Top 10 biz headlines: Deposit insurance, dip in inequality gap, and more

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Bank deposit insurance in the country may be split into two categories, with retail cover being raised to Rs 5 lakh, from the current level of Rs 1 lakh
Deposit insurance may be raised to Rs 5 lakh; new wholesale plan in offing
Bank deposit insurance in the country may be split into two categories, with retail cover being raised to Rs 5 lakh, from the current level of Rs 1 lakh; and a new scheme being introduced for wholesale depositors at Rs 25 lakh. When given effect, it will be the first upward revision in deposit insurance after 1993. Read more.

NSO's junked consumer expenditure survey shows inequality gap declining
Top income earners cut down sharply on their expenditure, dragging consumer spending down for the first time in India in over four decades, leading to a decrease in income inequality. A class-wise analysis of the National Statistical Office’s (NSO’s) consumer expenditure survey showed the gap between the rich and the poor coming down in the six-year period till 2017-18. Read more.

India Inc Q2 profit at 15-yr low on record telco losses, net sales dip 0.8%
India’s listed companies, excluding financials and oil and gas, reported a combined net loss for the first time in at least 15 years, while their net sales contracted for the first time in four years in the July-September quarter (second quarter, or Q2). While the bottom line slipped into the red due to record losses posted by mobile operators during the quarter, the decline in sales is attributed to demand contraction in the domestic economy. Read more.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea put the brakes on costs in September quarter
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea saw some improvement in the September quarter, led by a fall in operating and capital expenditures. Airtel reported a steep 51 per cent dip in consolidated capex over the year-ago quarter. Even on a sequential basis, capex was down by a quarter. The sharp reduction in capex and an increase in operating profit led to a 49 per cent jump in operating free cash flows on a sequential basis. Read more.

Airtel withdraws bid for RCom assets sale, cites 'unfair' conduct by CoC
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has withdrawn its bid to purchase assets of Reliance Communications (RCom) after terming the move of committee of creditors to extend the bid submission deadline on the request of Reliance Jio as "extremely unfair" and "biased". Read more.

FMCG, retail stand poles apart in Q3 amid ongoing economic slowdown
Companies selling everyday household items and discretionary products have differing points of view on performance of their categories in the October-December (Q3) period. While the outlook remains bleak for staples or fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) owing to unseasonal rains and slowdown in rural areas, consumer discretionary companies like multiplex players, food service operators, and fashion retailers remain confident. Read more.

In a weak market, homecoming costs Lakshmi Mittal Rs 49,670 crore
When ArcelorMittal in October last year revised its bid for debt-laden Essar Steel to Rs 42,000 crore, steel prices in the domestic market were peaking with the benchmark hot-rolled coil price hovering close to Rs 46,000 a tonne. Read more.

Backed by technology, banks beat economic slowdown by hiring more
Though economic growth has slowed, banks have not reduced hiring. Backed by technology they are expanding the branch network — and adding more to the workforce. Rajkamal Vempati, head of human resources (HR) at Axis Bank, told Business Standard: “We have hired six times more of employees this financial year (FY) as compared to last year. Going forward, we are expanding our branch network; therefore, we will need more people at different levels, with specific skill sets. We are investing in workforce backed with technology.” Read more.

Centre explores new law to shield global investors
In a move to reassure foreign investors who are riled up by Andhra Pradesh’s plan to annul some clean energy agreements, the Centre is exploring a law to protect investments affected by state governments’ decisions to scrap contracts, reports LiveMint.

SBI, govt plan priority status for real estate AIF
The proposed alternative investment fund (AIF) for reviving stalled real estate projects will have the first charge on assets and cash flow of entities receiving funding, according to a legal framewrok that the State Bank of India (SBI) and the ministry of finance are exploring, reports The Economic Times.

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