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Business News/ Weekend / Best of the Week | Early bird catches the morning shift
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Best of the Week | Early bird catches the morning shift

Best of the Week, 22 June: bull runs, NEET protests, and shady stock tips.

Sunrise from Mt. Fuji in Japan. If you're up early, like this Pixabay contributor you too can catch up a glimpse of this magnificent view. (Pixabay)Premium
Sunrise from Mt. Fuji in Japan. If you're up early, like this Pixabay contributor you too can catch up a glimpse of this magnificent view. (Pixabay)

Dear reader,

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been trying to get my sleep schedule in order. I was always someone who slept and woke up early. It's a habit from my school days which I've never been able to let go.

Working in a newspaper changes that. You're bound to be up late, as news trickles in at all hours. Reporters write, the desk edits, the publishing team, umm, publishes? News, like life, never really stops. So you're pretty much on duty 24x7, up till at least midnight trying to wrap up work.

Moreover, it's not passive work. You have to be alert—not only for news breaks, but for typos, errors, and bad chai. There's always bad chai.

After some scheduling changes, I've been able to go to bed at my preferred time slot of 10 pm for the past two weeks. I've been sleeping better, finishing up work earlier, and waking up with a couple of hours free in the morning to enjoy the sunrise and finish some chores. It's a good life.

Journalists will always complain about lack of sleep and lack of money. I'm glad to say I made progress on at least one of those aspects.

Of course, unlike me, most people in our newsroom are night owls. They'll be up late, and work better after dusk. Whether they were always this way, or the job turned them into nocturnals, I don't know.

Whatever their sleeping schedules, our newsroom is always on top of the current happenings in the world of business and finance. Here are some of the top stories from the week gone by:

🚗 The week started off with automaker Hyundai's Indian arm filing its papers to list in India publicly. Typically, Korean carmakers see lower valuations than their global peers due to low dividends and confusing corporate structures that are unique to South Korea. Hyundai is India's second-biggest auto company, and will end up being the second-largest IPO in India too, behind state-owned LIC. Hyundai's IPO will be the first automobile listing in India two decades, writes Alisha Sachdev.

🚙 Hyundai hopes to raise close to 25,000 crore by selling 17.5% of its India-based business. It will takes markets regultor Sebi months to clear this IPO, but given the current euphoric state of the markets, it is possible that Hyundai India's business gets a better valuation than the market leader, Maruti Suzuki. Mint SnapView explores this interesting situation, providing statistics and laying down some facts that Sebi might do well to consider.

⚠️ The stock market isn't the only way of raising money via the public in India. A company can also issue traded bonds. Beyond that, they can also sell non-convertible debt. To do that, you have to disclose certain details about your company and the nature of the debt, something companies don't want to do. Disclosing this information would lead to better prices for the investors, note Neha Joshi and Nehal Chaliawala. To avoid this regulation, companies are now issuing non-convertible debt, but raising the money through unlisted subsidiaries, thus avoiding the disclosure norms. The money is then given to the parent company as a loan. Last month, conglomerate Vedanta Ltd did this via one of its subsidiaries, Vedanta Semiconductors. More companies might adopt this opaque practice. Don't miss out on this great story.

🎣 Pescaterians might find it difficult to source the fillet of their choice this summer. Fresh seafood is in short supply, and the government has decided to impose fishing bans to help increase the numbers. A series of heatwaves has forced such drastic action in West Bengal and parts of the coastal regions. Puja Das writes that as much as 5% of the fish in lakes and ponds might now be wiped out because of the extreme heat. India's fish exports have also steadily declined of late. Turns out, there may not be that many fish in the water after all.

🪧 The protests over the NEET exam have put India's common entrance exam structure under scrutiny. The matter reached the Supreme Court, with 2.4 million doctor aspirants waiting eagerly. The matter was dicey: 67 students scored full marks, a huge anamoly. And around seven of these toppers came from the same exam centre in Haryana. Students are understandably incensed. But the charge has been picked up by student bodies and coaching institutes. Krishna Yadav and Devina Sengupta spoke to some of the faces behind these protests, and understood the underlying problems, their wants, and their disappointments.

🏦 A few years ago, Yes Bank was in a constant state of crisis. Then, the Reserve Bank of India stepped in. Changes were made; Yes Bank now had new stakeholders to steer the ship clear of troubled waters. State Bank of India picked up a 49% stake in the bank, while a host of other private lenders invested some 10,000 crore to revive Yes Bank. This investment was locked in for at least three years to ensure that depositors continued to be serviced. Gopika Gopakumar writes that today, Yes Bank is in a far better position. The credit for turning it around goes to Prashant Kumar, a veteran from SBI and the MD and CEO of Yes Bank. While Kumar has done well so far, his real challenge begins now, as the investors' three-year lock-in has expired. Some of them will no doubt come knocking on his door to get their initial kitty back. How will Kumar deal with this challenge? Gopika tries to answer.

📈 Government decisions have undoubtedly transformed the banking infrastructure in India. Yes Bank hasn't been the only beneficiary: all state-owned banks have fared well in the last few years. Primarily, the banks have addressed bad loans in their ledgers; reducing the amount has greatly improved the health of our nationalised lenders. Our partners at How India Lives explain this sanguine trend, with five sharp charts to help you understand their progress better.

🐂 The markets have rebounded after a huge crash during the announcement of the general election results. Small and midcap stocks are leading the charge, taking valuations to fresh highs in the process. Dipti Sharma writes that benchmark indices such as Nifty Smallcap 250 and Nifty Midcap 100 have each surged by nearly 20%. However, this immediate rebound has raised questions about the sustainability of the current bull run. Market experts told Dipti that volatility is always possible when it comes to small and midcap stocks. Moreover, the sky-high valuations of these stocks also raise concerns about the potential upside moving forward. As always, investor caution is advised.

🛤️ Unfortunately, the country witnessed yet another crash on the train tracks this week. However, plans to modernise and improve the railway infrastructure have been underway for a while. To help with that, the government is rolling out "Kavach", which means shield in Hindi. This system automatically applies the brakes to a train if another one approaches, even if the driver doesn't. However, currently, only 1,500 out of a total of 68,000 kilometres of train tracks with Kavach—that's less than 5%—have been fitted. In sharp contrast, such anti-collision systems have existed in Europe since the 1960s. Shelly Singh notes that we need to increase the coverage of Kavach system to avoid any such accidents moving forward.

💬 If you've been on social media to search about the stock market, you would have run into finfluencers—influencers who dabble in the finance markets. Some of them end up recommending certain stocks, which is prohibited by Sebi unless you're a registered investment advisor (RIA). But these finfluencers might direct you to Telegram or Instagram groups where the discussion is rampant on the stock markets. This is a bit of a grey area for Sebi, but largely, these groups should also follow Sebi's guidelines. Aprajita Sharma writes about these groups, their legitimacy, and the influence they unduly exert on the common investor.

That's all for this week. I hope you all have a pleasant weekend!

If you have any thoughts, ideas, or feedback, please feel free to write to me (shashwat.mohanty@htdigital.in) or reply to this mail. We are a constantly evolving news product, so any input is much appreciated!

Best,

Shashwat Mohanty

Assistant Editor

Subscriber Experience Team

3.6 Crore Indians visited in a single day choosing us as India's undisputed platform for General Election Results. Explore the latest updates here!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shashwat Mohanty
Shashwat works in the Subscriptions team, often thinking and executing ideas that could get people to pay for news. He is interested in editorial-led iniatives, as he believes that genuined journalism is still extremely valuable. He is a co-writer of Mint's flagship newsletter, Top of the Morning, and also writes the script of the podcast by the same name. Shashwat is also the producer and acontributer to the Best of the Week newsletter. When he's not missing deadlines, he likes attending live music gigs, discussing baseball, and complaining about the mileage of his car.
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Published: 22 Jun 2024, 08:00 AM IST
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