E-COMMERCE | Staff Reporter, India

Weekly News Wrap: Alibaba founder currently ‘laying low;' India's December retail inflation dragged by food price drop

And Future Group expects swift approval for its $3.4b retail assets deal.

From CNBC:

After reports speculating about Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s whereabouts, CNBC reported that the billionaire is not missing, according to a person familiar with the matter. Instead, Ma has been lying low for the time being, Faber reported.

Outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, reported that Ma has not been seen in public since he spoke at a forum in late October where he appeared to be critical of China’s financial regulators.

Shortly after, Ma’s Ant Group saw its record-setting initial public offering suspended by stock exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Ma and two Ant Group executives were summoned and interviewed by regulators in China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a November statement.

Read more here.

From Reuters:

India’s retail inflation likely fell sharply in December, landing within the Reserve Bank of India’s target range, due to a significant drop in vegetable and food prices, a Reuters poll predicted.

“Food inflation—particularly vegetable prices—are beginning to correct since supply lines are being restored in food aided by good monsoons,” said Prithviraj Srinivas, chief economist at Axis Capital in Mumbai.

The 5-7 January poll of around 45 economists suggested retail inflation fell to 5.28% in December from 6.93% in November. Inflation had been above the central bank’s target range of 2%-6% for the eight months since April, a streak not seen since August 2014.

If it matches the poll forecast, December would be the lowest inflation print since November 2019, giving some relief to the RBI, which has been caught between boosting economic growth and curbing high inflation.

Read more here.

From Reuters:

India’s Future Group expects swift regulatory approval of its $3.4b deal to sell its retail assets, its chief executive said, even as its warring business partner Inc intensifies efforts to block the deal.

Future and Amazon are at loggerheads over the Indian group’s August deal with Reliance Industries Ltd. The US giant alleges the deal breached some of its pre-existing contracts with Future.

A New Delhi court in December dismissed Future’s request to restrain Amazon’s repeated attempts to get authorities to stall the deal. But the judge left the fate of the transaction with the regulators.

Read more here.

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