OPINION, P6 NATION, P20 RENU KOHLI The catch-up in core CPI inflation could come quite fast INTERNATIONAL, P8 EDITORIAL GOVT SETTLEMENT COVID CONTROL A wider external account deficit likely in FY22; risks of FDI & portfolio outflows are a worry Cairn says all steps of retro tax repeal law done, entitled to `7,900-cr refund Pfizer and BioNTech launch trial of vaccine targeting Omicron MUMBAI, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2022 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. LXII NO. 22, 22 PAGES, `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: 57,858.15 ▲ 366.64 NIFTY: 17,277.95 ▲ 128.85 NIKKEI 225: 27,131.34 ▼ 457.03 HANG SENG: 24,243.61 ▼ 412.85 `/$: 74.78 ▼ 0.21 `/€: 84.40 ▲ 0.07 BRENT: $86.81 ▲ $0.54 GOLD: `48,687 ▲ `37 THE RBI ON Tuesday said that the government has sanctioned and notified the draft scheme for the amalgamation of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank with Unity Small Finance Bank, reports fe Bureau in Mumbai. The final scheme envisages the start of payouts for depositors with over `5 lakh in balances within one year, against two years in the draft scheme. ● CIVILIAN HONOURS Markets stage a Maruti profit smart recovery falls 48% in Q3 MARKETS MADE A comeback on Tuesday after falling for the lastfivesessions,brushingaside worriesongeopoliticalfront,risingoilpricesandoutcomeofthe USFederalReservemeeting.The Sensex closed 0.64% higher, after sinking as much as 1,082 points during the day trade. Thankstobetter-than-expected earnings posted byMaruti SuzukiandAxisBank,whoseshares topped in the Sensex pack as best performers and they togethercontributednearlyhalf to the index’s gain onTuesday. SharesofbothAxisBankand MarutiSuzukisurgedabout7% onTuesday,aftertheirquarterly earnings.While shares of Axis Bank clocked their best day in nearly a year, Maruti Suzuki shares closed at `8,600.60 on Net sales remain flat but costs rise Sensex (Intra-day, Jan 25) 58,500 57,858.15 58,000 57,158.63 57,500 57,000 56,500 56,000 Previous close: 57,491.51 Open Close the BSE,which is their highest levelsinceSeptember2018.Meanwhile, credit rating agency S&PrevisedAxisBank’soutlook to positive from stable and affirms its BB+ long-term rating. Continued on Page 2 India gains as rest of Asia falls Index Close Change (%) IPO-bound LIC posts PAT of `1,437 cr in H1 ● Nifty50 17,277.95 0.75 ● Sensex 57,858.15 0.64 ● Taiwan TAIEX 17,701.12 IPO-BOUND LIC ON Tuesday reported a profit after tax of `1,437 crore for the first half of the financial year 2021-22 compared with `6.14 crore a year ago, reports PTI. ● NIKKEI 225 27,131.34 -1.66 ● Hang Seng 24,243.61 ● Jakarta Comp. 6,568.17 -1.31 -1.60 ● KOSPI 2,720.39 -1.67 -2.56 ● Shanghai Comp. 3,433.06 -2.58 FE BUREAU Mumbai/New Delhi, January 25 LOWER SALES VOLUMES, high commodity prices and lower non-operating income pulled Maruti Suzuki's net profit down 48% to `1,011 crore during the December 2021quarteralthoughthecarmaker beat Bloomberg consensus estimates of `913 crore.While its non-operating income fell 67%year-on-year, purchases of stock-in-trade rose 23% during the quarter. Investors cheered the better-than-expected earnings and the stock surged as much as 6.9% on the BSE onTuesday tocloseat`8,600.60,thehighest levels since September 2018. It was also the best performing stock in the Sensex. Net sales were flat at `22,187crorewithproduction constrained by a global shortage of electronic components. As a result of this,90,000 units could not be produced,though thiswasbetterthaninQ2FY22 when 1.16 lakh vehicles could not be produced. Maruti’soperatingmargins declined 278 basis points y-o- (` crore) Q3FY21 % y-o-y Total revenue Q3FY22 Net sales Ebitda Net profit Chandrasekaran, Nadella and Pichai among Padma Bhushan awardees PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, January 25 y to 6.7%, driving down the earnings before interest, tax, depreciationand amortisation (Ebitda) to 30%. Nonetheless, this is better than the multiyear low of 4.16% in Q2FY22 although lower than the 9.510% of the pre-pandemic times. The company has been ableto take price increases and rein in discounts on the average selling price. N CHANDRASEKARAN, TATA Sons’ chairman, Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India, which manufactured Covid-19 vaccine Covishield, and Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech, which produced India’s indigenous Covid vaccine Covaxin, were given Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award,on Tuesday. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were also conferred Padma Bhushan. Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and India’s first Chief of Defence Staff GeneralBipinRawat,who died in a helicopter crash recently, were awarded Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award, posthumously. Veteran CongressleaderGhulam NabiAzad and former West Bengal CM and CPI(M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee were given Padma Bhushan. Late Punjabi folk singer Gurmeet Bawa,actorVictor Banerjee and former Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi have been awardedPadma Bhushan. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 0.9 0.2 9.49 30 8,700 8,400 8,100 7,800 7,500 47.9 278.3 6.71 Ebitda margin (%) 9,000 1,941 1,011 FE BUREAU Mumbai, January 25 2,226 1,559 PMC Bank merges with Unity SFB REPORT CARD 22,237 22,188 THE IMF HAS cut India's economic growth forecast to 9% for the current fiscal ending March 31, reports PTI. It joins a host of agencies which have downgraded their projections on concerns over the impact of a spread of new Covod variant on business activity and mobility. The agency put the forecast for the next fiscal FY23 at 7.1%. BULL CHARGE 23,458 23,246 IN THE NEWS IMF cuts India's FY22 growth forecast to 9% bps Maruti Suzuki (Intra-day on BSE, `), Jan 25 8,600.60 8,047 Previous close: 8,047.30 Open Close FRESH RESOURCES Darwinbox joins the unicorn club Raises $72 million; third start-up to turn unicorn this year SALMAN SH Bengaluru, January 25 DARWINBOX, AN HR tech platform, on Tuesday raised $72 million in freshfundingat a billion-dollarvaluation making it the third start-up to turn unicorn this year. The round was led by growth equity providerTechnologyCrossover Ventures (TCV),which had earlier backed multi-billions dollar firms, including Netflix, Spotify and Electronic Arts. The round also saw participation from existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India,Lightspeed India,Endiya Partners,3One4Capital,JGDEV andSCB10X.Thecurrentround takesthetotalinvestmentinthe companyto over$110 million. ■ Darwinbox Current round takes total investment in the company to over $110 million has over 650 large enterprises, including Nivea, Starbucks, Dominos, as clientele base It is the 84th unicorn and 12th start-up in India’s SaaS market to reach billion-dollar valuation Darwinbox is currently the 84th unicorn and the 12th start-upintheSaaSmarkettoreach the billion-dollarvaluation. Continued on Page 15 Content Engineers raises $50 million FILM AND DIGITAL studio start-up Content Engineers on Tuesday said it has raised $50million(over`370crore) asaninitialinvestmentfrom technology consulting and angel investing enterprise Veear Projects, reports PTI. The fund will be used to create intellectual properties of creative content, including featurefilms,webseries,documentaries and docudramas,to catertothe theatrical and OTT space,the company said in a statement.
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