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Parliament Rejects Theresa May’s Brexit Deal, Yet Again, Significant Changes Expected to the Draft E-Commerce Policy, Lyft Shares Surge over 23% Upon Public Debut et al.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Mar 30, 2019 2:23 PM 4 min read
Editorial

British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal once again. EU gives Britain 11 days to come up with a fresh plan. Significant changes expected to the Draft E-Commerce Policy as e-retailers pushback against issues of data localization and data ownership. Lyft shares surge over 23% upon public market debut. Sensex and NIFTY rally ahead of financial year close. US crude jumps 32% year to date.

 

Moving on to the top Business stories of the day. 

 

ECOMMERCE 

Significant changes expected to the Draft E-Commerce Policy as e-retailers pushback against issues of data localization and data ownership.
 

Road Blocked Ahead: Following protests by online retailers against various provisions of the draft e-commerce policy, significant changes are expected to be made to the final policy which would be formulated following the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
 

The news comes following the end of consultations held by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with stakeholders on the policy. 
 

Let’s Talk: E-Retailers have demanded more clarity on e-commerce norms, trademark rights, and the extent to which their services will come under the policy scanner. 
 

Up Close: Discussions on the policy have primarily focused on the need for a pushback against issues of data ownership and data localisation, which is likely to impact smaller businesses more than the big technology firms like Flipkart or Amazon.
 

Here is a rundown of the 42-page document. 

 

BREXIT 

British Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal once again. EU gives Britain 11 days to come up with a fresh plan.
 

The British Parliament on Friday voted 344-286 against Theresa May’s Brexit deal. 
 

Ultimatum: The EU has given the British government 11 days to come up with a fresh Brexit plan to avoid crashing out of the bloc with a deal on 12 April.

Lineup:

  • 1 April: MPs hold another set of votes on various Brexit options to see if they can agree on a way forward
  • 3 April: Potentially another round of so-called "indicative votes"
  • 10 April: Emergency summit of EU leaders to consider any UK request for further extension
  • 12 April: Brexit day, if UK does not seek/EU does not grant further delay
  • 23-26 May: European Parliamentary elections

 

What's Next for Brexit: Here are some important questions around the Brexit deal and the potential next steps answered.

 

MARKETS 

Sensex and NIFTY rally ahead of financial year close. US crude jumps 32% year to date.
 

Bull’s Laugh on D-Street: On Friday Sensex surged as much as 203 points during the session to touch 38,749 at the day's highest point. Nifty50 advanced by 60 points to register an intraday high of 11,630.
 

Overall, Sensex rose 17% in 2018-19 while the broader NSE Nifty gained 15%.
 

The market rally was attributed to robust investor sentiment driven by sustained foreign fund inflows, stronger rupee, and a likely positive outcome of the US-China trade talks.  
 

Foreign Funds Drive the Rally: This year, overseas investors have pumped in more than $6bn into domestic equities, likely betting on strong company earnings, lower interest rates and chances of a stable government at the Centre.

Oil Gains: Oil prices rose on Friday, on track for their biggest quarterly rise in a decade, as US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela as well as OPEC-led supply cuts overshadowed concerns over a slowing global economy.
 

US WTI crude futures settled 84 cents higher at $60.14 per barrel, up 1.4% on the day. WTI had earlier touched $60.73, its highest level since Nov 12.
 

WTI futures rose for a fourth straight week and surged 32% in the first three months of the year.

 

LYFT 

Lyft shares surge over 23% upon public market debut.
 

Maiden Run: Lyft’s shares finished up 8.7% to $78.29 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, after surging as much as 23% upon its market debut which valued the ride-hailing platform at $26.5bn.
 

Over and Above: The IPO was priced well above the initial expectations and sold more shares than originally planned, with more than 20 times the demand for the stock than what the underwriters could accommodate.
 

While Lyft Basks in Glory…: Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers in San Francisco and San Diego go on strike in protest of low wages and unsatisfactory working conditions. 
 

With drivers on strike, questions about profitability, and the looming specter of autonomous vehicles, what does Lyft’s future hold?
 

Listen In…: What does Lyft’s blockbuster IPO mean for other IPO-ready unicorns. Listen in here.

 

TECH 
 
L&T launches strategic unit L&T-Nxt to focus on AI, IoT. UPI-based payments startup BharatPe raises $15.5m.
 

L&T’s Five-Year Plan: L&T has announced a five-year strategic initiative — L&T-Nxt.
 

The announcement comes at a time when the construction giant is trying to expand its technology footprint through a “sweet and sour” takeover of Mindtree.
 

The initiative will focus on Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, geo‐spatial enterprises, and cyber security to offer automation solutions to industrial clients by leveraging its diverse customer base and domain knowledge expertise.
 

The initiative already has a team of 150 people, and aims to scale it up to 2,000 in five years. 
 

Pay in Bharat: UPI-based payments startup BharatPe has raised $5.5m from US-based fund Insight Venture Partners.
 

This round comes on the back of a $10m investment that was led by Sequoia India and Beenext earlier this month.
 

How Can We Help?: The fintech startup deploys QR codes at merchant outlets for payments through any app which supports UPI transactions

 

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