Top biz headlines: Facebook stake in Jio, economy under Covid-19 and more

The Street is valuing RIL’s remaining but core businesses of refining and petrochemicals and others such as retail at a lesser number of Rs 4.28 trillion
Facebook and Reliance Jio hit the headlines on Wednesday as Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will acquire 9.99 per cent stake in RIL's Jio platforms. Meanwhile, four of the country’s top six airlines continue to sell tickets despite government's order. Here are the top 10 stories that made news on Wednesday:

Reliance Jio connects with Facebook for $5.7-billion equity deal

Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that the technology giant will acquire a 9.99 per cent stake in Jio Platforms Ltd (JPL) through a fresh issue of shares worth Rs 43,574 crore. The deal values JPL—the holding company of Reliance Jio — at an enterprise value Rs 4.62 trillion. Read more here

Retailers want govt to allow sale of non-essentials amid Covid-19 lockdown

Even as e-commerce companies have been barred from selling non-essential goods during lockdown, the Retailers Association of India has written to the government seeking permission to sell non-essentials during this period. It has submitted a detailed set of guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) - that its members can follow, if allowed to resume operations in these zones - to the government. Read more here

Only negligent employers to be charged for Covid-19 cases

The Union government on Wednesday clarified that companies would be penalised only for negligence or cognisance in case their employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), a day after India Inc raised concerns over the official guidelines to restart economic activity. Read more here

Jio Platforms now more valuable than rest of RIL businesses put together

Reliance Industries’ (RIL’s) deal with Facebook to sell 9.99 per cent in Jio Platforms has two messages for the oil to telecom major’s shareholders.

The key one is that Jio Platforms is now more valuable than all other businesses of RIL put together, including refining, petrochemicals and retail. Read more here

Markets, economy take divergent paths amid Covid-19 uncertainties

The domestic equity market has soared 20 per cent from its coronavirus lows exactly a month ago, even as most forecasters, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have said India will record its worst economic growth since the 1991 liberalisation.

It appears investors have been undeterred by the lockdown extension amid a sharp growth in Covid-19 cases -- from less than 100 a month ago to about 20,000 as of Wednesday. Read more here

Facebook-Jio deal may see more foreign e-commerce firms flock to India

Some recent regulatory developments may have precipitated the Facebook-Jio deal. Going forward, this may increasingly prompt foreign e-commerce operators to consider setting up base in India, say legal and tax experts. Read more here

Coronavirus lockdown: SAIL rings alarm bells over financial position

With inventory levels at a record high and borrowings having crossed Rs 52,000 crore, public sector steel major Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is looking at renegotiating contracts and purchase orders to tide over the Covid-19 crisis.

In a letter to plant and unit heads, SAIL said the slowdown has affected offtake since the beginning of March. Read more here

Covid-19: India told airlines to stop selling tickets, but they still are

Four of the country’s top six airlines, which together control 80 per cent of the local market, are selling domestic flight tickets for as soon as the third week of May, searches on their websites showed. That’s despite the government saying no decision has been made on allowing flights after the end of the nationwide lockdown on May 3, which means airlines should refrain from selling tickets until authorities give them the go ahead. Read more here

Vistara operates cargo flights to deliver essentials

Vistara has deployed its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to transport relief material, medical supplies and essential commercial goods during the Covid-19 pandemic since Sunday, Economic Times reported.

Mukesh Ambani tops Jack Ma as Asia’s richest person

Facebook’s $5.7 billion investment in Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Platforms has made him Asia’s richest person yet again, Livemint reported.

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