Three Die as Rains Lash India’s Jaipur City, Flooding Some Areas

How growing consumer demand for tech solutions is accelerating innovation in financial services

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MRF Q1 profit skids 94%

Tyremaker MRF Ltd.’s standalone net profit for the first quarter ended June plunged 94% to ₹17 crore on account of the pandemic.

Revenue from operations almost halved to to ₹2,431 crore from ₹4,410 crore. Other income stood at 43 crore (₹105 crore) and operating profit at ₹28 crore (₹412 crore), said the company in a regulatory filing.

Total income plunged by almost a third to ₹1,209 crore compared with the March quarter and ₹2,041 crore, or almost a 45% drop) compared with the June 2019 quarter.

As on date, MRF has strong net worth and serviced all its debt obligations in a timely manner, the company said.

UPS, FedEx Say They Can’t Carry Vote Ballots Like USPS: Reuters

United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp. said they would not be able to carry mail-in ballots like the U.S. Postal Service, which is warning of potential delays ahead of the November election, Reuters reported.

State ballots must be postmarked to be considered valid and only the U.S. Postal Service is allowed to do that, United Parcel Service told Reuters. FedEx said it does not accept individual ballots, according to the report.

The Postal Service has warned election officials in 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia that voters may face the risk of not having enough time to complete and return their ballots for the upcoming election. Voters and officials should allow at least seven days for a ballot to go through the mail, the service said.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump said he was against providing funds for the struggling Postal Service for mail voting, which is expected to increase amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Philippine SEC Probes Complaint AREIT Trade Orders Unexecuted

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission will start an investigation into investors’ complaints that some brokers failed to trade their shares in the nation’s first real estate investment trust.

The corporate watchdog has issued show-cause orders against certain brokers after retail investors holding shares in AREIT Inc. made the complaint, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Amatong said in a mobile-phone message. An initial investigation showed the brokers’ online systems were not prepared for trading REITs, which led to the rejection of their buy and sell orders, Amatong said.

AREIT, majority owned by Ayala Land Inc., listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange on Aug. 13 after an initial public offering that raised 12.3 billion pesos ($252 million). It closed at 24.10 pesos a share on Friday, down 11% from its IPO price of 27 pesos.

— With assistance by Cecilia Yap

Mahindra unveils Thar in modern avatar

The SUV will be introduced in the market on October 2.

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) on Saturday unveiled its Thar sports utility vehicle (SUV) in modern avatar to attract new age buyers and SUV lovers from all age groups.

The all new Thar has been developed on a completely new platform and is equipped with a powerful 2.2 litres Diesel engine and 2 litres petrol engine, besides other modern features.

To come in multiple configurations, the new Thar has been entirety designed and developed at the company’s design studio in Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai and all the components are sourced from within India, making it truly an Indian product, said Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD, M&M at the virtual unveiling event.

“This is the Thar in modern avatar. It is an embodiment of aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.

The vehicle will be introduced in the market on October 2 and booking will open from that day.

There are over 60,000 Thars on Indian roads and the new version with a more contemporary look and features is expected to build volume for the company.

Three Die as Rains Lash India’s Jaipur City, Flooding Some Areas

Three people died as heavy rains lashed the Indian city of Jaipur, flooding low-lying areas of Rajasthan state’s capital.

Fifty families were moved to safety from affected areas in the city and about the same number were rescued, the Press Trust of India reported. At least one vehicle was swept away by currents while crossing a bridge in the Kanota area where a dam had overflown, according to the report.

The deluge comes after Mumbai, home to India’s financial markets and the central bank, last week suffered its heaviest daily downpour for the month of August in 47 years, flooding large parts of the mega city and disrupting businesses and services.

The weather bureau forecast Jaipur would experience light rainfall for the next 48 hours because of a cyclone circulating over east Rajasthan, India’s driest state.

The India Meteorological Department predicted moderate to intense thunderstorms and heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in more than 20 districts of Rajasthan, including Jaipur, over the next 24 hours.

Local news channels reported that civil defense and State Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed in waterlogged areas to assist with rescue operations.