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Indian Defence’s drone policy is on the right track

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Offensive unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms need to be complemented by a robust anti-drone capability tooIAF to build its own combat drones, experts say still a long way to go |  The Financial Express

The decision of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to acquire 100 mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, will allow the organisation to hone its operational capabilities without looking over its shoulder all the time. The IAF going in for such a large suite of UAVs is obviously to strengthen its air base defences after the drone attack on a Jammu air base last year. That was a rude wake-up call for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the clear and present danger posed by armed drones that sneak in from across the western and northern borders.

The MoD is now shopping for mini UAV platforms equipped with electro-optic and thermal imaging capability to detect targets on land and air from afar. This serves the dual purpose of thwarting cross-border terrorist activity as well as dealing with intruder drones. Not surprisingly, the IAF has awarded the contract for the UAVs to an Indian company in line with the government’s resolve to indigenise defence acquisitions. It also complements the IAF’s plan to protect air bases in the subcontinent with home-grown anti-drone systems.

UAVs have come a long way since American inventors Elmer Sperry and Peter Hewitt designed the first ‘aerial torpedo’ in 1916 by integrating three key technologies — automatic stabilisation, remote control and autonomous navigation — on a single aero-model. In 1930, defence scientists in Britain and the US used the aerial torpedo to develop radio controlled ‘target drones’ to train anti-aircraft gunners. But the potential of UAVs as a weapon of choice for armies was largely ignored even during the Cold War when the military-industrial complexes of the US and the erstwhile USSR merely considered UAVs as nuisance weapons. What a contrast from the current combat drones, with their reach and lethality, which are critical force multipliers indispensable to militaries across the world!

India was a late starter in the global military drone market which is currently estimated to be worth $12 billion, and predicted to grow to $31 billion in the next seven years. The country’s indigenous UAV programme was launched in the early 1980s when the IAF modified the American Northrop Chucker remotely piloted vehicle as a desi drone. Eventually, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) would use this as a template to develop the Lakshya target drone for practice firing of beyond-visual-range missiles.

The DRDO has since followed it up with several short range drones like the catapult-launched Nishant and its advanced variant, Gagan, equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Radar that produced high-resolution 3-D images. The real deal, however, is the vaunted Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV, Rustom 2 with auto landing capabilities ideal for surveillance and reconnaissance. A more advanced High Altitude Long Range drone is also being developed with an eye on the Sino-Indian border in eastern Ladakh.

New industry friendly policies announced by the government have clearly enabled India’s armed forces to explore the full potential of UAVs as force multipliers with the help of private players. This is evident in the expanding performance umbrella of the IAF’s UAVs from their recce and surveillance profiles to more dynamic roles like UAV assisted fighter/helicopter strikes and laser designation of targets. Army drones, once the exclusive preserve of the artillery, are now managed by the Army Aviation Corps to ensure their optimal use.

The Army is also procuring loitering munitions (drones carrying warheads that ‘loiter’ in the air before diving on ground targets) from Indian companies and these compare favorably with the Israeli-made Harop possessed by the IAF. MoD sources speak of plans to have various UAVs in army battalions before the decade is out, while the IAF would build half a dozen combat drone squadrons in the same time frame. The Indian Navy (IN) too has a shopping list for advanced shipborne drone systems to successfully counter Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean Region.

A major handicap for India’s armed forces is the absence of homegrown unmanned combat aerial vehicles like the US Predators and Reapers which are controlled by satellites and hit targets with missiles before returning to re-arm and carry out fresh sorties. This may change soon if the recent maiden flight of India’s Stealth Wing Flying Testbed — the prototype of a stealth combat drone — is any indication.Offensive UAV platforms like these however need to be complemented by a robust anti-drone capability like the IN’s Israeli Smash 2000 rifles that can track and destroy hostile UAVs. The army has its own jamming system which can detect and bring down quad copters (multi-rotor drones with four arms) at more than three kilometers; this is currently deployed along the western border and is a boon for troops stationed there.

But the challenge for defensive military technologies is that they are easily outpaced by offensive capabilities like, say, ‘swarm drones' — many drones attacking targets at the same time — fooling jammers and radars which identify the UAV horde as a single object. Defence planners know this only too well as they try to second guess the rapid mutation of disruptive technologies like drones.

South Korea shows what a nuclear-powered future might look like

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Pressure is rising to find alternative energy sources before a looming electricity crunch hurts both consumers and manufacturers. South Korea may have the answerSouth Korea shows what a nuclear-powered future might look like

It’s time to get realistic about the worsening energy situation. A power shortage is approaching and few alternatives to bridge the green transition exist right now. Nuclear is re-emerging as a front-runner, as are doubts and skepticism around its safety as memories of past accidents loom large along with haunting images of mushroom clouds. South Korea, though, shows why nuclear isn’t just a pipe dream — or a fuel to fear.

The country’s worries — like those of many others — aren’t just people feeling cold this winter, or rising prices. It’s the lack of electricity that will ultimately hamper everything from industrial production of goods and food to electric vehicles and the infrastructure to charge them — industries account for over half of the nation’s consumption. South Korean firms that supply high-tech goods to the rest of the world, including cars, batteries and chips, seem to have come to that realization. These energy-intensive sectors won’t run on wind, solar and biofuels alone because the actual capacity just isn’t enough and for large-scale operations, it isn’t consistent. If power starts becoming an issue, so will their profits and global technological heft.

Powering Up

In South Korea, nuclear generation, a baseload source, accounts for over a quarter of electricity production.

To deal with it, South Korea’s biggest companies are putting their weight behind nuclear power plants, which contribute to about 27% of electricity there — an astute move. Samsung C&T Corp., the trading and construction arm of the Samsung empire, is working with NuScale Power Corp. to construct the first small modular reactor, or SMR, in the US and in eastern Europe. Meanwhile, Doosan Enerbility Co. has also tied up with NuScale to supply equipment. The US firm is the first and only to have had its SMR design receive certification — after a rigorous review process by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The likes of Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. are also working to push nuclear forward, while Bill Gates-backed TerraPower LLC is teaming up with South Korean chaebol SK Inc. to commercialize its advanced reactor technologies.

All told, the country has around two dozen atomic power plants. There is serious political will behind these efforts now, with recently elected President Yoon Suk Yeol pushing for nuclear to surpass coal usage. A draft long-term energy plan released recently calls for 201.7 terawatt-hours of electricity from nuclear by the end of the decade, or about 33% of the country’s total, aided by six new reactors. Coal, natural gas and renewables will each make up just over 20% of generation.

The economics work, too: Nuclear has a clear cost advantage. As state-owned utility Korea Electric Power Corp. noted in its annual filing earlier this year around extending the life of its nuclear units, the failure to do so “would result in a loss of revenues from such units and the increase in our overall fuel costs (as nuclear is the cheapest compared to coal, LNG or oil).” For businesses, it costs 61.5 Korean won per kWh compared with 149.9 Korean won per kWh for solar, helping keep electricity prices low.

Instead of just going green, private and state-backed companies in South Korea are squarely focused on the commercialization of technologies. Nuclear energy consumption hasn’t declined since at least 2017, despite the previous administration’s plan to phase it out. Building facilities is relatively economical in the country, with the overnight cost — the price of constructing a plant without any incurred interest — the cheapest among the developed world and even lower than in China and India.

South Korean companies’ recent deals are focused on manufacturing and building nuclear technology, not just exploratory efforts to advance a far-off investment. A big advantage is that they draw from the existing supply chain. Parts are brought to the site and assembled there. Large manufacturers are already making the equipment and know how to run technical operations. Meanwhile, the government recently signed agreements with nuclear energy equipment makers to boost the industry by providing financing, research and development funds.

Part of the broader nuclear power problem is that countries facing energy supply issues haven’t kept up their facilities, or have abandoned the technology altogether. Decommissioning these plants has added costs, too. Now, as the pressure rises to find alternative sources to reduce Europe’s heavy reliance on Russian gas, there’s little that can be done in a short period of time. French state-owned firm Electricite de France SA is exploring keeping two of its UK plants open for longer, as it also struggles to run them efficiently. Germany will make some of its facilities available to get it through the colder months.

The ability to tap existing nuclear resources is set to help dynamics across the world: The head of the International Energy Agency recently said Japan’s restart of more nuclear power plants would help ease energy supply issues because global gas availability would rise.

This isn’t to say that South Korea has got its nuclear bet totally right — it’s had its fair share of hitches in the domestic industry. As with facilities elsewhere in the world, there are questions around how it will manage the waste. Still, it has been working on a near-surface disposal system, which would alleviate concerns about radioactive waste material. NuScale’s reactors, for instance, use fuel that is consistent with the type used in the light pressurized water-type reactors employed today. The US has been safely storing it for more than six decades. In addition, newer modules are developing designs that could reduce the overall inventory of spent quantities.

Even Indian bonds are not spicy enough for global investors to bite

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What will break the impasse and when? Apart from some simplification of processes and taxation, a lot will depend on the Reserve Bank of India's policies, especially on exchange rates.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City (Photo: Reuters)

The one-two punch of rising  and a strengthening dollar is making investors crave spicy yields.  were in turmoil last week when 10-year UK gilts struggled to find takers even at 4.5% — and only calmed down when the Bank of England stepped in as a buyer. However, it isn’t just British fare that’s getting passed up for being too bland. Look at a large emerging economy like India, which has tried for three years to get asset managers to commit to its $1 trillion government bond market. But they’re stalling. Why aren’t 7%-plus yields hot enough for them?

FTSE Russell said Thursday that it would continue to keep  bonds on its watch list for possible inclusion in its emerging  debt index until March 2023, when the next assessment is due. Separately, Reuters has reported that India’s much-desired entry into a similar benchmark maintained by JPMorgan Chase & Co. may also get pushed out to next year. A decision is expected in the coming days. (Bloomberg LP is the parent of Bloomberg Index Services Ltd., which administers indexes that compete with those from other service providers.)

Foreigners own just $17.8 billion, or 2%, of  bonds. By contrast, overseas ownership is more than a third in Indonesia and nearly 10% in China. In 2019, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi flirted with sovereign dollar debt, but dropped the inaugural $10 billion issuance when it drew flak. And rightly so. It would have been risky for a government that has always struggled with high budget deficits to borrow in a currency the country is often short of, thanks to its heavy energy imports. The revised aspiration since then has been to get as much as $40 billion over two years (in rupees, not dollars) by pushing for India’s inclusion in global bond indexes.

That’s the right way to go, but pesky taxation issues have come in the way. New Delhi imposes up to a 30% capital-gains levy on listed bonds sold within one year. There is also a 5% withholding tax on interest income for foreign portfolio investors.

chart

With Russia going off the benchmarks, asset managers would welcome the yield kick India would offer. However, they’re hoping that in its desperation to find a new source of capital ahead of further rate increases by the Fed, the Modi administration will blink first and offer tax concessions. Hence, the standoff. That any trading in rupee bonds may have to be settled onshore, and not on an international platform like Euroclear, isn’t the showstopper it’s often made out to be. As Bloomberg  noted last week, even Indonesian and Chinese bonds aren’t on Euroclear but are part of the JPMorgan Index. The real issue is that the operations people at large asset managers are balking at the idea of getting a tax certificate ahead of settling each trade onshore in India.

What will break the impasse and when? Apart from some simplification of processes and taxation, a lot will depend on the Reserve Bank of India’s policies, especially on exchange rates.

While the relentless surge in the dollar is putting pressure on economies across Asia, responses by individual nations have been “eclectic,” as Nomura Holdings Inc. noted recently. The Philippines, China and South Korea have taken a more hands-off approach to depreciation, while India, Thailand and Indonesia have intervened more heavily and sold a larger number of dollars from their official coffers to shore up their local currencies. The RBI’s reserves, which were as high as $641 billion last September, are down to $537 billion and falling. The question before investors is, how long before the RBI switches tracks? In 2013, when India got dragged into the Fed’s taper tantrum, its hard-currency war chest was enough for six months of imports. In Nomura’s estimates, the current coverage is adequate for a little over eight months.

A more laissez-faire approach to the exchange rate won’t be an easy choice. The risk is that the rupee becomes a sitting duck for speculators trying to pull it down in one-way bets. In that case, no investor — equity or bond — will venture near India. The outlook for next year’s economic growth, already uncertain because of cratering global demand, will become more dicey.

Maybe the trick is to just suspend the ambition of landing $40 billion in foreigners’ money until the Fed is finished tightening. Right now, an investor gets virtually no additional kick by giving up on three-year US Treasury yields of 4.2% and exploring options half a world away. In the foreign-exchange market, the cost of insuring against rupee deprecation eats up almost the entire 3 percentage point extra yield offered by  debt of similar maturity. By that yardstick, the three-year British gilt yields are even less appetizing — which is why analysts mostly agree that the Bank of England will have to keep raising rates. India, too, increased its policy rate by half a percentage point for a third straight time last week to 5.9%; economists expect the RBI to be done only when it reaches 6.5%.

A combination of high yields and a sufficiently-weakened currency could finally convince global investors to bite. For now, though, it looks like they may work up an appetite only by next year.

No Credit Suisse isn't on the brink

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The Swiss bank has enough capital, but volatile markets have deepened worries and raised the costs of its restructuringNo, Credit Suisse Isn't on the Brink - Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Group AG is in a tight spot, but it isn’t “on the brink,” as the fevered typists of social media imagined over the weekend. The Swiss bank, however, is going through its darkest hours at exactly the worst time, when markets are volatile and everyone is nervous about what’s around the corner. Disappointment is still more likely than disaster.

The terms of trade in financial markets are worsening for all players. This is a new era of higher volatility as policymakers raise interest rates to battle inflation, increasing trading costs and risks. It’s a time when missteps by politicians or central banks can suddenly expose surprising concentrations of risk — just look at last week’s entanglement between the UK government bond market and Britain’s pension funds.

Unfortunately for Credit Suisse, this is going to encourage companies, investors and savers to do more business at banks with the strongest balance sheets and most stable business models, making speed crucial for Chairman Axel Lehmann to complete the bank’s strategic review and get its restructuring underway. On the one hand, the Swiss lender is just suffering a more exaggerated version of the travails of its peers. But the collapse in its share price and sharp rise in the cost of buying insurance on its bonds are making its turnaround harder. And there’s another three weeks until it’s scheduled to tell investors how it will cut back its investment bank to focus more on wealth management.

The bank has more than enough capital to run its business. It just isn’t making good enough returns. To change that picture quickly, it needs money to pay for a restructuring — analysts estimate potentially $4 billion through asset sales or capital raising. Without that, the less it can change and the longer its troubles will last. The weaker it appears, the costlier it’ll be to raise any money and the harder it will get squeezed by potential buyers of any of its assets. Markets feed on desperation, and you’ll find fewest friends when you’re most in need.

But this is a story of relative decline, not one of bank runs or existential crisis. This is well known to investors and analysts who follow Credit Suisse but not so much to the broader market. That’s why the sharp rise in the cost of protecting Credit Suisse bonds against default in derivatives markets spooked some finance professionals as well as social media.

Senior Credit Suisse executives spent time reassuring clients and counterparties over the weekend about the health of its balance sheet, the Financial Times reported. In the US, some investors began to fret about contagion to the banking system there from problems at a large European bank. Citigroup Inc. banks analyst Keith Horowitz was moved to pen a note to clients reassuring them that the “current situation is night and day from 2007.”

Investors and traders are jittery because the cost of protecting bank debt against default using credit default swaps (CDS) is rising everywhere. Some are starting to see a harbinger of bank failures, but that’s wrong. A lot of this rise is a function of how banks manage the risks of trading with each other — and of how their clients also manage that risk.

When banks trade with each other, there is always a risk that one bank fails to fulfil its side of the bargain – that is called counterparty credit risk. The world of over-the-counter derivatives, those that aren’t traded on an exchange or through a clearinghouse, are one big source of counterparty risk. Just how much is involved depends on the size of your trading book but also how volatile is the underlying market. High volatility often means more — and more frequent — collateral calls, as Britain’s pensions industry showed last week.

Banks (and their clients) also need to look at the financial strength of their trading partners as they work out what risk they present: Credit Suisse’s collapsing share price makes it look riskier than some rivals. This is a real problem because it makes the bank a costlier counterparty and less competitive. Deutsche Bank went through a similar thing around the final months of 2016, when its capital base was weak and it faced a potentially existential fine from US authorities. Credit Suisse isn’t in such dire straits as Deutsche Bank was then, but losing revenue will still be painful.

There is a further nuance worth noting that explains why the headlines about Credit Suisse are worse than the reality. Without laboring the technicalities too much, many European banks have two kinds of CDS that refer to senior debt: One is riskier and less widely traded than the other. These exist because different creditors get different treatment under bank resolution rules: Depositors and derivative counterparties typically are more likely to get their money back if a bank gets wound up than are bondholders.

Long story short, and slightly simplistically: There is a CDS for senior bonds and a less risky CDS for counterparty credit risk. The former version is often more volatile, the latter is more important for competitiveness and revenue. For Credit Suisse, it’s the more volatile, riskier version that has gone wildest in recent days and become a popular chart for Twitter’s excitable storm chasers.

Credit Suisse is still priced as a riskier counterparty than Deutsche Bank or Barclays Plc, for example, but it’s not in existential peril today. It is at a business disadvantage and faces another hurdle to its restructuring . Nothing that has happened in markets or been communicated by the bank since it launched its review in the summer has been helpful. Financial markets aren’t getting any friendlier. The quicker that Credit Suisse’s board can complete its strategic plan and end the uncertainty the better.


Taxes absorb 58% telco revenues in nation with lowest tariff: Voda-Idea CEO

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Vodafone IdeaApart from being impacted by one of the highest visible levies in the world, Indian telcos have a large hidden cost due to which 58 percent of their revenues become liable for government taxes,  CEO Akshaya Moondra said. Arguing the industry quickly needs to make massive capital investments for migration of technology, he said the burden on the telecom sectr needs to be reduced fast.

"We have 18 per cent  and 12 per cent licence fees and spectrum use charges. This 30 per cent is very visible to everyone. What is not very visible is that the price of spectrum, if converted to an annuity value and calculated as a percentage of revenue, adds another 28 per cent of industry revenue (as a cost)," Moondra said while speaking at the CEOs conclave at the sixth India Mobile Congress.

"So, if you take the industry revenue of Rs 231 crore and you calculate the total value of the spectrum given out, which is close to Rs six trillion today, the annuity value of that payment comes to 28 per cent of revenue, on top of the visible costs. Therefore, 58 percent of revenue is reflected as government levies in a country where the tariffs are the lowest," he explained.

Moondra said the operational cash generation of telcos can be released for investments if the government reduces the tax burden.

"With each transition of technology, especially from 4G to 5G, the data being carried by the networks is massive. This data cannot be carried wirelessly, you need fibre to carry it. Unfortunately the right-of-way regulations in the country have been very difficult. The government has taken some steps towards rectifying that. But if  is to be successful in India, it is very important that this right-of-way mess which exists today is sorted out," he added.

New opportunities

Moondra said that  brings with it features like low latency, ultra low latency, massive machine-type communication, and the ability to slice networks.

"These will contribute to automating manufacturing in a manner that was not possible earlier. Over the next 2-3 years, manufacturing, including internet-of-things, would be one of the key drivers of technology being deployed for the betterment of society, and for improving efficiency and productivity," he added.

Latency specifies the end-to-end communication delay, measuring the time between the sending of a given piece of information and the corresponding response.  can be exploited to reduce network latency. Latency can be identified in the time gap between the moment a “stop” button is clicked and the instant in which a remotely driven vehicle actually starts braking. Experts say reducing the latency experienced by the end users from hundredths of a second to a few milliseconds can have an unexpected impact, leading to a real digital revolution.

Madhusudhan Mysore, CEO & Executive Chairman,  Transformation Services (TCTS) said the massive level of investment expected in 5G is backed up by a number of established use cases. "It could be a consumer or industry use case. But the business implications are massive. The buyer is going to be the strategic person. It (5G) is no more jut a technological or IT-infrastructure conversation. It is becoming part of the boardroom's business strategy," he said.

"4G deployment has grown from nine per cent in 2016 to 68 per cent now. That is phenomenal, with a 15-fold growth in data consumption. Indians consume 15 Exabytes of data each month," Salil Raje, SVP Data Center & Communications Group at American multinational semiconductor maker AMD said. One Exabyte equals 1 billion Gigabytes.

He said India needs to pool in more talent into the hardware processing sector if it wants to sustainably expand and grow its export from the sectors. "We at AMD have 6,000-7,000 engineers in India, but we need to bring in a lot more talent," Raje said.

"We need to start thinking about private 5G which is extremely important in the areas of education and healthcare. Because it can bring quick impact to all these businesses and show the real value of 5G. Private 5G refers to managed services for deploying, operating, and scaling private cellular networks on premises with integrated hardware and software.

However, some business leaders said that newer networks that are programmable to use new opportunities for monetizing 5G are the need of the hour. "People are saying that 5G represents big investments, but Average Revenue Per User (ARPUs) are southbound while capital expenditure and operating expenditure is northbound. We need to get these curves going in the opposite direction," Puneet Sethi, Senior Vice President & General Manager at American telecommunication software company Mavenir said.

Touted as the largest telecom, media, and technology forum in Asia, the four-day long India Mobile Congress is jointly organised by the  (DoT) and  (COAI).



Share Market Closing Note

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 Share Market Closing Note

Equity markets were choppy on Monday as global mood remained sombre, and investors booked profit after Fridays 2-per cent rally. The S&P BSE Sensex gyrated within a band of 771 points, before settling at 56,789, down 638 points or 1.11 per cent. The NSE Nifty50, too, closed 207 points, or 1.21 per cent, lower at 16,887. The index hit a high of 17,114.65, and a low of 16,921.25 during the day. 

Adani Enterprises was the biggest Nifty dragger as it dropped 9 per cent. This was followed by selling in Eicher Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Adani Ports, Hindalco, Tata Consumer Products, HUL, Kotak Bank, ITC, HDFC Life, Britannia, SBI, and Tata Motors. All these stocks fell between 2 per cent and 6 per cent.

On the upside, ONGC, Cipla, Coal India, Dr Reddys Labs, BPCL, Divis Labs, and Bharti Airtel helped trim losses. 

The broader markets declined in tandem with benchmarks with the BSE MidCap, and SmallCap indices dipping 1.24 per cent, and 0.5 per cent, respectively. Overall, there were roughly 1,400 stocks in the green on the BSE, as against over 2,100 stocks in the red. Volatility index -- India VIX -- surged over 7 per cent today.

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Topic :- Time:3.10 PM

Just In:

Zee offers to shut down major entertainment channel for merger with Sony.

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Topic :- Time:3.00 PM

Nifty spot close above 16900 level will result in some upmove in the market in coming sessions and close below above mentioned level will mean some further decline in the Nifty. Avoid open positions for tomorrow

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Topic :- Time:2.30 PM

GOLD Trading View:

GOLD is trading at 50420.If it manages to trade and sustain above 50480-50500 levels then expect some quick upmove in it and if it breaks and trade below 50380 level then some decline can follow in it.

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Topic :- Time:2.00 PM

Nifty is declining. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 16960 level then expect some further upmove in the market and if it breaks and trade below 16920 level then some decline can follow in the Nifty.

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Topic :- Time:2.00 PM

Nifty is declining. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 16960 level then expect some further upmove in the market and if it breaks and trade below 16920 level then some decline can follow in the Nifty.

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Topic :- Time:1.30 PM

COPPER Trading View:

COPPER is trading at 642.55.If it holds below 645-646 level then expect some decline in it and it is likely to test 638-636 levels quite soon and if it manages to trade and sustain above 646 level then some upmove can follow in it.

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Topic :- Time:1.20 PM

Just In:

Zydus Lifesciences gets USFDA nod for generic drug.

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Topic :- Time:1.00 PM

Nifty is rangebound. Nifty spot if manages to trade and sustain above 17060 level then some upove can be seen in the market and if it breaks and trade below 17000 level then some decline can follow in the Nifty.

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Topic :- Time:12.30 PM

NATURALGAS Trading View:

NG is trading at 548.50.If it manages to hold above 544 level then expect some further upmove in it and only below 544 it can slide down. Buy on decline till it holds above 544 is recommended.

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Topic :- Time:12.00 PM

After negative start nifty is still trading in red zone. Nifty spot if breaks and trade below 17000 level then expect some further decline in the market and if it manages to trade and sustain above 17060 level then some upmove can follow in Nifty.

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Topic :- Time:11.30 AM

News Wrap up:

1. Sensex trims losses, down 150pts; Nifty50 below 17,050

2. Manufacturing PMI dips to 3-month low of 55.1 in September on poor demand

3. $1.2-trn PM Gati Shakti plan can snatch away factories from China

4. Hotels sold out as big fat Indian weddings recover from Covid shock

5. Reliance Jio may not charge a premium for its 5G services initially

6. Xiaomi says 84% of Rs 5,551 cr seized by ED was royalty payment to Qualcomm

7. Nykaa soars 11% after board approves 5:1 bonus share

8. RITES hits all-time high on healthy outlook; stock climbs 15% in 3 days



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India's largest fintech M&A deal falls through: PayU calls off BillDesk buy

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The acquisition of BillDesk for a total consideration of $4.7 billion had been announced on August 31 last yearBillDesk PayU

The biggest merger & acquisition (M&A) deal in the Indian financial technology space has fallen through, with Prosus-backed  calling off the acquisition of BillDesk. The acquisition, for a total consideration of $4.7 billion, had been announced on August 31, 2021.

In a statement issued on Monday, Prosus said: “Closing of the transaction was subject to the fulfilment of various conditions precedent, including approval by the  (CCI).  secured CCI approval on September 5, 2022. However, certain conditions precedent were not fulfilled by the September 30, 2022, long stop date, and the agreement has terminated automatically in accordance with its terms and, accordingly, the proposed transaction will not be implemented.”

On August 31, 2021, Prosus had announced that an agreement had been reached between  Payments Private Limited (PayU), a subsidiary of Prosus, and the shareholders of the Indian digital payments provider BillDesk.

While the deal got a go-ahead from the CCI only in September, it was yet to receive the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The process was to take at least 45 days.

Prosus, a long-term investor and operator in India, has invested close to $6 billion in Indian technology  since 2005. It said it remained committed to the Indian market and growing its existing businesses within the region. Some of its other investments include Meesho, Byju’s, DeHaat, Mensa Brands and Good Glamm Group.

This acquisition would have made PayU the biggest player in the digital payment (B2B) segment. At the time of acquisition announcement, PayU India head Anirban Mukherjee had told Business Standard that the synergies of both the  would lead to more new products being launched in the market.

“We do know where some of the synergies are. For instance, they are very strong in bill payments in the government and financial services.

We are much more focused on e-commerce and SMEs. There are synergies where their products apply to our customers and vice versa. Like LazyPay can go into their checkout pages. The bigger conversation will happen once we close this deal. I feel this type of scale can drive a different level of innovation and access to the market. We have a lot of complementary strengths and I am hoping that we will have lots of ideas on taking this to drive digitisation of the last mile much faster in India,” he had said.

During the announcement, PayU had estimated that the combined entity would process total payment values (TPV) of $152 billion based on FY21 numbers.BillDesk is one of the largest players in the payment aggregator space, especially with its early-mover advantage as well as a strong hold in the utility payment space. Industry estimates suggest BillDesk’s market share to be in the 25-30 per cent range. The second-largest players is Razorpay, with a share of around 20 per cent.

Festive demands up airfares by 20-30% on key routes across country

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The hike in airfare prices is a result of the increased cost of aviation turbine fuel, according to ixigo's data

Delhi airport, air travel, passengers, coronavirus

Increased demand during the ongoing festival season has caused airfares on major routes across the nation to increase by 20 per cent to 30 per cent, reported The Hindu Businessline.

Research by ixigo, an Indian AI-based online travel portal, shows that typical airfares have increased by 20–30 per cent this year on popular routes as a result of the increase in aviation turbine fuel (ATF). Around  and Diwali, EaseMyTrip has also seen a surge in airfares on metro routes.

Aloke Bajpai, Group CEO & Co-founder of the IPO-bound OTA  said to The Hindu Businessline, “With  and  just around the corner, excitement for the festival season is at its peak. Flight searches have risen 25-30 per cent for leisure travel for  week compared to last year.”

Cleartrip’s data also revealed 23 per cent higher bookings in the same period.

Patna, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Pune, Goa, Bagdogra and Dehradun are among the top 10 leisure destinations for travel between October 01 and October 24, found the ixigo’s data.

Customer confidence has now increased as the majority of eligible citizens of India have received their booster vaccinations and the virus's impact has decreased.

This has encouraged airlines to make up for the lost revenues over the previous two years, which is supported by the raising of the airfare cap on August 31.

 has predicted that due to increasing demand for travel, last-minute prices for well-travelled routes will experience a sharp increase in airfares. For instance, on travel dates shortly before Diwali, one-way rates for routes like New Delhi to Patna, which are typically approximately Rs 5,000, might reach as high as Rs 8,000-13,000.

However, there is a decrease in airfare between  and after Diwali in an effort to prevent further financial hardship for its consumers. Along with this,  (OTAs) and airlines are providing their clients with flash bargains and offers.

According to Cleartrip spokesperson, there are sectors where prices have dropped and there are expensive fares too.

Manufacturing PMI edges down to 55.1 in September

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India's manufacturing PMI for September has come in above 50 for the 15th month in a rowManufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index jumps to 55.3 in July

India's manufacturing activity lost some momentum in September, with S&P Global's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) edging down to 55.1 from 56.2 in August, data released on October 3 showed.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion in activity, while a sub-50 print is a sign of contraction.

This is the 15th consecutive 50-plus print for the manufacturing PMI.

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Watch: Elon Musk showcases humanoid robot at Tesla AI event

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Tesla AI Day: Elon Musk has said Tesla's robot business will be worth more than its cars.Tesla CEO Elon Musk showcases humanoid robot at event | Arab News PK

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showcased his much-touted humanoid robot 'Optimus' at the electric vehicle maker's "AI Day" event on Friday.

The billionaire has said a robot business will be worth more than its cars, hoping to expand beyond self-driving cars that have not yet become a reality despite his repeated promises.

A prototype of the robot walked on stage and waved to the seated audience. A video of the robot carrying a box, watering plants and moving metal bars in the automaker's factory was shown.

"Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quickly as possible," Musk said at the event being held at a Tesla office in Palo Alto, California.

Musk is also expected to discuss Tesla's long-delayed self-driving technology. In May, Musk said that the world's most valuable carmaker would be "worth basically zero" without achieving full self-driving capability, and it faces growing regulatory probes, as well as technological hurdles.

"There will be lots of technical detail & cool hardware demos," Musk wrote on Twitter late on Wednesday, adding the event was aimed at recruiting engineers.

Tesla's live demonstration record is mixed. Launches typically draw cheers, but in 2019 when Musk had an employee hurl a steel ball at the armored window of a new electric pickup truck, the glass cracked.

The key test for the robot is whether it can handle unexpected situations.

Musk announced Tesla's plan for humanoid robots at its AI day in August last year and delayed this year's event from August to have its robot prototype working, with a plan to start production possibly next year.

Tesla teased the unveiling of the bot on social media with an image of metallic robotic hands making a heart shape. But building human-like, versatile hands that can manipulate different objects is extremely challenging, said Heni Ben Amor, a robotics professor at Arizona State University.

Initially, Optimus, an allusion to the powerful and benevolent leader of the Autobots in the Transformers media franchise, would perform boring or dangerous jobs, including moving parts around Tesla factories or attaching a bolt to a car with a wrench, according to Musk.

"There's so much about what people can do dexterously that's very, very hard for robots. And that's not going to change whether the robot is a robot arm or whether it's in the shape of a humanoid," Jonathan Hurst, chief technology officer at Agility Robotics, a humanoid robot firm, told Reuters.

Musk has said that in the future robots could be used in homes, making dinners, mowing the lawn and caring for the elderly, and even becoming a "buddy" for humans or a sex partner.

He is due at Friday's event to give updates on Tesla's much-delayed plan to launch self-driving cars, and on its high-speed computer, Dojo, which was unveiled last year and the company has said is integral to its development of self-driving technology.

Musk has said he expects Tesla will achieve full self-driving this year and mass produce a robotaxi with no steering wheel or pedal by 2024.

At an "Autonomy" event in 2019, Musk promised 1 million robotaxis by 2020 but has yet to deliver such a car.

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