OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 MARKETS, P10 EDITORIAL CORONA CRISIS SET OF NORMS Remdesivir production to start in Wardha today, says Gadkari RBI issues guidelines to appoint auditors of banks, NBFCs Centre must not push vaccine makers to lower prices The US' promises on climate action are impressive, but much more is needed from it, others NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 49, 16 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: 48,944.14 ▲ 557.63 NIFTY: 14,653.05 ▲ 168.05 NIKKEI 225: 28,991.89 ▼ 134.34 HANG SENG: 28,941.54 ▼ 11.29 `/$: 74.66 ▲ 0.07 `/€: 90.07 ▲ 0.34 BRENT: $66.04 ▲ $0.39 GOLD: `47,426 ▼ `36 AXIS BANK on Tuesday reported a net profit of `2,677 crore for the March quarter against a loss of `1,388 crore in Q4FY20, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The lender was back in the black, thanks to an 11% y-o-y growth in its net interest income to `7,555 crore. New OYO feature to provide isolation, quarantine facilities SHUBHRATANDON Mumbai, April 27 LALIT K JHA Washington, April 27 THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION seems to have adopted a mission mode approach and removed all bureaucratic hurdles to help India in its fight against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. India is struggling with a second wave of the pandemic with more than 3,00,000 daily new coronavirus cases being reported in the past few days, and hospitals in several states are reeling under a shortage of medical oxygen and beds. VariouswingsoftheUSgovernment,includingtheDepartment of Defence, Department of Health and Human Resources, the State Department,United States Agency for International Development Medical supplies from the UK reach Delhi airport; the first Oxygen Express train with 70 tonnes of the gas, at Delhi Cantt station (USAID) and US Trade Representatives have been activated tonotonlyidentifyIndia’sneed, but also to remove all the bureaucratichurdlesandensure that all medical requirements start being airlifted to India as soon as possible. Continued on Page 2 ■ CEOs of 40 US companies create global task force to help India, Page 4 Joe Biden, US President OYO ON Tuesday said it has launched OYO Care feature on its mobile app where users can book quarantine as well as isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients and individuals to support the healthcare system in the country, reports PTI. @JoeBiden Today, I spokewith Prime Minister @narendramodi and pledgedAmerica’s full support to provide emergency assistance and resources in the fight against COVID-19. Indiawas there for us, andwewill be there for them. Pandemic pain FE BUREAU Indicators flash some distress Nomura economists said the sharp slowdown in ultra-high frequency indicators since April and extended restrictions suggest downside risk to their existing GDP growth projection of 11.5% y-o-y in 2021 vs -6.9% in 2020. 70 60 84.4 Continued on Page 2 Apr 4 Apr 25 Mar 14 Jan 31 Feb 21 Jan 10 Dec 20 Nov 8 Nov 29 Oct 18 Sep 6 Sep 27 Aug 16 July 5 July 26 June 14 May 3 May 24 Apr 12 Mar 1 Mar 22 $188-M FUNDRAISE Urban Company turns unicorn, valued at $2 bn URBAN COMPANY HAS raised a fresh $188 million (`1,410.16 crore) in funding from a clutch of investors led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers), according to the company’s filings with the RoC sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler. The investment is understood to have valued the nearly seven-year old start-up at close to$2billion,makingitthelatest entrant to India’s unicorn club. The company is believed to have hit a valuation of over Latest unicorns Valuation ($ bn) ShareChat 2.1 Urban Company Close to 2 PharmEasy 1.5 Chargebee 1.4 Gupshup 1.4 Groww Over 1 RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki JSPL to offload power biz to promoter firm for `3,015 cr Continued on Page 2 ` ` Source: Google, Apple, CMIE, Bloomberg and Nomura Global Economics FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 27 DRREDDY’SLaboratories, which has received approval from the drug regulator for restricted emergency use of Covid19 vaccine Sputnik V,on Tuesdaysaiditexpectsthe firstlotofstockfromRussian Direct Investment Fund by May end, reports PTI. In September 2020, Dr Reddy’s and RDIF entered into a partnership to conduct clinical trials of SputnikVandtherightsfor distribution of the first 100milliondosesinIndia. ■ Report on Page 4 ● BOARD NOD $900 million August 2019 when it raised about $75 million in a round of funding led byTiger Global Management. With this, the tally of unicorns in the country goes up to 12 so far this year.Urban Companydid not comment on the funding. In all, the company has raised close to $400 million from investors. The latest financialroundalsosawparticipation from DF International Partners,Wellington Management,Tiger Global, Steadview Capital andVyCapital. 50 40 turers are quoting in different prices.What is the Central Govt doingaboutit?Therearepowers under the Patents Act.This is a pandemic and a national crisis. If this is not the time to issue such powers,what is the time?” JusticeBhataskedSolicitorGeneralTusharMehta. “The Union shall clarify the projected requirements of vaccine due to enhancement of coverage. Modality to be put in place to ensure that shortage anddeficitwouldbelookedinto. The Centre to clarify basis and rationaleforpricingofvaccine,” the SC said in its order. ■ Detailed report on Page 2 ■ SC allowsVedanta to operate O2 unit till July 31, Page 4 THE BOARD OF Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) on Tuesday approved the divestment of its 96.4% stake in the company’s subsidiary Jindal Power (JPL) for `3,015 crore to Worldone Private, owned by JSPL’s promoter group. Apart from reducing debt by around `5,000 crore, this deal will help JSPL focus on its steel making operationswith a deleveraged balance sheet and do away with capex liabilities of around `2,500 crore related to environmental compliance. The conclusion of this related party transaction, however, is subject to several approvals. JPL runs coal-based thermal power plants with cumulative installed capacity of 3,400 megawatt (MW) in Tamnar,Chhattisgarh. The company won Chhattisgarh’sGarePalmaIV/1block in the maiden auction for commercial coal mines in November 2020. Recently, it appointed former Coal India (CIL) chief Anil Kumar Jha as its new chairman. The coal block is located close to JSPL’s Raigarh steel plant and the Tamnar power plant. 58.2 68 80 THE SUPREME COURT on Tuesday asked the Central governmenttoexplaintherationale forpricingofthetwoCovidvaccines — Covaxin andCovishield — and what measures are in place to meet shortage when vaccinationwillbeopenedtoup toallabove18yearsofagefrom May 1, reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. ABench comprising justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat also urgedtheCentretoexaminethe necessityofinvokingprovisions (like compulsory licensing) underthePatentActtoregulate prices of Covid vaccines,if necessary. “Regarding pricing on vaccinationdifferentmanufac- First Sputnik lot from Russia likely by May end FE BUREAU New Delhi, April 27 75.9 80 90 95.9 Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) 100 SC seeks rationale for vax pricing, asks Centre to invoke Patents Act MARUTI SUZUKI ON Tuesday reported a net profit of `1,166 crore for the three months to March, a fall of 9.7% year-on-year despite a strong top-line growth of nearly34% y-o-y to `22,959 crore. The country’s biggest carmaker was impacted by rising commodity prices and lower non-operating income owing to a mark-to-market loss on invested surplus. The managementobserved that production has not been hit during the second wave of Covid-19. Moreover, retail sales, chairman RC Bhargava said,had not been impacted so far and the company had been able to sell the numbers produced. Bhargava pointed out that even if some markets are shut, sales are emanating from“enough markets”which are are open. However, he said it would be difficult to predict how the rest of the quarterwould playout. “Nobody knows what will happen and what conditions or restric- CASH ALTERNATIVE Tesla sold bitcoin to prove its liquidity, says Musk JOANNA OSSINGER April 27 ELON MUSK SAID Tesla sold 10% of its bitcoin holdings to demonstratethetoken’sliquidity, while adding that he’s retained his personal investment in the cryptocurrency. Tesla’s earnings report showed the firm — which bought more than $1 billion of the tokens earlier this year — generated $101 million in Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Bitcoin's swoon Largest digital token has tumbled from April record Bitcoin Moving average 50 day (in $) 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Jun Sep 2020 Dec Mar 2021 Source: Bloomberg income from the sale. Musk said on Twitter that Tesla in essence was trying “to prove liquidity of bitcoin as an alternative to holding cash on balance sheet”. The electric vehicle maker forced cryptocurrencies onto theagendaofcorporatetreasurers worldwide with its investment in bitcoin. Continued on Page 2 ■ Musk trolls Bezos as space race between world's richest men heats up, Page 8 New Delhi Q4FY20 % chg Q4FY21 (` crore) Revenue from operations Ebitda 33.6 6,750 Ebitda margin (%) Net profit 9 9 1,292 1,166 Biden admin clears all bureaucratic hurdles to provide support Maruti Q4 profit declines 9.7% 1,546 1,991 Axis Bank back in black with Q4 net profit of `2,677 cr US in mission mode to help India REPORT CARD « THE ADJUSTED gross revenue (AGR) of the telecom industry rose 4.19% to `47,623 crore for the October-December 2020 period on the back of increased revenues for mobile operators, reports Kiran Rathee in New Delhi. The AGR in July-September 2020 stood at `45,707 crore. COMBATTING COVID 17,186 22,959 IN THE NEWS Telecom industry AGR rises 4.19% in Oct-Dec 2020 28.7 10 Maruti Suzuki (Intra-day on BSE, `) 6,700 6,677 6,650 6,600 Previous close: 6,640.60 6,558.20 6,550 6,500 Open Close tions might be imposed. I would not like to make a forecast for the quarter,”he said. The carmaker’s operating margins remained flat at 9% during the quarter while the Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) increased 28.7% y-oy to `1,991 crore. Despitetwoprices, the company as unable to pass on the 3% increase in raw material costs. Continued on Page 2
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