● The arrival of a prospective Pfizer and BioNtech vaccine might affect the dollar rates
negatively. The Dollar being the safe haven for many investors and savers in times of stress
will sink down by 3-6 percent as an economic rebound tends to occur. This is because, with
the introduction of the vaccine, there will be greater confidence in the global economy
encouraging investors to select riskier bets to make money.
● Vodafone Idea (Vi) has acquired 3,760 Crore from the sale of the 11.15% stake in Indus
towers. The company plans to invest this sum to the entity created after the merger
between the tower firm and Bharti Infratel. The merged entity, Indus towers Ltd, will be one
of the world’s greatest telecom tower corporations and will be headed by Bimal Dayal
as the MD and CEO.
● The US plans to implement a digital tax on the usage of Internet websites like Google,
Facebook etc. for Italy, Austria, and India by next year. It also plans on introducing this tariff
for other countries like Brazil, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and the
European Union bloc. Without an OECD deal, countries are pressing forward with
implementing their own versions of the taxes, which could result in a world-wide retaliatory
tax and tariff war between the U.S. and countries that want a share of the taxes from
American tech giants’ revenue.
● Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) investors are planning to approach the Reserve bank of India to
oppose its decision to amalgamate LVB and DBIL (DBS India Ltd) as the former is
experiencing a crisis. The investors have requested the RBI to consider other options for the
resolution of the stressed lender, including a bidding process from prospective suitors. In
addition, this amalgamation is also opposed by the Public sector banks’ officer union AIBOC,
saying it is not in the national interest and demanded consolidation with any PSB.
● ICICI Bank has introduced a new fully digital mode of payment called “Cardless EMI”. This
allows its pre-approved customers to buy gadgets and home appliances by using their
mobile phone and PAN rather than their wallet or cards. The bank has tied up with Pine labs
in order to provide this service to pan-India outlets of retailers like Croma, Reliance Digital,
My Jio Stores, and Sangeetha Mobiles. Customers can purchase electronics from brands like
Carrier, Daikin, Dell, Godrej, Haier, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Oppo,
Panasonic, Toshiba, Vivo, Whirlpool, and MI.
● The sale of new homes in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra has risen almost 1.1-1.3
times compared to January this year. A possible reason for this spurt could be the reduction on
stamp duty, from 5 to 2 percent up to December 2020, and to 3 percent from January to
March 2021, by the government. This has been a major contributor to increased