Top headlines: Apple plans more production in India, PSB stake sale & more

The move will help the company shift production from China, where around 95 per cent of its mobiles are currently manufactured, say analysts.
Apple plans to move 10% of its global manufacturing to India in 5 years

Apple Inc. is expected to manufacture mobile phones in India, with an incremental production value of a $29 billion in the next five years, mostly for the export market. This is based on eligibility under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, which closed on July 31. The move will help the company shift production from China, where around 95 per cent of its mobiles are currently manufactured, say analysts. They point out that India could constitute around 10 per cent of Apple’s global production at the end of five years because, if things go well, the production value could hit much higher. Read More...

Cut stake in top public sector banks to 51% in 12-18 months: RBI to govt

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested bringing down the government’s stake in six leading public sector banks (PSBs) to 51 per cent over the next 12 to 18 months. This, the regulator feels, will give a much-needed push to the government’s disinvestment efforts. State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, and Bank of India have been shortlisted for this. “The government has taken the suggestion positively,” said a person in the know. Read More...

Videocon staring at liquidation as Covid-19 pandemic deters buyers

Once India’s biggest electronics maker, Videocon Industries (VIL) is now staring at liquidation, as bidders worry about the company’s prospects and look to conserve cash in times of Covid. The company was admitted for debt resolution in June 2018 under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) after it started defaulting on its Rs 40,000-crore debt. According to a source close to the development, bankers considered sending the company into liquidation at a meeting on July 29. Read More...

India's new norms for int'l flyers: No quarantine if Covid-19 negative

International passengers arriving in the country can now seek an exemption from institutional quarantine by submitting a negative Covid-19 test result. The RT-PCR test would need to be taken 96 hours before the flight and result will have to be uploaded on Delhi airport website, the Union health ministry said in its new guidelines. The guidelines will come into effect from August 8. All passengers arriving in India are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days – first seven days paid institutional quarantine, followed by as many days of home isolation with self-monitoring of health as per existing guidelines. Read More... 

US hikes fees for non-immigrant visas; move to impact Indian IT firms

The US Department of Homeland Security, on Friday, approved a hike in fees for non-immigrant visas with effect from October this year. According to the document accessed from the US government's Federal Register, the DHS has adjusted United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fees by a weighted average increase of 20 per cent, adding new fees for certain immigration benefit requests and establishing multiple fees for non-immigrant worker petitions. Read More...

Import ban on TVs: Xiaomi to TCL, Chinese majors face double whammy

Disruption in business activity and crunch in the supply of components have taken a toll on television (TV) manufacturers. The latest rules — restricting the import of finished TV sets — may further aggravate the situation. The steep rise in prices of key components, coupled with a ban on the import of finished sets, is expected to hit prominent Chinese brands, such as OnePlus, Xiaomi, TCL, and Realme. The restrictions have impaired a clutch of consumer electronics majors dependent on imports from China and Vietnam. Read More...

Auto sales recovery may not reflect correct picture, say experts

Auto sales — a key barometer of consumer demand — made a healthy recovery in July, but executives of automobile companies and dealers are still divided if there is an actual recovery in retail demand. Carmakers in India report their dispatch to dealers as their monthly sales figures while globally most report retail sales based on registration data. India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, said it had sold 108,000 units in July, 88.2 per cent more than June 2020, and 1.3 per cent more over July 2019. Read More...

Green shoots of recovery visible as non-Covid work rises in hospitals

With unlocking in phases and patients opting not to defer their health needs further, green shoots of recovery are visible in India’s private hospitals. According to leading hospital chains in the country, non-Covid occupancies are rising and hovering at 40-45 per cent. If one adds Covid admissions to this, occupancies have breached 50 per cent in the past few weeks. A leading hospital network in North India said Covid occupancies accounted for nearly 65 per cent of its admissions in April-May. Read More...

First splashdown in 45 years: SpaceX guides NASA astronauts' safe return

NASA claimed a triumphant return to US space travel as SpaceX’s Dragon vehicle plopped into the Gulf of Mexico with two astronauts, successfully concluding the company’s first crewed test flight to the International Space Station. The spacecraft splashed down at about 2:48 p.m. Eastern time Sunday near Pensacola, Florida. A SpaceX vessel was to hoist the capsule carrying Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley onto its deck less than one hour after their arrival. Read More...

Airlines unlikely to refund Rs 3,000 crore to passengers

People who were issued credit shells against tickets cancelled for flights during and after the national lockdown may have to hold on to them longer, as cash-strapped airlines are unlikely to refund about ₹3,000 crore they owe to passengers. Detailed data of refunds shared by airlines show they have issued credit shells worth ₹3,000 crore that can be used for travel at a future date. Estimates also show about ₹1,500 crore has been refunded to passengers — a substantial part through the utilisation of credit shells by passengers. These estimates were part of the discussion between airlines and the government after the Supreme Court asked the government to look into the issue of refunds. Airline executives told ET that the industry is in a precarious financial position and refunding this amount to passengers would not be possible for many. “It is not that airlines have not returned the money,” said an airline executive who did not want to be identified. “The money has been put in a shell.”, reported The Economic Times.

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