QBiz: Markets Rebound, SC Refuses to Modify Aadhaar Order & More
Brokers trade at their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai. (Photo: Reuters)
Brokers trade at their computer terminals at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai. (Photo: Reuters)

QBiz: Markets Rebound, SC Refuses to Modify Aadhaar Order & More

1. Markets Rebound: Broad Rally Lifts Almost All Stocks

Nearly 90 percent of the stocks in the BSE 500 index, which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s market capitalisation, have risen from the levels in early September when the benchmark indices had declined to 15-month lows.

About half the BSE 500 stocks have outperformed the benchmark indices, which are up 9 percent in the past month.

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2. Govt: RBI Can Act as GST Payment Aggregator

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed the hope of a national roll-out of goods and services tax (GST) from 2016-17, the finance ministry on Wednesday released three reports on the processes for the new indirect tax regime.

These suggested that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) can act as the aggregator of payments, and businesses will have to mandatorily register with the goods and services tax network (GSTN) portal to avail of benefits of the new tax system.

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3. Wall Street Rises as Healthcare Rebounds

US stocks rose in a volatile session on Wednesday, led by a rebound in biotechnology stocks, putting the S&P 500 on track for its sixth day of gains out of the last seven.

Materials shares were higher, helped by rising gold and silver prices.

Investors’ focus is slowly turning to earnings, and Yum! Brands was the S&P’s biggest loser after reporting weak sales out of China, which accounts for more than half of its revenues.

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4. Good Earnings to be a Scarce Commodity

Corporate India might see operating margins expand, thanks to the collapse in prices of commodities, but there might not be much more to cheer about this earnings season. With retail demand anaemic and capital expenditure slow, neither producers of consumer goods nor makers of industrial machinery are expected to fare too well.

The economy remains sluggish — GDP in the June quarter grew just 7 percent year-on-year — and data across sectors show few signs of a pick-up in volumes.

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5. Amazon Teams Up With Accenture to Boost Cloud Services Business

Amazon.com’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services, has launched a service to help companies analyse their data and a briefcase-like product that will let them ship large amounts of data for storage on the cloud.

The company said on Wednesday the data analytics service, called QuickSight, is fast and easy to use by non-technical staff who want to share the analysed data.

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6. For Uber, India a Bigger Hub of Talent Than China

In a recent television interview, Travis Kalanick, co-founder and chief executive of Uber, the San Francisco-based cab hailing service, said India could surpass China or America in the company’s ranking of its markets.

And, if hiring patterns of a company are a precursor to its plans, this might already be taking place. A recent survey of Uber’s job openings show India has surpassed China to become the fastest growing Asian country on this count.

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7. In Blow to Centre, SC Stands by Its Aadhaar Order

With the Supreme Court on Wednesday declining to allow use of the Aadhaar card for welfare schemes other than PDS and LPG and referring a batch of petitions challenging the use of the unique identity card to a larger constitutional bench, several legal experts have opined that situation was precipitated by a faux pas on the government’s part.

The government should not have taken the position that the right to privacy is not a fundamental one in the country and pleaded for a settlement of the issue by the apex court, they said.

Many of them pointed out that recent contemporary judgments have held that right to privacy flowed from Article 21 of the Constitution and so the government could have argued that by linking Aadhaar to delivery of subsidies and other entitlements, this right would not be violated.

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8. Delhi Govt Set to Crackdown on Online Sites Selling Liquor

The booming e-commerce trade for apparels and groceries might have been welcomed across the country but selling and buying of liquor online might land you in jail, with the Delhi government set to crackdown on such transactions.

The Delhi government’s Excise Department has come across certain websites offering online liquor shopping and has recently caught a person supplying liquor from Haryana in Delhi through the portal at cheaper rates.

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9. Reliance Infra May Exit Cement Biz, Puts Unit on Block

Reliance Infrastructure, part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has decided to exit the cement business by putting privately held Reliance Cements up for sale.

Reliance Group has recently mandated Morgan Stanley and SBI Caps to find potential buyers as the group has decided to focus on new growth areas like defence.

Earlier in the year, it had plans to monetise the cement operations by roping in a joint venture partner and using that cash to fund the acquisition of Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering, but this did not generate sufficient interest, said multiple sources aware of the developments.

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