OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P3 M GOVIND RAO India abjectly needs an independent fiscal council COMPANIES, P4 SHOBHANA SUBRAMANIAN CORRUPTION CHARGES TASK AHEAD With the second wave of Covid likely to hit economic recovery, RBI will keep policy accommodative Maha home minister Anil Deshmukh quits over CBI probe Mahindra’s new CEO Anish Shah sets out road map to revive growth NEW DELHI, TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 30, 14 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: 49,159.32 ▼ 870.51 NIFTY: 14,637.80 ▼ 229.55 NIKKEI 225: 30,089.25 ▲ 235.25 HANG SENG: 28,938.74 ▲ 560.39 `/$: 73.30 ▼ 0.19 `/€: 86.07 ▼ 0.29 BRENT: $63.56 ▼ $1.30 GOLD: `45,076 ▲ `335 EDTECH BOOM IN THE NEWS ‘Recovery resilient despite surge in Covid cases’ Byju’s to acquire Aakash for $1 bn FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 5 IN THE BIGGEST deal in the edtech sector so far, the country’smostvaluedonlineeducation firm, Byju’s is acquiring BlackstoneGroup-backedAakashEducationalServices(AESL) for an estimated $1-billion cash and stock deal.The acquisition will extend Byju’s footprint into the offline segment. Post the deal, Blackstone Group and AESL founders JC Chaudhry and Aakash ChaudhrywillbecomeminorityshareholdersinByju’s.AESLwill,however, continue to function independently.In a statement, Byju’ssaidaftertheintegration, itwillmakefurtherinvestments to“accelerateAakash’s growth”. Valued at about $13 billion, Byju’sisthemost-valuedIndian start-up afterPaytm. Personal details of 61 lakh FB users in India leaked online PERSONAL DETAILS OF around 61 lakh Indians on Facebook have allegedly been leaked online and posted on hacking forums, according to a cybersecurity executive, reports PTI. Personal data of 533 million Facebook users globally, including names, phone numbers and other details, was posted for free on hacking forums Continued on Page 2 RBI reshuffles portfolios of deputy governors SOCIALCOMMERCESTARTUP, Meesho said on Monday thatithasraisedafresh$300 million in funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi.Theinvestmentmarks the company’s entryinto the unicorn club, valuing it at Special Features When and how much should you invest in gold? 45000 40000 35000 30000 Equity Gold ` Debt Gold 25000 2018 2019 2020 2021 270 m Total no. of K-12 students in India 235 m Addressable number of K12 students* 90 m Students taking supplementary tuitions** In 5 years Shift to online only high fee structure 2.5 m students Either not online or online users but not inclined to pay Complement online with offline 25 m students K-12 ed-tech market in 5-7 years = $5 bn *Students without internet and financial access **Current supplementary private spend: $16 bn Meesho a unicorn after SoftBank-led funding THE RBI ON Monday rejigged portfolios of its deputy governors, with the key monetary policy department remaining with Michael Debabrata Patra, reports PTI. This follows the retirement of deputy governor BP Kanungo. 50000 THE LEARNING CURVE Source: HSBC THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY remains “resilient” with sustained improvement in a majority of high-frequency indicators, including record GST collections and exports, despite a surge in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, the finance ministry said on Monday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. 57000 INSOLVENCY ORDINANCE Allocation to gold should be as per your profile, investment goals & horizon, but the extent should be on the lower side and should not form a major part of your investment portfolio ■ Personal Finance, P9 DMart’s pricing edge over online players is intact Q4 expected to be better than Q3; strong revival is likely in FY22; company’s business model remains a winning one; ‘Buy’ rating retained on stock with target price of `3,500 ■ Investor, P9 QuickPicks Second Covid wave likely to hit momentum of housing sales AS THE housing sales momentum across top eight markets in India improved for the second consecutive quarter in a row, Knight Frank on Monday said the rising sales volume was able to check the intensity of decline in prices during the recently concluded JanuaryMarch 2021 quarter, reports Rishi Ranjan Kala in New Delhi. However, it expressed concern over the sales pace in the April-June 2021 quarter as India faces a strong second wave and the discount on stamp duty in Maharashtra is over. PAGE 4 Gross FDI inflows hits record $72 billion in April-January GROSS FDI inflows in India rose 15% y-o-y in the first ten months of this fiscal to a record $72.12 billion, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Gross inflows were boosted by an almost 46% surge, yo-y, witnessed in the computer software and hardware segments. Analysts have pointed out that a sizable chunk of these was drawn by Jio alone. Construction activities (infrastructure) were the second-biggest drawer of FDI, with a 13.4% share in inflows, followed by services (7.8%). PAGE 2 Azure sells rooftop solar business for `537 crore AZURE POWER Global has signed a binding agreement to sell its solar rooftop portfolio to Radiance Renewables for `536.5 crore, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, expects to receive the proceeds from the sale before December 31, 2021. Azure’s 167 mega-watt (MW) rooftop solar capacity includes 151 MW of installed and 16 MW of under construction projects. PAGE 4 $2.1 billion. It was valued at about $700 million in 2019 whenitsecured$125million in capital from a clutch of investors.Thelatestfinancial round also saw participation from existing investors. So far,ithasraised$490million in funding. ■ Page 4 MSMEs get ‘pre-pack’ boost from Centre SPECIALATTENTION New scheme to yield faster resolution, cut costs and reduce litigation FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 5 AMIDAGROWINGperception that India’s three-year-old insolvency resolution system has been less than productive insavingbusinessesandaiding lenders to recover their assets, the government has amended theInsolvencyandBankruptcy Code (IBC) through an Ordinancetoprovideforaso-called pre-packresolutionschemefor micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The scheme,where onlythe 80 Manufacturing PMI 55.4 51.8 49.3 60 55.3 40 Feb 20 0 Services PMI Mar 2020 Mar 2021 Note: Reading below 50 suggests contraction & above it indicates expansion Source: IHS Markit COVID-19 THE DAILY RISE in Covid-19 cases in India crossed the grim milestone of one lakh from 20,000 infections in just 25 days,unlike last year when it took 76 days for daily cases to reach the then peak of 97,894 on September 17, reflecting the speed at which the virus is spreading. India recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 single day new coronavirus infections pushing the nationwide Covid-19 tally of cases to 1,25,89,067, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Monday. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 57,074(55.11%).Itisfollowed by Chhattisgarh with 5,250 while Karnataka reported 4,553 new cases. New infections 100k 7-day average Daily new infections Dec 31 50k April 5 Deaths 0 2k 7-day average Daily deaths 1.5k 1k 500 Dec 31 April 5 0 Source: Ministry of health & family welfare Continued on Page 2 PM to discuss Covid situation, vaccination with CMs on Thursday, Page 2 RDIF, Panacea Biotec to produce 100 million doses of Sputnik Vvaccine in India per year THE RUSSIAN DIRECT InvestmentFund(RDIF)and drug firm Panacea Biotec on Monday said they have agreed to produce 100 milliondosesperyearofSputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in India, debtor will get to trigger the bankruptcy process, is expected to yield much faster resolution than the extant corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) and cut costs, analysts reckon. It could also reduce litigation, often triggered by defaulting promoters to retain control of their firms, Pre-pack filing to take precedence over insolvency resolution (CIRP) application for the same MSM and help thousands of MSMEs struggling to cope with the havocwroughtbytheCovid-19 pandemic.A pre-pack scheme for larger companies could be notified later, once the latest one is tested for resilience and efficacy,sources said. Continued on Page 2 Manufacturing growth hits 7-month low in Mar MANUFACTURINGACTIVITY ACCELERATED at its slowest pace in seven months in March,thankstoaresurgence in Covid cases that weighed on domestic demand and output. Firms cut jobs again, continuing with a year-long reduction spree, reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. TheNikkeiManufacturing PMI, compiled by IHS Markit, dropped to 55.4 in March from 57.5 in the previous month. Despite the fall, however, the PMI reading for March remained above the long-periodaverage. ■ Page 3 Markets catch the virus, lose 870 pts PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, April 5 Sensex EQUITY BENCHMARKS WILTED under widespread selling on Monday as a record single-day jump in Covid-19 cases in the country unnerved investorsandfannedfearsover the economic recovery.Asharp plunge in the rupee added to the concerns,traders said. After plunging over 1,400 points earlier in the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex pared some losses to finish at 49,159.32, down 870.51 points or 1.74%.Similarly,the broaderNSENiftysank229.55 points or1.54% to 14,637.80. Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, plunging 5.81%, followed by IndusIndBank,SBI,M&M,Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto and ICICI Bank.IT stocks stood tall amid the carnage, with HCL Tech leading the gainers’chart with 50,000 `/$ 50,500 Intra-day, April 5 Inverted scale 73.25 73.304 73.30 73.50 49,159.32 49,000 48,500 48,000 Previous close: 50,029.83 Open Open Bank Nifty 34,000 33,500 Close Intra-day, April 5 33,649.15 32,678.85 33,000 32,500 32,000 31,500 Previous close: 33,858 Open Close a jump of 3.08%.TCS,Infosys, Bharti Airtel and Tech Mahindra were the other winners, gaining up to 2.32%. Continued on Page 2 10-year bond yield (%) Intra-day, April 5 6.20 6.168 6.121 6.16 73.40 73.45 50,020.91 49,500 6.18 73.35 Intra-day, April 5 6.14 73.445 6.12 Previous close: 73.11 Open Close 6.10 Previous close: 6.166 Open Close ● SERVED HOT India’s daily case count jumps to one lakh from 20,000 in just 25 days PAYAL BANERJEE New Delhi, April 5 To file for insolvency, MSMEs will need nod from unrelated FCs making up for 66% of dues Promoters to retain control of debtors during insolvency Honest promoters to submit a base plan, which will face Swiss challenge No Swiss challenge if operational creditors don't have to take a haircut Resolution plan to be submitted in 90 days; NCLT to approve it in 30 days MONDAY MAYHEM reports PTI. Production of Sputnik V at Panacea Biotec sites will help facilitate global supply of SputnikVto international partners of RDIF, a joint statement said. ■ Page 4 Swiggy raises $800 million, now valued at $5 billion FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 5 ONLINE FOOD DELIVERY platform, Swiggy has closed a fresh $800-million funding round backed by new and existing investors, co-founder and chief executive officer Sriharsha Majety said in an internal mail to employees on Monday. The investment values the company at about $5 billion, a source aware of the development said. Whilemanyofthefoodtech firm’s existing investors, includingProsusandAccel,participatedinthefinancialround, asmanyasfivenewinvestors— Falcon Edge Capital, Amansa Capital, Think Investments, CarmignacandGoldmanSachs — came on board. The CEO said the fundraise was heavily oversubscribed given the positive investorsentiment towards Swiggy. Swiggy had raised about $156 million in two tranches lastyear.The online food delivery firm had garnered a whopping$1billioninfundingfrom a clutch of investors inDecember2018 at an estimatedvaluation of $3.3 billion. So far, investors have infused over $2 billion in the Bengaluru-based firm. Continued on Page 2 BRIDGING THE GAP The construction of the arch of the world's highest railway bridge that soars 359 metres above the bed of the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir was completed on Monday ● BENGAL POLLS Mamata says confident of win in the state now, later in Delhi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Chunchura, April 5 WEST BENGAL CHIEF Minister Mamata Banerjee on Mondayassertedthatshewouldwin the ongoing state polls despite injury and eventually aim for power in Delhi. Training her guns at Prime Minister NarendraModi,Banerjeewhoisseeking a third term in office said that West Bengal will be ruled TMC supporters at a rally ahead of the third phase of elections on Tuesday at Balurghat, in South Dinajpur district, on Monday byitsownpeople.Termingherself as a Royal Bengal Tiger,the TMCchiefsaid,WestBengalwill not be ruled by anyone from Gujarat.“I will win Bengal with onelegandDelhiwithtwolegs,” Banerjee said. Athree-corneredbattleison the cards in 31 assembly seats that are set to go to polls on Tuesdayin the third phase. Continued on Page 2 ● NO BUYER CONTENT CONTROL LG first major brand to Russia extends Twitter slowdown till May 15 wind up mobile division REUTERS Moscow, April 5 RUSSIA SAID ON Monday it would extend a punitive slowdown of Twitter until May 15 thoughitacknowledgedtheUS socialmediacompanyhadsped up deletion of banned content. Moscow has traditionally taken a more hands-off role in policing the internet than neighbouring China. But as friction has grown this year over the arrest and jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, ■ Moscow says Twitter held talks with state communications watchdog on April 1 Russia has since March impeded the speed of Twitter for not removing content it deems illegal This resulted in agreement to give it more time, recognition that banned content was being deleted quicker it has signalled a tougher line. Russia has since March impededthespeedofTwitterfor On average, Twitter was removing illegal content within 81 hours of receiving a request Russian watchdog says this is still much longer than the 24 hours demanded in law not removing content it deems illegal,and threatened to block it entirely. Photos and videos take longer to load for some users. However, in a statement on Monday, state communicationswatchdog Roskomnadzor said Twitter had held talks with Russian authorities on April 1, resulting in an agreement to giveitmoretimeandarecognition that banned content was being deleted quicker.On average,Twitterwas removing illegal content within 81 hours of receiving a request,thewatchdog said in statement. Continued on Page 2 JOYCE LEE & HEEKYONG YANG Seoul, April 5 SOUTH KOREA'S LG Electronics will wind down its loss-making mobile division after failing to find a buyer, a move that is set to make it the first major smartphone brand to completely withdraw from the market. The South Korean company’s decision to pull out will leave its 10% share in North America, where it is the No. 3 New Delhi ■ Decisionwill leave its 10% share in NorthAmerica,where it is the No. 3 brand, to be gobbled up by Samsung andApple ■ LG's smartphone division has logged nearly six years oflosses totalling some $4.5 billion brand, to be gobbled up by Samsung Electronics and Apple with its domestic rival expected to have the edge. Continued on Page 2
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