earthquake of Magnitude:2.1, Occurred on 20-06-2021, 12:02:01 IST, Lat: 28.67 & Long: 77.14, Depth: 7 Km ,Location:… https://t.co/QJpE34hz6L— National Center for Seismology (@NCS_Earthquake) 1624171942000 The earthquake struck at 12:02 PM IST at a depth of 7 km from the surface.There was no immediate report of any damage to life or property.
Categories: Business News

Can't give Rs 4L for Covid victims: Govt to SC

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the finances of states and Centre are under severe strain, due to the reduction in tax revenues and increase in health expenses on account of the coronavirus pandemic. And Rs 4 lakh compensation can't be paid to all those who died due to Covid-19 as it would exhaust the disaster relief funds, and also impact the Centre and states' preparation to address future waves of COVID-19.In an affidavit, the Ministry of Home Affairs submitted that ex-gratia relief under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to 12 notified disasters is provided through the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), and the annual allocation for the year 2021-22 for SDRF, for all states combined is Rs 22,184 crore. "Therefore, if ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh is given for every person, who lost life due to COVID-19, the entire amount of SDRF may possibly be spent on this alone, and indeed the total expenditure may go up further", said the affidavit.The MHA argued that the finances of states and Centre are under severe strain, due to the reduction in tax revenues and increase in health expenses on account of the pandemic. MHA stressed that utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health expenditure in other aspects and hence cause more damage than good."It is an unfortunate but important fact that the resources of the Governments have limits and any additional burden through ex-gratia will reduce the funds available for other health and welfare schemes", added the affidavit.The MHA contended that unlike floods, earthquake, cyclone, etc, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of crores of rupees have been spent by Centre and states on prevention, testing, treatment, quarantine, hospitalization, medicines and vaccination, etc and it is still continuing. "It is not known that how much more is required. Thus, Central and State Governments are taking all possible measures to prevent and prepare for future waves of COVID-19", said the affidavit.The affidavit has been filed in response to a PIL seeking "minimum standards of relief" and ex-gratia payment to Covid-19 deceased.The Centre emphasized the compensation of Rs 4 lakh cannot be paid to those who succumbed to COVID-19, as the disaster management law mandating compensation applies only to natural disasters like earthquake, floods etc. "Due to its scale and impact, it would not be appropriate to apply the scheme of assistance, eligible for natural disasters, to the epidemic", added the MHA.The MHA said under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana Package announced in March, 2020, the government has provided insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per person. The MHA contended this insurance cover has been made available from the inception of the pandemic and it provides a sum more than 12 times larger than the sum being sought in the writ petition.Contesting Rs 4 Lakh ex-gratia, the Centre insisted that a broader approach, which involves health interventions, social protection, and economic recovery for the affected communities, would be a more prudent, responsible and sustainable approach."It is further submitted that, in the case of various disasters, for which such ex-gratia is provided under SDRF norms, the disaster is of a short and finite duration, occurring and ending quickly. There is no precedent of giving ex-gratia for an ongoing disease or for any disaster event of long duration, extending for several months or years", said the affidavit.The petition by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepak Kansal had referred to Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act 2005. The section said national authority shall recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief for persons affected by disaster, which shall include ex-gratia assistance.
Categories: Business News

Sales recovery in sight with easing of COVID curbs across states: MG Motor

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
MG Motor India expects sales to recover gradually over the next few months with various states removing restrictions on business activities due to improvement in COVID situation, as per a top company official.The automaker, which sells models like Hector and Gloster in the domestic market, expects the industry to post a growth of about 20 per cent in 2021 calendar year as compared with last year.As for itself, the company expects the growth to be much better than the industry's despite supply chain challenges and increase in input costs."As an industry, we were expecting 30-40 per cent sales growth this year taking us closer to 2018 numbers. But nobody had anticipated the second wave at that time. Now with what has happened, it would not be possible to get 30-40 per cent growth. There would be a growth over last year but now we expect it to be around 20 per cent," MG Motor India President and MD Rajeev Chaba told PTI in an interaction.He noted that things were now getting better in terms of sales and production of cars."Hopefully, the worst of the second wave is behind us. June is already turning out to be better as compared with May and July is expected to be better than June, so numbers have started to go up. In May we touched the bottom as an industry and the numbers would start going up now," Chaba stated.Coming to MG Motor, he said: "We probably would have over 70 per cent growth. So it is still better than the industry growth but little less than our earlier projections."In 2020, the automaker had sold 28,162 units, as compared with 15,930 units in 2019.Chaba however cautioned that despite markets opening up, the industry would continue to face supply chain challenges this year.He noted that semiconductor shortage, increase in shipping costs and rise in raw material cost were a much bigger issue for the industry than availability of workforce at plants amid the coronavirus pandemic."Shipping issues, steel price cost, chip shortage, I think these issues are creating problems in stabilisation of the supply chain. In terms of COVID related issues like workforce and all, that is not a problem. So I think supply chain constraints will remain for some more time because these issues are not going to go away soon and I see the rest of this year to be impacted by these issues," Chaba noted.He added that the company has initiated one shift operations at its Halol-based manufacturing plant and is looking to fully utilise the facility in terms of capacity and profitability.The plant, which it bought from General Motors, can roll out a maximum of one lakh units per annum.Chaba noted that the company has already vaccinated 80 per cent of its workforce and the rest 20 per cent would be inoculated by the end of this month.When asked how the company is managing continuous increase in raw material costs, especially that of steel products, he said that almost every player in the industry has already hiked prices twice this year when usually it used to be a once in a year phenomenon."I will not rule out another price hike this year," Chaba said adding the company would continue to focus on technology and innovation as a differentiator for its model range for the country.MG Motor India sells four SUV models --Hector, Gloster, Hector Plus and MG ZS EV--in the country.
Categories: Business News

SEBI halts PNB Housing Finance's Rs 4,000 crore deal with Carlyle Group

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked PNB Housing Finance to temporarily stall the proposed preferential issue of shares worth up to Rs 4,000 crore to entities led by the Carlyle Group Inc. The market regulator has said preferential issue shall not be acted upon till the company undertakes valuation of shares from an independent registered valuer.The company has acted in compliance with all relevant applicable laws, said PNB Housing in the exchange filing.PNB Housing Finance received a letter from the SEBI on June 18 calling it to comply with the legal provisions in the matter."The current resolution bearing item no. 1 (Issue of Securities of the company and matters related therewith) of EGM notice dated May, 31, 2021 is ultra-vires of AOA (articles of association) and shall not be acted upon until the company undertakes the valuation of shares as prescribed under 19(2) of AOA, for purpose of preferential allotment, from an independent registered valuer as per the provisions of applicable laws," a regulatory filing by PNB Housing Finance quoted the letter as saying.On May 31, the housing finance company announced that its board has approved a capital raise of up to Rs 4,000 crore, led by entities affiliated to The Carlyle Group Inc. Pluto Investments S.a.r.l., an affiliated entity of Carlyle Asia Partners IV, L.P. and Carlyle Asia Partners V, L.P., agreed to invest up to Rs 3,185 crore through a preferential allotment of equity shares and warrants, at a price of Rs 390 per share, the bank had said in a regulatory filing.In the exchange filing, PNB Housing Finance said that the company and its Board of Directors have considered the SEBI Letter, and "continue to believe that the company has acted in compliance with all relevant applicable laws, including the applicable pricing regulations prescribed by SEBI, and the Articles of Association of the Company, and that such Preferential Allotment is in the best interests of the Company, its shareholders and all relevant stakeholders".With inputs from IANS
Categories: Business News

Long & Short of Mkts: Value is back & what is the chance of a losing bet in this market?

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
Record low interest rate regimes across the economies, and a push for infra by global governments may not be enough to sustain the valuation divide going forward, says Dalal Street veteran Prashant Jain. This comes after a decade-long under-investment in capital intensive or core businesses. Read more on Prashant Jain’s take on value rebound, probability of a losing bet in this bull market, outlook on smallcap space and financials in this week’s edition of ‘Long & Short of Markets’. Fed rate hike shouldn’t matter for equities?Despite the Fed's move to shift rate policy much earlier than expected, markets just took a small breather before continuing its upward journey. This means, global markets are seeing this broad based rally as a recovering fundamentals in the economy and not just a market buoyant on central banks induced liquidity. According to Ajay Tyagi, equity fund manager at UTI MF, any rate hike is an endorsement of the fact that the economy is on the right path. READ MOREPath for financials is foggyDespite being fairly capitalised and provisioned to tackle the pandemic, financials may take a hit on the growth side, opines Deepak Shenoy, Founder, Capital Minds. In an interview he said, despite the Supreme Court’s order regarding the removal of NPAs where they restricted declaring NPAs came in as good news, lack of moratoriums for businesses this time may create more stressed assets for financials in the next 6-8 months. READ MOREHistory may not repeat, but it does rhyme! Looking at the smallcap cycles in the past decade, the smallcap index has rebounded around 290% twice from their respective crashes. This time, the index has rallied 182% so far. This corresponds with some of the smallcap firms posting their best-ever quarterly and yearly performances in the recent earnings call. READ MOREValue is back! This time for long..Prashant Jain, CIO, HDFC AMC, is of the view that values have seen a stretched underperformance in the past few years, and from what he has seen, longer the period of underperformance the more sustained and sharper should be the outperformance. Talking about one of the important supporting factors for value resurgence in this interview, he says the corporate NPA cycle is clearly over for India. READ MORE What is the probability of a losing bet in this bull market?This bull market rally has been one of the sharpest and the most broad-based rally in the history with every two out of three stocks among the 2,346 listed stocks doubling its share price in the last 12 months. But what was your probability of losing your bet in this bull market? It's just 4.6% or one out of twenty stocks that failed to earn any returns! READ MORE
Categories: Business News

Tweet Buster: Vijay Kedia warns against 'Bhangar Cap' stocks

June 20, 2021 - 2:47pm
Snapping a four-week winning run, Nifty ended the week down 0.7 per cent. IT and FMCG stocks were the only two sectoral indices that ended in the green last week. Metal stocks were the worst hit as Nifty Metal index ended down 6.6 per cent. In this edition of Tweet Buster, we discover gems from some of the best investors on Dalal Street and elsewhere to help you navigate a volatile market so that you don't lose sight of your long-term wealth creation goal.What's in the offing?Robert Kiyosaki, author of the popular book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad', warned that the biggest bubble in world history is getting bigger. "Biggest crash in world history coming. Buying more gold and silver. Waiting for Bitcoin to drop to $24 k. Crashes best time to get rich."Biggest bubble in world history getting bigger. Biggest crash in world history coming. Buying more gold and silver.… https://t.co/J3ESswwTuQ— therealkiyosaki (@theRealKiyosaki) 1624066550000PMS FundaPMS fund manager Shankar Sharma said investors must always insist on knowing how much money the PMS fund manager has made himself in his personal investing career. He also said PMS fund managers who do not charge performance fees should be avoided at all costs.Always insist on knowing how much money the PMS Fund Manager has made himself, in his personal investing career.… https://t.co/e1CqUJh1wu— Shankar Sharma (@1shankarsharma) 1623737005000A PMS Fund Manager who DOESN'T charge Performance Fees, is to be avoided at all costs: if he himself has no confide… https://t.co/zS9i6aeVqq— Shankar Sharma (@1shankarsharma) 1623564288000'Bhangar Cap'Maverick value investor Vijay Kedia asked investors to be careful in good times as more than 4,000 out of 5,000 stocks fit in the category of being "Bhangar Cap".There is large cap, mid cap, small cap. There is also "BHANGAAR CAP" . More than 4000 out of 5000 cos fit in that c… https://t.co/abLAWt27EC— Vijay Kedia (@VijayKedia1) 1623990096000Beyond Listing DayRadhika Gupta of Edelweiss Mutual Fund said buying every IPO for listing day gains doesn’t work as in good quality companies, there is money to be made after listing.Buying every IPO for listing day gains doesn’t work. Selection matters. And in the good issues, there is money t… https://t.co/pXERBCRFwD— Radhika Gupta (@iRadhikaGupta) 1623817414000Excessive leverage killsPMS fund manager Basant Maheshwari said markets do not fall on over-valuation but on participation and excessive leverage.Markets do not fall on over-valuation but they fall on participation and excessive leverage. Nifty should looks fin… https://t.co/MZM4IAADe4— Basant Maheshwari (@BMTheEquityDesk) 1624160227000BUY callSanjiv Bhasin of IIF Securities gave a buy call on HDFC with a target price of Rs 3,000 by the year-end.Very positive for HDFC,BUY for target 3000 by year endHDFC Bank to buy stake worth over Rs 1,906 crore in group's… https://t.co/82OG0pm3Um— sanjiv (@sanjiv_bhasin) 1624157456000Warning SignIndependent market expert Sandip Sabharwal warned that this could be the time to take the reverse trade.There comes a time in everyBull and Bear MarketWhen the only justification left for a one way move in stock price… https://t.co/UF64DKeZbW— sandip sabharwal (@sandipsabharwal) 1624125658000IPO BubbleSabharwal said venture capital and private equity investors are desperate to convert more and more of their investee companies into unicorns and then palm them off to other large companies or IPO them out to retail and mutual funds investors as valuations become unsustainable.Venture Capital and Private Equity investors are desperate to convert more and more of their investee companies int… https://t.co/2w3MKh8BqX— sandip sabharwal (@sandipsabharwal) 1624104168000
Categories: Business News

Navneet Munot & Nilesh Shah debate ESG investing

June 20, 2021 - 11:47am
MUMBAI: Sustainable investing, also known as environment, social and governance-based investing, has seen a stupendous rise over the past few years. Today, over $2 trillion of assets are managed under the mandate of ESG, a four-fold rise in just three years. An environmentally-conscious young investor base has forced asset managers around the world to demand more from companies on sustainability, and scrutinize companies that are seen as major polluters. While the pandemic has given a big fillip to ESG investing, it has also resulted in some parts of the investment community seeing it as a fad. The monstrous rally seen in sectors such as steel, energy and power over the past 12 months has been used by some as evidence that sustainable investing is just a trend. This notion has been given some credence by the likes of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger investing in energy companies over recent years. Buffett and his board had last month opposed two shareholder resolutions at his company’s annual shareholder meeting that called for annual reports on how its companies are responding to the challenge of climate change, as well as reports on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, a Reuters report said. That said, the two giants of India’s mutual fund industry had a very convincing argument for why ESG investing or sustainable investing is not just a fad. Nilesh Shah, MD, Kotak AMCThe renowned asset manager and managing director of Kotak Asset Management Company, Nilesh Shah believes that ESG investing will become more mainstream in India in the time ahead. Speaking at MorningStar’s ESG Conclave, Shah said that there will be a time in future when no investment will be without the basic tenets of environment, social and governance. However, Shah pointed out that ESG investing in India will have to adapt to the local needs and regulations instead of blindly following the standards set in the West. Shah said that at Kotak AMC, his team is implementing ESG in reverse order, that is, governance first, social second and environment last. This is so because Shah believes Kotak AMC currently has more know-how about corporate governance and social contribution than environmental issues, something his company is addressing through tie-ups with global asset managers. Navneet Munot, MD and CEO, HDFC AMCOne of the finest asset managers in India over the past decade, Navneet Munot believes that if ESG investing is about exclusion of certain kinds of sectors or companies based on hard and fast definitions then that form of ESG investing is “certainly a fad”. The newly-appointed head of India’s third-largest asset management company, fund managers need to be conscious of not voting with their feet in a country with merely $2,000 per capital income and instead ensure that they work with policymakers and companies so that growth is sustainable and profitable. “To me ESG is about engagement, it’s about stewardship, it’s about value creation, and it’s about collaboration. Another way to look at it, are funds who are investing in best-in-class companies in every sector without specific exclusions,” Munot said. For many Munot, India needs more quantitative parameters and more science-based targets for assessment of whether a company is doing well on ESG metrics. That said, Munot is of the view that unlike China that had a huge impact on the environment as it shifted through its growth gears, India’s journey from $2,000 per capital to $5,000 per capita will be very different
Categories: Business News

Sausage Wars prove Brexit was always on the menu

June 20, 2021 - 11:47am
Industrial Revolution in Britain meant a greater need for foods for rapidly growing cities, and a more relaxed attitude to what went into them.For 'Yes Minister' fans, the current ‘Sausage War’ between the European Union and Britain should seem familiar. A key episode involves the minister, Jim Hacker, fighting an EU diktat that said British standards for sausages are so low they must be renamed ‘Emulsified High-Fat Offal Tubes’. His defence of British sausages proves to be so popular that it helps him become prime minister.In reality, Britain aligned with EU sausage standards — until Brexit. Now they can differ again, which is a problem for Northern Ireland, which must maintain a borderless market with Ireland as part of the 1998 treaty that ended its civil war. Until July 1, Northern Ireland can get sausages from the rest of Britain, but time is almost up. Britain insists Northern Ireland continues to get its sausages, but the EU refuses, since those sausages could reach EU Ireland. This porky problem almost overshadowed the recent G7 summit.For most people, sausages can be delicious, faintly comic, or even disgusting, as Prakash Tandon felt when, as he recounts in his memoir 'Punjabi Century', he first saw the British eating them and thought it proof they ate even the “most private part” of the pig.But their political problem stems from the fact that they consist of meat parts chopped and stuffed into casings and, unless we made them ourselves, we won’t know which parts. We must eat them on trust, just appreciating the end result, which is the point of the parallel that German statesman Otto von Bismarck is said to have made: “Laws are like sausages. It’s best not to see them being made.”As it happens, one of Germany oldest laws is Bavaria’s Reinheitsgebot, from 1516, which lays strict standards for beer. In 1871, when Bismarck was unifying Germany, Bavaria refused to join unless this law was adopted, and this is cited to prove how foundational the idea of food purity was for Germany. This was reinforced, as Gideon Lewis-Kraus writes in an article on German sausages, when “in 2000, an amateur historian discovered, in the Weimar city archives, a worn handwritten document from 1432, which stipulated that Thüringer-Rostbratwurst, among the most famous of German sausages, could only be made from pure, fresh pork”.The British were more hands-off. Their earlier start to the Industrial Revolution meant greater need for foods for rapidly growing cities, and a more relaxed attitude to what went into them, like a high proportion of rusks in sausages. This doesn’t mean they are bad, or that EU sausages are always good. In fact, Guillaume Coudray’s recent book 'Who Poisoned Your Bacon Sandwich?' argues that most processed meats are now dangerously substandard due to widespread adoption of industrial production systems pioneered in the US.But major parts of the EU, like Germany and France, are deeply committed to an idea of food purity upheld by strict standards, while Britain takes a more pragmatic approach. It explains the 'Sausage Wars' and perhaps why Brexit was always likely to be on the menu.
Categories: Business News

India’s place in Quad hinges on how it faces China

June 20, 2021 - 11:47am
As India’s deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, observers have begun taking stock of the aftermath. A recent article in The Financial Times suggested that the second wave has exposed India as the “weakest link” in the Quad grouping of the US, Japan, Australia, and India, whose collective goal is to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.Specifically, the article argued that India’s emergency export ban on vaccines has alienated neighbouring countries and undermined the Quad’s effort to compete with China’s vaccine diplomacy. Moreover, it said the critical flaws of India’s public health infrastructure have allegedly revealed to the world the limits of India’s capabilities as a rising power. The chief casualty overall is India’s reputation as a major global player — especially in pharmaceuticals and vaccine production — which now appears completely out of sync with reality.These arguments suffer from a few problems. First, although India’s ban on vaccine exports undoubtedly upset countries scheduled to receive them, the resulting reputational damage is short-term in nature. India was exporting vaccines before its second wave and will resume exports once the domestic crisis is under control. Global opinion is neither fixed nor unforgiving, especially in a time when vaccine export bans are entirely unexceptional.Even if China steps in to fill vaccine orders unmet by India, this does not automatically translate into significant losses for India or the Quad. Smaller countries in the Indo-Pacific are adept at navigating competition between major powers and many would happily accept Chinese vaccines today and support the Quad tomorrow, or vice versa. Geopolitical competition is a long-term game of multiple rounds, and the Quad’s hand is hardly out of cards yet.Second, India’s state capacity is not uniformly distributed across functional domains. A government’s inability to respond rapidly and effectively to a public health crisis of massive proportions says little about its ability to build roads, collect taxes, or secure the nation. It is no secret that India’s public health expenditure as a share of GDP is well below international standards and showed little sign of increasing over the last decade. A large wave of Covid-19 cases was every Indian’s nightmare precisely because the healthcare system was expected to severely struggle under pressure.The same cannot be said for India’s defence establishment and broader ability to generate and project military power, and this is what counts when it comes to India’s foreign relations and the Quad in particular. Despite being devastated by the pandemic, the country has nonetheless sustained thousands of troops and equipment at high altitudes in its border confrontation with China for over a year to date.Finally, on the question of India’s image, there is no doubt that the central government and state governments today should be eating humble pie given their negligence and misplaced triumphalism of early 2021. However, this fact alone says little about whether India’s self-image as a leading power is more hype than reality. Virtually every rising power in history has nurtured a desire for international standing and global recognition well before it could achieve such goals. And, like India, these nations have stumbled many a time on the path to becoming great powers.India’s strategic partners have always expected its rise to be ‘two steps forward, one step back’, and have factored this into their calculations. Even if the pandemic has ‘exposed’ the Indian state’s weaknesses, the results at best confirm widely held presuppositions instead of revealing some hidden truth. As for vaccine production, only India’s most ardent supporters would imagine that it could turn on a dime and deliver a staggering number of vaccines for national and global distribution — atall order for even the most advanced economies.Ultimately, the impact of Covid-19 on India’s place in the Quad hinges on what India’s post-pandemic economy and military can deliver to countries looking to secure their own interests in the face of China’s rise. Vaccines are a minuscule part of the equation. More important is the human-capital cost of the virus in key Indian government functions and economic sectors. In the short term, India’s foreign policy may be distracted by the imperatives of domestic recovery. Investment in public health may come at the cost of defence, foreign aid, and multilateral commitments. Countering Chinese influence, however, is a long-term project for the Quad; one that far exceeds vaccine diplomacy. There are various reasons why the Quad may fail, and some of them certainly have to do with India’s own interests and priorities. However, India’s Covid-19 calamity is unlikely to be a root cause.Rohan Mukherjee is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale-NUS College, Singapore.
Categories: Business News

How a carpenter led to Ghazi Baba’s mirror hideout

June 20, 2021 - 11:47am
After the 2001 Parliament attack, its mastermind Rana Tahir Nadeem, better known as Ghazi Baba, became hot property with every agency on the chase. Almost two decades after the incident, author of ‘The Lover Boy of Bahawalpur’ Rahul Pandita reveals how the elusive tikka-loving chief of the Jaish in Kashmir was smoked out. Exclusive excerpts...In July 2001 — by this time the Jaish had replaced the Hizbul as the main terror outfit in Kashmir — Narendra Nath Dhar Dubey, a BSF officer on his second posting to the Valley, was in his office when he received a call from his commanding officer asking him to come to his office. As he reached there, he found the chief of the J&K Police’s Special Operations Group (SOG), Sunil Kumar, waiting for him. Kumar told Dubey and others that he had a source who had access to Baba. The source, he revealed, was responsible for supplying rations to the Jaish commander and his men at his hideout in Ganderbal.The plan, Kumar said, was that the source would lace Baba’s food with the sedative diazepam and then a joint team of the SOG and the BSF would raid his hideout and arrest him. But by evening the operation was called off. It looked like the SOG’s mole had developed cold feet. Five months after this aborted mission Ghazi Baba’s planned attack on India’s Parliament was launched. 83681096In July 2003 because of Vajpayee’s visit, the BSF had deputed personnel in every nook and corner of Srinagar city. In one of the narrow streets, the deployed BSF jawans saw a young nervous man on a cycle. He was stopped and searched. As the jawans opened his shirt, they were shocked to see explosives tied all around his body. He turned out to be Ansar bhai from Pakistan’s Faisalabad. He was initially not willing to cooperate but the BSF had found that Pakistani terrorists could not bear it if they were stripped. Ansar had the same fear. ‘Shoot me, but do not strip me, please,’ he pleaded. Something else also made Ansar tell his interrogators everything. A senior police officer had a small trick that he always deployed to work on the semiliterate militants. During interrogation, the officer would tell a terrorist how ‘handsome’ and ‘fit’ he was and that if he cooperated the officer would ensure he was not only let off but also that he was made an ‘important policeman’ in the force. The threat of being stripped and the lure of being made a policeman worked well on Ansar Bhai; he confessed that he was from the Jaish. ‘Do you know Ghazi Baba?’ Dubey asked. ‘Yes,’ he replied. He said he had no idea where Ghazi Baba’s hideout was. ‘But we speak on the wireless set twice a day, at 9.30 am and 3.30 pm,’ he said.As they kept questioning Ansar, he told them that his code name was 08. This meant he was the deputy of Ghazi Baba, whose code name was 39. A BSF wireless operator Gandharva Kumar had heard terrorists calling 39 several times and saying ‘Murga tapka diya hain’ (The chicken has been killed) every time they murdered a soldier. Dubey convinced Ansar to call 39 at his usual time of 3.30 pm and try to extract information from him. But as soon as they switched on the set, they heard Ghazi speaking to someone else. Ansar recognized Ghazi’s voice immediately. ‘This is Masterji,’ he said, using the name they called Ghazi out of reverence. As they listened on, Ghazi told the unknown man on the other side that 08 (Ansar) had been missing since yesterday. ‘Be alert,’ he said.Now Ansar was of no use to them. However, he had led them to a carpenter who was employed by the Jaish to make hideouts. He was brought to the base. But he said he was always blindfolded before he would be taken to construct these houses, most of them in Old Srinagar. ‘But I can tell you the location of one hideout,’ he said.Dubey put him in a Santro car with his men and took him to identify the house. Once the house was identified, a big meeting of police officials took place at Dubey’s office. He was woken up at around 3 am by his colleagues. ‘Sir, it is time to go.’By this time the BSF had laid a cordon in the area. Dubey took with him nine men, including his colleagues C.P. Trivedi, Himanshu Gaur and Binuchandran. They decided to get down a mile before and walk to the house. ‘I asked everyone to tread softly so that their boots wouldn’t make noise and also to keep the rifle chains from jangling,’ he says. As he reached the spot, Dubey was livid. The advance party of the BSF had laid siege around the wrong house! In two minutes, Dubey corrected this. As the right house was cordoned off, Dubey saw that someone on the house’s top (third) floor had switched on a light and then switched it off. This was clearly a signal. Binuchandran kicked open the gate. Dubey checked his watch; it was 4.10 am.On the third floor, the house’s top floor where Dubey had spotted someone switching the light on and off, there was nothing much except a few cushions and wall-towall carpeting. Against one wall was a dressing table of sorts with a mirror. Binu, remembers Dubey, picked up a comb and began combing his hair.Dubey was getting frustrated. There was nothing here. He asked his men to bring the carpenter who was in a car on the road below. When he was brought, he said nothing except one word: sheesha (mirror). Binu lifted his rifle and hit the mirror. What Dubey remembers of the next five minutes is this: there was a deafening explosion as soon as the mirror fell down and a burst of bullets from inside the room that the mirror was hiding. Balbir Singh took the first hit and was dead. A hand grenade thrown from inside exploded and its splinters claimed two fingers of one of the BSF soldiers, Neelkamal. Dubey looked down after the grenade explosion. His right hand was nearly severed from his arm, but he felt no pain. He picked up his rifle with his left hand and fired inside, a total of fourteen rounds. Then another hand grenade came and landed at his feet. He kicked it back inside. As he did this he saw a man in a blue shirt lying motionless face down inside the room.Later, the security forces barged into the house. The body upstairs of the man in the blue shirt was identified as that of none other than Ghazi Baba.
Categories: Business News

Go for midsize, corporate facing banks: Lokapriya

June 20, 2021 - 11:47am
The more discretionary items and the more cyclical or economic recovery related stocks will come back stronger in the coming months assuming there is no third wave, says Chakri Lokapriya, CIO & MD, TCG AMC. How are you reading into the overall market momentum given that we are seeing a meltdown within the entire metals basket, PSUs in particular while FMCG and pharma are bucking the general trend? Today’s reaction is largely because of the Fed action which was indicating that rates will rise in future. If you think of it, it is a well thought out move because the US economy is doing really well. Their supply side constraints are lifting, inflation is rising temporarily and they want to prepare to adjust for higher interest rates in a couple of years. In this aftershock, the metal and commodity stocks got impacted. As a result, there will be a temporary repricing of contracts for these metal companies because of strengthening of the dollar. This is temporary because the underlying demand is still very strong. On the other hand, on the domestic front, there are four plays here; one is for the Indian stock market. Then there are the developed market plays which includes export companies like IT, pharma and chemicals. Then comes India unlock plays. Finally, there are the plays on the Indian economic recovery. Along with these four, there are a number of undervalued companies which will see some amount of rerating. How are you looking at the financial space and playing the sector? Would you wait for a decisive dip to buy into the ICICIs, Axis and HDFC Banks of the world?The financial companies have done a wonderful job across the board -- whether they are corporate banks, retail banks or even the NBFCs -- in cleaning up their books and increasing provisions for bringing down NPAs and raising capital to strengthen their balance sheets. Today they are in a far stronger place than they were even pre pandemic and therefore whenever the economy revives, the banks are more ready to lend either to the corporate consumer or even the government for that matter. So the private sector banks, which primarily were consumer facing like Kotak Mahindra and HDFC Bank, are still trading at about five times, six times book value. On the other hand, some of the smaller banks like Federal Bank are all trading under book. As for the corporate facing banks, they are trading at really inexpensive valuations. It will be a case where their valuations will rerate up as industrial activity picks up while retail banks will continue to hold their valuations. The alpha lies in more midsize or the more corporate focussed banks. How have you looked at the numbers that have come in the QSR plays like Jubilant Foodworks in the FMCG space? It is a two different stories over there if you look at the FMCG companies -- whether it is beverages or shampoos or biscuits -- the volumes were down in May over the preceding month because of the lockdowns and unlike last year, there was not a further increase in volumes but quite a sharp fall this time. This can be attributed to two reasons. The second wave was probably far more intense and temporary held back consumer confidence. Therefore spending on some of the discretionary items within the FMCG space has also slowed down. On the other hand, food deliveries continue to remain very strong. Sitting at home with nothing to do helped Jubilant Foodworks. Its plans of expanding into a number of newer initiatives will also help the company. In terms of FMCG, it is kind of treading water and delivering returns but the more discretionary items and the more cyclical or economic recovery related stocks will come back stronger in the coming months assuming there is no third wave.
Categories: Business News

Why Jigar Shah is overweight on these 5 sectors

June 20, 2021 - 11:47am
The traditional IT, pharma and consumer sectors can continue to be defensive bets for the investors, says Jigar Shah, CEO, Kim Eng Securities India. What is your view on the markets, especially the rally in the broader market? Should one start profit booking in the broader market?Clearly the markets are running well above the average valuations and that is a combination of factors because the global markets have been buoyant, liquidity is fantastic, retail participation is very good and more than anything else, the sentiment is very optimistic. So clearly the correction from these levels cannot be avoided. There will be some correction, but at the same time going by the breadth of the market it appears that the market is in a bull phase which can continue even after correction. The IPO market also gives the signal that buoyancy is here to stay and with increasing vaccination by the end of this year or early next year, we should see stronger recovery in the economy in FY22 and FY23. My view is that the market should do well but with some kind of consolidation and correction but not one way. How would you look at the sectors that you would want to buy? Which are the sectors you would be overweight on right now?We feel that the IT sector is in a very strong position. There is record order backlog with the Indian software services companies and IT spending is rising in the US and Europe. The migration to cloud, AI and other new technologies and the launch of 5G in many places should continue to strengthen the IT industry. Also most of the IT majors have very clean balance sheets, very strong governance and a very visible earnings pattern, free cash flows as well as dividend payouts. This is a very strong combination of what investors like and therefore we would remain very positive on that sector despite the fact that the valuations are at reasonably higher levels. We like the telecom sector. The whole consolidation story is playing out very well and stocks such as Bharti Airtel and Indus Towers look very good. We like the private bank story. They continue to steal market share from the state owned banks and to some extent from NBFCs. Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank are all looking very good and the secular growth story over there can continue. Within the automobile space, we continue to like the tractor companies which should be in for another good year in terms of the rainfall and the farm productivity. We like Mahindra and Escorts in this segment. We believe companies which are embracing renewable energy, sustainability and ESG aspects are poised to do better and one should look out for those early adopters. What do you make of the metals pack? We do not formally cover the sector but what I understand is that because of the pandemic, there is a lot of breaking down of the value chain, the supply chains and that is resulting in a significant amount of price increase as the economies are recovering. The demand is going up but the supply is not good enough. That in my opinion is driving up most of the commodities right from crude oil percolating to the ferrous and non-ferrous metals. It can continue as long as we do not see any interest rates increase and we do not see the economic growth rates stabilising. It seems that the expansion in the major economies globally should continue well into 2022 and therefore this boom can continue for another three-four quarters. What would be your defensive bets in this market? I was earlier alluding to the IT sector. The likes of Infosys, Wipro, TCS and HCL Tech are all making a very good defensive bet with the strong cash flows and increased dividend payouts and the consumer sector will bounce back now that lockdowns are opening up and consumption will pick up once again. The other traditional defensive sector has been pharmaceuticals which I think is also doing extremely well. It is likely to pick up pace with the PLI scheme of the government and we have seen phenomenal growth in domestic pharma as well as in the exports focused segment. I feel that the traditional IT, pharma and consumer sectors can continue to be defensive bets for the investors. A lot of debate is happening on whether you should buy into infrastructure and capital good names. For 12 years they have not done anything. How would you view them?That can be played slightly differently. Some of the aspects of the renewable industry are playing out in a different format. For example, Praj Industries was traditionally into building breweries and alcohol distilleries. Now it has become a leading player in the ethanol plants and that is taking off in a big way. That is renewable energy and that infrastructure building work is going to be very big over the next five years. These kinds of business, micro grids, solar and wind related EPCs are areas that are getting significant attention. The installation of solar pumps, rooftop solar so that companies which are not traditionally infrastructure companies or capital good companies but are now part of that chain such as Tata Power or Hitachi ABB company will do very well as the spend on areas related to controlling of emissions and deployment of renewable power and energy infrastructure increases. If one look at the crude oil prices, what is the risk for the market as a whole because generally we have seen whenever crude oil prices go up, Indian markets tend to underperform. What would you watch out for that risk to play?We have been hearing that crude oil can again go back to $100 and I am not an expert on that but if that were to happen, clearly it would put a lot of pressure on fiscal deficit because eventually you cannot pass on every rise to the consumer and it will definitely increase the inflation both on B2B and B2C levels. So to some extent, that hurts GDP expansion. It will either manifest in the form of higher interest rates or it will cut down the demand in the economy. Having said that, the way the index is made up, you know some sectors are in a position to pass on that increase and some have benefited because of the exchange rate. We have seen that it is not all that negative and that the impact on the stock market is not so bad. Also when there is an increase in crude oil prices, it is also followed up by the economic expansion because the economy is recovering and it also shows that there is a demand due to which the prices are increasing. So it is a combination of factors but in my view, one needs to play it with sector rotation so certain sectors will become favourable especially those which benefit from a depreciated rupee and those which are complete import substitutes and based on domestic economy. This brings us back to pharma, consumer and IT which can have a fairly upper hand if unrelenting crude oil price continues.
Categories: Business News

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