Top headlines: First case of Coronavirus in Delhi; MEA on US Taliban deal

Slowdown: Fitch cuts India GDP forecast for FY20 to 4.9% on weak demand

Fitch Solutions on Monday cut its forecast for India’s economic growth to 4.9 per cent in the current fiscal that ends March 31, saying manufacturing could come under pressure from weak domestic demand and supply chain disruptions due to the outbreak. The GDP growth is forecast to recover slightly to 5.4 per cent in 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021), it said. Read More Here

LIVE: First positive case of detected in Delhi, Telangana

Two more positive cases of the novel coronavirus — one in Delhi and another in Telangana -were reported, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. The person from Delhi had travelled to Italy, it said adding he is being diagnosed at RML hospital. The other person with the coronavirus infection has a travel history to Dubai, the ministry added. The number of deaths globally in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak crossed 3,000 on Monday, as China reported 42 more deaths. The total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases worldwide is around 80,000 now. Follow Live Here

Around Rs 10.52-trn corporate debt may default over 3 years: India Ratings

At least Rs 10.52 trillion worth of corporate loans — around 16 per cent of the system-level corporate debt — is likely to default over the next three years due to prolonged slowdown in the economy. Further, around 25 per cent of the vulnerable debt is likely to turn delinquent, resulting in additional Rs 2.54 trillion of delinquent debt, according to a recent report by India Ratings & Research. This is likely to result in incremental delinquencies to the extent of 4 per cent of the system-level corporate debt, the report adds. Read More Here.

Manufacturing activity growth slows in Feb to 54.5 on weak demand: PMI

India’s factory activity growth slowed in February from the previous month’s eight-year high due to a modest weakening in demand and output, although overall conditions remained firm, a private survey showed on Monday. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 54.5 last month from January’s 55.3, above a Reuters poll forecast of 52.8. It has stayed above the 50-point threshold mark, which separates growth from contraction, for over two years. Read More Here

Feb unemployment rate hits 4-month high of 7.78% as slowdown persists: CMIE

India’s unemployment rate rose to 7.78% in February, the highest since October 2019, and up from 7.16% in January, according to data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)on Monday, reflecting the impact of a slowdown in the economy. India’s economy expanded at its slowest pace in more than six years in the last three months of 2019, with analysts predicting further deceleration as the global coronavirus outbreak stifles growth in Asia’s third-largest economy. Read More Here

FM Jaishankar says ‘real negotiations’ still ahead in Afghanistan

New Delhi remained on the sidelines in signing of a US pullout agreement with the Taliban in Doha on Saturday, but hopes to play a role in the “intra-Afghan” dialogue that will follow between the Taliban, the government in Kabul and other Afghan factions. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, addressing a conference in Delhi on Monday downplayed the agreement in Doha that commits the US to pull out from Afghanistan by May 2021. “What we saw at Doha was not a surprise. Everybody knew something like this was happening. It was almost like finally seeing Pakeezah after 17 trailers of the movie,” he said. Read More Here

Rajeev Suri steps down as Nokia President, CEO; Pekka Lundmark to take over

After serving for more than a decade as President and CEO of Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks, Rajeev Suri has stepped down, paving the way for Pekka Lundmark to wear his shoes in the global role, the company announced on Monday. Suri indicated earlier to the Nokia Board’s board of directors that he was considering stepping down from his role at some point in the future, provided a solid succession plan was in place. Read More Here

Good news: Soon, fliers in India may get WiFi internet on board flights

Air passengers in India can now access in-flight Wi-Fi internet services, as the Union civil aviation ministry, in a long-awaited move, has lifted the restrictions. Through a notification issued on Monday, the government permitted airlines operating in India to provide internet access to passengers. “The Pilot-in-Command may permit access of internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wi-Fi on board, when laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point-of-sale device is used in flight mode or airplane mode,” the government said in its notification. Read More Here

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