MARKETS, P9 COMPANIES, P4 INCREASED LENDING RBI working to make UPI a cross-border remittance channel GREEN SUV TACKLING CHALLENGES Fintechs raise exposure to gig-economy workers as inflation raises loan demand CUTTING TRANSACTION COSTS ECONOMY, P2 M&M gears up for launch of XUV300’s electric version PM set to unveil 25-year road map for economy NEW DELHI, TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL XLVIII NO. 77, 48 PAGES, `10.00 (PATNA & 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: 55,925.74 ▲ 1,041.08 NIFTY: 16,661.40 ▲ 308.95 NIKKEI 225: 27,369.43 ▲ 587.75 HANG SENG: 21,123.93 ▲ 426.57 `/$: 77.54 ▲ 0.03 `/€: 83.48 ▼ 0.36 BRENT: $120.00 ▲ $0.57 GOLD: `50,990 ▼ `27 IN THE NEWS IMD, Skymet in a spat over onset of monsoon SKYMET ON Monday questioned the IMD’s announcement that the southwest monsoon rains arrived in Kerala on Sunday, three days ahead of the “normal” date, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. “We don't want to react to statements made by any private agencies,” an IMD official said. Do not see govt slapping windfall tax, says ONGC THE GOVERNMENT is not looking to impose any new tax on windfall gains that oil and gas producers earned from shooting energy prices, India’s top producer ONGC said on Monday, reports PTI. ONGC and Oil India reported bumper profits in the March quarter, triggering such talks. China firms under scrutiny: India probes ZTE, Vivo INDIA IS probing the local units of ZTE Corp and Vivo Mobile Communications for alleged financial improprieties, according to documents seen by Bloomberg, extending an investigation into other China-based firms after fining Xiaomi Corp. DIVIDEND AT `1.50/SHARE LIC Q4 net falls 18% to `2,372 cr MITHUN DASGUPTA Kolkata, May 30 LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION (LIC) on Monday reported a standalone net profit of `2,371.55 crore for the three months to March, a fall of 18% year-on-year. The state-owned insurer exited FY22 with profits of `4,043.12crore,anincreaseof 39.4% over FY21. The insurerdeclared a dividend of `1.50 per share. Ahead of the results’ announcement, the LIC stock, which debuted on the exchanges on May 17, closed Monday’s session at `837.05, up 1.89% over Friday’s close. Nonetheless, the scrip trades below its IPO offer price of `949 per share. LIC said in an exchange filing that the net premium income in the fourth quarter has risen by 18.2% to `1.43 trillion.ForFY22,however,the increase in the net premium income was only 6.1% at `4.27 trillion. The insurer’s solvencyratio improved to 1.85 for the March2022quarterfrom1.76 a year ago. However, the 13th month persistency,a keyparameter that measures the renewal of policies, fell to 69.24% at the end of March ■ LIC exited FY22 with profits of `4,043.12 cr, a rise of39.4% over FY21 ■ Net premium income rose by 18.2% to `1.43 trn in fourth quarter Insurer’s solvency ratio improved to Benchmarks surge as Another edtech startup fires staff RIL, IT stocks shine Sensex, Nifty rise 2% amid positive global cues FE BUREAU Mumbai, May 30 EQUITY INDICES EXTENDED their winning streak to a third straight session on Monday, tracking firm cues from global markets. Both Sensex and Nifty surged nearly 2% on Monday, propelled by buying in heavyweight Reliance Industries and IT stocks. Analystssaid thatthebounce-back in the Indian markets was due after its underperformance since April 2022.Since April 1, both Sensex and Nifty have declined about 5% each. After rallying 1,198 points intra-day, the Sensex settled 1,041 points or 1.9% higher at 55,925.74, and the broader Nifty-50 ended higher by 308.95 points or 1.9% at 16,661.40. Amid Monday’s rally, investorwealthreflectedbythe total market capitalisation of 56,300 56,050 Close Open 55,925.74 55,515.70 55,800 SENSEX 55,550 55,050 54,800 TUSHAR GOENKA Bengaluru, May 30 Intra-day, May 30 55,300 Previous close 54,884.66 Top gainers & losers on Sensex Close (`) Gain (%) 4.94 M&M 997.90 4.69 Infosys 1,527.55 4.57 Titan L&T 2,255.25 1,660.70 3.77 all BSE-listed companies surged by `5.33 trillion.In the last three days, it has surged over `10.2 trillion. “While fears of global recessionandfurtherriseinoilprices lurk, investors are currently engaged in buying after the recent free fall.Technically, in thelastthreedays,theNiftyhas rallied nearly 800 points and Close (`) KMB Sun Pharma Loss (%) -2.23 -1.75 888.10 1,902.80 Dr Reddy's 4,369.00 -0.52 ITC FrontRow sacks 30% of its employees citing funds crunch 269.05 -0.04 cleared the 16400 resistance level,which is broadly positive. Fortraders,16500wouldbethe trenddeciderlevel,abovewhich thepositivemomentumislikely to continue till 16750-16800,” Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research (retail) at Kotak Securities,said. Continued on Page 2 COMMUNITY LEARNING PLATFORM FrontRow on Mondaylaidoff150employees of its total workforce of 500, citing a funds crunch. The move saw the company's sales team being hit the hardest. FrontRow is now looking to leverageautomationandfocus more on its profitable channels,it said in a statement. Theedtechstartupbecomes the fourth firm in this space to lay off a significant proportion of its employees this calendar year amid a crunch for fresh rounds of funding. So far, Unacademy has laid off around 1,000 employees, while Lido has shut shop after letting go of around 150 employees. Most recently, Vedantu fired 624 employees, citing a tough macroeconomic backdrop and challenges from 1.85 for March quarter from 1.76 a year ago 2022 from 73.94% a year ago. First-year premiums in Q4FY22 went up by 33.37% y-o-y to `14,614.25 crore while renewal premiums rose by 5.49% y-o-y to `71,157.89 crore. Continued on Page 2 Commodity prices may have peaked, says DEA secretary FE BUREAU New Delhi, May 30 INFLATION IS EXPECTED to moderate in the coming months on the back of fiscal and monetary measures announcedrecently,economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth said on Monday. He expected that the global commodity prices may have peaked. While wholesale price inflation touched an over 30-year high of 15.08% in April, retail inflation scaled an Given the evolving situation, it's difficult to say what will be the likely steps (to curb inflation). Whatever are the current challenges, they are being responded to in a timely manner —AJAY SETH, ECONOMIC AFFAIRS SECRETARY 8-year high of 7.79% and breached the upper band of the RBI’s medium-term target for a fourth straight month. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) flagged risks of a double-digit wholesale price inflation exerting upward pressure on retail inflation, albeit with a time lag. Continued on Page 2 RACE FOR RETAINING TALENT Wage inflation shadow on IT firms’ cost edge TUSHAR GOENKA & SHUBHRATANDON Bengaluru/Mumbai, May 30 IN THEIR QUEST to retain top talent and reduce attrition, domestic IT firms are running the risk of losing their cost advantage with salaries now getting closer to those in the US. Analysts point out the basics of the outsourcing business are margins and if they get squeezed, the business loses its lustre. Theproblemmaygetaccentuated because of the big talent gap that exists in the IT ecosystem and is expected to grow. AccordingtoNasscom'sTech Talent report, the talent demand-supply gap in 2021 was21.1%.Thoughthismaybe the lowest among the top IT locations,thetechbodyhasforecast the gap would widen sharply as there is a divergence betweenthetalentavailableand the skills required. Nasscomhasestimatedthat thedemand-supplygapfordigital talent will increase 3.5X to around 1.4-1.8 million jobs by 2026.Littlewonder,allmajorIT companieshavebeendolingout ■ Top five IT firms are now giving salary hikes of 12-15% Nasscom's Tech Talent report pegged talent demand-supply gap in 2021 at 21.1% ■ Nasscom has estimated that this will increase 3.5X to around 1.4-1.8 million jobs by 2026 ITfirms are extending hefty hikes and revising entry-level salaries & also tweaking promotion policies hefty hikes and revising entrylevel salaries as also tweaking promotion policies. Broadly,thetopfiveITcompanies which were offering hikes in the range of 6-8% to the lower-end performers in select skillsets in the digital space have now hiked this slab to 12-15%, according to head hunting firm Xpheno. from earlier 6-8% to even lower-end performers in select skill sets ■ To protect margins, firms are moving to tier-2, tier-3 cities, where salary levels are lower HCL Technologies, for instance,recentlyrevisedentrylevel salaries to `4.25 lakh per annum, from `3.50 lakh per annum earlierfornewrecruits. Toretaintoptalent,ITmajor Wipro has now decided to review performance on a quarterlybasis ratherthan annual. Continued on Page 2 New Delhi On sacking spree ■ FrontRow is the fourth edtech startup to lay off staff this year ■ Unacademy 1,000 has laid off employees around ■ Lido shut shop after letting go of 150 ■ Vedantu recently fired 624 employees employees offline coaching centresregainingprominence. At FrontRow, an investor aware of the developments at the company told FE: “I am not thinking of exiting my investments in the company. I have been through these cycles where there is a slump in funding.” Continued on Page 2
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