Morning Scan: All the big stories to get you started for the day

A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers.

A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers.

Social media companies must be accountable for content on platforms: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Social media firms must be “accountable” for the content on their platforms and cannot take cover behind “algorithms”, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, told The Economic Times in an interview.

What the Minister says:

The government believes that there has to be the accountability of all intermediaries to their users.

More so in cases of discrimination amongst users, online harm or spread of misinformation.

Chandrasekhar said the “only dispute was whether social media firms are responsible for the content that is published on their platform by somebody else or is somebody else responsible?”

Platforms cannot claim immunity as a publisher while also declining to reveal the identity of users who post harmful content.

It makes sense for personal data and non-personal data to be regulated by a single data protection authority.

Indian technology space hasn’t seen large IPOs since the likes of Infosys and Wipro hit the markets 15 years ago.

RBI may shift focus from US Dollar to yuan for export competitiveness

The RBI is focusing more on the movement of the rupee compared to the Chinese yuan in its intervention policy, The Economic Times reported.

Why it’s important: The rupee may be poised to get volatile vis-a-vis the US dollar as the talk of tapering gathers momentum.

The objective is to maintain export competitiveness at a time when India is pursuing ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ goals with global investors shifting to China Plus One strategy.

RBI is said to have informally aimed at a benchmark level of 11.50 for CNY INR.

The central bank has reached out to currency dealers raising alerts over the yuan.

Some market participants have also been enquired about their options trades linked to the yuan.

Retail borrowers lift credit demand

Credit growth has jumped to the highest level since the outbreak of the covid pandemic, Mint reported citing RBI data.

Why it’s important: It had stagnated for a year-and-a-half.

The higher festival demand for retail loans and a concerted push by lenders helped the recovery.

As of 5 November, total outstanding non-food credit rose 7.3% from a year ago to Rs 110.9 trillion.

Between 8 October and 5 November, outstanding credit grew by Rs 1.35 trillion.

Scheduled international flights may resume by year-end

International flights could resume operations by the end of the year, Mint reported.

Why it’s important: Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said, “It is a work in progress.”

The international operations have remained suspended since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.

Indian carriers may choose wide-body planes for long trips: Boeing

Indian airlines are likely to go for wide-body planes to operate direct long-haul flights as the civil aviation sector gradually emerges from the pandemic, Mint reported quoting Boeing India President Salil Gupte.

Why it’s important: Air India and Vistara are at present the only Indian operators of wide-body planes.

Health concerns spurred by the pandemic may lead a large section of air travellers to choose direct flights to Europe and North America.

“There will be opportunities for wide-body planes as we recover from the pandemic,” Gupte said.

Wide-body planes can typically be used for long-haul flights, while narrow-body planes such as the Boeing 737 family and the Airbus A320 family, can fly for 6-7 hours at a stretch.

Boeing is bullish about the 737 Max, which has been allowed by aviation regulators worldwide, excluding China, to return to service.

‘We invest for 10-20 years, do not need the public listing to exit’

As Prosus’ investments touch over $ 10 billion, its CEO Bob Van Dijk, in an interview with Business Standard, talks about how its investment approach differs from that of typical venture capital funds.

What he says:

We are not a venture capital fund, so we stay invested for decades, between 10-20 years.

For us, the key criterion for investing is ‘can we add value to the company?’

We almost always have a board seat that helps us in giving direction to the company and we can bring in expertise from other markets.

IPO is not an exit for us. We are long-term investors.

Don’t get blinded by near-term big numbers (IPO) but think of the decades ahead.

Do not go public because the market happens to be hot, that is a really bad reason.

India has been our number one priority market for years and that has not changed.

India has been an innovation lab from where new solutions will travel to the rest of the world.

FPIs’ secondary market outflows most in 13 years

Foreign portfolio investors have offloaded shares worth Rs 46,000 crore from the secondary market, so far, this financial year, the most since FY09, Business Standard reported.

Why it’s important: FPIs have invested more than Rs 53,000 crore in the primary market during the same period.

This shows FPIs have been reallocating their holdings without bringing in much fresh capital.

A substantial portion of foreign money appears to have made its way to IPOs.

Total investment by FPIs as anchors stands at Rs 24,477 crore, nearly six times that of last year and more than nine times the amount invested in 2019, the data from PRIME Database shows.

The steep rally and lofty valuations have led several foreign brokerages to turn cautious on Indian equities, of late.

Profit concentration in India Inc rises amid private sector growth

Big private sector companies have cornered a large chunk of the corporate profit pie in the last few years, Business Standard reported.

Why it’s important:  At the same time, the small and public sector firms struggle with poor profitability.

This has resulted in a steady rise in profit concentration.

India’s 20 most profitable companies accounted for nearly 65 per cent of all corporate profits in the listed space in the first half of FY22, as against a 62.4 per cent share in FY21 and 52 per cent a decade ago in FY12.

But this was lower than the record-high profit concentration of 72 per cent in FY20.

The 20 most profitable listed firms reported a combined net profit of Rs 2.49 trillion in the first half of FY22, up 78 per cent from around Rs 1.4 trillion in the first half of FY21.

The combined net profit of all 815 companies in the Business Standard sample was up 84 per cent year-on-year to Rs 3.93 trillion from Rs 2.14 trillion in the first half of FY21.