Top Business News of The Day: Sensex jumps 210 pts to end at new peak,Nifty tops 16,600; BHP to sell oil, gas arm to Australia’s Woodside in $28 bln merger; Global markets lower amid China, Afghanistan unease and more.

5:15 P.M.

China Tech Stocks Slump as Nation Issues Draft Competition Rules

A wave of selling in China’s bellwether technology stocks continued for a fifth day, following Beijing’s latest move to tighten its grip on the nation’s internet giants.

The Hang Seng Tech Index dropped as much as 2.5%, as China’s market regulator released draft rules banning unfair competition among the nation’s online platform operators. That followed Monday’s selloff in Chinese online game stocks in the wake of state media criticism of the sector.

Baidu Inc. and NetEase Inc. slumped as much as 5% while Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. slid more than 4%, Bloomberg reported.

4:52 P.M.

Sensex jumps 210 pts to end at new peak; Nifty tops 16,600

Equity benchmark Sensex surged 210 points to end at a fresh peak on Tuesday. The 30-share index settled 209.69 points or 0.38% higher at 55,792.27, while the NSE Nifty advanced 51.55 points or 0.31% to 16,614.60.

Tech Mahindra was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising over 3%, followed by TCS, Nestle India, Titan, Infosys and HUL. On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel and L&T were among the laggards, PTI reported.

4:31 P.M.

Afghanistan Central Banker Flees as Currency Drops to Record Low

Afghanistan’s central bank governor departed the country as Taliban fighters took control of the capital, with the rising political turmoil pushing the nation’s currency to a record low, Bloomberg reported.

The Afghani fell 1.7% Tuesday to 83.5013 per dollar, a fourth day of decline, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The central bank was told there would be no more dollar shipments on Friday, which curtailed its ability to supply currency and led to more panic, Governor Ajmal Ahmady wrote in a Twitter thread.

4:16 P.M.

Sebi drops certain disclosure requirements for promoters upon share acquisition

Capital markets regulator Sebi has removed certain disclosure requirements for acquirers and promoters of companies.

Under the new rule, certain disclosure obligations for the acquirers/ promoters on acquisition or disposal of shares aggregating to 5 per cent and any change of 2 per cent thereafter, annual shareholding disclosures and creation or invocation or release of encumbrance registered in depository systems under takeover regulations would not be applicable, PTI reported.

The amendment will be effective from April 1, 2022, the regulator said in a notification, dated August 13.

4:11 P.M.

Global markets lower amid China, Afghanistan unease

Global stock markets and Wall Street futures sank Tuesday amid turmoil in Afghanistan and unease about China’s economic outlook after weak July activity.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London was down less than 0.1% at 7,150.25. The DAX in Frankfurt declined 0.3% to 15,871.65 and the CAC 40 in Paris sank 0.5% to 6,804.12. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 0.4%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 2% to 3,449.98 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 1.6% to 25,750.45. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo slipped 0.4% to 27,424.47, AP reported.

3:36 P.M.

Gold up for fifth day as virus anxiety, weaker yields lift demand

Gold extended its winning streak to a fifth session on Tuesday, supported by a drop in U.S. bond yields and worries that a spike in the COVID-19 Delta variant cases could hinder a recovery in the global economy, Reuters reported.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,793.85 per ounce by 0906 GMT, after hitting a peak since Aug. 6 in the session.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,796.

2:21 P.M.

Foreign Banks May Resume Profitable FX Trade as India Relents

The Reserve Bank of India relaxed a rule on banks’ purchases of foreign sovereign bonds, paving the way for the lenders to resume a profitable currency trade, according to people familiar with the matter.

In a notice sent to the banks on Monday, the central bank said foreign sovereign bonds wouldn’t fall under a regulatory cap that requires holdings of securities unlisted in India to be 10% or less of the total non-statutory liquidity ratio portfolio, Bloomberg reported.

2:03 P.M.

BHP to sell oil, gas arm to Australia’s Woodside in $28 bln merger

BHP Group has agreed to sell its petroleum business to Woodside Petroleum in a merger to create an independent oil and gas company worth A$38.5 billion ($28 billion) with growth assets in Australia and the Americas.

BHP’s exit from petroleum, which made up just 5% of its annual earnings, speeds up its exit from fossil fuels amid pressure from environmentally conscious investors. BHP CEO Mike Henry, however, said the company remained committed to metallurgical coal used in steel making.

BHP shareholders will be paid in Woodside stock, giving BHP investors a 48% stake in the merged group. Reuters reported.

1:51 P.M.

China steps up tech scrutiny with rules over unfair competition, critical data

China moved on Tuesday to tighten control of its technology sector, publishing detailed rules aimed at tackling unfair competition and companies’ handling of critical data, Reuters reported.

The country will implement regulations on protecting critical information infrastructure from Sept. 1, as it steps up regulation around data security in the country.

1:45 P.M.

India’s Serum Institute takes 50% stake in drug vial maker Schott Kaisha

Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker by production volume, has taken a 50% stake in Indian drug vial maker Schott Kaisha, the companies said in a statement.

Serum Institute was already a customer of Schott Kaisha, using their vials, ampoules and syringes to store vaccines including the COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, Reuters reported.

1:42 P.M.

EV startups hunt for low-cost roads to mass production

Electric car and van startups racing to become the next Tesla Inc all want to avoid Elon Musk’s journey through “manufacturing hell.” But electric vehicle firms such as UK van company Arrival SA and Fisker Inc are taking very different roads to overcome the challenges of profitable mass production that almost broke Tesla.

The traditional approach taken by many automakers over the years has been to spend above $2 billion on a factory big enough to build 240,000 vehicles or more annually. However, companies like Arrival has opted instead to build electric van and bus “microfactories” – small plants costing $50 million that are light on expensive equipment, Reuters reported.


1:32 P.M.

Tesla expands legal, external relations workforce in China

Tesla Inc is hiring managers for legal and external relations teams in China, according to a job post on the its Wechat account, as the electric-car maker faces public scrutiny in the country over safety and customer service complaints, Reuters reported.

U.S.-based Tesla, which is making electric Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles in Shanghai, is hiring external relation managers in several Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.


12:45 P.M.

India looking at $11 billion market opportunity in COVID-19 vaccine supply

India is looking at an opportunity of $10-11 billion via supplying COVID-19 vaccine to domestic and export markets in the next three years, PTI reported citing a Care Ratings report.

The report noted that while Indian vaccine makers may fail to get price equal to US-based multinational companies, it could make anywhere between $3.25 and $3.50 per dose. This is far less as compared with the $15-$20 per dose that U.S companies get.

“On an aggregate level (i.e., domestic plus export), CARE Ratings expects supply opportunity of at least around $10-11 billion during the next three years for the Indian vaccine manufacturers,” the report said.

12:15 P.M.

Sterlite Power files draft papers for ₹1,250 crore IPO

Sterline Power transmission filed draft papers with market regulator Sebi to raise ₹1,250 crore through an initial share-sale, PTI reported.

According to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP), the initial public offer(IPO) will consist of fresh equity shares aggregating up to ₹1,250 crore, including a reservation of shares for employees of the company.

Funds raised through the IPO will be used to pay off borrowings availed by the company and Khargone Transmission Limited (KTL). Sterline may consider a pre-IPO placement of ₹220 crore, in that case, the issue size will be reduced.

11:45 A.M.

Healthtech wearable glucose tracker Ultrahuman raises $17.5 million

Healthtech wearable glucose tracker Ultrahuman on Tuesday said it has raised $17.5 million in Series B funding, taking the total raised funds to $25 million, PTI reported.

The metabolic fitness platform received funding from Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), backed by DisruptAD and managed by Falcon Edge, Steadview Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and Utsav Somani’s iSeed fund.

The company said it will use the money to expand into more geographies and to improve the company’s biomarker technology.

11:15 A.M.

E-commerce market in India to touch $40 billion in value by 2030, report says

The value of e-commerce market in India is expected to touch $40 billion by 2030 as a sharp increase in internet users result in more people choosing to shop online, PTI reported citing a report by Kearney.

The e-commerce market is expected to reach $20 billion by 2026, up from $4 billion in 2019.

According to the report titled, ‘Value e-commerce: the next big leap in India’s retail market’, due to the increased digital footprint in tier III and IV areas along with rural India, the needs and attitude of the consumers is changing towards online buying and that present a massive opportunity.

10:45 A.M.

FM says waiting for Cabinet approval on cryptocurrency bill

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said she is waiting for an approval from the Cabinet on bill on cryptocurrency, PTI reported.

The inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrency has recommended that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India.

“Cabinet note is ready on cryptocurrency (Bill). I am awaiting Cabinet to clear that,” Sitharaman said during her interaction with the media.

10:15 A.M.

India delays overseas listing rules on tax concerns

India will take about six months to announce rules that will allow companies to list overseas as the finance ministry clears issues related to taxation, Reuters reported citing two government officials and four industry sources.

It’s been almost an year since the government gave a green signal to the rules governing the foreign listings. The rules have been delayed as the government is yet to figure on how to tax big investors and retail traders when they trade Indian companies listed abroad.

A senior government official told Reuters: “We haven’t reached a final decision yet or decided the structure … We would want to get the tax if any investor exits, does not matter where it is planning to list.”

10:00 A.M.

Asian shares fall on rising COVID-19 cases concern, Afghan crisis

Asian shares fell in early trade on Tuesday as rising cases of COVID-19 Delta variant and crisis in Afghanistan overshadowed Wall Street gains, Reuters reported. 

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.4%, and Australia shares were down 0.75%. While U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.18%, Japan Nikkei rose 0.22%.

China’s blue chip CSI300 Index fell 0.18% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index opened 0.4% lower.

9:30 A.M.

Sensex, Nifty open lower amid mixed global cues

The Indian equity benchmark indices, Sensex and Nifty opened lower on Tuesday amid mixed global cues. At 9:16, Sensex was down 0.22% at 55462.67 while Nifty fell 0.23% to 16525.20.

Among sectors, banks, metal and auto stocks fell while FMCG and Pharma indices gained.

9:15 A.M.

India’s fuel demand continues to pick up, diesel sales 8% less than pre-COVID level

India’s fuel demand curve continued to go up in August after diesel sales rose on easing of COVID restrictions, PTI reported.

While petrol sales surpassed pre-COVID levels, diesel is still 8% short. The figure is an improvement as compared with last month where diesel consumption was 11% lower than pre-COVID levels.

State-owned fuel retailers sold 0.98 million tonnes of petrol in the first half of August, 3.7% higher than pre-Covid petrol sales in August 1-15, 2019. Sales of diesel rose 18.5% over the previous year during August 1-15, but was down 7.9% from August 2019.

Oil surges on bargain-hunting, expectations producers will not raise supply soon

Oil prices surged on Tuesday after investors looked for bargain and on expectations that major oil producers will not boost supply soon amid rising cases of COVID-19, Reuters reported. 

Brent crude rose 0.2% to $69.64 a barrel after falling 1.5% on Monday while U.S oil was up 0.2% to $67.43 a barrel after losing 1.7% the previous day.

“WTI has a support around $65 and investors tend to look for bargains whenever the benchmark gets closer to the level as we have seen on Monday and last week,” Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at Fujitomi Securities Co Ltd. told Reuters.