India says first homegrown mRNA-based COVID-19 shot safe in early trials
India on Tuesday said the first homegrown mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine shot developed by pharmaceutical company Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, was found to be safe and effective in the early-stage study, Reuters reported.
Government authorities have also approved further studies to test the vaccine’s efficacy in a larger population. Gennova plans to conduct a mid-stage study at about 10-15 sites and a late-stage trial at 22-27 sites in India.
Rupee edges 3 paise higher to close at 74.19 against U.S. dollar
The rupee appreciated by 3 paise to close at 74.19 (provisional) against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, supported by a strong rally in the domestic equity market.
However, a strong dollar in the overseas markets and rising crude prices weighed on the investor sentiment, forex traders said, according to a PTI report.
Digital therapeutics company Breathe Well-being raises $5.5 million led by Accel
Digital Therapeutics company Breathe Well-being, which helps people prevent, manage and reverse Type 2 diabetes, on Tuesday said it has raised $5.5 million (around ₹40 crore) in Series A round led by Accel.
The round saw participation from investors like General Catalyst, Scott Shleifer, Global MD, and Tiger Global, Breathe Well-being said in a statement, PTI reported.
Sensex, Nifty rise to record highs as Bajaj Finserv soars
Sensex, Nifty hit record closing highs on Tuesday, led by a surge in Bajaj Finserv after the market regulator allowed the shadow bank to set up a mutual fund, while metal stocks bounced back after a four-day losing streak.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.78% at 16,624.60, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex ended 0.73% higher at 55,958.98, Reuters reported.
India overtakes U.S. to become second-most attractive manufacturing hub
India has overtaken the U.S. to become the second-most attractive manufacturing destination globally, driven mainly by cost competitiveness, according to real estate consultant Cushman and Wakefield.
China remains at the number one spot, the consultant noted, followed by the U.S., Canada, Czech Republic, and Indonesia, PTI reported.
Tata Power commissions 150 MW solar project in Rajasthan
Tata Power on Tuesday said it had commissioned a 150 megawatt (MW) solar project in Loharki village in Rajasthan, which is expected to generate over 350 million units of electricity every year.
The project is spread over 756 acres and will be implemented by its subsidiary Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TRPEL), PTI reported citing a company statement.
Semiconductor shortage temporary, expected to be over by 2022: Maruti Suzuki’s Bhargava
Maruti Suzuki’s Chairman RC Bhargava said on Tuesday the current semiconductor shortage problem faced by the automobile industry is temporary and is expected to be over by 2022. He added that Maruti Suzuki India hasn’t had a major impact although production has been hit partly, PTI reported.
The country’s largest carmaker is also looking at the electric vehicle spce but will enter it only when it makes it feasible for customers in terms of affordability and also for the company to operate without making a loss, Bhargava noted.
India considers allowing FDI in LIC
India is considering allowing foreign direct investment in LIC, Bloomberg reported citing an unnamed source. This could enable a single overseas investor to buy a large stake in the firm that is headed for a stock market listing.
The strategic investment would be subject to a cap although it’s unclear at what level that would be set, the report noted.
South Korea to crack down on Google, Apple on app store dominance
South Korea is likely to impose curbs on tech giants Google and Apple from requiring software developers to use their payment systems, stopping them from charging commissions on in a purchases.
The parliament legislation and Judiciary committee is expected on Tuesday to approve the amendment of the Telecommunications Business Act, dubbed the “Anti-Google law”, that takes aim at app store operators with dominant market position, Reuters reported.
China’s data rules not aimed at firms planning overseas listing: regulator
China’s cyberspace regulator said on Tuesday the upcoming critical data rules are not aimed at firms involved in foreign trade or those planning overseas listings, and all firms must be involved in ensuring network security.
Sheng Ronghua, vice minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, made the comments at a State Council briefing, Reuters reported.
Shanghai to add measures to develop as an international financial centre
China’s financial hub Shanghai said on Tuesday it will roll out a set of new measures as part of its 14th five-year plan to develop itself as an international financial centre.
The municipal government said it would support the FX trading platform, which is overseen by the country‘s central bank, to steadily expand the size of the interbank FX market and push forward with derivative market developments covering interbank rates, currency and credit, Reuters reported citing a public statement.
Sebi empanels KPMG, E&Y, 16 other entities to conduct forensic audit
Markets a greater Sebi has empanelled nearly 16 entities, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, to conduct forensic audits of financial statements of listed companies to curb frauds.
Other empanelled entities include Chaturvedi and Co, Chokshi and Chokshi LLP, Grant Thorton Bharat LLP, KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services LLP, PTI reported citing a public notice.
Taiwan’s Winstron, India’s Optiemus Electronics partner to build consumer electronics
India’s Optiemus Electronics has partnered with Taiwan’s Winstron Corp to build consumer electronic products like smartphones and laptops, furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to make the country an electronics manufacturing hub.
Optiemus will invest nearly $200 million to boost electronics manufacturing in India in the next three to five years, Reuters reported.
EV startup Simple Energy to raise $100 million in Series A funding
Bengaluru-based EV startup Simple Energy announced on Tuesday it plans to raise about $100 million in Series A funding.
The start-up launched its flagship electric scooter earlier this month and said it is in talks with some global investors for this round of funding which is expected to be completed later this year, PTI reported.
Microsoft, Invest India partner to support technology startups
Technology giant Microsoft has joined hands with industry body Invest India to support tech startups in the country.
Microsoft will work closely with Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations (AGNIi Mission), a programme of the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, PTI reported.
India to resume COVID-19 vaccine exports in 2022
India is likely to resume COVID-19 vaccine exports next year after it has immunised its own adult population, Bloomberg reported citing N. K. Arora, chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation in India.
He added that almost 60 countries hardly have any access to vaccine and India should be able to provide a substantial portion in 2022.
BLive, Ather Energy partner to drive EV adoption at tourist places
Multi EV retail platform BLive and Bengaluru-based Ather Energy on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership to drive adoption of electric vehicles at tourist destinations in the country, a PTI report noted.
The partnership will cover areas like setting up charging infrastructure and pre-bookings of EVs, among others, starting with Goa, a release said.
India’s envoy Sandhu discusses trade ties with U.S. Commerce Secretary as part of broader strategic partnership
India’s U.S. Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu has met U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and underscored the importance of bilateral commercial relationship and their commitment to growing business ties in support of the broader strategic relationship, PTI reported.
Sandhu and Raimondo discussed the US-India commercial relationship, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. They also discussed U.S.-India technology collaboration and improving digital economy policies to strengthen that collaboration, it added.
Khatabook raises ₹741 crore funding, announces ESOP buyback
Khatabook on Tuesday said it has raised $100 million (about ₹741 crore) in funding round, led by Tribe Capital and Moore Strategic Ventures that valued the fintech company at close to $600 million (about ₹4,447 crore).
The firm is also buying back $10 million (about ₹74 crore) worth of ESOPs “to acknowledge and reward employees, ex-employees, and early investors who contributed to the company’s growth”, a PTI report noted.
India’s GDP likely to grow at 18.5% in April-June quarter this fiscal: SBI report
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at around 18.5% with an upward bias in the first quarter of the current financial year, according to SBI research report Ecowrap.
This estimate is lower than the Reserve Bank of India’s GDP growth projection of 21.4% for the April-June quarter, PTI reported. The report expects gross value added (GVA) to be at 15% in Q1FY22.
Samsung to invest $206 billion over next three years
Samsung Group will invest 240 trillion won ($205.64 billion) in the next three years to expand footprint in biopharmaceutical, artificial intelligence, semiconductor and robotics industries in the post-pandemic era, a Reuters report noted.
South Korea’s top conglomerate said on Tuesday the investments through 2023 are expected to help Samsung strengthen its global standing in key industries such as the chip sector, while seeking more growth opportunities in new fields such as next-generation telecommunications and robotics.
SEC gives Chinese companies new requirements for U.S. IPO disclosures
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started to issue new disclosure requirements to Chinese companies seeking to list in New York as part of a push to boost investor awareness of the risks involved, Reuters reported.
Some Chinese companies have now started to receive detailed instructions from the SEC about greater disclosure of their use of offshore vehicles known as variable interest entities (VIEs) for IPOs; implications for investors and the risk that Chinese authorities will interfere with company operations, the report noted.
India refiners’ July crude processing catches up with demand rebound
Indian refiners’ crude throughput in July bounced to its highest in three months, as the easing of coronavirus restrictions boosted economic activity and fed demand for fuel, Reuters reported.
Provisional government data on Monday showed refiners processed 4.58 million barrels per day (19.38 million tonnes) of crude oil last month, about 1.9% higher than 4.50 million bpd processed in June.
On a year-on-year basis, refiners’ crude oil throughput in July jumped about 9.6%, while crude oil production fell about 3% to 602,000 bpd (2.55 million tonnes), the data showed.
Oil rises as full U.S. clearance for COVID-19 vaccine stokes fuel demand hopes
Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the U.S. drug regulator granted full approval to the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine, stoking investor hopes that higher fuel demand would follow a potential step up in U.S. coronavirus vaccination rates, Reuters reported.
Brent crude oil futures rose 0.3%, to $68.96, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures increased 0.2%, to $65.78 a barrel.
Both benchmarks jumped more than 5% on Monday, helped by a weaker U.S. dollar, after marking their biggest week of losses in more than nine months last week, the report noted.
Rupee rises 9 paise against US dollar in early trade
The rupee appreciated 9 paise to 74.13 against the US dollar in opening trade on Tuesday, following a positive trend in domestic equities.
However, flight of foreign capital, a strong dollar overseas and higher crude prices restrained the rupee to gain momentum, forex dealers said.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened strong at 74.12 against the dollar, then it weakened slightly to quote 74.13, a rise of 9 paise over its previous close, a PTI report noted.
Pfizer to buy Trillium Therapeutics in $2.26 billion deal
Pfizer Inc said on Monday it would buy remaining shares of Trillium Therapeutics Inc it does not already own in a deal that values the cancer drug developer at $2.26 billion.
Pfizer, which acquired a $25 million stake in Trillium last year, will buy the remaining outstanding shares for $18.50 a piece, representing a 203.8% premium to the stock’s last closing price, a Reuters report noted.
Canada-based Trillium is developing drugs that boost patients’ innate immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells.
Users can now book vaccination appointments on WhatsApp
WhatsApp on Tuesday said the MyGov Corona Helpdesk on its platform will now allow users to locate their nearest vaccination centre and book their vaccine appointments.
On August 5, MyGov and WhatsApp had introduced the ability for users to download vaccine certificates from the chatbot; and so far, over 32 lakh certificates have been downloaded by users across the country, PTI reported.
IMF’s $650 billion reserves distribution is ‘shot in arm’ for global economy: Georgieva
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will distribute about $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights to its members on Monday, providing a “significant shot in the arm” for global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
She further added that the IMF’s largest-ever distribution of monetary reserves will provide additional liquidity for the global economy, supplementing member countries’ foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt, a Reuters report noted.
Musk says Tesla’s self-driving software update ‘not great’
Tesla Inc’s Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Monday that the electric-car maker was working on improving the much-awaited update to its self-driving software “as fast as possible.”
The billionaire entrepreneur tweeted that the Full Self-Driving Beta version 9.2 is “actually not great imo (in my opinion), but Autopilot/AI team is rallying to improve as fast as possible.”
“We’re trying to have a single stack for both highway & city streets, but it requires massive NN (neural network) retraining.”
Pandemic threatens Asia-Pacific’s progress on global development goals, says ADB
The coronavirus pandemic may have pushed as many as 80 million people in developing Asia into extreme poverty last year, threatening to derail progress on global goals to tackle poverty and hunger by 2030, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday.
Developing Asia’s extreme poverty rate – or the proportion of its people living on less than $1.90 a day – would have fallen to 2.6% in 2020 from 5.2% in 2017 without COVID-19, but the crisis likely pushed last year’s projected rate higher by about 2 percentage points, a Reuters report noted.
Infosys gets till September 15 to fix glitches in I-T portal
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has set a September 15 deadline for its IT vendor Infosys to fix all the glitches plaguing ‘the current functionalities’ of the new Income Tax filing portal, after conveying the government’s ‘deep disappointment’ with the firm’s services to its CEO Salil Parekh.
The Minister had summoned Mr. Parekh on Monday to explain why the IT portal had still not stabilised and its flaws fixed, more than two and a half months since its launch. The ‘summon’ came as the portal had become inaccessible over the past weekend, within days of Ms. Sitharaman stating that she expected it to be fully functional within two-three days.
Piyush Goyal hints at tit-for-tat trade curbs
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday asked industry bodies to identify obstacles being imposed by countries to restrict India’s exports and assured that the government would respond ‘appropriately’ to such impediments.
The Minister’s remarks, suggesting that the Centre is not averse to taking retaliatory trade policy measures to counter export barriers beyond the realm of tariffs and duties, came at an interaction with industry bodies across sectors on achieving the $400 billion merchandise exports target for the year, ramping up to $2 trillion by 2030.
Hindalco plans capex of up to $3 billion over 5 years
Hindalco Industries Ltd. has earmarked about $2.5-$3 billion of capital expenditure to bolster growth over the next five years, chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said while addressing shareholders online at the company’s AGM on Monday.
He said the capex in Novelis would be invested mainly in the auto-finishing line expansions in the U.S. and China and in rolling and recycling capacity expansions in Brazil.
Indian benchmark indices open higher
Indian indices opened higher on Tuesday. BSE Sensex opened at 55,647.11, up 91.32 points, while Nifty opened at 16,561.40, up 64.95 points.
On Monday, the 30-share BSE index rose 226.47 points or 0.41% to close at 55,555.79, while the broader NSE Nifty declined advanced 45.95 points or 0.28% to 16,496.45.
Asian stocks rally on extended Wall St bounce, easing Fed taper worries
Asian stocks rose on Tuesday on an extended bounce on Wall Street, and on easing worries of an imminent tapering of stimulus by the Federal Reserve, a Reuters report noted.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.2%, with Japan and South Korean indexes jumping more than 1%. Australia shares were up 0.2% and Taiwan stocks rose 0.7%. Chinese markets also edged up 0.2%.
Wall St gains, Nasdaq notches record closing high on full vaccine approval
Wall Street rallied on Monday, and the Nasdaq reached an all-time closing high as sentiment was boosted by full FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine and market participants looked ahead to the Jackson Hole Symposium expected to convene later this week, Reuters reported.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 215.63 points, or 0.61%, to 35,335.71, the S&P 500 gained 37.86 points, or 0.85%, to 4,479.53 and the Nasdaq Composite added 227.99 points, or 1.55%, to 14,942.65.