SEBI to undertake reclassification of mid cap and small cap mutual funds in a bid to enable mutual funds schemes to invest in wider set of stocks. India's services activity hits seven-year high in January. Tesla shares surge to push market cap above $160bn. World Health Organisation and social media giants tackle misinformation on coronavirus outbreak online.
Table of Contents
Scaling New Highs
IHS Markit India Services Business Activity index rose to 55.5 in January, up from from 53.3 in December, and the highest in seven years. The rise was primarily on the grounds of favourable market conditions and better underlying demand. Output expanded faster, while new orders rose the most in seven years due to positive outcome from marketing efforts and employment growth sustained
The news comes shortly after Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for India hit an eight-year high of 55.3 in January from 52.7 in December on the back of sharp rise in new business orders amid a rebound in demand conditions that led to rise in production and hiring activity. [Livemint]
View India's historic services PMI here.
In a bid to enable mutual funds schemes to invest in wider set of stocks, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is looking to reclassify mid cap and small cap mutual funds.
SEBI had in 2017 introduced categorisation and rationalisation of mutual funds schemes so that investors could make accurate comparison of schemes. Prior to this, each fund house would employ its own criteria for deciding the classification as there was no standard definition.
Mutual fund managers claim that categorization had taken away their flexibility to invest, resulting in money flowing into a set of stocks, which has impacted performance of mutual funds schemes. [ET Wealth]
Rise and Revolt
Nearly one lakh employees of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) staged an hour-long walk-out on Tuesday against the government's decision to sell a part of its stake in the life insurance major through an initial public offering (IPO). News18
Seal the Deal
Russian oil and gas giant Rosneft today signed a contract with India’s largest fuel retailer Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for supply of 2 million tonne (MT) crude oil to India by end 2020.
The deal comes in the wake of India's attempts to diversify its sources of crude oil imports to hedge geopolitical risks that have the potential to choke supplies from a particular region or country. [Reuters]
The government is selling all of its 53% stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) in the country's biggest privatisation plan, and Rosneft's CEO Igor Sechin, who met the Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today to sign a supply deal with IOC has said that the oil producer is keen to bid for the acquisition of BPCL.
Officials said national oil companies from the Middle East, such as Aramco of Saudi Arabia and ADNOC of UAE, have also been primed for bidding for BPCL. [BS]
Musk on a High
Tesla is on a roll. The electric car maker's shares have rallied over 50% since last Wednesday, when the company posted its second consecutive quarterly profit. Since June, Tesla shares have climbed by about 400% and yesterday (Tuesday), its shares surged by as much as 24%. All this skyrocketing business has benefited its market capitalisation, which had only recently crossed $100bn and is presently at $160bn. This is almost twice the combined value of Ford and General Motors.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk gets richer too. His 19% stake in the company has bolstered by $16bn since the start of 2020 to a sweet $30bn. [Moneycontrol]
Coronavirus vs Garlic
After declaring a global health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, the World Health Organisation has launched a campaign with the hashtag #KnowTheFacts in order to counter various falsehoods about the virus.
These lies have gained traction on social media of late, and they include everything from claims that sesame oil and garlic can help prevent infections to advice that the way to block the contagion is to keep your throat moist at all times. Google, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter have also announced steps to tackle misinformation spreading on their platforms. [CNBC]
In case you're wondering - how exactly should one protect themself from the new coronavirus, you can read the WHO's official advice for the public here.
Everybody Loves Disney
Disney's streaming service is less than three months old. It has also raked in a staggering 28.6m subscribers already.
In its first earnings report since the launch of Disney+, the entertainment behemoth reported $20.86bn in revenue and $1.53bn in earnings per share, both higher than analysts' expectations. Disney+ now has more than 28.6m subscribers, up from the 10m sign-ups it registered after it launched on November 12th.
The company previously forecast between 60mand 90m subscribers by the end of its 2024 FY. [WSJ]
Disney+ will arrive in India on March 29th through its Hotstar app, Disney CEO Robert Iger has announced.
While specifics weren't announced, the Hotstar app will reportedly be rebranded to "Disney Plus Hotstar". [BS]
Hand-curated Business News from Top Publishers & Platforms, Richly Crafted to Fit into One Wholesome Email. Subscribe Now to receive a nuanced 360 Degree account of key events from the World of Business and Finance every day.