SII to focus on supplying vaccine to India first

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, will first focus on supplying AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine to Indians before distributing it to other countries, Serum’s Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said on Monday.”It’s very important we take care of our country first, then go on to COVAX after that and then other bilateral deals with countries. So I’ve kept it in that priority,” said Poonawalla, referencing the global COVAX facility, which has been set up to provide COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries.The company remains in discussion with the Indian government about inking a purchase agreement for…

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How banks are growing mortgage book

MUMBAI: The tables have turned. Indian banks are gaining at the expense of mid-size and small non-bank lenders as far as fresh home loan mortgages are concerned.While most large banks like State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank relied on home loans to post strong retail growth in the September quarter, non-bank lenders such as PNB Housing Finance, L&T Finance and LIC Housing Finance saw mortgage loan growth contract over last year. Mortgage market leader Housing Development Finance Corp, however, continued to post growth.Industry watchers said despite the presence of more first-time homebuyers in the market than a…

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Solar tariffs plunge by 15%, set record low at Rs 2.00 per unit

BENGALURU: Solar tariffs fell to a new low of Rs 2.00 per unit, about 15% lower than the previous record as foreign and Indian companies bid aggressively in Monday’s auction by the Solar Energy Corp of India.In the 1,070 MW solar auction, Singapore based Sembcorp Energy and Saudi Arabia based Aljomaih Energy and Water Company won 400MW and 200MW respectively at a tariff of Rs 2.00 per unit. The remaining 470MW was bagged by NTPC at a tariff of Rs 2.01 per unit.The Solar Energy Corporation of India is the nodal agency through which the renewable energy ministry holds wind and…

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Bharti Infratel-Indus Towers merger offers limited synergy savings: Analysts

New Delhi: The merger of tower company Bharti Infratel with Indus Towers will offer limited synergies in operating expenditure due to limited overlap in operations, brokerage analysts say.”Given the limited overlap in the operations of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, synergies from the merger are likely to be limited to savings on administrative overheads,” Jeffries said in a report.CLSA said only 4 out of 22 circles pan-India overlap in operations, but, even a 10% or so reduction in employee and other costs could lead to about 3% higher earnings.The brokerage also estimates an extraordinary dividend of Rs 4,800 crore, about 8%…

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SpiceHealth launches RT-PCR test for Rs 499

In a move that is set to make Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests affordable, SpiceHealth today announced that it will conduct the test, known as the most decisive and crucial for Covid-19 testing, starting at Rs 499 per test. A RT-PCR test, currently, costs Rs 2,400 in Delhi and is the most commonly used and the most accurate COVID test worldwide.SpiceHealth, which is a subsidiary of SpiceJet, also said that the report would be available within just 6 hours from the time of sample collection.SpiceHealth’s first mobile testing laboratory at ICMR, AIIMS, was inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah, in…

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IOC buys most crude since Covid outbreak

SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI: Indian Oil Corp, the country’s largest state refiner, has bought nearly 20 million barrels of spot crude from West Africa and the Middle East for delivery in early 2021, three trade sources said on Monday.The purchase is the largest by the refiner since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the world’s third largest crude oil importer in second quarter.IOC’s chairman said this month that the refinery has been operating at 100% capacity since early November as local fuel demand has recovered.IOC purchased the cargoes over three rounds of tenders this month for deliveries in January and February, the sources…

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Analysts impressed by Motherson Sumi’s Vision 2025, raise stock’s target price

Shares of Motherson Sumi Systems rose to a 10-month high as analysts raised target price on the stock after the auto components maker detailed its Vision 2025 with a group revenue target of $36 billion and return on capital employed target of 40%. The stock gained 5.15 per cent on Monday after touching a high of Rs 148.25 earlier in the day.During its interaction with analysts, the company also laid out three other key targets under this vision. The company said no country, customer or component will account for more than 10% of the overall revenue and revenue from non-automotive will…

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Airtel Digital TV, Vedantu team up to offer students ‘affordable’ access to quality education

NEW DELHI: Airtel Digital TV, the DTH arm of Bharti Airtel, and Vedantu, which offers live online learning, on Monday announced a partnership that aims to make quality education accessible to students across India. Vedantu Masterclasses DTH channels will air on Airtel Digital TV at Rs 4 per day to offer interactive learnings to Class 6 to 12 students, according to a release. “The channels will cater to students from classes 6 to 10 and classes 11 to 12, respectively and will cover maths and science,” it said. This will be delivered by faculty that includes graduates from IIT and AIIMS…

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Post trial results, AstraZeneca CEO says smaller first dose in COVID-19 vaccine is ‘big plus’

LONDON: AstraZeneca’s chief executive officer Pascal Soriot said on Monday that the lower first dose of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine meant more people can be vaccinated more quickly, as the British drugmaker unveiled interim late-stage trial results. “Being able to vaccinate more people faster is a really a big plus,” he told a briefing. The British drugmaker said on Monday its vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90% effective without any serious side effects. The vaccine developed by Oxford University was most effective when it was administered as a half dose followed by a full dose at least one…

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AstraZeneca to have 200 mn doses by year-end

AstraZeneca will have 200 million doses of its candidate vaccine developed by the University of Oxford by the end of 2020, with 700 million doses ready globally by the end of the first quarter of 2021, operations executive Pam Cheng said on Monday.Cheng told a briefing that there would be 20 million doses in Britain by the end of the year, with 70 million doses for the UK by the end of Q1 2021….

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