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India announces economic stimulus to boost demand by $10 bln

India announces economic stimulus to boost demand by $10 bln

By Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI, Oct 12 (Reuters)India on Monday announced steps to stimulate consumer demand, including advance payment of a part of the wages of federal government employees during the festival season and more capital spending as it tries to bolster the pandemic-hit economy.

The government will allow its employees to spend tax-exempt travel allowances on goods and services, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister told a news briefing.

She said the government will also shore up investment by spending extra 250 billion rupees ($3.41 billion)on roads, ports and defence projects, and offering 120 billion rupees in interest-free 50-year loans to state governments for spending on infrastructure before March 31,2021.

“All these measures are likely to create an additional demand of 730 billion rupees ($9.96 billion),” Sitharaman said, adding the proposals would stimulate demand in a “fiscally prudent way.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which imposed a tough lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus in March, is pushing ahead with a full opening to try to boost the economy ahead of the usually high-spending festival season, which runs from October to March.

The latest package would not require any extra borrowing by the federal government, Tarun Bajaj, economic affairs secretary at the Ministry of Finance, told reporters.

India’s federal government said last month it would stick to revised borrowing target of 12 trillion rupees ($163.78 billion) in the current fiscal year ending March, against an earlier estimate of 7.8 trillion rupees.

India’s total coronavirus cases have crossed 7.12 million, second only to the United States, with deaths reaching 109,150.

The Reserve Bank of India left key policy rates unchanged on Friday, while retaining an accommodative monetary stance to support an economy that is projected to contract by almost 10% in the current

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PREVIEW-Polish e-commerce group Allegro set for $12 bln stock market debut

PREVIEW-Polish e-commerce group Allegro set for $12 bln stock market debut

WARSAW, Oct 9 (Reuters)E-commerce company Allegro is set to become Poland’s biggest listed firm when it debuts on the Warsaw stock exchange on Monday with an expected market value of around 44 billion zlotys ($11.6 billion), confirming a pick-up in the European IPO market.

European initial public offerings came back with a roar in September with Britain’s The Hut Group THG.L pricing the biggest debut on the London Stock Exchange in seven years.

Lithuanian Ignitis Group IGN1L.VL and Russian Sovcomflot FLOT.MM made their debuts earlier this month, but Europe is still lagging a resurgent global IPO market.

Warsaw, which has struggled to attract new listings and seen a decline in turnover, has had just two small IPOs this year. Allegro is expected to attract more companies to the exchange.

“Hopefuly Allegro will revive the corpse. This is crazy what’s going on,” a source familiar with the Allegro deal said last month, when hours after the float details were published it became clear it would easily sell at the maximum price of 43 zlotys per share.

In comparison Ignitis and Sovcomfot both sold at the lower-end of the initial price range.

Allegro is the most recognised e-commerce brand in Poland with its website attracting 20 million visitors a month. It also operates in one of few business areas to benefit from the pandemic turmoil as customers switch to online shopping.

The company, which was founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, will likely top Polish video games producer CD Projekt CDR.WA, which is currently the biggest firm on the Warsaw bourse in terms of market capitalisation.

Allegro owners Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa bought it and online portal Ceneo from South Africa’s Naspers for $3.25 billion in 2016.

Allegro plans repay outstanding debt

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