OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P5 EDITORIAL Discom loan package won’t help power sector without key reforms BILL GATES SUPPLY CHAINS Google investing in RJio could revolutionise telecom, especially in health- and edu-tech R KRISHNAMOORTHY INTERNATIONAL, P8 ‘India pharma industry capable of producing Covid vaccines for entire world’ Xi reassures global CEOs as Trump steps up push to isolate China NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 118, 16 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: 36,471.68 ▲ 419.87 NIFTY: 10,739.95 ▲ 121.75 NIKKEI 225: 22,770.36 ▼ 175.14 HANG SENG: 24,970.69 ▼ 510.89 `/$: 75.19 ▼ 0.04 `/€: 85.77 ▲ 0.21 BRENT: $43.51 ▼ $0.28 GOLD: `49,077 ▲ `15 IN THE NEWS RBI issues fair practices code for ARCs THE RBI ON Thursday issued a fair practices code for asset reconstruction companies (ARCs), stating that these entities must follow transparent and non-discriminatory practices in acquisition of assets, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. They must also maintain arm’s length distance in the pursuit of transparency and avoid harassing debtors while making recoveries, the RBI said. Alibaba's UCWeb lays off India staff ALIBABA’S SUBSIDIARY UC Web is slashing staff in India after a ban on 59 Chineseorigin apps that includes UC Web’s browser and two other products, according to staff and a company letter seen by Reuters. ‘Disengagement process in eastern Ladakh intricate’ CHINAAND INDIA are committed to "complete disengagement" of troops, and the process is "intricate" that requires "constant verification", the Indian Army said on Thursday, reports PTI. Separately, the MEA said there is absolutely no change in India's position on the LAC. PLAN FOR JULY International One million and counting... BOT highway model to be more flights take off investor-friendly from today Even as tests rise, positivity isn’t coming down ISHAAN GERA New Delhi, July 16 Pact signed with France, US; with UK, Germany soon FE BUREAU New Delhi, July 16 CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday said that the government hasestablishedindividualbilateralbubbleswithFranceandthe USthatwillallowairlinesofeach country in the pact to operate internationalflights.Theminister said that similar arrangementwithGermanyandtheUK will soonbe permitted. From India,Air India will be operating flights to France and US under these bubbles.An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions in which the carriersofthetwocountriescan operate international flights. Scheduled international passengerflightshavebeensuspendedinIndiasinceMarch23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.Afternearlytwomonths of suspension to combat the virus,thegovernmentresumed Coming up FE BUREAU Netflix to premiere 17 originals Netflix is all set to premiere 17 originals. With the silver screen not in the picture, consumers are glued to their OTT screens. Subscriptions are on the rise and firms are rushing to fill up the content shelf. The OTT party is only getting bigger ■ Dolly Kitty AurWoh Chamakte Sitare ■ Ludo Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Bhumi Pednekar ■ Tribhanga— Tedhi Medhi Crazy Cast: Kajol, Mithila Palkar,TanviAzmi ■ RaatAkeli Hai Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, RadhikaApte ■ Torbaaz Cast: Sanjay Dutt Special Feature ‘We plan to launch value-for-money products’ MD Sunil Nayyar says Sony India is realigning its product strategy, plans to launch ‘value for money’ products ■ BrandWagon, P9 MORE CONCESSIONS TRACKING COVID BUBBLE PACT Air France UnitedAirlines to operate 28 (US)will flights between operate 18 Delhi, Mumbai, flights between Bengaluru & Delhi, Mumbai & Paris from Newark from Jul 18-Aug 1 Jul 17-31 Talks are onwith Germany to allow international passenger flights India exploring more air bubbles with other countries Hardeep S Puri scheduled domestic passenger flights on May25. Continued on Page 2 Disinvestment ofAir India only option: HS Puri, Page 4 WITH INDIA NOW recording over 30,000 Covid-19 infectionsforthesecondstraightday, it joins Brazil and the US as the third country to log a million cases. Although adding fewer cases every day than Brazil’s near40,000ortheUS’s68,000, India’s tally could top that of Brazilwithin aweek. The fact is infections in India are growing at a faster pace; on Thursday, infections rose at 3.4%,nearly twice that of Brazil’s 1.8% and considerably higher than the US’s 1.9%. If the momentum sustains,Indiawill soon bereporting nearly 52,000 infections a dayandwillhitcloseto1.5million cases by July 31; by then Brazil will be adding 45,000 infections a day. What’s more worrying is that the positivity — new cases upon newtests — isn’t showing signs of tapering off even thoughtestinghasbeenrampedup to 3.26 lakh samples a day. Continued on Page 2 UK, US, Canada accuse Russia of hacking virus vaccine trials, Page 8 Cases on the rise (Daily infection numbers) Projections 1,00,000 80,000 US Brazil 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, July 16 India June 1, 2020 July 16 July 31, 2020 Positivity rates are rising too (New cases upon new tests, from the day both countries started reporting 50,000 tests daily) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 US India Day 1 Day 84 Day 114 Oxford University vaccine hopes rise with strong trial results ADITI KHANNA London, July 16 RESEARCHERSATTHEUniversity of Oxford believe they may have a breakthrough in their search for a Covid-19 vaccine after the team discovered that the jab could provide “double protection” against the deadly coronavirus following early stagehumantrials,accordingto media reports in the UK. Bloodsamplestakenfroma group of UKvolunteers given a dose of the vaccine showed that it stimulated the body to produce both antibodies and “killer T-cells”, a senior source from the trial was quoted by ‘The DailyTelegraph'as saying. The discovery is promising because separate studies have suggested that antibodies may fade awaywithin monthswhile T-cellscanstayincirculationfor years.However,the source cautioned that the results, while “extremely promising”,did not yet prove that the Oxford vaccineprovideslong-lastingimmunityagainst the deadlyvirus. Continued on Page 2 PRIVATELY-FUNDED HIGHWAYprojectsinthecountry,the awards of which have become few and far between over the years but have of late shown early signs of revival,will get a shot in the arm soon,with a bolsteredrevenueprotection clause being built into the concession agreement. Under the clause,ineveryfiveyears during the concession period, the revenue potential of a build-operate-transfer (BOT-toll) project will be reassessed,againstevery10years now.Therefore, if need be, the concession could will be 4 12.08 FY15 16.6 FY16 22.5 FY17 76 72 73 87 26.9 FY18 96 85 29.8 FY19 35 51 60 28 FY20 24 20 13 3 10 FY21^ 13.88 FY12 FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20 Highway Project awards by NHAI (%) construction by all BOT toll EPC HAM/annuity agencies (Km/day) commercialspacespreadacross Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi NCR. Mindspace REIT will be the second publicly-traded REIT after Embassy and Blackstone raised over `4,700 crore via an IPO in April 2019. A REIT enables owners to pool income-generating assets together in a portfolio and allows investors to buy ownershipinrealestateassetsin theformofequity.REITshave topayoutmajorityoftheirearnings as distributions to unit holders.AREITleasesspaceand collects rents on the properties, then distributes that income as dividends to shareholders. Continued on Page 2 TWITTER HACKED Bezos, Biden, Musk, among hit SARAH FRIER & KARTIKAY MEHROTRA San Francisco, July 16 THE TWITTER ACCOUNTS of some of the most prominent US political and business leaders, from Barack Obama and Joe Biden to Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett, were hacked Wednesday afternoon in an apparent effort to promote a Bitcoin scam. The attacks were stunning in scope and almost certainly Top Left: Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Joe Biden coordinated. Others whose Twitter accounts were caught up in the security incident included Bill Gates,Elon Musk, KanyeWest,UberTechnologies, Apple and Michael Bloomberg, thefounderandmajorityowner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. The accounts sent out tweets promising to double the money of anyone sending funds via Bitcoin within 30 minutes. Continued on Page 2 FRESH START China’s Belt and Road re-emerges in Pakistan FASEEH MANGI Karachi, July 16 CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD programme has found newlife in Pakistan with $11 billion worth of projects signed in the last month,driven by a former lieutenant general who has reinvigorated the infrastructure plan that’s been languishing since Prime Minister Imran Khan took office two years ago. Thenationssigneddealson June 25 and July 6 for two BRI in Pakistan China’s new project deals pick up pace in Pakistan 12 ($ billion) 10 8 6 4 2 0 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Source: cpec.gov.pk, govt announcements hydro-power generation projects costing $3.9 billion in the disputed Kashmir region, and another to revamp the South 2020 Asian nation’s colonial-era railways for $7.2 billion — the most expensive Chinese project yet in Pakistan. 15 8 Source: NHAI, MoRTH, Ind-Ra Raheja REIT looks to raise over `3,000 cr K RAHEJA CORP,which owns marqueecommercialrealestate like Mindspace, The Square, Commerzone and Inorbit mall isplanningtoraise`3,0004,000 crore through REIT (Real Estate InvestmentTrust)with a listing expected as early as next month, sources with knowledge of the development said. The realtor has been working on a REITforthe last couple of years and is expected to file the offer document with the Sebi by the end of this week, sources told FE. Called the Mindspace REIT, the portfolio will have 29.5 million sq ft of Continued on Page 2 Road map ● REAL ESTATE SHUBHRATANDON Mumbai, July 16 extended early in the tenure of the contract, adding to certaintyof cash flows. ThoughthepotentialinvestorsintheBOT-tollsegmenthave welcomed the move, they say the best and most practicalway to mitigate the project risk is to prolong the concession period flexibly, to accommodate any revenue slippage. Currently, the model concession agreement (MCA) allows such tenure changes but a concession period can’t stillbeextendedbeyond20% of the original tenure,which is usually20years.Thedevelopers want this ceilingto go. Khan’s government appointedAsim Saleem Bajwa last yearto run the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority, which oversees more than $70 billion in projects from power plants to highways. He also joined Khan’s cabinet in lateApril,becoming one of more than a dozen former and current military officials in prominent government roles as the army expands its influence in the country. Continued on Page 2 New Delhi 56 46 40 27 ^April-May 2020
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