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☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand?

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☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 1
Wednesday 23 March 2022

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So, fuel price hikes are here. State-run fuel retailers raised petrol and diesel prices by 0.80 paise per litre on Tuesday, the first increase since daily revisions were paused on 4 November before the crucial assembly elections. More hikes are likely—Brent crude prices have surged more than 40% since November. What does this mean for the economy? It may squeeze Indian households and dampen demand for goods and services. The resulting inflation will also test the Reserve Bank of India’s commitment to keeping interest rates low.

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 3

Meanwhile, inflation in wheat prices because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spread pain across the developing world. Scroll down. Also, don’t miss our reportage on Oyo’s IPO, privatization of state-run banks, and tax on crypto assets.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 8 57,989.30 (+1.22%)

NIFTY

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 8 17,315.50 (+1.16%)

Dollar/Rupee

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 8 ₹76.17 (+0.08%)

Gold

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 11 ₹51,165 (-0.95%)

Crude oil

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 11 ₹8,235 (-1.15%)

Bitcoin

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 8 ₹33,23,678.93 (+3.52%)

*As of 9 PM 22 March; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

Oyo investors drop OFS plan

Oravel Stays, which operates hospitality unicorn Oyo Hotels and Homes, plans to trim the size of its initial public offering after its investors dropped their plans to sell their holdings through an offer for sale (OFS), two people with knowledge of the development said. In its draft share sale documents in October, Oyo had proposed an ₹8,340 crore IPO, which included an offer for sale of ₹1,340 crore. The company has now reduced its valuation expectation as well, writes Ranjani Raghavan. Read more.

Privatization of state-run banks likely by September

The much-anticipated privatization of state-run banks may be initiated by September, with the government preparing to lift the 20% cap on foreign ownership in public sector banks (PSBs) by amending the Banking Regulation Act, two government officials privy to the development said. By privatizing state-run banks, the government wants to bring in more efficiency and avoid the burden of having to recapitalize the lenders periodically, reports Subhash Narayan. Read more.

Ukraine war spillover swamps poor countries (premium)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spread pain across the developing world. It has spurred the biggest price shock in decades and choked imports of basic commodities, triggering shortages especially tough for poorer nations. Some 50 countries import 30% or more of their wheat supply from Russia and Ukraine. The two countries combined provide a third of global cereal exports and 52% of the sunflower oil export market. If the war continues, the impact could be more consequential than the covid-19 pandemic. Read more.

How would tax on crypto assets impact industry?

The government has clarified that investors won’t be allowed to offset losses in one crypto asset against gains in another, and that crypto mining infrastructure costs will not be included in the cost of acquisition to be claimed as a deduction. Will these trigger an investor exodus? Industry leaders fear that the lack of provision to offset losses will drive away users from KYC-compliant exchanges and platforms to the underground peer-to-peer grey market, which would defeat the purpose of regulation, writes Abhinav Kaul. Read more.

India’s super rich give less while CSR contributions grow

India’s uber rich have sharply reduced their philantrophic contributions despite a surge in net worth, according to a report. Ultra-high net worth individuals, or people with a net worth of more than ₹1,000 crore, have scaled down their philanthropic contributions by about 40% to ₹12,000 crore in the six years through March 2021. However, the tally of retail contributors, or individuals who give less than ₹1.5 lakh annually, has swelled both in terms of their count as well as the size of contributions, report Rashmi Menon. Read more.

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Elsewhere…

Global business news

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 25

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 26

Rescuers combed through the wreckage Tuesday of the plane that crashed in southern China but haven’t found any survivors at the site where a China Eastern Airlines Corp. Boeing 737 carrying 132 people plummeted to the ground a day earlier. They collected identification cards and a wallet, among other items that may have belonged to the passengers, footage from state broadcaster China Central Television showed on Tuesday.

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 26

Ukrainian forces have inflicted significant losses on Russia’s larger and better-armed military using insurgency-style tactics that take advantage of their grab bag of available weapons. In a war of ambushes and skirmishes, mobile Ukrainian units have used their knowledge of the local battlefield and sought to hit Russian forces at their weak points, striking armored columns on main roads and undermining their ability to fight by disrupting supplies.

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 28
☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 26

The world’s biggest makers of household staples have vowed to stop selling all but the bare essentials in Russia. What counts as essential is open to interpretation. Lay’s potato chips, Gillette razors and Air Wick home fragrances are still on sale in Russia, along with several brands of ice cream, a line of children’s cosmetics and natural facial cleansers.

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 26

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken the global market for uranium, a critical fuel for nuclear-power plants, prompting some in the US to propose reviving domestic production. Russia enriches more uranium for use in nuclear plants than any other country in the world. Its increasing economic isolation following its attack on Ukraine have exposed the fragility of global nuclear-fuel supplies, which are controlled by a handful of countries.

e-paper
MINT SNAPVIEW

Zomato’s acquisition of Blinkit gives it temporary respite

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 33

Acquiring Blinkit, a significant acquisition, has catapulted Zomato to the big league of quick commerce alongside Swiggy, Instamart and Zepto. Zomato said it was hot on the product-market fit, unit economics, and saw quick delivery approaching the point that food delivery’s growth trajectory was at a few years ago. Zomato’s shareholders may disagree, though. On the day of the announcement, its shares fell to the lowest level since its listing. Read more.

News in numbers
34 lakh

The number of children in India in the age group of 12-14 years that have received their first dose of covid vaccine, according to the union health ministry.

2,877

The number of electric vehicle charging stations sanctioned by India’s ministry of heavy industries in 68 cities across 25 states/UTs under Phase-II of FAME India Scheme.

63
☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 35

The number of cities from India among the 100 most polluted cities in the world as measured by PM2.5 concentrations, according to the World Air Quality Report 2021.

64%

The percentage of working Indians who saw a rise in financial stress during the pandemic, even as 45% faced job loss or loss of pay, according to a report by NIRA, a fintech.

95%

The percentage of Indian workers who said that they need more digital skills to cope with changes in their jobs due to the covid-19 pandemic, according to a report from Amazon Web Services.

howindialives.com
Chart of the day
☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 36

In India, digital transactions such as e-wallets and UPI are giving stiff competition to card payment giants such as Mastercard and Visa. However, the credit cards business in India is expanding, too. At ₹7.8 trillion for the 10 months till January 2022, credit card spending has already crossed pre-pandemic levels.

LOUNGE RECOMMENDS

Not a patch on Jigarthanda

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 37

Without intending to be, Bachchhan Paandey is a neat commentary on the options available to talented character actors in Hindi cinema. You can play it straight and escape with your dignity (Saharsh Kumar Shukla, Abhimanyu Singh). You can ham it up and book yourself a dozen other teeth-grinding roles (Sanjay Mishra, Pankaj Tripathi). Or you can collect the cheque and hope no one asks you why you’re playing the mute mother of Akshay Kumar, who’s just three years younger than you (Seema Biswas). Keep reading.

WHAT THE FACT

Chef hat on a hamburger

☕: Will fuel price hikes dampen demand? 39

(Bryan Hong, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons)

Brothers Dick and Mac moved to California from New England to try their luck in the movie business. After they failed, the duo opened drive-in hamburger restaurants. The mascot of these restaurants was a chef hat on top of a hamburger. In the 1940s, they turned the company into a franchise. That’s how McDonald’s began.

Contributed by katanaThebizdom

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Written and edited by Goutam Das. Produced by Samiksha Khanna. Send in your feedback to newsletterskatanalivemint.com.

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