OPINION, P6 NATION, P13 I SEN GUPTA & A GUDWANI RBI could cut 75 bps by Oct, 200 bps in FY21 if vaccine is delayed COMPANIES, P4 EDITORIAL CRISIS DEEPENS IN THE CART No atmanirbhar India from duty hikes, production, R&D linked incentives a stronger bet Sachin Pilot sacked as Rajasthan deputy CM, Cong’s state unit chief Flipkart raises $1.2 bn from Walmart-led investor group NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 116, 26 PAGES, `6.00 (PATNA `6.00, RAIPUR `7.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 36,033.06 ▼ 660.63 NIFTY: 10,607.35 ▼ 195.35 NIKKEI 225: 22,587.01 ▼ 197.73 HANG SENG: 25,477.89 ▼ 294.23 `/$: 75.43 ▼ 0.23 `/€: 85.52 ▼ 0.49 BRENT: $42.36 ▼ $0.36 GOLD: `49,055 ▼ `85 BAIJU KALESH, ANTO ANTONY, MANUEL BAIGORRI & SARITHA RAI Mumbai/Hong Kong/ Bengaluru, July 14 GOOGLE IS IN advanced talks to buy a $4-billion stake in Mukesh Ambani’s technology venture, people familiar with the mattersaid,seeking to join rival Facebook in the chase for growth in a promising inter- Continued on Page 2 List of investors in Jio Platforms: Buyer Qualcomm Intel Saudi PIF L Catterton TPG Capital ADIA Mubadala KKR General Atlantic Vista Silver Lake Facebook Source: Bloomberg Amount Stake (%) Up to $97 m 0.15 $253 m 0.39 $1.5 bn 2.32 $252 m 0.39 $600 m 0.93 $752 m 1.16 $1.2 bn 1.85 $1.5 bn 2.32 $873 m 1.34 2.32 $1.5 bn 2.08 $1.35 bn $5.7 bn Date July 12 July 3 June 18 June 13 June 13 June 7 June 5 May 22 May 17 May 8 May 4 & Jun 5 9.99 April 22 THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY, which was witnessing weak sales for most part of FY20, has been dealt a severe blow by the Covid pandemic with industry association Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) on Tuesday forecasting a bleak scenario for the current fiscal in terms of sales as well as investments. 1,05,617 % chge (y-o-y) -49.59 Commercial vehicles Two-wheelers Three-wheelers Apr-Jun ’20 % chg (in units) 1,53,734 -78.43 31,636 10,13,431 -38.56 10,300 -80.15 (y-o-y) « (in units) -84.81 « Passenger vehicles Jun ‘20 12,93,113 -74.21 « FE BUREAU Mumbai, July 14 Domestic sales of vehicles 12,760 -91.48 « Says it will take 3-4 years to reach the peak level of 2018 « May join Facebook and a slew of PE firms who have already invested more than $15 bn in just a few months net market. The technology titan has been discussing the investment in Reliance Industries’ digital arm, Jio Platforms, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. An announcement could come as soon as the next few weeks, according to the people. Jio is at the centre of the Ambani’s ambition to transform his energy conglomerate into a homegrown technology behemoth — something on the lines of China’s Alibaba Group Holding.Theventurehasturned into a magnet for Silicon Valley investors,attractingalmost$16 billion from Facebook to KKR& Co in the past three months. SIAM sees auto sales skidding by 26-45% « Google in talks to invest $4 bn in Jio FY21 FORECAST « TRENDING NOW Source: SIAM Another casualtywould be electric vehicles, where companies are no longer in a position to invest in the new technology and would need government support if the country does not want to miss the electric vehicle revolution, SIAM president Rajan Wadehra said. Continued on Page 2 Kolkata cases double, could get worse INFECTION LEVELS INKolkata have nearly doubled in just the last fortnight,making it one of the few big cities in the country with this dubious distinction. Thenumberofinfectedpersons in Kolkata rose from 5,984 a fortnight ago to 10,026 on Tuesday.Amongcitiesthathave asomewhatsimilarpopulation, onlyBengalurusawa nearfourfoldjumpfrom5,290to19,702 cases, Delhi from 87,360 to 113,740,Mumbaifrom77,197 to 93,984 and Chennai from 58,327 to 78,573. What is worrying,however, is that with the city not reporting anydata on testing,there is Iran walks out of Chabahar rail project pact with India FE BUREAU New Delhi, July 14 DERAILED BY THE DRAGON? THE NOW-DE-ESCALATED INDIA-CHINAborderstand-off is continuing to have a ripple effect in the economic and diplomaticarena.TheIrangovernment has decided to go solo on the laying of the 628-km railwayline connecting Chabahar port with Zahedan, forsaking the promised financial and technical support from India’s state-owned Indian Railways Construction (Ircon). WhileTehranhasattributed the decision to delays from the Iran to go solo with the 628-km rail line connecting Chabahar port with Zahedan Ircon was to provide all services for the rail network and entire aid was to be worth $1.6 billion Indian side, it seems to have been influenced by Beijing’s plantohaveamassivestrategiccum-investment partnership with Iran. While there hasn’t no way to ascertain whether infectionsarestillrisingornot. In the case of Delhi, for instance,thepositivitylevels— new infections as a share of new tests — have fallen from 13% a fortnight ago to 7.4% onTuesday;Bengalurupositivitycontinues to rise. Continued on Page 2 Tehran blames delay in Indian funding, but it may have been influenced by Beijing’s grand investment plans been any official word by New Delhi on the move, sources in the knowconfirmed it. Continued on Page 2 RESCUING HFCS NHB disburses record `25,000 cr BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, July 14 TRACKING COVID ISHAAN GERA New Delhi, July 14 OFF TRACK THE NATIONAL HOUSING Bank (NHB) stepped in to bail out cash-starved housing finance companies (HFCs) by disbursing a record `25,000 crore to them in just four months through June, after crisis-hit mutual funds began trimming their exposure to realty and bankers remained risk-averse in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. This was 91% of the New Delhi THROWING A LIFELINE `31,250 cr Total disbursement by NHB in its last fiscal through June, up 24% y-o-y `27,500 cr Or 88% of total funds went to HFCs `27,500 crore that the staterun re-financierhanded out to housing finance companies in its last fiscal ended June 30. In fact, the NHB extended a total refinancing facilityof a record `31,250 crore in its last fiscal, up 24% from the year ago. Of this, as much as 88% (about `27,500 crore) went to HFCs and the rest to banks and others against their housing portfolio, according to the latest data compiled by the NHB. Continued on Page 2
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