OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL COVID GRAPH CRYPTO FALL India's health sector overcame trial by fire during pandemic: PM Elon Musk loses $15 bn in a day after bitcoin warning Keeping yields low when inflation is rising is quite risky Getting Big Tech to pay newspapers for content, through Australia-style deals, can only be good news KOLKATA, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL. 30 NO. 98, 12 PAGES, `6.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `10.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E READ TO LEAD SENSEX: 49,751.41 ▲ 7.09 NIFTY: 14,707.80 ▲ 32.10 NIKKEI 225: 30,156.03 ▲ 138.11 HANG SENG: 30,632.64 ▲ 312.81 `/$: 72.47 ▲ 0.04 `/€: 88.02 ▼ 0.24 BRENT: $65.52 ▲ $0.28 GOLD: `46,711 ▲ `236 COVID SURGE IN THE NEWS Airtel to tie up with Qualcomm for 5G rollout Rise not due to UK or SA strains: Govt BHARTI AIRTELAND Qualcomm will be collaborating for the rollout of 5G network in India, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Airtel said it will utilise Qualcomm’s open RAN-based platform to roll out virtualised networks. Airtel recently demonstrated 5G over a live commercial network in Hyderabad. Shifting burden (Daily infections) Kerala Maharashtra Rest of the country 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 Dec 23, 2020 Feb 23, 2021 FE BUREAU New Delhi, February 23 China back as top India trade partner even as ties sour WHILE 187 CASES of the UK strain, six of the South African (SA) and one of the Brazilian one — all contain the E484K mutation as well — have been detected in India, Niti Aayog’s member health VK Paul said it wasunlikelytherecentsurgein cases in the country,especially in states like Maharashtra and Kerala,was related to them. Speaking of the E484K strain along with the N440K one that has been detected in Kerala and Telengana, Paul said,“The three variants (UK, South Africa and Brazilian strains) as well as the N440K and E484 variants have been detected,butthereisnoreason forustodaytobelieve,basedon scientific information present with us,that thesevariants are responsible for the upsurge in the outbreak that we see in some districts of Maharashtra as also Kerala.” Paul’sstatementonthetwo strains — the mutation causes CHINA REGAINED ITS position as India’s top trade partner in 2020, as New Delhi reliance on imported machines outweighed its efforts to curb commerce with Beijing after a bloody border conflict, reports Bloomberg. Trade between the two stood at $77.7 billion last year. NCLT rejects pleas seeking copy of Jet resolution plan THE NCLT ON Tuesday rejected applications filed by various parties seeking a copy of the resolution plan submitted by winning bidder KalrockJalan consortium for Jet Airways, reports PTI. It had also rejected applications of five employee unions who had appealed for the same. US crosses half a million deaths AFTER A YEAR that has darkened doorways across the US, Covid surpassed the 500,000 milestone on Monday,a stark confirmation of the virus’s reach into all corners of the country, reports AP. Experts warn that about 90,000 more deaths are likely in the next few months,despite a massive campaign to vaccinate people. ■ Page 8 a change to the spike protein structure of the virus — was basedonapoolof3,500viruses sequenced from patient samples by the Indian SARS COV-2 Genomic Consortium, which comprises 10 laboratories that are under ICMR/CSIR/department of biotechnology/health ministry. Continued on Page 2 Showtime FE BUREAU M&E revenue to script a turnaround next fiscal Media & entertainment revenues are expected to script a strong 27% rebound to `1.37 lakh crore in FY22 after contracting 26% this fiscal. Economic recovery should boost ad revenues that are estimated to see an encouraging 31% y-o-y growth led by TV & digital; subscription revenues are projected to grow 24% y-o-y in FY22. (` ‘00 crore) G CA ~ R: 10 (in %) 7% % 651 751 713 713 435 FY19 Ad revenue FY20 512 FY21E FY22P Revenue trend in the M&E sector Nadella bats for global regulation on data privacy DESCRIBING PRIVACY as a human right, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday said he is hoping for a global regulation on safety and privacy of data that would make sure that tech products and services are safe to use, reports PTI. In a virtual interactive session with Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao in BioAsia 2021, Nadella said the pandemic across the globe accelerated digital transformation. PAGE 4 50 21 15 105 53 20 11 13 3 Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia among global and Tejas, HFCL among local firms likely to apply MSMEs need to make incremental investment of `10 cr over five years Other firms need to invest `100 cr incrementally over five years Incremental production of`2.4 lakh cr expected over five years, ofwhich `1.95 lakh crwill be for exports Will bring investment ofmore than `3,000 cr and generate huge direct and indirect employment and taxes KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, February 23 LEADING GLOBAL TELECOM equipment manufacturers Cisco,Nokia,EricssonandJabil,and contract manufacturers Flex and Foxconn are likely to apply for the `12,195-crore production-linked incentive scheme forthesector,announcedbythe government lastweek. Industry sources said formal applications from these manufacturers were likely once the department of ■ The base year for the scheme will be 2019-20 telecommunications announces the final guidelines.TejasNetworksandHFCL are among the local players that have evinced interest; the government is expecting more to follow suit. The guidelines will specify how many global and local players would be selected. For themobilephonesPLIscheme, five global and five local companies have been chosen. The PLI scheme fortelecom equipment is designed to offer incentives,tothechosenfirms, for incremental production over the base year. Continued on Page 2 Medium-term road Garnering resources map under preparation Value of assets that will be put on the block could exceed BANIKINKAR PATTANAYAK New Delhi, February 23 THE GOVERNMENT WILL soonfirmupapipelineofinfrastructure assets belonging to variousdepartmentsandstaterun entities for monetisation over the next three years,junking the practice of drawing up short-term or annual road maps,a seniorofficial told FE. The assets that would be up for grab by 2024 could easily exceed`2lakhcrore,althougha precise estimate will be firmed up once the drive to identify them is over, said another official.Themedium-termpipeline will enable investors to choose from a wider pool of assets and allow them more time for due diligence.TheCentrehaszeroed `2 lakh crore ■ Govtwants a ■ Infra depart- ments asked to identify assets in co-ordination with Niti Aayog ■ Niti had earlier submitted two lists ofcore assets, including highway bundles to raise `60k cr in on a clutch of assets, including pipelines of Indian Oil and GAILand select assets of Indian Railways, Delhi and Kolkata MetrorailsystemsandtheDedicated Rail Freight Corridor. Continued on Page 2 BPCL, AI deals to conclude by July-Aug State-run energy firms NTPC and GAIL swapped their respective shares in Ratnagiri Gas and Power (RGPPL) and Konkan LNG (KLL) with each other, effectively increasing GAIL’s shareholding in KLL to 84% while NTPC’s ownership in the 1,967 MW gasbased power plant rises to 86.5%, reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. KLL owns the liquefied natural gas (LNG) THE SHORTLISTED BIDDERS for BPCL and Air India arelikelytobeaskedtosubmit theirfinancialbidsinacouple of months,as the Centre intends to complete the two dealslatestbyJuly-Augustifnot early, an official source told FE,reports Prasanta Sahu in assets of the Ratnagiri project,including the fivemilliontonneperannumgasimportand regasification terminal in Dabhol.According tosources,therewasnofinancialtransaction involved in the share swapping. Rise in KLL ownership is seen to increase GAIL’s operational flexibility in gas business in terms of sourcing,regasification and trading of LNG. ■ Page 4 New Delhi. Even though Dipam had set a target to complete the transactions by June-end, the Centre may have to give shortlisted bidders a little bit of extra time if neededtocompletetheirdue diligence of the companies and theirassets. ■ Page 2 ● MPC MINUTES Bonds rise as RBI remains supportive KARTIK GOYAL Mumbai, February 23 Continued on Page 2 RIL outlines plan for O2C business spin-off RILto put oilto-chemical businesses into a separate subsidiary Will transfer refining, petrochemicals and marketing assets to O2C entity ■ O2Cwill avail $25-billion loan from parent RIL ■ Movewill enable unlocking of value and potential stake sale to SaudiAramco ■ No dilution ofearnings, no change in shareholding MEDIA LAWS Facebook ‘refriends’Australia after changes BYRON KAYE & COLIN PACKHAM Canberra, February 23 FACEBOOK SAID ON Tuesday it will restore Australian news pagesafternegotiatingchanges with the government to a proposed law that forces tech giants to payformedia content displayed on theirplatforms. Australia and the social media group have been locked in a standoff for more than a week after the government introducedlegislationthatchal- Australia and social media group have been locked in a standoff for more than a week Oz introduced law challenging Facebook and Google’s dominance in news content market ■ But after a Facebook last week blocked Australian users from sharing and viewing news content lengedFacebookandAlphabet’s Google’sdominanceinthenews content market. Facebook last week blocked Australian users series of talks between, a concession deal has been struck ■ Australian news expected to return to the social media site in coming days fromsharingandviewingnews content on its site. Continued on Page 2 pipeline up to 2024, instead ofan annual road map, to enable investors to choose from a larger pool ofassets GAIL ups Dabhol stake by swapping Ratnagiri shares with NTPC Continued on Page 2 ● UNLOCKING VALUE RELIANCE INDUSTRIES (RIL) onMondayannouncedthatitis carving out its oil-to-chemical (O2C)businessintoanindependent subsidiary with a $25-billion loan from the parent.The moveisdirectedtowardsunlocking value in the business with possible stake sales — to global investors like Saudi Aramco — andembarkingonthenextlevel of investment cyclewith eye on clean energy. With approvals from the Sebi and stock exchangesinplace,RILwillseekanod fromshareholdersandcreditors Global, local majors line Mop-up of over up for telecom gear PLI `2L cr seen by’24 in the first quarterof FY22. Source: Industry, Crisil Ratings FE BUREAU Mumbai, February 23 ASSET MONETISATION INDIA’S BONDS ADVANCE by the most in more than a week afterthe central bank minutes signaled policy makers intend to extend their accommodativestance,evenwhileflagging concern about growing inflation pressures. The sentiment is also being supported by a change in method of auction for a security at the weekly sale on Friday. Yields on benchmark 5.85% 2030 bonds fell 3 basis points, the most since February 11, to close at 6.17% after climbing 7 bps on Monday amid a global bond selloff. “Consistent with the accommodative stance of the monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of India remains committed to ensure the availability of ample liquidity in the system to foster congenial financial conditions for the recoveryto gain traction,”governor Shaktikanta Das was cited as saying in the minutes published aftermarkets closed on Monday. Also in the minutes,deputy governor Michael Patra said coreinflationremainsstubborn andwillwarrantclosemonitoring amid rising international commodity prices, which he termed as“worrisome”. Television Print Film Digital Outdoor & radio Subscription revenue QuickPick 28 14 5 5 FY22P 672 49 FY20 698 564 443 FY14 FY14 27% 26% WAITING FOR GUIDELINES Microsoft teams up with EU publishers MICROSOFT AND EUROPEAN media groups on Monday urged EU regulators to require online platforms to seek arbitration in disagreements over how to share revenues with news publishers,a sticking point in the spat between Facebook and Australia,reports Reuters. ■ Page 8 Kolkata
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