OPINION, P6 SURJIT S BHALLA ECONOMY, P2 Data seem to suggest Covid lockdowns didn’t work INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL SPECIAL GST WINDOW H-1B CURBS BJP promising free Covid vaccine for Bihar unfortunate; it should be free for all as this is a national emergency Centre borrows `6,000 cr and releases to 16 states, 2 UTs Trump's visa order for foreign workers to cost $100 billion: Report MUMBAI, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. LX NO. 250, 20 PAGES, `10.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 40,685.50 ▲ 127.01 NIFTY: 11,930.35 ▲ 33.90 NIKKEI 225: 23,516.59 ▲ 42.32 HANG SENG: 24,918.78 ▲ 132.65 `/$: 73.60 ▼ 0.06 `/€: 87.15 ▲ 0.01 BRENT: $42.60 ▲ $0.14 GOLD: `51,044 ▼ `105 IN THE NEWS After ECA rejig, a U-turn! Curbs back on onions IN A KNEE-JERK reaction, the Centre on Friday imposed stock holding limits on onion prescribing maximum quantity of 25 tonne for wholesalers and 2 tonne for retailers, until December 31, to arrest the rising prices of the vegetable, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The decision came in less than five months after it promulgated an ordinance amending the Essential Commodities Act to “de-regulate” key foodstuff. ED summons Punjab CM's son for questioning THE ENFORCEMENT DIRECTORATE (ED) has summoned Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh's son for questioning in an alleged foreign exchange violations case, reports PTI. Raninder Singh has been asked to depose at the ED office on October 27. Pakistan stays on FATF 'grey list' A GLOBAL DIRTY money watchdog decided on Friday to keep Pakistan on its “grey list”, despite progress by Islamabad on meeting international antiterrorism financing norms, reports Reuters. COVID Europe sees a fresh surge in infections Fresh cases now doubling in 10 days, cross 2 lakh daily ANURAG MAAN & SHAINAAHLUWALIA Bengaluru, October 23 EUROPE’S REPORTED CORONAVIRUS cases more than doubled in 10 days,crossing 200,000 daily infections for the first time on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, withmanySouthernEuropean countriesreportingtheirhighest single-day cases this week. Europe reported 100,000 daily cases for the first time on October 12. Europe has so far reported about 7.8 million total coronavirus cases and about 247,000 deaths,according to a Reuters tally. European coun- INDIA UPDATE 77,61,312 TOTAL CASES 1,17,306 DEATHS SO FAR 54,366 NEWCASES tries like Italy,Austria,Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia reported their highest single-day coronavirus cases on Thursday. Europeasaregionisreporting more daily cases than India, Brazil and the US combined. The increase is partly explained by far more testing thanwas done in the firstwave of the pandemic. The global coronavirus tally stands at about 41.4 million cases and about 1.1 million deaths. Continued on Page 14 Remdesivir first drug to win FDA nod THE US FOOD The US Food and Drug Administration approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral therapy remdesivir on Thursday, making it the first drug to obtain formal clearance for treating Covid, reportsBloomberg.Anemergency-use authorisation for remdesivir was granted in May this year. It was given to President DonaldTrump this month when he was diagnosedwith thevirus. Meanwhile, the World HealthOrganizationsaiditis preparing guidelines on the use of remdesivir. ■ Page 8 IN THE CART Flipkart picks up 7.8% in Aditya Birla Fashion At `1,500 cr, this is the second-biggest retail deal in the year after Reliance Retail-Future Group REPORT CARD Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Revenue Ebitda 323.02 -360.39 Intra-day, Oct 23 (BSE) 180 Prev. close: 153.4 170 160 153.5 150 140 130 Open MAHARASHTRA IS LOOKING for potential investment from theUSelectriccarmajorTeslain the state and has held discussions with the company,weeks after Tesla revealed its plans to enterthe Indian market. State tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said in a tweet on Thursday that industries peer Subhash Desai held a Continued on Page 14 Special Feature Magnite: The dawn of a new Nissan in India? The Magnite is the booster shot the Japanese major needs for its India operations; it will enter the competitive sub-4 metre SUV segment ruled by Vitara Brezza, Venue, Sonet ■ Motobahn, P9 QuickPicks India gets ILO chair after 35 years INDIA HAS assumed the chairmanship of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) afte 35 years, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Labour secretary Apurva Chandra has been elected as the chairperson of the governing body of the organisation for the period October 2020- June 2021. The governing body is the executive body of the ILO. It meets thrice a year, in March, June and November. PAGE 2 Amazon refuses joint panel call AMAZON HAS refused to appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Data Protection Bill on October 28 and this amounts to breach of privilege, panel chairperson and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said on Friday, reports PTI. Lekhi said that “the panel is unanimous in its opinion that coercive action can be suggested to the government against the e-commerce company”. PAGE 2 -410.36 Source: Bloomberg 165.05 Close going concerns for a lumpsum amount of `24,713 crore. ABFRLwill use the capital to strengthenitsbalancesheetand pushgrowth.Itplanstoscaleup its play in emerging highgrowth fashion categories and establish them as the new enginesofgrowthforitself.Further,itwillacceleratetheexecution of its large-scale digital transformation strategy that will deepen its consumer connect and augment its back-end capabilitiesandpositionitselfas acomprehensiveomni-channel fashion player. The promoter and promoter group firms of ABFRL will hold about 55.13% upon completion of the issuance. Post-completion, ABFRL would have successfully executed a capital raise of `2,500 crore since April 1, 2020, the companysaid in a statement. As part of the deal, 7,31,70,732 fully paid-up equity shares, at a price of `205persharewillbeissuedto Flipkart Investments. Continued on Page 14 Sweden’s SSAB eyes Tata Europe biz as Thyssenkrupp backup Among steelmakers looking to buy assets of German group that’s restructuring to ensure its survival HOT METAL AARON KIRCHFELD, EYK HENNING, RUTH DAVID & DINESH NAIR October 23 Tata has a blast furnace at Port Talbot in the UK and another big plant in the Netherlands SWEDISH STEELMAKER SSAB AB is exploring a combination with Tata Steel’s European business as a back-up plan to a deal with Thyssenkrupp amid industryconsolidation, according to people familiarwith the matter. SSABisholdingpreliminary talks with Tata Steel of India as it seeks merger options, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The Swedish company, which has a market value of around28billionSwedishkronor ($3.2 billion), would gain controlofTataSteel’sEuropean business if theypursuedsuch a deal,they said. Steel producers in Europe are under pressure to consolidate, having been battered by weaker demand and global overcapacity, combined with ROAD MAP Maharashtra invites Tesla to invest in state video call,in which he also participated,with the Tesla team, inviting the electriccarmaker toMaharashtra.Maharashtrais alreadyhometoahostofdomestic and foreign automobile manufacturers with Chakan beltnearPuneamajorautomobile hub in the state. “This evening I had the opportunity to participate in a video call by Industries Minister @Subhash_Desai ji with @Tesla team to invite them to Maharashtra.Iwaspresentnot because of just the investment but my firm belief in electric mobility & sustainability @elonmusk,” Thackeray said in a tweet. Net loss -146.08 FE BUREAU Mumbai, October 23 INWHATCANbetermedasthe secondbigdealduringthecurrent year in the offline consumerspace,Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) on Friday announced a strategic partnership with WalmartbackedFlipkartGroup,wherein the latter will pick up a 7.8% stake in the former for `1,500 crore by way of a preferential issue on a fullydiluted basis. The company has also, in furtherance of the existing business-to-business arrangements with Flipkart India, entered into a commercial agreement in relation to the saleanddistributionofvarious brands of the company. In August, Reliance Industries’ unit Reliance Retail Ventures had acquired retail and wholesale business and the logisticsandwarehousingbusiness from the Kishor Biyanipromoted Future Group as Q1 2021 (` in cr) 150.26 1,831.88 ● COURTING MUSK PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, October 23 Q4 2020 STEEL DEAL DEMONS FOR SALE Effigies of Ravana and other demons on sale, in Jaipur on Friday ROHIT JAIN PARAS Covid effect Delinquencies in retail space start spiking Early reports indicate wide variances with credit cards seeing 17%, two-wheelers at 21% and MFI and CVs at more than 10%. If other private banks were to witness similar trends, CS estimates this would translate into a delinquency of 5-10% of their consumer loan books. FE BUREAU Impacted segments make up ~10-55% of private banks' Credit card (CC) MFI 2W CV consumer book (%) 0 Bandhan STFC IIB RBL LTFH IDFC Bank* Chola HDFCB MMFS Kotak Axis** BAF ICICI 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 WHILE THE HIGHWAY construction sector has largely insulated itself from the lockdown effect — construction duringthefirsthalfof2020-12 was 85% ofwhatwas achieved in the year-ago period — the government is unveiling more incentivestoinvestorstospeed up the pace further. The ministryof road transport and highways (MoRTH) has decided to release the financial support to hybrid annuitymodel (HAM) projects in 10 equal installments during the construction period, against 5 now, a move that will boost liquidity of the concessionaires. However, the total upfront financial assistance to a HAM venturewillcontinuetobesubject to the ceiling of 40% of the project cost. The ministry is also working on some incentives for the Highway project awards by NHAI (Km, %) BOT (Toll) 0 EPC HAM 20 40 60 80 100 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 (H1) 52 48 Source: NHAI, India-Ra engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contractors,themainstayoftheindustryoverthe last fewyears amid a near complete absence of pure-playbuild-operate-transfer (toll) projects. Continued on Page 14 New Parl building to be ready by Oct ’22 Impacted consumer loan segments as % of consumer book *IDFC First Bank CC represents overall unsecured credit exposure **AXSB CV book assumed at ~30% of vehicle loans Source: Credit Suisse estimates, Company data CONSTRUCTION OF A new Parliament building will begin in December this year and is likely to be completed byOctober2022,reportsPTI. Necessary measures have been put in place to ensure solution for its European business since it was hit by 2016 commodity crisis ■ Steel producers in Europe are under pressure to consolidate ■ Industry has been battered by weaker demand and global overcapacity Soaring iron ore prices, high supply of low-cost imported steel add to woes soaring prices of iron ore and high supply of low-cost imported steel.As a result,several major producers are speaking to each other about potential mergers. Continued on Page 14 ● MPC MINUTES More incentives likely for HAM, EPC projects SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, October 23 ■ It has been trying to find a that Parliament sessions can behelduninterruptedduring this period in the existing buildings, Lok Sabha secretariat said.The new building will also have a grand Constitution Hall. ■ Page 2 Das: Second wave of Covid could derail nascent recovery PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, October 23 RBI GOVERNOR SHAKTIKANTADashassaidtheriskof asecondwaveofCovid-19could put sand in the wheels of the nascent recovery while his deputyMD Patra opined that it might take years to regain the outputlostonaccountofCovid. These views were expressed by themduringthemeetingofthe newly constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held from October7 to 9. The newly appointed independent member of the ratesetting panel Shashanka Bhide said uncertainties relating to Covid will impact growth and inflation scenarios in the next two to three quarters. Das also said the decision to cut benchmark repo ratewould depend upon the evolving situation with regard to inflation whichiscurrentlyabovethetolerance level of the central bank, according to the minutes of the meeting released by RBI on Friday.“Irecognisethatthereexists space for future rate cuts if the inflationevolvesinlinewithour expectations.This space needs tobeusedjudiciouslytosupport recoveryin growth,” Das said. Continued on Page 14 FACT CHECK Trump keeps cool in last debate yet gains little ground on Biden GREGORY KORTE October 23 PRESIDENTDONALDTRUMP and Democratic nominee Joe Biden met for the last time before the November 3 election, with a debate more orderly but just as spirited as their first face-off last month. The two candidates challenged each other on their tax plans, the environment, their business interests and the pandemic.Bloomberg News is checking the facts behind few of their claims: Biden claims Trump isn’t dealing with climate change Trump: “I do love the environment,butwhat Iwantis the cleanest water,the cleanest air. We have the best, lowest number in carbon emissions.... We have the best carbon emission numbers ... in 35 years under this administration.” Biden:“Global warming is an existential threat to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden answers a question as President Donald Trump listens during the final presidential debate, in Nashville, Tennessee, US humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it. And we are told by all the leading scientists in the world, we don’t have much time.We are going to pass the point of no return in eight to 10 years. Four more years of this man eliminating all the regulations that were put in by us to clean up the climate, to limit emissions,will put us in a position where we are in real trouble.” Facts: It’s true that US energy-related carbon dioxide emissions have declined – some 15% since 2005, a frequently used baseline. They have dipped even further this yearas coronavirus lockdowns curbed air and road travel. But the decrease has been driven mostly by market forces. And it’s come despite the Trump administration’s moves to relax rules throttling the release of greenhouse gases from powerplants,automobiles and oil wells. Continued on Page 14
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