To beat Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale, rival e-commerce major Flipkart is using the star power

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India reported on Tuesday a fiscal deficit of ₹5.9 trillion ($81.4 billion) for April-August, or 94.7% of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year compared with 96.1% a year earlier. Net tax receipts in the first five months of the fiscal year that ends in March 2019 were ₹3.66 trillion, government data showed.

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India expects to trim the deficit to 3.3% of GDP this fiscal year, after meeting an upwardly revised fiscal deficit target of 3.5% of GDP in 2017/18. India’s largest state-run insurer, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), will not allow the country’s beleaguered Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) to collapse, LIC Chairman V.K. Sharma told reporters on Tuesday.

All options, including increasing LIC’s stake in IL&FS, are open, Sharma said. IL&FS has revealed a series of delays and defaults on its debt obligations and inter-corporate deposits in recent days. For the third time in a month, crippled infrastructure conglomerate IL&FS Financial Services Monday defaulted on interest payments on commercial papers, reported on Monday.

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The interest payment on the papers were due Monday, the company informed the exchanges. The company said it will not be able to access commercial papers market for up to six months from the date of repayment of this obligation. The company did not quantify the default amount.

English football club Manchester United forecast revenue for 2018-19 to rise to record levels, helped by increased broadcasting revenue as a result of UEFA’s new revenue distribution system coming into effect.

The forecast comes despite the club having dropped off the pace in the new Premier League season, sitting seventh in the table, eight points behind leaders Liverpool and six adrift of cross-town rivals and reigning champions Manchester City.

United, whose squad includes French World Cup winner Paul Pogba, Spain goalkeeper David de Gea and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, said revenue is expected to be between 615 million pounds and 630 million pounds in the year to next June.

Revenue for 2017-18 also came in at a record 590 million pounds ($775.4 million) despite a slowdown in the fourth-quarter, due to a dip in commercial and broadcasting revenue.

Weeks after entering the financial products distribution market with mutual funds, Paytm Money wants to offer shares of listed companies directly to customers. The firm is expected to submit its application within two weeks to either of the two exchanges, BSE and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), said two people familiar with the development, seeking anonymity.

Pravin Jadhav, whole-time director at Paytm Money, refused to comment. Ashishkumar Chauhan, chief executive officer at BSE, said: “If they wish to apply for a broking licence, we would be delighted to welcome them.”

On 4 September, Paytm Money had launched an app to offer mutual fund products to its clients. Close to 1.07 million customers have already registered for the service. At present, more than 10,000 customers a day are allowed access to the app to be able to buy and sell mutual funds.

By offering direct equities, Paytm Money aims to attract slightly more sophisticated investors. According to one of the two people mentioned above, if Paytm gets the stockbroker licence, it will be able to offer direct equities, commodities and derivatives.

To beat Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale, rival e-commerce major Flipkart is using the star power of Amitabh Bachchan, Virat Kohli and Deepika Padukone for promoting its flagship sale, The Big Billion Days.

Flipkart has partnered with a number of celebrities, including actors Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, who will soon be seen promoting the five-day sale, which starts from October 10.

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It is being expected that Amazon, too, will kick off its sale around this time, before the festive season of Navratri or Durga Puja and Diwali begins. The rivalry between the top two e-tailers will be more intense this time as this will be Flipkart’s first Big Billion Days sale after a $16 billion acquisition by Walmart.

In Flipkart’s latest commercial, which was released on YouTube yesterday, Amitabh Bachchan is seen as saying, “Sirf sale nahi… yeh hai sale ka Big B”. Flipkart is likely to release other ads with Virat Kohli and Deepika Padukone soon.

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