Top 10 biz headlines: Covid-19 fears, slow hiring at IT firms, and more

IT services companies is likely to see a decline owing to uncertainties arising out of global spread of coronavirus.
1. From Caterpillar India to JCB India: India's best unlisted companies

The list of India’s best unlisted companies is dominated by Indian subsidiaries of well-known American and European MNCs.

There is, however, some difference in the listed and unlisted space. Top unlisted MNCs are capital good makers operating in the business to business (B2B) segment; top listed MNCs are largely consumer companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Nestle, Colgate Palmolive and Maruti Suzuki, among others. Caterpillar India is the best unlisted company this year.  Read more

2. Near-term revenues may dip for realty sector amid coronavirus spread

The BSE Realty Index has been one of the worst sectoral performers over the past month, shedding more than 35 per cent of its value because of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the sector has been grappling with weak demand, economic disruption is expected to worsen the situation, impacting both residential and commercial segments. Read more

3. Coronavirus fear: Biz disruption will outweigh currency gain, say analysts

As Indian rupee slides to a record low against the US dollar, this is unlikely to cheer the Indian software services providers owing to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Analysts tracking the sector said COVID-19 was not only expected to disrupt the core businesses of IT services firms but would also defer the new deal signings. Read more

4. Explained in numbers: Coronavirus outbreak impact on businesses

Businesses are seeing an adverse impact of Covid-19. A survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) tried to capture this. It shows that 81 per cent of surveyed Ficci members and associations said that their cash flow has decreased, while only minusculethree per cent said it has increased. Read more 

5. Indraprastha Gas looks to expand its physical reach to other cities

Being in a monopoly position in the National Capital Region, Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL), the country’s largest city gas distribution company, has seen a spurt in its business and is now looking at expanding to other cities as well.

During the last financial year, IGL provided 210,000 new PNG connections, taking the total to 1.1 million households. Read more

6.  Hindustan Unilever sets aside Rs 100 crore to fight Covid-19 in India

Hindustan Unilever (HUL), country’s largest consumer goods company, on Friday said it had committed Rs 100 crore to fight the COVID-19 epidemic in India.

It has also taken a host of other measures such as price cuts, free availability of soaps to the needy, a Rs 10-crore donation for better testing facilities, and public awareness programmes. Read more

7. Coronavirus spread: IT services companies likely to go slow on hiring

Hiring of fresh engineering graduates from college campuses by IT services companies is likely to see a decline owing to uncertainties arising out of global spread of coronavirus.

According to experts in human resources (HR), even joining of new graduates is likely to be staggered as companies are expected to onboard staffers after gauging the demand scenario. Read more

8. Japan's Kubota Corp to acquire 10% stake in Escorts for Rs 1,042 crore

Kubota Corp, a Japanese global tractor and machinery manufacturer, will acquire 10 per cent equity stake in Escorts as the two companies aim to achieve global leadership by partnering in product development, manufacturing and sourcing, Escorts said in a notification to the exchanges.

Escorts will issue and allot over 12.2 million equity shares through a preferential issue to Kubota at Rs 850 apiece for Rs 1,042 crore, according to its exchange filing. Read more   

9. Air India to enforce 10% cut in staff allowances, renegotiate contracts

Air India will cut staff allowances by 10 per cent, reduce on board service, renegotiate contracts and explore invocation of force majeure clauses in agreements to battle the demand slowdown due to Covid-19 crisis.

Aviation consultancy CAPA estimates Indian airlines (except Air India) will post $500-600 million loss in first quarter as carriers are cutting salaries and enforcing leave without pay. Read more

10. Covid-19: MCA eases attendance rules for board meetings till June 30

Taking precautionary steps in the light of the Corona pandemic, the government has relaxed the requirement of holding board meetings with physical presence of directors for activities including approval of financial statements and the board’s report.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry has issued a notification to allow companies to hold such board meetings through video conferencing till June 30. Read more

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