Shares of the private lender Yes Bank to exit benchmark index NIFTY50 and be replaced by Shree Cement. RBI Governor says focus on growth remains, monitoring NBFCs closely. Bharti Airtel could be asked to clear Videocon’s AGR dues too. SpaceX officially enters the space tourism business.
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In an interview recently, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das answered a string of questions on inflation, growth, fiscal deficit and the Central Bank’s independence and autonomy. He said the RBI is still focused on growth and asserted that all decisions taken last year “are our own objective, independent decisions”.
Regarding the NBFC crisis, Das said RBI was “closely and intensively” monitoring the top 50 NBFCs, and said the bank will endeavour “to ensure that no large systemically important NBFC collapses...We are very mindful of the aspect of financial stability in the case of banks too. RBI will always ensure that stability of the banking sector is maintained." [Indian Express]
Great Expectations (No More)
Many expected the long-awaited trade deal between the US and India to be signed when President Donald Trump would visit India on February 24th. But over the past few days, such expectations have more or less died down. First, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said he would not be travelling to India for pre-scheduled end-stage discussions. Now, Trump has said he was “saving the big deal for later on”, possibly after the US Presidential election in November. [HT]
Tata Motors has seen its stock tumble 8% in the last two trading sessions. The reason? The coronavirus outbreak in China, where the auto giant has a strong presence through its subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc. (JLR), 23% of whose sales have come from Chinese markets previously.
According to JLR’s CEO, the company is “making no sales in China”, and it was also forced to extend the shutdown at its manufacturing unit amid contagion concerns. [Livemint]
The Nifty 50 has said “No” to Yes Bank. From March 27th, shares of the private lender will exit the benchmark index and be replaced by Shree Cement, a Kolkata-based manufacturer of cement. [NDTV Profit]
It’s the Economy, Stupid
The economic slowdown is coming for your paychecks, according to Aon Plc’s annual salary increase survey.
The average salary increase in 2020 is projected to be 9.1%, which is the lowest in a decade. In 2018 and 2019, this number was 9.5% and 9.3% respectively. In 2008, during the Great Recession, the hike had slowed down to 6.6%. However, 39% of companies still reportedly plan to offer increases of 10% or more. [BS]
Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems
Bharti Airtel was in a tough place before, and now its troubles may increase. According to a report by The Economic Times, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may ask the telco to clear a significant portion of Videocon Telecommunications’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues as well.
Airtel had bought 25 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band from Videocon in March 2016.
The DoT has pegged Airtel’s AGR dues at around ?35,586cr ($4.9bn) and Videocon’s liabilities at ?2,041cr ($285m). Airtel, on February 17th, had paid ?10,000cr to the DoT ($1.39bn). [Moneycontrol]
According to a Tesla Model 3 teardown ordered by the Nikkei Business Publication, Tesla is six years ahead of Toyota and VW when it comes to electronics.
“What stands out most is Tesla’s integrated central control unit, or ‘full self-driving computer’. Also known as Hardware 3, this little piece of tech is the company’s biggest weapon in the burgeoning EV market. It could end the auto industry supply chain as we know it...This kind of electronic platform, with a powerful computer at its core, holds the key to handling heavy data loads in tomorrow’s smarter, more autonomous cars. Industry insiders expect such technology to take hold around 2025 at the earliest.” [Nikkei Asian Review]
The Sky is the Limit
SpaceX has officially entered the space tourism business. The private spacecraft company has struck a deal with Space Adventures to begin offering tourist flights on its first Crew Dragon flight. Up to four people will have the chance to go on the first ever private spaceflight, which is expected to take place sometime around late 2021. [Fortune]
Walmart is often viewed as the one retailer that has the chance to be a legitimate online competitor to Amazon. But according to this interesting report by Vox Recode, Walmart is finding its resources limited by its own successes.
Walmart spent $11.8bn last year on dividends to shareholders every three months as well as buying back shares of stocks from shareholders. Over that same period of time, how much did Amazon spend on these practices? $0. And this is despite Amazon generating $13bn more than Walmart in cash from core business operations.
Walmart’s longtime relationship with Wall Street, therefore, is a boon and a bane. Amazon meanwhile has trained Wall Street to value revenue growth and moving into new business lines over large profits. [Vox Recode]
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