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Top headlines: India Inc m-cap shrinks, internet speed may slow, and more

From supply of essentials hit due to Covid-19 to Centre to hike excise duty on petrol and diesel, Business Standard brings to you top headlines of the day

BS Web Team 

orkers spray disinfectant in a residential area to contain the spread of coronavirus. PTI

Stock market rout: India Inc's overall m-cap declines by Rs 14.2 trillion

The coveted club of companies with market capitalisation in excess of Rs 1 trillion has shrunk drastically in the last one month. After Monday’s sharp 13 per cent drop in the benchmark indices, there are only 18 listed firms in that club. On February 20 — just before the coronavirus-induced sell-off began —there were 30 companies with an m-cap of at least Rs 1 trillion. Several blue chips such as Axis Bank, Wipro, ONGC, Bajaj Finserv, and Titan have fallen off the list following unprecedented declines in their stocks. If the market continues to fall, the list could shrink further, with firms such as Larsen and Toubro (L&T) hanging on to Rs 1 trillion in m-cap with the skin of their teeth. Read More...

Covid-19: Supply of essentials hit due to worker shortage, transport issues

Processors and importers are finding it hard to keep up the supply of essential commodities with most markets, such as vegetables, edible oil, grain and pulses being disrupted either because they don’t have workers, or transport facilities are not smooth. If such a situation continues for long, scarcity could be major problem, says markets leaders. Read More...

RBI advances OMO date, announces repo of Rs 1 trn in two tranches

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be holding repo operations of Rs 1 trillion in two tranches to meet frictional liquidity needs, the central bank said on Monday even as it advanced a secondary bond buying plan scheduled next week. Read More...

Internet speed may slow down on high traffic owing to lockdown

Brace for not being able to watch movies in high definition or for slower speed while downloading or streaming your favourite over the top (OTT) platforms. At least for a while. And blame it on Three OTT players have responded positively to the request by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) to reduce bandwidth. The request was made to lessen the pressure on telecom networks that are overloaded with extra traffic generated by the lockdown from the Read More...

No salary deduction for contractual staff during Covid-19 lockdown: Centre

The Central government issued an order on Monday saying that the salaries of the contract workers associated with its offices will not be deducted if they were compelled to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. As a measure of social distancing and to contain the spread of the virus, many state governments have announced a lockdown in India. In the government offices, only officials who are required for delivering ‘essential services’ are reporting to work, according to a recent directive by the central government. Hence, most of the contractual staff has been asked not to come to office for work. Read More...

Centre to hike excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 8 per litre each

With an aim to widen the tax net and plug evasion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday took authorisation to hike excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 8 per litre, besides imposing a digital tax on foreign e-commerce players. The digital tax at the rate of 2 per cent may particularly come as a setback to Chinese e-commerce players like AliExpress, Shein, and Club Factory selling in India. Read More...

Corporate bond yields spike as coronavirus-induced fears grip investors

The corporate bond yields have shot up, widening the spread between them and government bonds, as investors shun the companies fearing defaults due to coronavirus-induced slowdown. “Locally bond markets had already become very discerning due to the NBFC crisis. So the main issuance was dominated by public sector units (PSUs) or stronger credits. Rolling over and refinancing will certainly become more difficult, especially as credit spreads have widened,” said Gaurav Kapur, chief economist of IndusInd Bank. Read More...

Loans to MSMEs, India lockdown to make Axis Bank's bad loans worse

ven when Axis Bank posted a few quarters of losses in the past years, its stock price didn’t come crashing as it did on Monday. As early as March, there was optimism that things would turn around. But, as the country embraces lockdown to fight COVID-19, it sent the Axis Bank stock down to levels last seen in 2014. Monday’s 28 per cent price fall is the sharpest ever seen by the stock; it is also the biggest among S&P BSE Bankex components. Read More...

Grounding domestic flights will stop carriers haemorrhage

The government’s decision on Monday to suspend all domestic airline operations from Tuesday midnight is a blessing for the airline industry, which was struggling with low passenger yields and losses. “Airlines were losing money and the situation was so grim that some airlines would have anyway grounded operations this week,” said an executive, who did not want to be identified. Soon after the announcement of the shutdown, some routes to smaller towns like Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Gorakhpur registered a huge spike in fares as people rushed to fly out of the last flights available. However to other cities, like Delhi-Mumbai, did not see any increase in average fares, reported Economic Times.

Coronavirus: Lockdown pushes fast-moving consumer goods into the slow lane

Even as demand for fast-moving consumer goods has continued to surge in India, makers and distributors of essential goods have said that strict lockdowns in several states over the past two days has caused a disruption in the supply and movement of goods, reported Livemint.

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 07:46 IST