Let’s begin. Patanjali Foods shares hit a lower circuit, falling 5% to Rs 912.90 on Thursday after the NSE and BSE froze the equity shares held by promoters and promoter group of Patanjali Foods Ltd for failing to increase its public shareholding from 19.18% to 25% within the stipulated deadline. Patanjali Foods in a stock exchange filing said, quote, “The company came up with Further Public Offering in the month of March 2022 and issued 6,61,53,846 equity shares of Rs. 2/- each at a premium of Rs. 648/- per share aggregating to Rs. 4,300 Crores by which the public shareholding was increased to 19.18%. Accordingly, the company had to increase its public shareholding from 19.18 % to 25% and while management of the company was discussing various means and methods for increasing its public shareholding, in the meantime, the company received an e-mail from the stock exchanges freezing the shareholding of the Promoters and Promoter Group,” unquote.
Meanwhile, Indigenous electronics production is expected to reach Rs 8.42 lakh crore and export Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the current financial year, Parliament was informed on Wednesday, a PTI report said. Minister of Electronics and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw in his submission to the Lok Sabha said India’s share of global exports has increased to approximately 1.8 per cent in the current year from 1.2 per cent last year. Vaishnaw said, quote, “The domestic production of electronic items is expected to reach Rs 8.42 lakh crore in the current Financial Year 2022-23 as compared to Rs 6.40 lakh crore in Financial Year 2021-22 and is targeted to reach USD 300 billion by 2025-26,” unquote.The minister also said that the export of electronic goods has increased from Rs 39,978 crore in Financial Year 2016-17 to Rs 1,09,797 crore in Financial Year 2021-22, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate of 22.39 per cent.
On to industry. Amid a second round of sweeping layoffs, Meta Platforms Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is now encouraging staff to find more opportunities to work with your colleagues in person, a Bollmberg report said. Meta is the latest high-profile company to walk back lenient work-from-home policies and call workers back to the office in 2023, joining others like Amazon.com Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Walt Disney Co. The orders come as office occupancy across the US this year broke 50% for the first time since the pandemic began and CEOs like JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon continue to reject remote work. Working from home “doesn’t work” for managers or younger staff, Dimon said recently. This year’s return-to-office policies follow 2022’s mandates from the likes of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Apple Inc. and Peloton Interactive Inc.
In some more industry news, Reliance Jio’s newly launched postpaid family plans have made Bharti Airtel investors nervous that the move could disrupt the telecom industry. The shares of Bharti Airtel fell 1.24% to Rs 747 in the intraday trade on Thursday. Following the trend, Vodafone Idea shares hit a new 52-week low, falling 2.5% to Rs 6.25. HSBC Global Research said that there will be little disruption from the new plans in the industry and reiterated the BUY rating for Bharti Airtel stock. HSBC said, quote, “Bharti Airtel family plans are priced at a premium of 0.3% to 34.7% to Jio, on varying scenarios of the number of add-on connections and price adjustments for bundled content/ OTT. We estimate subscribers with family plans contributed around 2.6-5.1% of Bharti Airtel’s India mobile revenue. In a worst-case scenario, if Bharti Airtel needed to cut pricing by 15% to defend these subscribers, we estimate India’s mobile revenue could fall by 0.4-0.8%,” unquote.
Next up, technology. ChatGPT has a new rival and this one is made by one of the ex-employees of the company that owns. Anthropic, a start-up co-founded by an ex-OpenAI’s employees, has launched a rival to ChatGPT dubbed as Claude. While the core functionality of Claude is similar to that of ChatGPT, Anthropic claims that its tool is “less likely to produce harmful outputs, easier to converse with, and more steerable.” While ChatGPT has a backing from tech giant Microsoft, Claude is supported by tech behemoth Google. Reportedly, the Mountain View-based giant invested $300 million into Anthropic. Google, in exchange of the money, has received a 10 per cent stake in the company.
Now let’s see how the share market performed today. Domestic indices ended Thursday’s volatile session in the positive territory, but despite multiple attempts Nifty failed to settle above 17000. The NSE index rose 0.08% to 16,985.60 and BSE Sensex climbed 0.14% to 57,634.84. Bank Nifty rose 0.21% to 39,132.60. The top gainers on the Nifty 50 were BPCL, Hindustan Unilever Asian Paints, Nestle India and Titan while the losers were Hindalco, Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, JSW Steel and HDFC Life.