Despite rising calls to boycott Chinese goods, the banking and payments sector may have to continue relying on ‘Made in China’ payment terminals or point of sale (PoS) machines, due to non availability of cost-effective domestic or international alternatives.These swipe machines are the key hardware to process credit and debit card-based transactions. The deployment of these terminals in rural and semi-urban areas is central to the government's flagship Digital India initiative. Currently, over 95% of PoS terminal imports come from China, where the market is dominated by three global manufacturers — US-based Verifone, France-based Ingenico and Hong Kong-based Pax Technologies.
Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a Coal India arm, has ordered 8-days wage deduction for workers who went on a three-day strike last week to protest against the government's decision to open the coal sector for private players. The company termed the three-day strike by workers from July 2-4 as illegal. Coal India managed to clock an average daily production of 44% and average attendance of nearly 36% during the three-day strike. Of the around 20,000 workers of MCL, 15,000-16,000 workers were on strike so did not report to work. Coal India accounts for over 80% of India's domestic coal output.
The Supreme Court ruled no Bharat Stage-IV vehicles sold after March 31 should be registered and asked the government to verify whether dealers had overstepped a concession given to them due to the lockdown. India switched to BS-VI emission standards on April 1, 2020 from BS-IV. While the top court had earlier rejected the demand of automobile dealers to extend the deadline to clear their existing inventories of BS-IV vehicles, it allowed them to sell up to 10% of such inventory in a short window after the lockdown restrictions were eased. “You have sold more than allowed,” the SC said.
After the India ban, short video-app platform TikTok said it is losing $500,000 per day. According to the Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB) report, top 100 TikTok influencers also stand to lose about Rs 120 crore. Among the top TikTok stars, highest grosser Riyaz Aly, who collaborated with many Bollywood stars, earned around Rs 5-6 crore annually. Jannat Zubair, another TikTok star, earned an estimated Rs 5-5.5 crore. For a picture post, a top 10 TikToker would get in the range of Rs 1,20,000- 1,50,000 while a Carousel or GIF would fectch Rs 1,50,000 for a top 10 influencer.
Twitter Inc. shares rose as much as 12% on Wednesday trade amid speculation that the social media company is building a paid subscription-based service. Twitter is working on a subscription platform codenamed “Gryphon, two job listings posted by the company have confirmed. The job listing reads: “We are a new team, codenamed Grypon. We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by others in the future. This is a first for Twitter!" Twitter is actively considering alternative revenue streams. More than 84% of Twitter revenue comes from ad sales. In 2019, Twitter’s revenues stood at $3.46 billion.
India’s health insurance sector is feeling the financial brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Insurance claims have more than tripled to Rs 562 crore in less than a month. The number of claims filed also tripled to 35,000 on July 3 from about 11,000 reported on June 8. Almost 23,000 claims worth Rs 184 crore were settled as of July 3. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state, alone reported 15,753 claims worth Rs 195 crore, while Delhi, the worst-hit city, submitted 5,909 claims worth Rs 134 crore. Other states with a high number of claims include Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Haryana and West Bengal.
The West Bengal state government will enforce a total lockdown in containment zones from 5 pm on July 9, Thursday. The order was issued in the wake of the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases across the state. The order did not mention how long the latest shutdown will last. The state government also enlarged the domain of containment zones by including 'buffer zones' within such areas as well. The state will prohibit functioning of all government and private offices, all non-essential activities, congregations and gatherings, all forms of transport and all marketing, trading and industrial activities within these newly-defined containment zones.
ICICI Bank will raise Rs 15,000 crore through the sale of shares through private placement, preferential issue, qualified institutional placement (QIP) or follow-on public offer (FPO).The fund raising could boost the lender’s core equity capital by upto 2%.The bank’s total capital adequacy at the end of the March quarter stood at 16.11%, while its Tier 1 capital adequacy was 14.72%, In the past six months, the ICICI Bank stock has declined nearly 30% and its current market capitalisation stands at Rs 2.38 lakh crore.The bank recently sold its stake in ICICI Prudential and ICICI Lombard for a total Rs 3,090 crore.
Gold of 995 purity (24 carat), which hit a record high of Rs 50,392.75 per 10 gm on Wednesday including taxes, could rally another 10% in the next 6-9 months, said Shekhar Bhandari, global transaction banking head, Kotak Mahindra Bank. He added that demand for jewellery had improved in states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Punjab post the national lockdown relaxation from June. Even Titan in its latest quarterly update said that demand revival for its jewellery division was better than eexpected in May and June. Domestic gold ETFs witnessed inflows of Rs 494 crore in June.
Retail participation in Indian equities has surged to a 15-year high of 72% in July as investors shifted from unattractive bank and corporate fixed deposits to take advantage of the market’s sharp recovery from the March lows. After hitting a 10-year high of 68% in June, retail participation has risen to 72% of the total cash turnover market so far in July. These levels were last seen in 2005, the mid-point of the 2003-2007 bull run. All types of retail investors - day traders, measured investors and fence sitters - have been aggressively participating in the stock market since March.
Nestle India has launched a virtual internship programme for graduates in the final year of any discipline as well as post-graduates. The programme, called ‘Nesternship’, will offer virtual internship opportunities to 1,000 young talents across diverse education backgrounds over the next four months. It will go live on August 1, upskilling 250 interns every month till the end of November.The registrations for the internship programme will begin from July 8 and will remain open for the next three days.Candidates will be shortlisted based on various parameters including Class 10 and 12 marks, graduation score, previous internships and experience, if any.
E-commerce companies in India including Amazon and Flipkart have begun to update their back-end systems to allow sellers to identify the country of origin on all new product listings on their platforms.The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), which hosted an online meeting of e-commerce players on Wednesday, wanted the changes to be implemented by July-end. The companies, however, have sought 2-3 months time to comply. The changes would first be made for new product listings as it was difficult to do this for the tens of millions of products already selling on their platforms, they added.
The government will continue to pay the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) contributions of both employers and employees for another three months from June to August 2020 under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana/Atmanirbhar Bharat. The Union Cabinet on July 8 has approved the extension of EPF contribution of 24% (12% employees share and 12% employers share) with total estimated expenditure of Rs.4,860 crore. The move will benefit over 72 lakh employees. The government will make EPF payments for organisations having up to 100 employees and up to 90% of the employees are drawing wages up to Rs 15,000 per month.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have reportedly sued the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the new guidelines which disallow international students on non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas from remaining in the US if their classes have been moved to online-only mode due to the coronavirus pandemic. The two prestigious educational institutions sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar the DHS and ICE from enforcing the guidelines that are likely to impact thousands of Indian students residing in the US.
The Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group Plc are alarmed at the sharp erosion in their telecom JV Vodafone Idea's user base. The private carrier has lost about 20 million subscribers in the two quarters to March 2020. Axis Capital expects the loss-making telco to have lost a further 15 million subscribers during April-June 2020 period. Since the merger in August 2018 Vodafone Idea, the largest telco then with 408 million subscribers, has lost 117 million subscribers to competition to end the March 2020 quarter with 291 million subscribers. The telco's promoters are not inclined to infuse any fresh capital.