Top 10 biz headlines: Services PMI surges, economic fixes on cards & more

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1) India’s services PMI hits a year’s high in July on new business orders

Services sector activities in July not only returned to growth territory from contraction in the previous month but expanded to a 12-month high on new business orders, showed the widely-tracked Nikkei purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

PMI rose to 53.8 in July from 49.6 in June. In PMI parlance, a print above 50 means expansion while a score below that denotes contraction. (Read more here)

2) Sector-specific steps to tackle slump on cards, says Nirmala Sitharaman

As the government looks for ways to tackle the economic slowdown, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will meet representatives of various sectors over the coming days, following which the Centre is likely to announce sector-specific measures or interventions.

Following Monday’s meeting with heads of state-owned and private banks, Sitharaman will meet representatives of micro, small and medium enterprises on Tuesday, auto makers and component manufacturers on Wednesday, industry bodies on Thursday, representatives of the markets and investors on Friday, and home buyers and real estate developers on Sunday. (Read more here)

3) Retail investors forfeit Rs 1.33 trillion since Budget; m-cap falls 10%

The post-Budget sell-off on Dalal Street has proved to be expensive for domestic retail investors. The fall in stock prices has shaved off Rs 1.33 trillion from domestic investors’ wealth since the Budget was presented in Parliament on July 5.

This does not include losses suffered indirectly through investment in mutual funds (MFs) and insurance companies. Domestic institutional investors have taken a haircut of Rs 3.33 trillion in their equity holding in the past one month. (Read more here)

4) Govt pushes banks to cut rates in slowdown battle

Banks on Monday were prodded by the government to speed up rate cuts, reported the Times of India on Tuesday. Further, the government sought to include auto and housing loans under the 59-minute scheme to fast-track clearances and to enhance the flow of loans to the two sectors, which are in the grip of a sharp slowdown, said the report.

According to the report, the government has said that banks have “committed to” step up credit support for vehicle purchases, which will help reduce the massive stockpile with dealers and companies. 5) India m-cap slips below $2 trillion after a sharp drop in the rupee

After ceding the tag of the fastest-growing major economy, India has now moved out of the $2-trillion market capitalisation club. The combined market value of all domestically-listed stocks stood at $1.95 trillion on Monday, following a sharp drop in the rupee against the dollar and a slide in the markets. Indian markets have lost nearly $250 billion in market value since the Union Budget.

The increase in tax surcharge, introduction of the buyback tax and a lack of stimulus to boost economic growth have left investors disappointed. (Read more here)

6) Draft guidelines for e-commerce firms talk tough on deep discounting

Jumping into the fray to act against deep discounting by e-commerce firms and regulate the sector, the consumer affairs ministry has brought out a draft of the proposed ‘Model Framework for Guidelines’ on e-commerce for consumer protection.

Just like the guidelines on foreign direct investment (FDI) in e-commerce, as well as some of the recommendations in the much delayed e-commerce policy, ‘level playing field’ is a common theme the Department of Consumer Affairs has also aired in its draft. (Read more here)

7) Bharti Airtel replaces Vodafone Idea in second spot by mobile revenues

Focus on data subscribers and weeding out low revenue customers have helped Bharti Airtel, while its peer Vodafone Idea could not implement the strategy.

However, network and content costs are on the rise for Bharti as it witnesses a steady rise in mobile data customers.

Further, Airtel’s reported mobile revenues for the April-June quarter (Q1) was Rs 10,866 crore. This makes it the number 2 player after Reliance Jio in terms of mobile services revenues, analysts claimed. (Read more here)

8) Amazon has competition: Flipkart to start free video streaming service

Walmart-owned e-commerce company Flipkart is launching a slew of technology-led initiatives to tap the next 200 million consumers online. These include introducing the Hindi version of the Flipkart app and ‘Flipkart Videos’, a curated range of movies, shows and entertainment series. It would also be showcasing specific products to customers based on their needs. These initiatives are expected to help Flipkart in its battle with rival company Amazon and competition from the yet to be launched e-commerce business of Reliance Industries. (Read more here)

9) Rs 9,500-crore DIAL project to increase airport’s capacity goes to L&T

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) will spend more than Rs 9,500 crore to almost double the capacity of the airport in the next three years. Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has won the contract and been entrusted with the entire engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work.

Codenamed Phase 3A, the infrastructure expansion would include the construction of a fourth runway, expansion of T1 apron area, and development of dual elevated Eastern Cross Taxiway, said I Prabhakara Rao, deputy managing director, GMR Group, which holds 54 per cent stake in DIAL. The project also includes expansion of T3. (Read more here)

10) Credit Suisse downgrades RIL to underperform, reduces target price

Credit Suisse has downgraded Reliance Industries (RIL) from neutral to underperform, on the back of higher liabilities and slow enterprise roll-out for the telecom business. The brokerage reduced its target price for the company to Rs 995 per share from Rs 1,350 apiece.

“Our target price cut factors in higher liabilities of $10 billion from crude payables, JioPhone financing and East West Pipeline, multiple cuts and lower earnings for refining, and slow enterprise roll-out and weak Jio ARPU in the first quarter,” analysts with Credit Suisse said in the August 5 dated report. ARPU is average revenue per user. (Read more here)



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