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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

July 20, 2021 / 07:42 AM IST
A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers.

A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers.

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

Centre considers divesting ITC stake

The government is considering the disinvestment of its holding in ITC Ltd, says the Economic Times.

Why it's important: The government looks to meet the ambitious disinvestment target for the year.

The move to possibly monetise ITC shares follows a higher expenditure burden in the current financial year on multiple counts including vaccine procurement, the free food grain programme and Covid relief.


The government’s 7.93% stake in the conglomerate is worth ₹20,250 crore.

The government holds the stake in ITC through the Special Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India.

Indian IT to hire over 150,000 freshers in FY22

The IT services sector will hire over 150,000 fresh graduates in this financial year, the Economic Times reports.

Why it's important: According to industry estimates, the $150-billion industry races to meet the burgeoning demand for technology services worldwide.

The country’s top four software exporters — Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Wipro — will hire over 120,000 freshers, primarily in India.

“IT Services companies have exhausted their bench and don’t have enough people to deploy on the new projects as they win large deals,” said Kamal Karanth, co-founder, Xpheno, a staffing solutions firm.

Rising Attrition: IT services firms are not just hiring to meet growing demand but to also plug gaps created by the sharp increase in attrition within these companies, particularly in the last quarter.

BMW bike, cricket in Dubai: hiring perks up for tech talent

As a flood of money chases the next big winners in India’s startup ecosystem, early-stage companies are finding it tough to retain and hire employees as unicorns, flush with cash, are poaching talent with eye-popping salaries, Mint report says.

What it shows: Software engineers including back-end and front-end developers are joining freshly minted Indian unicorns at almost double their existing salaries.

The competition for talent is pushing early-stage startups to raise funds prematurely to compete with their well-funded peers.

Offers rain Fintech firm BharatPe is offering the new joinees an option to choose between a BMW G310R, Jawa Perak, KTM Duke 390, KTM RC 390 and Royal Enfield Himalayan.

This is in addition to the joining salaries that BharatPe will give the new tech hires.

If superbikes are not to one’s liking, BharatPe has an assortment of gadgets to choose from, including Apple iPad Pro (with Pencil), Bose headphone, Harman Kardon speaker and Samsung Galaxy Watch.

The company will also fly the hires to Dubai for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Consumer sales swell as demand crowds unlocked markets

From groceries to smartphones, refrigerators and cars, sales of essential goods and discretionary items in the first two weeks of July rose at the fastest pace in a year, The Economic Times reports.

Why it's important: Concerns over the pandemic eased and most states — including several in the south — unlocked their markets.

Sales of these categories increased 30-40% from the same period of June.

These also expanded 10-20% despite a strong base last year, when pent-up demand after a long lockdown had driven up sales.

Demand remains strong despite price hikes in most products.

OneWeb will source major satcom equipment locally

Bharti Global-backed One-Web has told the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it will go for local sourcing and development of key satellite communications equipment, the Economic Times reports.

Why it's important: It include low-cost user-access terminals and gateway ground station infrastructure, to build a satellite devices-cumcomponents ecosystem in India.

OneWeb said it will support local satcom gear makers and is in talks with several homegrown players for indigenous sourcing.

Co-owned by Bharti Global and the UK government, OneWeb is a low earth orbit satellite communications company readying to take on Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper ventures in the nascent high-speed broadband-from-space segment.

SpaceX also recently signalled plans to partner with Indian companies to locally manufacture satellite communications equipment.

Banks dig deep to verify client claims about covid impact

Top private banks have put the loan accounts of hundreds of borrowers under forensic scrutiny on suspicion they came off the tramlines, reports the Economic Times.

Why it's so: Banks are also conducting due diligence in cases where they have to extend new loans to old customers after the moratorium period ended or to companies that are seeking fresh credit lines.

Banks suspect that these companies may have window-dressed or exaggerated their financial statements, diverted funds or lied about the Covid impact on their operations.

Sebi: Valuation mandatory for all preferential allotments

The Sebi, in arguments presented to the Securities Appellate Tribunal, said that a valuation report is mandatory before a company raises capital via preferred allotment of shares, reports Mint.

Why it's important: This is to ensure all shareholders are treated equally, especially if such a preferential allotment entails an open offer due to change in control and ownership.

An open offer cannot happen without an independent valuation report.

Hence, it is absolutely critical that the pricing of the preferential allotment, too, is based on an independent valuation, it thinks.

Rising e-way bills in July signal GST collections set to increase

Electronic-way bill generation improved sequentially in July, Mint reports.

What it signals: It is signalling a continued recovery in economic activity and a likely improvement in GST collections in August, offering relief to policymakers.

Data issued by the GST Network showed that daily average e-way bills this month as of 18 July was at 1.97 million, an 8.5% rise from the June average.

This is significant as it comes on the higher base of June, which saw a 37% sequential rise in e-way bills at 54.6 million.

The spurt in e-way bill generation in June is a sign of improved consumption during that month and better revenue collections in July.

The same trend seen so far in July implies a further growth in GST receipts in August.

‘Joblessness in urban areas hit 21% in first wave’

Urban joblessness had reached 20.8% in April-June 2020 when India had witnessed a nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic, the Union labour ministry informed Parliament, Mint says.

What it shows: The quarterly unemployment rates in percentage in urban areas for persons of age 15 years and above of “July-September 2019, October-December 2019, January-March 2020, and April-June 2020 were 8.3%, 7.8%, 9.1%, and 20.8% respectively”.

The unemployment rate for persons of 15 years and above in the country “during 2017-18 and 2018-19 was 6.0% and 5.8%, respectively”.

Costs of raw material for drugs rise by up to 140%

A steep rise in the cost of raw materials for essential drugs, called active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in pharma circles, by up to 140% in certain cases since the pre-pandemic level, is pinching the industry hard, the Times of India reports.

Why it's important: It is due to the high-priced imports and supply disruptions from China.

The overall increase, averaging nearly 50%, have raised doubts on the availability of drugs and could lead to shortages, particularly of those that are key in Covid therapy.

API prices of certain drugs like fever and pain relief drug paracetamol and life-saving antibiotic Meropenem (also used for Covid), and anti-diabetic metformin, have more than doubled to as high as 139%, 127% and 124% respectively

It puts the spotlight back on India’s near-total dependence on China.

Nearly 70% of the country’s APIs are imported from China, while the dependence is as high as 90% for certain life-saving antibiotics like cephalosporins, azithromycin and penicillin.

Realty funds rush to raise fresh money as banks baulk

Given the dearth of funds and a growing investor appetite, real estate-focused private equity fund managers are raising fresh money, reports Business Standard.

Why it's important: From Godrej Fund Management to Motilal Oswal to ASK Group, fund managers have launched or raised funds worth ₹ 7,000 crore in the past six months.

Investors were happy with investment level returns of 1921 per cent.

Real estate normally sees a jump 12 months after a rally in stock markets.

Stock markets have rallied now and real estate will rally.

Work on Noida airport and land possession in afew weeks: CEO

Preparatory work on Noida International Airport will begin in a few weeks, its Chief Executive Officer Christoph Schnellmann told Business Standard.

Why it's important:

The airport will handle 12 million passengers a year in the first phase and despite the pandemic, there is no change in its design and schedule.

Schnellmann expects to receive possession of the land and begin construction in the next few weeks.

This would include earthworks, constructing the boundary wall, access for utilities, among others.

While the pandemic has disrupted air travel, Zurich Airport is pinning hopes on a recovery in air traffic in India.

“There is no change in schedule or the design. Covid19 has been disruptive to aviation but the quick recovery of domestic travel gives us confidence,” Schnellmann added.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 20, 2021 07:41 am

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