☕ LIC to test investor appetite

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Thursday 28 April 2022

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Next week will be a big one—for the markets, investors, and the government. The LIC IPO opens for subscription on 4 May. The markets have been choppy ever since Russia attacked Ukraine with foreign investors pulling back. The ₹21,000 crore public offer will therefore test investor appetite. The government and LIC executives certainly believe the domestic interest is strong .

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Scroll down for our top corporate stories. On RIL’s Viacom18, HUL, Bajaj Auto, and IndiaMart. Also, don’t miss a piece on petrol and diesel prices and what states could do to cool inflation.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

☕ LIC to test investor appetite 8 56,819.39 (-0.94%)


☕ LIC to test investor appetite 8 17,038.40 (-0.94%)


☕ LIC to test investor appetite 8 ₹76.53 (-0.06%)


☕ LIC to test investor appetite 8 ₹51,167 (-0.81%)

Crude oil

☕ LIC to test investor appetite 8 ₹7,729 (-1.78%)


☕ LIC to test investor appetite 13 ₹31,71,256.27 (+1.38%)

*As of 10.30 PM 27 April; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

Murdoch, Uday Shankar invest ₹13,500 cr in RIL’s Viacom18

Reliance Industries and Viacom18 have entered into a partnership with Bodhi Tree Systems, an investment platform run by James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar, with an eye on bidding for the lucrative broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. Bodhi Tree Systems will lead an investment of ₹13,500 crore in Viacom18, giving it nearly 40% of the company as it aims to build India’s leading entertainment platform, reports Lata Jha. Read more.

Hindustan Unilever sails through, but water is choppy

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) faced two big challenges in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2022. One, cost pressures intensified further. Two, demand outlook was gloomy. This toned down expectations from the fast-moving consumer goods company’s results. Against this backdrop, HUL performed well on some counts, write Harsha Jethmalani and Vineetha Sampath. Read more.

Chip shortage may hit 20% production in Q1: Bajaj Auto

The global shortage of semiconductors is likely to hit 15%-20% of Bajaj Auto’s planned production volume this quarter. Production of two-wheelers, particularly sports motorcycles and electric scooters sold in the domestic market, is nearly 15% lower due to supply constraints, an executive with the company said. Outages faced by semiconductor suppliers have worsened visibility of chip availability, reports Alisha Sachdev. Read more.

Survival of the fittest: Get it from IndiaMart

Founded in 1999, IndiaMart is one of India’s largest and oldest online B2B marketplace. While the company has grown steadily, it is increasingly facing tougher competition, from both multinationals and startups. Investments in cutting edge technology like AI is one leg of its survival strategy. And while every new-age company uses exponential technologies, IndiaMart has one advantage—over 20 years of customer data. A second leg is acquisitions. Ninad D Sheth has more details. Read more.

Prime minister asks states to cut VAT on fuels

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged state governments to cut value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel to help reduce fuel prices and lessen the burden on consumers. In a virtual meeting with chief ministers, Modi said the Centre had cut excise duties on the fuels last November and requested states to lower their taxes. Domestic retail fuel prices have surged, with petrol selling for more than ₹100 a litre in many places, pushing up inflation and impacting households. Rituraj Baruah reports. Read more.

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Global business news

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Russia said it halted gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay on Moscow’s new terms, a major escalation in its standoff with Europe over the war in Ukraine. European officials denounced the move, which threatens the continent’s energy supply, as blackmail by Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded last month that countries deemed hostile to Moscow, such as European Union members, pay for Russian gas in rubles.

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The eyewear company that owns Ray-Ban and LensCrafters has sued JPMorgan Chase & Co., accusing it of failing to notice that thieves had transferred more than $272 million out of one of its bank accounts in 2019. A unit of EssilorLuxottica SA, the world’s largest eyewear company, accused the bank of failing to spot a “highly suspicious pattern of fraudulent transactions,” allowing thieves to blow through a daily withdrawal limit of $10 million at least nine times over several months.

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Apple Inc. is making it easier for customers and independent repair technicians to perform surgery on some iPhones and Macs. After years of resisting DIY repairs, Apple opened a new online store Wednesday where anyone can view repair manuals and order replacement parts and tools for certain recent devices. The new Self Service Repair Store sells screens, batteries, cameras and other parts to fix issues with iPhone 12 and 13 models and 2022’s updated iPhone SE.

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Elon Musk has pledged to adopt a more hands-off approach to speech on Twitter Inc., but a warning from a top European regulator shows it may not be as simple as shelling out $44 billion for the social-media platform and taking it private. The internal market commissioner at the European Union cautioned Mr. Musk a day after he struck a deal to buy Twitter that he would need to follow the bloc’s new rules on content moderation.


How to tackle the toxicity level of Musk’s Twitter public square

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Elon Musk’s privately held Twitter is likely to increase the level of toxicity the social media platform tolerates, in line with the new owner’s professed opposition to censoring tweets, on grounds of freedom of expression. The challenge is to regulate social media on par with mainstream media, so that national policy rather than owner predilection determines the quality of the public discourse, of which platforms like Twitter are an increasingly vital part. Read more.

News in numbers
6 months

The gap expected to be prescribed by the government between the precaution dose of covid-19 vaccine and the second dose, compared to a gap of nine months at present.

$130 billion

The size of the Indian e-commerce industry in India by 2026, up from $45 billion in 2021, according to a report by BCG-RAI.

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The subsidy to be provided by the union government for every bag of Di-ammonium phosphate fertlizer for the upcoming Kharif season, up from ₹1,650 per bag last year.


The sequential growth in rental values in Bengaluru in the quarter ended March 2022, the highest among 23 cities in the Asia-Pacific region tracked by Knight Frank.


The number of times NASA has launched a full-fledged International Space Station crew aboard a SpaceX vehicle since 2020.
Chart of the day
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The illegal practice of workers cleaning sewers and septic tanks continues unabated as the recent deaths of such workers show. More than 770,000 Indians work as sewer cleaners, according to data compiled by the Safai Karmachari Andolan, with Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh accounting for the highest numbers. However, a lack of reliable recent data could point to a sharp undercounting of this figure, say activists.



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A young boy and girl drawn to each other by the first rush of physical attraction, both testing social propriety—this has been the basis of numerous love stories. And yet, in the hands of Gujarati Dalit literary icon Dalpat Chauhan, this template takes off on a fiery tangent. Chauhan is known for his powerful commentary on the oppression faced by Dalits and Adivasis. Vultures, translated from the Gujarati novel (Gidh, 1991) by Hemang Ashwinkumar, is a horrifying reminder of the inequalities wrought by an entrenched caste system. Go deeper.


The father of AI

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Passport photo of Alan Turing at age 16. (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Alan Turing is sometimes referred to as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He played a crucial role during the World War II—he was the cryptographer responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code. That enabled the Allies defeat the Axis powers in many battles. However, Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts. Two years later, he took his own life.

Contributed by katanaThebizdom

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