ASX gains 1.6% as Afterpay hits $68


The Australian stock market has hit its highest level since June 11, with gains across the board as Afterpay continued its stunning run by soaring 9.5 per cent to a new all-time high.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished up 98.3 points, or 1.66 per cent, at 6,032.7 points, in its best performance in two weeks.

The broader All Ordinaries index finished up 101.3 points, or 1.68 per cent higher, at 6,142.3.

“Clearly a reasonably strong day on the market today,” said SG Hiscock & Company portfolio manager Hamish Tadgell.

“It’s been driven by pretty broad gains across the market today,” Mr Tadgell said.

Mining was the only sector that didn’t join the rally, with goldminers taking a break after several days of strong gains and the diversified miners subdued.

Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay led the tech sector higher, closing at $68.16, up 133 per cent since the start of the year and more than eightfold from the intraday low of $8.01 it hit during the market crash back on March 23.

Its rivals also had a good day, with Zip Co rising 5.6 per cent, Splitit soaring 16.3 per cent and Openpay adding 2.6 per cent.

“You’ve got

India’s GDP likely to contract by 6.4% in FY21, says Care Ratings


on Thursday revised India’s forecast for the current financial year to (-) 6.4 per cent as economic activity continues to be under restriction due to the on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rating agency, in May, had projected a decline in of 1.5-1.6 per cent in FY21.

It said given that the nation is into a for July too with several restrictions on resumption of services in particular as well as movement of people, the cutoff date for normalcy will spread into the latter part of the third quarter and more likely to the fourth quarter.

“Under these assumptions our forecast for is now (-) 6.4 per cent for FY21 with GVA (de)growth estimated to be around (-) 6.1 per cent, said in a report.

The sharper fall in real GDP also means that the nominal GDP for the year will also decline assuming inflation of 5 per cent which in turn will affect the projected fiscal deficit number of the central government which will be in the region of 8 per cent for

KKR to acquire controlling stake in JB Chemicals for about $500 million


Global investment firm to pick up a controlling stake in Mumbai based branded formulations player JB Chemicals. As part of the deal, will acquire the stake from the founding Mody family at Rs 745 per share or a 5 per cent premium to closing price on the BSE and also make an open offer for an additional 26 per cent of the company. The deal size is estimated to be around $500 mn.

According to a BSE notification, has entered into an agreement to acquire 41.7 mn shares of JB Chemicals that represents 54 per cent stake from promoters of the company. This would be at a price of Rs 745 per share. After this transaction, an open offer will be launched to acquire about 20.93 mn fully paid up equity shares of JB Chemicals, which represents 26 per cent stake. The open offer too is being made at a price of Rs 745 per share.

The total deal size thus will be around $500 mn or around Rs 3,750 crore. The BSE statement also noted that once the acquirer has acquired 54 per cent stake, the sellers

Four In Daniel Pearl Case To Remain Jailed In Pakistan For Now


Pakistani authorities renewed the detention orders Thursday for four men whose convictions in the kidnapping and killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl had been overturned, meaning they will remain jailed at least three more months, an official said.

A Karachi court sparked outrage in April when it acquitted British-born militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three other men convicted in Pearl’s 2002 kidnapping and beheading.

The men were kept in custody following their acquittals, under a law allowing authorities to detain high-profile militants for three months.

“We have received orders from the (provincial) government for them to be detained for a further three months,” a prisons official in Karachi’s Sindh province told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Pakistan’s supreme court is expected to hear an appeal of the acquittal cases in September.

Pearl, 38, was South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about Islamist militants.

A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in the city nearly a month later.

Observers at the time said the killers were acting out of revenge for Pakistan’s support of the US-led invasion of neighbouring

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