Listen to the best of news, views and analyses from Business Standard, India's leading business daily. In this 30-minute show, we bring you some of the most important news that will set the agenda for the day, take a deep dive into the more complex issues, get you exclusive interviews with the most notable newsmakers of the country, and decode concepts, trends and jargons for you.
TMS Ep264: End of pandemic, Apple, global equities, Goldilocks scenario
World Health Organization chief has finally struck an optimistic note, saying that the world has never been better placed to end the Covid-19. Going a step further, US President Joe Biden has written an obituary of the pandemic, by claiming that it is over. But are we really seeing the end of the pandemic which has so far claimed over 6.5 million lives globally. Should we lower our guard and shelve the masks? Our northern neighbour China is holding steadfast to its zero Covid strategy of strict lockdowns and mass testing. Erratic lockdowns have frustrated its citizens and businesses alike, forcing manufacturers to explore alternatives. One beneficiary has been India where Apple is expanding iPhone making capacity. What does it mean for the US giant and for India? Pandemic has also introduced chaos in the global equity markets. Fears of uncertain inflation and growth trajectory are keeping markets volatile. So, should investors look inwards and invest in Indian markets, or is the nervousness across global equities a good time to diversify into international markets? The US Fed is unlikely to breathe easy till the historically-high inflation is brought under control. It wants to pull-off a return to “Goldilocks” while steering clear of recession. But what exactly is the Goldilocks scenario? We explain in this episode of the podcast.
TMS Ep263: Fuel price, privatisation, logistics stocks, Henley Passport
The price of Brent crude oil fell by another 2% on Monday. From $124 in March, it has come down below $90 now. And it has been below the psychological $100 mark for almost a month now. And add it with the cheap oil imports from Russia, the retail prices of fuel should have come down now by now. But it’s not. Find out why. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited is a leading oil and gas producer in India. The government has been trying to sell its stake in the Mumbai-headquartered firm for years. But the disinvestment is on hold now. The plan to privatise Pawan Hans and Central Electronics has also run into rough weather. And, about 18 months after the budget announcement, there is little progress towards privatisation of two state-owned banks. Barring Air India, the government has made little progress on the disinvestment front. But why? Our next report offers a peek into the government’s disinvestment drive and tells why it is in the slow lane? Let us move on to markets now. Logistics stocks traded mixed on Monday after the government announced national logistics policy over the weekend. The new policy aims to integrate and develop a technologically- enabled logistics ecosystem in the country. While some analysts expect logistic stocks to reap benefits from the new policy in the medium-to-long term, others remain cautious from a near-term There are several indicators to gauge the might of a country -- like the size of its economy or that of its financial markets. Travel freedom enjoyed by its citizens is also one such measure which reveals a lot about a country’s standing in the world. Every year, London-based immigration consultancy ‘Henley & Partners’ comes out with a ranking of 199 passports. It is called the Henley Passport Index. Find out more about it in this episode of the podcast.
TMS Ep262: Air India, Roger Federer's legacy, IT stocks, Yvon Chouinard
Air India has unveiled a five-year transformation plan that is expected to triple its domestic market share and close the gap with IndiGo -- which currently accounts for a lion’s share of the passenger pie. The aim is to put the airline “on a path of sustained growth, profitability and market leadership”. So, can Air India become the ‘Maharaja’ of Indian skies again? After the ‘Maharaja’ of Indian skies, let us move on to the king of grass courts who claimed a record 8 Wimbledon titles. Roger Federer has decided to quit tennis after quite a successful career spanning over 24 years. From an angry kid who slammed his rackets on ground after losses to a tennis star who never lost his cool even during the nerve-wrecking matches with his arch rival Rafael Nadal, his tennis journey was phenomenal. Federer not just clinched 20 grand slams on the courts, but also a litany of brand endorsements. Here's a peek into the financial side of the tennis legend. Let us move on to markets now. Increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve could throw the US economy into a recession continue to weigh heavy on the export-facing IT sector. As the US central bank continues to paddle on monetary tightening, will the underperformance of IT shares continue? In the realm of business, it’s the profit which shapes most of the narratives. But, last week, something unusual happened in the US, which caught everyone’s attention. A billionaire announced to donate his company which he had founded about 50 years ago. And the reason? He wants to fight climate change. According to reports, an article in Forbes which added Yvon Chouinard to its list of the world’s richest people, made him think that he had failed to make the world a better place.
TMS Ep261: BYJU's revenue, D2C brands, consumer financiers, Project Cheetah
Education technology company Byju’s FY21 revenues came in flat, and its losses have widened about 20 times. The results came 18 months after the period of coverage ended in March 2021, prompting the government to seek an explanation from the country’s most valuable start-up for the delay. While it may survive this crisis, questions still remain around the future of the unicorn. Watch our next report to know more Just like BYJU’S, several companies across sectors have started from scratch and carved a niche, capturing the imagination of people with their inventive products. Of late, several such companies in the D2C space are increasingly being gobbled up by bigger FMCG companies. A rush for brand acquisitions is on. Watch our next report to know more Let us move on to consumer financing companies. A strong credit growth on the back of huge pent-up demand is set to push their loan books. As the festive season knocks on the doors, analysts suggest investors warm up to related stocks but with caveats. The consumer finance companies are eagerly waiting for the festivals to bring in some luck. Meanwhile, for the staff of MP’s Kuno National Park, celebrations have already begun -- but for a different reason. And not just the staff, but the entire nation is waiting to celebrate the arrival of cheetahs from Africa. Most of us may have never seen a cheetah as it went extinct from India about 70 years ago. This episode of the podcast tells more about Project Cheetah.
TMS Ep260: India Inc investments, global bond indices, markets, EWS quota
Corporate tax has already been slashed. PLI scheme is there. Stock market is so confident. Investment from abroad is pouring in. “So what is stopping Indian companies from investing in the economy?” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked on Tuesday as she vowed all the support they needed. But why are Indian businesses shying away from increasing investments? Despite being the biggest bond market among emerging economies, India has long been struggling to get its bonds listed on global indexes. But experts believe that it may change soon as Russia’s recent exclusion has set the ball rolling for India’s inclusion in global bond indices. Not just the US bond markets, but the global equities too are rattled amid fear of the US Fed raising the interest rate to tame inflation. The fears sent global equities spiralling down as investors feared a hard landing for the world’s biggest economy. Domestic equities, on the flipside, settled with marginal cuts of 0.4%. So, what does this rebound say about Sensex and Nifty? Should investors be worried if the US Fed raises rate by 75 bps or higher next week? After the markets, let us move on to a case which is being heard by the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court. The validity of the 10% quota for people belonging to economically weaker sections is under scrutiny in the apex court. This episode of the podcast offers an insight into this much debated issue and more.
TMS Ep258: India at IPEF, fruit & veg market, rice stocks, visual search
Citing elusive consensus and possible discrimination against developing economies prompted India to stay out of the trade pillar of the United States-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF. Given that India is currently negotiating trade deals with the UK, Canada and EU, is the IPEF decision a step in the wrong direction? Also, what does this mean for India’s ambition to become a larger player in global trade? Staying with international trade, India is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables. But it has long been struggling to ramp-up its exports -- where smaller countries like Thailand are way ahead. India is the world's second largest rice producer followed by China. But last week, the government imposed export duties on various grades of rice. Analysts expect that this protectionist measure will harm the profitability of rice-mill companies in the near-term. However, healthy rice harvest and sound fundamentals are expected to override negative sentiments in the long- haul. Did you know that you can click a photo on any item and search similar products on the web? People are using visual search over 8 billion times a month. Find out more in this episode of the podcast.