OPINION, P6 NATION, P14 SHULI REN Top raters failed to pre-empt shifts that hurt Huarong investors INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL AFTER SC ORDER STRICTER SCRUTINY With massive valuations and job creation potential, unicorns are transforming the corporate landscape Sterlite awaits panel’s advice to start oxygen production at Tuticorin Tencent faces $1.54-bn penalty amid China’s antitrust crackdown KOLKATA, FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE VOL. 30 NO. 153, 18 PAGES, `6.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `10.00) WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 49,765.94 ▲ 32.10 NIFTY: 14,894.90 ▲ 30.35 NIKKEI 225: 29,053.97 ▲ 62.08 HANG SENG: 29,303.26 ▲ 231.92 `/$: 74.04 ▲ 0.32 `/€: 89.73 ▲ 0.01 BRENT: $68.61 ▲ $1.34 GOLD: `46,965 ▼ `128 EXIT POLLS Tight race in West Bengal; BJP likely to retain Assam Nuns stand in a queue at a polling booth during the final phase of the West Bengal Assembly polls, in Kolkata on Thursday Ruling Left combine to stay in Kerala; DMK alliance seen winning TN; Cong may lose Puducherry PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 29 FIGHTING THE VIRUS People during a vaccination drive at a hospital in Mulund; (right) a shipment of oxygen concentrators, ventilators and other supplies arrives from Russia COVID VACCINE Bharat Biotech cuts price of Covaxin for states to `400 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 29 BHARATBIOTECH ON Thursday announced a cut in the price of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, it plans to sell to the states to `400 per dose from the earlier `600. This follows widespread criticism of its pricing policy as it sold Covaxin to the central government at `150 per dose. The announcement came a day after Serum Institute of India (SII) slashed the price of its Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, to `300 per dose from the earlier `400 for state governments. “Recognising the enormous challenges in the public healthcare system, we have made Covaxin available to state governments at a price of `400/dose,” Bharat Biotech said in its announcement. The company is deeply concerned with the critical pandemic circumstances that India is facing at this time,it added. “We wish to be transparent in our approach to pricing whichwasdeterminedby internally funded product development, several operationally-intensive BSL-3 manufacturing facilities (the first of its kind in our country) and clinical trials,” Bharat Biotech said. Continued on Page 2 Don’t have enough shots for 18-44 age group: Delhi govt PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, April 29 DELHI HEALTH MINISTER Satyendar Jain on Thursday said the citydoes not have sufficient doses of vaccine for the inoculation of those in the 1844 age group and orders have been placedwith manufacturers for the same. The minister,however,said preparationstogivejabstothis categoryhavebeencompleted. “At present, we don't have vaccines. We have requested the companies to provide it,” Jain told reporters when asked if there were enough vaccines available for the 18-44 age group.“Wewill tellyou in a day or two,” he replied to another query about starting the inoculation drive for this category onMay1.Healsosaidthemanufactures are yet to provide a schedule of vaccine supply to the Delhi government. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday had said that everybody aged above 18 would be administered anti-coronavirusvaccines free of cost in Delhi. Continued on Page 2 Blocked #ResignModi by mistake: FB UP extends weekend lockdown by 24 hrs FACEBOOK BLOCKED posts tagged #ResignModi amid raging criticism of the government’s handling of the Covid crisis, but restored it hours later calling it a mistake,reports PTI. The blocking on Wednes- AMID A surge in Covid cases, theUttarPradeshgovernment on Thursday decided to increasethedurationofweekend lockdown by 24 hours, announcing it will now cover Mondaystoo,reportsPTI.“The weekend closure will now be QuickPicks CCI nod to Tata proposal to buy BigBasket THE COMPETITION Commission (CCI) on Thursday approved the Tata Group’s proposal to acquire a majority stake in BigBasket, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. As per the contours of the deal, Tata Digital can buy up to 64.3% of the total share capital of Supermarket Grocery Supplies (SGS), the business to business vertical of the egrocer through a combination of primary and secondary acquisitions. PAGE 4 day, Facebook said, wasn’t at thebehestofthegovernment. Twitter had removed or restricted access to several critical posts on orders from thegovernment,whichcalled it fake news. ■ Page 2 applicablefromFriday8pmtill Tuesday7am,”additionalchief secretary(home)NavneetSehgalsaid.Hesaidconsequentto thedecision,allshopsandestablishments will now remain closed between Friday 8 pm andTuesday7 am. TOPPER At a valuation of $16.5 bn, Byju’s is a class apart SARITHA RAI & NISHANT KUMAR April 29 ONLINE EDUCATION PIONEER Byju’s is raising about $150 million from UBS Group AG at a valuation of about $16.5 billion, multiple people familiarwith the deal said.The funding will make it the country’s most-valuable start-up. An entitythat is part of UBS Asset Management is making the investment. It is in discussions to invest additional money, which would take its Capital boost ■ The UBS ■ The start-up could rope in another backer to take the fresh funding to investment will take the valuation of Byju’s past Paytm,which was last valued at $400 m $16 bn ■ Byju’s recently raised about $1 bn from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, Baron Funds and XN total investment in Byju’s to about$300million,thepeople said, who asked not be identifiedasthenegotiationsareprivate.Thestart-upcould ropein another backer to take the fresh funding to $400 million, one of the people said. Byju’s recentlyraised about $1 billion from Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group as well as Baron Funds and XN, Bloomberg News reported earlier this monthcitingapersonfamiliar. Continued on Page 2 HMSI shuts ops at all plants from May 1-15 EXIT POLLS ON Thursday forecast a tight contest between the incumbent Trinamool Congress and the BJP inthehigh-profileWestBengal Assembly polls, while the rulingLeftcombinewasprojected toretainpowerinKeralaandso was the case for the saffron party in Assam. Exit polls also projected DMK-led opposition alliance as a winner in Tamil Nadu, while the Congress-led alliance was seen losing the neighbouring Puducherry by some pollsters. Continued on Page 2 ■ WEST BENGAL Total seats: 294 Majority: 148 IndiaToday-Axis My India Total Majority: ABP-CVoter seats: 64 126 RepublicTV-CNX ■ KERALA IndiaToday-Axis My India Total Majority: ABP-CVoter seats: 71 140 RepublicTV-CNX ■ TAMIL NADU Total seats: 234 Majority: 118 IndiaToday-Axis My India ABP-CVoter RepublicTV-CNX ■ PUDUCHERRY Total seats: 30 Majority: 16 IndiaToday-Axis My India ABP-CVoter RepublicTV-CNX BJP Cong-Left 134-160 109-121 138-148 0-2 14-25 11-21 Cong+ Others 75-85 58-71 74-84 40-50 53-66 40-50 1-4 0-5 1-3 LDF ■ ASSAM TMC 130-156 152-164 128-138 BJP+ IndiaToday-Axis My India ABP-CVoter RepublicTV-CNX UDF BJP+ 104-120 71-77 72-80 20-36 62-68 58-64 0-2 0-2 1-5 AIADMK+ DMK+ Others 38-54 58-70 58-68 175-195 160-172 160-170 1-4 0-5 4-6 UPA NDA Others 6-10 6-10 11-13 20-24 19-23 16-20 0-1 1-2 0 HONDA MOTORCYCLE & Scooter India (HMSI) has announced a temporaryhalt of its production operations across all its fourplants,effectivefrom May 1, reports fe Bureau in Chennai. The company has manufacturing plants at Manesar in Haryana, Tapukara in Rajasthan, Narsapura in Karnataka andVithalapurinGujarat. Thisfollowsthemultiple lockdowns imposed acrossvariouscitiesinthe countryamidrisingCovid cases.Honda,the secondlargest two-wheeler maker in the country, willutilisethis temporary production halt from May 1-15 for annual plant maintenance activities, a statement by the company said. ■ Page 4 HUL Q4 profit jumps 41% to `2,143 crore HINDUSTAN UNILEVER (HUL) on Thursday reported a robust growth in volumes of 16% year-on-year for the three months to March on the back of all-round growth, reports ShubhraTandoninMumbai. The FMCG majorhad reported a contraction of 7% in volume in Q4FY20 following the nationwide lockdown. The company’s profits jumped 41% y-o-y to `2,143 crore,aheadofBloombergconsensus estimates of `1,968 crore. Revenues rose a sharp 34% y-o-y to `11,947 crore. ■ Report on Page 4 Q1 BOOST Samsung reclaims smartphone crown AAKRITI BHALLA April 29 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS SNATCHED back the crown from Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone producer,accounting fora fifth of overall global sales in the first quarter,marketresearch firm Canalys said. China’s Xiaomi clocked its best quarterlyperformanceever,withshipments surging 62% to 49 million phonesandmarketshareto14%,taking it to the third position after Samsung and Apple. Overall, global sales surged27%to347millionunitsinthe first quarter as the Chinese economy opened up after the pandemic and a 76.5 m smartphones shipped by Samsung in Q1; 22% market share, according to Canalys 52.4 m iPhones shipped by Apple in January-March; 15% market share 347 m swift vaccine rollout in the US raised hopes of an economic recovery. South Korea’s Samsung shipped 76.5millionsmartphonesinthequarter to grab a 22% share of the market, Canalys said.The company on Thurs- 49 m smartphones shipped by Xiaomi; market share of 14% units sold across the globe in Q1, recording a surge of 27% dayreported a 66% surge in quarterly profit in its mobile business,thanks to robust sales of its flagship Galaxy S21 smartphoneseries. Continued on Page 2 Kolkata
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