Business News

Subscribe to Business News feed Business News
The Economic Times: Breaking news, views, reviews, cricket from across India
Updated: 2 hours 10 min ago

Coal India's fuel allocation under spot e-auction rises 59 pc during Apr-Nov

December 21, 2020 - 11:31pm
New Delhi: State-owned CIL allocated 25.78 million tonnes (MT) of coal in the first eight months of this fiscal under spot e-auction scheme, registering a year-on-year increase of 59.4 per cent. Coal India Ltd (CIL) had allocated 16.17 MT of coal in the April-November period of the previous fiscal, according to government data. Fuel allocation by CIL under the scheme also increased to 4.09 MT in November, from over 3.58 MT in the corresponding month of 2019. Coal distribution through e-auction was introduced to provide access to coal for such buyers who are not able to source the dry fuel through the available institutional mechanism, according to CIL's website. The purpose of e-auction is to provide equal opportunity to all intending buyers for purchasing coal through single window service. Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output. CIL has revised its production target to 650-660 MT for the current fiscal in the wake of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The miner had earlier set a production target of 710 MT for the 2020-21 fiscal. "COVID-19 pandemic has affected demand for coal. However, demand has started to pick up now as the industries have commenced operations. "Given the situation, we are hopeful to end the year with 650-660 million tonne of production," Coal India Chairman Pramod Agrawal had said.
Categories: Business News

Covid and M&A: Investors bet big on India in November, hope for a fast recovery

December 21, 2020 - 11:31pm
Mumbai: Investors are back in India betting big on acquiring businesses and investing money to buy stakes in companies as they hope that growth is set to return as hopes of Covid vaccine emerge.Investors pumped as much money in India this November as they had way back in 2015, said a research report.Globally investors have been pumping money in capital markets as they think that gold and the US dollar may not as much going ahead.With 149 private equity (PE) and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions, November 2020 recorded the highest number of deals since November 2015. The transaction value was around $ 6.9 billion. In terms of deal volume and value, the month reflected a growth of 19% and 52%, respectively, as compared with the same period last year, a Grant Thornton Bharat report said.The COVID-19 pandemic has created several transaction opportunities by identifying sectors that remained insulated or thrived during the pandemic, indicating high potential and highlighting the significantly impacted ones, an indicator of the need for more resources. The hopes for a vaccine in the near term and the stimulus by the government in various forms and measures are expected to heat the transactions landscape and make all stakeholders seize the opportunities created, the report added.While November saw a steep jump, this trend may not continue further caution experts due to the new Covid stain found in the UK. Industry observers say that the way capital markets reacted to the UK news shows that the investors are still unsure of recovery and the volatility.This wasn’t the case in November though. Investors put big money investing in the real estate; retail and consumer; manufacturing; pharma; agriculture and forestry, and infrastructure sectors. These sectors witnessed nine high-value transactions aggregating to $ 5.3 billion, which constituted about 77% of the overall deal values reported in the month. About 86 transactions were reported in the start-up segment, which included nine M&A transactions and 77 PE transactions aggregating to $ 764 million, which is about 58% of the total volumes of the month. The real estate, retail and consumer, pharma and IT & ITES are expected to be the evergreen sectors for M&A and PE transactions, the Grant Thornton Bharat report added.
Categories: Business News

Tata Motors to increase commercial vehicle prices from January

December 21, 2020 - 8:31pm
MUMBAI: Tata Motors on Monday said its commercial vehicle prices will be revised upward from January next year.The steady rise in material and other input costs, impact of forex and transition to BS-VI norms, have cumulatively increased the cost of manufacturing vehicles, necessitating a price revision to partially offset the impact, the company said in a statement."There will be a price increase across Tata Motors commercial vehicle range, effective January 01, 2021," the company said in the statement.It said the actual change in price will depend on individual model, variant and fuel type.The company had thus far been absorbing the addition in costs but with their steady rise in line with market trend, it has become imperative to pass at least some portion of the cost increase to customers via appropriate price revisions, it added.The price increase is expected across the portfolio of medium and heavy commercial vehicles, intermediate and light commercial vehicles, small commercial vehicles as well as buses, Tata Motors said.
Categories: Business News

India’s growth as R&D hub to drive demand for commercial real estate: Report

December 21, 2020 - 8:31pm
MUMBAI: India is expected to become a hub of global Engineering Research & Development centres and contribute significantly to the digital strategies of global multinational corporations resulting in higher demand for commercial real estate and data centres.By financial year 2022, engineering R&D revenues are estimated to register a compound annual growth of around 8% with multinationals driving growth across products and services, said property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.Going forward, Engineering R&D revenues are expected to surpass revenues from business process management (BPM) services, thereby consolidating the former's position as the second-highest contributor to software revenues, after information technology.Moreover, Indian technologies and applications such as artificial intelligence, cloud, predictive analytics smart devices, etc. As of financial year 2019, Engineering R&D centres accounted for around 20% of cumulative software revenues multinational corporations caught routed around half of Engineering R&D revenues.This is expected to have a favorable impact on the development of the RMD systems. In India, as well as, job creation over the medium to long term.According to Cushman & Wakefield, several tier-II cities are showing potential for the establishment of Global Capability Centres (GCC). Most of these are state capitals and are able to attract fresh talent besides better connectivity, superior physical and social infrastructure, while these cities are also ranked higher on ease of living and doing business. The Indian GCC ecosystem is being driven by digital engineering or Engineering R&D centres across several industry verticals, such as software, automotive, and banking financial services and insurance over the medium to long term.
Categories: Business News

Want to play the solar boom in India? This stock is your best bet

December 21, 2020 - 8:31pm
MUMBAI: Borosil Renewables, India’s only solar glass manufacturer, could benefit from the imposition of 40 per cent customs duty on solar modules and 25 per cent on solar cells. The sharp increase in prices of photovoltaic glass (PV) due to high demand could also boost its share price, analysts said. The stock has rallied 56 per cent in the past one month and on Monday climbed 4 per cent in a weak market to Rs 173.65.Borosil last week raised Rs 200 crore through qualified institutional placement for expanding its capacities. FPIs have also increased their stake from 0.42 per cent to 10.08 per cent in the QIP.Prices for glass that coat photovoltaic panels have risen over 75 per cent since July, and manufacturers are struggling to produce it in sufficient quantities. The shortage comes as the solar industry turns toward bifacial panels, which increase both power output and glass requirements.Borosil refurbished an old furnace last year and added a second furnace with a capacity of 240 MT/day for Rs 227 crore. It is also planning to install a third furnace with an installed capacity of up to 500 MT with a capex of Rs. 500 crore. New capacity will be operational by the first quarter of 2023.“Borosil Renewable is the best stock to play the solar boom in India,” said Vikram Sharma, analyst, Niveshaay. “It can achieve a turnover of Rs. 1,000 crore after completion of announced capex.”Borosil’s EBITDA margin contracted to 6-7 per cent in the first half of FY 20 due to decline in selling price and increase in operating costs, resulting from poor performance of its old furnace before refurbishment. However, in the first half of FY21 margin improved to 25 per cent.
Categories: Business News

Market Movers: SpiceJet, InterGlobe Aviation tank; 314 stocks flash sell signal

December 21, 2020 - 8:31pm
NEW DELHI: Aviation stocks took a hit on Monday after the government announced a ban on all flights to and from the UK till the end of this year. On the other hand, Mahindra & Mahindra too slipped more than 6 per cent after the company said its loss-making South Korean arm SsangYong Motor Company (SYMC) has filed for bankruptcy.Overall, the benchmark equity indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty snapped their six-day winning streak as market participants preferred to book profit amid weak global cues and concerns over a new strain of the virus leading to fresh restrictions in European countries. The 30-share Sensex tanked 1,406.73 points, or 3 per cent, to close at 45,553.96. Likewise, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 432 points, or 3.14 per cent, to settle at 13,328.Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said, “In fear of a new wave of coronavirus and reports of the rapid spreading of new virus strain in the UK, a deep correction was triggered in the equity market. Travel restrictions imposed by several countries to and from the UK have added concerns of yet another lockdown.”Here is a lowdown on what happened in today’s trade:Aviation stocks tumbleShares of SpiceJet and InterGlobe Aviation tanked up to 10 per cent after the Civil Aviation Ministry said all flights from the UK to India and vice versa will remain suspended from Wednesday to December 31 amid the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there. Shares of SpiceJet cracked 9.99 per cent to Rs 91.45, while InterGlobe Aviation settled 8.71 per cent down at Rs 1,507.Who moved my SensexAll the 30 components of the Sensex pack ended in the red. With a fall of 9.15 per cent, ONGC emerged as the top loser in the benchmark equity index. It was followed by IndusInd Bank (down 6.98 per cent), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 6.26 per cent) and State Bank of India (down 6.19 per cent). Index heavyweight Reliance Industries too declined 2.62 per cent, while IT majors Infosys and TCS slipped also lost over 1 per cent.Promoter/ designated person action: GE Shipping, Newgen Software TechnologiesPromoter Gopali Mulji of Great Easter Shipping disposed 10,000 shares of the company on December 18, BSE data showed on Monday. The scrip closed 6.81 per cent lower at Rs 249.85.Designated person Atul Kumar Pharasi of Newgen Software Technologies sold 5,000 shares of the company between December 15 and 18. The scrip settled 5.30 per cent down at Rs 254.80.Stocks at 52-week highOver 100 stocks scaled 52-week highs on the NSE. Some of the stocks in the list included 20 Microns, Cadila Healthcare, Cera Sanitaryware, Automotive Axles, Almondz Global, Golden Tobacco, HIL, Hindustan Motors, Lakshmi Machine Works and Khandwala Securities, among others. On the other hand, Jump Networks and Ravinder Heights scaled their new 52-week lows.Stocks that hit lower circuitAs many as 499 stocks hit lower circuits on the NSE. These included SpiceJet, Tata Steel PP, Hindustan Copper, Equitas Holdings, Jaiprakash Power, Nucleus Software and Jaiprakash Associates, among others.314 stocks that flash sellSome 314 stocks on the NSE flashed the ‘sell’ signal on the MACD indicator during Monday’s trade. They included ONGC, BHEL, Tata Power, Bank of Baroda, SAIL, Indian Oil Corporation, Canara Bank, ITC, Vedanta, Ashok Leyland and NTPC, among others.Most active countersWith a total traded quantity of 34.16 crore shares, Vodafone Idea emerged as the most active stock on the NSE in terms of volume. It was followed by YES Bank (16.89 crore), RTN Power (13.91 crore) and Tata Motors (7.55 crore). On the other hand, Reliance Industries, (Rs 4,026 crore), Larsen & Toubro (Rs 2,706 crore), Bajaj Finance (Rs 1,816 crore) and HDFC Bank (Rs 1,666 crore) stood among most active in terms of value.Midcaps, smallcap underperformIn the broader market, the BSE Smallcap and Midcap indices underperformed largecaps. The former declined 4.57 per cent to 16,956, while the later settled 4.14 per cent down at 17,064. However, MTNL, Tasty Bites, BCG, Kiri Industries and Persistent advanced up to 12 per cent in the smallcap space. Honeywell Automation (up 3.48 per cent), Mphasis (up 1.49 per cent) and LTI (up 0.70 per cent) also defied gravity and emerged as top gainers in the midcap space.IPO update: Antony Waste Handling CellAntony Waste Handling Cell's initial public offering got fully subscribed within the first few hours of opening on Monday. The company has joined the likes of Burger King India and Mrs Bectors Food Specialities to have received oversubscription in a few hours of opening for subscription. The initial public offering (IPO), to raise about Rs 300 crore, received bids for 1,28,59,294 shares against 66,66,342 shares on offer, according to NSE data till 4.30 PM (IST).Where is Nifty headed?Aditya Agarwala, Senior Technical Analyst, YES Securities, said the Monday’s fall came after a series of Hanging Man and Doji candlesticks formed over a period of 2 weeks indicating a weakening uptrend. “A failure to move back above 13,400 may trigger deeper corrections dragging the Nifty lower to levels of 13,000-12,800. Moreover, RSI has also turned below the 60 level confirming a temporary pause in the uptrend. However, on the flip side a trade back above 13,400 may trigger short covering rally to levels of 13,500-13,600,” he added.
Categories: Business News

Flights from UK suspended until December 31

December 21, 2020 - 5:30pm
As a new strain of Coronavirus was detected in the United Kingdom, India bans all flights to and from the country starting tomorrow till the end of this year.“Considering the prevailing situation in (the) UK. Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from UK to India to be suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours). This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during the above said period,” the aviation ministry said in a tweet.Every passenger arriving from the UK, will also have to be tested upon arrival. “As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned,” the ministry said in a series of tweets.Countries across Europe, which include The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, and Canada have banned travellers from the UK since Sunday, a day after the country ordered a lockdown in London and surrounding areas, citing concerns over spreading of the new variant of the coronavirus.This new strain of virus and flights cancellations have come at a time, when the Indian government is planning to start normal international flights with COVID infections in the country on a declining trend and start of vaccination in the UK and the US. India has also announced that the vaccine will be available from January next year.
Categories: Business News

Auto companies need to map vulnerabilities, realign supply chains to meet challenges: Report

December 21, 2020 - 5:30pm
NEW DELHI: Automobile companies in India will need to map vulnerabilities and realign their supply chains to meet current challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by consultancy firm EY.With the supplier base of a majority of components in the Indian auto industry not diversified, the report -- Non-linear automotive supply chain - COVID-19 and Beyond -- said the impact of the global health crisis on the industry has been deep-rooted.Commenting on the findings of the report, EY India Partner and Automotive Sector Leader Vinay Raghunath said: "The Indian automotive supplier base is currently not too diversified for the majority of components. This was to drive volume-based price efficiencies. However, this strategy is highly exposed to risks arising from disruptions in geographies that supply key auto components."Stating that the impact of COVID-19 on the industry has been "been deep-rooted" the report recommended "a bottom-up evaluation of the supply chain architecture and its vulnerabilities against external factors like the pandemic"."Automotive firms will need to map vulnerabilities and realign their supply chains to meet current challenges," EY India said.The sector's dependency on imports -- USD 17.5 billion worth of auto components -- has also played a part in escalating the challenges of the sector due to higher costs."Before the pandemic, to enforce 'Make in India', the government in the union budget 2020-21 hiked customs duty on raw materials and inputs imported by domestic manufacturers 2.5 per cent -5 per cent, and completely built units (CBUs) from 30 per cent- 40 per cent for commercial vehicles other than electric," EY India said.Traditionally, logistics costs in India have been comparatively higher than its other neighbouring nations."The key challenge for the Indian automotive supply chain would be to manage the cost escalation year-on-year, driven by rising fuel costs. OEMs, therefore, need to explore the ability of key suppliers to fulfil orders from alternative locations," it added.Stating that the Indian auto industry needs to deploy crisis management, governance and supply chain intelligence, the report also said the critical first step would be to identify a company's key direct suppliers and dependencies - both in the supply and the demand side."It requires an in-depth mapping exercise to understand its ability to meet supply requirements and responses during potential risk scenarios. This will enable the creation of a flexible ecosystem comprising suppliers and distribution partners," it added.The report also said exploring agile and flexible supply and distribution networks could drastically reduce the risks associated with the unpredictability of demand."Being highly dependent on the lowest cost supplier and minimal inventory might significantly impact the supply chain, as the business environment deals with dynamic demand characteristics of the market," it said, adding there is a need to appropriately evaluate newer variables for designing the optimal supply chain model, basis the possible external scenarios.
Categories: Business News

Western Coalfields to enter into joint venture with Orissa Mineral Development Corporation

December 21, 2020 - 5:30pm
Nagpur: CIL subsidiary Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) will enter into a joint venture with Orissa Mineral Development Corporation (OMDC) for peak production capacity of 75 million tonnes of coal. Its Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv R Mishra also said 20 more mines will be opened by 2023-24, which shall sustain the production level over 75 million tonnes. He added that WCL will enter into the joint venture with OMDC taking up five coal blocks in the Raigad district on the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. WCL is planning for a peak production capacity of 75 million tonnes. While speaking at a event where he was felicitated by the Press Club here, Mishra spoke about his journey as the WCL chairman and managing director and challenges he had to face to achieve the coal production targets. "We opened up 23 mines in the past six years and acquired 9,522 hectare land. We have achieved the highest-ever coal production of 57.64 million tonnes in 2019-20," he said. Mishra is retiring on December 31 and will be replaced by Manoj Kumar. Currently, Kumar is the director (technical) of WCL.
Categories: Business News

Indigo partners with car rental company Urban Drive

December 21, 2020 - 2:28pm
New Delhi: IndiGo announced on Monday it has partnered with car rental company Urban Drive so that passengers can book self-driven and chauffeur driver services across 60 cities in India. Passengers will be able to book this service using the airline's website, said its statement. "Through this collaboration, IndiGo customers will be able to book a chauffeur-driven cab service across 60 cities which are serving 42 airports on IndiGo domestic network: with options of hourly, intercity and airport transfer packages," it noted. The additional benefits of booking through this collaboration would be that the passengers will not have to pay any waiting or cancellation charges for the service incase of delay or cancellation of their flights, the statement mentioned.
Categories: Business News

Capital Foods names Navin Tewari as new Managing Director

December 21, 2020 - 2:28pm
Capital Foods, maker of Ching's Secret and Smith & Jones brands, on Monday named Navin Tewari as its new managing director and chief executive officer. Tewari succeeds Ajay Gupta, who will now be non-executive chairman, the company said in a statement. The changes are effective January 1, 2021.Capital Foods is backed by private equity firms Invus Group and General Atlantic. General Atlantic managing director (India & Southeast Asia) Shantanu Rastogi said Capital Foods at an inflection point of growth.Tewari has been associated with the company since early 2019 in the role of chief executive officer. The elevation comes at a time when the packaged foods sector is seeing heightened interest from investors and surge in sales, fuelled by rapid increase in in-home consumption. Capital Foods’ product franchise includes frozen foods, ready-to-eat, instant snacks, spices, and condiments. While the Ching’s Secret brand sells soups, noodles, and sauces under its portfolio, Smith & Jones includes pastes and mixes.
Categories: Business News

ETMarkets Survey: Potential party poopers for 2021 that call for strict vigil

December 21, 2020 - 2:28pm
NEW DELHI: While the outlook for domestic equities remains super-bullish, such projections are not without their fair share of worries and concerns.Top domestic brokerages who took part in the ETMarkets New Year Survey said it would require the market to get over a number of concerns in order to be able to deliver on those bullish projections for Calendar 2021.They include a surge in commodity prices and a resultant inflation, possible rollback of stimulus measures by global central banks, a slower-than-expected recovery in businesses, stickiness in non-performing assets (NPAs) at banks and rising returns in other asset classes, such as cryptocurrency and real estate among others. Analysts at a dozen brokerages largely agreed that rising inflation would pose a key risk to any further upside for the market.G Chokkalingam, Founder at Equinomics Research and Advisory, said it is possible that the inflation rate would shoot up due to excessive liquidity in the global economy and a spike in commodity prices.“Our market does not have adequate depth in terms of liquidity,” Chokkalingam said.If FPIs sell even 0.5 per cent of the total market-cap due to inflation concerns, it would mean over $12 billion outflows.“When FIIs sold just $8 billion worth of equities last March, the market fell 38 per cent. Thus, a possible spike in inflation and the resultant selloff by FIIs, tapering of stimulus measures by central bank and withdrawal of new retail investors at the first sign of correction in stocks could be major risks in 2021,” he said.Nirali Shah of Samco Securities said rising inflation, if it remains unchecked, could pose a big risk. “It can rise due to a spike in Brent crude prices,” he said. Another risk to stocks could come from the impact of loan moratorium on bank books.Rusmik Oza of Kotak Securities said the economy is bracing for financial sector stress, emanating due to the slowdown and moratorium-related bad loans."Any sharp rise in global bond yields could lead to a reversal of flows from emerging markets, thereby impacting equity markets. This year’s rally in global equities has been fuelled by big technology stocks in the US. Multiple law suits have been filed against some of the Big Tech companies in the US and Europe. Any negative outcome on this front can lead to a correction in those stocks, leading to a correction in global equities," he said.Another factor weighing on the market would be higher stock valuations. The index is trading at a forward P/E of 20.5 times against the long-term average of 16-17 times, said Vinit Bolinjkar, Head of Research at Ventura Securities.“A significant surge in commodity prices could increase input cost of Nifty companies and impact their earnings potential,” he said.Naveen Kulkarni, Chief Investment Officer of Axis Securities, counted NPA challenges, sustenance of the economic recovery and inflation as three major challenges for equities. “If inflation comes back globally, interest rates will start moving up and that will have a major impact on liquidity,” he said.Gaurav Garg, Head of Research at CapitalVia Global Research, said the inflation rate has been hovering above RBI’s comfort zone. "How RBI deals with this situation has to be seen. And this could pose a potential risk to the Indian economy. Less-than-expected quarterly earnings, corporate debt defaults and escalated geopolitical tensions can be other risks that can put the brakes on the stocks rally.“On the other hand, continued FII flows, solid demand and economic recovery and improvement in macro-economic data can add further strength to the market and boost investor sentiments," he said.
Categories: Business News

High-flying Tesla joins S&P 500; skeptics say buyer beware

December 21, 2020 - 2:28pm
DETROIT: In the middle of last year, Tesla's losses were piling up, sales weren't enough to cover expenses and big debt payments loomed. The situation was so bad that one influential Wall Street analyst raised the possibility that Tesla wouldn't be able to pay its bills and would have to be restructured financially. Since then, the electric car and solar panel maker's shares have skyrocketed, rising over 700 per cent this year alone. Monday morning it will join the prestigious S&P 500 index with a market value of over $600 billion. It's the largest addition in the history of the index. Tesla's rise to become the world's most valuable automaker and rank among the top 10 biggest U.S. companies is a surprising accomplishment considering that the company lost $1.1 billion in the first half of 2019. The increase is so stunning that even CEO Elon Musk has said the shares are overpriced. Global sales hit a record of almost 140,000 in the third quarter, debt has been reduced with proceeds from stock offerings, and Musk's company is building two huge factories to make new vehicles and satisfy demand. Intensely loyal followers have invested billions and Musk has become the world's third-richest man, according to Forbes. Tesla and Musk have for years engendered strong divisions on Wall Street, and the rise from near-collapse to an astronomical valuation is no exception. Many investors who drove Tesla's value higher are individuals who bought the stock after a five-for-one split reduced the price of a single share last summer. The bulls are largely betting on the company's future and point to five straight profitable quarters, rising sales, and world-leading battery and software technology to justify their bets. Bears, including short sellers who have lost millions betting against the stock, still predict a collapse. They cite limited markets for high-priced Tesla vehicles, repeated quality problems, huge capital costs for factories, and growing competition from conventional automakers. New York investment manager Ark Invest has consistently predicted Tesla's meteoric rise. Ark says Tesla has a technology advantage over other auto companies in performance and range of its vehicles. And if Musk makes good on his pledge to reduce battery costs, demand for electric vehicles will rise, with Tesla uniquely positioned to respond at large scale. "If you look at a company like Tesla, they're single-handedly in a way sort of making that curve, because they're the largest producer of batteries," said analyst Tasha Keeney. Tesla's lowest-priced vehicle, the Model 3, is pulling buyers from mainstream brands with a base price of $37,990, Keeney said. That can quickly rise above $40,000 or even $50,000 with options. Tesla's upcoming angular Cybertruck pickup, starting at $39,900, will hit a mass market price comparable to other pickups, Keeney said. And Musk has promised battery breakthroughs that will bring a more affordable $25,000 vehicle, she said. Ark sees Tesla's shares rising to $1,400 by 2024. The investment firm also sees earnings potential from Tesla one day using its vehicles to run a profitable autonomous robotaxi service. Tesla, Keeney said, is building a huge database of experiences from cars now on the roads, giving it an advantage over competitors including Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo, considered to be the leader in autonomous driving technology. This all makes little sense to the bears, who consider Tesla's valuation absurdly high. On paper, Tesla is worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan and Daimler combined. "Tesla shares are in our view, and by virtually every conventional metric, not only overvalued, but dramatically so," J.P. Morgan analyst Ryan Brinkman wrote in a note to investors. He has a $90 one-year price target on the stock, even though it closed Friday at $695. Demand for Tesla shares is expected to be strong on Monday as institutional investors buy to make their portfolios mirror the S&P 500. But Brinkman recommends against that. Tesla Inc.'s valuation is more than double that of Toyota Motor Corp., which typically sells over 10 million vehicles worldwide every year. Last year Tesla sold 367,500. Toyota's July-September profit of $4.5 billion was over six times higher than Tesla's net income during its five-quarter profit streak. On a November earnings conference call, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said that Tesla isn't a real automaker yet. "You can use the analogy of kitchen and chef," Toyoda said. "They have not created a real business yet or a real world yet, but they're trying to trade the recipes. And the chef is saying that, well, our recipe is going to become the standard of the world in the future. I think that is a kind of business they have," he said. Tesla, which this year disbanded its media relations office, did not respond to requests for comment. One of Tesla's challenges is to make a profit from the sales of vehicles. The company would lose money if not for payments from other automakers who buy regulatory credits to make up for failing to meet government pollution standards. Erik Gordon, a business and law professor at the University of Michigan, notes that the income from those credits will fall as other automakers roll out their own electric vehicles, he said. "At some point Tesla has to prove itself as a business, not as a stock market phenomenon," Gordon said. To do so, Tesla has to sell more vehicles. The Model 3 was initially billed as a $35,000 vehicle for the masses, but it doesn't make money at that price, Gordon said. The Cybertruck is Tesla's best chance to move beyond a niche seller because people will pay more for pickups, he says. But Detroit's three automakers all have announced plans for electric pickups of their own and will defend their main profit source. "They will fight to the death over that," Gordon said.
Categories: Business News

Indians most optimistic in APAC about job and pay rise prospects in 2021: Indeed Global Survey

December 21, 2020 - 2:28pm
KOLKATA: India’s resilience as it prepares to embrace a new year and a potential vaccine drive is reflected in the optimism of its workers over the job market, majority of whom are upbeat about the chances of their pay rise next year, a global study by Indeed, the world’s number one job site, has found.64% and 56% Indian workers respectively said they were optimistic about their chances at better career opportunities, and a pay rise in 2021. Yet, 54% said they would not pursue other job opportunities even if approached by other employers, some citing current workplace satisfaction, with most citing job insecurity.More than 2 in 5 employers said the decisions taken at the outset of the pandemic were effective in ensuring their business continuity. 66% employers also credited their workforce for pulling together and helping their company in this time of crisis.Although forced into lockdown this year, Indian workers cited greater family time and inclusion/flexibility as positive side effects. 2 in 5 workers said “more time with family” and “more opportunities to work from home” had the biggest impact on their personal circumstances in 2020. The study notes interestingly that both Indian employers and workers share polarized views about work-life balance and how they expect the future to pan out. 41% employers and 39% employees said lines between work and life have permanently blurred, with another 40% employers and employees saying lines are more separate than ever.As Indian workers look to the future, a 59% majority said they expected workplaces in 2021 to show greater consideration to hygiene, health and safety, with another 44% citing mental wellbeing as the second most important consideration. 1 in 2 employers said that social distancing and hygiene measures would be a priority while implementing new workplace policies in 2021. Embracing hybrid work as the future of work, more than 7 in 10 employers said they would increase work-from-home options, with another 59% stating improved flexible work options as an important consideration while implementing new workplace policies.Sashi Kumar, Managing Director, Indeed India, said, “Covid-19 disrupted economies of the world, but it also created an opportunity for the workforce and workplace to adapt, pivot and reimagine. As the world’s second largest labour market moves towards its economic recovery, how organizations redefine their talent strategies and workplace practices, will play a critical role in how India prepares for the future of work.”Signaling revival, platform data shows the number of job postings on Indeed India – a real time measure of labor market activity in the country, has increased across industries. Growth in job postings was -18.5% in November 2020, from -50% in June-July 2020. Concurring with this sentiment while responding to their 2021 hiring plans in the study, 37% Indian employers said they planned to hire at higher volumes than before the pandemic, with another 17% expecting to revert to pre-pandemic levels of hiring.The Indeed Global Survey measured the sentiment of 3600 employers and 14,142 employees across the UK, US, Ireland, Australia, India, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and Canada between November 13 and November 20 this year. This included 251 employers and 1015 employees in India. The research was conducted by Censuswide.
Categories: Business News

Covid is mutating. What that means for us

December 21, 2020 - 11:27am
By Apoorva MandavilliJust as vaccines begin to offer hope for a path out of the pandemic, officials in Britain this past weekend sounded an urgent alarm about what they called a highly contagious new variant of the coronavirus circulating in England.Citing the rapid spread of the virus through London and surrounding areas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the country’s most stringent lockdown since March.“When the virus changes its method of attack, we must change our method of defense,” he said.Train stations in London filled with crowds of people scrambling to leave the city as the restrictions went into effect. On Sunday, European countries began closing their borders to travelers from the United Kingdom, hoping to shut out the new iteration of the pathogen.In South Africa, a similar version of the virus has emerged, shares one of the mutations seen in the British variant, according to scientists who detected it. That virus has been found in up to 90% of the samples whose genetic sequences have been analyzed in South Africa since mid-November.Scientists are worried about these variants but not surprised by them. Researchers have recorded thousands of tiny modifications in the genetic material of the coronavirus as it has hopscotched across the world.Some variants become more common in a population simply by luck, not because the changes somehow supercharge the virus. But as it becomes more difficult for the pathogen to survive — because of vaccinations and growing immunity in human populations — researchers also expect the virus to gain useful mutations enabling it to spread more easily or to escape detection by the immune system.“It’s a real warning that we need to pay closer attention,” said Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “Certainly, these mutations are going to spread, and definitely, the scientific community, we need to monitor these mutations, and we need to characterize which ones have effects.”The British variant has about 20 mutations, including several that affect how the virus locks onto human cells and infects them. These mutations may allow the variant to replicate and transmit more efficiently, said Muge Cevik, an infectious disease expert at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and a scientific adviser to the British government.But the estimate of greater transmissibility — British officials said the variant was as much as 70% more transmissible — is based on modeling and has not been confirmed in lab experiments, Cevik added.“Overall, I think we need to have a little bit more experimental data,” she said. “We can’t entirely rule out the fact that some of this transmissibility data might be related to human behavior.”In South Africa, too, scientists were quick to note that human behavior was driving the epidemic, not necessarily new mutations whose effect on transmissibility had yet to be quantified.The British announcement also prompted concern that the virus might evolve to become resistant to the vaccines just now rolling out. The worries are focused on a pair of alterations in the viral genetic code that may make it less vulnerable to certain antibodies.But several experts urged caution, saying it would take years — not months — for the virus to evolve enough to render the current vaccines impotent.“No one should worry that there is going to be a single catastrophic mutation that suddenly renders all immunity and antibodies useless,” Bloom said. “It is going to be a process that occurs over the time scale of multiple years and requires the accumulation of multiple viral mutations. It’s not going to be like an on-off switch.”The scientific nuance mattered little to Britain’s neighbors. Worried by the potential influx of travelers carrying the variant, the Netherlands said it would suspend flights from Britain from Sunday until Jan. 1.Italy also suspended air travel, and Belgian officials Sunday enacted a 24-hour ban on arrivals from the United Kingdom by air or train. Germany is drawing up regulations limiting travelers from Britain as well as from South Africa.Other countries are also considering bans, among them France, Austria and Ireland, according to local media. Spain has asked the European Union for a coordinated response to banning flights. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York asked the Trump administration to consider banning flights from Britain.In England, transport officials said that they would increase the number of police officers monitoring hubs like railway stations to ensure only essential journeys were being taken. The country’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, on Sunday called those who were packing trains “clearly irresponsible.”He also said that the restrictions Johnson imposed could be in place for months.Like all viruses, the coronavirus is a shape-shifter. Some genetic changes are inconsequential, but some may give it an edge.Scientists fear the latter possibility especially. The vaccination of millions of people may force the virus to new adaptations, mutations that help it evade or resist the immune response. Already, there are small changes in the virus that have arisen independently multiple times across the world, suggesting the mutations are helpful to the pathogen.The mutation affecting antibody susceptibility — technically called the 69-70 deletion, meaning there are missing letters in the genetic code — has been seen at least three times: in Danish minks, in people in Britain and in an immune-suppressed patient who became much less sensitive to convalescent plasma.“This thing’s transmitting. It’s acquiring. It’s adapting all the time,” said Dr. Ravindra Gupta, a virologist at the University of Cambridge who last week detailed the deletion’s recurrent emergence and spread. “But people don’t want to hear what we say, which is, this virus will mutate.”The new genetic deletion changes the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus, which it needs to infect human cells. Variants of the virus with this deletion arose independently in Thailand and Germany in early 2020 and became prevalent in Denmark and England in August.Scientists initially thought the new coronavirus was stable and unlikely to escape vaccine-induced immune response, said Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical public health researcher at Queen Mary University of London.“But it’s become very clear over the last several months that mutations can occur,” she said. “As selection pressure increases with mass vaccination, I think these mutants will become more common.”Several recent papers have shown that the coronavirus can evolve to avoid recognition by a single monoclonal antibody, a mixture of two antibodies or even convalescent serum given to a specific individual.Fortunately, the body’s entire immune system is a much more formidable adversary.The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines induce an immune response only to the spike protein carried by the coronavirus on its surface. But each infected person produces a large, unique and complex repertoire of antibodies to this protein.“The fact is that you have a thousand big guns pointed at the virus,” said Kartik Chandran, a virus expert at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “No matter how the virus twists and weaves, it’s not that easy to find a genetic solution that can really combat all these different antibody specificities, not to mention the other arms of the immune response.”In short: It will be very hard for the coronavirus to escape the body’s defenses, despite the many variations it may adopt.Escape from immunity requires that a virus accumulate a series of mutations, each allowing the pathogen to erode the effectiveness of the body’s defenses. Some viruses, like influenza, amass those changes relatively quickly. But others, like the measles virus, collect hardly any of the alterations.Even the influenza virus needs five to seven years to collect enough mutations to escape immune recognition entirely, Bloom noted. His lab Friday published a new report showing that common cold coronaviruses also evolve to escape immune detection — but over many years.The scale of the infections in this pandemic may be quickly generating diversity in the new coronavirus. Still, a vast majority of people worldwide have yet to be infected, and that has made scientists hopeful.“It would be a little surprising to me if we were seeing active selection for immune escape,” said Emma Hodcroft, a molecular public health researcher at the University of Bern in Switzerland.“In a population that’s still mostly naive, the virus just doesn’t need to do that yet,” she said. “But it’s something we want to watch out for in the long term, especially as we start getting more people vaccinated.”Immunizing about 60% of a population within about a year and keeping the number of cases down while that happens will help minimize the chances of the virus mutating significantly, Hodcroft said.Still, scientists will need to closely track the evolving virus to spot mutations that may give it an edge over vaccines.Scientists routinely monitor mutations in flu viruses in order to update vaccines and should do the same for the coronavirus, said Trevor Bedford, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.“You can imagine a process like exists for the flu vaccine, where you’re swapping in these variants, and everyone’s getting their yearly COVID shot,” he said. “I think that’s what generally will be necessary.”The good news is that the technology used in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is much easier to adjust and update than conventional vaccines. The new vaccines also generate a massive immune response, so the coronavirus may need many mutations over years before the vaccines must be tweaked, Bedford said.In the meantime, he and other experts said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies should set up a national system to link viral sequence databases with on-the-ground data — like whether an infection occurred despite vaccination.“These are useful pokes for scientists and governments to get systems in place — now, before we might need them, especially as we start vaccinating people,” Hodcroft said. “But the public should not necessarily be panicking.”
Categories: Business News

85% of our business is coming from cloud-based desktops: Anunta founder Ananda Mukerji

December 21, 2020 - 11:27am
Chennai: "Two years back, maybe 10% of our business came from cloud-based desktops. Today, it is about 85% of our business coming from cloud-based desktops," said Ananda Mukerji, Founder and Chairman of Anunta.He said virtual desktops are inherently superior to PCs and that they are more secure because the data no longer sits at employees’ desks and rather is stored in a virtually secured environment."The environment is fully managed and can be controlled manually. So, the CIO of a company also knows the environment at every endpoint in the company, which is simply not possible in the traditional environment. So, security and better manageability and total cost ownership basis, virtual desktop is a much better proposition than virtual desktops," Ananda said.With the pandemic and the wave of remote working taking over, he said that VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) is the best technology to deliver remote work experience. And given that enterprises have started using cloud heavily, the best way to take their solutions to remote virtual desktops, is DaaS. DaaS is fully managed desktops sitting at different locations."Even before Covid, DaaS was growing faster than it is now in other forms of virtual desktops, which is non-cloud virtual desktops. In the last year, two things have happened. The industry that is really dominated by VMware and Citrix entered with their windows virtual desktops, which really changed the market. Covid has accelerated the need for enterprises to cater to a remote workforce and still require core applications to function effectively from the home environment," he said.Ananda said the company has been growing by 40-50 percent annually in the last few years and has expanded operations from Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru to a small operation centre in Delhi and a presence in the US."We currently manage 200,000 remote desktops at this point. We have implemented over 1000 different used cases. We have a lot of experience in managing and implementing these technologies. We are a very close partner to the top three OEMs and have about 35 customers ranging from leading banks in India to large ITeS companies to large retail companies globally," he said.Anunta's offering, DesktopReady, is a fully packaged and managed desktop hosting on Azure cloud."That is something targeted at the SMBs segment. We have launched this in the US market a couple of months back and are testing it in India right now," he said while saying the SMB market is virgin territory and that there is a lot of potential for growth in the segment.
Categories: Business News

AirAsia to own only 13% in Tata JV

December 21, 2020 - 11:27am
NEW DELHI: Malaysian carrier AirAsia will be reduced to a financial investor in its India unit as larger strategic partner Tata Sons initiates consolidation moves in aviation.AirAsia, which till recently held 49% in its India venture, will see its stake fall to 13% as it prioritises its geographical play after being faced with Covid-induced financial woes. It will retain a low double-digit stake in the India unit as the latter will continue to use the AirAsia brand and other agreements like aircraft maintenance and ticketing-accounting software for some time. Tata Sons, which already owns a significant majority stake (about 75%) in AirAsia India, will see this further go up to 87%.While the Malaysian carrier has a common website for its operations in different geographies, Tata Sons has started the process to have a separate website for AirAsia India, it is learnt. Its IT subsidiary TCS is also involved in developing a crew-scheduling software. 79831617Tata Sons declined to comment on the report, while AirAsia did not respond to an email sent on Sunday.“It is not going to be an instant divorce, but a prolonged one,” said sources. AirAsia had said earlier that it was reviewing its investment in India after it ceased flying in Japan. The Malaysian company was the first foreign airline to set up an arm in India in 2013 and the local joint venture marked Tatas’ return to aviation after it ceded control of Air India in 1953. Tata Sons also has another airline venture, Vistara, which has collaboration with Singapore Airlines. It has recently expressed interest in buying state-run Air India (AI).While Tata Sons’s broader airline integration plan is not clear, it intends to channel the proposed AI acquisition through AirAsia India and not through Vistara. This is because Singapore Airlines is currently not on board for the AI bid due to its own pandemic-induced financial difficulties. So, the AirAsia brand could be retained for about two-three years, depending on how long it takes for Tata Sons to integrate its airlines business into a mega umbrella carrier, said sources.The India venture will not be the first airline divorce for AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes. Addressing the media in Delhi in July 2013 when he was here to finalise his India plans, Fernandes was asked by a female reporter about his vow not to work with an airline again after a failed JV with Japanese ANA Holdings. His reply was, “I am sure you met many men. You thought he was a good guy but realised he was a complete disaster. So the relationship didn’t last. ANA was like that. It looked like one sexy woman, said all the nice things. And when we got to bed, it was a horrible experience. So we had a quick divorce.”But seven years down the line, Fernandes is headed for a divorce with Tata Sons also.
Categories: Business News

Warburg in talks to invest Rs 1.5 cr in MedPlus

December 21, 2020 - 8:26am
MUMBAI: Warburg Pincus is in advanced talks to invest Rs 1,500 crore in MedPlus, India’s second-largest pharmacy retailer, for a significant minority stake at a time when online and offline chains face consolidation with the entry of deep-pocketed companies such as Reliance Retail, Tata and Amazon.Multiple people aware of the deal told ET that the money, a mix of debt and equity, will be used to pay off existing lenders such as Goldman Sachs and Edelweiss and also offer liquidity to smaller shareholders of the company. In January 2018, MedPlus raised around $115 million in debt financing from Goldman Sachs to buy out its investors, including US-based Mount Kellett Capital Management, TVS Capital Funds and Ajay Piramal’s India Venture Advisors. The three investors together held a 69% stake in MedPlus.Later, Azim Premji's investment arm PremjiInvest picked up a minority stake for around Rs 200 crore and did a follow-on investment of around Rs 100 crore. PremjiInvest will continue to remain invested in the company with around 18% stake and may also participate in this round while Warburg will become the single largest shareholder.MedPlus founder and CEO Madhukar Gangadi, a Wharton graduate, will continue to run the business releasing his share pledges with the investments.79831882The final documentation is underway and is expected to get signed this coming week.Warburg is believed to have trumped rivals such as Temasek that were also keen to invest in the company, sources add. Mails sent to a Warburg Pincus spokesperson and Gangadi remained unanswered.Expansion Beyond PeninsulaLaunched in 2006 in Hyderabad, MedPlus is the second largest pharmacy chain in India with 1,800 stores. It also operates online store MedPlusMart, MedPluslab and MedPlus Lens. Originally concentrated in the South, it expanded to the East, West and a bit in the North.Less than 5% of India’s 1.2 million pharmacies are in the organised sector. The company’s FY21 EBITDA is estimated at Rs 160-170 crore, on a top-line of Rs 1,200 crore.
Categories: Business News

Kotak Fund, Arcil, 4 others among bidders for Reliance Home Finance

December 21, 2020 - 8:26am
Mumbai: Kotak Special Situations Fund (KSS), Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Ltd (Arcil) and Acre ARC are among six bidders that have expressed interest to buy the debt-laden Reliance Home Finance (RHFL), multiple people familiar with the process told ET.Lenders led by Bank of Baroda (BoB) are seeking buyers for the debt-laden company through an inter-creditor agreement outside the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). “Asset reconstruction companies are taking the lead in bids since a majority of loans by this company are to retail investors through affordable home loans, small builders or loans against properties which will require use of the power of the Sarfaesi Act to recover the advances as retail loans are not covered by IBC,” said one of the persons cited above.KSS has partnered with its group ARC Phoenix, while Arcil has teamed up with its single largest shareholder, New York-based distressed fund Avenue Capital.Other bidders include Acre ARC, which has teamed up with Singapore-based SSG Capital that owns 49% stake in the company. Mumbai-based Invent ARC and New Delhi-based Alchemist ARC have also expressed interest to participate in the bidding process. Also in the fray is Authum Investment and Infrastructure.Individual investors could not be contacted immediately.Lenders are following up on three separate tracks to recover loans from the Anil Ambani-led financial services companies that also include Reliance Commercial Finance and holding company Reliance Capital.Earlier this month, ET had reported that top global distressed investors, including JC Flowers, Blackstone Group, Oaktree Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Bain Capital, have expressed interest in buying either parts or the whole of Reliance Capital.Lenders are hopeful of finding a buyer for RHFL before the end of the fiscal year.“We have got good interest with about six bids so far. Some bidders needed time…After we get the detailed binding bids, we will evaluate them and then put them to vote. We hope to finish the process by the end of the fiscal,” said a second person involved in the process.Bidders have to give a ₹10-crore guarantee to qualify for the process. BoB Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of Bank of Baroda, and consultancy firm EY are helping the lenders with the process.Total dues to lenders as of September 2020 are about ₹7,730 crore. The total loan book as of the start of the fiscal was about ₹14,000 crore, a majority of it to small borrowers. 79829121“With the kind of interest we have seen we expect a haircut of about 60%. But with the recovery in some interest from the ongoing fiscal expected to come to us, we expect some more money to come in. All in all, we are positive about recovering some money from this asset,” said the second person cited above.Bidders are wary of any unknowns in the financials of the company.“This is a large complex asset and because it is mostly retail loans, we will need more feet on the ground to recover which will be a challenge. We will have to closely look at the books before deciding the value for this asset,” said a person interested in the company.
Categories: Business News

iPhone 12 production on track at Foxconn unit, Mini may be late post Wistron incident

December 21, 2020 - 8:26am
Kolkata | New Delhi: Apple’s decision to put Wistron Corp on probation over labour practice lapses will not derail the Cupertino-based company’s plans of manufacturing its latest flagship model, iPhone 12, as it would be made at the plant of its other contract manufacturer, Foxconn, in Tamil Nadu.Two industry executives said the ‘Made in India’ iPhone 12 from Foxconn is expected to hit the stores within two months, in accordance with Apple’s original plan of manufacturing the iPhone 12 at the Foxconn facility. Trial production is expected to commence soon.However, there is a question mark over the future of the less expensive iPhone 12 Mini, which was to be manufactured at the Wistron facility in Karnataka. The plant was hit by labour violence earlier this month over non-payment of dues. 79831764Wistron on Saturday accepted that there were lapses in wage payments, and Apple said the Taiwanese contract manufacturer would not be given new business till it takes corrective action.An industry executive said availability of locally-made iPhone 12 Mini will be delayed and Apple is yet to decide whether to shift its production to Foxconn, or wait for Wistron to rectify practices and restart the plant.‘Shifting A Complex Process’“Shifting production is a much more complex process since Wistron had already imported the components for iPhone 12 Mini, and set up a production line,” an executive said.When contacted, a Foxconn spokesperson said the company does not comment on any aspect of specific operations, or any work for any customer. Emails sent to Apple and Wistron remained unanswered till Sunday press time.At present, Foxconn manufactures mid-segment models such as iPhone 11 and XR for Apple in India, while Wistron makes affordable models such as iPhone 7 and SE. These models are imported as well.Rise in ImportsIndustry executives were of the view that temporary closure of production at Wistron will not impact availability of locally-made iPhone models, as there is sufficient inventory.But some analysts said the smartphone maker’s imports to the country could rise over 30% in January-March, and even more going forward.“Until the third quarter, iPhone 11 and SE contributed 91% to total Apple shipments in India,” said Prabhu Ram, head, industry intelligence group, CyberMedia Research (CMR). “The fourth quarter is also expected to end on similar lines, with adequate inventory in the market. But, as demand begins to shift towards the 12 series, we believe imports could rise up to 30%, beginning next month.”According to analyst estimates, there could be a monthly loss of 40,000 units due to the Wistron plant shutdown. Close to 40% of total iPhones sold in India are assembled locally, the major share by Wistron. While a rise in imports won’t impact prices as such, the 25% that Apple and its contract manufacturers save on duties and taxes by assembling locally, will be lost, CMR’s Ram said.According to Counterpoint Research, Apple was market leader in the Indian premium smartphone segment — handsets priced above ₹30,000 — in July-September. It is poised for a record performance in October-December , with quarterly iPhone sales in India expected to touch 1 million units for the first time.
Categories: Business News

Pages

  Udhyog Mitra, Bihar   Trade Mark Registration   Bihar : Facts & Views   Trade Fair  


  Invest Bihar