ECONOMY, P3&2 COMPANIES, P4 DROP IN SOWING AREA Kharif crop output to fall after steadily rising for 6 years INTERNATIONAL, P8 GOM REPORT AWAITED OPPORTUNITY BECKONS $430-BN PACKAGE GST Council to decide on online gaming, betting taxation in Sept meet FMCG firms expect festive season to boost sales US climate bill clears Senate hurdle in major win for Biden KOLKATA, TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 2022 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM VOL 31 NO. 238, 22 PAGES, `10.00 (NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN `10.00) P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E READ TO LEAD SENSEX: 58,853.07 ▲ 465.14 NIFTY: 17,525.10 ▲ 127.6 NIKKEI 225: 28,249.24 ▲ 73.37 HANG SENG: 20,045.77 ▼ 156.2 `/$: 79.66 ▼ 0.41 `/€: 81.15 ▼ 0.09 BRENT: $93.94 ▼ $0.98 GOLD: `51,948 ▲ `114 MOVE AIMED AT BOOSTING DOMESTIC PRESENCE India may curb China's role in budget phones Dominance of Chinese phones in sub-`12,000 segment in focus VOCAL FOR LOCAL SANKALP PHARTIYAL August 8 INFLOWS INTO EQUITY mutual fund schemes dipped 43% to `8,898 crore in July as investors chose to book profits amid a rally in benchmark indices, reports Ashley Coutinho in Mumbai. ■ PAGE 9 RBI promoting rupee for global trade, says FM THE RESERVE BANK of India has initiated measures to promote the rupee as a preferred currency for international trade settlement, which will boost exports, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. On July 11, the central bank allowed export and import settlement in the rupees to bolster trade flow. ■ PAGE 2 ■ New Delhi has already subjected Chinese firms, such as Xiaomi and rivals Oppo & Vivo, to close scrutiny of their finances, which has led to tax demands and money laundering allegations fied discussing a sensitive matter. Exclusion from India’s entry-level market would hurt Xiaomi and its peers, which in recent years have increasingly relied on India to drive growth while their home market endures a series of Covid-19 lockdowns that crippled consumption. Continued on Page 2 Binance battle with WazirX escalates MAUSAM JHA New Delhi, August 8 THE BINANCE-WAZIRX FEUD escalated on Monday,with the formerremovingthe off-chain fundtransferchannelbetween the two. Patrick Hillmann, chief communications officer, Binance, said in an official communiqué, that “Binance will cease to support off-chain fundtransfersbetweenWazirX Exchange and Binance via the ‘Login with Binance’ option. Users will still be able to depositandwithdrawbalances via the standard withdrawal and deposit process between Binance and WazirX.” Off-chain transactions are those occurring on a crypto networkwhich move thevalue outside of the blockchain.Due to their zero or low cost, these transactions are becoming popular, especially among largeparticipants.Thesetransactions often do not attract a transaction fee and were popular among the investors on the exchange. As per the Binance statement, moving forward, the company will support Indian regulators in theongoing matters concerning WazirX. Continued on Page 2 SBI chief hopes to mobilise `1 trillion worth of assets through the mobile app this year SHRITAMA BOSE & SHOBHANA SUBRAMANIAN Mumbai, August 8 STATE BANK OF India (SBI) intends to reach the first milestone in its journey to make Yono an app foreveryIndian in March 2023, by onboarding 100 million customers, chairman Dinesh Khara told FE in an interview.The lenderhopes to mobilise `1 trillionworth of assets through the mobile app this year compared with `62,000 crore in FY22. SBI today has 450 million customers while Yono's customer base stands at 52.5 million. “We've given ourselves a year to take Yono to a larger number of customers, having startedinFebruary-March.The ideaistotakeittoapointwhere customers can do payments transactions before they come into the login screen, like it is done on other payment apps like Google Pay,” Khara said. About 65% of the bank's fresh liabilities were sourced throughYono lastyear. SBI is also evaluating a Buy In addition to the `5 trillion worth of working capital and term loans that are unutilised, another `1.2 trillion worth of loans are in the process of being sanctioned —DINESH KHARA CHAIRMAN, SBI Now,Pay Later (BNPL) product offering.“Essentially,it's a loan on the go.It maynot be termed 'BNPL', butwe can always do it,” Khara said.The bank will have to evaluate the potential of BNPL as a product and also work out some technological upgrades,he added. On SBI's new operations support subsidiary, the chairman said itwill help the lender to better sweat its presence in rural India. Khara pointed out that at present, SBI's branches across the hinterland typically have two employees each – an officer and a clerk – who are often engaged in facilitating transactions. The new subsidiary will focus on generating business as also on carrying out functions like opening new accounts and offering doorstep services. “Weareseeingthisasavehicle for support.There may be a hub-and-spoke approach withinaradiusofafewkilometres,”Kharasaid,adding,“Actual business developmentwas not happening much. The rural spaceischangingandwewould like to sweat the opportunities in the rural economy better.” Continued on Page 2 Bharti’s profit down 20% sequentially; Arpu up 2.8% FE BUREAU New Delhi, August 8 THE COUNTRY'S SECOND largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel's net profit declined 20% quarter-onquarter to `1,607 crore (after exceptional gain) during the April-June quarter, missing Street estimates. As per a regulatory filing on Monday, the company's consolidated revenues on a sequential basis was up 4% at `32,805 crore, beating estimates. Bharti's consolidated Ebitda beat estimates at `16,604 crore and was up 4% compared to the preceding quarter, aided by tariff hikes undertaken by the company. Ebitda margin expanded to 50.6% against 49.1% in the preceding quarter. The company's India revenues was also up 3.64% sequentially to `23,319 crore while mobilerevenueswere up 3.42% q-o-q to `18,220 crore. The average revenue per user (Arpu) saw a jump of 2.8% q-o-q to `183 com- ALSO SEE Adani Ports Q1 net profit drops 17% PAGE 4 pared to `178 in the preceding quarter. The company's Arpu continues to be the best in the industry remaining ahead of Reliance Jio's `175.7. The growth in Arpu was on the back of tariff hikes and continued momentum in 4G customer additions. Bharti had increased tariffs on certain postpaid plans across retail and enterprise segments during Q2 FY22 while in November 2021, it had increased prepaid tariffs across all price points by 2025%, including unlimited plans as well as combo vouchers. How they stack up Key Performance Indicators for telcos in Q1FY23 Vodafone Idea Reliance Jio Bharti Airtel Arpu (`) 128 183 175.7 Total data Total voice traffic (m min) traffic (m MB) 4,50,000 12,50,000 10,78,961 Voice usage per customer (min) 620 Continued on Page 2 1,001 Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti 1,104 1,25,61,338 Mutual fund schemes’ inflows dip 43% in July people familiarwith the matter. It coincides with mounting concern about high-volume brands like Realme and Transsion undercutting local manufacturers, they said, asking not to be identi- Smartphones under `12,000 contributed to a third of India’s sales volume for the quarter through June 2022, with Chinese companies accounting for up to 80% of those shipments 2,59,00,000 JAPANESE TECH INVESTOR and conglomerate SoftBank posted a record net loss of $24.5 billion in the quarter ended June 30, as global tech stocks plummeted on the back of soaring inflation and interest rates rising across economies, report Tushar Goenka and Salman S H in Bengaluru. Paytm, backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1, contributed $407 million in losses to the fund. ■ PAGE 22 from India’s entry-level market would hurt Xiaomi and its peers, which in recent years have increasingly relied on India to drive growth 54,25,000 IN THE NEWS Paytm adds $407m loss to SoftBank’s record loss in Q1 INDIA SEEKS TO restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than `12,000 ($150) to kickstart its faltering domestic industry, dealing a blow to brands including Xiaomi. The move is aimed at pushing Chinese giants out of the lower segment of the world’s second-biggest mobile market, according to ■ Exclusion Yono to onboard 100m users by March: Khara Data usage per customer (MB) 14,625 20,800 19,930 AMENDMENT TO ALLOW CONSUMERS CHOOSE POWER SUPPLIER Electricity Bill goes to House panel FE BUREAU New Delhi, August 8 A BILL SEEKING to allow consumerstochoosethesupplierof electricityandfacilitatenetwork sharing among discoms was tabledinParliamentonMonday amiddin.Itwaslaterreferredto the standing committee on energyforwiderconsultations. Several members from the Opposition said the Bill could potentially undermine the states'powers to provide subsidies to consumersegments like farmers andhouseholds. Introducing the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 that wouldamendtheElectricityAct, 2003,powerministerRKSingh sought to allay Oppositions’ apprehensions. “I have consulted with all states, all stakeholders. This is a pro-people, ■ The idea ■ Opposition behind the Bill is to introduce competition and efficiency in power distribution business members said the Bill could potentially undermine the states' powers to provide subsidies I have consulted with all states, all stakeholders. This is a pro-people, pro-farmer Bill. This is a Bill for the good of the power sector — R K SINGH, POWER MINISTER pro-farmer Bill.This is a Bill for thegoodofthepowersector,”he said. TheBill,amongotherthings , seeks to amend section 14 of theActtofacilitateusageofdistribution networks by all licensees under provisions of non-discriminatory open access. Further, it proposes to makeprovisionsforgradedrevisions in tariffs over a year besidesmandatoryfixingof the tariff floors and ceilings by the state regulatorycommissions. AdhirRanjan Chowdhuryof Congress said,“The establishment of a central authority like the proposed National Load Despatch Centre rips away the decision-making power of the states.” The idea behind the Bill istointroducecompetitionand efficiencyinpowerdistribution business and make the whole electricityvalue chainviable. State-run discoms have long been hamstrung by unhealthy practices like high level of subsidies to sections of consumers, delayed release of subsidy amounts by the state governmentsandinadequatetariffhikes. Continued on Page 2 Kolkata
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.