Read Weekly India Business News 3rd to 7th September 2018:
– Wipro bagged its biggest outsourcing contract worth $1.6 billion for 10 years from Alight Solutions LLC. Wipro is assured of at least $150 million in annual revenue after the deal.
– Union Bank of India has moved NCLT against Gammon India for ₹315 crore default. Gammon owes around ₹ 7,000 crores to its lenders, failed to repay a term loan and interest to the Union Bank.
– Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL are all setting up incubators, or are funding startups that will help them solve the operational issues and improve fuel efficiency.
– Suzuki Motor Corp is planning to invest ₹ 9,000 crores to build a new car plant in Gujarat. The investment may double its annual capacity to 1.5 million vehicles.
– Jindal Steel and Power Ltd is considering splitting its steel, power and international businesses as a part of its restructuring to help cut off its ₹42,000 crore debt and boost investor confidence in a company. Naveen Jindal, the Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd said that they will seek to sell about 30% of the Oman unit over two to three years and that will be partially achieved through an initial public offer.
– Facebook has developed a faster and more accurate way of translating languages like Urdu and Burmese using Artificial Intelligence. The team of Facebook AI Research was able to train a machine translation system by feeding it large pieces of texts from different languages from publicly available websites.
– The Board of LIC will meet on Tuesday to discuss the open offer, board-level appointments and future strategy to increase stake in the debt-ridden IDBI Bank to 51%, which will help the insurance company to enter into banking space.
– DLF Ltd is planning to invest over ₹ 1,400 crores to develop a commercial project in Gurugram after it received environmental clearance to expand its office space by nearly 1 million square feet.
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– Anil Agarwal, the Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc will turn it into a Private company after the holders of 26% of the shares have agreed to sell to Volcan Investments. Volcan has received acceptances for 92.31% of Vedanta’s shares.
– Vodafone Idea Limited raised ₹1,500 crore fund through non-convertible debentures by private placement. This is the first debt of the company after its incorporation.
– Chinese investor and WeChat owner Tencent has joined the global lineup to raise a portion of fund of about $500-700 million. The investment could value Swiggy at $2.5-3 billion.
– ITC plans to launch ready-to-drink, milk-based beverages, next month that will be able to compete with the likes of Amul, Britannia and Coca-Cola. It will first be launched in southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before it is rolled out nationally.
– Urban Ladder wants to raise $35-40 million to expand its offline presence by adding stores in Mumbai, Chennai and Pune by January. Previously it opened six large-format stores in Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR after securing single-brand-retail trade licence last year.
– PhonePe, which is owned by Flipkart has partnered with PayU to get enlisted as a payment mode for online transactions for all merchants using the payment gateway. With this PhonePe seeks to expand its online merchant base.
– LIC is still deciding if it should make an open offer to the minority investors of IDBI Bank or seek an exemption from SEBI. SEBI shall take the final call on the open offer.
– Google retained a slight lead on Facebook in the competition for digital ad dollars. While Facebook is likely to generate$980 million in digital ad revenue in India in 2018, Google could achieve $1 billion mark last year only.
– Amazon has launched Hindi version of its mobile website and app for Android smartphones today. This would give Amazon an edge over the other leading e-commerce portals like Flipkart, Snapdeal or Paytm Mall, as none of them has a version of local language on their websites.
– Tapzo, an app aggregator announced that it will shut down its mobile app on October 31. The announcement came soon after it was acquired by Amazon Pay.
– Zomato is delisting all the restaurants that are noncompliant with the FSSAI Regulations. It would further not list any cloud kitchen unless it goes through the company’s mandatory hygiene check.
– Prahlad Kakkar has partnered with Sajan Raj Kurup, founder of Creativeland Asia to launch ‘Dining Table’, a consultancy for family-owned and SME enterprises to provide end-to-end solutions including ad, design, packaging, business, legal, communication among others.
– Apple took 15 months to cover the last $200 billion to a trillion-dollar valuation of the company while Amazon got there in three months. Two other companies, Microsoft and Google are within $170 billion of the goal.
– Union Bank of India is hoping to recover ₹2,000 crores from the three stressed thermal power units including GMR Chhattisgarh Energy and Prayagraj Power Generation, a subsidiary of Jaiprakash Power as other operators have also shown interest in these projects.
– Goldman Sachs is not going to open cryptocurrencies trading in near future as the regulatory framework for the same is unclear.
– HPCL is looking to raise ₹28,000 crore in debt from a consortium of banks for the Rajasthan unit. They shall finalize 10 to 12 technology providers by the end of next week. It aims to complete the project by 2022.
– Apple has shelved its plans to launch Apple Pay in India because of RBI’s data localization rule even after holding discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India. The company also faced technical and design hurdles related to the flow of payments on UPI. It is now waiting to see how the regulatory landscape shapes up in India.
– Coca-Cola and the Zydus Cadila Group have emerged as the two strongest contenders who are expected to submit the binding bids for the consumer portfolio of Kraft Heinz in India. Both shall submit binding bids after Wipro, Tata, Dabur, Danone opted out.
– Lighthouse India Fund III has invested ₹113 crore in Nykaa for a minority stake through a secondary share sale. Nykaa had previously raised ₹160 crore through primary and secondary share sales to existing investors valuing ₹3,000 crore.
– Chaayos has raised ₹81 crore from marquee venture capital firm SAIF Partners. The investment came after almost a year since the firm raised $2 million from existing investor Tiger Global Management.
– Infosys has formed a joint venture with Temasek to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. 60% stake will be held by Infosys and Temasek shall have the rest 40 percent.
– It seems that the pricing in the Indian aviation sector could take a while to improve even after the launch of various discount schemes by the airlines. The performance may deteriorate further due to high crude oil prices, rupee depreciation and an inability of airlines to raise fares.
– IDBI Bank has approached NCLT against Reliance Naval and Engineering for defaulting on loans of more than ₹1,250 crore. The firm was declared NPA in Feb. Reliance Naval is a private shipbuilder with license and contracts to build warships.
– NCLAT may decide on Essar Steel bids today.
– Future Group to looking to tie up with tech firms to raise funds for the expansion. The Group is aiming to become one of the largest packaged consumer goods company in India.
– GreyOrange, a Warehousing automation, and robotics start-up, has raised $140 million in a Series C round of funding from Mithril Capital, Binny Bansal and other existing investors. Mithril had recently raised its second fund of $850 million.
– Senior officials of Uber will meet Suresh Prabhu, the trade and civil aviation minister today to make a formal presentation about Uber’s plan to start intra-city aerial taxi service in India to facilitate urban mobility and reduce road congestion.
– Air India may be managed by a board if the turnaround plan being charted out by the government for financial and organizational reform is approved.
– Rivigo, India’s most valuable logistics start-up, is in talks to raise a large round of funds, around $350-400 million, from new and existing investors as the firm is planning to expand its trucking fleet and also add new clients.
Policies & Practices:
– SEBI is trying to tighten the Disclosure Rules for FPIs coming from countries which are not members of the Financial Action Task Force to prevent money laundering.
– As per the amended rules of Government, it is not mandatory to mention father’s name while obtaining PAN. The rules are amended so that the children of single mother do not face any hassle during the allotment of PAN to each taxpayer by the Tax department.
– The Chairman and MD of NBCC, Anoop Kumar Mittal, has initiated the work on Gomti Nagar Railway station at Lucknow and is trying to add four more stations by the end of the fiscal year. It expects a revenue of ₹5,000 crore from the redevelopment of the stations.
– A group of FPIs said that due to Sebi’s curbs on funds managed by OCIs, PIOs and NRIs may put the investments worth $75 billion at risk. Sebi has denied the statement calling it “preposterous” and “highly irresponsible”.
– With the change in the FDI policies in India, Qatar Airways is going to wait for the FDI rules to be more favorable over foreign holding in domestic airline before launching its subsidiary in India.
– The industry body, Internet and Mobile Association of India has said that formation of an additional regulator as Data Protection Authority will make things more difficult for tech start-ups as suggested by the Government appointed a committee.
– SBI has announced that it will not levy any processing fee on loans for repair and renovation of homes to help the flood-affected people in Kerala. It will also offer a loan up to ₹10 lakh at a reduced interest rate of 8.45% per annum.
– The government has appointed a panel under former RBI governor Bimal Jalan to select the next chief economic adviser in the finance ministry. BP Sharma, Secretary of department of personnel and training and, Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs secretary will also be part of the panel.
– The government is proposing various incentives to boost EV sales in the 5 years which includes exemption from road permits.
– Samara Capital-Amazon consortium will acquire Aditya Birla Group’s food and grocery retail chain More at an enterprise value of ₹4,100- 4,200 crores, even though Goldman Sachs has exited the consortium. The deal is likely to be completed within the next 10 days. The acquisition will effectively wipe out the entire debt in ABRL’s book, which was about ₹4,000 crore as of March 2018.
– Even after the acquisition of Costa coffee by Coca-Cola, Ravi Jaipuria, the Indian operator of Costa coffee said that he is keen to run its business in India if there is no conflict of interest. Coca-Cola bought Costa Coffee for $5.1billion on Friday last week.
– Tata Housing is struggling to retain the employees. 100+ employees have left the company since the announcement of its merger with Tata Realty.
– Aurobindo Pharma has agreed to buy dermatology business and three manufacturing units of Sandoz, the generics unit of Novartis, for around $1 billion. The deal will make Aurobindo Pharma the second-largest maker of generic prescription drugs in the US.
– Kissht, Fintech startup, is in advanced talks with B Capital, Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm, to raise $50 million in the Series C funding round. Kissht is a consumer credit startup, which allows consumers to pay for their online orders in monthly installments, without a credit card.
– Byju, an Edutech startup, is in talks with General Atlantic and Temasek Holdings to raise $200-300 million. The transaction is expected to close within the next few weeks. If Byju manages to raise the funds at a $2 billion-plus valuation, it would more than double the company’s value and will cement its status as one of the breakout startups in India.
– After an investigation has found that there are systemic lapses in funds that were allegedly taken out by the Singh brothers, Fortis Healthcare has decided to appoint an external agency to undertake the security of the compliances and internal control.
– Shivinder Singh has filed a case with the NCLT against his brother Malvinder Singh and family friend Sunil Godhwani for undermining the interests of Fortis Healthcare and related firms.
– Fortis Healthcare update- The Delhi High Court has asked Malvinder Singh to deposit 3.5 million Singapore dollars, which he obtained by selling his shares in Religare Healthcare in violation of court’s direction.
– The board of ICICI Bank has asked Justice BN Srikrishna, who is conducting the investigation against Chanda Kochhar to cover all the property dealings by kocchar’s family after she took over as CEO of ICICI Bank. It has been asked to examine if the properties acquired were at concessional or lower than the prevailing market prices.
– Sajjan Jindal, the Chairman and Managing Director of JSW Steel Ltd is planning to scale up the capacity of its plant in Vijayanagar, Karnataka, to 18 million tonnes per annum. It has plans to invest ₹ 7,500 crores until March 2020.
– WPP Plc which is the world’s largest communication services group has announced the appointment of Mark Read as the CEO and Executive Director with immediate effect. He is appointed in place of Martin Sorrell who was the founder of the company and held his position for 33 years before resigning in April.
– Balaji Telefilms Ltd has appointed Aashish Singh who has been an executive producer for over 15 years with Yash Raj Films as a chief executive officer for Balaji Motion Pictures.
– The chief executive of Infosys, Salil Parekh, reached out to the investors to address the concern about a string of senior management exit, which included CFO M.D. Ranganath, assuring that the company will strengthen its leadership team.
– Carlyle Group has appointed Vikram Nirula as a managing director in its Asia private equity team. He is the founder of India Value Fund Advisors which is a private equity firm.
– Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Founders of Ola, have sought CCI approval for increasing stake in ANI Technologies, the parent company of Ola. The acquisition will be made through Singapore based Lazarus Holdings.