“You are listening to the Expresso Business Update. Here is the latest news from the world of Indian and International business brought to you by The Indian Express and The Financial Express.
First up, big news coming in from commodity sector. India, the world’s biggest edible oil importer, will likely receive its first shipments of sunflower oil from Ukraine starting in September after a five-month gap, according to Sunvin Group. About 50,000 to 60,000 tons may arrive as Ukraine is set to open some Black Sea corridors for agricultural exports, said Sandeep Bajoria, chief executive officer of the Mumbai-based broker and trader. The cargoes will likely be loaded at the seaports of Odesa and Chornomorsk, he added. India’s imports of sunflower oil from Ukraine have been at a standstill since April as Russia’s invasion of the country disrupted trade. Moscow and Kyiv reached a deal last week to revive agricultural exports from Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest wheat, corn and vegetable oil exporters. A move by the Modi government to allow duty-free imports of 2 million tons of sunflower oil annually this fiscal year and next will bolster demand, the Bloomberg report says. India bought 1.89 million tons of crude sunflower oil in the year ended October, with Ukraine supplying almost 74%, and Argentina and Russia each about 12%.
Moving on. A non-bank lender backed by Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest person, is planning to raise at least Rs 1,500 crore in an initial public offering in Mumbai that could take place as early as 2024, a Bloomberg report says. Adani Capital’s first-time share sale will offer about a 10% stake in the shadow bank and target a valuation of around $2 billion, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Gaurav Gupta said. “If you are listed then your ability to raise incremental capital is higher,” Gupta said in an interview in Mumbai, where the lender to farmers and small and medium-sized businesses is based. A small player in the country’s finance sector despite sharing a chairman with one of India’s biggest conglomerates, Adani Capital is looking to capture more of the market for loans from Rs 30,000 to Rs 30 lakh using technology.
Now some news from China. Billionaire Jack Ma plans to relinquish control of Ant Group, a Wall Street Journal report says. The development is part of the fintech giant’s effort to move away from affiliate Alibaba Group after more than a year of extraordinary pressure from Chinese regulators. The authorities halted Ant’s $34 billion-plus IPO in 2020 at the eleventh hour and are forcing the technology firm to reorganize as a financial holding company regulated by China’s central bank. As the overhaul progresses, Ant is taking the opportunity to reduce the company’s reliance on Ma, who founded Alibaba. Ma, a 57-year-old former English teacher and one of China’s most prominent entrepreneurs, has been the target of government action that appears designed to reduce his influence and the power of his companies, the report says. He has controlled Ant since he carved its precursor assets out of Alibaba more than a decade ago. Over time he built it into a company that owns the Alipay payments network with more than one billion users, an investing platform that houses what was once the world’s largest money-market fund, and a large microlending business. Ant was expected to be valued at more than $300 billion had it gone public.
Meanwhile, China will try hard to achieve the best possible results for the economy this year, state media said on Thursday after a high-level meeting of the ruling Communist Party, in contrast to previous calls to meet its full-year economic growth target. In the second half of 2022, China should “stabilise employment and prices, maintain economic operations within a reasonable range, and strive to achieve the best possible results,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported, after the 25-member Politburo chaired by President Xi Jinping met to assess the economy.
Over to latest Q1 numbers. Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services on Thursday reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 240 crore for June quarter aided by fall in expenses and higher income from business operations. The company had posted a net loss of Rs 1,573.40 crore in April-June 2021-22. The loss in the year-ago period was due to the impact of second wave of COVID-19, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services said. The net profit in the period was 62 per cent lower when compared to the previous March quarter.
And finally, here’s today’s trade update. Bulls were in full control on Dalal Street on the monthly Futures & Options expiry session. S&P BSE Sensex rallied 1,041 points to settle at 56,857 while the NSE Nifty 50 zoomed 287 points to end at 16,929. Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv were the top gainers on Sensex both up more than 10% each, followed by Tata Steel and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Bharti Airtel was the top laggard, accompanied by Ultratech Cement, and Dr Reddy’s.
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