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UltraTech Cement Q3 consolidated net more than doubles to ₹1,584 cr - Mint
Consolidated revenue from operations rose 17% to ₹12,254 cr.Pent-up urban demand is expected to improve with the gradual return of the migrant workforce, says the company
New Delhi: UltraTech Cement on Saturday reported 120% jump in consolidated net profit at 1,584 crore for the quarter ending 31 December, 2020. It was 711 crore in the year-ago period.Consolidated revenue from operations rose 17% to 12,254 crore as against 10,439 crore in the year-ago period. Net debt reduction during Q3 was 2,696 crore and year-to-date it was 7,424 crore. During the quarter, it had a volume growth of 14 per cent to 22.82 million tonne, it said. "Recovery from the COVID-19 led to the disruption of the economy. This has been fuelled by quicker demand stabilisation, supply-side restoration and greater cost efficiencies," UltraTech Cement said in a post earning statement. While rural and semi-urban housing continues to drive growth, pick-up in the government-led infrastructure aided incremental cement demand. "Pent-up urban demand is expected to improve with the gradual return of the migrant workforce," it added. Though fuel prices have increased in recent months, operational efficiencies and tight control over costs are reflected in the company's 26 per cent operating margin. The company has reported EPS of 54.92 for the period ended 31 December, 2020 as compared to 24.67 for the period ended 31 December, 2019. On Friday, the company's shares on NSE closed 0.6% higher at 5,580.75 apiece. During the quarter, UltraTech's Board approved capex of 5,477 crore towards increasing capacity by 12.8 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) with a mix of - brownfield and greenfield expansion - in the fast-growing markets of the east, central and north regions of the country. "This expansion is in addition to the company's 6.7 mtpa capacity addition that is currently underway in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal, which has picked up the pace and is expected to get commissioned by financial year 2022, in a phased manner," it said. After completion, UltraTech's capacity will grow to 136.25 mtpa, reinforcing its position as the third-largest cement company in the world, outside of China. Over the outlook, the company said: With strong rural growth, revival in manufacturing sentiment, buoyancy in GST and tax collections, UltraTech expects demand to grow on the back of the government's push on infrastructure projects." Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
New covid-19 strains: What scientists know about coronavirus variants - Livemint
New versions of the novel coronavirus are spreading across the globe. Researchers fear the new lineages may spread more easily—and one may be more deadly.
Scientists around the world are scrambling to learn more about previously unknown variants of the coronavirus that seem to spread from person to person more readily than other versions of the Covid-19-causing pathogenincluding one variant that may also be more deadly.A fast-spreading variant, known as B.1.1.7, was identified in December in the U.K., leading to travel restrictions and a widespread lockdown there. Since then, the U.K. variant has been detected in China and other countries, as well as in Colorado, California and Florida. Now theres preliminary evidence suggesting that the variant could lead to more deaths. We have been informed that, in addition to spreading more quickly, it also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variantthe variant that was first identified in London and the South Eastmay be associated with a higher degree of mortality," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday. In South Africa, meanwhile, doctors and researchers battling a second surge of Covid-19 cases are studying another new variant and what role it plays in the rising tide of cases there. The variant, known as B.1.351, has been identified in samples dating back to October. It hasnt been detected in the U.S. Emerging data suggests that this variant could be better at evading antibodies, the protective immune-system proteins that keep viruses from entering cells, and that existing vaccines may need to be updated in order to be effective. Here is what we know so far about the new variants and the genetic mutations that characterize them, as well as their potential impact on public health. What is a viral variant? Viral variants are new versions of a virus that arise as a result of small changes in its genetic code. Over the course of the pandemic, there have been several variants. Those that proved able to spread more efficiently have become more prevalent, while others fizzle out. Its just like natural selection, like evolution," said Bettie Steinberg, a virologist and provost at Northwell Healths Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Why the concern about these particular variants? Preliminary data from U.K researchers suggests that infection with the U.K. variant could cause more severe disease and potentially lead to more deaths. The data showed that patients infected with the variant had a higher risk of death than those infected with previous versions of the virus. Britains top scientific adviser said preliminary studies show that the U.K. variant might be 30% to 40% deadlier than previous variants. U.K scientists cautioned that a fuller understanding of the variants effects on health would emerge in coming weeks as more data on hospitalizations and mortality becomes available. Some doctors were already worried that the new variants of the coronavirus could supercharge the spread of Covid-19, putting additional stress on hospitals and nursing homes when cases are near their historic highs. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine combined behavioral and epidemiological data on patterns of disease transmission with mathematical models to determine whether the U.K. variant is more transmissible than previously identified variants. They found the new variant to be more transmissible than previous variants. U.K. contact-tracing data show that patients infected with the new variant went on to infect more people than those infected with previous variants. Data also suggested that the viral load, or the amount of virus in the body, was higher among people infected with the new variant. The higher the viral load for individuals, the more infectious they tend to be. Is it possible that the rapid spread of the new variants isnt a result of increased infectiousness but instead of poor adherence to social distancing and other measures aimed at curbing contagion? Scientists dont think so, at least for the jump in cases in the U.K. As evidence, Prof. Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London and a member of a scientific panel that advises the British government on respiratory-virus threats, pointed to epidemiological data from November showing that cases of the new U.K. variant were exploding in the area southeast of London as coronavirus cases were falling in other parts of the country. The entire country was in lockdown during this period. The situation may be different in South Africa, where researchers said human behavior might be playing a key role in the surge of cases. Millions of South Africans traveled widely in recent weeks, and tens of thousands had gathered in restaurants and bars and on beaches during the holiday season. What gave rise to the new variants? Like other viral pathogens, the coronavirus spreads by infecting cells and then reproducing within them, creating copies of itself that spread throughout the body and then are shed, potentially infecting other people. The reproduction process involves copying the viruss genetic code, which holds the instructions for building successive generations of virus particles, or virions. But the code isnt always reproduced faithfully; sometimes the copying process yields mistakes that researchers have likened to typographical errors. This is what gives rise to new viral variants such as the ones that have emerged recently. Some viruses have genetic codes of DNA, the same molecule that carries the genetic information in human cells. Other viruses, including the coronavirus, are based on a related molecule known as RNA. Most RNA viruses lack a molecular proofreader, a protein that checks for mistakes and corrects them, so they accumulate more typos more quickly," said Bettie Steinberg, a virologist and provost at Northwell Healths Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. Coronaviruses, including the one that causes Covid-19, do have one and so tend to mutate more slowly. Having a proofreader also makes coronaviruses three times the size of most RNA viruses, said Vineet Menachery, a coronavirus expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch. That gives them an advantage, he added: It means they can encode more proteins to antagonize the immune response." Some scientists believe the new variants, which have a large number of mutations, arose in Covid-19 patients whose weakened immune systems allowed the virus to reproduce over long periods of timegiving it plenty of opportunities to accumulate multiple mutations. High rates of infection in the population also add to the risk that new, potentially more harmful variants will emerge, infectious-disease experts say. And with the virus spreading quickly around the world, experts say they expect to see more variants crop up. What about the mutations seen in the new variants? The new variant that cropped up in the U.K. has about two dozen separate mutations, including some related to the prominent outcroppings that stud the coronaviruss outer surface. It is this so-called spike protein that helps the virus infiltrate cells by binding to and then breaching their outer membranes. In theory, a mutated form of the spike protein could boost the ability of a virus to attach to cells and thus enable it to infect with increased efficiency. Previous research has shown one mutation of note in the U.K. variant can make the virus more infectious, said Dr. Ravindra Gupta, a University of Cambridge virologist who ran the studies. The South African variant has more than 20 mutations, including several affecting the spike protein. Some are in key spots where antibodies that prevent the virus from entering cells bind, scientists said, meaning they could potentially help the virus evade a persons natural immune response. The U.K. and South Africa variants share a spike-protein mutation that enables the spike to bind more tightly to the cell membranes, research suggests. Do existing vaccines work against new variants? While there is no final word yet on whether the existing vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE and the one from Moderna Inc. confer immunity to the new variants, scientists have expressed confidence that they do. For the U.K. variant, that confidence has been bolstered by recent preliminary studies, including one by BioNTech and Pfizer researchers showing that antibodies in the blood of vaccine-trial participants were effective at binding to the new variants mutated spike protein. Pfizer and BioNTech are encouraged by these early in vitro study findings," Pfizer said in a Jan. 20 statement. For the variants found in South Africa, which have a different constellation of mutations, scientists are more concerned. The mutations raise some questions about vaccine efficacy, but its important to note that the vaccines elicit a broad immune responsethat targets several areas of the spike protein," said Dr. Richard Lessells, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, and a member of the team that discovered the South African variant. Pfizer and Moderna have conducted lab tests of their vaccines against several versions of the coronavirus and found that the vaccines were effective against all, according to the drugmakers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to urge people who are eligible for vaccination to get the shots. Based on studies with other viruses containing similar mutations, CDC believes there will be little or no impact on immunity from natural infection or vaccination," the agency said in December. The agency said on Jan. 22 it had reached out to public-health agencies in the U.K. to learn more about the risks the variant poses and that it continues to closely monitor the situation. How will scientists know for sure if these new variants spread more easily? Scientists said that they had studied some of the new variants individual mutations but that it would be important to look at what happens when they appear togetheras they do in the new variants. That research involves experiments in cells and in animals to test whether the new variants attach to and enter cells more efficiently; whether they replicate more readily; and, most important, whether they spread more easily. Scientists have begun to do some of that work already, with more experiments planned for the coming weeks. Animal studies involving an earlier coronavirus variant convinced some scientists that its particular mutations made it more infectious, said William Hanage, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health biologist who specializes in infectious disease. That version of the virus also had a mutated spike protein. What can be done to stay safe from the new variants? Infectious-disease experts and public-health officials say it is important to continue to adhere to the familiar strategies for avoiding contagion, including social distancing, masking and hand-washing, as well as avoiding exposure to others indoors, especially where ventilation is poor. Extra care might be required in indoor gatherings if experiments confirm that the new variants are more infectious. Joanna Sugden and Betsy McKay contributed to this article. Correction Some RNA viruses have a molecular proofreader. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said RNA viruses lack them. (Corrected on Jan. 7, 2021) Write to Daniela Hernandez at [email protected] and Sarah Toy at [email protected] Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news. Topics
Covid-19 triggers antibodies from previous coronavirus infections, says study - Mint
In the research, the scientists used a novel tool called PepSeq to map the body's antibody responses to all human-infecting coronaviruses
HOUSTON : People with COVID-19 may rely on antibodies created during infections from earlier coronaviruses to help fight the disease, says a new study that may partially explain the difference in symptom severity between old and young patients.The study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, noted that humans have navigated at least six other types of coronaviruses before SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19. "Our results suggest that the COVID-19 virus may awaken an antibody response that existed in humans prior to our current pandemic, meaning that we might already have some degree of pre-existing immunity to this virus," said John Altin, a co-author of the study from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in the US. In the research, the scientists used a novel tool called PepSeq to map the body's antibody responses to all human-infecting coronaviruses. "The data generated using PepSeq allowed for broad characterization of the antibody response in individuals recently infected with SARS-CoV-2 compared with those of individuals exposed only to previous coronaviruses that now are widespread in human populations," said Jason Ladner, the study's lead author from Northern Arizona University in the US. The researchers examined the antibody responses from two other potentially deadly coronaviruses -- MERS and the 2002-03 SARS pandemic virus. They also characterised the antibody responses of four older coronaviruses -- alphacoronaviruses 229E and NL63 as well as beta coronaviruses OC43 and HKU1. According to the scientists, these are common viruses that are endemic throughout human populations, but usually are not deadly and cause mild upper respiratory infections similar to those of the common cold. By comparing how the antibodies react against these different coronaviruses, the researchers demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 could trigger immune system antibodies originally generated in response to these past coronavirus infections. They said the cross-reactivity with these antibodies occurred at two sites in the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein which enables the virus to enter and infect human cells. "Our findings highlight sites at which the SARS-CoV-2 response appears to be shaped by previous coronavirus exposures, and which have potential to raise broadly-neutralizing antibodies," Altin said. "We further demonstrate that these cross-reactive antibodies preferentially bind to endemic coronavirus peptides, suggesting that the response to SARS-CoV-2 at these regions may be constrained by previous coronavirus exposure," he said, adding that further research is needed to understand the implications. The scientists believe the findings also explain the widely varying reactions COVID-19 patients have to the disease from mild to no symptoms, to severe infections requiring hospitalisation, and often leading to death. They said the differences in the pre-existing antibody response identified by this study may possibly explain some differences in how severely COVID-19 disease affects old versus young people. "Our findings raise the possibility that the nature of an individual's antibody response to prior endemic coronavirus infection may impact the course of COVID-19 disease," Ladner said. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news. Topics
Inside the world's biggest vaccine factory, India's Serum Institute - Mint
From Brazil to South Africa, there is no shortage of customers, with governments clamouring to buy Covishield.Unlike the rival Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Covishield can be stored and transported using standard refrigeration
The tiny clinking vials supervised by silent PPE-wearing technicians belie the excitement inside the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, a major player in the fight against coronavirus.The firm, founded in 1966 in the western city of Pune, is producing millions of doses of the Covishield vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, for India and much of the developing world. Unlike the rival Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Covishield can be stored and transported using standard refrigeration. It is also significantly cheaper than the vaccines developed by Pfizer or the US firm Moderna, making it better suited for countries with poorer populations and rusty infrastructure. Even before the pandemic, the Indian firm was a world leader in vaccines, producing 1.5 billion doses a year and inoculating two out of three children in 170 countries against diseases such as polio, mumps, meningitis and measles. Its journey kicked off on a stud farm, where the firm's owners, the Poonawalla family, began breeding horses in 1946, before a conversation with a vet sparked the realisation that anti-toxin serum extracted from the animals could be used to make vaccines. The Serum Institute soon became a market leader thanks to its cheap and effective drugs, which were eagerly sought after by price-conscious governments and consumers, prompting the company to expand at a dizzying rate. Adar Poonawalla, its 40-year-old CEO, has spent nearly a billion dollars in recent years enlarging and improving the sprawling Pune campus. As a result, when the coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across the world, the company, which recorded annual revenues of over $800 million in 2019-20 and is debt-free, was in pole position to reap the rewards. - 'Used to pressure' - The palm-fringed Pune campus, whose grounds boast horse-shaped topiaries in a playful nod to the firm's origins, is home to several buildings where vaccines are manufactured and scrutinised for quality before being deposited into sterilised vials and stored for delivery. From Brazil to South Africa, there is no shortage of customers, with governments clamouring to buy Covishield. With Poonawalla vowing to reserve 50 percent of Covishield stocks for the Indian market, New Delhi, which intends to immunise 300 million people by July, is engaging in a bout of vaccine diplomacy, planning to supply 20 million doses to its South Asian neighbours. The Serum Institute also plans to supply 200 million doses to Covax, a World Health Organization-backed effort to procure and distribute inoculations to poor countries. If all this sounds overwhelming, the firm's bosses are not worried. " We are used to these kinds of pressures because even in the past there were situations when we were required to step up the production to meet individual countries' requirements," Suresh Jadhav, Serum Institute's executive director, told AFP. Even a deadly fire at an under-construction building this week failed to dent confidence, with Poonawalla promptly tweeting that "there would be no loss of #COVISHIELD production due to multiple production buildings that I had kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies". The pandemic has transformed Poonawalla's public profile, from a jet-setting billionaire known for his expensive taste in cars and fine art to a pharma-tycoon applauded for his willingness to take risks and his commitment to affordable vaccines. Unsurprisingly, the father-of-two has not held back from taking so-called anti-vaxxers to task, including berating US rapper Kanye West for spreading conspiracy theories. "Though we enjoy your music very much @KanyeWest, your views on #vaccines come across as irresponsible and borderline dangerous, considering the influence you have today and may have in the future; vaccines save lives," Poonawalla tweeted in July. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news. Topics
Tesla claims engineer stole secrets just three days into the job - Mint
Elon Musk’s electric-car maker has aggressively pursued lawsuits against other former employees and rival companies that it has accused of poaching engineers and stealing proprietary data
A former Tesla Inc. software engineer was ordered to appear before a judge to face allegations that three days into his job, he started stealing confidential files and transferring them to a personal storage account.During his two-week employment ending Jan. 6, Alex Khatilov stole more than 6,000 scripts, or files of code, that automate a broad range of business functions, Tesla argues in its trade-secret theft complaint.Tesla convinced U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers that the threat posed is serious enough that she granted a restraining order Friday requiring Khatilov to immediately preserve and return all files, records and emails to the company and appear before her, remotely, on Feb. 4.Elon Musks electric-car maker has aggressively pursued lawsuits against other former employees and rival companies that it has accused of poaching engineers and stealing proprietary data.A software automation engineer, Khatilov was hired as one of a select few Tesla employees" to have access to the files, which the company says were unrelated to his job. Tesla says it had to sue because Khatilov lied about his theft and tried to delete evidence of it. Khatilov said he was surprised and shocked by Teslas lawsuit. He said in an interview that after he was hired on Dec. 28, Tesla sent him a file containing information for new hires. He said he transferred it to his personal Dropbox cloud account to use later on his personal computer.Nobody told me using Dropbox is prohibited," Khatilov said. I dont know why they claim its sensitive information, I didnt have access to any sensitive information." Companies wanting to maintain protection over files normally block their improper installation, he added.Days later, Khatilov said he showed Tesla the information in his Dropbox when security asked, and deleted the data at the companys request. A few hours later Tesla called to tell him he was fired. According to Tesla, after investigators found thousands of confidential files in Khatilovs personal storage, the engineer said he forgot about them and tried to destroy the data at the start of the interview. Tesla says it doesnt know if he previously copied or sent the files to other locations. Khatilov said in the interview that he didnt send them to anyone or anywhere.The scripts are extremely valuable to Tesla, and they would be to a competitor," the company claimed in the lawsuit. Access to these scripts would enable engineers at other companies to reverse engineer Teslas processes to create a similar system in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the expense." The New York Post reported on the case earlier.The case is Tesla v. Khatilov, 21-cv-00528, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
Covid-19 vaccine drive: 12.7 lakh healthcare workers get shots till now - Mint
As many as 2,28,563 people were vaccinated on the seventh day of the nationwide immunisation drive through 6,230 sessions.India holds the record for the highest number of vaccinations on day one
Over 12.7 lakh healthcare workers have received Covid-19 vaccination until Friday evening, the Union Health Ministry said.As many as 2,28,563 people were vaccinated on the seventh day of the nationwide immunisation drive through 6,230 sessions, the ministry said, adding that the final report of cumulative numbers will be prepared by late in the night. "The Covid-19 vaccination programme was conducted successfully on the seventh day of the countrywide massive exercise," the ministry said. "The cumulative number of healthcare workers vaccinated against Covid-19 has surpassed 12.7 lakh (12,72,097) (till 6 pm today) through 24,397 sessions, as per the provisional report," it said. According to the ministry, 267 cases of adverse effect after vaccination (AEFI) have been reported till 6 pm on the seventh day of the vaccination drive. Since the launch of the nationwide anti-coronavirus vaccination drive, over 1,110 AEFI's have been reported till now. The total number of beneficiaries who have been vaccinated till 6 pm Friday since the drive was rolled out include 1,27,726 in Andhra Pradesh, 63,620 in Bihar, 46,970 in Kerala, 1,82,503 in Karnataka, 38,278 in Madhya Pradesh, 46,825 in Tamil Nadu, 18,844 in Delhi, 42,395 in Gujarat and 80,542 in West Bengal, according to the provisional report. In what was termed as the largest inoculation drive in the world, India started vaccinating its frontline workers on 16 January. The country holds the record for the highest number of vaccinations on day one, with more than 2.24 lakh people receiving the shots. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
Indigo Paints IPO subscribed 117 times on Day 3 - Mint
The public issue received bids for over 64.57 crore equity shares against the IPO size of 55.18 lakh shares, the subscription data available on exchanges showed.The retail investor portion was subscribed 15.93 times and the employees' portion was subscribed 2…
Mumbai: The initial public offering (IPO) of Indigo Paints, the fifth-largest decorative paints company in India, was subscribed 117 times on Friday, the last day of bidding.The public issue received bids for over 64.57 crore equity shares against the IPO size of 55.18 lakh shares, the subscription data available on exchanges showed. The portion set aside for qualified institutional buyers witnessed a subscription of 189.57 times and that of non-institutional investors was subscribed 263.05 times. The retail investor portion was subscribed 15.93 times and the employees' portion was subscribed 2.50 times. Analysts at Elara Capital believe that the company will sustain its sales CAGR of 26% seen over FY18-20 by accelerating dealer additions by expanding into new states and launching 4-5 specialized products every year. "At the upper band, post money market cap stands at 7010 crore valuing it at 146 times price to equity & 11.3 times enterprise value to sales in FY20. With scale and rapid growth, we expect ad spend to grow slower than business growth, as it is already on the higher side at 12.7% than peers 5.3% and likely lead to better margin, and the issue is priced attractively" Elara Capital said. "Indigos revenues and PAT grew at CAGR of 26% and 84% over FY2018-20. Product innovation, increase in dealers reach and support to products with adequate brand investments will be the key growth levers in the coming years" brokerage Sharekhan said in a note. "Though Indigos valuations are at premium to peers, strong financial track record, promoters experience and confidence to lead the business coupled with industry par return profile makes it a emerging play in the domestic decorative paint industry" it said. Also on Friday, the 1154 initial public offer (IPO) of Warburg Pincus backed Home First Finance Company India was subscribed 2.2 times, the second day of bidding. The issue received bids for 3.46 crore equity shares against an offer size of 1.56 crore, according to the subscription data available on the exchanges. The portion of share sale reserved for institutional investors was subscribed 1.36 times, while retail investors portion was subscribed 3.4 times and that of non-institutional investors 61%. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
Extent of damage due to fire at Pune plant is more than ₹1,000 cr: Serum CEO - Mint
The supply of Covid-19 vaccine will not be affected by the fire, says Adar Poonawalla.The production of BCG and Rota vaccines will suffer in the future due to the losses to the company site
A day after a massive fire killed five people at vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India's (SII) site near Pune, the company's CEO Adar Poonawalla has said that damage of more than 1,000 crore was suffered by the unit."The supply of Covid-19 will not be affected due to the fire. No actual vaccine was being made at that facility. The extent of the damage is more than 1,000 crore," said Poonawalla on Friday. The CEO said that the fire has had no impact on the production of Covishield -- one of the two vaccines against Covid-19 that has been given approval by the drug controller of India. "No damage has occurred to the existing stock either," he added. The company had earlier said that its Covid-19 vaccine Covishield is being produced at another site at Manjri and there has been no impact on its manufacturing. Most of Serum Institute's manufacturing capacity of 1.5 billion doses of vaccine is located in Pune. The company is currently producing about 50-60 million doses of Covishield vaccine, which it will scale up to 100 million per month by February end or early March. However, the production of BCG and Rota vaccines will suffer in the future due to the losses to the company site, SII said earlier in the day. "Serum Institute of India (SII) officials cited that they have suffered financial losses due to the fire that broke in an under-installation building of SII plant at Manjari, Pune and this will impact the production of BCG & Rota vaccines in the future," the company officials told news agency ANI. The floor where the fire broke out was a rota-virus lab, a company official was earlier quoted as saying. Probe into incident Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Friday that whether the fire at the SII was an accident or sabotage, it will be known only after the probe gets over. Addressing a press conference after visiting the site of the fire, Thackeray said: "News came that fire broke out at the institute but fortunately, the site where the vaccine is manufactured and stored is not affected. I am informed by Adar and Cyrus that Covid vaccine is manufactured at distance from the fire site." "Let the investigation get completed. It is not correct to say anything now. After the probe gets over, we will know whether it was an accident or sabotage," he added. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
RBI's paper on new regulatory framework for NBFCs proposes a 4-tier structure - Mint
The regulatory and supervisory framework of NBFCs shall be based on a four-layered structure– Base Layer, Middle Layer, Upper Layer and a possible Top Layer, says RBI
Reserve Bank of India on Friday released discussion paper on revised regulatory framework for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs). Regulatory framework for NBFCs needs to be re-oriented to keep pace with changing realities in financial sector, the central bank said. "The regulatory and supervisory framework of NBFCs shall be based on a four-layered structure Base Layer, Middle Layer, Upper Layer and a possible Top Layer. NBFCs in lower layer will be known as NBFC-Base Layer (NBFC-BL). NBFCs in middle layer will be known as NBFC-Middle Layer (NBFC-ML). An NBFC in the Upper Layer will be known as NBFC-Upper Layer (NBFC-UL) and will invite a new regulatory superstructure. There is also a Top Layer, which is ideally supposed to be empty. As such, no separate nomenclature is suggested," RBI said as part of its proposals for NBFCs. RBI proposed that NBFCs' boards have more power over maintaining capital and supervising risks. The extant regulatory framework for NBFC-NDs (non-deposit taking) will now be applicable to Base Layer NBFCs while the extant regulatory framework applicable for NBFC-NDSI will be applicable to Middle Layer NBFCs. NBFCs residing in the Upper Layer will constitute a new category. NDSI is non-deposit taking systematically important. RBI also proposed NBFC NPA classification norm of 180 days be 'harmonized' to 90 days. "It is usually argued that business cycle aspects of NBFC-clients often demand relaxed norms as their cash flows are uniquely different and often longer in frequency. However, such unique cash flow aspects of business should be factored by the NBFCs while fixing the due date for a customer. The NPA norm of 90 days overdue status would, therefore, not interfere with the business of the NBFC clientele," said RBI. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
Sensex may breach 100k in 5 years as reforms take hold - Mint
Growth will be led by IT services, financials, telecom, pharma and staples, say experts
Robust foreign liquidity flows fuelled by ultra-loose policies at global central banks catapulted the BSE Sensex beyond 50,000 on Thursday. A revival in earnings growth and structural reforms can propel the index to the 100,000-mark in the next five years, or even earlier, market experts said.Fundamentally, if you see, the last 20 years earnings growth for the Sensex has been 10.5% and the returns over the same period have been 13% on a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) basis. Assuming the same continues and on a higher base, we should be able to hit 100,000 in next 5-7 years," said Amit Shah, India equity research head, BNP Paribas India. According to Shah, the growth will be led by IT services, financials, telecom, pharma and consumer staples. These sectors either have the potential to be businesses of tomorrow or have businesses that can continue to reach the Indian masses and hence ensure a sustainable growth trajectory," he said. Others concur. Amar Ambani, senior president and institutional research head, Yes Securities, believes that the Sensex may cross the 100,000-mark by 2025. We have entered a super-cycle for Indian equities, as we had seen in the year 2003. We see a high possibility of decisive reforms from the government, accelerated earnings growth and a continued liquidity flow chasing growth, in a period of weakening dollar," he said. The Sensex, which first hit 1,000 in 1990 took almost three decades to touch the 50,000-mark, crossing milestones such as the dotcom boom and bust, followed by a global growth rally which ended with the global financial crisis, then a sharp liquidity-driven rally, taper tantrum, European debt crisis and the covid-19 pandemic. Indian corporate earnings have been muted in the decade gone by. Hope for an earnings revival, as ever, remains intact as India emerges out of the crisis. The last decade also saw near-historical low interest rates, both in India and globally, which would have a defining impact on consumption, growth outlook," said analysts at Motilal Oswal. Foreign institutional investors led the investments in Indian markets in 2010-20. During the decade, FII investments in Indian equities stood at $107.38 billion, with only four years of outflows. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) have invested $23.94 billion in Indian shares, with mutual funds being the major contributor, which tapered off in 2020. Binod Modi, head of strategy at Reliance Securities, said, Outlook for domestic equities remains bright. Low awareness about equities, the dominant share of traditional asset classes in households investments and the absence of robust technology were key headwinds in India. In spite of these, Sensex registered around 14% CAGR growth over the last 30 years, which is commendable." According to Modi, ongoing financial inclusion, dismal returns from traditional asset classes, improving share of households investments in equities/debentures and rising awareness among millennials are likely to aid equities in the long run. Equities are likely to remain the best investment avenue from the long-term perspective, and the benchmark index is poised to maintain a long-term growth rate of 13-14% in subsequent years," he said. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.
PM Modi likely to get Covid-19 vaccine jab in second phase - Mint
In the second phase, it is the turn of those above 50 and people with comorbidities to take shots.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16 launched India's coronavirus vaccination drive via video conference
PM Narendra Modi will get vaccinated for the novel coronavirus in the second phase, and it may happen in March or April, Hindustan Times reported. India is currently administering vaccines to around 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers. So far, as per data of Union Health Ministry, a total of 7,86,842 beneficiaries have been vaccinated for the novel coronavirus as on 20 January 2021, 06:00 pm.In the second phase, it is the turn of those above 50 and people with comorbidities to take shots. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16 launched India's coronavirus vaccination drive via video conference. "The priority of vaccination has been decided as per the advice of the experts and scientific community after consultation with the States. Health workers, from both government and private sector, will be the first ones to receive the vaccine. Along with them, Safai Karmacharis, other Front Line Workers, police and paramilitary, Home Guards, Disaster Management Volunteers and other jawans in Civil Defence, and Revenue Officials associated with containment and surveillance, will also receive the vaccine in the first stage," said PM Modi. The total number of such personnel is around 3 crore. Also Read | The fear of flying at Mount 50K Ahead of the COVID vaccination campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a meeting with state Chief Ministers on Monday emphasised that politicians should not jump the queue to take the vaccine rather they should wait for their turn. But across the world, people like Joe Biden, Kamla Harris have already taken the shots, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon join the league of state leaders taking the jabs. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news. Topics
Covishield vaccines reach Dhaka, neighbours thank India for the jab - Mint
On Thursday morning as consignment reaches Bangladesh, Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar was the first one to post pictures.Earlier on Wednesday posting similar pictures as Covishield reached Maldives and Nepal, he said on Twitter: Vaccine Maitri begins!
On Thursday, as Covishield consignment reached Dhaka, Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar was the first one to post pictures on Twtitter, while he says vaccine Maitri reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh.Apart from Bangladesh, Nepal will also receive the jab on Thursday. Also Read | The fear of flying at Mount 50K The spokesperson of the foreign ministry on Thursday posted pictures of the consignment leaving for Nepal and Bangladesh earlier on Thursday morning. As India starts rolling out Covishield to its neighbours from Wednesday, the countries that received the vaccine has thanked the government for the vaccine. The Prime Minister of Bhutan on Wednesday said an AN32 glided its way into the Paro valley around 3.25 pm today, ferrying Bhutan's first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine. Later, the Foreign Minister tweeted: Our profound gratitude to the GoI for the generous gift of 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines that Bhutan received today. Deeply grateful to GoI for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutans fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our profound gratitude to the GoI for the generous gift of 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines that Bhutan received today. Deeply grateful to GoI for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutans fight against the COVID-19 [email protected]@RuchiraKambojpic.twitter.com/0yQqp4Bpp1 — ForeignMinisterBhutan (@FMBhutan) January 20, 2021 Marking the event, Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar took to Twitter to say, Vaccine Maitri begins. Consignment arrives in Bhutan. Another example of Neighbourhood First. On Wednesday, an Indian Air Force aircraft delivered the first consignment of 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Bhutan, making it the first country to receive the gift from India Meanwhile, as the consignment reached the Maldives, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked PM Modi saying a short while ago, a flight from India with 100,000 doses of the CoviShield vaccine arrived in the Maldives, renewing our hopes for a resolution to the Covid 19 crisis soon. Also foreign minister Abdulla Shahid said, as always, India stands strong and steadfast, by our side, as 1st responder in any crisis. Maldives is happy to receive as grant, 100,000 doses of Covishield developed by Serum Institute of India - among the first countries to receive vaccines from India. As always, India stands strong & steadfast, by our side, as 1st responder in any crisis#MaldivesIndiaPartnershippic.twitter.com/Pdi99YxBr1 — Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) January 20, 2021 Maldives is happy to receive as grant, 100,000 doses of Covishield developed by Serum Institute of India - among the first countries to receive vaccines from India. As always, India stands strong & steadfast, by our side, as 1st responder in any crisis#MaldivesIndiaPartnershippic.twitter.com/Pdi99YxBr1 — Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) January 20, 2021 Maldives became the first of the two countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines from India under grants assistance in sync with its 'neighbourhood first' policy. On Wednesday, India sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives. India had announced a vaccine rollout for Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday which comes in line with its Neighbourhood First Policy. The only neighbour absent from India's list apart from China, is regional rival Pakistan, which had not requested assistance, according to an Indian government official. Later, the Indian foreign minister took to Twitter to say, India fulfils its commitment to give vaccines to humanity. Supplies to our neighbours will start on 20th January. The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the COVID challenge. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on Telegram. Join Mint channel in your Telegram and stay updated with the latest business news.