India's GDP growth for July-September could be below 5%. PSBs reported fraud worth INR95,700cr in the first six months of the current FY. ByteDance to roll-out music service in India next month. Alibaba's secondary listing in Hong Kong could be 2019's biggest IPO (yet).
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The Worst is Yet to Come: India's quarterly economic growth of 5% in the April-June quarter dejected and depressed one and all. But GDP growth could get slower still. Economic analysts, renowned for disagreeing on virtually everything, have reached a consensus on one topic - that India's GDP numbers for the current quarter could dive below 5%.
Economists at State Bank of India, Nomura Holdings Inc. and Capital Economics Ltd. lowered their growth forecasts for the quarter ended September to between 4.2% to 4.7%.
A 4.2% growth rate would be slowest since authorities adopted a new base year in 2012. It would also mean that measures currently being employed to boost sagging growth - like cutting corporate taxes and the RBI slashing repo rates - have not managed to reverse the slowdown.
The government is scheduled to publish the quarterly GDP data on November 29. ET Indicators
The Art of Blinking Slowly: In a bid to capitalise on the US-China trade war, India is reportedly planning to offer 324 companies incentives to set up factories in the country. The companies include Tesla and GlaxoSmithKline. Possible incentives include providing manufacturers land, power, water and road access.
The trade war has prompted manufacturing giants to rethink relying on China as a manufacturing hub as relations between Beijing and Washington sour - and China's economy slows down and ages. Instead, companies are searching for new shores, which has greatly benefited countries like Vietnam and Malaysia. India, meanwhile, is yet to capitalise on the situation. ET Foreign Trade
Piling Up: Public sector banks (PSBs) reported 5,743 incidents of fraud amounting to over INR95,700cr in the first six months of the current financial year, reported Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Somthing's Fishy: ICICI Bank reported 374 instances of fraud, followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank (338), HDFC Bank (273), State Bank of India (236) and HSBC (178). BS
Times Are A Changing: Public sector undertaking (PSU) banks saw a dip in bad loans in Q2 FY20, even as private-sector lenders posted a rise in the number of bad loans.
The bad loans for government banks fell by c. INR80,000cr during the 12-month period ended September 2019, CARE Ratings said. NPAs fell from INR9,92,964cr in Q2 FY19 to INR9,18,487cr in September 2019 on the back of considerable narrowing in loan slippages and increase in recoveries. Financial Express
Dibs on Food: Bangalore-based food-delivery platform Swiggy is set to invest another INR75cr in the next six months to expand its cloud kitchen.
Swiggy at present services around 1.5 million orders a month from over 1000 cloud kitchens in 14 cities through ‘Swiggy Access’ that allows restaurants to host delivery-only kitchens in new geographies where they don’t operate. Launched in November 2017, Swiggy Access aims to create new avenues of supply - restaurants, cuisines, and kitchens - in hyperlocal zones within a city where demand outpaces existing supply of restaurants.
Swiggy believes that India could emerge as the second-highest country with the number of cloud kitchens after China in the coming years, said Vishal Bhatia, CEO of New Supply business at Swiggy. TechCrunch
Blasphemy!: Food discovery and delivery platform, Zomato has denied merger talks with Swiggy.
"We have tremendous focus on our business metrics and have seen great success in our goal towards profitability. We are not in talks with anyone for a merger or acquisition," said Zomato.
News of Zomato-Swiggy had first surfaced in 2017. Inc42
Let the Music Play: TikTok owner ByteDance is gearing up to roll-out its own subscription-based music service in India next month to take on the likes of Apple Music and Spotify.
As per reports, ByteDance is trying to get licensing deals from Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music.
ByteDance is said to differ its service from others with the help of short video clips. These clips can be shared with other users in order to create more viral videos. The videos can also be used to find music on the app's library. India Today
Sorry, Do I Know You?: Video-sharing platform TikTok this year made history as China’s first social-media company to make it big in the US. However, now it is seeking to rebrand itself and shed its label as a Chinese brand as it faces increasing scrutiny from US lawmakers and regulators. This includes expanding operations in Southeast Asia, possibly Singapore - which would allow executives to distance the video-sharing app from China - and rebranding it in the US.
Meanwhile, TikTok has reduced the amount of content from China that appears on the app, hoping to minimize reminders of its Chinese roots to American users. WSJ
Two Times Lucky: Alibaba's upcoming Hong Kong IPO is likely to be this year's biggest - so far.
The e-commerce giant - which is already listed in New York - will reportedly price its shares at 176 Hong Kong dollars ($22.48). That would be just less than a 3% discount to the US closing price.
Pricing details are expected to be announced soon but the company will issue 500mn new ordinary shares (50mn of them reserved for retail investors) plus 75 million "greenshoe" options.
At $22.48, Alibaba's secondary listing would be the largest this year. But it will likely be overtaken in December if that is when oil colossus Saudi Aramco unveils its own IPO, which is expected to be the largest of all time, let alone of 2019.
Shares of Alibaba begin trading in Hong Kong on November 26. CNBC
PS: Shinzo Abe just finished his 2,887th day as Prime Minister of Japan, making him the longest-serving premier of the world's third-largest economy. He still has two years left as President of the Liberal Democratic Party and vowed to spend the remainder of his term tackling deflation and dealing with his country's rapidly ageing population. Japan Times
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