India wants a V-shaped recovery at any cost. But what will RBI do?

A collapse in imports during the coronavirus lockdown has left India awash with dollars. Now a further influx of greenbacks is expected as an embryonic economic recovery draws investors back. To banks, this means one thing: The local is a sitting duck for appreciation against a weakening dollar.

Policy makers won’t want a stronger to become a one-way bet, but the market doesn’t believe them to have many other options. What the authorities have done so far — scoop up the dollars by giving banks rupees — has left the financial system swimming in money and threatens to fuel that’s already above the central bank’s target. It’s a mirror image of China, where a spate of corporate defaults has squeezed interbank liquidity.

While China’s recovery from the pandemic has made it the first major economy to consider exiting emergency economic measures, in India, monetary stimulus is still very much the only game in town. If the Reserve Bank doubles down on its generosity in 2021, the country’s red-hot equity markets could get dangerously overvalued. Conversely, if the RBI pulls back on liquidity — before the complicated task of distributing vaccines to

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After payments, WhatsApp to roll out insurance and pension products

The messaging service app, backed by tech giant Facebook, is working in collaboration with financial institutions on pilots of micro insurance, and micro pension products

whatsapp | Insurance

Subrata Panda  | 

After receiving approval to go live on the National Payment Corporation of India’s (NPCI) Unified Payment Interface (UPI) last month, is now planning to roll out and pension products by the end of the year.


The messaging service app, backed by tech giant Facebook, is working in collaboration with financial institutions on pilots of micro insurance, and micro pension products. It is partnering with the SBI General to offer consumers health products.



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French Court Jails Accomplices Over Charlie Hebdo Attack

A Paris court on Wednesday handed jail terms ranging from four years to life to more than a dozen people convicted of helping Islamist gunmen who attacked satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and customers at a Jewish supermarket in January 2015.

Survivors and family members of the dead sat in silence as the verdicts were read out, which they hailed afterwards as a victory for justice and freedom of speech after a sometimes traumatic trial that revived the horror of the killings.

The editor of Charlie Hebdo Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, who lives under round-the-clock police protection, was also in court to hear the sentencing by a five-member team of magistrates who had listened to evidence against the accused over three months.

“It’s been painful, searing. It’s been a stage in our mourning process, necessary and unavoidable,” said a lawyer for Charlie Hebdo, Richard Malka. “I hope it’s the start of something else, of an awareness, a wake up call.”

In the absence of the attackers themselves — all three were killed by security forces in the days after their rampage — French investigators instead focused on accomplices to the men, including their weapon suppliers.

Judges at the trial sketched by a

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