Latest Weekly India Business News
– Promoters of Usha Martin have decided to vote in favor of Tata Sponge Iron for sale of company’s steel business. Tata group had agreed to acquire Usha Martin’s steel unit for Rs.4,500 crore.
– Facing severe cash-crunch, Jet Airways has appointed Goldman Sachs to help in fundraising and Boston Consulting for help in improving operational efficiency.
– NSDL Payments Bank has started its operations. It is the seventh payments bank since RBI approved 11 applicants in principle in August 2015.
– Amazon India has started the process of bringing India payments data within India as directed by the RBI. The deadline for compliance was 15th October.
– The government has rejected the request of Trafigura, the global commodity trader, to operate petrol pumps in India. Trafigura, along with UCP and Rosneft, had purchased Essar’s refinery and petrol pumps.
– ACME Solar has appointed Barclays and JPMorgan to start work on its proposed infrastructure investment trust. L&T Infra, India Grid Trust and IRB Infra are the only three companies so far to have tapped InvIT route for fundraising.
– Kedaara is in advanced talks to buy a stake between 25-30% stake for around Rs.300 crores in Micro Plastics. Micro Plastics is a contract toys manufacturer working for companies like Walt Disney and Hasbro.
– Following the RBI guidelines, MasterCard and Visa have started to store data of domestic transactions from October in India. They have asked for relaxation of rules for storage of data pertaining to older transactions.
– Motilal Oswal Real Estate has sold its investment in Shriram Properties for Rs.125 crore. The fund had invested Rs.67 crore in December 2014 via equity stake.
– The government will divest 3% stake in Coal India by selling its shares. It has a target to raise around Rs.1 trillion from the sale of state assets in the current fiscal year ending March 2019.
– SC has upheld Trai tariff order and dismissed the plea of Star India. As per the new Trai tariff order, broadcasters were required to declare MRP and nature of all the channels within 60 days.
– Delhi High Court has ordered Bytedance, the Chinese content giant, to desist from using “ShareChat” as an ad-word on Google.
– Amazon has tied up with ICICI Bank for a credit card for its Amazon Prime customers reward points.
– Sebi has refused to put stay on the forensic audit of Venmax Drugs, which figures in the list of suspected shell companies.
– ED has moved a special court in Delhi to declare promoters of Sterling Biotech as fugitive economic offenders so that it can confiscate and sell off their attached assets of around Rs.4700 Crores in India and abroad.
– Rahul and Atul Kirloskar have approached NCLT to oust their brother Sanjay Kirloskar as CMD of Kirloskar Brothers alleging mismanagement and oppression.
– Naresh Goyal is reportedly in talks with Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani for a potential stake sale. Goyal owns a controlling stake of 51% in Jet Airways.
– OYO will invest around $1 billion over the next three years to add to its brand. It has earmarked $300-400 million for India and $600 million for China.
– For the fy 17-18, Flipkart India’s loss grew by 742% (Rs.2,065 crore) while its revenue rose 39% to Rs.21,658 crore from Rs.15,569 crore in 2016-17.
– Swiggy with three-fold rise posted a revenue of ₹468 crore in revenue in 2017-18, compared to Rs.146 crore in 2016-17. However, its losses also nearly doubled to Rs.397 crore in 17-18 from Rs.205 crore in 16-17.
– One97 Communications, Paytm parent company, posted Rs.1,490 crore loss in 2017-18 with a fourfold jump in revenue to Rs.3,314 crore from 2016-17.
– Tata Teleservices and IDFC have offered to sell their half and full stake respectively in ATC’s India mobile tower arm for Rs 2,940 crore. ATC TIPL is India’s second-largest private telecom tower firm having around 78,000 mobile towers.
– Airtel has decided to dump customers buying recharge plans of less than Rs.35 per month and focus on improving services for better-paying users.
– WhatsApp has partnered with Invest India for a programme to focus on start-ups, promoting economic growth and generating employment opportunities. It would invest $250,000 as seed funding in the top five winners of the ‘WhatsApp StartUp Challenge’ and an additional $250,000 will be given to few for promoting their WhatsApp business number on Facebook.
– NBFCs and home financiers are approaching private equity funds and overseas debt markets to raise long-term capital due to liquidity crunch and rising cost of capital.
– Coca-Cola has created a new international group called Global Ventures to focus on getting maximum value from acquisitions and investments. The company has been on an acquisition spree.
– Alibaba.com India Ecommerce reported an 88% drop in profit in 2017-18 but posted its highest revenue (Rs.27.39 Crore) in four years.
– In response to an RTI, RoC has said that Tata Sons and TCS violated rules in sacking Cyrus Mistry abruptly.
– WhatsApp shall appoint its India head by the year-end, who will then build a team to cater to Indian customers, partners and government leaders.
– Tata Sons has infused Rs.250 Crore in Croma to speed up expansion. Croma is planning to open 25 new stores within this fiscal year.
– Jet Airways, facing severe cash-crunch, has given its pilots option to quit without giving the mandatory six months notice period.
Policies & Practices:
– Sidbi is introducing an internal rating model to score venture capital funds on various criteria before making investments in them. The government had set up Rs.10,000 crore fund of funds within Sidbi in 2016, to be deployed over the 14th and 15th Finance Commission cycles as part of Startup India Action Plan.
– IT department may soon offer online filing of tax exemption applications to make the process faster and reduce interface between the applicant and the department.
– Lighthouse Fund has acquired a minority stake in Duroflex for Rs.160 Crores. Duroflex sells through 3000 retail outlets in southern India.
– DoT and Trai are planning to bring Data and Cybersecurity under their charge, currently being taken care of by the IT ministry. DoT says that 93% data is accessed on mobile phones, hence its necessary to bring these under them.
– UIDAI has said that Banks can use Aadhaar for eKYC for beneficiaries of government subsidies and welfare schemes, but for other customers physical Aadhaar can be used for verification.
– As per World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform’ report, India is now at 77, jumping 23 spots.
M&As and tie-ups:
– After emerging as the top bidder for Essar Steel, ArcelorMittal is now working on to buy EPC Constructions and is said to have completed due diligence. ArcelorMittal will gain from the in-house engineering and project management division and the fabrication facility of EPC.
– National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India has acquired IDFC Infrastructure Finance, an infrastructure debt fund.
Realme has tied-up with Reliance Digital for selling smartphones offline through Reliance Digital and MyJio stores.
– Ikea Hyderabad is planning tie-ups with developers to display ‘show homes’ (sample apartments) for attracting buyers by giving them an idea of how their homes would look with Ikea products.
– TCS has acquired W12 Studios, a London-based design firm for an undisclosed amount. It will be part of TCS Interactive and further strengthen its creative and experience services.
Start-up world, funds and fundings
– BigBasket is in talks to raise $300-400 million funds at a valuation of $1.5-2 billion. This funding round may make BigBasket India’s eighth unicorn this year.
– Sistema Asia Fund, VC fund floated by Sistema PJSFC, a Russian conglomerate, is in the process of expanding its first fund to $120 million by adding up to $80 million to invest in Indian start-ups.
Sentieo, San Francisco and Delhi based financial research platform, has raised $19 million in its series-A round of funding.
– Sachin Bansal is planning to invest around $100 million each in several startups and is reportedly in talks with Ather Energy, the electric vehicle maker, to invest an additional $50-100 million.
– SoftBank is in final discussions to lead a fresh funding round for Grofers of around $120-150 million. Grofers has so far raised $225 million from five funding rounds.
– Trifecta Capital is planning to raise one-fourth of its second venture debt fund of ₹750 crore from overseas investors and expect to have a first close of Rs.250 crore by the end of 2019.
– Sixth Sense Ventures, an early stage consumer-focused VC firm, has closed its second fund at Rs.500 Crore in just 10 months. The fund has deployed around one-third of fund’s capital so far in 2018.
– ITI group has launched an early stage venture capital fund targeting a corpus of around Rs.150 crore.
Veritas Finance has got funding of Rs.200 crore from Norwest and others. It plans to use the funding to enhance lending to MSMEs for working capital, business expansion and asset creation.
– Tiger Global is in advanced talks with two Indian software startups to invest $5-6 million in each of them. During the last three years, it focussed only on its portfolio companies.
Updates on ongoing cases:
– Electrosteel Steels update – Supreme Court has sought a response from Vedanta on an appeal filed by Renaissance Steel challenging its eligibility to bid. NCLAT had ruled on August 10 that Vedanta was eligible to bid for Electrosteel.
Bhushan Power – Tata Steel has charged lenders of Bhushan Power for violation of NCLAT order as they allowed JSW Steel to change basic parameters of the bid three times after 13th August.
Uttam Galva – SBI has withdrawn bankruptcy petition against Uttam Galva Steels as ArcelorMittal paid Rs.7,469 crore to clear outstanding debts of Uttam Galva and KSS Petron to be eligible to bid for Essar Steel.
Sahara update – Sebi has asked Sahara group to return over Rs.14,000 crore, along with 15% interest, raised from millions of investors through OFCD without complying to regulatory norms.
RBI has cleared re-appointment of Aditya Puri as HDFC Bank CEO for 2 years.
Bajaj Electricals has appointed Anuj Poddar as Executive Director to handle day-to-day operations of the company.