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India on path to achieve world's fastest growth, Apple to allow apps avoid 30% fee, ByteDance's new VR acquisition, and some more updates.
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Market Recap 📈
Indian benchmark indices opened in the green and gradually inched higher as the day progressed led by a surge in FMCG, IT, and realty stocks. Meanwhile, major US indices were trading at fresh all-time highs as tech stocks outperformed.
Sensex: 57,852.54 (+0.90%) ↑
Nifty 50: 17,234.15 (+0.92%) ↑
Dow Jones: 35,312.53 (-0.14%) ↓
Nasdaq 100: 15,611.56 (+0.19%) ↑
Top Stories 📰
1. India to report world's best economic recovery 📈
Despite being hit by the virulent second COVID-19 wave, India is on track to achieve the world's fastest growth.
Data from the Statistics Ministry reveals that India's GDP advanced 20.1% in the last three months to June from a year ago—a figure in line with Bloomberg's estimated 21% expansion. Additionally, the country's annual growth outlook remained steady at 9.2%, the highest among advanced and emerging economies, including China's 8.5%.
Better-than-expected manufacturing results, above-average service sector performance, and faster vaccinations are cited as the main reasons for this growth.
Some key stats:
GST collections were up 30% YoY to Rs. 1.12 lakh crore.
UPI transactions grew 9.6% to 3.55 billion from July.
Auto sales reached 260,000 in August, compared to 234,499 last year.
Private consumption rose 55% YoY.
Demand for petrol and loan also increased 14% and 16%, respectively.
In addition, loans for vehicle purchases, consumer durables, real estate, and small businesses were also up in July. The country's exports, which accounts for about a fifth of its economy, also witnessed significant growth in the last eight months, highlighting the growing global demand.
Why it matters? Compared to the negative growth of 7.3% in 2020-21, this is a dramatic change in the country's economic output. However, it still faces the threat of the third COVID-19 wave as only a small portion, around 10%, of the population has been vaccinated.
2. Apple loosens App Store payment rules 📱
Addressing the concerns of companies like Spotify and Netflix, Apple announced that it will allow app developers to link their software to external websites from 2022.
Until now, Apple required apps to use its in-app purchase system for signups, which helped the tech giant make a 30% commission on subscriptions and downloads. The change will allow app creators to sidestep that fee by pointing users to their web portals to sign up for their services. It applies to reader apps such as newspapers, books, audio, magazines, music, and video.
The decision comes as part of a settlement with Japan’s antitrust regulators, which previously expressed concerns over the company's inconsistent App Store guidelines. The regulators have now decided to close the investigation into the company.
Why it matters? Apple has been the subject of constant regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits globally due to its antitrust practices and market dominance on mobile platforms. While the new rule applies to media apps, Apple said that it will not apply to gaming apps, its most profitable class of mobile apps, as it fights Epic Games over its in-app purchases in Fortnite.
Deal Street 🤑
ByteDance acquires VR firm Pico
TikTok's parent company has made its first acquisition in the virtual reality space by purchasing a California-based startup Pico. The company said that it will utilize Pico's “comprehensive suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as the talent and deep expertise of the team" to support its entry into the VR space, adding that it's optimistic about VR's future. The startup, founded in 2015, is known for its Neo lineup of VR headsets, catering to both consumers and professional customers. It's also the third-largest VR headset manufacturer after Facebook's Oculus and Chinese firm DPVR. ByteDance is the latest to show its interest in the VR space as Apple and Sony previously expressed plans to enter the market with their own headsets.
Prosus buys BillDesk for $4.7 billion
Amsterdam-based consumer Internet conglomerate Prosus has acquired payment services provider BillDesk for $4.7 billion in cash, making it the biggest ever M&A deal in India’s fintech space. Prosus said that with BillDesk's acquisition, PayU will now handle a total payment volume of $147 billion, making it one of the biggest online payment providers worldwide. Its PayU unit, which purchased payments technology company CitrusPay in 2016, has been consistently making acquisitions to strengthen its position in India’s payments industry. Founded in 2000, BillDesk is one of the largest payment gateway aggregators in India, handling over half of all online billing transactions. The company's founders will continue with the firm, and the transaction is expected to close by the first half of next year.
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That’s it for today. See you next week, Bye! 👋