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Today’s Latest Business News, Finance and Share Market News at 9:30 am on 4th August 2022

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“You are listening to the Expresso Business Update. Here is the latest news from the world of Indian and International business brought to you by The Indian Express and The Financial Express.

Nearly eight months after it was tabled in Parliament, the government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill, which sought to regulate how an individual’s data can be used by companies and the government. In a statement, Union electronics and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was deliberated upon in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament, which suggested 81 amendments. Besides, 12 recommendations were made towards a comprehensive legal framework on digital ecosystem. The government sources familiar with the developments said incorporating so many changes would have made the existing Bill unwieldy. The revised Bill, they said, would be “neatly drafted” after wide consultations and be tabled by the Budget session.
Meanwhile- The promoter of beleaguered carrier SpiceJet, Ajay Singh, is understood to be in discussions with a mid-eastern carrier and an Indian conglomerate for a possible stake sale in the low-cost airline, persons familiar with the development indicated to FE. Singh holds a fairly large stake of close to 60% in SpiceJet, which has accumulated losses of an estimated Rs 5,000 crore and a negative net worth. The airline has been bleeding and needs a big dose of capital infusion. The SpiceJet stock rallied on Wednesday after the news of the prospective sale broke and ended at Rs 49.85 apiece on the BSE, up 12.73% over the previous close.
Now some news related to RBI- India’s central bank is expected to deliver another half-point increase in its main policy rate on Friday to signal it’s not letting up in its fight against inflation while fending off further attacks on the rupee. Thirteen of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg as of Wednesday see the Reserve Bank of India’s six-member monetary policy committee increasing the repurchase rate by 50 basis points to 5.40%, a level last seen in August 2019. One predicted a 40 basis-point move, nine expect 35 basis points, and the remaining a quarter-point hike, which is enough to return borrowing costs to pre-pandemic levels of early 2020. The central bank has increased the key rate by 90 basis points since May, including a half-point hike in June.
Moving on- Amid an uptick in scores of economic indicators, India’s services sector lost momentum in July even as it remained in the expansion zone for the 12th straight month. The seasonally adjusted S&P Global India Services PMI Business Activity Index fell from 59.2 in June to 55.5 in July, the slowest growth rate in four months. The creators of the index attributed the fall in PMI to “demand somewhat curtailed by competitive pressures”, elevated inflation and an unfavourable weather. The services activity, as gauged by PMI, had expanded at the fastest pace in 11 years in June 2022, reflecting robust demand conditions. Manufacturing activities, measured by a comparable yardstick, scaled an eight-month peak in July, as new order intakes rose substantially, recovering the growth momentum lost in June.
In another development- Uber Technologies exited Zomato through a block deal on Wednesday, selling its entire 7.8% stake in the food delivery aggregator for about Rs 3,087 crore. The deal was executed at Rs 50.44 a share. The buyers included global investment and venture capital firms such as Keysquare Capital, James Street, Templeton Global, FMR and Mirae Asset Global Investments, among others. British asset management firm Schroders and US asset manager BlackRock also took part in the block deal, sources close to the development told FE.
Now some news related to trade deficit- Having hit a record $31 billion in July, India’s trade deficit may narrow a tad in August, as the windfall tax on exports of certain petroleum products has been cut and the government directive on mandatory coal imports by power generators has been relaxed, official sources and analysts told FE. So, while petroleum exports may reverse a drop witnessed in July and record growth in August, the persistent surge in coal imports may lose some steam. On top of that, any reduction in the elevated export duties on select steel products and iron ore will also help boost exports. One of the sources said a review of these duties is being planned.
Lastly, Domestic benchmark indices enter the weekly futures & options expiry session on the back of six consecutive days of ending in the green. On Wednesday, S&P BSE Sensex jumped 214 points or 0.37% to settle at 58,350 while the NSE Nifty 50 index gained 42 points to end at 17,388. SGX Nifty was sitting in positive territory during the early hours of trade, suggesting a continuation of the upward momentum. Global cues were also positive after Wall Street surged higher on Wednesday and Asian stock markets mirrored the up-move.

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