Indian stock market gains on the back of FM's growth stimulus announcement. Sensex zooms 453. Nifty gains 122 points. UK and EU reach a Brexit deal. Awaiting approval. Original backers of Facebook Libra abandon ship. Netflix deliberates new pricing structures.
Table of Contents
Welcome Aboard: Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council has inducted three new members. Joining the Council are Economists Neelkanth Mishra, Nilesh Shah and V Anantha Nageswaran for a period of two years.
The development comes barely a month after two part-time members Rathin Roy and Shamika Ravi were dropped from Bibek Debroy-led PMEAC, and Sajjid Chinoy was inducted into it.
Neelkanth Mishra is the Managing Director and India equity strategist for Credit Suisse. Nilesh Shah is Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, while V Anantha Nageswaran is dean of IFMR Graduate School of Business at Krea University. Financial Express
Here’s an interesting article which explores the role and evolution of PM’s Economic Advisory Council. Indian Express
Activating Brain Cells: Amidst increasing competition across the world, streaming giant Netflix is considering different pricing structures to grow its subscriber base.
Netflix had launched a low-cost mobile-only plan for the India market at Rs 199 per month in July - its cheapest subscription plan globally.
Considering that the plan is performing better than the pilots the platform has conducted earlier, Netflix now plans to pilot mobile-only plans in other markets to grow it presence in geographies that may have similar conditions.
The move comes at a time when Netflix is increasingly dependent on international markets for future growth. Netflix added 6.3 million paid subscribers across all international markets in Q3, while adding only 500,000 paid subscribers in the US. Overall, it added 6.8 million paid subscribers during the quarter to take its total paid subscriber base to 158.3 million.
Netflix Chief Product Officer Greg Peters in a post-earnings interview also announced that the platform has trimmed its forecast for subscriber growth this year. It now expects to add 26.7 million subscribers at the end of this year, down from 28.6 million subscribers last year. ET Tech
Moving On…: Netflix also reported that Stranger Things third season is “the most watched season to date,” with “64 million member households” watching it within the first month of its release.
However, the platform has not really been forthcoming about how it collects those numbers.
A footnote in Netflix’s Q4 earnings letter to shareholders in 2018 stated that for each series, “due to their highly variable length, we count a viewer if they substantially complete at least one episode (70%).” That’s 70% of one episode, not 70% of an entire season. The Verge
Exodus: When it was announced, Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, had 28 corporate backers. Today, that number has fallen to 21 as more and more companies have abandoned the project, which is now clouded by regulatory and political scrutiny. The seven who have jumped shipped include major processing firms like PayPal, Visa and Mastercard.
But Facebook is still optimistic about Libra’s prospects. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, the project’s head David Marcus said it was “absolutely not” in jeopardy and that it was “going to get harder before it gets easier”. He also stood by the company’s goal in building the Libra Association, growing it to have 100 eventual members. Business Insider
Silver Lining: Marcus, who co-created Libra, touted its recent developments as progress. The founding members, including Uber, Lyft and Spotify, held their first meeting this week in Geneva, Switzerland, where they settled on the body’s organisational structure.
Speaking of the recent corporate exodus, he said “I would rather have all of these companies come with us,” adding that he understands companies have to respect shareholders who are skeptical of Libra. CNBC
This Too Shall Pass: Reiterating that the government is working on measures to provide the slowing Indian economy with a much needed filip, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an interaction session at the IMF's headquarters assured international investors that India is one of still one of the fastest growing economies with the best skilled manpower and a government that is continuously doing what is required in the name of reforms, above all democracy and rule of law. ET Policy
In Other News…: Indian stock markets today gained for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday after the Finance Minister said that government was planning more measures to spur economic growth.
BSE index rose 453.07 points or 1.17% to close at 39,052.06. NSE Nifty ended 122.35 points or 1.07% up at 11,586.35. Livemint
It’s A Deal: A Brexit deal has been reached between the UK and the EU. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted about the same, with the latter calling it a “fair and balanced agreement”. But to be enforced, the deal has to be approved by both the UK and EU Parliaments.
Getting the deal through Westminster will be more than difficult for Johnson, however, as his coalition partners have already come out against certain aspects of the deal and the Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has said it sounds “even worse” than the one negotiated by Theresa May and “should be rejected” by MPs. (The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on October 31.) BBC
Bear With Us: According to a Bank of America Merril Lynch survey, fund managers are hiding cash despite this year’s equity and credit market rallies amidst rising concerns about the state of the global economy. Investors prefer cash, real estate, trusts, staple stocks and other defensive assets. BBG
The October Global Fund Manager Survey (GFMS) saw 230 panellists with $620bn worth of assets under management participate. The US ISM non-recession, according to the survey, is a top concern, with 31% seeing a recession in the next year. BS
(Don't want to miss out on these End Of Day Wrap Ups? Subscribe Now to our WhatsApp Feed and get the day's Top Business stories straight on your favourite messaging app.)