They say that: “Markets have a mind of their own.”

Leaving aside the statement’s maxim-like characterisation, who are we talking about here?

The Markets or the Market Watchers?

Why do we ask? Let’s face it…the former is plain fiction…merely a self-imposed framework (i.e. an “index” composed of weighted averages) to understand the system. Market Watchers make it real.

Consider this. It took Apple less than two months to lose the title of the world’s most valuable company. It took Microsoft even lesser. Let’s see how long Amazon lasts. Only in October Mr Bezos “shed a cool $19.2bn over two consecutive trading days“…so anything is possible.

Good time to revise Mark Hanna’s description of the stock market in Martin Scorcese’s 2013 The Wolf of Wall Street. Here you go…

On that rather gloomy note, moving on to Today’s End Of Day Wrap Up:

AVIATION
Lenders propose $900m turnaround plan for debt-laden Jet Airways.

The What: As per the plan proposed by lead creditor SBI:

  • Promoter Naresh Goyal and shareholder Etihad Airways are likely to infuse $450m together in the airline
  • Indian lenders to restructure $450m of the debt

Zoom Out: The plan is expected to be finalized by the end of January – before the 180-day period under the RBI’s 12 February circular which pushed for a timely resolution of stressed assets in the economy.

Perspective: If approved by all stakeholders, the implementation of the plan will result in a reduction of Chairman Naresh Goyal’s stake below the current 51%.

STARTUPS
Ola in talks to invest in Myra Medicines.

The What: As per a report by Entrackr, the deal is expected to close by the end of this month. A potential acquisition is also on the cards.

Myra Medicines: Backed by investors such as Matrix, Times Internet and Dream Incubation, Myra Medicines delivers medicines, baby care, dental and hygiene products across Bengaluru and Mumbai.

The Big Picture: This will be an addition to Ola’s strategic alliances undertaken in the recent past, expanding its push into delivery business across segments.

Zoom Out: The ride-hailing service had injected $100m in Vogo, a scooter-sharing startup last month. Further, it had invested $200m in food delivery service Foodpanda in December 2017.

SEARS
Chairman Eddie Lampert may get another chance to bid for Sears.

Perspective:  Chairman Eddie Lampert had earlier put forward a $4.4bn bid through his hedge fund ESL Investments to save the chain of department stores. However, as per a CNBC report, Sears Holdings had planned to reject Lampert’s bid because it did not cover the fees and vendor payments that Sears owes.

Last-minute: If Lampert is able to extend a $120m deposit by Wednesday, he will be allowed to participate in the bankruptcy auction scheduled for next Tuesday.

Click here to read a quick summary of the rather dismal tale of the 126-year-old American company.

UPI

Amazon begins testing for its payments platform in India.

The What: As per an Economic Times report, the tech giant has begun testing its native Unified Payments Interface in India with a closed user group. Amazon is working with private sector lender Axis Bank on the product.

Zoom Out: Amazon’s plan to enter the payments space had earlier hit a regulatory hurdle with RBI mandating that all payments-related data should be stored in India only.

Other Stuff: With the world increasingly growing digital, here’s an interesting article on how Chinese companies are planning a global fintech coup, but face a fundamental hurdle in India which has rolled out the UPI open architecture which obviates the need for a mobile wallet, connecting directly to a user’s bank account.

HEALTH

Govt issues guidelines to ensure smooth implementation of Ayushman Bharat.

The What: The guidelines seek to improve the supply of quality healthcare services to the general public.

Up Close: As per the guidelines, under:

  • Model I, a doctor owned hospital can have 30 to 50 beds
  • Model II a doctor manager partnership-multispecialty facility can have 100 beds
  • Model III, multispecialty hospital can have 100 beds or more

Zoom Out: The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) was launched on September 23, 2018 to provide hospitalisation cover of up to INR5L per family every year to over 10 crore poor and the deprived families.

Digital Health: Dubbed the largest government healthcare program in the world, fundamental to ensuring the successful implementation of the scheme is building a strong capability in digital health. This would combine healthcare delivery with digital tools enabling better management and dispensation of healthcare services.

Are You a Know-it-All?
Which was the world’s first electronic stockmarket ? Until this came up in 1971, open outcry method was used to know the bid and ask prices of stocks.

(Answer at the end of newsletter.)

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