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


Reserve Bank intervenes to arrest rupee’s fall, defends level at 77.50 a dollar

A day after the rupee hit a record low and breached 77 per dollar, the Reserve Bank of India intervened heavily across foreign exchange markets —spot, futures and offshore — that halted the rupee from going past 77.50 a dollar. The local currency opened at 77.29 per dollar after closing at 77.46 on Monday. It ended the day 77.33 per dollar, up 14 paise from the previous close, after touching the day´s low of 77.45.

Why it’s important: Most currency traders expect the rupee to breach 78 to a dollar by the end of this month. Some even predict it falling beyond 79 per dollar. The central bank’s options are getting increasingly limited.

Supreme Court says creditors can invoke personal guarantees in insolvency cases

The Supreme Court has rejected a plea against a recent ruling by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, paving way for lenders to initiate insolvency proceedings against promoters, directors and chairman who have signed personal guarantees on corporate loans. This is irrespective of pendency of any proceeding against the corporate debtor under the insolvency.

Why it’s important: The tribunal in January had ruled that of corporate insolvency was not a prerequisite initiate bankruptcy action against personal guarantors. The court verdict will likely ensure optimal recovery of dues and prevent lenders from taking deep haircuts.

Government wants option to seek VPN user information to fight cybercrime

The central government has the right to seek records related to virtual private network users to combat cybercrimes, a government official said. VPN providers such as Surfshark and NordVPN may not be unlikely to able to adhere to the new security directive from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.

Why it’s important: If VPN service providers fail to store personal data of users for five years or longer, and handed them to the government when required, they will not be able to do business in India. This could impact more than 270 million VPN users in the country.

UltraTech to bid for Ambuja, ACC on favourable legal advice

Armed with a favourable legal opinion and regulatory precedence under the competition law, the Aditya Birla group is likely to bid for Holcim’s India assets, Ambuja Cements and ACC. It is ready to divest voluntary assets of around 15 million tons per annum to comply with market share norms.

Why it’s important: UltraTech is India’s largest cement maker. The acquisition could place it in a dominant position in the domestic market that is expanding rapidly.

Sajjan Jindal bets $ 4.5 billion of personal fortune to buy Ambuja Cements

Sajjan Jindal, chairman of the JSW group whose stake is valued at $ 14.5 billion (Rs 1.1 trillion), is betting $ 4.5 billion of his wealth to bid for Ambuja Cements. Jindal’s contribution will be a combination of share sale and debts raised by pledging the stake of the target entities with private equities. Jindal has offered $ 7 billion for Ambuja Cements, including $ 2.5 billion of investments from private equities.

Why it’s important: The race to buy Holcim India’s cement assets in the country is getting fierce. Besides JSW, the Adani group is also in talks to but the cement makers, along with Aditya Birla group’s UltraTech.

Retail inflation may have risen 7.5% in April, the highest in 18 months

Consumer price inflation in India might have surged to an 18-month high of 7.5 percent in April from 6.95 percent in March, driven by a rise in the prices of fuel, cooking gas and food, a Mint poll of 24 economists showed ahead of the data to be released on Thursday.

Why it’s important: The retail inflation data will indicate whether the Reserve Bank will raise the benchmark lending rate again after a 0.4 percent hike last week. High price rise pressures could detail India’s economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic.

Byju’s to purchase Singapore education firm Northwest for around Rs 7.5 billion

Test prep company Byju’s has agreed to buy Singapore-based online higher education platform Northwest Education Pte in a cash-and-stock deal. The Northwest deal follows Byju’s parent announcing in March that it will raise a fresh $ 800 million funding at a $ 22 billion valuation.

Why it’s important: India’s largest online tutoring firm is persisting with its strategy to expand in overseas markets, particularly where English is used. The local unicorn is India’s most valuable startup.

Taxi-hailing platforms warned not to violate pricing and cancellation rules

The central government has warned cab aggregators like Ola and Uber to comply with surge pricing and driver cancellation mandates laid down under the motor vehicle aggregator guidelines within a month or else face penal action. India’s Central Consumer Protection Authority is soon expected to come up with a draft advisory for online cab aggregators.

Why it’s important: There has been rising consumer complaints on pricing and cancellations. Taxi drivers of the hailing services are also not happy with a significant lowering of earnings.

Price hikes by India’s FMCG firms to heighten inflation pain

As commodity prices have been rising relentlessly since the second half of financial year 2020-21, companies in the fast-moving consumer goods space have been left with no options but to increase prices on everything ranging from essentials like soaps to edible oils and biscuits. Price rises are being seen in all essential foods, according to data by Bizom.

Why it’s important: The increase in input, logistics and packaging costs have prompted the recent price hikes. This will feed into the already high inflation in the country and may hurt consumer demand.

Worldwide crypto mayhem lands new Indian investors in the red

Local investors who started riding the cryptocurrency bandwagon in large numbers in 2021 are deepening their losses in the continuing meltdown in digital currencies as the bears tighten their grip on the market. The global crypto market cap stood at $ 1. 45 trillion, a 3. 56 percent decrease over the past 24 hours alone, according to CoinMarketCap.

Why it’s important: Cryptocurrencies are infamous for wild swings in value that could wipe out investments in a matter of days. Indian investors who chased higher returns by investing in momentum cryptos, driven by hype on social media and manipulated pump-and-dump schemes, are now ruing their decisions.

Download your money calendar for 2022-23 here and keep your dates with your moneybox, investments, taxes