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Morning Scan: All the big stories to get you started for the day

A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers

June 30, 2021 / 07:46 AM IST

Below is a shortlist of all the important articles from newspapers.

New IT rules make sense, curb abuse, says FB India chief

American internet giant Facebook has thrown its weight behind India’s new IT Rules, reports The Times of India quoting India MD Ajit Mohan.

Why it is important: The positive signal comes at a time when compatriot Twitter is engaged in a high-pitched battle with the Indian government over adherence to new guidelines.

His views mirror the statement made by IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

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What he says: He said they “make sense” while empowering users and limiting their abuse on social media.

“The (Indian) government wants to limit the misuse and abuse of social media platforms by bad actors, and that is an agenda that we are entirely aligned with.”

“The agenda of safety and security online is an important agenda for us, especially in a country where we have 700 million people online. I think it makes sense to have a framework for accountability and for having rules around harmful content.”

RBI sets July 30 deadline for banks to move current accounts

The RBI has set a deadline of July 30 for banks to give up current accounts of all companies where their exposure is below a cut-off decided by the regulator, The Economic Times reports.

Why it is important: The move could lower a bank’s fund cost and cash management business.

According to the new rule, a bank with less than 10% of the total approved facilities to a company is barred from having the client’s current account.

The regulation stems from the belief that errant corporate borrowers will find it tougher to divert funds if their current and collection accounts lie with lending banks.

June car dispatches in the fast lane

Indian carmakers are expected to have dispatched up to 245,000 units to retail outlets in June, the second-highest for this month, The Economic Times reports.

Why it is important: With sustained plant operations through the lockdown and phased easing of mobility curbs prompting firms to build dealership inventory and help meet pent-up demand.

Factory dispatches in June this year are more than double that for the same month last year.

Lost volumes in April and May are being recovered in June.

Eyeing demand revival, carmakers have been sending vehicles to retail outlets through the lockdown months.

Pent-up demand for personal mobility, multiple product launches, and a thriving rural economy are expected to underpin car sales at a time consumers are generally sceptical of public transport.

Sebi allows cross margins on commodity futures trades

The Sebi has permitted exchanges to offer cross-margining benefits to clients arbitraging between commodity index futures and their underliers, The Economic Times reports.

Why it is important: This could slash margins to trade to just a fourth of that presently chargeable.

The Sebi initiative could boost volumes of the commodity derivatives segment.

Eateries chase direct orders bypassing food aggregators

The ‘Order Direct’ campaign, launched by restaurants to resist steep commissions charged by food aggregators, is gaining momentum, says The Economic Times.

Why it is significant: The reasons go beyond costs as the industry wakes up to the possibilities of consumer data.

Restaurants say identifying information of customers is helping them customise offerings and drive higher sales from repeat customers.

The Order Direct campaign urged restaurants to skip aggregators and opt for channels that take them to customers directly.

Fabindia lines up IPO seeks $2 billion valuation

Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd plans to go public as early as the end of this year, with the retailer of ethnic wear to furniture aiming to raise about ₹3,000 crore, Mint reports.

What the plans are: Fabindia is in the process of hiring bankers for the IPO that is expected to value the company at $1.5-2 billion.

The share sale is aimed more at giving exits to investors, including private equity firm PremjiInvest, than raising funds for the company.

The IPO will likely see the full exit of PremjiInvest, which owns nearly 25% of the company.

PE firm Lighthouse Funds is the other significant investor in the company.

India will continue to be at the top of our investment list: CEO of Naspers and Prosus

In an interview with Mint, Bob van Dijk, Group CEO at Naspers and Prosus, spoke about the global investment firm’s continued interest in India, stepping out of its comfort zone to back new businesses and the mushrooming of unicorns.

What he says: In terms of investment destinations, I am convinced that the most deals we have done in any country in the last two years have been in India.

So, India is at the top of our investment list, has been, and will continue to be.

There is a lot of investor interest in India and for the right reasons and that’s why we have been interested for a decade. The market deserves it.

Axis Bank chooses Amazon Web Services to transform digital experience

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing arm of Amazon.com, said it has signed a multi-year digital transformation agreement with Axis Bank Ltd, India’s third-largest private sector bank, Mint reports.

Why it is important: As part of the agreement, Axis Bank will use AWS to build new digital financial services for better banking experiences.

Through this tie-up, the bank intends to facilitate the opening of online accounts in less than six minutes and instant digital payments and hopes to increase customer satisfaction by 35% and reduce costs by 24%.

In the next 24 months, it plans to migrate 70% of its on-premises data centre infrastructure to the cloud to further reduce cost, improve agility and customer experience.

Axis Bank has selected AWS to meet the growing demand for its digital banking services by over 200 million customers.

Mamaearth in talks to acquire smaller firms to boost portfolio

Personal care brand Mamaearth is looking to acquire smaller firms to create a portfolio with differentiated offerings, Mint said.

What the plans are: Mamaearth caters to around 5 million customers.

It is in talks with ayurvedic brands, including Just Herbs and Maharishi Ayurveda.

The cashed-up personal care brand is in the market to raise $100-150 million from bulge bracket private equity firms to fund the acquisitions.

In March, Mamaearth was in advanced talks with strategic and institutional investors to raise a Series C round.

Manipal working on mega app for hospitals

In an interview with Business Standard, MD and CEO of Manipal Hospitals Dilip Jose says the company is looking for more acquisitions in the east and the integration of Columbia Asia business will be over by September.

What he says: We are looking for targets in West Bengal and Odisha.

Functional integration of Columbia Asia is nearly complete and we would now turn our attention to the remaining areas, including that of brand transition.

Home care and digital consultations are growing.

Omnichannel capability would be important for healthcare companies.

Given the restrictions in international travel, the number of patients coming to India for treatment has fallen steeply.

Ecommerce drives demand for warehousing in H1

Even as leasing of office and retail properties was hit in the first half of the calendar year, leasing of warehousing spaces is on an upswing, reports Business Standard.

Why it is important: The reason for this is the growing demand from ecommerce, pharmaceuticals, and third-party logistics firms during the pandemic.

Among other factors, the retail industry has seen a major realignment during the pandemic, with ecommerce becoming the preferred means of shopping.

The growth is happening at Embassy Industrial Parks, Stellar Supply Chain Solutions, and TVS Industrial & Logistics Parks, among others, have seen a growth of anything between 30 per cent and 100 per cent in H1CY21.

‘This year will be challenging from supply perspective’

Sarbvir Singh, CEO of PolicyBazaar.com, spoke to Business Standard on the current trends in the insurance industry and how the company´s business model will change now that it has got a broker´s licence.

What he says: We saw a lot of demand from consumers on the health and term insurance side.

On the health side: We were largely able to satisfy the demand because most of the issuance is based on telemedical or on the basis of no medicals.

On the term side: Supply was a constraint because people did not want to go out for medicals.

Also, because of Covid, the reinsurers and insurers were very strict and they were asking for physical medicals.

The demand is not the challenge, the supply is.

Our objective now will be to build an integrated offering, where we will continue to focus on our online business but will also support our customers offline.

Urban poor remain a worry for FMCGs; unlock brings hope

As the second wave of the pandemic ebbs and the daily caseload falls, the struggles of the urban poor have come into focus, says Business Standard.

Why it is important: Many have suffered income and job losses after two successive waves.

The second wave, in particular, has seen the poor being hit hard on account of lack of medical and financial help.

For the FMCG companies, it has meant that an important segment is under severe distress.

To put things in perspective: Urban areas contribute 60-65 per cent to an FMCG firms’ total sales.

The rest 35-40 per cent comes from rural areas, according to market research agency NielsenIQ.

Which is why the lack of policy measures for the urban poor hit by the pandemic has been concerning for companies.



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