Uncertainty around Peru’s presidential elections next month is heightening concern over the country’s sol currency, compounding wider emerging market jitters among investors and dragging the tender to a record low against the dollar. The sol has edged above 3.7 per greenback, losing some 12% of its value against the dollar since the start of last year, despite heavy central bank intervention. Investors see it weakening further ahead of the 11 April first-round vote. Currencies around Latin America have been suffering of late amid wider emerging market wobbles, some worse off than the sol.
Lula da Silva conviction dismissed
A top judge has thrown out both corruption convictions of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, opening the way for a possible battle against conservative incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in next year’s elections. Supreme Court justice Luiz Edson Fachin on Monday annulled the convictions on procedural grounds, arguing the cases were tried in the wrong jurisdiction. That means the ruling may not affect numerous other convictions of powerful businessmen and politicians also swept up in the sprawling “Car Wash” investigations centred on the state-run oil giant Petrobras. He said the case should be retried in the capital, though former prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol suggested on Twitter it may be too late for that because the statute of limitations for prosecution of the 75-year-old ex-leader could have expired. The government can appeal Fachin’s ruling to the full court.
Puigdemont stripped of immunity
The European Parliament has voted to waive the immunity of Catalonia’s former regional head of government and two other separatist lawmakers, taking them a step closer to extradition to Spain, where they are charged with sedition. The chamber announced on Tuesday that EU lawmakers had voted clearly in favour of stripping the immunity from prosecution of Carles Puigdemont and two former cabinet members, Toni Comin and Clara Ponsati, reports Reuters. Puigdemont and Comin, who are in self-imposed exile in Belgium, formally became members of the European Parliament in June 2019, while Ponsati, who is in Scotland, was officially a member from January 2020. All are subject to European arrest warrants issued by Spain which is seeking their extradition related to their role in organising a 2017 independence referendum deemed illegal by a Spanish court.
Hiring to pick up pace soon
According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released on Tuesday, the study of 2,375 employers across India indicates a rebound in hiring plans for the upcoming three months. Sectors that will lead the job market are likely to be public administration and education, followed by the services sector. The strongest hiring pace is indicated in large organizations followed by medium-sized organizations with a seasonally adjusted outlook of +10%, which is an improvement of 3 percentage points compared to the last quarter. From a regional perspective, the West indicate a more positive outlook followed by North. Nearly 27% of employers reported that they may return to pre-covid hiring within June 2021 while 56% stated they will resume by end of 2021.
Insurance cos biz premium grows
Life insurance companies registered a 21% rise in new business premium to ₹22,425.21 crore in February 2021, according to data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai). The 24 life insurance companies in the country had their collective new business premium of ₹18,533.19 crore in the same month a year ago. Among these, the country’s largest and the only state-run insurer LIC posted a 24.18% jump in new premium income at ₹12,920.57 crore during the reported month, against ₹10,404.68 crore in the year-ago month, showed the data from Irdai. The other 23 players in the private sector witnessed a 16.93% rise in their collective premium at ₹9,504.64 crore as against ₹8,128.51 crore a year ago, showed the data. New business premium during April-Feb 2020-21 of all the players was up by 0.59% at ₹2,34,861.30 crore, cumulatively.
Are healthy snacks really healthy?
More than half of seemingly healthy snacks analysed by experts are high in fat, salt and/or sugar, prompting calls for more “honest” labelling, reports The Guardian. Action on Salt assessed 119 snacks, including dried/roasted pulses and processed pulse snacks such as lentil curls, chickpea chips and puffs, finding some to be saltier than seawater. Despite them being on average lower in fat, saturated fat and calories and higher in fibre than standard crisps and flavoured nuts, 43% were high in salt. The saltiest product surveyed was Eat Real hummus, chilli and lemon flavoured chips—labelled “40% less fat, vegan, gluten free”—with 3.6g salt per 100g, and more than 1g salt in a single suggested serving (28g) —more than in two bags of McDonald’s small French fries. Action on Salt said the majority of products did not display colour-coded nutrition information on the front of packs as per government guidance.
Curated by Sohini Sen. Have something to share with us? Write to us at feedback@livemint or tweet to @shohinisen