MARKETS, P6 RISE IN RESERVES ECONOMY, P2 India’s forex kitty jumps by $289 m to hit $640.40 bn INTERNATIONAL, P8 SOVEREIGN SCHEME INDIA-RUSSIA SUMMIT BLACK FRIDAY Gold bond issue price fixed at `4,791 per gram; subscription opens Monday President Vladimir Putin set to visit India on Dec 6 Amazon faces climate activists, workers’ strikes in Europe NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2021 WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 231, 18 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA `10.00, RAIPUR `10.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 57,107.15 ▼ 1,687.94 NIFTY: 17,026.45 ▼ 509.80 NIKKEI 225: 28,751.62 ▼ 747.66 HANG SENG: 24,080.52 ▼ 659.64 `/$: 74.87 ▼ 0.36 `/€: 84.34 ▼ 0.71 BRENT: $77.95 ▼ $4.27 GOLD: `48,153 ▲ `631 IN THE NEWS GoM meet on rationalising GST rates deferred A MEETING of the panel of state finance ministers looking into GST rate rationalisation has been deferred, sources told PTI. The Group of Ministers (GoM) on rate rationalisation, headed by Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai, also includes West Bengal FM Amit Mitra, Kerala FM N Balagopal, and Bihar deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad. Puri: High oil prices to hurt global economic recovery PETROLEUM MINISTER Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said continuing high international oil prices will hurt the global economic recovery as he made a renewed pitch to Saudi Arabia and other Opec producers to not keep production levels artificially lower, reports PTI. RBI slaps `1-cr penalty on SBI for lapses RBI on Friday said it has imposed a penalty of `1 crore on State Bank of India (SBI) for deficiencies in regulatory compliance, reports PTI. The penalty has been imposed by an order dated November 16, RBI said in a statement. RBI NORMS No bank licences for large corporates yet Promoters can now retain 26% shareholding in banks India tightens screening for new variant, set to resume overseas flights NEHAARORA New Delhi, November 26 FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 26 RESERVE BANK OFIndia(RBI) has refrained from permitting corporate ownership of banks, putting on hold a working group recommendation that saidlargecorporateandindustrial houses may be allowed to promote banks post amendments to the Banking Regulations Act, 1949. The central bank has also not accepted a recommendation to allow well-run, large NBFCs, including those ownedbyacorporate house, to become banks. Both suggestions, it said, on Friday, are“under examination”. However, RBI has allowed promoters to retain a 26% shareholding in banks,higher than the current cap of 15%, bringing relief to bankers like Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak.The 26% is in line with the ceiling on thevoting rights of a shareholder and in keeping with the current FDI policy. The PJ Nayak Committee ● COVID-19 Cap on promoters’ stake, after 15 years, raised to 26% of the paid-up voting equity share capital, from 15% Post five-year lock-in, promoters can choose to lower holdings to below 26% Promoter stake during five-year initial lock-in remains at minimum 40% Cap of 15%, of the paid-up voting equity shares, for non-promoter shareholders — all categories of FIs, supranational institutions, PSUs, govt Cap of 10% for non-promoter shareholders — natural persons and non-FIs NOFHC mandatory only where individual promoters, promoting and converting entities have other group entities; however, promoters/promoting entities must be eligible to set up a universal bank or an SFB Minimum initial capital requirements for new bank licences raised to `1,000 crore for universal bank, `300 crore for an SFB had in 2014 recommended a promoter holding of 25%, on the grounds that low promoter shareholding could make banks vulnerable by INDIA SAID ON Friday it will resume international passengerflightsfrommid-December with Covid-19 linked curbs for “atrisk” countries,andordered tightened screening at borders as fears overa newcoronavirus variant spread globally. The Union health ministry saidreportsofmutationsinthe variant,identifiedasB.1.1.529, had “serious public health implications”,and asked states to adopt rigorous screening and testing for all passengers fromSouthAfricaandother“at risk”countries. “This variant is reported to have a significantly high number of mutations,and thus,has serious public health implications for the country in view of recently relaxed visa curbs and opening up of international travel,”health secretary Rajesh Bhushansaidinalettertostates. Continued on Page 2 FREAKY FRIDAY Markets,rupee plunge as new Covid variant spooks investors Global markets fall as countries begin to impose travel curbs SENSEX 58,600 58,300 58,254.79 58,000 Intra-day, Nov 26 Previous cose : 58,795.09 57,107.15 57,700 AGENCIES Mumbai, November 26 57,400 SENSEX NOSEDIVED 1,688 POINTS while the Nifty slumped below the 17,100level on Friday as a new and potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirusvariantsentshockwaves through global markets. Marketsgloballywerelower after scientists said the new variantdetectedinSouthAfrica has an unusual combination of mutations,maybeabletoevade immune responses and could be more transmissible. CountrieslikeBritainandJapanhave already imposed travel restrictions, raising the spectre of a freshwave of lockdowns. Sensex plummeted 1,687.94 points or 2.87% to close at 57,107.15 following an across-the-board selloff. Similarly, the NSE Nifty plunged 509.80 points or 2.91% to 17,026.45. 57,100 56,800 56,500 74.50 74.60 Open Close `/$ 74.59 Intra-day, Nov 26 Inverted scale 74.70 74.87 74.80 74.90 75.00 Previous cose: 74.51 Open Close Currencymarkets,too,were not spared, with the rupee sinking 37 paise versus the dollar, in tandem with other emerging market currencies. The losses also pushed the Nifty50toitsworstweeklyper- ■ Indian equities fell the most in Asia on Friday, followed by Hong Kong and Japan ■ European market opened down with Stoxx Europe 600 Index falling as much as 3.6% ■ Sensex & Nifty plunged most since April 12, taking benchmarks to three-month lows ■ Friday’s selloff wiped out `7.36 lakh crore of investor wealth ■ Five firms — RIL, HDFC, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank & Infosys — contributed more than half to Sensex fall formance since late January, withboththemainindexeslosing over 4% this week to move further away from a record high struck in October. Continued on Page 2 weakening the alignment between the management and shareholders. Continued on Page 2 LOOKING BACK Special Features Opting for financing while purchasing a two-wheeler While credit participation is relatively low in the entry-level two-wheeler segment as compared to four-wheelers, taking a loan can be a beneficial in the long term ■ Motobahn, P7 The quantum of tariff hike by Bharti Airtel came as surprise Firm focus shifting to higher realisations; India mobile estimates up 8-15%; Ebitda CAGR of 21% is expected over FY22-24e; target price raised to `925 from `860; ‘Buy’ rating maintained ■ Investor, P7 QuickPicks New Bill may provide for 26% minimum govt holding in PSBs THE BANKING Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which will be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament starting November 29, will likely propose that the minimum government holding in public sector banks (PSBs) be trimmed to 26% from 51%, an official source said, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The move is aimed at facilitating the privatisation of two PSBs, in sync with the announcement in the Budget for 2021-22. PAGE 2 Dr Reddy’s to seek DCGI nod for Sputnik Light vaccine soon DR REDDY'S Laboratories is in the midst of clinical trials for the Russian Sputnik Light Covid19 vaccine in India and is soon expected to seek regulatory nod from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), reports fe Bureau in Pune. Dr Reddy's has partnered with Russian Direct Investment Fund for the Sputnik vaccine supplies in India. Sputnik Light vaccine is based on human adenovirus serotype 26, which is the first component of the Sputnik V vaccine. PAGE 4 Sebi considers overhaul of preferential allotment rules SEBI ON Friday proposed relaxing pricing norms and lock-in requirements to make it easier for companies to raise funds through preferential allotment of shares, reports PTI. In addition, it has proposed allowing pledging of shares allotted to promoter or promoter group under preferential issue during the lock-in period. The consultation paper comes against the backdrop of PNB Housing Finance's proposed allotment of preference shares to Carlyle & other investors hitting a roadblock. PAGE 6 Made mistakes in telecom biz: Birla FE BUREAU Kolkata, November 26 ADITYA BIRLA GROUP chairmanKumarMangalamBirlaon Friday said the telecom business has been a“tough one”for the diversified conglomerate anditcouldhavedonebetteron “several factors”. Birla also said one of the biggest regrets in his lifewas to loseoutonHindustanZinc,the country’s largest zinc-lead miner.Currently,the company is a subsidiaryofAnilAgarwalled Vedanta Group, which acquired it when the government divested its majority stake way back in 2002-03. “Telecom has been a tough one for us. I think there have been several factors where we could have done better.It’s one ofafewsectorsinwhichwehave not donewell.But,it is the story that is going to play out,” Birla said, replying to a question on Hindustan Zinc we lost out very relatively. We just missed some details in due diligence. So, the learning from it is that the devil is in the details. It could have been a great investment... —KM BIRLA, CHAIRMAN, ADITYA BIRLA GROUP IN MEMORIAM People pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the 26/11 attacks, in Mumbai on Friday his“keylearning”from telecom industry investment at the ICC annual session and AGM. He, however,saidVodafoneIdea(the Aditya Birla Group holds 27% stake in the company) was in a muchbettersituationnowcomparedwith a month ago. Poverty index PTI Over half of Bihar population poor States with highest poverty (in %) 51.91 42.16 Bihar Continued on Page 2 Jharkhand 37.79 36.65 32.67 UP MP Meghalaya Ashok Leyland MD Vipin Sondhi quits VIPIN SONDHI,MD&CEOof Ashok Leyland (ALL) has decidedtomoveontotake care of his personal and familyresponsibilities, reports fe Bureau in Chennai. ALL on Friday announced Sondhi has expressed his intention to devote more time to take care of certainpersonalandfamilycommitments in the post-Covid situation, that requires his extended presence inNewDelhiandconsequently step down as MD & CEO with effect from December31. ■ Report on Page 4 Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh emerged as the country’s poorest states in NITI Aayog's first Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report, while Kerala, Goa and Sikkim had the lowest percentage of poor population. As per the index, 51.91% population of Bihar is poor. States with lowest poverty (in %) 3.76 3.82 Goa Sikkim 4.89 5.59 0.71 Kerala TN Punjab Source: Multidimensional Poverty Index, NITI Aayog CRYPTO CRACKDOWN China looks to set up digital asset bourse in virtual yuan push BLOOMBERG November 26 CHINA IS CONSIDERING settingupadigitalassetexchange in Beijing as officials push to promote usage of the digital yuan and crack down on cryptocurrencies. Beijingwill explorethe possibilityof establishinga bourse for digital assets trading, as part of broaderefforts to boost financial services in the capi- tal, according to guidelines issued by the State Council. The cabinet called forfaster trials of the digital yuan and urgedbigbankstosetupeCNY operation firms. The statement provided no further details on the planned digital asset exchange. China has been in process of creating avirtualversionofitslegaltender since 2014 in an effort to copewith an increasinglydigitised economy as well as to fend off potential threats from virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. It banned cryptoexchanges in 2017 and stepped up scrutiny ILLUSTRATION: ROHNIT PHORE this year to ban crypto mining and all related transactions, in tandem with campaigns to promote the digital yuan. Itkick-started trialsin multiple cities lastyearto promote the use of the e-CNY among consumers and merchants though initial reception had been lukewarm. A broader roll-out of the digital currency is expected in Beijing when it hosts the Winter Olympics in February. New Delhi EXPRESS PHOTO: PRADIP DAS ● CHIPPING IN Tata Group in talks to set up $300-million semiconductor assembly unit SANKALP PHARTIYAL New Delhi, November 26 TATA GROUP IS in talks with threestatestoinvestupto$300 milliontosetupasemiconductor assembly and test unit, two sources familiar with the mattersaid,as partof the conglomerate’s push into high-tech manufacturing. Tata is talking to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana and scouting for land for theoutsourcedsemiconductor assemblyandtest(OSAT)plant, thesourcessaid,decliningtobe identified.WhileTatahaspreviously said it would likely enter the semiconductor business, this is the first time news about thegroup’sforayintothesector and its scale has beenreported. An OSAT plant packages, assembles and tests foundrymade silicon wafers, turning them into finished semiconductor chips.Tata has looked at somepotentiallocationsforthe factory,one of the sources said, adding a venue was likely to be finalised bynext month. 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