The benchmark stock indices have opened the day with gains after ending flat yesterday.Join us as we follow the top business news through the day.10:40 AMIndian farmers driven to debt as banks turn risk-averse during pandemicThe government’s credit programme hasn’t reached many ordinary farmers yet.Reuters reports: “Last month, Dnyaneshwar Siddhanth, a farmer from Indias western state of Maharashtra, was in desperate need of money to buy seed and fertilizer as the monsoon sowing season approached.But after being rejected by his bank for a loan despite several attempts, Siddhanth finally borrowed 150,000 Indian rupees ($2,021) from a moneylender at a rate of 60% annually.Amid India’s worst economic slowdown in decades due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, millions of farmers like Siddhanth are being shunned by banks as lenders turn cautious due to rising bad loans.That is forcing them to turn to illegal-moneylenders who are charging increasingly exorbitant rates, according to over a dozen farmers and bankers that Reuters spoke to.Agriculture accounts for near 15% of India’s $2.8 trillion economy and is a source of livelihood for more than half of its 1.3 billion people.Higher interest rates will reduce farm earnings, impacting overall rural incomes which are key to reviving the economy.“Most of the profit goes to paying interest to a private moneylender,” Siddhanth said.“Everything now depends on monsoon rains. If the crops fail, then I will have to sell land to repay the loan.””
10:20 AMTelecom subscriber base falls to 116.3 crore in MayTelecom consumer base in the country dipped to around 116.36 crore in May but service providers were able to narrow the loss of subscriber base to 57.6 lakh as compared to the previous month, according to data released by the sector regulator Trai on Wednesday.The telecom subscriber base had declined 85.3 lakh in April, when the country was under complete lockdown, to 116.94 crore.“The number of telephone subscribers in India decreased from 1,169.44 million at the end of April 2020 to 1,163.67 million at the end of May 2020, thereby showing a monthly decline rate of 0.49%,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) subscription report for May said.
10:00 AMSensex jumps over 200 points in early trade; Nifty tops 11,600A good open to the day for stocks.PTI reports: “The BSE benchmark Sensex jumped over 200 points in early trade on Thursday tracking gains in financial stocks and persistent foreign fund inflow ahead of the expiry of monthly derivative contracts.After touching a high of 39,310.37 in opening session, the BSE Sensex was trading 200.06 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 39,273.98; while the NSE Nifty was up 52.75 points or 0.46 per cent at 11,602.35.IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging around 3 per cent, followed by HDFC twins, SBI, M&M, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, ITC and Asian Paints.On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finance, HUL and NTPC were among the laggards.In the previous session, the Sensex closed 39,073.92, up 230.04 points or 0.59 per cent. The NSE Nifty advanced 77.35 points or 0.67 per cent to finish at 11,549.60.Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,581.31 crore on a net basis on Wednesday.According to traders extended gains in banking stocks ahead of expiry of August futures and options contracts and persistent foreign fund inflow drove the gains on key indices.Further, investors are awaiting US Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at the central bank’s annual Jackson Hole symposium. Officials in the past have used the meeting, being held online this year, to make market-moving announcements.Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with losses in mid-day deals, while Shanghai was in positive territory.Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended on a positive note in overnight session.Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.11 per cent higher at USD 46.21 per barrel.”
-Australia stocks ⬆️-Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan stocks ⬇️-U.S. futures ⬇️-Oil trades near a five-month high as companies and traders brace for disruptions from Hurricane Laura-Gold ⬇️ 0.5%These are the main moves in markets ➡️https://t.co/Hj7vgDryPg pic.twitter.com/Mpi5ngOY1W— Bloomberg Asia (@BloombergAsia) August 27, 2020
9:30 AMAdvertising revenue of entertainment industry to decline in FY21: ZEELIs there a secular shift in advertising spend after the pandemic?PTI reports: “Advertisers are coming back but it is still far from recovery and advertising revenue is expected to decline in 2020-21, leading media and entertainment company Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd has said.Although Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) is witnessing a significant spike on both TV and digital platforms, but its ad monetisation has gone down sharply, the company said in its annual report for 2019-20.The company believes in the coming festive season, brands will come back with full force and by the end of this fiscal the ad growth could return to its normal trajectory.“In the first quarter (April-June), lockdown and absence of fresh content led to a sharp decline in advertising revenue. Though things are improving sequentially, the loss of revenue in the first half will lead to de-growth in the advertising revenue for the year, ZEEL CFO Rohit Gupta said on the outlook for the business.According to the media and entertainment major, private consumption growth in the country was tepid during FY2019-20 which forced marketers to reduce their advertising spends.“With the wheels of economy back in motion and resumption of fresh content on our channels, we are seeing advertisers coming back and increasing their spends,” he said.Gupta further said, “However, we are still far from complete recovery. We believe that the festive season will see brands come back with full force and by the end of this fiscal the ad growth could return to its normal trajectory.“Our estimate is that the advertising revenue for the entertainment industry could decline by 25-30 per cent during FY21,” he added.In FY2020, ZEEL’s advertising revenues declined by 7 per cent largely due to the “macro-economic slowdown, fall in FTA revenue and loss of viewership” in certain markets.ZEEL in March 2019 converted two of its popular free-to-air channels into pay and pulled them out from DD FreeDish.This had a significant impact on their viewership and affected the revenue of the network, he added.On the cost front, the media major has initiated an exercise to relook at every cost item, across businesses and functions, resorting to zero-based budgeting.While, during FY2020, domestic subscription revenues witnessed a growth of 33 per cent led by better monetisation of TV viewership after implementation of NTO and growth in the subscriber base of its OTT platform ZEE5.”