Latest Weekly India Business News 3rd to 8th December 2018
– Supreme Court has directed for a forensic audit of 74 housing projects of Unitech. The audit would be carried out by Grant Thornton.
– HCL Technologies will spend $1.78 billion to buy 8 software products from IBM. This is single-largest acquisition by an Indian IT services company.
– Facebook has started verification of all the political ads run by Indian advertisers. People wanting to run political ads on Facebook will now have to confirm their identity, location as also reveal who paid for the ad.
– Housing.com is planning to invest around Rs.35 crores by March 2019 on branding and promotion with an aim to increase customer base.
– Jet Airways has reportedly sought a soft financing of $350 million from Etihad Airways. The discussions are still on.
– Patanjali group is in discussions with the Andhra Pradesh Government for setting up a Rs.634 Crore mega food park in Vizianagaram dist.
– NCLT has directed resolution professional of Era Infrastructure to admit ICICI Bank as a financial creditor under the insolvency proceedings, which has claims of around Rs700 crore.
– IndiGo has become the first domestic airline to have 200 aircraft in its fleet.
– Hoteliers have warned of a nationwide protest against MakeMyTrip and Goibibo for using unethical practices. The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India has put the firms on notice.
– Nestle has taken off its Maggi advertising account from Publicis India and has hired McCann World Group for the same.
– Etihad Airways is holding talks with Jet Airways and SBI to work out a rescue plan. Etihad is the second largest shareholder in the airlines.
– Cleartrip has laid off around 100 employees in India in functions like bus dev and contracting.
– Central Board of Direct Taxes shall soon make the process of filing tax returns a lot easier by introducing pre-filled fields based on information already available with it.
– Saavn Media, now a subsidiary of Reliance has launched JioSaavn app, which will be offered on a freemium model.
– To ease the slot constraint in Delhi’s IGI airport, Hindon Air Force Station will serve as the second airport from February next year, majorly for the UDAN flights.
– Jet Airways has reportedly told its Pilots that it will have a new investor on board in the next 2-3 months. Pilots had threatened to report “sick’ on duty due to non-payment of salaries.
– There are reports of a data breach at Quora and around 100 million users are said to be affected. All the users who may have been affected are being logged out to prevent further damage.
– OnePlus has announced to set up its first Indian R&D facility at Hyderabad.
– Instagram’s new shopping feature is expected to be launched in India by mid-2019. It will have a buy button redirecting users to merchant’s web page based on a CPS model.
– To cut costs and boost revenues, Jet Airways will stop giving free meals to most of its domestic economy class passengers from January 2019.
– As per the Bloomberg data, Reliance Industries raised around Rs.36,000 crore in 2018-19 by selling bonds and equity.
– A whistleblower has sent a 150-page letter to Sebi alleging that Dilip Shanghvi, founder & MD of Sun Pharmaceutical and his brother-in-law Sudhir Valia engaged in financial irregularities with Dharmesh Doshi, a key figure of 2001 Ketan Parekh scam.
– Bank employee unions have rejected the offer of an 8% wage hike proposed by the Indian Banks’ Association. They have also threatened an all-India strike on 26th December.
– WhatsApp has asked for RBI’s permission to offer its payment services to all its 200 million Indian users. It has tested the service with around 1 million users.
– Jet Airways had to cancel around 14 flights on Sunday after some of its pilots reported “sick” due to non-payment of their salaries. Due to a cash crunch, Jet Airways has been defaulting on salary disbursement to its senior management, pilots and engineers since August 2018.
– I-T dept is probing Axis Bank staff for allegedly facilitating benami deals of over Rs 520 million for some Zaveri Bazaar jewelers.
– HDFC has pulled out its recently upgraded app from Google Play store after various complaints of malfunction.
– SBI has put up for sale three of its NPA loan accounts to recover dues of Rs 2,110.71 crore. An e-auction will be held on December 13 for sale of accounts of Sona Alloys, Jayaswal Neco Industries and MCL Global Steel.
– Swiss Government has agreed to share details with the Indian Government about 2 Indian companies viz Aadhi Enterprises Pvt Ltd and Geodesic Ltd. as also for 3 individuals – Pankajkumar Onkar Srivastava, Kiran Kulkarni and Sharad Mulekar associated with Geodesic. All of these are facing multiple probes in India.
Policies & Practices:
– CBDT has said that there seems to be no scope of a cut in the corporate income tax rate for large companies in the near future.
– The World Trade Organization has agreed to hear complaints from India and Switzerland over US steel and aluminium tariffs. WTO shall establish panels to review US President Donald Trump’s decision to hit a long line of countries with tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium.
– The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has said that e-commerce firms are not liable to collect TCS on supplies made by companies having a turnover of less than Rs.20 lakh and not registered for GST.
– As per Sebi directive, from December 5, the sale of shares of listed companies will be possible only in the demat form.
M&As and tie-ups:
– In line with its global media strategy, Amdocs is exploring tie-ups with Indian content providers. Amdocs specializes in providing software and solutions to communications and media industry and works with companies like Disney and Fox.
– Lighthouse Funds has invested Rs.250 crore from its third fund for acquiring a minority stake in Aqualite Industries, the footwear-maker. Aqualite has manufacturing units in Rajasthan and Haryana with a pan-India distribution network of 35,000 retailers.
– Sebi has given its approval for a controlling stake in Fortis Healthcare by IHH Healthcare.
– Mahindra Logistics is actively looking for acquisitions in logistics technology space.
– Ascendas-Singbridge Group of Singapore has acquired two assets in Chennai through its logistics and warehousing JV with Firstspace Realty for an estimated value of around $120-130 million.
– ChrysCapital has acquired a controlling stake in GeBBS, a US-based healthcare service provider, for around Rs.1000 Crores. GeBBS has a global workforce of around 6000.
Start-up world, funds and fundings
– Japan’s Sansan, professional card managing app, has raised approx. $26.43 million to aid India growth. It reportedly has around 100,000 registered users in India and around 2 million across Japan and Singapore.
– Quikr has raised Rs.55 Crore from Inno Ven Capital through venture debt. Funds will be used to scale business at various verticals.
– Facilio, offering facilities management to real estate owners, has raised $6.4 million in a Series A round of funding led by Tiger Global Management and Accel. Tiger Global had stopped investing in India for the last two years after selling their stakes in Ola and Flipkart.
– Amazon India has received another infusion of Rs.2,200 Crore, taking the total funding received so far to Rs.27,290 Crore.
– Fusion Microfinance has raised Rs.520 crore in a funding round led by Warburg Pincus. This is the first investment of US private equity firm in India’s microfinance sector.
– MoEngage, a Marketing cloud platform, has raised $9 million in a Series B round of funding led by Matrix Partners and Ventureast. It offers a ML-based enterprise solution for better ROI for marketing.
– SoftBank has reportedly offered to invest an additional $1 billion in Ola. However, Ola may prefer a smaller amount to avoid giving out more stake.
– Reportedly, Go-Ventures is finalizing a $30 million financing round in Mobile Premier League, a domestic mobile gaming company. Go-Ventures is the investment arm of Go-Jek, one of the most valuable startups of Indonesia.
– UrbanClap has raised $50 million in a Series D round of funding led by Steadview Capital and its existing investor Vy Capital. The firm has so far raised around $60.7 million.
– As per a report by the Confederation of Indian Industries and Boston Consulting Group, traditional and non-traditional media are likely to grow and coexist over the next few years. India has 4.6 hours of media consumption per capita, per day which includes print, radio, TV and digital.
– According to a market report by IDC, Xiaomi has 41% market share in Indian smart wearables device market and Mi band 3 is the most shipped wearable product.
– As per a study by Aarka Consulting, a cybersecurity platform, Indian apps take up to 45% more permissions than their global counterparts.
– As per a new study undertaken by Robert Dur of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Max van Lent of Leiden University across 47 countries, around 12% of Indians consider their work socially useless. The average is 8% for the world’s workers while 17% seemed to be doubtful about it.
– As per the data released by RBI, mobile wallet transactions hit an all-time high in October with around 368.45 million transactions worth Rs.18,786 crores.
Updates on ongoing cases:
– Vijay Mallya case – Vijay Mallya tweeted to offer to pay back “100% of the principal amount” he owes banks. He wrote ‘The most important point is public money and I am offering to pay 100% back. I humbly request the Banks and Government to take it. If payback refused, WHY?’
– IL&FS update – While 5 IL&FS employees are still in captivity of unpaid staff in Ethiopia, police there has taken into custody three Indian officials of the company over non-payment of taxes and workers’ salaries.
– IL&FS has appointed N. Sivaraman, ex-president, and director of L&T Finance, as its new COO. He will be responsible for day-to-day operations and oversee the group’s asset monetization efforts.
– SoftBank has hired Kirthiga Reddy of Facebook to manage their $100 billion vision fund. The first female partner to join SoftBank, Krithiga will focus on frontier and enterprise technology globally.
– Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Associate Professor & ED at ISB Hyderabad has been appointed as the new chief economic adviser for 3 years. Subramanian specializes in economic policy, banking and corporate governance.
– Flipkart is shuffling its key executives. Reportedly Amar Nagaram, head of consumer shopping experience at Flipkart has been appointed as CTPO at Myntra. Jeyandran Venugopal, CTO of Myntra has been moved to Flipkart to head its engineering division.
– Lone Star Funds has appointed Ambrish Singh as the head of its India operations. Ambrish was formerly Director with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Lone Star manages more than $45 billion in assets.
– Milan Paleja, Novartis India VC & MD, has decided to step down from company w.e.f. 31st May 2019. The board has started looking for a successor.
– Piyush Pandey, the Executive Chairman and creative director of Ogilvy South Asia, has been appointed Global Chief Creative Director of the firm. He joined the firm in 1982 as accounts executive and moved on to a creative role in 1988.
– Sameer Maheshwary, Zomato CFO has resigned within just six months of joining the firm. Recently Zomato has seen many CXO level exits.
– Dharmesh Mehta, Axis Capital CEO, has resigned. The Bank’s board has elevated Salil Pitale and Chirag Negandhi as JMD and Co-CEO.
– KKR and Co has appointed two new directors, Sumanth Cidambi and Vijay Padmanabhan, for its India credit business. Cidambi has extensive experience in restructuring operations and business turnarounds and Padmanabhan has a vast experience in credit underwriting and distress investing in India and UK.
– Yes Bank has appointed T.S. Vijayan, former IRDAI chief, as an independent director on its Board for five years. Vijayan is already a key member of the committee set up to find Rana Kapoor’s successor.
– Zomato has appointed Durga Raghunath, Digital Media Services CEO of Indian Express, as senior VP – Growth. Druga was founder-CEO of Firstpost and co-founder and CEO of Juggernaut Books. She also worked with Network 18.
– Bank of Maharashtra has appointed A.S. Rajeev as CEO. Rajeev was ED of Indian Bank.
News credit: Livemint, Economic Times, Business Standard