Top headlines: Economy may contract by 16.5%, JEE, NEET exams in Sept

Data released by the government last week showed that India’s factory output contracted sharply for the fourth straight month in June
Indian economy likely to contract by 16.5% in Q1FY21: SBI report
The Indian economy may report a contraction of 16.5 per cent in April-June quarter of FY21, as against previously expected contraction of 20 per cent, as degrowth in corporate GVA, courtesy better-than-expected results of some financial and non-financial companies, has been significantly better than revenue degrowth in Q1FY21, said SBI economists. Data released by the government last week showed that India’s factory output contracted sharply for the fourth straight month in June, though at a slower pace than in May, signaling gradual process of normalisation of manufacturing activity.  Read more

Class-action suit planned as HDFC Bank is accused of misleading investors
US-based Rosen Law Firm on Monday said it plans to investigate potential securities claims against HDFC Bank following allegations of sharing "materially misleading business information" with investors. HDFC Bank said it was not aware of any lawsuit and prima facie it looked "frivolous as we believe we have been transparent in our disclosures". Read more

Reliance in talks to acquire Urban Ladder, Milkbasket, says report
In a bid to strengthen its e-commerce position, RIL is in talks to acquire online furniture brand Urban Ladder and milk delivery platform Milkbasket, The Times of India reported. According to the report, the discussion with Urban Ladder is now at an advanced stage. People close to discussion pegged the deal at around $30 million including further infusion in the business and earn-out for the management team. Read more

SC rejects plea seeking JEE-Main, NEET-UG exams postponement over Covid-19
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations, which are scheduled to be conducted in September, amid spurt in number of Covid-19 cases, saying precious year of students "cannot be wasted" and life has to go on. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said career of students "cannot be put under jeopardy for long".

Vedanta's bond offer serves test of investor appetite for Indian junk debt
Billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources is marketing a dollar bond in a crucial test of investor appetite for Indian junk debt. The commodities giant is offering a three-year amortising note with an initial price guidance of around 13.25%. The last Indian high-yield dollar bond was sold by Lodha Developers in March, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. Read more

Malaysia detects new Covid-19 strain that's 10 times more infectious

Malaysia has detected a strain of the new coronavirus that’s been found to be 10 times more infectious. The mutation called D614G was found in at least three of the 45 cases in a cluster that started from a restaurant owner returning from India and breaching his 14-day home quarantine. The man has since been sentenced to five months in prison and fined. The strain was also found in another cluster involving people returning from the Philippines. Read more

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