Apple reports record revenue in Q1; expected to launch online store for India soon. Emirates brushes aside rumours that it will be bidding for Air India. India and US looking to sign trade deal when Donald Trump visits India. Reliance to launch new project to use plastics in road construction.
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What We're Budgeting On: The Union Budget for FY21 will be unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1st and domestic and foreign brokerages are hoping for credible steps to prop up sluggish growth and relief for taxpayers and businesses. From fiscal discipline and prioritising investment to cutting personal income taxes and improving long-term efficiency of the economy, here are some of the key things on the wish list of leading brokerages.
Bated Breath: This year's Budget will be a closely watched one. The economy is struggling through a slowdown that has plagued all sectors and GDP growth is at a six-year low. As such, possibilities of a fiscal stimulus are high - and banked upon.
How expectant are markets? In the past decade, on Budget Day, markets reacted by either falling c. 1% or rising by about the same amount. In five of the ten years since 2010, the bulls took control of D-Street, but the range of market reaction hovered around 1%. This time, though, analysts say if the Budget disappoints, Nifty could register a 5-10% fall. Moneycontrol
Tech giant Apple has reported a record revenue of $91.8bn in Q1, up 9% YoY and beating its own estimates on the back of increasing demand for iPhones and other devices.
Revenue from iPhone sales in the quarter was $55.8bn. AirPods and Apple Watch contributed 10% to Apple’s total quarterly revenues at $10bn. This was more than $7.2bn clocked by MacBook laptops. Gadgets Now
While Apple doesn’t share country specific numbers, particularly for India, the Rest of Asia Pacific category that includes India saw increased sales of $7.3bn in the quarter vs just less than $7bn the year before. News18
Apple is expected to launch its online store store for India in the second half of this year. This will be in addition to the flagship store that is scheduled to launch in Mumbai.
At present, Apple sells its products on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm Mall, and relies on third-party retailers online and offline. TechCrunch
Charity Begins at Home: Tata Sons has kicked off the process of arranging funds to pay off the statutory AGR dues worth ?13,823cr ($1,941m) owed by Tata Teleservices, and is likely to bank on Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to source the required funds.
The development comes even as the Supreme Court is expected to hear modification plea by Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices this week for the extension of deadline to pay the AGR dues. ET
Reliance Industries is gearing up to launch a new project, which will see usage of plastics in road construction. The news comes amidst Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to end consumption of single-use plastics by 2022.
Light plastics, the type used as carry bags or snack wrappers, are typically not viable to recycle and so end up in landfills, street corners or oceans. Reliance wants to shred these plastics and mix them with bitumen, a formula the conglomerate says is cheaper and longer-lasting.
The company is planning to work with India's highway authority and individual states to supply a plastics-infused mix to build roads. Indian Express
Dubai-based airline Emirates, which is the largest foreign operator in India has brushed aside all rumours, which said that it will be bidding for Air India.
“We do not intend to acquire equity in Air India as we are currently focused on our own organic growth. We remain committed to support India’s vision for the tourism and aviation sectors”, Emirates said in a statement.
Meanwhile, it is been speculated that an Indian carrier such as Vistara or SpiceJet will purchase Air India. Simple Flying
The bid document for Air India sale says the brand must be retained by the new owner, but as per this Business Standard report, the government is open to easing the clause if it were to come in the way of a good deal.
The government has, in fact, allowed bidders to merge the airline with their own, changing a norm from the last year’s failed sale process.
Do We Have A Deal?: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal will reportedly meet in the second week of February when the former visits New Delhi to finalise the terms of a trade deal between the two countries. The deal - which could be followed by a far-ranging free trade agreement - is pegged above $10bn and could be signed when US President Donald Trump visits India, which could be as early as February 24-25. ET
Unintended Consequences: The coronavirus outbreak in China could hurt Beijing's meeting the terms of the recently-signed Phase One trade deal with the US. China had committed to an 88.3% increase in imports of manufactured goods from the US. But as reports of infections spread across the country and the death toll rises, demand would be disrupted and the government would be preoccupied with containing the fallout. This could mean that the trade deal would suffer "collateral damage", also prolonging the path to a Phase Two deal, if not hurting it altogether. CNBC
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