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At the much-anticipated annual event on Tuesday, Apple unveiled new iPhones, the next-generation of iPad and smartwatches. The virtual event, addressed by CEO Tim Cook and a host of other executives had the usual fanfare and claims—better and faster performance because of the latest chipsets, more vivid screens, powerful cameras and larger batteries. Nevertheless, some analysts are concerned. Last year’s phones were a super hit and now, there are worries around sale drop-offs.
Meanwhile, last week’s legal ruling against Apple in a case brought by Epic Games, may not be that damaging after all. Scroll down. Also, don’t miss our corporate reportage for the day—on Zee, Reliance Industries, Cummins India, Paytm and Tata Sons.
*As of 6.30 PM 14 September; MCX, CoinDCX
The main stuff
Zee Entertainment’s stock zooms on takeover hopes
Zee Entertainment’s stock price propelled by 40% on Tuesday. This sort of a binge-buying was unexpected, particularly since it comes in the aftermath of the company’s largest shareholder demanding a board overhaul and removal of CEO and managing director Punit Goenka as a director. What happened? Shareholders are expecting a takeover. Anirudh Laskar and S Gopika Gopakumar have the details. Read more.
Tata group weighs leadership revamp, may appoint CEO
Tata Sons, the holding company for India’s largest conglomerate, is considering a historic revamp of its leadership structure by creating a chief executive officer’s role. This could help improve corporate governance, people engaged in the deliberations said. Under the plan being proposed, the CEO will guide the sprawling businesses of the Tata group, while the chairman will oversee the chief executive on behalf of shareholders. Read more.
RIL, Hualu in talks to make polysilicon at solar PV giga unit
Reliance Industries plans to spend ₹60,000 crore on four giga factories and one of the four will make solar photovoltaic (PV) modules. Now, the company is talking to China’s Hualu Engineering and Technology Co. to make polysilicon, a key ingredient in manufacturing solar panels, two people aware of the matter said. Hualu Engineering is majority controlled by state-owned China National Chemical Engineering Co. and provides engineering design, technology research and consulting services, reports Utpal Bhaskar. Read more.
How India ramped up its vaccination drive (premium)
Over the last two weeks, India’s daily vaccination clip has risen sharply. More covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in the first week of September than in the entire month of May. Rural areas have led this mini surge. What’s behind the momentum? Healthcare workers in some states have conducted village-level meetings and door-to-door surveys to encourage people to come forward and take the jab. And doctors, a key cog in the system, are playing an active role, writes Neetu Chandra Sharma. Read more.
Only meaningful earnings growth can lift Cummins India stock
Shares of engineering company Cummins India have seen a sharp rise in the past year. Last week, the stock hit a new 52-week high of ₹1,064 on the NSE. The price of this midcap stock has more than doubled in the past year with returns of 120%. In the same span, the sectoral index Nifty 500 has lagged with 57% returns. While the ongoing recovery in the demand scenario has boosted investor sentiment, a further uptick in the stock would depend on a meaningful earnings surprise, writes Harsha Jethmalani. Read more.
Paytm gets shareholders’ nod to expand ESOP pool
Initial public offering-bound One97 Communications, which owns Paytm, has received shareholder approval to expand its employee stock ownership plan pool, according to a regulatory filing by the company. Paytm will now more than double its ESOP pool from 24.09 million equity options to 61.09 million options. The company had held an extraordinary general meeting on 2 September to seek shareholder approval, reports Tarush Bhalla. Read more.
The US Open told new stories
Sport has a way of finding new heroes and telling compelling stories. And it doesn’t get more compelling than the 2021 US Open women’s final, played between two teenagers: Emma Raducanu, a qualifier, and Leylah Fernandez, world No. 73. The championship clash was the first major final between two unseeded players. Played on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York, it was also the first that pitted two players born after 2001, writes Deepti Patwardhan. Read more.
Global business news from WSJ
For the past three years, Facebook has been conducting studies into how its photo-sharing app affects its millions of young users. Repeatedly, the company’s researchers found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of them, most notably teenage girls. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls," said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues.
Apple Inc. and Google have ways to mitigate last week’s damaging legal ruling regarding their app store businesses. Ironically, their ability to do so could also prove their critics’ point.
South Korea fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google around $177 million for obstructing other companies from developing rival versions of the Android operating system, the latest challenge to the U.S. technology giant’s dominance in mobile software. Under the new order, Google can no longer force device manufacturers to sign so-called anti-fragmentation agreements.
“Trade. Earn. Win.” The happy bunny flipping a pancake and the double-or triple-digit interest rates on offer are closer to the marketing style of Las Vegas than Wall Street. Don’t be fooled: PancakeSwap and its competitors in what’s now known as DeFi, or decentralized finance, are bringing casino capitalism to the crypto masses.
Some people are trying to get covid-19 booster shots. Others aren’t sure if they need them. Mixed public health messages aren’t making personal-health decisions any clearer. So far, the US has authorized booster shots only for people who are immunocompromised.
News in numbers
The number of states that have achieved the capital expenditure target of 15% set by the Centre for the first quarter of 2021-22, enabling them to borrow more from the market.
The number of individuals who, along with Yes Bank, paid over ₹1.65 crore to Indian stock market regulator Sebi to settle a case on selective disclosure of information.
The value of India’s merchandise exports in August 2021, up 46% from $22.83 billion in August 2020. Exports were led by growth in petroleum products, gems and jewellery, chemicals, engineering goods and electronic goods.
The amount oil giant Chevron plans to spend on on biofuels and other low-carbon technologies through 2028, tripling its earlier commitment of $3 billion.
The increase in the US consumer price index in August from July 2021, the smallest gain in seven months, a sign that the Biden administration’s stimulus might not be fuelling inflation.
Rural India was in deep distress even before the pandemic struck. The recently released results of the National Sample Survey attest to that fact: the share of landless rural households increased to 8.2% from 7.4% between 2013 and 2019. Uttarakhand had the highest percentage of rural households without land (20.6%), while Mizoram stands next (19.2% share). Compared to the national average, 16 states reported a higher share of landlessness in rural India.
Hollywood channels inner Ranveer Singh
After a long hiatus thanks to the pandemic, the Met Gala was back in town allowing us to revel in the memes as the world’s top celebrities made us ponder an ontological question–do we go sartorially bonkers when our basic needs are met? While the theme was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, it looked more like the annual fancy dress competition with an unlimited budget.
It’s hard to pick the winner, so here are the top contenders:
a) Kim Kardashian’s all-black ensemble with her sister Kendall, which was dubbed: “Me and my anxiety.”
Every other celebrity looked like a walking/talking meme or as Devaiah Bopanna wrote: “When Hollywood A-listers decide to dress up like Ranveer Singh for a day, it's called Met Gala.”
Contributed by Nirmalya Dutta
What the fact
The pink slip
The origins of the term ‘pink slip’, frequently used to convey one’s dismissal from a job, is hard to track. All we know is that it’s American and that it probably came into vogue for the first time between 1910 and 1915. Here’s one popular story. According to some, Ford Motor Company slipped in either white or pink papers in the cubbyholes of workers—the white meant a job well done; the pink signified the opposite. However, there is no hard evidence to back this theory. A second reasoning states that employees were served the dismissal notice on a pink sheet, which stood out from other papers used in an office. Some American companies did use tri-colored forms. While a yellow copy went to the HR team, a blue copy was reserved for the bosses and the pink for the fired employee.