‘Tis the season for gifts, celebrations, and viruses…
No, we are not talking about the annual flu season. Thanks to climate change leading to the thawing of ancient permafrost in the Siberian region, pathogens that have been trapped in the ice are now, well, not. Scientists have discovered 13 of these ‘zombie’ viruses, including one that is 48,500 years old.
In other news, India’s rich have gotten even richer this year. Forbes’ 2022 list of the richest people in the country reveals that the top 10 richest Indians alone are worth a total of $385.2 billion, up by 15% from last year.
Meanwhile, domestic benchmarks continue to reach new highs. While the BSE Sensex closed at 62,681.84 points, the Nifty50 ended at 18,618.10.
ICYMI: A video game console for dogs that dispenses treats!
And guess what? This could actually help boost a dog’s health.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
EV financing for rural and semi-urban areasAlibaba Group downsizes stake in ZomatoRBI to pilot retail digital rupee on Dec 1
Here’s your trivia for today: What is a conchologist?
EV financing for rural and semi-urban areas
Electric vehicles are the future, but at present, their costs are too high for users in rural and semi-urban areas. This is where Mufin Green Finance wants to make a difference by providing digital lending options in the form of income-generation loans to users adopting green technology.
Mufin Green Finance leverages manufacturers and their dealer-partners to reach out to consumers for various loans, along with service support. Its portfolio includes financing electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers, and other components of the EV ecosystem.The company says it has reduced over 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through the EVs it has financed.
Alibaba Group downsizes stake in Zomato
Alibaba Group will reportedly downsize its stake in food aggregator Zomato and sell shares worth $200 million today, according to a report. The share sale will bring down the Chinese ecommerce giant’s stake from 13% to 10%.
Alibaba owns a stake in Zomato through its two subsidiaries, Ant Financial and Alipay.The stake sale is expected to take place through a block deal at a discount of 5-6%, with Morgan Stanley being the broker.In August, Sequoia Capital sold a part of its pre-IPO shares in Zomato, reducing its stake to 4.4%.
RBI to pilot retail digital rupee on Dec 1
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will launch the first pilot for its retail digital rupee (e₹-R) on December 1. The Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) digital token will have the same face value as paper currency.
The CBDC will be offered through retail for the private sector, non-financial consumers, and businesses. Wholesale digital rupee will be restricted to financial institutions.The first phase of the rollout will be piloted through eight banks, including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and Yes Bank.The digital rupee will be available in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Bhubaneswar.
News & updates
Family matters: Tata Group will merge Air India with Vistara, which it jointly holds with Singapore Airlines Ltd., creating a behemoth in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets. The deal will give Singapore Air a 25.1% stake in the merged carrier for an investment of $250 million.Common cause: Elon Musk’s declaration of war on Apple gives Spotify and Fortnite maker Epic Games a powerful ally in taking the tech giant to task over its 30% App Store fees. Musk also suggested Apple had threatened to block Twitter from its app store, although he did not explain why.Legal trouble: Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi is suing Sam Bankman-Fried to seize shares in Robinhood that the FTX founder allegedly pledged as collateral just days before his exchange collapsed. The lawsuit came just hours after BlockFi filed for bankruptcy protection.
What is a conchologist?
Answer: One who collects shells, especially for scientific study.
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