Latest News Today: RBI Rate Cut, Apple Card Preview, Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 Passed

RBI cuts repo rate by 35 bps from 5.75% to 5.40%, maintains accommodative stance. Rajya Sabha passes the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019. Disney misses earnings and revenue estimates. Meanwhile its entertainment division is having a blockbuster year – but will it last? SoftBank trains its guns on two-wheeler and vehicle leasing sectors. Where’s the money for Vision Fund 2 coming from? Apple Card released to limited number of users as a preview before its official launch later this month.

 

Moving on to the top Business news of the day.

 

 RBI RATE CUT 
 
RBI cuts repo rate by 35 bps from 5.75% to 5.40%, maintains accommodative stance.
 

It’s A Cut!: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a unanimous vote today cut the repo rate by 35 basis points (bps) from 5.75% to 5.40%, maintaining an accommodative stance.
 

Zooming Out: This reduction, the fourth one in a row, comes in the backdrop of an escalating Sino-US trade war, increasing geo-political uncertainty and slowing global economy. Its effectiveness in boosting growth, however, stays questionable.
 

View RBI’s Press Release here.
 
 
 ECOMMERCE 
 
Rajya Sabha passes the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019.

 
'Jaago Graahak Jaago’: The Parliament on Tuesday passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019, which seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers and provide a mechanism for redressal of complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services. It also aims to enhance the transparency between the marketplaces and sellers and strengthen consumer rights in online shopping.

 
Amongst other things, the Bill envisages the establishment of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to ensure that e-commerce companies don’t influence prices, build safeguards against counterfeit on their platform. 
 

More on the Bill and how it seeks to weed out fakes from online marketplaces here
 
 
 DISNEY 

Disney misses earnings and revenue estimates. Meanwhile its entertainment division is having a blockbuster year – but will it last? 
 

Hakuna Matata: Disney missed earnings and revenue expectations for the third quarter, leading to its stock falling by 3.7%. The reported earnings per share were $1.35 vs $1.75 per share while revenue was $20.25bn against the Wall Street estimate of $21.47bn.

The company blamed the ongoing integration with Fox, an acquisition that cost it $71bn. Meanwhile, Disney’s streaming segment showed increased losses due to its investments in Hulu, ESPN+ and (upcoming) Disney+.
 

Box Office Mojo: Disney’s run at the box office in 2019 has been met with unmatched and unprecedented success. The company has raked up a record $8bn at the global box office thus far this year thanks to the popularity of its brands and franchises. The massive success of Avengers: Endgame (now the top-grossing movie of all time) and Aladdin in particular helped Disney’s studio entertainment division boost its revenue by 33% in the last quarter alone. 
 

A Whole New World: But this stellar studio success might not last long. Next year, Disney doesn’t have any major holiday flick scheduled, and it’ll soon have other markets to brood over after Disney+ is launched – and the streaming market is already saturated and monstrously competitive. Disney’s 2019 studio numbers might have to wait till 2021 – when Avatar 2 will be released - to be replicated.
 
 
 SOFTBANK 

SoftBank trains its guns on two-wheeler and vehicle leasing sectors. Where’s the money for Vision Fund 2 coming from?
 

SoftBanking on Two-Wheelers: India is the world’s largest two-wheeler market, and SoftBank is reportedly looking to invest in the market, especially in the upcoming mobility and rental sectors.
 

SoftBank has already made a mark in the ride-hailing space globally, with bets on Ola, Uber, Grab and Didi Chuxing. Now, the firm is shifting its focus from ride-hailing to promising sectors like vehicle leasing/renting and autonomous driving. 
 


People are the Root of All Money: Where is SoftBank going to get the money from? This is the question on many people’s minds. The group announced a $108bn tech fund – the world’s biggest – last month. As sources of capital it cited 12 named entities and “major participants from Taiwan”. 


But SoftBank could be relying on contributions from investors not listed in its public statements. As much as $70bn of the Vision Fund 2 comes from these unnamed investors.
 
 
 
 APPLE CARD 

Apple Card released to limited number of users as a preview before its official launch later this month.
 

Apple Offers a Bite: After teasing it in March, Apple has announced that its credit card will be made available to all those who qualify later this month. Meanwhile, it has selected a limited number of users to preview Apple Card
 

About Apple Card: Apple Card will be an Apple-based credit card available to iPhone users, run on Mastercard’s network, and managed by Goldman Sachs. It can be used via Apple Pay and also as a physical card. In terms of offers, its cashback percentage is similar to its peers in the market. It will give 3% cashback on Apple products, 2% on Apple Pay purchases, and 1% on other purchases. Read more here.
 
 
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