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Top business news of the day: Infosys says working to streamline I-T portal experience; OYO to file for $1.2 billion-IPO next week, and more

The new Income Tax portal’s developer Infosys it is making ‘steady progress’ on resolving the glitches that have dogged the portal since its launch in early June but acknowledged that some users continue to face difficulties that it is seeking to resolve expeditiously.

Separately, India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio added mobile subscribers at a scorching pace in July, and Airtel also spruced up its user tally, even as Vodafone Idea lost 14.3 lakh customers, according to the latest data from regulator TRAI.

In another development, Hospitality firm OYO is planning to raise between $1 billion to 1.2 billion through an initial public offering and is expected to file the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with Sebi next week, sources told PTI.

4:55 P.M.

India, UAE discuss deepening of trade, investment ties

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday held a meeting with visiting UAE minister for foreign trade Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and discussed ways to further boost trade and investment relations between both the countries, PTI reported.

4:47 P.M.

EU plans one mobile charging port for all, in setback for Apple

The European Union aims to have a common charging port for mobile phones, tablets and headphones under a European Commission proposal presented on Thursday in a world first, with the move impacting iPhone maker Apple more than its rivals.

The move has been more than 10 years in the making, with the European Union executive touting environmental benefits and 250 million euros ($293 million) in annual savings for users, Reuters reported.

4:46 P.M.

NBFC Indel Money plans to raise up to ₹150 cr via bonds

Gold loan-focussed non-banking financial company Indel Money on Thursday said it is looking to raise up to ₹150 crore through issuance of secured and unsecured non-convertible debentures (NCDs), PTI reported.

4:45 P.M.

IIFL Finance to raise ₹1,000 crore via bonds

Non-banking financial company IIFL Finance on Thursday said it is planning to raise up to ₹1,000 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of various maturity.

The company will issue NCDs aggregating to ₹100 crore, with a green-shoe option to retain oversubscription up to ₹900 crore, PTI reported.

4:43 P.M.

Health startup Fittr raises $11.5 mn in funding from Dream Capital, others

Health and fitness community platform Fittr on Thursday said it has raised $11.5 million (about ₹84.7 crore) in funding, co-led by Dream Capital and Elysian Park Ventures.

Existing investor Sequoia Capital’s India Surge also participated in the Series A funding round, PTI reported.

4:41 P.M.

Coal India arm NCL joins hands with NTPC to install solar power project in MP

State-owned CIL on Thursday said its subsidiary Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL) has joined hands with power major NTPC to install a 50 MW solar power project in Madhya Pradesh, PTI reported.

This is the first ground mounted solar project of NCL for which project consultant NTPC has invited bids with a pre-bid date set on October 7 and tender opening date on October 22, Coal India (CIL) said in a statement.

4:40 P.M.

Labor shortages hit electronics makers as chip drought persists, causing delays

Nearly four in five electronics manufacturers say that it has become harder to find qualified workers, compounding problems from an ongoing chip shortage and causing delays in shipping products, a trade group representing them said, according to a Reuters report.

4:38 P.M.

Sensex, Nifty reach lifetime highs

Equity benchmark Sensex zoomed 958 points to end at a fresh lifetime high on Thursday, tracking gains in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC twins and ICICI Bank amid a positive trend in global markets.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty soared 276.30 points or 1.57% to its new closing peak of 17,822.95. It touched an intra-day record of 17,843.90, PTI reported.

4:37 P.M.

Rupee rebounds 23 paise to close at 73.64 against U.S. dollar

The rupee rebounded by 23 paise to close at 73.64 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar following a firm trend in domestic equities and losses in the American currency in the overseas market, PTI reported.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened flat at 73.85 against the greenback. During the session, the domestic unit witnessed an intra-day high of 73.61 and finally settled at 73.64.

3:33 P.M.

E-commerce cos to log 23% rise in gross GMV during festive sale this year

E-commerce platforms are expected to potentially clock over $9 billion gross GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) during the festive season this year as against $7.4 billion last year – a growth of 23%, consulting firm RedSeer said, PTI reported.

3:28 P.M.

Jio, Airtel add mobile subscribers in July, VIL loses 14.3 lakh users

India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio added mobile subscribers at a scorching pace in July, and Airtel also spruced up its user tally, even as Vodafone Idea lost 14.3 lakh customers, according to the latest data from regulator TRAI, PTI reported.

Reliance Jio gained 65.1 lakh subscribers in July cementing its market lead, while Bharti Airtel added 19.42 lakh customers during the month.

3:27 P.M.

EU regulator to decide on Pfizer booster at the start of October

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) expects to decide in early October on the possible use of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

3:23 P.M.

Industry should work with govt to implement various reforms: Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called upon the industry to work with the government to implement various reforms with greater vigour to pave the way for sustained economic growth in the coming decade.

Speaking virtually at the ‘Mystic South, Global Linkages Summit – Towards a $1.5 Trillion Economy by 2025’ organised by an industry body, he said India is now at a decisive point in regaining its growth.  “Now is the time for all the stakeholders to join hands and ensure sustained economic momentum”, he asserted, according to a PTI report.



2:58 P.M.

KFin Tech, CAMS launch interoperable investment management platform MFCentral

KFin Technologies and CAMS on Thursday announced the launch of MFCentral, a one-of-its-kind digital solution for enhanced service experience for mutual fund investors.

The platform would make it convenient for investors to transact and avail services while investing in mutual funds (MFs), PTI reported.

2:55 P.M.

Boeing to build military aircraft drones in Australian city

Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing has announced plans to build a new type of drone military aircraft in Australia.

Boeing said Wednesday it has selected Toowoomba city in Queensland state as the final assembly point for its unmanned Loyal Wingman planes. The first test flights were completed earlier this year, AP reported.

2:46 P.M.

White House seeks to address semiconductor chips crisis harming automakers

The White House will discuss ways to overcome a semiconductor chip supply crisis that is cutting auto production around the world in a new round of meetings with major companies on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and White House National Economic Council director will host companies including Detroit’s Big Three automakers General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis as well as Apple, Daimler AG, GlobalFoundries, Micron, Microsoft , Samsung, TSMC and others including Intel Corp Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger.

2:45 P.M.

Patent fees for all educational institutions reduced by 80%

The government said patent fees for all educational institutions have been reduced by 80 per cent, a move aimed at promoting innovation and development of new technologies.

This benefit was earlier available to all recognised educational institutions owned by the government, PTI reported.

2:43 P.M.

CoinDCX launches sign language learning module on cryptocurrency

On the occasion of International Sign Language Day, cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX on Thursday launched a specially designed learning module on blockchain and crypto currency for the hearing-impaired community.

The module, which is in sign language and free for all, is available at the company’s education learning portal – DCX Learn, PTI reported.

2:26 P.M.

Supreme Court panel may look into allegations in Pegasus snooping case

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Thursday indicated the Supreme Court’s intention to form a committee to examine allegations that the government used Israeli-based Pegasus software to spy on citizens.

The revelation came when the Chief Justice informed senior advocate C.U. Singh, who represented one of the petitioners in the Pegasus case, that the court wanted to pass orders in the case this week but could not because some of the members it had shortlisted for the committee were unavailable due to personal reasons.

2:08 P.M.

All Deutsche Bank businesses performing at or ahead of plan

Deutsche Bank’s core businesses are performing in line with or ahead of plan, CFO James von Moltke said on Thursday, putting the German bank on track to achieve its 2022 goal of generating 25 billion euros ($29.3 billion) in revenue.

“We do think that our performance is sustainable,” von Moltke told a financial conference hosted by BofA Securities, Reuters reported.

1:48 P.M.

Infosys says some users continue to face difficulties, working to streamline I-T portal experience

The new Income Tax portal’s developer Infosys it is making ‘steady progress’ on resolving the glitches that have dogged the portal since its launch in early June but acknowledged that some users continue to face difficulties that it is seeking to resolve expeditiously.

In a statement issued eight days after the September 15 deadline set by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for the firm to resolve all the problems plaguing the portal’s ‘current functionalities’, Infosys said there has been a steady increase in usage on the portal in the last few weeks, with ‘taxpayers’ concerns being progressively addressed’.

1:41 P.M.

Google files writ with Delhi HC against CCI after “leak” of confidential report

Google said it has moved the Delhi High Court against the leak of antitrust body CCI’s confidential report pertaining to the investigation against the tech giant, PTI reported.

Google, in a statement, said it aims to prevent any further unlawful disclosures of confidential findings by the investigative arm of Competition Commission of India (CCI). The tech giant noted that it has “not yet received or reviewed this confidential report”.

1:33 P.M.

VW software to alter emissions breaches EU law

Software used by Volkswagen AG to alter pollutant emissions based on the outside temperature and altitude breaches EU law and cannot be justified by its role to protect the engine, an adviser to the EU’s top court said on Thursday.

Judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union typically follow opinions of the advocate general, but are not bound to do so, according to a Reuters report.


1:32 P.M.

JBM Auto gets orders for 500 CNG, electric buses from various states

JBM Auto on Thursday said it has received orders for supply of 500 Compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric buses from various state governments.

The Gurgaon-based company said it has received orders for BSVI CNG buses from Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited (DIMTS), PTI reported.

1:28 P.M.

Volkswagen building new battery system factory in China’s Hefei city

Volkswagen AG said on Thursday it is building a new battery system factory in eastern China’s Hefei city which will start production in 2023, Reuters reported.

The German automaker said it would invest more than 140 million euros ($164 million) in the battery plant by 2025.

Indian shares advanced more than 1% today to hover near record highs, boosted by metal and banking stocks, as investors took a slightly hawkish tilt by the U.S. Federal Reserve in their stride.

Meanwhile, broader Asian stock markets advanced, supported by positive news from debt-laden China Evergrande Group, though default risks still remained for the property giant.

In commodities, copper prices fell as the dollar strengthened after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would begin tapering its stimulus programme, while oil prices extended gains, riding higher on growing fuel demand and a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude inventories.

Separately, OYO is planning to raise between $1 billion to 1.2 billion through an initial public offering and is expected to file the draft red herring prospectus with Sebi next week.

12:28 P.M.

AstraZeneca invests in Imperial’s self-amplifying RNA technology with eye on future drugs

AstraZeneca Plc today struck a deal with the firm behind Imperial College London’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine to develop and sell drugs based on its self-amplifying RNA technology platform in other disease areas, Reuters reported.

Under the deal, VaxEquity, a startup founded by Imperial vaccinologist Robin Shattock, could receive up to $195 million if certain milestones are met, in addition to royalties on approved drugs and equity investment from AstraZeneca and life sciences investor Morningside Ventures, the report noted.

12:18 P.M.

Petrol prices not coming down as States do not want to bring fuel under GST: Hardeep Singh Puri

Petrol prices in the country are not coming down as the States do not want to bring fuel under the ambit of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

In an interview to PTI in Kolkata, Mr. Puri said petrol prices crossed the ₹100-mark in West Bengal as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government is levying heavy taxes.

11:50 A.M.

Oil prices rise on tight supply, renewed risk appetite

Oil prices extended gains today, riding higher on growing fuel demand and a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude inventories as production remains hampered in the Gulf of Mexico after two hurricanes, Reuters reported.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4%, to $72.48 a barrel, while Brent crude rose 0.3%, to $76.45 a barrel.

11:28 A.M.

Fitch cuts China 2021 GDP forecast to 8.1% on property slowdown

Fitch Ratings on Thursday cut its 2021 economic growth forecast for China to 8.1% from 8.4%, citing the impact of the slowdown in the country’s property sector on domestic demand, Reuters reported.

11:11 A.M.

Copper falls as dollar firms on Fed taper signals

Copper prices fell today as the dollar strengthened after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would begin tapering its stimulus programme as soon as November, according to a Reuters report.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.5% to $9,242.50 a tonne, while the most-traded October contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.1% to 68,710 yuan ($10,633.26) a tonne, tracking overnight gains in London, the report noted.

10:58 A.M.

Supply chain snarls could cost automakers $210 billion this year, forecast finds

Global automakers could lose $210 billion in revenue this year because of supply chain disruptions, nearly double a forecast earlier this year, consulting firm Alixpartners said Thursday.

A shortage of semiconductors is just part of the problem, Alixpartners said in a new forecast. High prices and tight supplies of commodities such as steel and plastic resin are driving up costs and forcing automakers to curtail production, according to a Reuters report.

Automakers are on track to lose production of 7.7 million vehicles in 2021, according to the new forecast. Alixpartners advises automakers on supply chain and other issues.



10:43 A.M.

Rupee advances 10 paise against U.S. dollar in early trade

The Indian rupee appreciated 10 paise to 73.77 against the U.S. dollar in opening trade today, tracking weakness of the American currency in the overseas market and a firm trend in domestic equities, PTI reported.

At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 73.85 against the dollar, then edged higher to 73.77, up 10 paise over its previous close.

10:33 A.M.

HSBC CEO sees market impact from Evergrande debt woes

HSBC Holdings PLC expects the debt problems involving embattled property developer China Evergrande Group to have an impact on capital markets but does not see any direct impact on the bank, according to a Reuters report.

Evergrande’s situation was “concerning and there is a potential for second and third-order impact, particularly on the capital markets and the bond markets. And we’ve got to stay close to that,” HSBC Group CEO Noel Quinn said.

10:17 A.M.

OYO to file for up to $1.2 billion-IPO next week

Hospitality firm OYO is planning to raise between $1 billion to 1.2 billion through an initial public offering and is expected to file the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with Sebi next week, PTI reported, citing sources.

OYO has appointed investment banks like JPMorgan, Citi and Kotak Mahindra Capital to manage its public issue, they added.

Last week, shareholders of Oravel Stays, the parent company of hospitality firm OYO, had approved the conversion of the company from a private limited company to a public limited company, according to a regulatory filing.

9:58 A.M.

EV import duty cut may spur domestic demand

Reducing import duty on electric vehicles (EVs) will help boost domestic demand by enabling automobile manufacturers to bring in more models, thus paving the way for local manufacturing, said Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India.

“The local manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) can start only once we have a certain threshold volume is reached,” he said, adding, “Till that time, we will be importing the car.”

9:46 A.M.

FDI more than doubles to $20.42 billion

Foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country more than doubled to $20.42 billion during the April-July period of the current fiscal, the commerce and industry ministry said.

Total FDI inflow rose to $27.37 billion during the first four months of 2021-22. In the year-earlier period, this was at $16.92 billion.

9:32 A.M.

Fed signals bond-buying taper coming ‘soon,’ rate hike shifts to 2022

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday cleared the way to reduce its monthly bond purchases “soon” and signalled interest rate increases may follow more quickly than expected, with nine of 18 U.S. central bank policymakers projecting borrowing costs will need to rise in 2022, Reuters reported.

The actions, which were included in the Fed’s latest policy statement and separate economic projections, represent a hawkish tilt by a central bank that sees inflation running this year at 4.2%, more than double its target rate, and is positioning itself to act against it, the report noted.


9:17 A.M.

Indian benchmark indices open higher on positive global cues

Indian indices opened higher today on positive global cues. Sensex opened at 59,358.18, up 430.85 points, while Nifty opened at 17,670.85, up 124.20 points.

On Wednesday, the 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 77.94 points or 0.13% to close at 58,927.33, while the broader NSE Nifty declined 15.35 points or 0.09% to 17,546.65.

9:12 A.M.

Asian shares gain but Evergrande jitters keep investors on edge

Asian shares moved higher today, supported by some positive news from struggling developer China Evergrande Group, a Reuters report noted.

However, investors remained on edge about Evergrande’s future, with a major test to come later today when $83.5 million in dollar-bond interest payments are due.

The Hong Kong benchmark rose 1.6%, boosting MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which gained 0.64%. Elsewhere, Chinese blue chips gained 0.74%, Australia’s benchmark rose 1.04%, and Korea’s Kospi fell 0.6%.

9:00 A.M.

Wall Street ends higher as Fed signals bond-buying taper soon

The three major U.S. stock indexes rose 1% on Wednesday as investors mostly took in stride the latest signals from the Federal Reserve, including clearing the way for the central bank to reduce its monthly bond purchases soon, Reuters reported.

The S&P 500 registered its biggest daily percentage gain since July 23.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 338.48 points, or 1%, to 34,258.32, the S&P 500 gained 41.45 points, or 0.95%, to 4,395.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 150.45 points, or 1.02%, to 14,896.85.

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