Top headlines: 11 dead in Vizag gas leak; Uber to layoff 17% workforce

Topics Coronavirus | Gas leakage | Lockdown

Vapour billows out from LG Polymers industry after a major chemical gas leak, in RR Venkatapuram village, Visakhapatnam. Photo: PTI
Vizag gas leak: 11 dead, hundreds sick after leakage at LG Polymers plant
An accidental leakage of styrene gas early this morning at Korean company LG Polymers’ Visakhapatnam plant left at least 11 persons, including a child, dead. Another 1,000 people were reported sick at the time of filing of this report. People woke up in horror with breathlessness and a burning sensation in their eyes as the emission spread to the adjoining villages at around 3.30 am. Some fell unconscious while fleeing, according to eyewitness accounts. Read More

SBI cuts lending rate by 15 bps, launches scheme for senior citizens
State Bank of India on Thursday slashed benchmark lending rate by 0.15 basis points, and introduced special deposit scheme for senior citizens with higher interest rate. To safeguard the interests of senior citizens in the current falling rate regime, the bank has introduced a new product 'SBI Wecare Deposit' for them in the retail term deposit segment, SBI said in a statement. Read More

Uber to lay off 3,700 employees, 17% of workforce; CEO to forgo base salary
Uber Technologies Inc will cut about 3,700 full-time jobs and Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi will forgo his base salary for the remainder of the year, the company said on Wednesday, as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates ride-hailing businesses. Uber and rival Lyft Inc have been under investor pressure to show profits but the coronavirus-led lockdowns have forced them to cut costs and withdraw their full-year financial outlooks as demand for app-based rides have dropped sharply across the world. Read More

Franklin chief says tightening of unlisted debt added to pressure
The top management of US-based Franklin Resources has cited tightening of norms around unlisted debt by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), as one of the factors that added to the pressure on debt schemes of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund (MF), culminating in the fund house winding up six of its schemes. “...six funds that were invested with a lot of this kind of private debt. And in October 2019, unfortunately, Sebi came out with new guidelines saying that any investments in unlisted instruments in funds could neither be… you can’t have more than 10 per cent in a fund, and you can’t trade them. So that orphaned about 1/3 of our fund there,” said Jennifer Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Franklin Resources. Read More

HCL Tech Q4 net up 22.8% yoy at Rs 3,154 crore; announces dividend of Rs 2
Shares of HCL Technologies were up 4 per cent to Rs 542 on the BSE on Thursday after the company reported a 3.8 per cent quarter on quarter (q-o-q) growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 3,154 crore for the quarter ended March 2020 (Q4FY20). On a year-on-year (yoy) basis, the net profit surged 22.8 per cent. Revenue for the quarter under review was up 2.5 per cent at Rs 18,590 crore on sequential basis. In constant currency terms, revenue grew 0.8 per cent on q-o-q basis. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) stood at Rs 3,881 crore, up 5.8 per cent over the previous year quarter, while EBIT margin came in at 20.9 per cent for the quarter. Read More

April employment data to show a record-shattering job losses in US: Report
The economic catastrophe caused by the viral outbreak likely sent the US unemployment rate in April to its highest level since the Great Depression and caused a record-shattering loss of jobs. With the economy paralyzed by business closures, the unemployment rate likely jumped to at least 16 per cent from just 4.4 per cent in March and employers cut a stunning 21 million or more jobs in April, economists have forecast, according to data provider FactSet. Read More

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