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Thursday 21 April 2022

Top of the morning

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Markets snapped a five-day losing streak to climb more than 1% yesterday. What changed? There were positive global cues. Besides, investors were buying on dips. Auto, oil & gas, FMCG, pharma, IT, and consumer durables indices gained. On the other hand, media, metals, banking and financial services indices ended in the red. Market watchers have warned of more volatility ahead—foreign institutional investors are withdrawing funds in large quantities.

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Scroll down for the top stories. On LIC, Hero MotoCorp, Netflix and non-film music. Meanwhile, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been locked in a decades-long bitter dispute around the Mullaperiyar dam. Don’t miss our in-depth piece that explores the many nuances of the dispute.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

☕ LIC puts up robust show 8 57,037.50 (+1.02%)

NIFTY

☕ LIC puts up robust show 8 17,136.55 (+1.05%)

Dollar/Rupee

☕ LIC puts up robust show 10 ₹76.21 (-0.39%)

Gold

☕ LIC puts up robust show 10 ₹52,624 (-0.24%)

Crude oil

☕ LIC puts up robust show 10 ₹7,863 (-0.03%)

Bitcoin

☕ LIC puts up robust show 8 ₹32,92,243.22 (+0.13%)

*As of 8.30 PM 20 April; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

LIC puts up robust show ahead of public listing

Life Insurance Corp. of India’s (LIC) first-year premium collection, a key metric, rose 7.9% to ₹1.98 trillion for the year ended 31 March, data reviewed by Mint showed, boosting the prospects of the state-run insurer as the government gets ready to brave choppy markets to take the company public. However, India’s largest insurer ended the year with a market share of 63.25%, lower than the previous year. Gulveen Aulakh has the details. Read more.

Hero MotoCorp’s going may get better ahead

Hero MotoCorp has been on a rocky path for some time now. The two-wheeler company operates primarily in the << <125cc segment— mostly entry-and executive-level vehicles. These categories have faced the most heat as rising inflation and dull rural demand weighed on motorcycle sales. Plus, soaring fuel prices mean a rise in the cost of ownership of vehicles. Even so, there is hope that the segment can see a rebound. Why is that? Vineetha Sampath finds out. Read more.

Mullaperiyar: Dam’ned’ & divided (Premium)

The Mullaperiyar dam is located in Kerala. But Tamil Nadu controls the flow of the water inside the reservoir. The two states have been locked in a decades-long bitter dispute about the dam’s safety. Kerala believes that if the 126-years-old dam bursts, it would wipe out millions of lives in districts as far as Kottayam, Ernakulam and Alappuzha. Yet, counter-intuitively to its public stance on prioritising safety, Kerala has frequently thwarted efforts by Tamil Nadu to carry out strengthening work on the dam, writes Tanya Thomas. Read more.

The reality of India’s English-Hindi tussle

There is a need for Hindi to be the “language of India” and for it to be used as an alternative to English as a lingua franca, Union home minister Amit Shah said while presiding over a recent meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee. However, in a country of more than 1.3 billion people, Hindi is the mother tongue of a small populace and English is fast becoming indispensable for professional set-ups. English is also seen as a language of emancipation by marginalized communities. To what extent can English be downplayed? Sumant Sen answers. Read more.

Labels, artistes tap growing demand for non-film music

Music labels and artistes have set their sights on more non-film songs to reach out to their audiences. The non-film genre has more than doubled in music label catalogues—from 5-10% to 30% in the last three years. Music labels such as Saregama, T-Series and others have used the pandemic period—when film releases were largely absent—to launch non-film original songs in Hindi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Haryanvi, writes Lata Jha. Read more.

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Elsewhere…

Global business news

☕ LIC puts up robust show 21

☕ LIC puts up robust show 22

Russian forces Wednesday made incremental gains in their offensive in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, as Western nations rushed more weapons to the outgunned Ukrainian military. In the Donbas port city of Mariupol, besieged by Russian forces since late February, the remaining Ukrainian defenders warned that time was running out and asked to be evacuated to a third country.

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Netflix Inc. said it is exploring offering a lower priced ad-supported version of the platform to boost its subscriber base, after the streaming giant posted its first quarterly subscriber loss in more than a decade. The move is a significant change for a company that has sold itself since its inception as a commercial-free haven for its members.

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Forget Instagram or TikTok. The latest social app favoured by younger users is about being spontaneous without filters. Nearly 6.8 million people have downloaded BeReal over the past two years, according to data from mobile-market intelligence company Sensor Tower. The French app has gained currency among college students.

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David Solomon is getting a bigger slice of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s private-equity profits. The Goldman Sachs chief executive and a tight circle of lieutenants are taking a cut of profits from the firm’s private investment funds. The perk could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years, multiples of their annual pay depending on how those funds do.

e-paper
MINT SNAPVIEW

The merger of IT subsidiaries augurs well for L&T

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Three years ago, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) forked out ₹10,800 crore for a hostile buyout of Mindtree. The Bengaluru-based IT services company will be merged with Larsen and Toubro Infotech (LTI), another listed IT services company of the engineering conglomerate, Bloomberg has reported. What can this deliver for L&T? First, this merger of two companies will make L&T only the third Indian conglomerate to have built a successful IT business of scale. Read more.

News in numbers
97%

The percentage of covid-19 deaths in Delhi between January and March that was due to the Omicron variant, according to a genetic analysis of 578 samples.

70%

The percentage of Indians who plan to travel during this summer, a sign of pent-up demand, according to a survey by ZestMoney.

29.69 million tonnes
☕ LIC puts up robust show 31

India’s crude oil production in the financial year 2021-22, down 2.63% from 30.5 million tonnes a year ago, as the state-owned ONGC produced less than its target.

600,000

The number of “potentially feasible” pumped storage sites worldwide that could store 100 times the energy needed to support a global renewable electricity network, according to a study.

howindialives.com
Chart of the day
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Popular streaming service Netflix lost 200,000 paying subscribers in the March-ended quarter as a result of its decision to suspend operations in Russia due to the Ukraine war. The company lost 700,000 subscribers in Russia, and added 500,000 elsewhere. This is the first time in over a decade that Netflix has lost subscribers in a quarter.

LOUNGE RECOMMENDS

A Hero

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“How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a naughty world,” Portia says in The Merchant of Venice. We know by now that, in Asghar Farhadi’s films, it’s only a matter of time before well-intentioned candles are snuffed out. The Iranian is one of cinema’s reigning pessimists. In A Hero, which played at Cannes last year and won the Grand Prix, he asks what it means to be moral when reputations and livelihoods depend on you bending the truth. Read More

WHAT THE FACT

SDR’s creation

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(Feliks Tomasz Konczakowski)

The Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) was created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. How was it initially defined? As equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold—equivalent to one US dollar back then. The value of the SDR is today based on a basket of five currencies, which includes the US dollar, the euro, the yuan, the yen, and the British pound.

Contributed by katanaThebizdom

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