Walmart, Flipkart invest in supply chain startup Ninjacart. Govt likely to miss fiscal deficit target for FY20. Netflix to test long-term subscription plans in India, in addition to spending INR3,000cr on content programming. US Congress likely to approve new US-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement (USMCA), which will replace NAFTA.
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Teaming Up: Walmart and Flipkart have announced a joint strategic investment in supply chain start-up Ninjacart in a bid to strengthen direct sourcing of fresh produce for Walmart India’s Best Price B2B cash-and-carry stores and Flipkart’s online grocery business Supermart.
The investment will also support Ninjacart to expand its customer base, reach new cities and gain global exposure.
Founded in May 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Sachin Jose, Kartheeswaran K K and Vasudevan Chinnathambi, Ninjacart is an agritech startup that sources groceries, fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and supplies these to supermarkets and kirana stores. Over time it has also moved into the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment, procuring from big brands and selling to store owners and other resellers. Inc42
Brownie Points: American shoppers will buy almost anything online. But when it comes to buying household staples, consumers still prefer shopping for them at retail stores to enrolling in many subscription services. It isn't surprising then that dozens of online consumer-products startups are finding their success on shelves of Walmart, Target and other traditional retailers. Click link to read more about this up and coming consumer pattern.
Close Miss: Government is likely to miss its budgeted fiscal deficit target of 3.3% for FY20. The actual could be anywhere between 3.5% and 3.8% of the GDP.
The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, after its amendment in 2018, allows a fiscal deficit slippage of not more than 0.5% for any given year, provided there are justifications, which may include a war, national security, severe collapse in the agriculture sector, a major natural calamity, big structural economic reforms, or the decline in real output growth of a quarter by at least 3 percentage points below its average of the previous four quarters. BS
A Gloomy Forecast: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slashed India's GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 5.1% due to slump in consumption affected by slow job growth and rural distress aggravated by poor harvest.
In September, ADB had forecasted India's GDP to grow 6.5% in 2019-20 and 7.2% in the year thereafter. Livemint
Under Covers: State Bank of India under-reported INR11,932cr of bad loans in FY19, revealed a RBI report.
The divergence in net non-performing asset (NPA) was also INR11,932cr, the bank informed the exchanges.
According to the RBI, provision requirement for SBI increased by INR12,036cr in FY19, and due to higher provisioning, the lender was pushed to INR6,968cr loss in FY19 as compared to INR862cr profit reported earlier. The Hindu
Not-So-Good Samaritan: India's largest lender, SBI has said that it would not do anything to help private-lender Yes Bank get out of the liquidity crunch that it currently is in. ET Markets
Yes Bank was betting rather hard on raising $2bn from potential investors including Canadian tycoon Erwin Singh Braich, Hong Kong-based SPGP Holdings and London-based Citax Holdings. Interestingly however, none of them are good enough to write home about. Read this intriguing article to know why it is important for the Indian regulator to act before Yes Bank becomes, for all practical purposes, no bank at all.
The Lord of the Binge: Netflix is betting big on India. Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings recently announced that the streaming giant is set to spend INR3,000cr on content programming in India in 2019-2020. Now, it has announced that it will test long-term subscription plans in the country. These plans reportedly include 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plans, with savings ranging from 20% to 50% depending upon the plan.
These announcements follow Netflix’s launch of mobile-only plans at less than half the regular subscription price in India, which is increasingly becoming a crucial and promising market especially at a time when increasing competition is squeezing the company’s fortunes back home in the USA. ET Tech
Private Matters: The draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2019, which is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha soon in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, will reportedly bar storing and processing of personal data by entities without the individual’s explicit consent.
However, it also provides for exemptions for “reasonable purposes” such as "prevention and detection of any unlawful activity including fraud, whistle blowing, merger and acquisitions, network and information security, credit scoring, recovery of debt, processing of publicly available personal data, and the operation of search engines." More details here.
2.0: The US Congress is likely to back a new trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada – the USMCA. The deal was negotiated by the Trump administration as a replacement of the previous avatar of a North American free trade pact – NAFTA.
While campaigning for President, Donald Trump had frequently derided NAFTA as being detrimental to the US economy. And soon after winning the 2016 Presidential election he took the US out of it and began negotiating for a new deal with updated terms.
USMCA, besides gaining the support of major trade unions, has also garnered bipartisan support, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it better that 1994’s NAFTA. WSJ
Revamped & Revisited: Indeed, the new terms of NAFTA 2.0 look to be more favourable to the US. Besides promising the creation of thousands of new jobs and boosting the auto manufacturing and dairy industries, it also strengthens labour reservations so as to ensure that workers in the US would have a level playing field with their counterparts in Mexico, where wages are lower. CNN
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