OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL CONSTRUCTION BOOST BEIJING DIARIES Pradhan hints at short-term ban on iron ore exports China all set to change development model from 2021, says Xi Provide for ‘social security for all’ in the Budget Biden's green touch may not amount to much with Republicans playing spoilsport NEW DELHI, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVI NO. 226, 20 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: 43,599.96 ▼ 580.09 NIFTY: 12,771.70 ▼ 166.55 NIKKEI 225: 25,634.34 ▼ 93.80 HANG SENG: 26,356.97 ▼ 187.32 `/$: 74.27 ▼ 0.08 `/€: 87.85 ▲ 0.36 BRENT: $44.20 ▼ $0.14 GOLD: `50,141 ▼ `597 IN THE NEWS PM:Time for tech solutions designed in India to go global PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA Modi on Thursday said it is time for tech solutions that are designed in India but deployed for the world, and declared that India is uniquely positioned to leap ahead in the information era, reports PTI. He also called on the industry to make a conscious attempt to take product-level innovations to the next level. LVB rescue plan marks shift in RBI stance, says S&P THE RBI'S SWIFT resolution of troubled LVB will keep contagion at bay and help maintain stability in the banking system, S&P Global Ratings said in a note on Thursday, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The decision to merge LVB with the Indian arm of a foreign bank marks a shift in the RBI's stance with respect to the rescue of stressed banks, it said. VOCAL FOR LOCAL Quality bar to put a lid on import growth Technical norms for 150 items, covering near $50-bn imports, ambit to widen; Chinese exporters to bear the brunt BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, November 19 CONCERNED OVER UNABATED imports of substandard products,especially from China, the government has firmed up technical regulations for 150 products,official sources told FE. Imports of these products were to the tune of $47 billion in FY19. The move is part of the commerce and industry ministry’s drive to harden a crackdown on imports of low- RAISING THE BAR Technical standards for 371 key items, with imports of $128 bn in FY19, to be firmed up in the first phase Both domestic producers and overseas suppliers have to conform to the standards Move is not China-specific but Beijing is the biggest source of low-grade supplies BIS was asked to develop standards for over 4,500 products over the medium-to-long term $ grade products by formulating standards for 371 key products, in the first phase, which encompassed imports of about $128 billion, or a fourth of the total purchases from overseas, in FY19. The items in the current list of 150 products include con- FE BUREAU Q2 sees strong improvement, best in 5 years The share of companies with an interest cover of less than one fell to 35%, the best in the last five years. The share of debt with loss-making companies was also down to 23%. Share of debt with IC < 1 companies down to 35%, below pre-Covid levels % of sample debt with companies with IC <1 % not covering interest in at least 4 quarters 60 Reduction vs 55 pre-Covid levels 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 ● EXPRESS E-ADDA Not 'enough reforms' yet in banking sector: Singh FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 19 NOTWITHSTANDING MANY CHANGES that has taken place over the years, India has not done ‘enough reforms’ in the banking and financial sector,15th Finance Commission NK Singh said on Thursday. “The ongoing reforms… banking amalgamation programme, which this government adopted shortly after it came power need to be completed in a significant way.We needto havegreaterstabilityof shareholders,accord the banks autonomy,” Singh said at the Express E-Adda programme. Space can be provided for new entrants to add competitive efficiencyinfinancialintermediation,he said. Continued on Page 2 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FINANCING RISK No guaranteed buyer for Adani’s $6-bn solar project NEHAARORA & SUDARSHAN VARADHAN New Delhi/Chennai, November 19 ADANI GREEN ENERGY'S record $6-billion solar power project announced in June has no guaranteed customer, its deal with India's main solaradoption agency shows, and may expose the company to higher financial risk. Shares in the firm, controlled by billionaire Gautam GREEN HURDLE When SECI floated the project tender in June 2019, it had said a PPA would be assured ■ But it withdrew the clause guaranteeing purchase in the deal signed a year later Adani, have soared three-fold since the signing of the 8 giga watt (GW) multi-plant deal, which Adani hailed as the “largest of its type, ever” and a landmark for India. However, previouslyunreporteddetailsof the agreement between Adani Green and SolarEnergyCorp of India (SECI) reveal the agency hasno“legalorfinancialobligation” to support the project if SECI fails to find buyers. Continued on Page 13 ■ But the lack of such a guarantee could undermine investor and lender confidence, raising financing costs ■ Auctions by SECI usually attract greater participation because of assurance of power purchase, payments sumer electronics,steel,heavy machinery, telecom goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper, rubber articles, glass, industrial machinery, some metal products,furniture,fertiliser,food and textiles. Continued on Page 13 ● COVID Oxford vaccine shows promise in elderly RACE TO FINISH LINE The data suggest those over 70, who are at higher risk, could build robust immunity Late-stage, or Phase III, trials are ongoing to confirm the findings, researchers said To test if it protects against infection with SARS-CoV-2 in a broad range of people OXFORD VACCINE Oxfordvaccine was among frontrunners, but rivals Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna have edged ahead in past 10 days KATE KELLAND London, November 19 ASTRAZENECAAND OXFORD University’spotentialCovid-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response in older adults,datapublishedonThursday showed, with researchers expecting to release late-stage trial results byChristmas. The data, reported in part last month but published in full in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday, suggest that those aged over 70 could build robust immunity. “TherobustantibodyandTcellresponsesseeninolderpeople in our study are encouraging,”saidMaheshiRamasamy,a consultant and co-lead investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group. “We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed beforewe can be sure.” Continued on Page 13 QuickPicks Thakur: PLI scheme Future to HC: Amazon Local bidders: Govt makes it easier to has an opportunity behaving like‘East win oil & gas projects to be game-changer India company’ ACCUSING AMAZON of trying to “destroy competition” by objecting to the Future GroupReliance Retail deal, Future Retail (FRL) on Tuesday told the Delhi HC that the US giant was misrepresenting its legal rights and behaving like “East India company”, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for FRL, said Amazon is misrepresening to the world via an agreement that FRL “can’t restructure its company, save jobs and its creditors worth `1,800 crore can’t be protected. This is totally wrong.” PAGE 4 SC asks RBI to address power firms' woes FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 19 EVEN AS THE Centre and the RBI show reluctance to widen thepost-Covidloanreliefambit to borrowers and banks seem disinclined to artificially suppress their stressed assets, the SupremeCourtisstillexploring if hard-hit industrial sectors could be given further succour. OnThursday,itaskedRBItorespond to the power producers’ demandsforbenefitsunderthe recent RBI debt recast circular. Continued on Page 13 Corporate health FY15 FY16 FY17 Source: Prowess, Company data, Credit Suisse estimates ● INTEREST RELIEF ATA time when the country’s oil and gas sector is executing projects worth about `5.88 lakh crore, the Union government has amended the purchase-preference-localcontent (PPLC) policy for the sector, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. In order to boost domestic manufacturing, the new policy allows bidders using local products to win contracts even if they quote rates 20% higher than the lowest bid. The purchase preference margin was earlier kept at 10%. PAGE 2 MINISTER OF state for finance Anurag Thakur on Thursday said the PLI Scheme has an opportunity to become a game-changer and have a huge multiplier effect for all sectors under it, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. He added that Covid has taught the world that globalisation is important but self-reliance is equally important. While speaking at an event, he said, “Every single sector chosen for the PLI scheme has an opportunity to become a game-changer and can have a huge multiplier effect for the entire sector.” CAPITAL CHASE Voda Idea gets $2-bn funding offer BAIJU KALESH, ANTO ANTONY & PR SANJAI November 19 A CONSORTIUM BACKED by Oaktree Capital has offered to provide at least $2 billion of funding to Vodafone Group’s listed Indian arm, people with knowledge of the matter said. Oaktree teamed up with several other firms, including VardePartners,forthepotential deal with Vodafone Idea, according to the people. The investorgroupmadeaproposal to provide around $2 billion to $2.5 billion of capital to Vodafone Idea, the people said, askingnot tobeidentifiedbecause the information is private. DISTRESS CALL Oaktree consortium, includingVarde, propose to invest It said in Sept it plans to raise as much as `25,000 cr Weakest financially among remaining telcos, with $15.48 billion of net debt It reported its ninth straight quarterly loss in the three months through Sept selling shares and debt Vodafone Idea said in Septemberitplanstoraiseasmuch as `25,000 crore ($3.4 billion) selling shares and debt to shore up its finances as competition heats up in the Indian wireless industry.Itwasn’timmediately clear how a potential deal with the Oaktree-backed consortiumwould be structured. Continued on Page 13
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