IMF urges India to take "urgent action" to reverse economic slowdown as another growth estimate downgrade looms. Google Pay issues advisory on how to avoid UPI fraudsters. Will 24x7 round-the-clock NEFT encourage digital payments in India? Tesla's stock price soars 28% in three weeks. Boeing ousts Dennis Muilenburg as CEO as it deals with 737 MAX fallout.
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The Time is Now: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday urged the Indian government to take urgent policy steps to reverse the economic slowdown and return India to a high-growth path.
Declining consumption and investment, and falling tax revenue, have combined with other factors to put the brakes on one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the IMF said in its annual review.
"India is now in the midst of a significant economic slowdown," Ranil Salgado, of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department, told reporters. "Addressing the current downturn and returning India to a high growth path requires urgent policy actions."
IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath had previously said the fund is set to significantly downgrade its growth estimates for the Indian economy in the World Economic Outlook which will be released next month. Already, the IMF had slashed its growth forecast for 2019 by nearly a full point to 6.1% while cutting the outlook for 2020 to 7%. Livemint
Read more of what the IMF had to say here.
Prevention is Better than Cure: As more and more consumers opt for UPI transactions, instances of fraud, where money from bank accounts of users have been swindled using UPI, have come under the limelight.
How can we ensure that we don't fall prey to UPI fraudsters? As per a Google Pay advisory, we can do so by (1) keeping our UPI PIN a secret, (2) downloading only trusted apps, and (3) using only the payment app to reach customer care. More details here.
ICYMI: Recently, the RBI announced that National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) payments would be available round the year, including bank holidays. Furthermore, processing charges levied for NEFT and Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions will not apply starting January 2020.
This digital push by the Central Bank will have several benefits for the consumer. More people will opt for digital transactions, transfers of large sums through RTGS will become easier, money transfers will not be limited by time and location constrains. Read more about what 24x7 digital payments availability implies here.
Green Arrow, Pointing Up: The past three weeks have been lucrative for Tesla, whose shares have surged from $328 to hit $420 today. While this isn't a significant number per se, it is the price at which Elon Musk had once (in)famously said Tesla was going to go private.
This c. 28% increase in a very short period of time begs the question - why are investors so bullish about Tesla all of a sudden?
One reason is China. There were reports recently that that Tesla was granted a $1.4bn loan from Chinese banks for its Shanghai factory. And Tesla expects to see Model 3 production hit 1,000 units/week by the end of the year. This underscores strong foreign demand.
Then there's Cybertruck. The vehicle's reservations have hit the 250,000 threshold. And Model Y production is reportedly coming along faster than expected. No wonder investors are appreciative. BGR
PS: Here's some "stock art" by Elon Musk.
Second Time (Not) Lucky: SoftBank Vision Fund is reportedly likely to announce a first close of around $30bn for its second edition of the investment fund by Q1 of next year. This is considerably smaller than its maiden corpus of $100bn.
It's been a rough year for the Japanese group, chiefly because of the debacle that was WeWork's failed IPO. SoftBank will recalibrate its strategy to focus on mid-stage growth companies which have a positive top line and spend longer periods of time in due diligence before backing these firms, said Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank Vision Fund.
“When you are making so many investments in such little time, you are trusting the data as the time spent on diligence is limited. We learnt a lot. Investing is a patient, long-term process, it is not about the speed of deployment, and Masa (Masayoshi Son, founder & CEO of SoftBank Group) is himself saying this. We are strengthening things like governance and rights in portfolio companies,” he said. ET Tech
In Other News: SoftBank-backed Nemaska Lithium has filed for bankruptcy protection. This follows months of attempts by the Montreal-based mining firm to find new investors in order to continue operations. FT
Adios: Boeing has ousted Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg and replaced him with David Calhoun as CEO. The leadership shake-up comes at a time when the aerospace giant is struggling with the crisis caused by two fatal crashes of its 737 MAX jetliner and disagreements with regulators over returning the grounded plane to service. WSJ
How We Got Here: The 737 Max was supposed to save money and help Boeing compete with Airbus. Instead, it killed hundreds of people, wasted billions of dollars, angered airlines and regulators, and cost Dennis Muilenburg his job. Here's how Boeing and Muilenburg got here.
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