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India Business Briefs for April 18: Tesla advisor at EV policy meet ahead of Musk’s India visit

Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a car from his stable. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief related to Indian economy and business for Thursday, April 18, 2024:

Days ahead of tech billionaire Elon Musk’s India visit, an advisor representing electric car maker Tesla attended a stakeholders’ meeting on India’s new electric vehicles policy in New Delhi on Thursday, sources said. “It was a stakeholder consultation meeting seeking inputs for the guidelines to be framed for the new EV manufacturing policy. Tesla was represented by its advisor, The Asia Group. Vietnam’s electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast was also present in the meeting,” a senior official said. Representatives of all the major manufacturers in India including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata, Mahindra, Kia, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, Renault were present in the meeting. Besides, representatives of luxury car makers Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, were also present, sources said.

Indian information technology giant Infosys on Thursday said its consolidated profit jumped 30 per cent to Rs 7,969 crore (£765 million) in the March quarter. The company posted a profit of Rs 6,128 crore (£588 million) in the year-ago period, according to a regulatory filing. The consolidated revenue of Infosys during the reported quarter increased 1.3 per cent to Rs 37,923 crore (£3.63 billion) from Rs 37,441 crore (£3.59 billion) in the same quarter a year ago. The company expects a revenue growth of 1-3 per cent in constant currency for FY25 and operating margin of 20-22 per cent. “Growth guidance for next year is higher than where we finished for this year. The difference is small. As we go into the industries, we see financial services to see a better outlook in the next year compared to the past year,” Infosys MD and CEO Parekh said.

Premier Indian carrier Air India will deploy its A350 aircraft on the Delhi-Dubai route starting May 1, marking the Tata Group airline’s use of the wide-body plane for international destinations. “Operating as AI995/996, the aircraft is scheduled to depart Delhi daily at 20:45 hours, arriving at 22:45 hours in Dubai,” the airline said in a release on Thursday. The return flight will depart Dubai the next day at 00:15 hours local time and arrive in Delhi at 04:55 hours local time. All are local timings. The A350 aircraft will have 28 private suites with full-flat beds in Business, 24 seats in Premium Economy and 264 seats in Economy. Air India started inducting the A350 planes this year and are being used for domestic flights for crew familiarisation and regulatory compliance purposes.

Gold prices fell from an all-time high level and traded lower by Rs 250 (£2.4) at Rs 73,700 (£707) per 10 grams in New Delhi on Thursday amid a decline in the yellow metal’s rates in the global markets, according to HDFC Securities. The precious metal had settled at Rs 73,950 (£710) per 10 grams in the previous session. “Spot gold prices (24 carats) in the Delhi markets are trading at Rs 73,700 (£707) per 10 grams, down by Rs 250 against the previous day close,” Saumil Gandhi, senior analyst of Commodities at HDFC Securities, said. However, silver prices remained flat at Rs 86,500 (£830) per kg. Commodity markets were closed on Wednesday on account of the Hindu festival of Ram Navami. In the international markets, spot gold at Comex was trading at $2,375 (£1,906) per ounce, down by $13 (£10.43) from the previous close.

Debt-saddled telecom operator Vodafone Idea Ltd’s Rs 18,000 crore (£1.72 billion) follow-on offering (FPO) opened to a modest response on Thursday with just 26 per cent of shares on offer being sought by investors. Of the 1,260 crore (12.6 billion) shares on offer, 331.24 crore (3.3 billion) was subscribed on Thursday, according to information on the BSE. Qualified institutional buyers picked up 61 per cent of their 360 crore (3.6 billion) shares reserved for them while non-institutional investors sought 28 per cent out of 270 crore (2.7 billion) shares earmarked for them. Response from retail investors, who have been offered the biggest chunk, was muted with just six per cent of 630 crore (6.3 billion) shares being picked up. Shares are being offered in a price band of Rs 10-11 (£0.096-0.11)apiece, lower than Rs 13.20 (£0.13) closing price of the share on the BSE on Thursday.

Indians have increased expenditure on dieticians and health coaching in the year 2023, according to a report by payments solution provider Razorpay. The report highlights that there has been a 125 per cent rise in spending on dieticians in FY24, reflecting a growing awareness and emphasis on maintaining a balanced diet and nutrition among Indians. Additionally, transactions related to health coaching have also surged by 45 per cent, indicating a clear interest in seeking professional guidance for fitness and overall wellness. The data further underscores a noticeable trend towards preventive healthcare, with sales of health products witnessing a substantial 39 per cent increase in FY24. This surge in spending on health-related services and products indicates the growing recognition among Indians that true prosperity encompasses good health.

(With agencies)

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