OPINION, P8 COMPANIES, P6 EDITORIAL Climate czar Kerry will complicate US foreign policy HURUN INDIA LIST 2020 ASCENT Govt needs to get its vaccine talk right, should have avoided 'not everybody will be vaccinated' statement MEGHAN L O’SULLIVAN INTERNATIONAL, P10 HCL's Roshni Nadar richest woman; a third of entrants self-made Elon Musk’s $139-bn fortune leads huge EV wealth gains KOLKATA, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2020 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL. 30 NO. 29, 16 PAGES, `6.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `10.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E READ TO LEAD SENSEX: 44,632.65 ▲ 14.61 NIFTY: 13,133.90 ▲ 20.15 NIKKEI 225: 26,809.37 ▲ 8.39 HANG SENG: 26,728.50 ▲ 195.92 `/$: 73.93 ▼ 0.13 `/€: 89.56 ▼ 0.60 BRENT: $47.92 ▼ $0.33 GOLD: `49,361 ▲ `388 NAVY DAY RBI DIKTAT HDFC Bank told to halt digital launches Private lender also barred from issuing new credit cards over digital payment channel outages IN THE NEWS GST borrowing: Chhattisgarh joins, Jharkhand remains WITH THE exception of Jharkhand, all states and union territories have now accepted Option-1 of the borrowing scheme meant to raise money for compensating states for the shortfall in protected GST revenue, the government said on Thursday after Chhattisgarh came on board, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. TKM resumes ops at Karnataka units; strike continues TOYOTA KIRLOSKAR MOTOR said it has resumed production at its two plants at Bidadi in Karnataka even as a group of workers is continuing with its sit-in strike, reports PTI. TKM had declared a lock-out at its plants on November 10. FE BUREAU Mumbai, December 3 MORE THAN A week after HDFC Bank’s digital payment channelssawtheirthirdoutage in as many years, the Reserve BankofIndia(RBI)hasdirected the lender to halt launches of fresh digital offerings. In an unprecedented move from the regulator, the country’s largest private lender has also been barred from issuing new credit cards, it informed the stock exchanges on Thursday. The bank apologised to its customers forthe gaps in service. The measures will also affect the bank’s plans for two projects which the manage- Order directs bank’s board examines lapses and fixes accountability Bank had 14.98 million credit cards in circulation at the end of ■ Order will affect the planned launch of a dedicated platform for vehicle lending Project to digitise the open market acquisition of unsecured personal loans may be grounded Logjam yet to ease,govt Flipkart partially spins off PhonePe cedes some ground Purchases outside APMC mandis must be registered, Centre offers; to retain some oversight Centre ready to make changes in farm Acts ‘No’ to farmer groups' demand for repeal of the laws Registration could be made compulsory to buy outside mandis FE BUREAU New Delhi, December 3 ment had described as“gamechanging” on its last postresults analyst call. One involved the launch of a dedicated platform for vehicle lending in the four-wheeler and two-wheeler categories. THE GOVERNMENT ON Thursdaysignalled itswillingness to concede considerable ground to resolve the standoff with agitating farmers from Punjab and Haryana over the three recently enacted agriculture laws, but even the fourth round of talks with farmer groups failed to achieve a clear breakthrough. Both sides will meet again on Saturday for another round of confabulations. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 YONO app down due to system outage: SBI SBI ON THURSDAY said its digital platform YONO (you only need one) was impacted due to a system outage and requisite steps were being taken to restore service, reports feBureau in Mumbai. The public sector lender RESTRUCTURING FARMERS' STIR Farmers may be allowed to move court for dispute resolution Govt to bolsterAPMC mandi; tax at same level for trading inside and outside the mandis SAD’s Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (left); former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal THE FINANCE MINISTRY on Tuesday exuded “cautiousoptimism”aboutareboundinasearly asthethirdquarterandstressedthattheeconomywaswitnessingaV-shapedrecovery,witha 23%quarter-on-quarterjumpingrossdomesticproduct(GDP)inthethreemonthsthrough September,reportsfeBureauinNewDelhi. The assertion comes even as latest data show some of the high-frequency indicators, including manufacturing and services PMI, exports, fuel sales, auto sales and electricity consumptionhavesomewhatlostmomentum sequentiallythrough November,stoking doubts about the recoverystrength. ■ Page 2 ■ STANDING FIRM Nihangs join farmers' 'Delhi Chalo' protest against the central government’s new farm laws, at Singhu border, in New Delhi on Thursday PMI FE BUREAU Services sector growth eases a tad in Nov QuickPick MDH Masala owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati dies at 97 INDIA'S SPICE king and MDH Masala owner Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, familiar to all those who watched him in his company's ads over the years, died here on Thursday morning, reports PTI. He was 97. Gulati, who was awarded the country's third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan last year, was undergoing treatment at the Mata Chanan Devi Hospital where he breathed his last, sources said. According to reports, he was undergoing postCovid treatment and suffered a cardiac arrest. PAGE 6 EVENAS IT becomes a separate entity, payments player PhonePe is raising a chunky $700 million in primaryequity capitalledbyWalmartatapostmoneyvaluationof$5.5billion. Post the restructuring,Flipkart will retain a majority 87% in PhonePe while Walmart will own a direct 10%, via its controlling stake in Flipkart. The remaining 3% will be held by other existing (Flipkart) shareholders includingTigerGlobal. As founder and CEO, PhonePe,SameerNigamhas pointed out,the capital is a war chest that can help thefintechchalkouta34 year strategy. Nigam said on a leading business television channel that by virtue of being a separate entity PhonePe could incentivise employees, for instance via ESOPs, needed PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, December 3 ■ Karnataka HC upheld decision to shut down, but asked it to obtain consent of unitholders Continued on Page 2 FE BUREAU New Delhi, December 3 Pfizer: Committed to engage with India unitholders favouring closure of schemes sent/approval. Steps in this regard will be taken within a periodofoneweek.Therewillbe stay on redemptions till then,” thejudgessaidinitsbrieforder. Payments player to raise $700 million; Flipkart to retain majority 87% COVID VACCINE ■ MF says 95% of Franklin challenged HC’s Oct order in SC where matter is being heard currently EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY WITH farmers who are sitting on Delhi borders since November 27 in protest against the new agricultural laws, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal wrote to President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday returning his Padma Vibhushan.Badal,93,had receivedthecountry’s second highest civilian award in 2015. Cautiously optimistic about Q3 revival: Finance ministry acknowledged the problem, after many customers complainedonsocialmediaabout transactions on YONO. “YONO SBI mobile applicationhasbeenimpacteddueto a system outage,” the lender said onTwitter. ■ Page 12 Franklin asked to seek investors consent for closure of schemes THE SUPREME COURT on Thursday permitted Franklin Templeton Trustee Services to holdmeetingwithunitholders ofsixdebtschemesthatthecompanyproposed towind up on April23citingdifficultiesinthe bond market due to Covid.The SCalsostayedredemptionfrom the schemes till furtherorders. Abench comprising justices Abdul S Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna,whileseekingresponse fromtheinvestors,said,“...without prejudice to rights and contentions of all parties, trustees arepermittedtocallmeetingof unit holders to seek their con- RAAKHI JAGGA Ludhiana, December 3 Continued on Page 2 SC ORDER INDU BHAN New Delhi, December 3 Badal returns Padma award, SAD’s Dhindsa to follow suit The services sector eased momentum sequentially in November but it still remained strong on new business inflows and employment rose for the first time after a gap of 8 months. Services PMI touched 53.7 in November, against 54.1 in October, breaching the 50-mark that separates contraction from expansion for a second straight month. 70 60 50 40 56.3 52.7 51.2 53.7 30 27.4 20 Manufacturing PMI 10 0 5.4 Nov 2019 April 2020 Services PMI Nov 2020 Note: Reading below 50 suggests contraction and above it indicates expansion; Source: IHS Markit GLOBAL PHARMA MAJOR Pfizer on Thursday said it remains committed to engagingwiththeIndiangovernment to explore opportunities to make Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine available in the country.The UK on Wednesday became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTechvaccineagainst Covid-19withtheUKregulator MedicinesandHealthcareproductsRegulatoryAgency(MHRA) granting a temporary authorisation forits emergencyuse. “Rightnowweareindiscussions with many governments around the world and remain committed to engaging with the government of India and explore opportunities to make this vaccine available for use in thecountry,”aPfizerspokespersonsaidinastatement.Pfizeris committed to ensuring every- ■ Co processed a record 925 million transactions in October ■ Aims to reach over 500 million registered users by December 2022 ■ Fresh capital to help expand digital payments services into rural India ■ Help grow other business verticals like mutual funds, insurance, gold and wealth Firm eyeing 50-100 million users in these categories toattractandretaingoodtalent. Moreover, a separate board would allow for independence in decision-making. Nigamsaidagoodpartof the money would be used to penetrate rural India, across states,in the next two years where digital payments were gaining rapid acceptance. Continued on Page 2 ● COLD WAR US curbs visas for millions of Chinese Communist Party members BLOOMBERG December 3 As we anticipate further authorisations and approvals, we are focused on moving with the same level of urgency to safely supply a high-quality vaccine around the world. —ALBERT BOURLA PFIZER CHAIRMAN AND CEO onehastheopportunitytohave access to the vaccine, and is working closely with governments,it added. Continued on Page 15 Domestic flights' cap raised from 70% to 80% of pre-Covid levels, says Puri THE CAP ON the number of domestic flights that Indian airlinesarepermittedtooperate was increased from 70% to80%oftheirpre-Covidlevels onThursday,said civil aviationministerHardeepSingh The movewillwiden PhonePe’s access to capital, give it a bigger playwithin the financial services space Puri,reports PTI. PuritweetedonThursday, “Domesticoperationsrecommencedwith30Kpassengers on 25 May & have now touched a high of 2.52 lakhs on 30 Nov2020.” ■ Page 6 THE US RESTRICTED travel visas for members of the ChineseCommunist Party,thelatest blow to relations between theworld’s biggest economies. The new rules, which took effect Wednesday, will allow partymembersandtheirimmediate families to obtain singleentryvisas,whichwillbelimited to one month.Previously,party members could obtain multiple-entryvisitorvisasofasmany as 10years in duration. “The CCP and its members activelyworkintheUStoinfluenceAmericansthroughpropaganda,economic coercion,and other nefarious activities,” a US Embassy spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “For decades, we allowed the CCP freeandunfetteredaccesstoUS institutions and businesses while these same privileges were never extended freely to US citizens in China.” The CCPhas around 92 million members, including millionsofbusinesspeople,suchas Alibaba’sJackMa,andmembers of the media and academia. Continued on Page 15 TRADE’S 2020 COMEBACK Globalisation is alive and kicking BRYCE BASCHUK December 3 THE COVID-19 PANDEMICwas supposed to put the final nail in the coffin of globalisation and prompt a retreat into a new era of protectionism. Instead, some are now calling the crisis the Great Accelerator. The drop in international commerce was quick and steep during the first coronavirus lockdowns,but arebound fueled byemergencyfiscal and monetary stimulus has been almost as sharp. Global trade is finishing the year on a strong upswing. Following two years of the USChina tariff war, trade carried out Bouncing back Goods trade barometer 105 100 World merchandise trade volume on 6/30/20 (Index level) Above trend 95 90 Below trend 85 80 Mar 2011 Jun 2020 Readings of 100 in the WTO's Goods Trade Barometer indicate growth in line with medium-term trends; readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth and below 100 indicate below-trend growth. Source: WTO through sprawling networks of suppliers — the bogeyman of protectionism backers — are acting as lifelines to consumers and shockabsorbers for many businesses. Companies like Samsonite International to Walgreens Boots Alliance are reinforcing their sources of production abroad instead of retreating from global markets. “What we have learned is supply chains are flexible and adaptable,” World Trade Organization chief economist Robert Koopman said in an interview. “Trade is part of the solution.” Continued on Page 2 Kolkata
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