India business news headlines weekly roundup 18-22 Feb 2019
- Reliance Capital has invited Nippon Life Insurance to acquire its entire stake of 42.88%. The Group is trying to monetise assets to bring down the debt.
- After the SC order, RCom has urged its lenders to allow release of Rs.260 crores to Ericsson. The firm said that it had received the sum as IT refunds and is lying in its bank account.
- Grofers has narrowed its standalone losses to Rs.258.3 crore in the fy 2017-18, while its income was higher by over 57 per cent to Rs.53.4 crores from the previous fy.
- Videocon loan case – CBI has issued lookout circulars against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, and Videocon MD Venugopal Dhoot. ED registered a criminal case against them for alleged money laundering a few weeks back.
- A parliamentary panel has asked top bosses of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to appear before it on 6th March. Agenda of the Parliamentary Standing Committee is to hear view of these companies on safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platforms.
- Ruias have turned down a proposal by ArcelorMittal to buy out its port and power assets in Hazira in Gujarat.
- International lessors have grounded more planes of Jet Airways. Nine of airlines’ planes have been grounded over the last four weeks.
- Titan aims to double its market share, 5% currently, in the jewellery space over the next three to four years. Its Revenue from the jewellery business grew 37%, while profits (before finance costs and taxes) surged 76.5%.
- Starbucks will move to compostable and recyclable packaging solutions across its 138 stores in India by June 2019.
- The board of Tech Mahindra has approved a buyback of up to 20.6 million shares worth Rs.1956 Crores.
- As per the data released by DGCA, domestic air passenger traffic in Jan rose by 9.1%. The airlines carried 125.08 lakh passengers in January 2019.
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- Supreme Court held Anil Ambani guilty and directed him to pay to pay Rs.453 crores to Ericsson within four weeks or face three months jail. The amount is in addition to Rs.118 crores already deposited by RCom in the Supreme Court’s registry. SC, however, rejected Ericsson’s contempt plea against SBI chairman who led the consortium of financial credits for the sale of RCom assets.
- The government has extended compliance deadline on tougher import rules for some grades of Steel till 17th April 2019.
- The last date for submission of GSTR-3B has been extended till 22nd Feb. 2019.
- Digital Communications Commission is likely to discuss the Rs.3,050 crore cumulative penalty recommended by Trai on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular in today’s meeting. Trai had recommended imposing the penalty in Oct. 2016 for allegedly denying interconnectivity to the then newcomer Reliance Jio.
- The finance ministry has announced to pump in Rs.48,239 crores in 12 PSBs in the fy 18-19 to help in their growth plans as also maintain regulatory capital requirements.
- N Chandrasekaran has started planning to shrink 1000+ Tata Group subsidiaries to a manageable number.
- Promoters of Dewan Housing have mandated Barclays Group and NM Rothschild to find a buyer. The firm is facing a severe liquidity crunch.
Some more news from Corporates
- Boeing will not deliver five ordered planes to Jet Airways till the airlines overcome its financial crisis.
- Jaypee Infra’s promoters have made a second attempt to settle dues with lenders by submitting a new proposal. NBCC and Suraksha group have submitted bids for taking over Jaypee Infratech under the insolvency process.
- TCS has partnered with Nanoheal to provide self-healing device management solutions. Nanoheal will provide smart hands-off tools to automate workspace management operations thereby reducing resolution time.
- Elliot Alderson, a French researcher, who had exposed Aadhaar leaks in the past, has found that Aadhaar data of around 6.7 million dealers and distributors have been leaked by Indane. Indane and UIDAI have not commented on this data leak yet.
- Junaid Ahmed, India chief of World Bank has said that Beti Kamao also needs to be added to PM Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program as women are dropping out of the workforce.
- Mitsubishi and Singapore’s GIC are reported to be in the final stages of discussions with GMR Airports to pick up around 25-30% stake for approx. Rs.7000-8000 Crores. The amount would help GMR reduce its overall debt of Rs.19850 Crores.
- 63 Moons Technologies has reportedly filed a criminal complaint with CBI and shall also file Rs.10,000 Crore damage suits against former FM P Chidambaram and two bureaucrats for causing irreversible damage to the entire exchange eco-system.
- BIGO Technology of Singapore plans to invest over USD 100 Million in India over the next three years. BIGO is one of the world’s biggest companies in the field of app
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More in India business news headlines weekly roundup 18 to 22 Feb. 19
- If Sebi denies an exemption to Etihad Airways from making an open offer in lieu of raising its stake, Jet Airways may consider raising Rs.4,000 crores through a rights issue.
- Reliance Power has moved a division bench of Bombay high court to stop Edelweiss Group from selling its pledged shares. A single-judge bench had dismissed its petition last week.
- Monte Carlo Fashions has entered into an agreement with Skoda Auto India allowing them to use its trademark ‘Monte Carlo’. Monte Carlo had submitted a trademark violation plea around a year back.
- The board of Varun Beverages has approved plans to acquire franchise rights of the Pepsico in the South and West regions.
- RBI has decided to transfer an interim dividend of Rs.28,000 crores to the government in the current fy. 2018-19.
- To reduce debt, Emami Group promoters have divested 10% stake in Emami Ltd. for Rs.1600 Crores. PremjiInvest has picked up 3% while SBI MF bought 5%.
- The government has reappointed A K Sharma as Director Finance of IOC. This is the first time that a PSU director has been reemployed in the same position after retirement during the NDA government.
- Noida police have lodged an FIR against Uber for negligence for not getting proper verification of its drivers as also not having a real-time monitoring system.
- Tata Sons have bought 1.2 Crore shares of Tata Motors from the open market for around Rs.183 crores. The move is to show support to Tata Motors after they declared a loss of around $4 billion in the last quarter.
- KKR India Asset Finance has extended $102 million to Embassy group for a commercial office project in Bengaluru.
- Jindal Stainless has set up a dedicated facility for Railways in Chennai. The facility will supply components to the Integral Coach Factory.
- Fortis case – Going by the trail of funds uncovered by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, the alleged funds diversion at Fortis Healthcare could be more than Rs.2,000 crores.
- Jet Airways is likely to receive fund infusion of around Rs.3,000 crore from Etihad and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. The stake of Naresh Goyal might reduce to less than half of his existing stake of 51%.
- Vodafone Idea in said to be in talks to sell mobile tower stake, other assets for Rs.20,000 crores. It plans to use the funds for lowering its debt, which stood at Rs.1,23,660 crores till Dec.2018.
- The government’s disinvestment proceeds have touched Rs.53,558 crores so far in the current fiscal, as against the full year target of Rs 80,000 crore.
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- Sebi may probe YES Bank for selective disclosure leading to a stock rise.
- Amadeus has filed a case in Delhi high court against Air India over its decision to end their 30-year-old association. Amadeus said that Air India is bound to call bids and could not arbitrarily exclude them from the sale of tickets on domestic flights.
- A parliamentary panel has sought disciplinary action against IT officers for irregular assessment of expenses on freebies given by doctors by drug firms resulting in a loss of Rs.55.10 Crores to the exchequer.
- Blackstone is likely to invest around Rs.3200 Crores to help Manipal Group acquire Medanta Hospital for around Rs.6000 Crores.
- Ola is in discussions with Carpooling app sRide to pick up a stake of around 26% at a valuation of Rs.100-150 Crores.
- Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has reached a standstill agreement with around 90% of its lenders under which they will not sell any shares pledged by promoters till September. The group will pay to the lenders as per the scheduled due dates.
- Cognizant has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a 2016 case under Foreign Corruption Prevention Act with US authorities. L&T is said to have facilitated payment of $3.64 million in bribes to Indian government officials on behalf of Cognizant for securing various permits, for Cognizant’s campuses in Chennai and Pune.
Policies & Practices
- The government is planning to offer VRS scheme to MTNL and BSNL employees to reduce a large pool of ageing manpower and infuse fresh life into the PSUs.
- The GST Council has deferred its decision on real estate taxes till 24th Feb.
- The govt has raised investment limit for angel tax exemption to Rs.25 Crores for startups and also extended the period of availing benefits to 10 years. Till now the limit was Rs.10 crores and startups could avail the benefits till seven years.
- The government has cleared a new electronics policy to boost domestic production to $400 billion by 2025.
- Twitter will enforce a new political ads policy in India from March 11. Under the policy, only certified advertisers will be allowed to run political ad campaigns.
- GST Council is expected to reduce GST on under-construction houses to 5% from the existing 12% and on affordable houses to 3% from 8% currently.
- The Union Cabinet has increased DA allowance by 3% effective 1st Jan.2019. The move will benefit around 48.41 Lakh central govt employees as also 62.03 lakh pensioners.
M&As and tie-ups
- Oyo Rooms is said to be in advanced talks to buy a significant stake in FreshMenu. Lightspeed Venture Partners is a common investor in FreshMenu and Oyo.
- Adani group has made a formal offer to buy out a 23.5% share in Mumbai airport held by two South African firms.
- UberEats is said to be in talks with Swiggy and Zomato to sell-out its business.
- Zebi has acquired Bengaluru-based start-up Element42 to strengthen its in-house Blockchain engineering talent and also add new products and customers.
- CCI has approved the $13.2-billion deal for the acquisition of global power solutions business of Johnson Controls International by Brookfield and CDPQ.
- Grasim Industries has entered into an agreement with KPR Industries to acquire chlor-alkali business for a cash consideration of Rs.253 crores.
- Goldman Sachs is set to lead the latest funding round of Daily hunt for around $60 million.
- An expert panel has suggested Irdai to set up a core Sandbox Committee to promote digital innovations.
Start-up world, funds and fundings
- TPG Growth is in talks to invest around $30-40 million in Nykaa for a minority stake.
- InnoVen Capital has invested Rs.35 crores in Xpressbees, an e-comm logistics provider. This is InnoVen’s fifth deal in 2019 with a total investment of Rs.75 Crores till date.
- Saudi Aramco is in talks with Reliance Industries and some other companies to invest in refineries and petrochemical projects. Saudi Aramco is said to be the world’s most profitable company.
- Pantomath Group and Pi Square Investments have come together to raise Rs.400-crore fund to invest in 8-10 yr old companies in the manufacturing sector.
- SoftBank Vision Fund has estimated a return of approx. 25% from its investments of around $70 billion in 72 companies. The fund may exit from some of these companies in the second half of 2020 when IPOs of these companies may come up.
- Sachin Bansal has invested Rs.650 Crores in Ola.
- Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is setting up India’s first legal technology incubation centre, named Prarambh. The centre will work with young entrepreneurs to forge new tech-based solutions for the legal industry.
- IL&FS case – After registering a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, ED conducted searches at multiple locations in connection with the IL&FS payment default crisis. IL&FS has a combined debt of Rs.91,000 Crores.
- Fortis case – Malvinder Singh has filed a complaint with Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing against Gurinder Singh Dhillon, head of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, his spiritual guru for allegedly siphoning off proceeds from the sale of Ranbaxy. He has also accused his brother Shivinder, family members of Dhillon and his former associates Sunil and Sanjay Godhwani.
As per a study by Assocham & EY, the Indian packaging industry may reach $72.6 billion by fy 2020.