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Monday,01-March-2021

Business

Political ad spend tops Rs 1.5 cr a week on Facebook

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Facebook

With the first phase of general elections now barely 10 days away, spending for political ads on social media platforms has soared, especially on Facebook where advertisers spent over Rs 1.5 crore during the March 17-March 23 period.

According to data available with the social networking giant’s Ad Library, which includes ads related to politics and issues of national importance that have been run on Facebook or Instagram, advertisers in India have already spent Rs 8.3 crore in less than two months.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s “Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat”, continues to lead the spending chart with over Rs 2.2 crore, which is more than one fourth of the total political ad spend on Facebook.

A pro-BJP Page, “My First Vote For Modi”, came second with an overall spending of Rs 61 lakh. This advertiser, which courted controversy for promising in its ads freebies in exchange for pledging “votes for Modi”, increased its spending in recent times, with Rs 46.6 lakh spent just in one week, during the March 17-March 23 period. The ads promising freebies to voters are still running on Facebook.

The data also show that it is the affiliates or supporters of political parties who are drumming up support on social media in favour of their parties. The Facebook page of the BJP, for example, spent just around Rs 9 lakh on ads since February.

The Facebook Page of the Indian National Congress spent around Rs 7 lakh since February, out of which more than Rs 5,40,000 was spent during the seven-day period from March 17- March 23.

It indicates that the Congress party is ramping up its spending on social media as the elections approach, although it lags far behind the BJP and its affiliates.

Some of the regional parties are, in fact, spending more on Facebook than the Congress.

The Facebook Page of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President Naveen Patnaik has spent around Rs 35 lakh on ads.

Similarly, the political advocacy group “Indian Political Action Committee”, which is advertising for YSR Congress, spent close to Rs 33 lakh since February. Nearly half of the amount was spent in one week, during the March 17-23 period.

The trends so far suggest that the BJP is consistently leading the spending with a huge margin, while the Congress and other regional parties are trying to catch up.

The Twitter Ads Transparency Centre, on the other hand, on Saturday showed just five accounts that had spent on political ads on the platform in the past week.

Three of these five accounts have the “Chowkidar” prefix to their name and just two of the five accounts (including Mumbai Congress unit President Milind Deora) have spent over $200.

Business

Petrol and diesel prices remain unchanged on Monday

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Petrol

The rise in the petrol and diesel price has paused for the last couple of days as oil marketing companies have decided to wait and watch the developments on the global oil market before finalising their India retail strategy.

Accordingly, oil marketing companies kept the pump price of petrol and diesel unchanged on Monday. With this, petrol continues to be priced at Rs 91.17 a litre and diesel Rs 81.47 a litre in the national capital.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel prices remain unchanged.

Sources in OMCs said that price pause on Monday followed subdued movement in product price in global markets. The crude oil, which has been on fire for the last couple of weeks has also shown some downward movement lately but staying above $65 a barrel now.

Petrol and diesel prices have been rising continuously since February 9. In the 14 increases since then, prices have gone up by Rs 4.22 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 4.34 a litre in Delhi.

The increase in the previous weeks has taken petrol to cross historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

In Mumbai, petrol price is just Rs 2.4 per litre short (Rs 97.57 a litre) of touching the three digit mark of Rs 100 per litre for the very first time ever. Diesel price in the city is closing on Rs 90 a litre (Rs 88.60 a litre).

In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre-mark while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre. Premium petrol has crossed Rs 100 per litre-mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.

Since fuel prices are benchmarked to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate, pump prices can be expected to remain northbound over the next few days even if crude price stabilises.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre respectively so far this year.

Oil companies’ executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail rates may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making losses on sale of auto fuels.

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Business

Hyundai Motor India’s overall February sales over 26%

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Hyundai Motor India on Monday reported a growth of 26.4 per cent in its overall sales including exports during February.

The company’s overall sales grew to 61,800 units from 48,910 units sold during February 2020.

Similarly, the company’s domestic sales rose during the month under review.

It edged higher by 29 per cent to 51,600 units from 40,010 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

Similarly, exports increased and it rose by 14.6 per cent to 10,200 units from 8,900 units shipped out during February 2020.

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Business

Manappuram Finance board mulls debt securities

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Manappuram Finance on Monday said that its Board of Directors is likely to consider and approved the issuances of debt securities this month.

In a regulatory filing, the company said that it is considering various options for raising funds through borrowings including by the way of issuance of various debt securities in onshore or offshore securities market by public issue, on private placement basis or through issuing commercial papers.

“Based on the prevailing market conditions, the Board of Directors and / or Financial Resources and Management Committee / Debenture Committee of the Board of Directors of the company may consider and approve issuances of debt securities during the month of March, 2021, subject to such terms and conditions including the issue price of debt securities, as the Board / respective Committee may deem fit,” it said.

Around 1.15 p.m., its shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 173.50, lower by Rs 2.70 or 1.53 per cent from its previous close.

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