OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 NATION, P12 EDITORIAL SUFFICIENT SUPPLY US ELECTIONS India to import more than 30,000 tonne onions, potatoes Facebook using experience from India polls to stop abuse Revival tough for many cos with little consumer demand Govt must ensure access to devices and internet for poor students to bridge digital divide in online education NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 209, 28 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA `9.00, RAIPUR `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: 39,614.07 ▼ 135.78 NIFTY: 11,642.40 ▼ 28.40 NIKKEI 225: 22,977.13 ▼ 354.81 HANG SENG: 24,107.42 ▼ 479.18 `/$: 74.11 ▼ 0.23 `/€: 86.94 ▼ 0.13 BRENT: $37.57 ▼ $0.08 GOLD: `50,583 ▼ `116 India key pillar in global fight against Covid-19: WEF INDIA STANDS out as an essential component to a concrete global action plan being readied to fight Covid19, including for large-scale vaccine manufacturing, WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab told PTI. Special Feature Net profit (` cr) 11,262 9,567 -15.1 No festive sheen Arpu 120 (`) Q2 776 756 771 760 789 12,000 9,32,230 8,89,440 8,76,340 128 130.6 140.3 145 Q3 FY20 Q4 Q1 Q2 FY21 We delivered strong overall operational and financial performance compared with the previous quarter, with recovery in the petrochemicals and retail segment, and sustained growth in digital services business. — MUKESH AMBANI, CMD, RIL lion sq ft of retail space,” the company said in a release. The digital piece posted strong numbers on the back of a higher subscriber base and higher Arpus of `145 as the company upped tariffs in December 2019. The petrochemicals division fared well as prices remained firm on a quarterly Tech stocks knock downWall Street WALL STREET'S major indexestumbledonFriday, dragged down bya slide in shares of tech heavyweights following their quarterly results, with a record rise in coronavirus cases and nerves over the presidential election adding to a downbeat mood,reports Reuters. tallyof publiclyreported data. Detailed report on Page 8 BLOOMBERG Jewellers may be staring at their worst sales in the key festival quarter in 12 years, as the pandemic slams the ability of buyers, especially in cities, to purchase gold. The coronavirus outbreak and weak economic growth are likely to push sales below last year’s 194 tonne to the lowest quarterly numbers since 2008. ■ Page 3 basis and cracking margins improved due to a better feedstock mix and favourable economics for ethane cracking. The company’s crackers operated at nearly full capacity. Continued on Page 2 ■ Reliance Retail posts revenues of `36,566 crore in Sept quarter, Page 4 Reliance Jio net rises 13% at `2,844 cr RELIANCE JIO posted strong numbers, in line withanalystestimatesfor the July-Septemberquarter with net profit growing by 13% on a sequential basis at `2,844 crore. Revenues were up 5.6% at `17,481 crore, while Ebitdawas up 5.7% at `7,701 crore, driven primarily by a lift in Arpu (averagerevenueperuser). The company’s Ebitda margins remained flat at 44% during the quarter. Hike in tariffs undertaken in December 2019 andupgradebycustomers to higher value plans reflected in the 3.3% sequential increase in Arpu, which stood at `145, in line with analyst estimates of ` 143. However, the Arpu came in significantly lower compared to Bharti Airtel’s `162. On other operating metrics, Jio continues to perform on expected lines. 250 200 150 100 50 ‘10 ‘11 ‘12 ‘13 ‘14 ‘15 ‘16 ‘17 ‘18 2019 QuickPicks IndiGo to trim fleet size over 2 yrs INDIGO WILL trim its fleet size over the next two years as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on Asia’s biggest budget airline by market value and other carriers around the world, reports Bloomberg. “Fleet count will be stagnant, go down a little,” CEO Ronojoy Dutta told analysts during a postearnings conference call. PAGE 21 `1.27L cr I-T refunds so far this FY FINANCE SECRETARY Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Friday said nearly `1.27 lakh crore of direct tax refunds have been issued directly into the bank accounts of taxpayers so far in the current fiscal, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Between April 1 to October 27, the department has issued refunds worth `1,26,909 crore to more than 39.14 lakh taxpayers. This includes `34,532 crore to individual taxpayers in about 37.22 lakh cases. Source: World Gold Council ● CHINA APPS BAN Tencent shuts down Pubg Mobile in India PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 30 CHINESE COMPANY TENCENT Games on Friday said it is terminating all services and access for Pubg Mobile users in India to comply with the government order last month. On September 2, India banned 118 mobile apps with Chinese links,including popular game Pubg Mobile, citing data privacy concerns and a threat to national security. This took the total count of Chinese-linked mobile apps banned by India to 224. “Tencent Games will terminate all service and access for users in India to Pubg Mobile Nordic Map: Livik and Pubg Mobile Lite, together ‘Pubg Mobile’ on October 30, 2020. The rights to publish Pubg Mobile in India will be returned to the ownerof the Pubg intellectual property,” Pubg Mobile India page on a social media website said. Continued on Page 2 ONLINE BOOST Apple sees record Sept qtr in India Tech giant has been aggressively ramping up presence here PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 30 TECHGIANTAPPLEhasposted arecordSeptemberquarterrevenue of $64.7 billion, with strong performance across markets,including India. “Geographically, we set September quarter records in the Americas, Europe and Rest of Asia Pacific. We also set a September quarter record in India,thanks in part to a very strong reception to this quarter’s launch of our online store in the country,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an earnings call. In September, Apple launcheditsfirstonlinestorein India — a market that is dominatedbyAndroidsmartphones. Apple, which competes in the premium smartphone segment in India with players like Samsung and OnePlus, has been aggressively ramping up its presence in the Indian market. ■ Apple’s renewed focus on India paid off with doubledigit growth to nearly 8,00,000 units, says Canalys It led the over `30,000 premium segment, surpassing OnePlus even before its flagship launch, says Counterpoint ■ Demand remains strong for iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone 11; iPhone 12 to further boost position in Dec quarter The US-based company, in collaboration with partners like Wistron and Foxconn,had recently started assembling iPhone 11 in India. Continued on Page 2 ■ Full report on Page 4 FESTIVE SEASON Diwali sales going well, says Amazon FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 30 AMAZON ONTHURSDAYsaid its ongoing festive sale in India is faring well. Speaking at the firm’s July-September quarter earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky said:“...including the international segment of courseisIndiawherewe’vehad a very strong Prime Day and Diwali is off to a good start.” The Seattle-based company, that counts India as one of its biggest markets, launched a month-long annual festive sale beginning October 17. Amazon and Walmartbacked Flipkart, that jointly lead the Indian e-commerce space, have seen a rush of new customers as the pandemic nudged shoppers to shift online.Amazon broadened its reachandsignedupnewPrime Amazon's month-long festive sale started on October 17 Online firms have seen rush ofnew consumers, led by smalltown India Over 90% offresh users came from tier 2 & 3 cities Amazon expanded delivery network; created over 1,00,000 seasonal jobs BSE WILL CONSULT markets regulator Sebi and seek clarifications from Future Retail and Reliance Industries about their $3.4-billion transaction, following Amazon’s objection to the deal, an exchange source told Reuters. ON TARGET An anti-ship missile successfully testfired by the Navy from its guided missile corvette INS Kora in the Bay of Bengal on Friday PHOTO: TWITTER PROFIT MOTIVE members from places like Tawang, Mokokchung and Pudukkottai. Continued on Page 2 Amazon’s objection to Future-Reliance deal: BSE to seek Sebi clarifications (Tonne) 2008 ‘09 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 FY20 FY21 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 FY20 FY21 Gold sales in Oct-Dec may be weakest since 2008 0 12,100 11,300 11,200 Volume (million min) 8,26,400 -16.2 18,945 Volume (millon MB) 8,12,620 22,611 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 FY20 FY21 1,44,20,000 Ebitda (` cr) Usage per sub (min) Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 FY20 FY21 1,42,00,000 -24.2 1,28,40,000 « 1,53,384 11,700 Revenue from operations (` cr) With election looming, US faces record surge A RECORD SURGE of coronaviruscasesintheUSispushing hospitals to the brink of capacity and killing up to 1,000 peopleaday,thelatestfiguresshow, with much of the country’s attention focused onTuesday’s presidential election. The US broke its single-day record for new infections on Thursday, reporting at least 91,248 new cases, as 17 states reported their highest daily number of hospitalised Covid19 patients since the pandemic started, according to a Reuters With an extremely lightweight body (2,733 pounds) and 1,824 hp, it can reach a speed of 499 km/h. But Bugatti said it hasn’t decided whether the Bolide will reach series production ■ Gadgets, P9 Usage per sub (MB) y-o-y (%) 1,16,195 Key performance indicators comparison VOICE DATA ● COVID COUNT LISA SHUMAKER & DAVID MORGAN October 30 Bugatti Bolide: Study in speed set for the track Q2FY21 1,20,80,000 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES (RIL) on Friday reported a net profit of `9,567 crore for the three months to September, down 15% year-on-year. Theconglomerate’soperating profits came in at `18,945 crore, down 16.2% y-o-y as revenues fell 24% y-o-y to `1,16,195 crore. Other income accounted for 44.4% of its net profit. While the retail business was somewhat subdued due to the lockdowns in several parts of the country, the company’s consumer business contributed nearlyhalf of the consolidated operating profits. The operating margin for the retail segment was 5.5% in the quarter and the business operated close to 30 million sq ft.“With operating curbs being lifted progressively, store expansion resumed with 232 stores being opened during the quarter, taking the current footprint of the business to 11,931 stores, spread over 29.7 mil- Q2FY20 1,20,20,000 FE BUREAU Mumbai, October 30 REPORT CARD Source: Company THE FINANCE ministry has notified the extended due date for filing I-T returns for the 2019-20 fiscal, reports PTI. While the deadline for filing ITR by individual taxpayers has been extended by a month till December 31, the due date for those whose accounts need to be audited has been extended to January 31, 2021. Net profits were down 15% y-o-y; other income contributed 44.4% to the bottomline « 2019-20 ITR filing: Finmin notifies extended deadline RIL turns in muted results « THE BOARD of directors of state-run Indian Oil (IOC) has approved a plan to raise `20,000 crore in FY21 via private placement of bonds and debentures in one or more tranches, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The fundraising is part of the overall limit of `165,000 crore approved by shareholders. Q2FY21 EARNINGS « IN THE NEWS Pvt placement of bonds: IOC plans to raise `20k cr Amazon on October 25 won an injunction from a Singapore arbitrator to halt Future’s deal to sell retail assets to Reliance, arguing that Future breached certain contractprovisionsitentered into last year in a separate dealwith the US company. Will not shy away from taking first step on tariff hike, says VIL PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, October 30 TELECOM OPERATOR Vodafone Idea on Friday said there is nothing that stops the industry from increasing prices, even as floor price discussions are on and that it would not shy away from taking first step in this regard. The telco further said it expects to receive nearly `6,400 crore from Vodafone towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability,under I don’t think there is anything that stops the industry from increasing prices while floor price discussion is in place. It has been done before and I don't see any reason why it can't be done again. —RAVINDER TAKKAR, MD & CEO, VODAFONE IDEA an indemnity arrangement. At an investor call post Q2FY21 earnings, Vodafone Idea MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar said that in order to maintain a healthy competition and for health of the industry probably a “floor pricing will be required”. Continued on Page 2 ROAD AHEAD What economists say about China’s new five-year plan ENDA CURRAN October 30 mistsaresayingabouttheplan: ECONOMISTS ZEROED IN on China’s focus on quality economic growth and its technologyambitionsinthe14thfiveyear plan releasedThursday. A communique released after a four-day meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee gave a broad outline of the plan as well as sketching out a vision for the economyas far as 2035. Here’salookatwhatecono- The communique implied an aggressive path of economic expansionwithoutmentioning thepaceofgrossdomesticproductgrowthexplicitly.Theprevious five-year plan in 2015 had outlined a goal for medium-tohigh growth. Thursday’s statement “said that China’s GDP per capita should match the level in moderately developed countries by 2035,” Quality growth economists at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, ledbyRaymondYeung,wrotein anote.“Althoughnospecificfigures ornameswere mentioned, areasonable expectationisthat ChinawillaimtoreachGDPper capita levels similar to that of SouthKorea,Israel,orSpainover the next 15 years.The GDP per capita of these countries are $35,000-40,000intoday’s prices, compared with China’s$10,261in2019.” Continued on Page 2 Ant IPO sees record $3-trn retail demand RETAIL INVESTORS placed bidsforarecord$3trillionof shares in Ant Group’s initial public offering (IPO), set to be the world’s biggest, as mom-and-pop savers bet on demand forits financial services in China. Ant’s dual listing is set to raiseabout$34.4billion,split fairly evenly between Shanghai’s STAR Market and Hong Kong,toppingSaudiAramco’s $29.4 billion listing last December. Investors,both retail and institutional, are rushing to buyintoAnt,which operates China’s biggest payments platform and otherfinancial services, despite risks of greater scrutiny at home and abroad. ■ Page 8
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