India’s manufacturing PMI declines to 7-month low of 55.4 in March

India’s factory activity grew at its weakest pace in seven months in March, as renewed lockdowns to curtail an increase in Covid-19 cases dampened domestic demand and output. The IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for India’s manufacturing sector declined to 55.4 in March from 57.5 in February. PMI is a month-on-month calculation, and a value of more than 50 represents an expansion when compared to the previous month.

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Adani Ports to acquire remaining 25% stake in Krishnapatnam Port

Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) will acquire a 25% stake of Vishwa Samudra Holding in Krishnapatnam Port for Rs 2,800 crore. The company currently holds a 75% stake in Krishnapatnam Port. With this latest acquisition, the port will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of APSEZ. The transaction is expected to be completed within three months. Krishnapatnam Port is located in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. It is an all-weather, deep-water port, with a current capacity of 64 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).

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Panacea Biotec to make 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine

Panacea Biotec Limited has signed an agreement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for manufacturing 100 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine every year. According to a study conducted by The Lancet, Sputnik V showed an efficacy rate of 91.6%. The production of the vaccine at Panacea Biotec’s manufacturing units will help facilitate its global supply to the international partners of RDIF.

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Indian Oil Corp buys its first Johan Sverdrup crude cargoes: Report

As per a report from Reuters, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bought 4 million barrels of  Norway’s Johan Sverdrup crude for the first time via a tender. IOC is looking to speed up the diversification of crude imports. The report states that IOC will take delivery of 2 million barrels each of the North Sea crude in May and June. The move follows the government’s call to cut dependence on crude from the Middle East due to the standoff between India and the world’s largest crude importer— Saudi Arabia.

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Tech Mahindra to launch blockchain solution for BFSI clients

Tech Mahindra Ltd has partnered with Netherlands-based Quantoz to launch a ‘stablecoin-as-a-service’ blockchain solution for global banks and financial institutions. Quantoz is a leading blockchain application incubator. Tech Mahindra will help customers integrate Quantoz’ NEXUS platform into their legacy infrastructure. This will enable automated token, crypto, and fiat transaction processing for a variety of banking and payment functions.

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Bharti Airtel partners with Apollo 24/7 to offer e-healthcare services

Bharti Airtel has partnered with Apollo 24/7 to offer a wide range of e-healthcare services to its customers as part of their exclusive ‘Thanks’ benefits. Under the partnership, Airtel Platinum and Gold customers will get complimentary membership to the Apollo Circle. This will include virtual consultation with top doctors and specialists from Apollo, as well as online test booking facilities. It will also offer home sample collection facilities and home delivery of medicines with cashback benefits.

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HDFC Bank Q4 advances grow 14% Rs 11,32,000 crore

HDFC Bank said its advances aggregated to approximately Rs 11,32,000 crore as of March 31, 2021 (Q4 FY21). This is a growth of 13.9% over Rs 9,93,700 crore as of March 31, 2020. Deposits grew by 16.3% YoY to Rs 13,35,000 crore in Q4. Domestic retail loans were up by 7.5% YoY, and domestic wholesale loans increased by 21% YoY during the same period.

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Marico expects to deliver low double-digit bottomline growth in Q4

Marico Limited said it expects low double-digit bottomline growth in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2020-21, after being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The FMCG firm has witnessed healthy momentum building across its key portfolios. The company said it expects its operating margin to fall in Q4 due to input cost pressures. In Q4 FY21, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector continued to exhibit improving demand trends as quarterly economic growth has moved into positive territory and the Covid-19 vaccination rollout gathered pace.

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GAIL India to invest in startups through ‘Pankh’

GAIL (India) Limited has launched a new initiative— ‘Pankh’, which aims to support startups in identified focus areas. The company has opened a fresh round for solicitation of investment proposals from startups that operate in natural gas, petrochemicals, energy, project management, bio-manure marketing, nano-materials, IoT, data mining, environment, and healthcare. The Solicitation Round will be open till May 30, 2021.

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Ircon International’s board approves bonus issue of 1:1

The Board of Directors of Ircon International has approved the issuance of bonus shares in the ratio 1:1. A 1:1 bonus issue means that exiting shareholders will receive one additional share for each share held in the firm. The record date for the bonus share issue is yet to be announced. State-owned Ircon International is an engineering and construction company specialized in transport infrastructure.