Vodafone idea share price: Vodafone Idea climbs 4% on receiving proposal for $2 billion line of credit

NEW DELHI: Shares of Vodafone Idea climbed 4 per cent in Monday’s trade on reports the telecom operator has got an initial proposal for up to $2 billion or Rs 15,000 crore line of credit from a consortium led by US investment firm Oak Hill Advisors, bankers and industry executives aware of the matter told ET.

Sixth Street, Twin Point Capital and Varde Partners are among other global investors in the consortium that has given a non-binding term sheet to Vi, they said.

The proposed funding model will likely be a blend of bonds and warrants that will give the consortium members an option to convert part of the loan to shares of the company at a later stage, they said.

Following the development, the stock rose 3.69 per cent to hit a high of Rs 10.41 on BSE.

The loss-making telco owned by UK’s Vodafone Group and India’s AV Birla Group needs funds urgently to bolster its 4G network, arrest a steady loss of customers to rivals and pay arrears to the government.

Negotiations are on to finalise the terms, an executive with knowledge of the matter told ET. The consortium is likely to submit a binding term sheet only by the end of December, after both sides agree on the agreements, the people said.

Vi has separately also reached out to Canada’s Brookfield to raise cash, they said.

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Vodafone idea share price: Vodafone Idea climbs nearly 10% on tariff hike buzz

NEW DELHI: Shares of Vodafone Idea (Vi) advanced nearly 10 per cent in Tuesday’s trade after reports suggeted that the company is considering increasing tariffs by 15-20 per cent by end of the year or early next year as the loss-making telco walks a tightrope between making a financial recovery and stemming customer losses.

The scrip gained 9.98 per cent to hit an intraday high of Rs 10.02 against the previous close of Rs 9.11. On the other hand, the benchmark BSE Sensex traded 0.31 per cent higher at 43,771.

Bharti Airtel may follow suit but both will closely watch rival Reliance Jio’s moves and calibrate their rates accordingly, two people familiar with the matter told ETTelecom.

“The company is likely to increase tariffs even as telcos wait for the regulator to fix floor prices,” said one person. The other person said Vi could hike rates as early as in December.

While there has been internal talk of raising tariffs by as much as 25 per cent, the people said that may be difficult to implement at one go.

The country’s three private telcos previously increased rates in December 2019, the first time they did so since the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm in 2016. However, Vi’s average revenue per user (ARPU) of Rs 119 at the end of the September quarter still lags that of Bharti Airtel (Rs 162) and Jio (Rs 145).

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Typhoon Rolly death toll climbs to 24; infra damage at P5.76B


THE DEATH toll from typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni), the world’s strongest typhoon so far this year, has climbed to 24 while 26 others were injured and five remain missing, according to the latest report from the Philippine National Police.

Majority of the fatalities at 20 were from Bicol, the region hit hardest by the typhoon.

Three were from Calabarzon and one from Mimaropa.

The injured consists of 22 from Bicol and four in Calabarzon.

The police, among the frontline emergency responders, deployed

5,804 officers for search and rescue operations and another 1,556 in evacuation centers.

Typhoon Rolly exited the Philippine area on Tuesday, leaving a trail of over 402,000 families composed of 1.62 million people affected across six regions.

As of November 3, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that at least 106,642 families were still displaced.

In Bicol alone, nearly 80,000 homes were affected, including 20,942 that were totally destroyed and 58,696 partially damaged, according to the Office of Civil Defense’s regional office.

The cost of damage to roads, bridges, flood-control structures, and public buildings has reached over P5 billion, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Tuesday

Of the total P5.756 billion, the estimated cost of damage to roads is P1.52 billion, Public Works and Highway Secretary Mark A. Villar said in a statement.

He also cited the P458.2 million damage to bridges, P2.04 billion to flood-control structures, P367.25 million to public buildings, and P1.38-billion to other infrastructure.

“As expected, our assessment teams identified majority of the destruction in Bicol Region amounting to P4.621 billion,” Mr. Villar said.

The department said many roads in the island province of Catanduanes are still “impassable.”

“DPWH quick response teams are fast-tracking clearing operations along the affected road sections in the island as we have no alternative routes as of the moment. These roads must be opened soonest for the relief efforts which Catanduanes badly needs right now,” he said.

In agriculture, NDRRMC Spokesperson Mark E. Timbal, in a viber message to reporters, said damage is initially estimated at P1.74 billion across the regions of Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Eastern Visayas.

While authorities take stock of Rolly’s destruction, relief operations are also in full swing. 

“Government assistance provided as of 12NN today… have been estimated to 26.6 million pesos,” Mr. Timbal said.

The movement of goods in most of the typhoon-hit areas has also resumed, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez. Mr. Lopez, in a radio interview with DZBB on Tuesday, said the department’s regional directors have reported that shipping in most affected provinces are back in operation, but some roads are still being cleared.

Ang flow of goods — importante ‘yunay tuluy-tuloy din (— that’s important — is continuous),” he said.

A price freeze on basic necessities and prime commodities is being implemented in areas that have declared a state of calamity.

Fines for traders found violating the price freeze range between P1,000 to P2 million, Mr. Lopez said.

The Energy department also announced a price freeze on household liquified petroleum gas and kerosene in Camariñes Sur after the provincial government declared a state of calamity.

The price freeze started Monday and will be in effect until November 16. In a Viber advisory on Monday evening, the Department of Energy said price rollbacks will be implemented while increases are strictly prohibited within the 15-day period.

This comes a day after the agency declared a price freeze in Cavite, which declared a state of calamity earlier. Other affected provinces have yet to issue similar declarations.

Mr. Lopez also confirmed in a mobile message to reporters that the department will offer micro-financing and livelihood kits for business owners in the areas affected by the typhoon. The funding will come from the Small Business Corporation, he said.

The Department of Labor and Employment, for its part, said it will release funds to employ 5,000 workers who will help in the clearing operations of Catanduanes, where typhoon Rolly first made landfall. “I will send an amount to hire at least 5,000 people to clean the streets and the debris of typhoon Rolly,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a briefing on Tuesday. ARTA: DON’T ‘WAIT-AND-SEE’The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), meanwhile, asked the Social Welfare department to proactively process food and cash aid if local governments in typhoon-hit areas have not released assistance within two days.

ARTA Director-General Jeremiah B. Belgica, in a statement on Tuesday, said field or regional offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should monitor disaster-stricken areas and check if sufficient food and cash aid have been distributed.

If none has been extended by the local government within two days, the DSWD field office should automatically send a report to their central office to send food and cash assistance instead of waiting for a request from the local chief executive.

The local government officials concerned will be investigated.

“There will be a presumption of serious neglect of duty and grave misconduct which are both serious offences for administrative cases to be filed with the Office of the Ombudsman and which would merit immediate preventive suspension,” ARTA said.

“In times of calamities, a wait-and-see method is already a thing of the past,” Mr. Belgica said.

In the case of the current calamity, 10 local government heads are due to be summoned by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for reportedly being absent in their respective areas when typhoon Rolly pummeled parts of  the country.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Manahan Año, in his report to President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday night, said two of the mayors are from Bicol, four from Mimaropa, two from the northern Luzon area, and two from the Visayas.

“I cannot give their names yet until investigations are conducted and cases are filed against them,” Mr. Año said.

The officials could face administrative sanctions before the Ombudsman for dereliction of duty and gross negligence.

In another development, a lawmaker on Tuesday defended the need to pass a law that will create a separate department on disaster management following criticisms that it will just worsen an already bloated bureaucracy.

“It (proposed law) does not merely create an agency. It institutionalizes disaster preparedness, response, and future-proofing as a national responsibility with an institutionalized framework,” said Representative Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda, who represents the 2nd District of Albay, one of the provinces in Bicol.

Mr. Salceda is the principal author of House Bill 5989 or the Disaster Resilience Act, which will establish the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) tasked to lead the government’s preparedness, response and recovery programs.

Senators Franklin M. Drilon and Panfilo M. Lacson have said it would be better to strengthen existing agencies rather than setting up the DRR, which could cost the government at least P1.5 billion and billions more for the salaries, capital outlay, and operational expenses. — Gillian M. Cortez, Arjay L. Balinbin, Jenina P. Ibañez, Angelica Y. Yang, Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, and Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR

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Spending climbs back to pre-pandemic levels despite cuts to JobKeeper, JobSeeker

AlphaBeta director Dr Andrew Charlton said the results were a sign that the tapering back of government support measures was not having a disastrous effect on the economy.

“Australians should be buoyed by the fact that spending is now back to pre-COVID levels across both essential and discretionary spending,” he said.

The spending tracker, which draws on the anonymised purchasing data of hundreds of thousands of consumers, showed discretionary and essential spending by high income earners returned to pre-COVID levels in mid-October for the first time since the pandemic began.


Simon Bligh, chief executive illion, said it was pleasing to see higher income earners “opening the purse strings again.”

Separate Commonwealth Bank credit and debit card data shows spending was 6 per cent higher than a year ago in the week ending October 30. Weekly spending improved strongly in Victoria amid the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

But Dr Charlton warned the withdrawal of financial support to households and businesses still posed an economic threat.

“There are definitely risks and headwinds,” he said.

In late September, JobKeeper, which supports about 3.5 million workers, was cut from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight for those who worked more than 20 hours a week and to $750 a fortnight for other employees. The $550-a-fortnight coronavirus supplement for those on JobSeeker and some other welfare payments fell to $250 a fortnight around the same time. JobKeeper will be reduced further in January and finish in March 2021.

The spending tracker shows food delivery remains the strongest spending category across Australia, with purchases 289 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic norm in the week ending October 25.

“Aussies love their MasterChef but are obviously leaving the cooking to someone else,” Mr Bligh said.

Other spending categories doing especially well include online gambling (weekly spending 94 per cent higher than pre-pandemic) and furniture and office (+68 per cent).

Spending at cafes, which fell sharply in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, was 10 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels in the week ending October 25.

However, spending in some categories remains way below the pre-pandemic levels including public transport (-52 per cent), pubs and venues (-32 per cent), travel (-27 per cent) and road tolls (-22 per cent).

The increase in Melbourne’s travel limit to a 25 kilometre radius appears to have boosted spending at petrol stations which was 69 per cent higher in Victoria in the week ending October 25 compared with the pre-pandemic norm. But spending on entertainment Victoria was still 97 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

In NSW, spending at fast food restaurants was 45 per cent above pre pandemic levels in the week to October 25. But purchases on travel were still 73 per cent below pre pandemic levels and entertainment spending was down 62 per cent.

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N. Macedonia unemployed rate climbs in September | The Budapest Business Journal on the web

 Regional Today

 Monday, October 26, 2020, 16:30

The number of unemployed people in North Macedonia increased to 151,359 in September up from 101,036 in the same month last year, reported news portal SeeNews citing fresh data released by the countryʼs Employment Agency, reflecting on the effects of the coronavirus crisis on the labor market.

On a monthly comparison basis, the number of unemployed people increased by 4.6% in September, as there were 144,759 unemployed people in the country at the end of August.

New coronavirus cases have risen at an alarming rate recently, prompting the government to limit working hours of bars and restaurants.

North Macedoniaʼs government is currently implementing a fourth package of measures aimed at reducing the impact of the outbreak with incentives such as social assistance schemes for the unemployed, low-paid workers and retirees and wage subsidies for firms affected by the crisis. 



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Victoria considers scaling back hotel quarantine, NSW Premier says border with Victoria could open within month; Australian death toll climbs to 905

The former Aer Lingus boss said reliable and affordable testing would be more accurate and alleviate the need to police quarantine, which in the UK is required at people’s homes but is barely enforced.

“We need to get the economy moving again, and this just isn’t possible when you are asking people to quarantine for 14 days,” he said.

“It is our view that even if that quarantine period is reduced to, say, seven days, people won’t travel here and the UK will get left behind.”

But he said there had been little interest among governments in establishing cost-effective testing or health passports.

British Airways has slashed flights to the United States to fewer than half the 30 destinations it once serviced. Flights between London and New York have been cut from 12 to two times per day, with fewer than 200 passengers making that transatlantic crossing daily.

Read the rest of this story here.

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Victoria considers scaling back hotel quarantine, NSW Premier says border with Victoria could open within month; Australian death toll climbs to 905

The former Aer Lingus boss said reliable and affordable testing would be more accurate and alleviate the need to police quarantine, which in the UK is required at people’s homes but is barely enforced.

“We need to get the economy moving again, and this just isn’t possible when you are asking people to quarantine for 14 days,” he said.

“It is our view that even if that quarantine period is reduced to, say, seven days, people won’t travel here and the UK will get left behind.”

But he said there had been little interest among governments in establishing cost-effective testing or health passports.

British Airways has slashed flights to the United States to fewer than half the 30 destinations it once serviced. Flights between London and New York have been cut from 12 to two times per day, with fewer than 200 passengers making that transatlantic crossing daily.

Read the rest of this story here.

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Vancouver hiker climbs Grouse Grind using only his arms

A Vancouver man’s ascent up the Grouse Grind is one you may not have seen before.

“As far as I know, no one has done it on their hands, especially as a paraplegic,” said Leo Sammarelli, who this week finished the climb using only his arms.

“It was a tough challenge.”

It took more than six hours, but with the help of his brother and a friend holding his legs, Sammarelli made it all the way up to the top.

He did it to raise money for Vancouver’s Adaptive Boxing program, something he has been heavily involved in since the tragic incident that changed his life.

On March 13, 2017, Sammarelli was the victim of a brazen shooting in North Vancouver.

“I was shot multiple times and it resulted in me being a paraplegic,” he said.

He still struggles to understand how it happened.

“It was misidentification, really,” he said, adding that he may have been associated with or friends with the intended target.

Sammarelli was a national boxing champion, and has spent years rehabilitating since the incident. He now trains others in wheelchairs on how to stay active and healthy, while at the same time campaigning for his sport, adaptive boxing, to be included in the Olympics.

He hopes others can draw inspiration from his story.

“After something life-changing like a spinal cord injury or whatever you face in life, it is possible to overcome that and test those boundaries and challenges that you have everyday,” Sammarelli said.

His GoFundMe page called “The Grind for Adaptive Boxing” has raised more than $5,000 so far.  

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Richie Porte climbs higher on Tour de France general classification as Miguel Angel Lopez wins epic mountain stage

Australia’s Richie Porte gritted his teeth and delivered a brave performance to finish fifth on the most difficult stage yet of this year’s Tour de France which finished at the summit of Col de la Loze.

The fifth placing on the stage moved Porte up from sixth overall to fourth in the general classification as Colombia’s Miguel Angel Lopez took advantage of the high altitudes so familiar to him in his native country and sprinted clear in the final kilometres to take the stage victory.

The win moved him into third position overall behind yellow jersey wearer Primoz Roglic, who was second on the stage ahead of his nearest rival and fellow Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

“I feel emotional because of the work done at home with my family, my wife, my son, I dedicate this victory to them,” Lopez said.


Lopez moved to within 1:26 of Roglic, who extended his lead over Pogacar to 57 seconds after the two engaged in an epic duel to the finish line, in which Roglic seemed to break his younger countryman’s spirit.

The pair, along with Porte and Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Sepp Kuss, had already engaged in a tough battle that started during the final ascent, which included gradients of 24 per cent on the final 21 kilometre climb.

“It was again a good day for us,” Roglic said.

“Of course, I always want to win but I gained some time and I saw that others had problems. I knew I could gain time today and that’s what we did.”

Painful climb to the finish

With four kilometres to go Kuss took off when the man who had led for much of the day — Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz — came back to the small chasing pack, but he was followed by Lopez who had far more speed.

Commentators speculated at the time that it was a poor move for Kuss to leave his teammate and yellow jersey wearer but Roglic confirmed it was all part of a plan.

“Also, the others tried to chase him back and it helped me realise many guys around me were struggling.”

Richie Porte pushes through the pain as he battles Sepp Kuss to the finish line on stage 17 of the 2020 Tour de France.(Reuters: Stephane Mahe)


Porte did well just to hang on for as long as he did, having been dropped a few metres off the back of Roglic and Pogacar as they sought to jostle for second, but on multiple occasions the Australian managed to get back on their tail.

However with two kilometres to go the Slovenians showed their class and finally dropped the dogged Australian, who eventually crossed the line with American Kuss.

Porte finished the stage in fourth overall on the general classification 3’05” behind Roglic and 1’39” behind third-placed Lopez

Fans ignore COVID-19 protocols

Masked Tour de France fans converge as leading riders make a large climb.
Tour de France fans crowd around Tadej Pogacar as he makes the final climb to the stage 17 finish.(Supplied: SBS Television)

Present for the stage was French President Emmanuel Macron, but he was far from the only one and it would be hard to imagine that Tour organisers were happy with scenes that were beamed across the world as the leaders made the final climb.

This year’s Tour set against the backdrop of the global coronavirus pandemic has seen riders frequently tested and the usual crowds sparse, but that was not the case as large numbers of cycling fans closed in on the road and leaders during the final climb.

After the stage Mr Macron told reporters: “It’s extremely important to show that we can live with the virus.”


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Boy, 7, climbs Ben Nevis after his parents were told he would never walk | UK News

A seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, whose parents were told he would never walk, has climbed Britain’s tallest mountain for charity.

Caeden Thomson, from Corby, Northamptonshire, was born 12 weeks premature, and has since undergone intense physiotherapy.

On his JustGiving page, his mother Lisa said he wanted to be able to “give something back”, because “he was so lucky for all the things he has had in his life”.

Caeden’s mum Lisa says her son is ‘an absolute legend’

Caeden trekked the 1,345m (4,413ft) to the top of Ben Nevis in the Highlands on Saturday, raising more than £8,000 for his local NHS trust and disability equality charity, Scope.

The group set off at 9am, reaching the summit at 5.30pm, before returning to the bottom five hours later.

Caeden said: “My body hurts a lot but I’m OK. It was really, really hard.

“I felt sick and exhausted at the top, and I felt exhausted but happy at the bottom!”

His mum says her son is “an absolute legend”, adding that it was “such a massive challenge and much, much harder than any of us expected”.

She continued: “There were many hard times along the way. From three-quarters of the way up, the pathway is just massive boulders and very hard to climb, and even at the top we didn’t think he would make it down.

Caeden Thomson's mum Lisa says her son is 'an absolute legend'
Caeden Thomson has undergone intense physiotherapy

“There were danger areas where carrying was very difficult, so Caeden did have to walk down a lot of it too.

“The temperature dropped hugely and many climbers said they were turning back. But we made it!

“We are all super-proud of him, he deserves a medal.

“Last night no-one could move or celebrate, so today we are resting up and will celebrate tonight.

“We all love Caeden so much and can’t believe his passion for getting to the top.”

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