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Everything you need to know about home treatment

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
At the peak of the second wave, hospitals were so overwhelmed that they many were turning away patients due to the shortage of resources such as oxygen, medicines, beds etc. This forced patients to turn to medical treatment at home with whatever private help they could get which was mostly at highly inflated prices.Home treatment was a crucial part of the second wave, and be better prepared for the third wave, one should all there is to know about it. Here is a look at seven important facts you must know about home treatment and insurance. We look at what conditions can it be availed under home treatment, what all is covered, do all insurers provide this option and so on. Is there a difference between ‘homecare treatment (HT)’ and ‘domiciliary hospitalisation (DH)’?While DH has been a part of most health plans for a long time now, it came with several exclusions, most importantly that of ‘upper respiratory tract infection’, which is what Covid essentially is. After Irdai’s mandate, insurers are including the specific requirements of Covid in their plans, and these are being referred to as HT. Both, however, refer to the medical treatment being offered at home.Under what conditions can one avail of home treatment?For DH, one can avail of the cover if: The medical practitioner or doctor or hospital recommended hospitalisation but the patient was not in a condition to be moved. Hospitalisation was recommended but beds or accommodation was not available. At least three days of home treatment was required. For HT, depending on the insurer’s terms and conditions, one can avail of home treatment, in some cases even if hospitalisation was not recommended. Since it varies from insurer to insurer, you will have to check the conditions with your insurance company.What are the exclusions?For DH, following are not included: Pre- and post-hospital treatment costs. Some insurers do not cover the cost of equipment and consumables. Diseases including asthma, bronchitis, tonsillitis, upper respiratory tract infection, including laryngitis and pharyngitis, cough and cold, influenza, arthritis, gout and rheumatism, chronic nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, diarrhoea, all types of dysenteries including gastroenteritis, diabetes mellitus and insipidus, epilepsy, hypertension, psychiatric or psychosomatic disorders, and pyrexia of unknown origin.Do all insurers cover HT or DH for Covid?No, all insurers do not offer, but most do now. Among the ones that do, some offer full coverage up to the sum insured, while others offer a partial cover of 10-50%.Is the cover cashless or reimbursement?It can be either, but is mostly reimbursed, often because the insurer is not intimated or informed before the treatment begins. If approval is received beforehand, it can be cashless as well.What is the difference between Corona Kavach and other health plans offering insurance for home treatment?Corona Kavach is a standard Covid-specific cover mandated by the insurance regulator, Irdai, and every insurer has to offer it. It covers home treatment up to Rs 5 lakh and includes everything from doctor’s fees, drugs, diagnostics and equipment, to ICU care, among others. The other health plans offered by insurers may or may not cover home treatments and the exclusions also vary from insurer to insurer.What documentary proof do I need to submit?Doctor or medical practitioner’s prescription advising hospitalisation or home treatment. Proof of unavailability of beds in hospital. Covid positive test report from an ICMR-approved lab.Active line of treatment, including daily reports and ratings charts.Bills and invoices for drugs, equipment, etc. Invoice from GST-registered service provider. Discharge certificate from doctor specifying date of start and end of treatment.
Categories: Business News

Mukherjea missed the commodities rally happily

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Saurabh Mukherjea, Founder, Marcellus Investment Managers, says he has never invested in mining and metal stocks in his career. Edited excerpts:Some big IPOs are slated to hit the market this year. What are your thoughts on them?I am very happy that LIC IPO is coming. With a massive IPO like that, the market will be in good humour. At many levels, the IPO will be a watershed event for the Indian market. It is probably the last big PSU owned by the government which will go public. There are other interesting IPOs coming. It is a sign of risk appetite. My reckoning is that this will probably be the strongest year for IPOs since FY 2007-08. Finally, we are seeing good companies with strong investors behind them. Strong franchises like LIC and Zomato are heading to the market.Where is the commodity cycle headed?Look, I am not a commodity expert. I have never invested in metals and mining stocks in my career. But from what I can see, you still have a supply-demand mismatch i.e. demand outstrips supply. Capex announcements have been made by steel plants in the last 3 months but the new supply has not yet fructified. Until the new supply fructifies, which is probably two to three years away, it is difficult to see why there will be a big abatement in supply-demand mismatch seen globally. I do not fully understand what is happening in China. China will obviously be a big part of this commodity cycle but I have not heard of new steel plants or aluminium plants coming on stream, whether in India or anywhere else in the world, in the last 8-9 months. All we have heard is the booming demand for cars and industrials. Therefore, a finite supply of commodity means rising demand and the inevitable implication is rise in prices.I am quite surprised and shocked to hear that you have never invested in a metal stock. You completely missed out on the rally then?Absolutely. We are happy to miss out on such things. We have got large companies where we get free cash flows compounding at 30% regularly. The free cash flow of Page Industries compounded at 35% in the last five years. Asian Paints, one of my favourite stocks, gave us free cash flow compounding at 20% in the last five years. We have had Titan giving us free cash flow compounding at 45-50% in the last five years. We prefer to stick to that game of steady wealth generation, rather than use our limited brain power to figure out the commodity cycle. We are no experts in commodities and so we keep away from metals and mining stocks.Which are the stocks where you think the earnings have grown and markets are not recognising them and the leave period is about to get over?Look at front-ranked financials - HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finance. In the last four years, the compounding across HDFC Bank, Kotak, Axis and Bajaj Finance will be in the vicinity of 19-20%. But I do not think that their share prices have compounded at 20% for four years. Hence, it makes them all the more seductive for us. We are going into an economic up cycle. The tier-1 ratios of these four lenders would be around 20%, so they are appropriately capitalised. Going into a strong recovery, they would not need to raise capital for the entire economic up cycle. This trade in top quality lenders with strong balance sheets and sensible capital allocation is a far more appealing trade than trying to time the metals and mining cycle.
Categories: Business News

Best large & mid cap mutual funds to invest in 2021

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Large & mid cap mutual fund schemes, a relatively new inclusion in the equity funds’ basket, has done fairly well in the last couple of years. With 64.32% returns in one year, the category was at par with the other outperforming equity fund categories. Here is an update on the list of recommended large & mid cap schemes to invest in 2021. The good news is that there is no change in the list in May. Sebi defines large & mid cap funds as open-ended equity schemes investing minimum 35% of total assets in equity and equity-related instruments of large cap companies, and a minimum of 35% of total assets in mid cap stocks. Though these schemes may be less risky than pure mid cap schemes and small cap schemes, the 35% minimum exposure to mid cap stocks make them risky. That is why these schemes are recommended to only investors with a large risk appetite. Mutual fund advisors believe that over a period there might be two kinds of large & mid cap mutual fund schemes: those which are inclined towards large cap stocks and those inclined towards mid cap stocks. Advisors ask investors to look at the portfolio and strategy of the schemes before investing. Investors should pick schemes according to their risk appetite. For example, if you want more margin of safety, opt for schemes that are tilted towards large cap stocks. Aggressive investors may bet on schemes that are inclined towards mid cap stocks. If you have a long-term horizon and willing to take a little extra risk, you may choose from our list of recommended large & mid cap schemes: Best large & mid cap mutual funds to invest in 2021Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip FundSundaram Large and Midcap FundInvesco India Growth Opportunities FundCanara Robeco Emerging Equities FundPrincipal Emerging Bluechip FundLIC MF Large and Midcap Fund Our methodology: ETMutualFunds.com has employed the following parameters for shortlisting the Equity mutual fund schemes. 1. Mean rolling returns: Rolled daily for the last three years. 2. Consistency in the last three years: Hurst Exponent, H is used for computing the consistency of a fund. The H exponent is a measure of randomness of NAV series of a fund. Funds with high H tend to exhibit low volatility compared to funds with low H. i) When H = 0.5, the series of return is said to be a geometric Brownian time series. These type of time series is difficult to forecast. ii) When H <0.5, the series is said to be mean reverting. iii) When H>0.5, the series is said to be persistent. The larger the value of H, the stronger is the trend of the series 3. Downside risk: We have considered only the negative returns given by the mutual fund scheme for this measure. X =Returns below zero Y = Sum of all squares of X Z = Y/number of days taken for computing the ratio Downside risk = Square root of Z 4. Outperformance: It is measured by Jensen's Alpha for the last three years. Jensen's Alpha shows the risk-adjusted return generated by a mutual fund scheme relative to the expected market return predicted by the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). Higher Alpha indicates that the portfolio performance has outstripped the returns predicted by the market. Average returns generated by the MF Scheme = [Risk Free Rate + Beta of the MF Scheme * {(Average return of the index - Risk Free Rate} 5. Asset size: For Equity funds, the threshold asset size is Rs 50 crore (Disclaimer: past performance is no guarantee for future performance.)
Categories: Business News

Tata Consumer, Marico top FMCG picks: Chadha

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
In the consumption space, we like Tata Consumer and Marico, says Gurmeet Chadha of Complete Circle Consultants in this interview with ET Now. Edited excerpts:How are you looking at the entire telecom basket? Bharti Airtel continues to remain the favourite?I think Bharti has been one of the few stocks which have been an enigma. It probably has the highest buy and accumulate calls. I think the Indian mobility business continues to do well. It (Airtel) has the highest share in terms of new customer additions in 4G. Their Africa business has stabilised. The home mobility and home segment businesses seem to be doing very-very well. I think the key trigger for a substantial rerating obviously has to be tariff hike. That is something you need to cover up for both debt as well as the overall (AGR) dues. It is a great play on how the digital infrastructure and technology is going to play out and it gives you a valuation comfort as well. So Bharti Airtel would be there. Reliance is a more of a platform play. I would not look at Vodafone Idea till the time they have a fundraise and a credible technology partner with deep pockets.Is Shyam Metalics a subscribe at all in your books?I have not tracked this but I continue to be positive on the commodity space. You have to be tactical here. I think you are better off playing larger guys like Tata Steel, Jindal or Hindalco. You will see significant deleveraging of the books. There has been some consolidation. Obviously, the move was very sharp - almost 4-5x for most metal names. Prices continue to remain firm. I believe that the economic cycle is going to turn around.Which stocks are you looking at within the FMCG space?I do not look at it in terms of market cap. In the consumption space, we continue to like Tata Consumer which is now a part of Nifty. Their distribution reach has grown by leaps and bounds. They are now at almost 2.5 million outlets. HUL is almost 10 million. That tells you that there is a long runway ahead. They have gained market share in Sampann, salt and tea as well. They continue to get into new categories. Marico looks good, again for the same logic. Other than hair oil and edible oil, it continues to expand into snacks, home consumption pockets like oats, honey, etc. I also like fast moving electrical goods rather than fast moving consumer goods. I think there is a revival in housing. PolyCab commands half the valuation of Havells. It is probably transitioning from a proper B2B to a B2C player.What is your take on Pidilite? It has been a solid performer. What's next? Can one still buy this stock?At this price, it is a very difficult call. It is a boring business which continues to deliver. If you see its price chart for the last five years, it is a straight trend line. The business composition looks good. Adhesives continue to do better. I think the big growth has been in construction chemicals, water proofing, etc where the volume growth is in double-digits. It may be a better buy on dips. You have better choices in steel pipes, cables, wires, etc if you want to play the building material space. But it continues to be a core holding for me personally. Any dips in stocks like this or Asian Paints is always welcome.
Categories: Business News

Involve NGOs for Covid management: NDMA to states

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) asked the states on Thursday to set up an online dashboard and circulate standard operating procedures (SOPs) on Covid-19 management in regional languages with the help of civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in rural and tribal areas. The development comes in the wake of Bihar revising its figure of total number of fatalities caused by Covid-19 to 9,429 from 5,424, according to the Union health ministry’s data on Thursday. A nodal officer appointed by the state governments will coordinate with the civil society groups and Ministry of Panchayati Raj, said officials.The apex authority on disaster management, NDMA, held discussions with various stakeholders on testing, treatment, isolation of patients and vaccine. As many as 1,000 voluntary groups across various districts have been identified by the Centre to coordinate supply of oxygen, availability of medicines and ensure Covid-appropriate behaviour, said officials. They said an online dashboard is being set up at the panchayat level for monitoring of various interventions in rural areas.For vaccination, the authorities sought to allay fears and stressed on the need for rapid coverage of people in rural areas. “For Covid-19 positive cases under home isolation, volunteer groups at panchayat level have been tasked to ensure delivery of essential services. Approvals will also be given by the state governments to NGOs for organising vaccine camps with state-run dispensaries and hospitals,” an official, who was part of the deliberations, said on condition of anonymity. NGOs have turned to volunteers to implement the containment measures, under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, according to officials. In May, the Centre had advised the states and Union Territories to identify districts where either the test positivity had been more than 10 per cent in the past one week or where bed occupancy was more than 60 per cent.
Categories: Business News

Ker, U'khand, Goa make use of raised borrowing limits

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
The Centre had recently given the go-ahead to 23 states to borrow more than 1 lakh crore above their limit for showing progress in implementing four key reforms, including seeding of ration cards with Aadhaar and direct benefit transfer to farmers in states where they received free electricity.The stand out states are Kerala, Goa and Uttarakhand, which have implemented all four required reform measures, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana, which have implemented at least three of the four measures.West Bengal refused to comply, said sources, adding that Maharashtra too didn’t raise a request to increase the borrowing limits, indicating that either it didn’t need extra funds or was still to achieve compliance in some areas. Delhi was not counted as a state for this exercise.The Centre had increased the borrowing limits for states from 3% of the GSDP to 5%. Out of this, 1% was linked to showing progress on four sets of reform measures. The potential amount at play within this 1% was 2.14 lakh crore, of which permissions have been given for Rs 1.06 lakh crore, which shows more room is still available for borrowing.The four sets of reform measures were — implementing nationalised ration card scheme, removing government discretion for ease of doing business by making renewal of licences under 12 commercial laws digital and bringing in a randomised process for selecting factories for inspection, setting a minimum floor rate by urban local bodies for property and sewerage tax, and rationalising electricity subsidy through DBT to farmers.Each of these components weigh 25% in the matrix for granting approval to enhance borrowing limits. So far, Rs 37,600 crore have been granted for implementing the nationalised ration card scheme and Rs 39,521 crore for implementing ease of doing business laws.Once approval is granted, states are free to utilise the borrowed funds for any purpose, unlike capital expenditure schemes under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat, which are tied to specific capital intensive projects.
Categories: Business News

Revival hopes electrify power stocks

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Mumbai: Expectations of a revival in business activity led by the gradual lifting of lockdown by various states has fuelled a rally in power stocks of late. Stocks such as Adani Power, Tata Power, Reliance Power, Jaiprakash Power and Rattanindia Power rallied between 20 per cent and 50 per cent in the last five trading sessions. The BSE Power index hit its highest level since November 18, 2010, ending a decade long bearish trend.“Improved prospect of a sharp recovery in volumes, especially from industrial and commercial segments, lifted sentiment about power stocks,” said Binod Modi, head strategy, Reliance Securities. “A likely improvement in the plant load factor (PLF) of power producers is expected to improve margins and cash flows in the ensuing quarters.”“Additionally, liquidity support to REC and PFC can potentially lead to a reduction in dues from discoms to power generation companies in the coming months,” he added.Demand for power has been weak in May and June so far. On an year-to-day basis till May, nation-wide daily and peak demand were higher by an average of 28 per cent and 26 per cent year-on-year. In May, it was up 12 per cent and 10 per cent from the same period last year.“Easing of lockdowns from June onwards may reverse the decline in power demand while 9GW capacity auction expected over the next two months will help kickstart the renewable energy auction space again,” said Rahul Modi, analyst, ICICI Securities. “We remain positive on stocks such as NTPC, NHPC, CESC, and PTC India as their earnings are based on capacity creation and not utilisation, and they continue to trade at low valuations and high dividend yields.”Tata Power is the top pick of analysts in the sector .
Categories: Business News

65 of Nifty 100 cos share some independent directors

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Mumbai: Each of the 65 companies out of the top 100 listed corporates in India shares a director with at least another in the group. A niche group of 60 independent directors — comprising retired bureaucrats, professionals, current CEOs of listed companies, lawyers, chartered accountants, and close relatives of senior members in India Inc — are the common link between two companies in the Nifty 100, according to information sourced from Prime Database.About a dozen professionals come across as the most sought after independent directors of India Inc — being on the boards of several Nifty-100 companies. (See Chart).Interesting, however, board structures in India Inc are less ‘connected’ than those found in the US. A study of the top 50 companies of the S&P 500 in 2018 by Data Interview Questions revealed that 78% of the top 50 companies were linked with common directors. Interconnection of boards in the US is believed to have certain positive spinoffs: a common board member brings in the experiences and best practices picked from one board. But it also reflects a paucity of professionals and a small pool of talented professionals leading companies can use, as well as a possible concentration of privileged information with a few.In many Indian business groups, often the same professional is appointed as independent director across multiple group companies. For instance, OP Bhatt is an independent director of three Tata group companies — TCS, Tata Motors and Tata Steel. Balaji Rao J Doveton, Gita Piramal, AN Roy and Naushad Forbes are on the boards of each of the four Bajaj group companies — Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and Bajaj Holdings & Investments.83413587Both Sanjeev Aga and Mukund Chitale are on the boards of L&T and L&T Infotech. TN Manoharan is on the boards of M&M as well as Tech Mahindra. Radhakrishnan Nair is an independent director on the boards of ICICI Bank as well as ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co.Often, one board membership of a large company begets another. For instance, Bobby Parikh was appointed an independent director on the board of Biocon in 2018. Last year, Parikh got appointed on the board of Infosys where Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has been an independent director.Besides their professional standing, some of the directors may be in a position to enjoy a wider sphere of influence by being relatives of powerful names in Corporate India.
Categories: Business News

Value stocks back in the game as growth cos lose lure

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Mumbai: Investors with a fancy for beaten-down stocks are back in the game. Value stocks have bounced sharply in 2021 so far, ending a decade-long losing run that had a section of the market assert that this style of investing is dead.The MSCI India Value index has gained 18% since January as against the 9% advance in the MSCI India Growth Index — the outperformer in the past decade. Growth investing focusses on companies that are steady performers, while value investors look for stocks that are trading below their actual value that are often beaten down. Growth stocks tend to be more expensively valued than value names.Between 2010 and 2020, the MSCI India Value index underperformed the Growth index by 50%.In India, PSUs, energy, banks catering to industries, financials, materials, infrastructure and commodities have been categorised under value stocks. Fund managers say with profitability of growth companies such as consumer and retail banks under pressure after the second wave of Covid-19, investors are now looking at the beaten-down value stocks. 83420434"Various companies under utilities, energy, several PSUs, EPC are below long-term averages while companies under consumer-oriented sectors are higher,” said Prashant Jain, CIO, HDFC Asset Management Company.The comeback of value stocks has catapulted schemes handled by Jain, a veteran fund manager known for being a backer of the value style of investing, to top of the charts this year.These schemes have been struggling when growth stocks were outperformers.“Higher commodity prices, end of the corporate NPA cycle, opening up of the economy in the West and in India, focus on infrastructure are supportive of some of the sectors that lagged during the lockdown and it will be interesting to watch the course that markets take,” Jain added.Value strategy started to gain major traction since October last year with small-caps, mid-caps, PSUs, commodities, utilities, metals, and corporate banks starting to outperform. The Nifty Metal index rallied 61% so far this year, while Nifty Commodities and PSE indices gained 37% and 34%, respectively. Nifty Infra and Energy indices have gained 23% each since the beginning of the year. The Nifty rose 13% while Nifty FMCG and Consumption indices gained 4% and 7%, respectively, since January1.“Value stocks have come back after a long time triggered by the bounce-back in commodity prices, government push on infra spending, incentives for manufacturing, and shift in disinvestment programme from stake sale to strategic sale,” said Gautam Duggar, head of research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services. “Sector rotation is visible currently as money is moving from growth to value stocks due to improving economic outlook.”Metals, energy, banks, and financial sectors, as well as other commodities are the sectors with the largest increases in analysts’ earnings estimates over the past six months. Analysts say earnings upgrades have driven up share prices.Fund managers say there is still room for value stocks to move up as valuations are still below averages. MSCI India Value index is currently trading at a trailing Price-to-Earnings (PE) ratio of 28 times and of 18 times one-year estimated earnings. The 10-year average PE is 30 times. MSCI India Growth is trading at a PE of 41 times trailing 12-months and 30-times forward earnings. The 10-year average PE is 58 times.Jain of HDFC MF said the market at an aggregate level is still reasonably valued especially given the low cost of capital.
Categories: Business News

No dearth of pay for IIM, IIT in pandemic

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
It pays to graduate from India’s premium business and tech schools even during the pandemic. The Class of 2021 — the first batch to bear the full impact of the pandemic — at India’s top business and tech schools got bigger pay packets than last year’s batch.The average MBA compensation for Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and tier-1 and tier-2 business schools is projected to see a growth of 2-3% in 2021 over 2020, according to professional service firm Aon’s latest campus study.At tech schools, the average compensation has shown a positive outlook with similar or marginally increased campus compensation package.While the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 is still being felt in some sectors, this did not have a significant impact on the final placements for tier 1 and tier 2 campuses that ended before the second wave gained momentum.At tier 3 institutes for both MBA and BTech, however, the compensation has faced a hit of at least 2-3%.Joining bonuses at top institutes also have seen an uptick at tier-1 and tier-2 campuses. For MBA students, it has gone up by an average 2.9% year-on-year while for BTech students, it’s up by 3.8%, the study revealed. The 10th edition of the Aon India Campus Study 2020-21 had responses from 370 participant companies across eight industries, including hi-tech, ecommerce and dotcoms, consumer products, manufacturing, and financial institutions, across three campus tiers. 83414491“The impact of the second wave has been less muted than the first wave last year, and we don’t see many instances of any offers being reneged or withdrawn, as was the case in 2020,” said Roopank Chaudhary, partner at Aon.“Companies are clearly looking at the longer-term promise of normalcy returning much sooner and are far more measured and controlled in their actions in 2021 as compared to last year, especially around hiring and compensation,” he said. Also, the sectoral variation that was visible in salary hikes earlier in the year is consistent with the industry impact on campus salaries as well.Recruiters and placement officials concur.A placement official at XLRI said the business school has seen an increase in average CTC (cost to company) offered to ₹25.08 lakh per annum this year from ₹24.30 lakh per annum in 2020. This rise in average CTC is mainly due to a few sectors such as consulting, and ecommerce and other tech-driven firms.“Despite the pandemic, we have seen companies willing to offer the same compensation, if not increased, for the top talent as they have historically found at XLRI,” the official said. “That being said, we have seen an increase across multiple sectors, most notably consulting and tech-driven sectors for the final placements of the batch of 2019-21.” IIM Indore saw a 3% increase in the average CTC (cost to company) from last year.
Categories: Business News

Companies offer freebies to boost India's covid vaccination drive

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Businesses ranging from Celio and McDonald’s to UCO Bank and Reliance General Insurance have jumped on the national effort to vaccinate the domestic population by offering freebies, including loyalty points, discounts and higher rates of interest on fixed deposits.While over 24 crore people across India or around 22% of the population have already received the vaccine against Covid-19 as of June 10, showed government data, these companies are aiming to lure those who are still hesitant to get the jab.“Vaccination is a marketing opportunity, as it will dominate the imagination of consumers for a long time to come,” said Harish Bijoor, brand expert and founder at Harish Bijoor Consults. 83421870It is still unclear, however, whether a 20% discount on a burger or loyalty points added to a card by a retailer is enticing enough for a person to get vaccinated. On Monday, for instance, South Delhi resident Ram received a text message from Celio that said the French clothing company will add 300 points to his loyalty ID if he gets vaccinated. Ram, 32, is still waiting for his first dose.Similarly, banks such as UCO Bank and Central Bank have launched schemes related to vaccination. Reliance General Insurance, too, is offering a 5% discount on a product to encourage vaccination.“We are optimistic that a mass vaccination drive will play a pivotal role in ensuring public safety at large and thereby in reviving businesses,” Rajeev Ranjan, COO at Connaught Plaza Restaurants that operates McDonald’s restaurants in North and East India, told TOI.And while welfare organisations in a village in Tamil Nadu are holding a lucky draw for people to get vaccinated, offering winners biryani, washing machines and two-wheelers, Kochi’s Malabar Gold & Diamonds has earmarked Rs 8 crore for one lakh free Covid-19 vaccines for those who are facing difficulty in accessing them.
Categories: Business News

Change in LPG booking system, consumers won't have to put up with poor service anymore

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
There is good news for customers of LPG in several Indian cities — they will soon have the option to pick and choose their own distributors.Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Gurgaon, Pune, and Ranchi are the places where the facility will be made available under the pilot phase.The pilot phase is about to be launched, a statement from the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas said.Consumers will be allowed to choose their "Delivering Distributor" from the list of distributors who provide service in their address.At the time of booking for refill using registered login through customer portal or app, you will be shown the list of distributors along with their performance ratings.You will be able to choose any distributor you like from the list.Consumers can also book refills through the UMANG app or the Bharat Bill Pay System apps and platforms.Apart from empowering customers, the facility will also boost healthy competition amongst distributors, the ministry statement said.
Categories: Business News

Bitcoin ruling roils crypto world seeking regulatory clarity

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
By Vildana Hajric and Yakob PeterseilInternational banking regulators’ decision to classify Bitcoin as the riskiest of assets dragged cryptocurrencies further into the mainstream financial world.It also made it extremely costly for banks to hold digital tokens on their balance sheets, potentially delaying crypto’s wider adoption.The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision proposed that a 1,250 per cent risk weight be applied to a bank’s exposure to Bitcoin and certain other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin jumped on the announcement, then erased the gains. It was trading around $36,200 as of 10:30 a.m. in Hong Kong on Friday.“The only consistency has been the volatility -- it’s been big spikes, tons of enthusiasm, followed by big selloffs,” Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., said of Bitcoin’s moves. “If you believe in it you’re probably to stomach the volatility, but if you’re just in it because it seems like the hot way to get a quick buck, that volatility is going to be hard to deal with.” 83423448The ruling sparked a bevy of reactions across Wall Street and other financial centers worldwide. Here’s a sampling:Luke Sully, CEO at treasury technology specialist Ledgermatic:“It’s a piece of news that both advocates and critics of Bitcoin will declare as a win. It demonstrates that Bitcoin is now a recognized asset class with risk management parameters for the banks, but these same parameters could be a potential deterrent given the onerous capital requirements that may make it an unpalatable business,” he said. “There are a few underlying assumptions in this risk weighting, the most obvious being that the price may go to zero and investors could lose their full allocation. The capital requirements don’t protect the banks clients from transaction, settlement and FX volatility either.”David Tawil, president of ProChain Capital, a crypto hedge fund:To me, this whole thing, along with the IMF, is just a way for those entities to get involved in the conversation. In terms of putting these requirements it’s going to go ahead, and at least for now, take traditional banks that are traditional regulated by these regulatory entities essentially out of this game and that will allow for more and more alternative players, who are not regulated, to go ahead and to pull further ahead,” he said. “A regulator has very little upside and enormous downside -- it’s like being a policeman. You want to protect people. So the furthest you can go in terms of lodging measures that stop activity, the better. And so, I think that they are for the first time inserting themselves. This certainly does not mean the end of cryptocurrency, the end of Bitcoin.”Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex:“I don’t think these things are good or bad themselves -- it depends on what the objective is,” he said. “It’s not decentralized, it’s highly concentrated. Crypto was born in an age in which we had very extreme disparities of wealth and income -- how can it not reflect that? The bulk of Bitcoin that’s owned by wallets have more than 100 Bitcoins, that’s more than $300,000 -- how many Americans have $300,000 to put into crypto as opposed to retirement money?”Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co.:“Obviously tougher capital requirements cause banks to have more capital on hand -- that can have an impact on their earnings. The committee is saying because of risks involved -- cryptocurrencies are very volatile -- you have to have more capital on hand to protect against declines,” he said. “If it’s going to cost banks more to hold these cryptocurrencies on their books, they’re theoretically going to be less likely to hold the same kind of size as they otherwise would.”Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo said in a Bloomberg TV interview with Matt Miller:“It is getting hammered, but you know what? It’s getting treated like any other higher-risk asset like subprime loans, or CDOs, or derivatives, or structured products. And it is a new product. It’s untested through economic cycles. It’s untested through liquidity.”
Categories: Business News

Top Cryptocurrency Prices Today: Ethereum, Dogecoin, Uniswap tank up to 6%

June 11, 2021 - 11:21am
Major cryptocurrencies traded lower on Friday after international banking regulators’ decision to classify Bitcoin as the riskiest of assets and the Chinese authorities arrested suspects for using digital token for money laundering.The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on Thursday proposed that a 1,250% risk weight be applied to a bank’s exposure to Bitcoin and certain other cryptocurrencies.In China, police arrested over 1,100 people suspected of using cryptocurrencies to launder illegal proceeds from telephone and Internet scams in a recent crackdown, the Ministry of Public Security said. The arrests came as authorities in China stepped up their crackdown on cryptocurrency trading.The Top 10 digital currencies traded up to 6 per cent lower at 9.30 hours (IST) on Friday. The crypto market has also turned skeptical of El Salvador's decision to legalise Bitcoin.El Salvador has become the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. This is likely to dampen the ability of central banks to act as lender of last resort. Salvador's experiment will provide the first opportunity for analysts to gauge the cryptocurrency impact on an economy."We witnessed a very choppy session across the crypto spectrum in the past 24 hours. Most of the digital tokens tanked. Bitcoin, however, was the talk of the town after El Salvador announced its decision to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender," said Edul Patel, CEO and Co-founder, Mudrex.The IMF has raised some serious concerns with El Salvador's Bitcoin move."Adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis," said an IMF spokesman. "We are following developments closely, and we'll continue our consultations with the authorities."According to ZebPay Trade Desk, "The week has been in the red for most assets in the crypto space. The market has seen a fall in prices, volumes, and market capitalization. This suggests that the overall sentiment in the market is still bearish, however, post the market reset, the volatility has also reduced among these assets."Bitcoin’s recent bounce has yet to dispel doubts about its vulnerability. While the momentum may cheer bulls, a JPMorgan Chase said backwardation in the futures market - where the spot price is above futures prices - is a reason for caution.Global regulators have proposed to introduce capital requirements for banks dealing in cryptos. The announcement from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is another sign that the world of traditional finance is responding to the rise of crypto assets. !function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;rTech View: ZebPay Trade DeskBitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. It creates the infrastructure required for fast payments, micro fees, privacy, and high transaction capacity (big blocks). It is the 12th largest cryptocurrency with a total market cap of $12 billion.It is a permissionless, decentralized cryptocurrency, and hence requires no trusted third parties or a central bank. BCH has a limited supply of 21 million coins, hence scarce. Transactions are very fast, and transaction fees are as less as $0.01. Today, many merchants accept BCH as a means of payment. 83423361BCH, post making the low of $467.8 showed good recovery and surged almost by 72% up to $807.27. The asset then resisted at these levels and prices retraced almost by 32%.Technically, on the daily time frame, the asset is trading sideways in a ‘Symmetrical Triangle’ pattern (During this period of indecision, the highs and the lows seem to come together at the point of the triangle with virtually no significant volume). Hence, Breakouts on either side with good volumes will further decide the trend.Major levelsSupport: $539.19 and $467.80Resistance: $721.55 and $868.55Time is in UTC and the daily time frame is 12:00 AM - 12: 00 PM UTC(Views and recommendations given in this section are the analysts' own and do not represent those of ETMarkets.com. Please consult your financial adviser before taking any position in the asset/s mentioned.)
Categories: Business News

Gehlot wins over more MLAs close to Sachin Pilot

June 11, 2021 - 8:21am
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot appears to have made a stealth strike again. Gehlot is learnt to have won over a group of rebel Congress MLAs during the last fortnight after a series of low-profile meetings. These rebel MLAs in question had stayed aligned with former deputy CM Sachin Pilot even after their coup bid failed last year, making Congress circles in Delhi and Jaipur wonder whether Pilot’s latest lament on non-redress of pending issues was a coincidence or reflection of his dismay over Gehlot’s latest manoeuvre.Rebel MLAs including Vishwendra Singh Bhagalpur, PR Meena, Inder Ram Gujjar — who were with Pilot at a Haryana hotel last year during their month-long ill-fated operation — have warmed up to the CM and have made public statements in his favour, triggering a buzz about yet another realignment, Congress leaders familiar with the developments said. They had remained with Pilot even after some other rebels led by Bhawar Lal Sharma left the hotel, made peace with the CM, and busted the toppling plot last year.The ‘mellowing’ of rebels, Congress insiders said, followed the CM meeting them individually, in person or online, while ‘reviewing progress of development work’ in their respective constituencies and other matters. The local media quoted Vishwajit Singh as saying, “I stand with Ashok Gehlot. Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi has designated him as CM. I am with Sachin Pilot too and am acting like a bridge between Gehlot and Pilot so that Congress can be saved.” But his son, a known supporter of Pilot, mounted a social media campaign to take pot shots at his father.Congress leaders referred to Meena’s widely reported comments after his recent meeting with the CM: “The CM gave to my constituency more than what I had asked for. I thank CM Gehlot wholeheartedly. The Congress was united, is united and will remain united. I can guarantee that the Congress government will be formed again in the state and if the people’s condition continues to remain the same under the Modi government, then the Congress government will be formed in the country too,” he had said.While the MLAs were not available for comments, another senior Congress leader said: “All MLAs have to ultimately ensure development to keep the people of their constituency happy. We cannot overlook the overall aspirations of the people for appeasing the so-called ‘wounded sentiment’ of some sections of the Gujjar community. This is not the time to play politics to seek or relish power. This is the time for serving the people who are struggling to save their lives fighting Covid-19.” It remains to be seen whether the MLAs, along with earlier rebels-turned loyalists, would find ministerial berths in the next expansion.The AICC spokesperson had on Wednesday said Pilot should show patience and hope the leadership will take care of his aspirations. The Pilot camp has been hopeful of him getting an early AICC post ever since he was removed from PCC president and deputy CM posts.
Categories: Business News

Covid year gives boost to vegan cosmetics

June 11, 2021 - 8:21am
Vegan cosmetics and personal care brands in India saw a jump in demand in 2020-21, a year that saw conversations around sustainable choices peak, catalysed by the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 originated in wet markets that sell live, wild animals. Brands like Plum, MyGlamm and Juicy Chemistry, whose product portfolios are wholly or partly vegan, say sales surged, at times up to 2x, in the last one year, thanks to a growing interest in and greater awareness about veganism and conscious living among consumers, largely among millennials and Gen Z.“We believe that being cruelty-free and moving to 100% vegan products is going to soon become table stakes for all beauty brands. The consumer is moving towards clean beauty and vegan products are an integral part of the same,” says Darpan Sanghvi, founder & CEO of MyGlamm. Sanghvi says sales of the direct-to-consumer brand, which in March raised Rs 175 crore from investors, including Amazon, grew 200% in the last one year. About 90% of its product portfolio is currently vegan, which means it contains no ingredient derived from animals.Body Shop India, a pioneer in offering cruelty-free products – those that have not been tested on animals -- attests to this. “Today, there is greater awareness about the ingredients in products and customers make choices based on this knowledge,” says Harmeet Singh, vice-president, marketing, merchandising and ecommerce, Asia South, The Body Shop.Ingredients extracted from animals are common in many cosmetics -- from beeswax in lip balm to carmine, a bright red derived from crushing an insect called cochineal, which is used in a range of coloured products. The increasing interest in vegan cosmetics, a niche segment in the $14-15 billion Indian beauty and personal market, mirrors what’s happening in the West, where celebrities like singer Ariana Grande are vocal ambassadors of the vegan lifestyle. Research by market intelligence firm Mintel showed that one in five Indian consumers defined a sustainable beauty product as one that uses vegan ingredients.“When we launched in 2014, we weren't sure if those who were using our products would be only vegans or if it would be everybody with a silent appreciation for the vegan way of life -- fortunately it turned out to be the latter,” says Shankar Prasad, founder of Plum, possibly the first 100% Indian vegan beauty brand. Plum’s sales grew 2.5 times in 2020-21, and the company is just short of an annualised run rate of Rs 200 crore, according to Prasad.The paradox of the growing interest in veganism in a country that is the largest producer and consumer of milk isn’t lost on Pritesh Asher, who cofounded Juicy Chemistry with his wife, Megha, in 2016 but, understandably, he’s not complaining. Though the company had vegan products right from its launch, it is only over the last two years that it started promoting this aspect of its portfolio. “As awareness grew, we kept getting requests from customers to give them vegan options and we realised that since the majority of our line is vegan, we should promote it to the vegan community,” says Asher, whose company raised $6.3 million in a Series A round last month. Much of the marketing for these brands is via social media, particularly Instagram, keeping in mind their target audience. “Millennial customers are the major consumers of this particular beauty segment since they are more inclined towards trying innovative products,” says Smita Baishakhia, head of product development at MyGlamm. Making a shift to vegan cosmetics is also less of a hurdle than something more dramatic, like dietary changes. “It’s easier to make sustainable choices in terms of beauty and fashion so we are seeing a lot of people who may not be vegan by diet but are taking steps in that direction,” says Desiree Pereira, who cofounded vegan beauty brand Disguise Cosmetics in 2018, along with two of her colleagues and fellow-scientists at L’Oreal. Pereira says sales rose over 70% in 2020 compared with the previous year.Plum’s Prasad is thankful that in India, awareness about sustainable choices has grown simultaneously with the acceleration of conspicuous consumption. “The larger theme of conscious consumption is going to be a lasting one,” he adds. “The only thing to watch out for is lip service.”
Categories: Business News

Govt may extend, expand stimulus measures

June 11, 2021 - 8:21am
Covid-related relief programmes and stimulus measures could be extended, given greater funding and expanded to support more businesses and sectors hit by the pandemic, said people aware of the matter.Additionally, with many states beginning to relax curbs, the finance ministry will push ministries for a quick rollout and frontloading of the ₹5.54 lakh crore capital spending announced in the budget. The flagship Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), which now covers nearly 30 sectors including civil aviation and hospitals, could be expanded to more areas with easier conditions and provided higher capital support. “Discussions are going on — a final call would be taken shortly,” said an official.Tax Breaks May be ExtendedIncome tax breaks provided to the construction and real estate sector may be extended. The rural employment scheme could be given more funds to provide assistance until the economy opens up fully and people are able to return to regular work.83420978ET had reported Thursday that the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, which offers incentives to the private sector for creating new jobs, is likely to be extended.The Centre’s focus is on continuing with measures announced earlier and providing enhanced benefits under them with additional allocations, said another official. The ECLGS corpus, which has remained at Rs 3 lakh crore as more sectors have been included, is expected to be increased. Banks have so far sanctioned about Rs 2.54 lakh crore of loans under the scheme.The government guarantees additional loans taken by stressed businesses under various programmes to tide over working capital issues and make a rapid restart as lockdowns are lifted.
Categories: Business News

Pfizer, Moderna jabs may not be part of India's free Covid vaccination drive

June 11, 2021 - 8:21am
Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are unlikely to be included in India’s public free immunisation drive for all adults above 18 years of age, but the government will facilitate procurement of the two vaccines, people aware of the matter said.The high cost of the two vaccines is likely to act as a deterrent for bulk procurement and inclusion in the public immunisation drive, they said. The Centre is in advance talks with both the companies for their Covid-19 vaccines and had even indicated that Pfizer vaccine could be available for India as early as July. “We will facilitate the procurement since both the companies have always maintained that they deal with sovereign governments only. But these vaccines would be available largely in the private hospitals,” said a central government official who did not wish to be identified.Behind this strategy is the Centre’s plan to scale up vaccination from this month to avoid a third wave. “The target is ambitious as we want to cover at least 40% of the adult population with at least one dose,” the official said. “This would mean large scale procurement of vaccines. If we want to increase the reach, more vaccines would be required and investing in expensive vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna would not be logical.” At the same time, the government hopes that availability of these highly effective vaccines would take the load off the public immunisation drive as beneficiaries who can afford them would be willing to get them at private hospitals.Another big factor working against inclusion of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in the public immunisation drive is the cold chain requirement as both the vaccines need temperatures below zero. This can be maintained only in big hospitals in state hospitals or large metros. “This restricts our choice of cities considerably,” the official said. “It would require investment in cold chain... We would rather invest in procuring more vaccines for the masses.” The vaccine bill of India is likely to increase beyond Rs 34,000 crore. Back of the envelope calculation now puts it at over Rs 50,000 crore. As per health ministry’s calculations, India has to cover 95 crore population. “This would mean a requirement of 195 cr doses including wastage,” the official said. The health ministry has asked all state governments to prioritise covering healthcare workers and frontline workers with second doses. So far, 82% of healthcare workers have got their first dose but the second dose coverage is 56%. Eighteen states and UTs have coverage below the national average. These include Punjab, Maharashtra, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Assam.
Categories: Business News

As Covid rages, demand for small-ticket loans on the rise from beyond metros

June 11, 2021 - 8:21am
Covid-19 has affected borrower behaviour patterns in the consumer segment, with a majority of requests coming from tier-two urban areas and smaller towns. Ticket sizes have also shrunk and millennials now account for a bulk of the retail loans, said a joint report by credit bureau TransUnion Cibil and Google.The report also underscores the increasing use of technology platforms to borrow in recent times.An analysis of consumer loan patterns by the credit bureau showed that 49 % of new-to-credit retail borrowers are below 30. Small-ticket lending is increasingly moving out of larger metros, with 70% of disbursals from smaller cities and towns. Besides, the preference is for small-size loans of up to ₹25,000. Personal loans have gone up from 10% in 2017 to 60% in 2020, the report noted. 83420714The study also found that borrowers are increasingly relying on the internet to meet their borrowing needs.“Consumer credit demand and access have undergone a paradigm shift over the last few years, with the post-pandemic circumstances having further accelerated this change,” said Rajesh Kumar, CEO of TransUnion Cibil.Technology and digital access are helping lenders locate, reach and engage with new customers, particularly those in smaller cities and towns. In 2020, 77% of all retail loan enquiries were from tier-II cities and beyond, according to the report. It notes that online searches for loans from non-tier-I cities went up by two-and-a-half times between 2017 and 2020. Interestingly, 55% of users surveyed for the study reported using an online tool or recommendation to aid their credit purchase decision.Searches for car loans grew at a faster pace at 55% in the second half of 2020 compared to a 22% growth in home loan inquiries through these channels.Demand for consumer credit, after a brief decline in the second quarter ofcalendar 2020, continued to rebound to almost 90% of the pre-Covid levels toward the end of the year.
Categories: Business News

Analysts expect Bata India to gain 5-6% more on Q4 show

June 11, 2021 - 8:21am
Mumbai: Analysts are betting on another 5-6 per cent upside in shares of footwear maker Bata India following a 4.8 per cent jump in Thursday's session on the back of better-than-estimated March quarter results.The stock on Thursday surged the most since September 2020 owing to the earnings beat and as it is expected to be a beneficiary of a pick-up in sales momentum as lockdown-like curbs are lifted across states.“Post results, the stock has given a breakout of consolidation of the last four-five days. Short covering and fresh long-build-up has been there,” said Rajesh Palviya, head-technicals and derivatives at Axis Securities. “Looking at the current scenario, the stock can move further higher to Rs 1,710-1,740.”The stock closed at Rs 1,632.7, taking the last one month’s gains to 21 per cent.“Numbers were expected to be down because of the pandemic. We had a severe lockdown in the June quarter also. Accordingly, investors are prepared and betting beyond the lockdown,” Hemang Jani, head of equity strategy-broking and distribution at Motilal Oswal.Sanjeev Bhasin, director, IIFL Securities sees a 25 per cent upside potential. “Bata went into a change of business model to contract basis, which has helped improve profitability...the reopening trade will have a huge impact,” said Bhasin.
Categories: Business News

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