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Friday 25 March 2022

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The Ukraine war has disrupted shipping lines and led to container shortages. And it has inflicted significant pain on many industries in India that import components. Nevertheless, a few sectors are weathering the stormy markets relatively well. Who are the surprise winners as of now? Steel, aluminium, sugar and drug makers. Meanwhile, global defence spending is expected to shoot up even when the war ends. Encouraging news for India’s defence sector companies that often complain of a “famine” in orders.

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(AFP)

Scroll down for our top stories of the day. On Zee-Invesco, genome sequencing, Airtel’s 5G network plans, and warehousing in Bengal. The weekend is nearly here. If you are planning on a movie, check out this week’s big release.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

☕: Relief at Zee Entertainment 8 57,595.68 (-0.15%)

NIFTY

☕: Relief at Zee Entertainment 8 17,222.75 (-0.13%)

Dollar/Rupee

☕: Relief at Zee Entertainment 10 ₹76.36 (+0.09%)

Gold

☕: Relief at Zee Entertainment 10 ₹52,069 (+0.58%)

Crude oil

☕: Relief at Zee Entertainment 8 ₹8,671 (-0.69%)

Bitcoin

☕: Relief at Zee Entertainment 10 ₹33,61,531.46 (+2.80%)

*As of 8.30 PM 24 March; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

Relief at Zee Entertainment as Invesco withdraws EGM demand

Invesco Developing Markets Fund, the largest shareholder of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, signalled the end of a boardroom and legal feud with the broadcaster, by withdrawing a call for a special shareholders’ meeting to remove ZEEL managing director Punit Goenka and recasting the board. The US investor, which had accused the ZEEL management of corporate governance lapses, said it would continue to monitor ZEEL’s ongoing merger with Sony group and reserves the right to call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) if the merger does not go as planned. Anirudh Laskar and S Gopika Gopakumar report. Read more.

India to run genome sequencing for over a year

India will conduct genome sequencing to check for the emergence of new covid-19 strains for at least year, a government official said as the country started lifting most pandemic-related curbs amid falling cases. Genome sequencing is a laboratory method to determine the entire genetic make-up of a specific organism or cell type. While many districts are reporting as few as 10-15 daily cases, several in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are down to zero, prompting the government to decide against extending disaster management rules to curb covid. Priyanka Sharma reports. Read more.

‘Airtel 5G network to run on European gear, OpenRAN’

Bharti Airtel will not buy 5G network equipment from Chinese vendors and will instead use equipment from European vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson, as well as OpenRAN-based 5G network provider Mavenir, chief technology officer Randeep Sekhon said in an interview. Airtel may look at taking 100 MHz of 5G spectrum if it is affordable, but will be open for a lower quantum of airwaves if prices remain high, he told Gulveen Aulakh. Read more.

Sleepy Kolkata suburbs turn into logistics hubs (premium)

A silent revolution is playing out in Bengal’s landscape. A steady stream of e-commerce firms, third-party logistics players and developers are rushing to the state to build or run modern warehouses. Why is that? Bengal has traditionally been eastern India’s principal trading hub and has excellent road, rail and riverine connectivity. Many huge vessels carrying freight from other countries can dock at the Haldia port. The boom has now opened up more employment opportunities, writes Anik Basu. Read more.

Exhibition industry hopes RRR will be a roaring hit

Pandemic-ravaged film exhibiters are pinning hope on SS Rajamouli’s RRR that will finally hit the screens today. The film that draws significant appeal from Rajamouli’s reputation post Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, the highest grossing film in Indian history, has generated a buzz in both north and south India. While the producers have already recovered the film’s ₹300 crore budget, thanks to distribution, satellite and digital sales touching ₹600 crore, it will be a challenge to hit that scale from ticket sales, writes Lata Jha. Read more.

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Elsewhere…

Global business news

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Ukraine said it struck the Russian-occupied port facilities in the Azov Sea city of Berdyansk Thursday, setting off a large fire and destroying a Russian ship as the war entered its second month. The port has become a major logistics hub for Russian forces. Footage from the area showed smoke billowing from the berthing area and Kyiv said the attack destroyed the Russian navy landing ship Orsk.

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Fertilizer prices were already high before the Ukraine war. They have now reached record levels amid a precipitous drop in Russian supply, according to CRU Group, which analyzes commodity markets. At the same time, more-expensive natural gas, another Russian export and a crucial ingredient in fertilizer-making, has led European fertilizer factories to scale back production.

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Search and rescue teams on Thursday discovered engine parts from the plane carrying 132 people that rammed into the mountains of southern China, as the hunt continued for the second black box. With no signs of survivors three days after the crash, all aboard the Boeing 737 operated by China Eastern Airlines—nine aircrew and 123 passengers—are feared dead in what would be China’s worst air disaster in nearly three decades.

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Predicting recessions involves a lot of correlation and not a lot of causation. What many believe is the best predictor is from the treasury market, and it’s back in focus: an inverted yield curve, or higher yields on short-dated bonds than on long-dated bonds. The correlation is what convinces many that we’re close to a flashing warning sign.

e-paper
MINT SNAPVIEW

The unintended consequences of SC’s order on Amrapali

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The Supreme Court’s attempts to resolve the stalled Amrapali housing project, in favour of hapless home-buyers, have inadvertently created a contentious hierarchy of rights and priorities. The case will set a precedent for the future of stressed assets in India and determine a pecking order for the rights of various institutions. Read more.

News in numbers
1.93 million

The number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in India in 2021, up 19% from the previous year, as pandemic related lockdown restrictions impacted interventions to control the disease.

₹1.93 trillion

The total amount of refunds issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes to more than 2.26 crore taxpayers between 1 April 2021 and 20 March 2022.

3.5 million
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The number of people who have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion of the country on 24 February, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

187,000

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits for the week ending 19 March, the lowest since September of 1969, a sign that the US job market is strong.

88%

The percentage of people in India who use their phone just before bedtime, down from 92% last year, according to a survey by Wakefit.co.

howindialives.com
Chart of the day
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After four-and-a-half months, state-run fuel retailers have hiked petrol and diesel prices twice already this week. The rate revisions had been on pause since November ahead of crucial assembly elections. Petrol now costs ₹97.01 a litre in Delhi, a jump of over ₹1.50 within two days. Diesel in the capital city has got dearer by a similar quantum, and now costs ₹88.27 a litre.

LOUNGE RECOMMENDS

Eager For Love

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Netflix comedy Eternally Confused And Eager For Love is a stream of self-consciousness sitcom, the misadventures of an under-confident millennial who talks to his keychain. Ray, played by Vihan Samat, is a relentlessly unremarkable young man, while his keychain Wiz, voiced by Jim Sarbh, is a sarcastic know-it-all pushing advice that oscillates between deeply optimistic and deeply self-destructive. Keep reading.

WHAT THE FACT

Doomscrolling & doomsurfing

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(himHallows)

Doomscrolling and doomsurfing are fairly new words. Their origins are uncertain but some accounts point to Twitter as the birthplace. Both the words gained currency in the context of the covid-19 pandemic. According to Merriam-Webster, it refers “to the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing”. The publishing company’s dictionary, however, has categorised both the words under ‘Words We’re Watching’. That means they are not included in the dictionary just yet.

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Written and edited by Goutam Das. Produced by Aswetha Anil. Send in your feedback to newsletterskatanalivemint.com.

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