India business news headlines weekly roundup 4 to 9 March 2019

India business news headlines weekly roundup 4 to 9 March

Here’s a roundup of all the India business news that created the buzz in India this week:

Corporates

  • .Jet Airways officers and employees’ association has accused it of removing workers clandestinely citing operational reasons. Around 250 officers and employees held a protest at the airlines HO.
  • Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries may reportedly make its e-commerce debut around Diwali.
  • Directorate General of Anti Profiteering has found that Abbott Healthcare did not pass on the GST benefits to customers to the tune of Rs.96.59 Lakhs.

India business news headlines weekly roundup 4 to 9 March

  • NCLT has admitted the plea of ICICI Bank to initiate insolvency proceedings against Punj Lloyd for defaulting on a loan of Rs.853.83 crores. The plea was earlier opposed by SBI in June 2018 on the grounds that Punj Lloyd had several ongoing projects.
  • Under UDAN scheme, 4 airlines will start operating flights from Ghaziabad to 8 small towns from mid-May. Flights from Hindon airport, Ghaziabad, will connect to Hubli, Jamnagar, Shimla, Kalburgi, Kannur, Nashik, Faizabad and Pithoragarh.
  • Reliance Industries is planning to increase the number of Reliance Trends fashion stores across India to 2,500 from the current 557 over the next five years. It is also planning to integrate them with its e-comm business.
  • NCLAT has allowed withdrawal of Liberty House bid for Amtek Auto’s ARGL on the plea of a resolution professional of Amtek. Liberty House had emerged as the top bidder for ARGL but didn’t submit the required bank guarantee.
  • ED is reportedly investigating Philip Morris International and Godfrey Phillips, its Indian partner, for alleged violation of laws in India. Philip Morris allegedly paid manufacturing costs to Godfrey Phillips for years to make its Marlboro cigarettes.
  • FLY Leasing which grounded 3 Boeing 737s on lease to Jet Airways shall redeploy the planes if the airlines don’t get approval for a restructuring plan within this month.
  • Jet Airways may get emergency funding if the promoters infuse Rs.750 Crores. A plan to convert part of their debt into equity has reportedly been approved by the lenders.

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  • NCLT has approved resolution plan of Rs.5050 Crores submitted jointly by Reliance Industries and JM Financial for Alok Industries, which has a debt of around Rs.29,500 Crores.
  • RBI has imposed a fine of Rs.71 Crores on 36 banks for not upgrading their SWIFT platform.
  • Icra has downgraded the rating of Reliance Capital to A1 due to delay in monetizing non-core investments.
  • Jio Internet and Jio TV are seeking to raise Rs.2,000 crores each via rights issues for general corporate purpose.
  • Jet Airways has pledged its FDs of ₹1,500 crores from various banks to SBI for borrowing ₹225 crores.
  • Spotify has reportedly hit 1 million user base in India within just a few days of its launch.
  • The World Bank will provide a loan of $250 million for National Rural Economic Transformation Project to help women in rural households.

Some more news from Corporates

  • DCGI has issued a show-cause notice to J&J for advertising that the baby powder is pure and gentle, based on a govt test report which mentioned that the product is of “standard quality”.
  • L&T shall rope in an external expert to investigate if any illegal payments were made by any of its employees on behalf of Cognizant. Cognizant reportedly routed $3.64 million through L&T for bribes to officials in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
  • SpiceJet shall start 10 new UDAN flights between 31 March and 15 April. Eight of these will connect Gwalior to different cities while two will fly on Bhopal-Udaipur route.
  • Nivaan Goyal, son of Naresh Goyal is likely to be named the executive director of Jet Airways. Nivaan has been leading negotiations with lenders for Jet Airways bailout. His appointment has the backing of lenders of Jet Airways and Etihad as SBI doesn’t want to deal with Etihad on its own.
  • California Burrito is planning to open 15 more restaurants by the end of 2019. It already operates 31 restaurants in Bengaluru and Delhi NCR.
  • Pepperfry is planning to invest around $12 million on expansion and improving its supply chain pipeline.
  • The government has approved an Rs.14000 Crore SEZ project of Adani Power in Jharkhand.

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More in India business news headlines weekly roundup 4 to 9 March

Policies & Practices

  • The government has doubled the income tax exemption limit on gratuity to Rs.20 Lakh.
  • CBDT has said that the relief for startups facing tax demands for selling shares at a premium to their fair market value will be effective from the 19 February 2019.
  • Internet activists are concerned on rising instances of websites being blocked by ISPs and the government allegedly without citing any reason. 2799 urls were reported to be blocked in 2018 by Ministry of Electronics and IT on account of hosting malicious content.
  • Banks need to lend Rs.1 Lakh Crore more before March 31, 2019, to meet the MUDRA target of Rs.3 Lakh crore set for fy 18-19.

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Some more India business news headlines weekly roundup 4 to 9 March

M&As and tie-ups

  • Grasim Industries has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% stake of Soktas India for Rs.165 crores. The acquisition is part of Grasim’s business strategy to strengthen its presence in the premium fabric market.
  • SoftBank has completed its investment commitment of $350 million in Delivery.

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Start-up world, funds, and fundings

  • Zinier, a field service automation solutions provider, has raised around Rs.154 Crores in a series B round of funding from Accel, Founders Fund, NGP Capital and others.
  • Qiming Venture Partners, a Chinese venture capital firm, is reportedly set to lead a $15-20 million Series B round of funding in Pratilipi.
  • True North is seeking more investment opportunities in the life and general insurance sectors. The PE firm bought a controlling stake in Max Bupa last week.
  • Ola is in talks with Hyundai Motor for raising investment of around US$ 300 million. Hyundai had earlier lead Rs.100-crore funding round in Revv.
  • Canadian fund manager CDPQ will invest Rs.1800 Crores in an NBFC company of Edelweiss group.
  • Razorpay is in talks with Sequoia for raising fresh funding of $100 million. The deal may value the firm at around $450 million.
  • ShareChat is in discussions with Tencent Holdings and others for raising around $200 million in funding at a valuation of $600-700 million.
  • DailyNinja is in early talks to raise fresh funding of around $18-20 million.

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There’s more in India business news headlines weekly roundup 4 to 9 March

Ongoing cases

  • ICICI-Videocon loan case – The Enforcement Directorate has reportedly so far established that Chanda Kochhar and her family received Rs.500 crores as kickbacks.
  • PNB Scam – Nirav Modi is reportedly living in London’s West End and has started a new diamond business. The UK Daily Telegraph published a video and interview with Nirav Modi.
  • ICICI-Videocon case: MCA has found 25 violations of the Companies Act by Videocon Industries and NuPower Renewables. Chanda Kochhar was part of the panel that approved Videocon loans, which in turn funded NuPower.
  • IL&FS case – Former IL&FS heads Ravi Parthasarathy and Hari Sankaran, two subsidiaries and 18 others are being probed by ED for alleged siphoning off approx. Rs.10000 Crores from IL&FS books.
  • UB group has opposed the plea of a consortium of banks, led by SBI, to sell properties of Vijay Mallya as the claim for restoration can only be considered during the trial of the case.
  • Bhushan Power case – NCLAT has directed Delhi bench of NCLT to decide on JSW Steel’s bid for Bhushan Power by 31st March. It has also directed to hear the representative of Sanjay Singal, promoter of Bhushan Power, who has offered to settle all the dues of the lenders.

Stats

  • As per the data released by DIPP, there was FDI equity inflow of Rs.57,333 crores to companies based in New Delhi in the first 9 months of fy19..

People

  • Dentsu Aegis Network has elevated its current chairman and CEO – South Asia, Ashish Bhasin, to CEO -Dentsu Aegis Network Greater South. Bhasin will oversee business across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia.
  • Uber has appointed Manisha Lath Gupta as Head of India Marketing. She will take over from Sanjay Gupta who will move to Uber Canada and the US in a new role.

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