Top headlines: Fitch warns about Indian growth, Xi brews Starbucks peace

The economy is now in a recovery phase that will be further supported by the rollout of vaccines in the next months.
India face lasting Corona damage; growth to be 6.5% in medium term: Fitch

The Indian economy will suffer lasting damage from the coronavirus crisis and after an initial strong rebound in FY22 (fiscal year ending March 2022) growth will slow to around 6.5 per cent a year over FY23-FY26, Fitch Ratings said on Thursday. "A combination of supply-side scarring and demand-side constraints - such as the weak state of the financial sector - will keep the level of GDP well below its pre-pandemic path," it said in commentary on the Indian economy. Fitch said India's coronavirus-induced recession has been among the most severe in the world, amid a stringent lockdown and limited direct fiscal support. Read more

Xi Jinping asks Starbucks's Schultz for help mending US-China ties

President Xi Jinping called on Starbucks Corp. to help improve China-US ties, striking a business-friendly tone as the Biden administration prepares to take over in Washington. “I hope Starbucks will make active efforts to promote China-US economic and trade cooperation and the development of bilateral relations,” Xi said in reply to a letter from Chairman Emeritus Howard Schultz. Xi’s letter was dated Jan. 6 and published Thursday by the official Xinhua News Agency. Read more

Google removes personal loan apps violating user safety policies

Tech giant Google on Thursday said it has reviewed hundreds of personal loan apps in India that were flagged by users and government agencies and those found to be violating its user safety policies were immediately removed from its Play Store. Google has asked the developers of the remaining identified apps to demonstrate that they comply with applicable local laws and regulations, failing which those apps will also be removed. Read more

Former Star India CEO Uday Shankar, James Murdoch team up for new venture

James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Uday Shankar, the former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Star India and president of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, announced on Thursday that they were forming a new venture. The venture, they said, would focus on technology and media opportunities in emerging markets. But industry sources said that the focus would be on digital media, with India being the big driver. Read more

BKU leader Mann recuses himself from SC committee on farm reforms

Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann on Thursday said he is recusing himself from the four-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court to resolve the impasse between farmers and the Centre over the new agri-marketing laws. Farmer unions and opposition parties had raised doubts over the composition of the panel, insisting that its members have been in favour of the three laws in the past. Mann said he is thankful to the apex court for nominating him on the panel but would give up any position to prevent farmers' interests from being compromised. Read more

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