MARKETS, P9 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P8 NEW MODE THIRD WAVE STOCK AWARDS ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank start online customs duty payment facility for customers FM asks PSBs to bolster preparedness, keep lending Apple's Cook paid over 1,400 times the avg worker in 2021 RECOVERY PROCEEDINGS Sebi comes out with list of untraceable defaulters NEW DELHI, SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2022 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. XLVII NO. 267, 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: 59,744.65 ▲ 142.81 NIFTY: 17,812.70 ▲ 66.80 NIKKEI 225: 28,478.56 ▼ 9.31 HANG SENG: 23,493.38 ▲ 420.52 `/$: 74.31 ▲ 0.19 `/€: 84.08 ▲ 0.13 BRENT: $82.77 ▲ $0.78 GOLD: `47,395 ▼ `181 ADVANCE ESTIMATE IN THE NEWS Rabi crop: Sown area marginally higher than 2021 ● TELECOM PACKAGE GDP likely to grow 9.2% in FY22 SOWING OF rabi (winter) crops mostly consisting of wheat, pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals has been marginally higher than 2021 level, according to data released by the ministry of agriculture on Friday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. The rabi sowing will be completed in a week. Estimate faces downside risks from third Covid wave; private consumption below FY20 level Govt seeks bids for five new CGD areas FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 7 THE PNGRB has invited bids for 5 new geographical areas (GA) for the 2nd tranche of the 11th round of bidding for city gas distribution (CGD), reports reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. According to a public notice, two GAs are in Chhattisgarh, one in West Bengal and UP each, and one shared between Bihar and Jharkhand. INDIA’SREALGROSSdomestic product (GDP) will likely grow 9.2% in FY22 upon last fiscal’s sharply-contracted base and exceed the pre-Covid (FY20) level by just 1.3%,according to the first advance estimate released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday. The statistical body seems to have refrained from bold projections — many analysts had predicted real growth in the range of 8.4% to 9.5% and the central bank had pegged it at 9.5% — amid mounting worriesaboutapotentialflareup of the fast-evolving Covid situation. Still, some analysts reckonthatthisprojection,too, faces downside risks. Given that the economy expanded 13.7% in the first half, driven considerably by a Gold bond issue price fixed at `4,786 per gram THE ISSUE price for the next tranche of Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2021-22, which will open for subscription for five days from Monday, has been fixed at `4,786/gram, RBI said on Friday, reports PTI. GDP Real Nominal (% growth, y-o-y) 20 17.6 15 10 11 6.8 10.5 6.5 for FY22.Assuming that fiscal deficit, in absolute term, remains the same as budgeted (`15.07 lakh crore), when expressedasafractionofGDP,it will ease to 6.5% in FY22 from the budget estimate of 6.8%. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 5 4 9.2 -7.3 0 -3 -5 -10 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22* *First advance estimate AGGREGATE DEMAND 15 10 5 0 7.8 6.2 15 Govt consumption 7.6 6.9 Pvt consumption -5 Fixed investment -10 -15 (% growth, y-o-y) 11.9 2017-18 2018-19 *First advance estimate 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22* Source: MoSPI conducivebase,theNSO’slatest growth forecast for the second halfturnsouttobe5.6%,asthe baseeffectwanes. Importantly, the nominal GDP—againstwhichkeydeficit numbersarebenchmarked—is estimatedtobehigherbyalmost 4.2%fromthebudgetestimate FE BUREAU New Delhi, January 7 AFTER AVAILING THE option of four-year moratorium on payment of adjusted gross revenue(AGR)andspectrumdues, Bharti Airtel on Friday told the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it will not go for conversion of the interest component into equity. Under thetelecomreformspackageof September 2021, operators hadtheoptiontoofferequityto the government in lieu of the interest part of the dues. “...We wish to inform you that the company has confirmed to DoT that it will not avail the option of conversion of the interest on deferred spectrum and AGR dues into equity,”Bharti said in a regulatory filing. Vodafone Idea, which has also opted for the moratorium offer,isyettotakeadecisionon the option of conversion of the interest into equity part. The DoT had issued a notification to telecom operators on October 14, seeking to know their options around moratorium and equity conversion. 7.8 5 Bharti not to avail option of converting interest on dues to equity FRIDAY TRENDS Bond yields remain high; Brent hovers near $83 Markets recover; rupee gains 8 paise against the dollar FE BUREAU & AGENCIES Mumbai, January 7 BOND YIELDS SURGED more than 9 basis points in the week to January 7 following a sharp riseinUSTreasuryyields,hawkishminutesbyUSFederalOpen MarketCommittee(FOMC)and a sharp rise in global crude oil prices.The yield on the benchmark6.10%-2031bond,which was trading at 6.4537% last week, breached the 6.50% mark and traded above 6.54% bythemidofthisweek.Itended at 6.5423% on Friday. Oil prices were headed for theirbiggestweeklygainssince mid-December on Friday as unrest in Kazakhstan and outages in Libya spurred concerns ■ Brent ($/bbl) Intra-day, Jan 7 83.3 ■ 10-year bond yield 82.65 82.9 82.5 SUV sales rising, but India is still a hatchback car market SUV sales rising (CAGR of 13.4%), but they have taken market share from sedans, not hatchback cars (whose sales share has remained constant at 46-47% since FY15) ■ Motobahn, P7 6.52 82.1 81.7 82 Previous close: 81.99 Open @IST 06.26 PM ■ Sensex Intra-day, Jan 7 60,200 59,950 59,700 59,450 Healthy growth in offing for IT firms in a weaker season Driven by deal ramp-ups, companies are expected to deliver q-q cc growth of 3-3.9%; margins are likely to be stable but for Wipro; Infosys and Tech Mahindra are the top choices ■ Investor, P7 QuickPicks TCS retains passport project; chip-based e-passports soon LARGEST SOFTWARE exporter TCS on Friday bagged the second phase of the Passport Seva Programme (PSP), after an over decade-long work in the first phase which has witnessed rapid strides in citizens availing the services, reports PTI. The second phase of the PSP will last nine-and-a-half years and see the company deploy the latest technologies to further ease services. TCS will introduce the much-awaited e-passport, a senior company official said. PAGE 2 KKR, PAG vie for Apollo Global arm’s India call centre business BUYOUT FIRMS KKR & Co and PAG are among preliminary bidders for IGT Solutions, the Indian call-centre business being sold by an arm of Apollo Global Management, according to people familiar with the matter, reports Bloomberg. IGT Solutions, which is owned by Apollo affiliate Aion Capital Partners, has also attracted initial interest from Indian back-office manager WNS Holdings, the people said. Aion is seeking more than $700 million for the asset, the people said. PAGE 4 CCI orders probe against Google for abuse of dominant position FAIR TRADE regulator CCI on Friday ordered a probe against Google for its alleged abuse of dominant position, reports PTI. "In view of the foregoing analysis, in sum, the Commission is of prima facie view that Google has violated provisions of Section 4 of the Act," according to the order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, pertains to the abuse of the dominant position. PAGE 4 6.48 Previous close: 6.526 Open Close Intra-day, Jan 7 Inverted scale 74.23 59,744.65 74.31 74.28 74.33 59,776.10 74.38 74.36 Previous close: 59,601.84 59,200 Open Close over supply. Brent crude climbed 70 cents, or 0.9%, to $82.69 a barrel during the day. The domestic markets and the rupee, however, logged gains on Friday. Sensex ended 142.81pointsor0.24%higher at 59,744.65. Similarly, Nifty 74.43 Open Previous close: 74.50 Close rose 66.80 points or 0.38% to close at 17,812.70. On a weekly basis, the Sensex advanced 1,490.83 points or 2.55%,while the Nifty gained 458.65 points or 2.64%. Continued on Page 5 Weak demand for gilts at weekly auction BONDSWORTH `4,387.674 crore priced at 5.74% devolved on Primary Dealers (PD) on Friday due to weak demand from investors, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai.However,the ReserveBankofIndia(RBI)acceptedagreenshoeamountof`500croreofbondscarrying a coupon of 4.56% and maturing in 2023. According to the press release, `6,000 crore worth of gilts with a coupon of 5.74% and maturing in 2026 were offered at the weekly auction of which only `1,612.326 croreworth of bondswere accepted.The rest devolved on PDs.The central bank set a cutoff price of `99.10 or a cut-off yield 5.9543% on the five-year gilts. ■ Report on Page 6 ● CASHING IN SHRITAMA BOSE Mumbai, January 7 TCS to consider share buyback on January 12 Jan-21 20,02,793 Dec-21 23,70,136 Jan-22 23,13,477 FE BUREAU Mumbai, January 7 Value in ` crore Value ofdigital transactions in the first five days ■ Transactions worth `23.13 lakh cr made on different RBI and NPCIoperated channels from January 1-5 country. From January 11, all international travellers will havetoundergohomequarantine for seven days and undertake RT-PCR test on the eighth day of arrival here. Travellers have to upload the test results on the Air Suvidha portal whichistobemonitoredbythe respective states/UTs. On Friday, Maharashtra reported the highest number of Omicron cases with 876 infections. TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES (TCS) on Friday said its board will consider a buyback proposal on January 12. However,itdidnotdiscloseanyother details of the proposal. The company’s board is scheduled to meet on January 12 to approve and take on record the financial results for theOctober-Decemberquarter. TCS will also consider declarationofthirdinterimdividendto the equity shareholders during the board meeting. Thelastbuybackofthecompany,worth `16,000 crore,had openedon December18,2020, and closed on January1,2021. In 2017 and 2018 too,TCS had done a similar share buyback,makingthisonethefourth buyback bythe company. OtherITcompanies such as Infosys and Wipro have also undertaken share buyback to return surplus cash on their books to shareholders. In September last year, Infosys had said it has bought back over 5.58croreequitysharesas part of its about `9,200-crore buyback offer. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 Source: RBI ■ During the first five days of December 2021, `23.7 lakh cr worth of transactions were carried out ■ Transactions made via UPI remained popular Covid infections may not have been a dampenerforconsumption so far,there is a possibility that tighter restrictions may hurt spending. Continued on Page 5 Funding boost for Rupifi, Zuddl B2B-FOCUSED payments app Rupifi has raised $25 million (about `180 crore) in a Series A round funding,led by Bessemer Venture PartnersandTigerGlobal,reports PTI. The latest funding is Rupifi’s second investment 6.50 ■ `/$ Digital spends little impacted by Covid SPENDING ON GOODS and servicesweakenedmarginallyin the firstweek of Januaryamid a freshsurgeincoronavirusinfections and the clamping of some mobility restrictions by states and local authorities. According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),the value of digital transactions made through the different RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)-operatedchannelsstood at`23.13lakhcrorefromJanuary 1-5, marginally lower than `23.7lakhcroreworthoftransactionsduringthefirstfivedays of December 2021. On a yearon-year(y-o-y)basis,thevalueof transactions in January 2022 washigherthanthe`20.03lakh crore worth of spends seen in January2021. Payment industry executivessaidthatwhilethesurgein 6.54 6.54 6.537 HOLDING UP Special Features Intra-day, Jan 7 (%) 6.56 roundwithin nine months. Meanwhile, Zuddl, a virtual and hybrid events platform, on Friday said it has raised $13.35 million in funding led by Alpha Wave Incubation and Qualcomm Ventures LLC. ■ Page 4 FIELD DAY A worker spreads grains for drying on a cold winter morning in Nadia, West Bengal, on Friday OMICRON SPREAD Daily Covid count crosses 1 lakh FE BUREAU Pune, January 7 THE DAILY SURGE in Covid19 infections hit 1,17,100 on Friday, taking India’s total tally to 3,52,26,386. Of these 3,007were confirmed cases of the Omicron variant which were reported across 27 states and UTs, the Union health ministry data updated on Friday showed. Amid the surge, the ministry revised the guidelines for allinternationalarrivalsitothe A man is tested for Covid-19 in Ahmedabad on Friday LIQUIDITY CRISIS China pushes banks to boost property lending on default fears BLOOMBERG January 7 CHINA CALLED ON banks to boost real estate lending in the first quarter and eased a key debt restriction fordevelopers, a sign that authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about the industry’s liquidity crisis. In previously unreported window guidance issued last month, regulators told banks to step up lending to developers after at least two quarters of consecutive declines, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.At the same time,borrowing by major property firms used to fund mergers and acquisitionswill no longer be counted toward the “three red lines” metrics that limit debt,said the people. Regulatorsarediallingback the intensity of a multi-year crackdown on the nation’s real estatesectorastheytrytoengineer a soft landing after years Lending slump Loans to developers dropped for two quarters after peaking The outstanding of development loans (Trillion yuan) 12.5 12.0 11.5 11.0 10.5 10.0 9.5 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 2018 2019 2020 2021 Source: People’s Bank of China of debt-fuelled expansion. Developers such as China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group Holdings have been missing payments on bonds and other types of financing such as trust products, posing a major challenge to growth in the world’s second-largest economyaswellasthenation’s social stability. “The tightest phase is behind us,”said LarryHu,head of China economics at Macquarie Group Ltd., who nonetheless called the mea- New Delhi sures “marginal.” More meaningful steps to boost the market would be loosening purchase curbs and reductions in the down-payment ratio as wellasthefive-yearprimerate, he said. Real stimulus targeting the propertymarket might not come until the middle of this year,he said. The move to ease funding for M&A comes as developers are struggling to sell assets to ease the cash squeeze. Continued on Page 5
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.