Episode 455

Business News at 05:30 pm on 24th March 2023

Listen to the latest business, finance and economy news where we talk about the STT hike on F&O, India’s current account deficit, Twitter to begin removing blue verified badges, gold price today, and Cathie Wood buying Block shares during Hindenburg-fueled plunge. We also talk about how Bharti Airtel overtook Reliance Jio in 5G roll-out.

Today’s Latest Business News at 05:30 pm on 24th March 2023.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s begin. The Securities transaction tax has been hiked by 23.52% on the sale of options and 25% on the sale of futures contracts. As per the amendments to the Finance Bill, STT on the sale of options has been hiked to Rs 2,100 on a turnover of Rs 1 crore against an earlier applicable levy of Rs 1,700. On the sale of futures contracts, the STT has been hiked to Rs 1,250 on Rs 1 crore of turnover against the earlier levy of Rs 1,000. On the options side, the STT is charged on the premium and not the strike price. The Finance bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Friday without discussion. In some more market news, Gold rate was trading in the red on Friday as a result of negative global cues for the metal, while the silver rate is down 0.01%. On Multi Commodity Exchange, gold April futures were trading at Rs 59,340 per 10 grams, down Rs 225 or 0.38%. Silver May futures were trading lower by Rs 7 at Rs 70,205 per kg on MCX. Globally, the yellow metal prices edged lower but traded in a relatively tight range on Friday as the dollar steadied, while investors assessed the U.S. central bank’s hints at a potential pause in its rate-hike trajectory, according to Reuters. Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,991.03 per ounce, after two sessions of sharp gains. U.S. gold futures also dipped 0.1% to $1,993.80. Meanwhile, India’s current account deficit is likely to have improved in the final quarter of 2022 from a nine-year high in July-September as the goods trade gap moderated and net services exports rose, a Reuters poll found. The median forecast of 22 economists polled March 16-23 showed a current account deficit of $23.0 billion in October-December 2022, or 2.7% of gross domestic product. Forecasts ranged from $15.0-$28.0 billion, or 2.0%-3.2% of GDP. In July-September, the gap was $36.4 billion. As a percentage of GDP, at 4.4% it was the highest since mid-2013. More than half of the expected narrowing is due to a reduction in the goods trade deficit, suggesting weakening domestic demand in Asia’s third-largest economy. Moving on. Cathie Wood snapped up more of Block Inc. shares as the payment firm became short seller Hindenburg Research’s latest target on allegations of facilitating fraudsters, a Bloomberg report said.Three exchange traded funds backed by Wood’s firm Ark Investment Management LLC bought slightly more than 338,000 shares of Block on Thursday, according to Ark’s daily trading data. The purchases, valued at about $21 million based on Block’s latest closing price, came as Hindenburg’s report fueled a 15% plunge in the firm’s US-listed shares, the biggest drop since May 2022. Hindenburg, whose call on Adani Group wiped out more than $150 billion off the Indian conglomerate’s market value at one point, alleged that Block facilitated scammers who took advantage of government stimulus programs during the pandemic. Now, some updates on the Twitter saga. On April 1, Twitter will begin removing all blue verified badges obtained before the launch of its paid verification system, Twitter Blue. This move will affect accounts that previously held a blue tick status, and these badges will be removed. Twitter has suggested that those who wish to keep their verification status should subscribe to Twitter Blue. In addition to this announcement, Twitter has made its Blue subscription service available to users globally. This service was previously only available in select countries, but now users all around the world can subscribe. Twitter Blue comes at a cost of Rs 900 per month on both Android and iOS devices, although this is being called a limited time offer. On the web, the cost is Rs 650 per month or Rs 566.7 per month if users opt for the annual plan. In other news, Telecom operator Bharti Airtel overtook Reliance Jio in 5G roll-out with the expansion of the network to additional 235 cities, taking its total reach to 500 cities. Reliance Jio has so far announced the expansion of its ultra high-speed fifth generation (5G) network to 406 cities. The company in a statement said, quote, “Bharti Airtel…ultra-fast 5G service is available to customers in 500 cities in the country. Airtel added 235 cities to its network, making it one of the largest roll-outs to date,” unquote. Airtel said that it is adding 30-40 cities on its 5G network daily. According to industry players, India has become the fastest country in the world to roll-out 5G networks. Against the target of rolling out 5G in 200 cities before March 31 set by the government, the service is now available in over 900 cities.

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Business News at 05:30 pm on 24th March 2023