OPINION, P6 COMPANIES, P5 JAHANGIR AZIZ Infra spending good, but govt must spend to support incomes too INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL AWAITING NOD COVID COMPLICATIONS Gati Shakti is ambitious, but need to get coordination between ministries right for success WHO team to meet next week to consider EUL for Covaxin Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state, dies at 84 BENGALURU, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2021 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL XXXIV NO. 152, 14 PAGES, `6.00 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: 61,765.59 ▲ 459.64 NIFTY: 18,477.05 ▲ 138.50 NIKKEI 225: 29,025.46 ▼ 43.17 HANG SENG: 25,409.75 ▲ 78.79 `/$: 75.35 ▼ 0.09 `/€: 87.27 ▲ 0.11 BRENT: $85.70 ▲ $0.84 GOLD: `47,184 ▼ `715 COVID SUPPORT FM: More stimulus to come if needed SHOWING SIGNS of recovery, housing sales across eight major cities registered an annual growth of 59% during July-September at 55,907 units, but demand jumped over threefold against the previous quarter, according to PropTiger.com, reports PTI. Sales stood at low levels at 35,132 units in the JulySeptember last year and 15,968 units in the previous quarter because of the adverse impact of the first and second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. PAGE 4 Investors face problems selling stocks due to CDSL‘glitch’ INVESTORS OF several brokerage houses, including Zerodha and Paytm Money, faced possible difficulty while selling shares on Monday morning due to "an issue" related to depository Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL), reports PTI. The issue was resolved by CDSL later in the day. Several investors opened up about their challenges in selling stocks on Twitter. In addition, users of Groww too faced challenges. PAGE 12 (in km, April-Sept) Awards Construction FY20 FY21 FY22 Source: MoRTH RAIL ROKO FE BUREAU Business activity jumps to all-time high With a broad-based rise across most sub-components, the Nomura India Business Resumption Index rose to an all-time high of 108.8 for the week ended October 17 from 105 the prior week. 110 90 Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) 82 80 68.9 100 95.8 94.3 60 108.8 105 Oct 17 Sep 19 Jul 25 Aug 22 Jun 27 May 30 45.2 50 40 102.8 60.4 70 Apr 4 reports fe Bureau in Mumbai.TheyieldhashititshighestlevelsinceApril16,2020. The 10-year benchmark 6.10%-2031 bond yield touched the highest level of 6.3887% on Monday and endedat6.3873%. ■ Page 9 Bouncing back May 2 Continued on Page 2 Farmers block railway tracks during the Samyukt Kisan Morcha's protest demanding the dismissal and arrest of Union minister Ajay Mishra in connection with the October 3 violence in Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), in Bahadurgarh on Monday Mar 7 the hardest — just 428 km of highways (13.8 km/day) were built in the month against 665 kminthecorrespondingmonth in the previousyear. Bond yields at 18-month high as oil spurts BENCHMARK YIELDS hit their highest levels in nearly 18 months for the second time this month on Monday after a sharp rise in crude oil prices and uptick in USTreasury yields,which weakened sentiments of traders, PharmEasy structured the deal through mix of regular equity shares and Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) $205 millionwas secured from newinvestors,including Singapore-based Amansa Capital, Hong Kong-based hedge fund ApaH Capital, US hedge fund Janus Henderson, OrbiMed, Steadview Capital,Abu Dhabibased sovereign wealth fund ADQ, New York-based hedge fund Neuberger Berman and London’s Sanne Group. Continued on Page 2 FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 18 Feb 7 PROTRACTED RAINS HAVE taken a toll on highway construction,onesegmentthathas consistently been weathering the broadereconomy’s travails and even the pandemic shock. Constructionfelltoitslowestin threeyearstoalittleover21km per day during the April-September period of the current fiscal, compared with an average of 22 km/day in the same period lastyearand the peak of 25.67 km/dayin the comparable pre-pandemic period of April-September 2019. Ofcourse,thesavagesecond Covid wave had affected highway construction during the months of May, June, July this year, though the severity of its impactwasmuchlessthanduring the lockdown period in 2020 and the months that immediately followed. In Augustthisyear,however,monsoon rains hit the construction Highway projects Jan 10 Housing sales jump 59% annually in July-Sept across 8 cities SURYA SARATHI RAY New Delhi, October 18 Primary funding secured from new investors, including Singapore-based Amansa Capital and Hong Kongbased hedge fund ApaH Capital E-way bill generation moderates; pick-up likely before Diwali Highway construction falls to three-year low Dec 13 ICICI BANK on Monday sought expressions of interest (EoIs) from asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) for its `338-crore exposure to Soma Infrastructure, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The asset is being offered on a full-cash basis. Soma Infrastructure is a Hyderabad-based company which owes ICICI Bank over `149 crore in principal dues and another `189 crore in accrued interest and other charges. PAGE 9 Continued on Page 2 New round included primary funding of $205 million & secondary component of $140 million ● LOWER DISPATCHES Oct 18 ICICI Bank seeks buyers for `338-cr exposure to Soma Infra Bharti and Vodafone Idea, the equityconversionwillbedoneby invoking Section 62 (4) of the CompaniesAct;theamountwill betreatedasaloanuntiltheconversioniscompleted. Nov 15 QuickPicks IPO-BOUND ONLINE pharmacy start-up PharmEasy has raised$350million(`2,635.22 crore)inafreshequityfinancing round from a bunch of new investors,valuing the company at $5.6 billion (`42,197.79 crore),documentssourcedfrom the Registrar of Companies (RoC) showed on Monday. Thenewroundincludedprimary funding of $205 million (`1,505.89 crore) and a secondary component of $140 million(`1,054.94crore),documents showed. An Economic Times report on Monday said PharmEasy founders Dharmil Sheth and DrDhavalShahpurchasedsecondary shares worth $40 million in the round. Around 20 employees also exercised their employee stock options (ESOPs) worth $5 million, the report added. The primary funding worth HEAVY RAINS Sep 20 Q-q uptick in commercial and retail loans was key positive of Q2FY22 results; slippages were stable; estimates up 1%; target price raised to `2,070 from `1,900; ‘Buy’ rating maintained ■ Investor, P7 valuation of shares or equity cannot be less than par value and Covidvaccination drive. In June 2020,Fitch had trimmed its India outlook to “negative”, citing a sharp Covidinduceddeteriorationofthecountry’sgrowth andfiscalposition.However,ithasretainedits Indiaratingatthelowestinvestmentgradeof BBB- forwell over a decade. ■ Report on Page 2 Jul 26 Pick-up in growth could aid HDFC Bank’s re-rating FINANCE MINISTRYofficialswill likelymeet senior executives of Fitch Ratings this week and impress upon the global agency to upgrade its India rating,sources said,reports fe Bureau in NewDelhi. Economists expect the agency to at least raiseitsIndiaoutlookfrom“negative”to“stable” in the wake of improving fiscal metrics Aug 23 Floating rate funds are best suited for investors in a rising interest rate scenario because the interest rate on underlying bonds would tend to be reset to higher levels ■ Personal Finance, P7 SALMAN SH Bengaluru, October 18 ■ The Finmin to seek rating upgrade from Fitch soon Jun 28 When should you invest in floating rate funds? Continued on Page 2 expected to take four-year moratorium on payments moratoriumoption;theyhavea further 90 days to respond on the equityconversion. DoThaswrittentoBhartiAirtel and Vodafone Idea, both of whomhaveshowntheirdesireto optforamoratorium,andalsoto RelianceJio,whichmaydoso.For May 31 Special Features ing on capital expenditure and infrastructure,she said. “The challenge I will face, andtheteamsarealsowatching in the ministry, is the way the fuel prices are leading to a big crest,” Sitharaman said,adding, “this uncertainty is a big element forme.” ■ All telcos Equity conversion of interest will be done by invoking Section 62 (4) of the Companies Act Apr 5 RBI ON Monday imposed a monetary penalty of `1 crore on State Bank of India (SBI) and a fine of `1.95 crore on the Indian operations of Standard Chartered Bank for non-compliance with multiple regulatory directions. reports fe Bureau and PTI. —Nirmala Sitharaman, FM ■ For equity conversion of interest, 90 days have been given to firms for replying Online pharmacy has raised over $1.2 bn in equity & debt funding so far ■ The equity conversion relevant date will be August 14 Telcos need to inform DoT by Oct 29 if they want to opt for moratorium on payments May 3 RBI slaps `1-cr fine on SBI, `1.95 cr on StanChart Emphasis on building health infrastructure will continue, and so will govt spending on capital expenditure and infrastructure. THE DEPARTMENT OF Telecommunications (DoT) has reachedouttomobileoperators seeking their response on whether they want to opt for a four-year moratorium on spectrum payments and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.The department has also sought their views on whether they would prefer to convert the interest, which would accrue during the moratorium, into equity.Telcos need to revert by October 29 if they choose the CASH FLOW RELIEF Mar 8 THE NATIONAL Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday allowed the creditors and shareholders of Reliance Retail Ventures to hold meetings to seek approval for the company's proposed `24,700-crore deal with the Future Group, reports PTI. ON GOVERNMENT SPENDING KIRAN RATHEE New Delhi, October 18 PharmEasy valued at $5.6 billion in pre-IPO round 3,824 AMIDAGROWINGperception, partly caused by a view expressed by some senior government functionaries against another instalment of a large demand-side fiscal stimulus in the current fiscal,finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman late Sunday indicated that the government was indeed open to acceleratingtheeconomicrecovery through such largesse, if required.India was in no hurry to withdraw the pandemic-era stimulus and was ready to do more,ifrequired,tosupporteconomic recovery, Sitharaman was quoted by Bloomberg as saying in New York during the last leg of her US visit that concludedearlyMonday. “They (fiscal stimulus measures) will continue,” Sitharaman told the news agency.“The emphasis on building health infrastructure will continue,” and so will government spend- Telcos need to revert by Oct 29 if they want to opt for moratorium 4,609 FE BUREAU New Delhi, October 18 The challenge I will face, and the teams are also watching in the ministry, is the way the fuel prices are leading to a big crest...This uncertainty is a big element for me. 3,950 Reliance Retail can hold meet on Future deal: NCLT ON CHALLENGE TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY 5,052 Affirms plan to list India’s sovereign bonds on global indices; says lack of political will won’t delay LIC IPO DoT gets moving on telecom relief package 4,622 THE COUNTRY'S exports rose by 40.5% to $15.13 billion during October 1-14 on account of healthy performance by key sectors such as petroleum products, engineering and chemicals, according to preliminary data of the commerce ministry, reports PTI. $350-M FUNDING RESCUE ACT 2,103 IN THE NEWS Exports up 40.5% to $15.13 billion during Oct 1-14 Source: Nomura Global Economics DAILY E-WAY BILL generation for goods transportation under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system came in at 21.14 lakh fortheweek ended October17,12.6% lowerthan the dailyaverage forthe previous week, reflecting a reduction in dispatches due to Dussehra holidays. However, the daily average for the first 17 days of October at 21.74 lakh was still 2.4% higher than the same for the first 19 days of September. “Dispatches were more for the week ended October 10 keeping in mind the Dussehra holidays in the week ended October 17. With dispatches set to pick up now ahead of DiwalionNovember4,Iexpect October e-way bill generation will be the highest monthly generation in 2021,”All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA) joint secretary Abhishek Gupta told FE. Daily e-way bill generation was at 24.2 lakh for the week ended October 10, 17.65% higherthanthedailyaveragefor theweek ended September12. Continued on Page 2 CRISIS CONTINUES China power woes may worsen as demand rises amid coal supply lag MUYU XU & SHIVANI SINGH Beijing, October 18 CHINA'S POWER WOES look set to intensify as coal prices rose to a record on Mondayfollowing data showing supplyof the fuel fell in September adding to concerns that domestic output may be unabletomeetsurgingelectric generation demand. Shortages of domestic coal have driven fuel prices forChinese power generators higher, causing the unprofitable com- panies to ration power to industrial users. That has forced some factories in the world’s largest economy to suspend production, disrupting global supply chains. China, also the world’s biggest energy consumer, has enacted measures to increase the output of coal,which fuels nearly60%ofitspowerplants, but government data on Monday showed that those steps will take time even as power demand surges to meet postCovid-19 industrial needs. DARK DAYS ■ China coal prices rise to a record after data showing lower supply in September ■ Domestic output likely unable to meet surging electric generation demand ■ Shortage of domestic coal driving up fuel prices for Chinese power generators ■ Several affected factories suspend production, disrupting global supply chains Coal output in China was 334.1 million tonnes last month, down from 335.24 million tonnes in August and 0.9% lowerfrom ayearearlier, data from the National Bureau ofStatistics(NBS)datashowed. September output averaged 11.14 million tonnes a day, according to Reuters calculations based on the data. The National Energy Administration(NEA)lastweek said current daily output has climbedtomorethan11.2million tonnes, underscoring the slowpaceofbringingmeaningful supplies to market. “The Chinese government is losing the battle to control soaring coal prices,” said Alex Whitworth,headofAsiaPacific Power and Renewables Research at Wood Mackenzie. “Despiteeffortstoincreasecoal supply, output fell in September due to weather, safety and logistics challenges. Neither hasChinasucceededinreining in booming power demand.” Continued on Page 2 BENGALURU
The Financial Express (FE) is a business paper that’s closest to the people who are in the business of business. From business policies to market trends to new developments, The Financial Express comes packed with incisive news on every relevant issue.