1. Oil falls as possible OPEC+ supply boost, COVID-19 spike weigh on sentiment
A technical committee of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied oil producers, a group known as OPEC+, ended a meeting on Thursday expressing concerns about rising oil supply as social restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 limit fuel usage. OPEC+ is set to reduce its current supply cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (BPD) by 2 million BPD in January even as OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo admits fuel demand is looking “anaemic.”
2. The Equitas Small Finance: Equitas Mulls Merger With NBFC To Pare Promoter Stake
Equitas Small Finance has begun exploring the possibility of a merger with a non-bank lender as a follow-up measure to pare promoters’ holding to 40% as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India. The bank’s initial public offer (IPO), which will be open for subscription on October 20, would help it to reduce promoter holding to about 82% from 95%. As per the licensing agreement with RBI, the bank needs to pare it further to 40% by September 2021.
3. IT Companies Save Over 70% in Travel Cost In Sept quarter.
Increased digital adoption and deal win have helped the performance of the IT industry to bounce back in the July-September quarter. What has also benefited the margins of the top-tier IT giants is the reduction of travel expenses of more than 70% year-on-year.
4-India bans import of ACs with refrigerants, frees export of all alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
India on Thursday prohibited the imports of air conditioners-both split and window- with refrigerants. Their imports were free till now.”Import policy of air conditioners with refrigerants…is amended from ‘free’ to ‘prohibited’,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. India imported ACs worth $158.87 million in the April-July period with more than 97% ($154.85 million) coming in from China and Thailand. While India has already restricted the imports of tyres, some televisions and toys through licenses and quality control orders to check unnecessary imports from China, Thursday’s order is a blanket ban on the import of ACs with refrigerants. India’s imports from China were $16.6 billion in the April-July period while exports were $7.27 billion.
5. Indian companies may get a nod to list in 7 countries.
Paving the way for a global listing by the likes of Reliance Jio, LIC and Indian start-ups, the government is set to notify seven countries and the Gujarat International Finance-Tec (GIFT) City where these companies can go public while easing several norms to facilitate the process. the US, the UK and Japan. While the list will be expanded later, Hong Kong is a notable exclusion and comes in the midst of India’s border tension with China. Several companies have opted to list in Hong Kong, which is a financial hub in the region.
6- Gold prices today drop, down ₹5,500 from record highs; silver rates slip.
Gold and silver prices in India struggled for direction amid muted global rates. On MCX, December gold futures were down ₹50,653 per 10 gram while silver futures edged slightly lower to ₹61,512 per kg. Gold and silver prices in India have been volatile this week. In the previous session, gold prices edged up 0.3% while silver rates fell 0.3%. In August gold had hit a record high of ₹56,200 per 10 gram while silver had inched closer to ₹80,000 per kg.
7- PFRDA likely to finalise guaranteed return product under NPS by fiscal end
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) on Thursday said it expects to finalise the assured return product under the National Pension System (NPS) by the end of this fiscal.
NPS is a market linked insurance product and it has been generating returns close to 10 per cent in the last ten years. whatever guaranteed products were there in the insurance sector, they were slowly withdrawn as it was felt that they were not feasible for a long period for the organisations. Even market regulator Sebi does not encourage any guaranteed products.
8- Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra all set to roll out festive season sales; to focus on fashion.
With the festive season around the corner, e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra have announced their much-awaited annual sales. While Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Myntra’s Big Fashion Festival start on October 16, Amazon is expected to reveal the dates for its Great Indian Festival sale soon.
According to the Retailers Association of India, non-essential retail sales plunged 80 percent in May after seeing a 50 percent erosion in March. Myntra is expecting to double sales growth from the previous year as most Indians will be shopping for fashion online during this festive season. Tier 2 and 3 cities and towns will be a key focus area for the platform this time around. While Flipkart and Amazon have not revealed their sales targets for this year, they generated Rs 19,000 crore in festive sales last year.
9- Russia grants regulatory approval to the second Covid-19 vaccine.
Russia has granted regulatory approval to a second Covid-19 vaccine, a delighted President Vladimir Putin announced at a government meeting on Wednesday. Putin congratulated scientists for approving the new jab, which was developed by Siberia’s Vector Institute and completed early-stage human trials last month.
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