Market Talk – Monday, Sept. 28


Profits at China’s industrial firms grew for the fourth straight month in August, buoyed in part by a rebound in commodities prices and equipment manufacturing, the statistics bureau said on Sunday. Industrial firm profits grew 19.1% year-on-year in August to 612.81 billion yuan ($89.8 billion), the statistics bureau said. However, industrial firms’ profits still face external pressures as rising tensions between the US and China cloud the global trade outlook.

India plans to offer $4.6 billion in incentives to companies setting up advanced battery manufacturing facilities as it seeks to promote the use of electric vehicles and cut down its dependence on oil, Reuters reported. A proposal drafted by NITI Aayog, a federal think tank chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said India could slash its oil import bills by as much as $40 billion by 2030 if electric vehicles were widely adopted. The think tank recommended incentives of $4.6 billion by 2030 for companies manufacturing advanced batteries, starting with cash and infrastructure incentives of 9 billion rupees ($122 million) in the next financial year which would then be ratcheted up annually.

Standard and Poor’s reaffirmed India’s long-term sovereign rating at the lowest investment grade for the second time in four months on Friday, and it said it expects the economy to rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. India’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit was affirmed by S&P at ‘BBB-’ with a stable outlook, while the short-term rating was held at ‘A-3’. The Indian economy will experience a record contraction in the fiscal year to March 2021 on account of the global COVID-19 pandemic but real GDP will recover significantly in FY22, the ratings agency said.

SoftBank’s robotics arm said on Monday it will bring a food service robot developed by California-based Bear Robotics to Japan as restaurants grapple with labor shortages and seek to ensure social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The robot named Servi, which has layers of trays and is equipped with 3D cameras and Lidar sensors for navigation will launch in January, SoftBank Group Corp said. Servi will cost 99,800 yen ($950) per month excluding tax on a three-year plan.

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