Good morning. Earlybird here bringing you a bountiful bundle of breaking news and business insights, broken down into easy-to-read bits.
In this edition:
🛑 Russia and India suspend some trade talks
🏦 Will PacWest be next to crash?
🍔 McDonalds violates child labor laws
*Stock data as of market close. Source.
Markets: After a brief dip, the Sensex has resumed its upward journey, gaining 556 points at day’s end. The BSE and NSE saw gains across all sectors, including banking, finance, and IT. This comes as a relief to investors who were worried about the impact of the rising global concerns and other bad weeds troubling the stock market.
India and Russia suspend talks to trade in rupees
🛑 India and Russia have suspended negotiations aimed at settling trade in rupees after Moscow remained iffy about keeping the Indian currency in its national stashbox. Here’s what’s up:
Why the hold up
With a large trade deficit in Russia's favor, Moscow estimates it will end up with an annual rupee surplus of more than $40 billion if such a system is implemented.
Hoarding rupee was not a desirable prospect for Russia, according to an unnamed Indian government official.
Those impacted. This would be a pretty huge let down for Indian buyers looking to book cheap Russian oil and coal, especially since a permanent rupee payment method would help greatly with FX conversion rates.
Press status. The Indian finance ministry, the Reserve Bank of India, and Russian officials did not reply quickly to queries for comment.
Swiggy dishes out gourmet delivery to 16 new cities
🥗 Swiggy has expanded its gourmet delivery service to total of 31 cities across the country, catering to customers who crave high-quality cuisine but are too lazy or too busy to dine out.
Swiggy Gourmet made its debut in Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai early last year.
Since then, it was brought to other areas like Pune, Kolkata, Goa, Chandigarh, Surat, Vadodara, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, and Kochi.
16 new cities will get their taste of Swiggy Gourmet, including Dehradun, Pondicherry, Ludhiana, and Udaipur, among others.
Not all rainbows. Due to external market forces influencing the country's startup sector, Swiggy had shut down its gourmet grocery delivery vertical, Handpicked.
INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH
👔 Ajay Banga appointed as World Bank president. Indian-American businessman Ajay Banga has been appointed as the next President of the World Bank, succeeding David Malpass. Banga, who was the former CEO of Mastercard, brings a wealth of experience to the role and is expected to focus on promoting sustainable development and combating climate change.
💵 PhonePe joins the UPI Lite bandwagon. PhonePe has launched its own version of UPI Lite, a payment system for low-value transactions, in a response to Paytm's launch of UPI Lite earlier this year.
✅ 300+ products to take on Indian quality standards. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has added 387 new products to its list of items that must now adhere to Indian quality standards. The list includes a variety of products, such as toys, air conditioners, helmets, and footwear.
Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:
BluSmart, an electric ride-hailing startup, has secured $42M in a funding round to increase its fleet capacity to 10,000 electric vehicles and expand its services to new cities. The funding round was led by the US-based investment firm, HPS Investment Partners, and also saw participation from multiple other investors.
Pando, an enterprise technology platform that specializes in supply chain solutions, has raised $12M in funding from Prime Venture Partners, with participation from Chiratae Ventures and Next47. The funds will be used to further develop Pando's technology and expand its customer base.
ZestIoT, an IoT and AI enabled aviation platform, has raised $6.5M in an investment round led by IvyCap Ventures and Loyal VC. The startup will use the funds to expand its platform, which uses artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) to help optimize passenger, baggage, aircraft processes.
Tenor / ItsRucka
🏦 Will PacWest be the next bank to fall? PacWest Bancorp, a US regional bank, saw its stock tumble after being flagged as one of the riskiest banks in the country by the Federal Reserve. The bank has been struggling with high levels of bad loans and a risky loan portfolio, with concerns that it may not be able to withstand a potential banking crisis.
🍔 McDonalds violates child labor laws. McDonald's has been in the news for all the wrong reasons as one of its franchises in Kentucky has been fined for violating child labor laws. The restaurant w who were manning shifts past the legal amount of hours allowed for minors under 16. as found to have employed underage workers
✂️ Cognizant to let go of 3,500 staff this year. Cognizant, the US-based IT services company with significant operations in India, plans to lay off 3,500 employees in 2023 as part of its ongoing restructuring efforts.
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