BQuick On Oct. 7: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

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This is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.

1. TCS: Earnings Beat, Rs 16,000-Crore Buyback, And Salary Hikes

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.’s quarterly profit rose as the software services provider charted a recovery amid disruptions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Net profit rose 6.6% sequentially to Rs 7,475 crore in the July-September period, according to an exchange filing.

  • Margin expanded to 26.2% from 23.6% last quarter.

Get the earnings fineprint here.

TCS’ board approved a proposal to buy back up to Rs 16,000 crore worth of shares to reward stakeholders.

  • India’s largest software services outsourcer will repurchase 5.33 crore shares, or 1.42% of the total paid-up equity, at Rs 3,000 apiece, it said in an exchange filing.

  • That is a 9.6% premium to Wednesday’s closing price.

It’s the third buyback by the company in four years.

The Tata Group company also said that it has increased hiring and will resume pay hikes as the IT firm leaves behind disruption from the pandemic.

  • “We are happy to announce that we will be rolling out salary increases, effective Oct. 1,” said Milind Lakkad, global head of human resources.

It’s attrition rate stood at 8.9%—an all-time low.

Also Read: Wipro Board To Consider Share Buyback Plan On Oct. 13

2. New Boss Dinesh Khara Sees Limited Signs Of Stress In SBI’s Books

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India has seen limited signs of Covid-related stress building up on its books, said Dinesh Kumar Khara, who took over as the bank’s chairman on Wednesday.

  • Early indications suggest that one-time restructuring requests are limited, he said.

  • “When we look at the hits on our restructuring portal, it is an indication of the stress on our book. The indications are that stress is not very high,” Khara told reporters at a press conference.

Here are the other highlights from Khara’s first press conference as SBI chairman.

Also Read: Did Rajnish Kumar Manage To Make SBI Asymptomatic?

3. Sensex Hits 7-Month High; U.S. Stocks Rally

Indian stocks rose after a volatile start to the session as the central bank’s new monetary policy committee began meeting ahead of a decision later this week.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.8% to 39,878.95, the highest in more than seven months, after slipping as much as 0.3% in early trade.

  • The NSE Nifty 50 Index added 0.7%.

  • Gains were driven by Reliance Industries Ltd., which said it will get a $750 million investment in its retail unit.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

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U.S. stocks rose, clawing back most of the decline triggered by Donald Trump’s suspension of stimulus talks, after the president backed a piecemeal approach to aid and investors took a longer-term view on a spending programme.

  • The S&P 500 opened higher after a barrage of overnight tweets from the president supporting $1,200 stimulus checks, $25 billion to hard-hit airlines and $135 billion for small businesses.

  • West Texas Intermediate crude decreased 2.7% to $39.58 a barrel.

Get your daily fix of global markets.

4. How PVR Is Gearing Up For Reopening Of Theatres

The initial 8-12 weeks of business will be tough for PVR Ltd. as it reopens doors on Oct. 15, after being closed for over six months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The multiplex chain, with the largest number of screens across India, expects the first month after reopening to be dedicated to bringing back viewers despite the fear of public places, Chief Executive Officer Gautam Dutta said during an interview.

  • “We have to create our consumers as evangelists who will not only come and watch this cinema but also go out and talk about what they have seen and experienced,” Dutta said.

Read more to see the key highlights of PVR’s comeback strategy.

5. Automakers Push Inventory Ahead Of Festive Season

Inventory built up at dealerships in September even as retail auto sales rose for the fourth straight month on improving demand amid easing stay-at-home restrictions.

  • Factory-gate sales for passenger cars, two-wheelers, commercial vehicles and tractors were higher than retail sales last month as automakers pushed stocks anticipating higher demand ahead of the festive season.

  • That led to an inventory build-up at dealerships. The trend was corroborated by BloombergQuint’s compilation of estimates of three brokerages.

Recovery during the festive season is crucial for the auto industry.

6. Titan Leaves Pandemic Woes Behind

Sales of Titan Co.’s mainstay jewellery business rose nearly back to the year-ago level ahead of the festival and wedding season as India continues to reopen the economy after the lockdown.

  • Consumers are accepting the new normal and have been getting back to their routine activities, resulting in higher walk-ins and increased time spent in stores, India’s largest branded jewellery maker said in its quarterly update filed with exchanges.

The jewellery-to-watchmaker is seeing demand rise as gold prices remain near a record high.

7. Dixon Eyes Windfall Gains From New Incentive Scheme

Dixon Technologies Ltd. expects to earn a revenue of Rs 25,000-30,000 crore from the government’s incentive scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing after India shortlisted the company for the subsidy programme.

  • “With the kind of discussions we are having with global brands, this kind of revenue is clearly achievable. And in the next five years, we can easily do Rs 25,000-30,000 crore in revenue,” Saurabh Gupta, chief financial officer at Dixon said.

The company will reveal its partnerships with global original equipment manufacturers in the next 30-35 days.

8. Data Sharing Not The Purpose Of Deal, Reliance Jio, Facebook Tell CCI

Facebook Inc.’s 9.9% acquisition in Reliance Industries Ltd.’s Jio Platforms Ltd. will not result in either side acquiring ownership of the other’s data.

  • But to implement the commercial arrangement, both parties will share data to facilitate e-commerce transactions on JioMart, according to India’s anti-trust regulator’s detailed order published this week.

  • While the Competition Commission of India approved this acquisition by Facebook’s wholly owned subsidiary Jaadhu Holdings LLC in June, its order details the issues raised and examined by the regulator.

Here are the issues that CCI specifically examined the combined impact of.

9. Occupying Public Spaces For Protest Not Acceptable, Says Supreme Court

Occupying public places for protests is not acceptable and areas like Shaheen Bagh—which had seen prolonged demonstrations—cannot be blocked off “indefinitely”, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

  • A bench headed by Justice SK Kaul said protests should be at a designated place and any occupation of public places or roads by demonstrators, which cause inconvenience to a large number of people and violate their rights, is not permissible under law.

  • A balance has to be struck between the right to protest and other public rights like the right to movement, it said.

The top court also said that authorities needed to act on their own in such situations instead of relying on courts.

Also Read: The Return Of Protests

10. Genome Editing Breakthrough Awarded Chemistry Nobel Prize

Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in developing Crispr, a method for editing genes that allows scientists to rewrite the DNA of any living organism.

  • Deemed a “genetic scissors” for its ability to excise flawed bits of DNA, the technique has sped biomedical investigations around the world and given hope of treating or curing dozens of rare diseases.

  • The rare award of the chemistry prize to two women crowns them as the innovators in a field whose origins have been hotly debated, with other researchers laying claim to having done the key work.

The technique itself has spawned both hope and controversy.

Also Read: Trio of Women Lawyers Push for Change to India’s Creaking Courts

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