Top Biz Headlines: SBI's revival plan, increase in currency in circulation

Rising economic uncertainties forced people to hoard more cash in the first four months of the calendar than they had done in the entire 2019. With the Covid-induced nationwide lockdown likely in its last leg, the time is ripe to come up with a concrete plan for economic revival and support, State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar has said.

Bigger rise in cash in circulation in Jan-Apr than entire 2019: RBI

The increase in currency in circulation between January and May 1 was Rs 2.66 trillion. In comparison, it increased by Rs 2.40 trillion in the entire 2019 (January to December). Read here.

Covid-19 crisis: It's time for concrete revival plan, says SBI chairman

Banks are working on measures to provide assistance to customers impacted by the economic disruption. Read here.

Reliance Industries considers sale of $989-million Asian Paints stake

Reliance Industries is considering selling its stake in India’s largest paint maker valued at about $989 million as the conglomerate steps up efforts to trim its debt, said people familiar with the matter. Read here

Lockdown 3.0: Rural India may drive demand recovery amid Covid-19 crisis

As most of urban India remains locked down due to Covid-19, rural India, which is less affected by the virus may drive the economic revival of India, analysts predicted. Moreover, record produce of rabi crops and government measures are also likely to increase rural household income. Read here.

SBI cuts lending rate by 15 bps, launches scheme for senior citizens

State Bank of India on Thursday slashed the lending rate by 15 basis points, and introduced special deposit scheme “SBI Wecare Deposit” for senior citizens with higher interest rate, to safeguard their interests in the current falling rate regime. The scheme will be in effect up to September 30. Read here.

Covid-19 impact: India looks to lure more than 1,000 US firms out of China

India is seeking to attract US firms that are willing to relocate from China as the US steps up efforts to blame Beijing for its role in the coronavirus pandemic. The government reached out to more than 1,000 companies in April, through overseas missions to offer incentives for manufacturers, Indian officials said on basis of anonymity. Read here.

Quint gets listed via little-known trading firm promoted by Raghav Bahl

BSE-listed Gaurav Mercantiles, on Wednesday, approved a proposal to acquire The Quint news portal and certain affiliated websites from another company owned by Raghav Bahl. Earlier last year, Bahl who founded the Network18 Group that was later acquired by Reliance Industries, bought 66.42 per cent stake in Gaurav Mercantiles at Rs 42.50 a share for Rs 5.6 crore from its erstwhile promoters in 2018. Read here.

HCL Technologies does better than most rivals in Q4; revenue rises 16%

HCL Technologies’ March quarter earnings growth exceeded that of its peers, and the company said it did not see a long-term impact from the Covid-19 pandemic. HCL’s revenue for the quarter rose 2.5 per cent sequentially to Rs 18,590 crore and 16.3 per cent annually, which is in contrast to larger rivals TCS and Infosys. Read here.

Consumer goods firms flag Covid hit, cut festive season forecast

Apparels, shoes, refrigerators, air-conditioners and smartphones companies are cutting manufacturing orders and sourcing of components for this year’s festive season by up to 40% y-o-y as they expect much of current stock to remain unsold till then, company executives said, Economic Times reported. However, Consumer goods companies are targeting similar sales as last year during the festive season which accounts for around 40% of the annual business for most of them.

Pivot or Perish: Auto industry calls for GST cut and incentives to revive growth 

Several top executives of automobile firms urged the government to undertake GST cut, and go for an incentive-based vehicle scrappage policy to aid demand recovery, LiveMint reported. The Covid-induced lockdown brought auto industry April sales to zero, while the plants stayed shut till March 22.

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