Top headlines: Indian economy to shrink 5% says S&P, power sector woes

Earlier this week rating agencies Fitch and Crisil too had projected a 5 per cent contraction for the Indian economy
Abu Dhabi state fund in talks to invest $1 bn in Jio Platforms: Report
Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Company is in talks to invest about $1 billion in Reliance Industries' digital unit Jio platforms, three sources said on Thursday. Jio Platforms, which houses music and movie apps as well a Reliance's telecoms venture Jio Infocomm, has secured a massive $10 billion from investors including Facebook Inc within a month. Read more... 

Google eyes 5% stake in Vodafone Idea, multiple India investments: Report
Global technology giant Google is in talks to buy a 5 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd, a company owned by Vodafone PLC of UK and Aditya Birla group. The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Google parent firm, Alphabet had also held talks about acquiring a stake in Reliance Jio – owned by Reliance Industries -- but has lagged behind other investors like Facebook in securing a deal. Read on...

After Fitch and CRISIL, S&P projects Indian economy to contract 5% in FY21
S&P Global Ratings on Thursday forecast Indian economy to contract 5 per cent in the current fiscal as the lockdown imposed to contain Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed economic activity severely. "We have lowered our growth forecast for fiscal year ending March 2021 to a 5 per cent contraction... We currently assume that the outbreak peaks by the third quarter," S&P said in a statement. Read more...

PM Modi reviews power sector, says state-specific solutions needed
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised on the need to enhance consumer satisfaction while increasing operational efficiency and improving financial sustainability of the power sector. Reviewing the work of Power, and New and Renewable Energy ministries on Wednesday evening, Modi pointed out that the problems in the power sector, especially of electricity distribution segment, vary across regions and states. Read more...

US weighs options to 'punish' China over Hong Kong; sanctions likely
The Trump administration is crafting a range of options to punish China over its tightening grip on Hong Kong, including targeted sanctions, new tariffs and further restrictions on Chinese companies, according to US officials and people familiar with the discussions. Internal US deliberations, unfolding amid increased US-China tensions over the coronavirus pandemic, are continuing and final decisions have yet to be made, the sources said on condition of anonymity. Read more...

Covid-19 crisis: 9 migrant deaths on Shramik Special trains since Monday
As extreme heat, hunger and dehydration add to the woes of returning migrant workers, nine passengers have been found dead in Shramik Special trains since Monday and they included a woman whose toddler son was seen trying to wake her up in a heart wrenching scene at a railway platform in Bihar. While a few deaths on board the non-air conditioned trains were also reported earlier after they were launched on May 1 to ferry migrant labourers to their home states, the Railways on Wednesday said most of the deceased had pre-existing health conditions, news agency PTI reported. Read on...

China blocks US bid for UNSC meet on Hong Kong's new security legislation
China on Thursday blocked the US attempt to hold a United Nations Security Council meeting on the issue of Beijing government's plan to impose new security legislation in Hong Kong. Chinese envoy to the United Nations, Zhang Jun rejected the request made by the United States for a UNSC meeting on the issue and asked Washington 'to stop its power politics and bullying practices'. Read more... 

 
New wave of job cuts likely across US as Covid-19 crisis crushes economy
Job cuts by US state and local governments whose budgets have been crushed fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and more second-wave layoffs in the private sector likely contributed last week to a 10th straight week of more than 2 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits. The Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy's health, is also expected to show the number of people on jobless benefits hitting a new record high in mid-May, the Reuters reported. Read on...


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