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What a dramatic week just went by. It shook the market and then on Friday evening we had the Finance Minister soothing the nerves with balm. The true test would be the week ahead when one sees the response of her announcement from FPI’s for whom it was primarily meant. The announcements are not yet over with more to follow in the week ahead and the subsequent week. It appears the housing sector would be a key beneficiary of announcements in the coming week. Trading
BSESENSEX lost 649.17 points or 1.74 per cent in the previous week to close at 36,701.16 points. What is of even greater significance is the fact that the low of the day on Friday was 600 points lower at 36,102.35 points. NIFTY lost 218.45 points or 1.98 per cent to close at 10,829.35 points. The low on Friday was 10,637.15 points, a recovery intra day of 194 points. The broader indices saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 2.01 per cent, 2.03 per cent and 2.12 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP was down 2.14 per cent while BSESMALLCAP lost 3.17 per cent.
The Indian Rupee continued to be under pressure and lost 51 paisa or 0.72 per cent at Rs 71.66 to the US Dollar. Dow Jones continued its wild swings and was down 257.11 points or 0.72 per cent at 25,628.90 points. President Donald Trump seems to be losing his cool in this one upmanship war with his Chinese counterpart. He has now asked American companies to stop using Chinese locations for their business, not realising that a large part of so-called American goods are actually manufactured in China. China has imposed further increase of duties on 75 billion of US exports to China. One hopes at the G-7 meeting being held in France over the weekend some sense dawns on Trump or it could be yet another terrible week for global markets.
In the last seven weeks since the Budget was presented, markets have lost 10 per cent on an intra-day basis and over 8 per cent on a closing basis. FPI’s have withdrawn close to 3 billion dollars of money in the same period. The sore point has been addressed and some more also announced for them during the course of last week.
First, SEBI announced further simplification of registration for FPI’s. Secondly, it gave them a tax holiday of 10 years if they registered and did business from Gift City in Ahmedabad. To make things even sweeter for them, while the Finance Minister rolled back the surcharge imposed on them in the Budget, she also extended the same benefit from trading in derivatives which was earlier treated as business income.
Besides covering the FPI’s, the Finance Minister also announced measures for a number of sectors. These included the auto sector where additional depreciation has been provided for purchase made in the period ending between now and March 31, 2020. This deprecation is being doubled from the present 15 per cent to 30 per cent. Further, the freeze on government departments for replacing old cars would be lifted. As far as BS-IV vehicles are concerned, the Minister made it clear that they would be allowed to remain registered as long as the validity of the registration is issued when purchased.
A number of measures which would help in ease of business were also announced which concerned the IT department, refund of GST pending, SME and MSME and also that banks would pass the benefit of any rate cuts in totality. She announced that another so called ‘package’ would be announced mid-week in the coming week and the third and final one sometime next week.
It would be fair to assume that with such a carrot dangling; market men would dare not short any rally which sets in motion beginning on Monday morning. It would be important to see how much of the billion of sales is bought back. If FPIs buy even half of that amount in the coming weeks, markets would regain almost the entire lost ground as confidence would have been boosted and the rupee would also have gained.
The two primary issues which listed during the week gone by did not have a very successful debut. Shares of Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd which had issued shares at Rs 856 ended the week with losses of 39.60 or 4.63 per cent to close at Rs 816.40. The other issue from EPC contractor Sterling & Wilson Solar Ltd which had issued shares at Rs 780 saw its price fall to Rs 625.15, a loss of Rs 154.85 or 19.85 per cent.
The former Finance Minister and Home Minister P. Chidambaram was arrested last week after his anticipatory bail application was turned down. The spectacle created on national television with his chief lawyers being present at his residence and the press conference at AICC headquarters was unbecoming of such a tall leader and senior advocate of the Supreme Court. The outcome of this arrest is going to be long and sordid.
Speaking of former finance ministers, yet another former Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, passed away on Saturday. He was ailing for some time.
Markets should see strong upward movement when they open for trading on Monday morning. This should also be followed by short covering. I believe that market men would wait for the second set of announcements expected mid-week before taking any decision to sell into the ensuing rally. Enjoy the rally as it unfolds as this would be happening after a long time. The only joker in the pack could be Donald Trump. (IANS)
S.E.E. has unveiled plans to build a space station module that contains a sports and entertainment arena as well as a content studio by December 2024, reports variety.com.
Named SEE-1, the module is intended to host films, television, music and sports events as well as artists, producers and creatives who want to make content in the low orbit, micro-gravity environment. The facilities will enable development, production, recording, broadcasting and livestreaming of content.
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S.E.E. intend to produce its own content and events in the module as well as making it available to third-parties. Axiom Space, who in January 2022 won NASA's approval to build a commercial component of the International Space Station (ISS), will undertake the construction of SEE-1. The module will dock on Axiom's commercial arm, named Axiom Station, which will also host other commercial ventures, including space tourism.
Space Entertainment Enterprise (S.E.E), the company co-producing Tom Cruise's upcoming space movie.Metro/wikipedia
Axiom Station will then separate from the ISS in 2028.
S.E.E., which was co-founded in the UK by entrepreneurs and producers Elena and Dmitry Lesnevsky, is currently planning a fundraising round.
"SEE-1 is an incredible opportunity for humanity to move into a different realm and start an exciting new chapter in space," said Dmitry and Elena Lesnevsky in a statement.
"It will provide a unique, and accessible home for boundless entertainment possibilities in a venue packed with innovative infrastructure which will unleash a new world of creativity. With worldwide leader Axiom Space building this cutting-edge, revolutionary facility, SEE-1 will provide not only the first, but also the supreme quality space structure enabling the expansion of the two trillion-dollar global entertainment industry into low-Earth orbit."
"Axiom Station, the world's first commercial space station, is designed as the foundational infrastructure enabling a diverse economy in orbit," said Michael Suffredini, president/CEO of Axiom Space.
"Adding a dedicated entertainment venue to Axiom Station's commercial capabilities in the form of SEE-1 will expand the station's utility as a platform for a global user base and highlight the range of opportunities the new space economy offers."
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"SEE-1 will showcase and leverage the space environment in an unprecedented way," Axiom chief engineer Dr Michael Baine said. "The inflatable module design provides for around six meters diameter of unobstructed pressurized volume, which can be adapted to a range of activities - including an onboard state-of-the-art media production capability that will capture and convey the experience of weightlessness with breathtaking impact."
Richard Johnston, COO of S.E.E. added: "From Jules Verne to 'Star Trek,' science fiction entertainment has inspired millions of people around the world to dream about what the future might bring. Creating a next generation entertainment venue in space inspire opens countless doors to create incredible new content and make these dreams a reality."
(Keywords: New film studio, space, 2024, Richard Johnston, COO of S.E.E, "From Jules Verne to 'Star Trek,' science fiction, entertainment, space environment)
By Rohit Vaid
Till now, activities associated with laying of power and telecom transmission and distribution lines, roads, highways, railways and construction of facilities such as hospitals, affordable housing, power generation units, water treatment plants, SEZs and certain type of hotels amongst others were given such status.
Besides, these sectors are a part of harmonised master list for infrastructure sub-sectors. However, in April 2021, exhibition-cum-convention centre was included in the list. "Given the focus around electric vehicle, and need for significant investment in charging stations, if the government adds the sector in infrastructure list, the benefits arising out of it will be significant," said Vishal Kotecha, Director, India Ratings and Research. "Infra tag on sectors increases ability to raise funds, access to dedicated funds and lenders, foreign capital, lower interest rates among others."
Given the focus on electric vehicles, the advantages of including the industry in the infrastructure list will be enormous. Free SVG
In recent years, lenders have taken a severe hit on their books consequent to cater to the unique financing requirements of the infra sector. This necessitated regulatory changes and government support from time to time. "The pandemic has hit the retail, hospitality and automobile sectors hard and the need for credit and liquidity support is real and urgent," said Vipula Sharma, Senior Director - Ratings and Head - Infrastructure Ratings, Brickwork Ratings.
"Any likely move to reclassify lending to these sectors as infrastructure lending will enable the banks to lend at concessional rates and extended timeline which in turn would give the sectors time to recover from the three years of repeated extended closures and rebuild their businesses. It would also enable access to funds from a larger set of institutions and funds."
Furthermore, as the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic, the sustainability of the recovery is clearly the key fiscal and monetary policy objective. Consequently, Centre would need to focus on not only enhancing public capital expenditure further in infrastructure but also encouraging the private sector including foreign players to invest in the sector.
The economy is still recovering from the pandemic, and the recovery must be sustained. Unsplash
Lately, the Centre has already taken an initiative to kickstart private sector capital expenditure through the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) programme that has already covered 13 sectors with an aggregate outlay of Rs 1.97 trillion spread over the next few years. "We believe there is a case for considering 'infrastructure sector' status to the healthcare and the EV charging eco-system. The criticality of adequate healthcare infrastructure across the country has increased significantly after the pandemic and the 'infrastructure' tag can be extended to not only hospitals but also diagnostic centres," said Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer, Acuité Ratings & Research. "As regards EV, the government has started to provide cash subsidies for EV purchases but the need of the hour is to build the charging infrastructure in an expeditious manner. The 'infrastructure' tag can clearly help attract funds to the EV ecosystem." (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: lending, power, hospitals, rate, capital, government, pandemic, funds, budget, ratings, sector, infrastructure)
A team led by chief scientist Ravi Shankar, is working on two combinations to provide the safest medication to coronavirus patients. "Experts say that a combination of antivirals with different mechanisms can be more effective to counter the viral pandemic. We are working on two combinations - Umifenovir with Molnupiravir (an antiviral) and Umifenovir with Niclosamide (anti-parasitic)," he said.
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Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India and abroad. Though its usage showed reduced hospitalisation during clinical trials, its biggest drawback are the side-effects, he added.
"Now, we are trying to keep a low dosage of Molnupiravir in its combination with Umifenovir which may weed out the side-effects such as the risk of cartilage and muscle damage. If successful, it will make Umifenovir more effective in Covid-19 treatment," said the chief scientist. The other combination is Umifenovir with Niclosamide.
Niclosamide is known for its efficacy for Covid treatment but the biggest challenge is that its high dosage is required for treatment and that leads to side-effects. A safe and efficacious combination of Umifenovir with Niclosamide is being researched on for the exact dosage in the combination that can give positive results, he added.
CDRI director Prof Tapas Kundu said: "CDRI is working round-the-clock to develop drugs that can help in treating all variants of Covid-19, besides being economical and safe for people. We have achieved a major breakthrough with Umifenovir and are hopeful of developing a new drug to win the pandemic battle."
Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India.Wikipedia
(Keywords: CDRI director Prof Tapas Kundu, Niclosamide, Covid treatment, Umifenovir, Molnupiravir, safest medication, coronavirus)