OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 A GUDWANI & I SEN GUPTA Expect RBI to buy $77 bn ($66.3 bn FYTD) in FY21 INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL MEET WITH INDUSTRY BODIES US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION Privatisation key to raising inadequate govt spend, make PLI work, focus on exports Goyal calls for focus on quality and productivity Trump accepts transition to Biden must begin AHMEDABAD, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOLUME XV-148, 16 PAGES, `6.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 44,523.02 ▲ 445.87 NIFTY: 13,055.15 ▲ 128.70 NIKKEI 225: 26,165.59 ▲ 638.22 HANG SENG: 26,588.20 ▲ 102.00 `/$: 74.00 ▲ 0.10 `/€: 87.94 ▲ 0.07 BRENT: $46.61 ▲ $0.55 GOLD: `49,258 ▼ `922 IN THE NEWS Cars24 becomes unicorn with $200-m fundraise CARS24 ON Tuesday said it has raised a fresh $200 million in funding led by DST Global at a valuation of over $1 billion, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Existing investors Exor Seeds, Moore Strategic Ventures and Unbound also backed the investment. Cashfree raises $35.3 million in Series B funding FINTECH FIRM Cashfree has raised $35.3 million in Series B funding led by growth stage financial services investor Apis Growth Fund II, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Existing investor Y Combinator also participated in the funding round. RBI rejects Muthoot Finance’s proposal to buy IDBIAMC MUTHOOT FINANCE on Tuesday said RBI has rejected its proposal to acquire IDBI Asset Management on the grounds that, 'the activity of sponsoring a mutual fund or owning an asset management company is not in consonance with the activity of an operating NBFC', reports fe Bureau in Kochi. MGNREGS High demand for work reflects slump Work demand under MGNREGS 2019 (crore persons/month) 5.41 6 4 2 0 6.34 4.28 3.08 3.15 3.61 1.99 April May 3.12 3.58 2.42 June July SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, November 24 THE DEMAND FOR work under the rural employment scheme(MGNREGS)jumpedin May as the lockdown was eased,peaked in June,but continued to remain at elevated levelsthroughOctober,according to official data (see chart). If as many as 2.76 crore morepersons(up77%onyear) demanded MGNREGS work in June 2020 compared with the year-ago month, the annual increase was still very large at 1.49 crore (92%) in October. The data reflects the high efficacy of the popular scheme to avert a rural distress in the 1.83 1.77 1.6 Aug Sep Oct pandemic period that saw tens of thousands of migrant workers returning to their rural homes from cities. That the demand continues to be much higher than the year-ago level bears testimony to the economic sluggishness that is still prevailingintheurbanandrural areas,renderingotheropportunities forwork unavailable. At the current rate of generation of person days (daily work), the Centre will have to incuranexpenditureofaround `1.16lakhcroreonthescheme for the whole of FY21,which is at least `12,000 crore more than the funds allocated so far. Continued on Page 2 FE BUREAU apps banned Some of the latest banned apps ■ AliSuppliers ■ Alibaba Workbench ■ SnackVideo ■ WeDate ■ Baidu ■ PUBG Mobile ■ ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals 3.09 3.09 cr persons sought work under scheme in Oct against 1.6 cr in the year-ago month Chinese Some prominent apps banned on Sept 2 Some prominent apps banned on June 29 ■ TikTok ■ SHAREit ■ UC browser The government on Tuesday banned another 43 Chinese mobile apps, which include Alibaba Workbench and CamCard, among others, by invoking Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, which empowers it to block apps/contents engaging in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, its defence, security of state and public order. "Ministry of electronics and IT has issued the order for blocking the access of these apps by users in India based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, ministry of home affairs," a government statement said. inAugust.Afternearlydoubling in the middle of 2020, the applications per job had dropped to 1.3x in August and —NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER find it difficult to dealwith the pandemic and the country is now moving towards the shores, he said, while using a famous verse to call for avoiding a situation where“our ship REUTERS Moscow, November 24 RUSSIA’S SPUTNIK V Covid-19 vaccine will cost under $20 per person in international markets and Moscow aims to produce more than a billion doses at home and abroad next year,its financial backers and developers said FPIs buy stocks worth $7.4 billion in November capsizes where the water is shallow” (hamari kashti wahan doobi, jahaan paani kam tha). Continued on Page 2 onTuesday.The Sputnikvaccine,named after theSoviet-erasatellitethattriggeredthespace raceinanodtotheproject'sgeopoliticalimportanceforMoscow,isadministeredintwoshots, each of which will cost less than $10,according to the official SputnikVTwitteraccount. Continued on Page 2 BENCHMARK INDICES SCALED newer peaks on Tuesdaywith the Niftyending the session above the 13,000 mark as investors bought into a range of stocks amid rising hopes a Covid-19 vaccine would soon be available. Foreign investors have been big buyers of Indian equities having picked up $7.4 billion in November, a record high.The sentiment in stock markets across the world has been good on optimism about the vaccine. The impressive and betterthan-expected corporate results for Q2FY21 have prompted analysts to upgrade earnings estimates. Bank Nifty 29,850 29,700 29,550 29,400 29,250 29,100 28,950 Intra-day, Nov 24 29,265.6 Open 29,737.25 Previous close 29,024.20 Close Sensex 44,700 44,600 44,500 44,400 44,300 44,200 44,100 44,523.02 44,341.19 Open Nifty50 13,080 13,060 13,040 13,020 13,000 12,980 12,960 Intra-day, Nov 24 Previous close 44,077.15 Close Intra-day, Nov 24 13,055.15 13,002.6 Open Previous close 12,926.45 Close Strategists at Credit Suisse wrote: “Q2 results should dispel any remaining doubts on the weak links between the economy and the larger listed stocks”. They added even the small quantum of upgrades to FY21/22 consensus EPS is rare, and should rise further once databases are updated. `/$ 73.85 73.90 73.95 74.00 74.05 74.10 74.15 74.12 Open Intra-day, Nov 24 (Inverted scale) 74.00 Previous close 74.0988 Close ● PRE-PACK SCHEME Insolvency resolution time may be cut to just 3-4 months BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, November 24 Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Hiring on the rise, recovery in non-tech spaces too ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE We need to speed up our efforts to reduce transmission of the virus. Testing, confirmation, contact tracing and data must be given top priority. Russia says Sputnik vaccine to cost under $20 stayed there in September. Hiring had hit levels of -50% year-on-year in April beforestartingtoslowlyrecover. In late July, it crossed the 0% markmovingupto12%y-o-yin Augustand30%y-o-yattheend ofSeptember.“Asbusinessesand companiescontinuereopening, we expect recovery to continue aswell,”LinkedInanalystsnoted. LinkedIn said job seekers from badly affected sectors like recreation and travel are 4.2timesaremorelikelytolook for jobs in a different industry, compared to pre-Covid-19. Continued on Page 2 FE BUREAU Mumbai, November 24 Markets on a high; Nifty crosses 13k FE BUREAU Mumbai, November 24 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, November 24 NOTING THAT ALERTNESS has given way to “widespread” negligence about Covid-19 among people,Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said a few states have seen a surge in the infection in the same way as many countries witnessed after an earlier decline and asked chief ministers to focus on bringing down positivity and fatality rates by curbing the virus transmission. India has come out of the “deepsea”ofthiscrisisafterthe world had thought that it will BOOSTER SHOT THE GOVERNMENT IS weighing a proposal to reduce by more than a half the time limit for the resolution of stressed assets under a so-called ‘prepack’ insolvency scheme. Any suchmovewouldnotjustexpedite the resolution of bad debt but also cut costs. The“pre-pack”scheme will require amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to take effect, and the government may introduce a Bill to this effect as early as the next session of Parliament,sources said.As reported by FE earlier, the “pre-pack” scheme will be a pre-IBC window for resolution of toxic assets,whichwill onlycomplement the existing framework but not substitute it. At present, under the IBC, the corporate insolvency resolution process has to be wrapped up within a maximum of 270 days.Of course,in manycases,especiallythelarge ones recommended by the central bank that included Essar Steel and Bhushan Steel, the resolution process dragged on for months, far exceeding the mandatory time-frame. RECRUITMENT HIRING CONTINUED TO pick uppacewithSeptemberrecordingan18percentagepointsrise overAugust 2020. The recovery is becoming broad-based with the job market in the non-tech sectors also looking up. From a difference of over20 percentage points in AprilandMay,thegapbetween techand non-techhiringfellto 2 percentage points in September,LinkedInsaidinitslatest findings. Competition for jobs, however,remainedaskeenasitwas Bring fatality down to under 1%: PM to CMs Cautions states against laxity 8 Border standoff 43 2020 BATTLING COVID WEALTH CHECK Musk overtakes Gates, now second-richest DEVON PENDLETON November 24 ELON MUSK’S YEAR of dizzying ascents have hit a new apex as the Tesla co-founder passed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person. The 49-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth soared $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price. Musk has added $100.3 billion to his net worth this year, the most of RICHIE RICH ■ Musk's net worth soared $7.2 bn to $127.9 bn, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price ■ He has added $100.3 bn to his net worth this year, the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of theworld’s 500 richest people. In January he ranked 35th. His advance up the wealth ranks has been driven largely byTesla,whose marketvalue is approaching $500 billion. About three-quarters of his net worth is comprised of Tesla shares,which are valued more than fourtimes as much as his stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp, or SpaceX. Musk’s milestone marks only the second time in the index’s eight-yearhistorythat Microsoft Corp. co-founder Gates has ranked lower than number two. He held the top spot for years before being bumped by Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos in 2017. Continued on Page 2 Ahmedabad
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