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Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave?

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Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 1
Wednesday, 29 Dec 2021
Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 2

Good morning!

Nearly everyone associated with the equity markets knew this was coming. India’s markets regulator, the Securities Exchange Board of India, has tightened the rules around IPOs. Why is that? Sebi wants to plug regulatory gaps and extreme stock price volatility, particularly when it comes to the listing of startups without a track record of profitability. Here are two key questions the new rules address: how much can large shareholders sell on the listing day, and two, when can anchor investors exit?

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 3

(PTI)

Meanwhile, Indian states face some tough questions with the spread of the Omicron variant. Should they bring back restrictions that are punishing for the economy and jobs? Scroll down to understand Delhi’s response. Also, don’t miss our pieces on Merck’s covid-19 pill and booster jabs. There is no evidence yet on whether boosters completely prevent infection.

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Market Watch
What’s up?

BSE Sensex

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 8 57,897.48 (+0.83%)

NIFTY

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 8 17,233.25 (+0.86%)

Dollar/Rupee

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 10 ₹74.65 -0.46%)

Gold

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 8 ₹48,120 (+0.11%)

Crude oil

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 8 ₹5,722 (+0.86%)

Bitcoin

Top of the Morning ☕:Can boosters prevent a new covid wave? 10 ₹39,19,405.95 (-3.31%)

*As of 9 PM 28 December; MCX, CoinDCX

The main stuff

Banks need to raise more capital to deal with stress: RBI

Banks will need to raise more capital to meet the potential demand for credit and insulate themselves from ongoing stress among borrowers, “especially when monetary and fiscal measures unwind”, a Reserve Bank of India report stated. The report echoes State Bank of India chairman Dinesh Khara’s recent comment that despite being adequately capitalized, banks would need additional capital of $70 billion (₹5.3 trillion) to support India’s ambition to become a $5 trillion economy. Shayan Ghosh reports. Read more.

India boosts arsenal with Merck pill, two more vaccines

The Indian government has approved Merck’s covid-19 pill and two more vaccines for emergency use—the country is preparing for a possible spike in coronavirus cases due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Merck’s anti-viral pill molnupiravir will be manufactured in India by 13 companies. The two vaccines approved are Serum Institute of India’s version of Novavax Inc.’s shot, Covovax, and homegrown drugmaker Biological E’s Corbevax. Read more.

Can booster jabs help prevent a new covid wave?

From 9 January, India will open booster shots for front line workers and those above the age of 60 with co-morbidities. Can one be infected even after the boosters are administered? We don’t know. There is no evidence yet on whether boosters completely prevent infection. What they tend to do is make the symptomatic infection milder over time. Boosters could also become ineffective with the emergence of new coronavirus variants, explains Divya Rajagopal. Read more.

Delhi curbs set to hit theatres, restaurants,  retail  businesses

Malls, movie theatres, restaurants, and retail stores in Delhi will face yet another blow—the state government announced several curbs in view of rising covid-19 cases. It asked cinemas to shut down and imposed restrictions on the timings of malls, markets, and restaurants. Movie theatres, especially in North India had just begun to see signs of recovery with the release of big-ticket Hindi films, report Lata Jha and Suneera Tandon. Read more.

Inside FMCG firms’ delicate balancing act (premium)

Higher raw material input costs have hit the profitability of FMCG firms. How are they offsetting the impact? Businesses have passed on the cost to consumers with calibrated hikes spread over every month. And it’s not over yet. They are likely to increase product prices by 4% to 10% over the next three months. Companies are also negotiating with suppliers for a better deal. The smaller manufacturers have less leverage, though, writes Jharna Mazumdar. Read more.

This is how Indians invested in the 2021 crypto rally

The record-breaking rally in cryptocurrencies not only saw retail investors flock the market in 2021, but also witnessed widespread acceptance by high net-worth individuals, institutional investors, and corporates. Where did they invest? The most traded crypto assets were bitcoin, ethereum, tether, shiba inu, dogecoin, WazirX token, matic, ripple, cardano and solana. The majority of the trading volumes was dominated by bitcoin. Interestingly, women traded more in bitcoin, while men chased shiba inu. Abhinav Kaul has the details. Read more.

e-paper
Elsewhere…

Global business news

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China filed a complaint to the United Nations after Chinese astronauts aboard the country’s space station had to take emergency action earlier this year to avoid colliding with satellites launched by SpaceX, the company founded by billionaire Elon Musk. The two Starlink satellites came close to the space station in July and October, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday in Beijing.

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South Korea’s television industry is experiencing a post-“Squid Game” bump as the country becomes a content battleground for the global streaming wars. Now it has to keep delivering. Apple TV+ and Walt Disney Co.’s Disney+ have recently launched in South Korea, with ambitious plans to develop Korean-language content.

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For the first time in more than three millennia, humanity has gazed upon the mortal remains of one well-preserved royal mummy. That of Amenhotep I was discovered in a burial site near the Egyptian city of Luxor more than a century ago. But while the mummies of other ancient Egyptian pharaohs were opened and studied, Amenhotep I’s mummy was left untouched because archaeologists were loath to disturb its near-perfect wrappings and exquisitely decorated funerary head.

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Vaccine makers have delivered more covid-19 shots to the world’s poorest nations in recent months, but wealthy countries are still receiving a disproportionate share. The unequal distribution, global health experts say, has hampered efforts to move past the pandemic and allowed new variants like Omicron to emerge.

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US officials cut the number of days that they recommend people isolate after being infected with covid-19 to five days from 10, reflecting recent research, new pandemic-management ideas and stress on some industries as the Omicron variant has sickened workers. Vaccinated people exposed to someone with covid-19 should wear a mask around others for 10 days and take a covid-19 test five days after exposure.

News in numbers
$7.27 billion

The foreign direct investment that India’s green energy industry received between 2014-15 and June 2021. Of this, $797.21 million came during 2020-21.

6.9%

The gross non-performing assets (NPAs) reported by India’s scheduled commercial banks at the end of September 2021, down from 7.3% reported in March-end.

11,000
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The number of flights cancelled across the world since last Friday due to staffing shortages caused by a spike in covid infections.

1.55 million

The number of income tax returns (ITRs) that were filed on 27 December. Over 46.7 million ITRs have been filed so far.

₹17,000 per acre

The compensation announced by the Punjab government for Basmati growers in the state whose crops were damaged by hail storms during the recent Kharif season.

howindialives.com
Chart of the day
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IT companies faced a talent squeeze during the pandemic. Growing competition from within the sector and from well-funded startups impacted employee retention at companies such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro. The employee attrition rate trended at 12-20% in the quarter ended September, far higher than 8-11% seen in the December quarter last year, shows data compiled by howindialives.com.

LOUNGE RECOMMENDS

West Side Story

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Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is deeper and leaner than the 1961 version; it’s got better actors; the camera and choreography are more mobile. Yet, it’s practically the same film. Spielberg is a superior craftsman but there is a reluctance to change anything fundamental about the source material. The play is essentially Romeo and Juliet in the run-down Upper West Side of New York, a romance between Tony, a Jet who wants to leave the gang life, and Maria, the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks. Spielberg keeps everything—their meeting at a dance, the death at the ‘rumble’, the tragic ending. Read a review.

What the fact

How RBL Bank started

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RBL Bank is in the news. Do you know how it started? It was established in 1943 as Ratnakar Bank at Kolhapur, in south-west Maharashtra. Founded by Babgonda Bhujgonda Patil and Gangaram Siddappa Chougule, it became a scheduled commercial bank in 1959. Most of the banks’ branches and businesses were located in Maharashtra and Karnataka. When it wanted to shed the regional lender tag, around 2014, McCann Worldgroup was hired for a rebranding exercise. The brand name and logo changed to RBL Bank “to compliment the personality of a modern bank”.

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Written and edited by Goutam Das. Produced by Nirmalya Dutta. Send in your feedback to newsletterskatanalivemint.com.

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