Weekly Capsule of India Business News Headlines (14th – 18th) May

Weekly India Business News from 14th May to 18th May 2018.

 

weekly india business news

 

Corporates:

 

  • Voltas has filed a legal suit against Haier accusing them of ambush marketing by running an ad that allegedly spoofs a campaign of Tata Group
  • RBI has asked Allahabad Bank to freeze lending after its CRAR (capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio) fell below mandatory 9% at the end of March. It has also imposed restrictions on Allahabad Bank’s lending to risky assets and raising high-cost deposits.
  • Blackstone Group has sold an 8 % stake in Mphasis Ltd, its portfolio company, for about Rs1,440 crore in a bulk deal.
  • IndiGo is planning to expand its operations to 24 international locations, including the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China.
  • Jet Airways will start its Udan flights from June with the first flight on Lucknow-Allahabad sector.
  • NCLT has admitted an insolvency plea filed by Sweden’s Ericsson against Reliance Communications. Ericsson had signed a 7-year deal to operate and manage RCom’s Indiawide telecom network in 2014 and is seeking Rs.1,155 crore. This may delay RCom’s plans to sell its assets to pay off its debt.
  • Northern Arc Investments has launched its 6th debt fund, IFMR impact Income Builder Fund, targeting a corpus of Rs150 crore. The fund has achieved a first close of Rs110 crore. The fund aims to invest in sectors like affordable housing, microfinance, commercial vehicle finance, small business loan finance, agri-business and corporate finance.
  • Duff and Phelps Corp., US-based, one of the largest valuation service providers in the world, is setting up its restructuring practice in India, leveraging the business opportunities the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has opened up for restructuring advisors.
  • Iceland’s long-haul budget airline ‘Wow Air’ has announced its entry into the Indian market offering ultra-low fares for flights from Delhi to North America and Europe. It is offering a one-way economy class fare from Delhi to Iceland, US, Canada and London starting from Rs13,499 inclusive of taxes.
  • ICICI Bank has acquired around 18% stake in Gammon Infrastructure Projects through invocation of pledged shares
  • As per Frank Kwok, co-head of Asia Pacific at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Asia’s biggest infrastructure investors are seeing plenty of opportunity in India instead of China’s mammoth Belt-and-Road initiatives. As per Asian Development Bank, Asia’s developing economies may spend around $22.6 trillion on projects like roads, bridges, ports and railways over the next 15 years to maintain economic growth and reduce poverty.
  • West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has written a letter to Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, requesting him to consider the contribution of business houses to the Chief Minister Relief Fund, as money spent on Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
  • Infosys has set up a blockchain based finance network partnership with 7 private sector banks, which shall allow the transactions at all stages to be securely shared between network members, enhancing the efficiency in the banking sector and strengthening its product offerings.
  • To ensure refund of money to hassled home buyers, the Supreme court has ordered Jaiprakash Associates to deposit an additional Rs 1,000 crore by 15th June. On submission of this amount the liquidation proceedings against JIL, shall remain stayed.
  • Microsoft plans to launch a low cost tablet, priced at around $400, with a 10 inch screen, in the second half of the year, which shall compete with i-pads. The tablet may have multiple models e.g. 64 GB, 128 GB storage.
  • Godrej Agrovet has made a bid through NCLT to acquire Ruchi Soya’s palm oil business, which has a debt of Rs 10,000 crore and is going through the process of Corporate insolvency.
  • The Union Ministry has ordered to suspend security operations in J&K, during the month of Ramzan, to help Muslims observe the festival in peace.
  • With Government, all set to spend trillions of dollars on the expanding infrastructure on domestic consumption, JSW Steel and Tata Steel are planning to raise their output to meet the anticipated surge.
  • Trump is now planning to put an end to the rule of allowing the spouses of H1B visa holders to work legally in the US. It would bring a devastating impact to the 70,000 H-4 visa holders, with their work permit.
  • The Supreme Court has ordered for the finalisation of the Cauvery Management Scheme which will deal with the smooth distribution of water share of four riparian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry under different circumstances like normal and deficient water years.
  • Bharti Airtel has urged the Delhi high court to dismiss the suit of Reliance Jio against its IPL advertisements, so that Bharti Airtel can resume “live and free access” to IPL 2018.
  • Tata Powers is working towards reviving its 4000MW, Mundra Power Plant and has dropped the plan of selling it for a token Re1. It is negotiating with five states to allow the surplus power generated to be sold in the open market.
  • 11 state banks, namely, Dena Bank, Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Bank of Maharashtra are put under the RBI’s prompt corrective action framework after failing to meet the requirements for capital adequacy and non-performing loans.

Policies & Practices:

 

  • The government is working on a new direct tax code, draft expected to be ready by July, which will take forward its agenda of lowering the corporate tax rate to 25% for all businesses and give further relief to individual income taxpayers.

M&As:

 

  • Avendus Capital is in talks with potential investors to raise a $300-million consumer sector-focused fund, which will be housed under the Zodius platform. Zodius Capital has invested in Pepperfry and BigBasket.
  • Hinduja National Power has acquired solar power firm Kiran Energy for Rs.1000 Crore by buying out the private equity funds who own a majority.
  • SoftBank is in early-stage talks with Paytm to invest around $3 billion. Although SoftBank has an agreement with Flipkart that forbids them to invest more than $500 million in Paytm till 2020, it could be freed from the clause in view of the latest Flipkart-Walmart deal.
  • FIH Mobile, the investment subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group, has written off an additional $40 million of its $200 million investment in Snapdeal.
  • Airtel has declared that after its merger with Telenor India, a section of staff will lay off. Airtel said “not all people from Telenor India will find meaningful roles within Airtel”.
  • Numetal made a bid of Rs 37,000 crore in the second round of auction after Essar Steel defaulted the payment of Rs 49,000 crore to the lenders
  • Tata Steel is seeking a loan of Rs 11,500 crore to fund its purchase of assets from Bhushan Steel.
  • After the merger of GiveIndia and Letzchange, GiveIndia plans to invest about Rs 15 crore on the combined platform which will focus on the subscription-based giving and scaling crowd-funding offerings.
  • Flipkart employees will be able to cash their stock options at $125-129 per share once Walmart completes the acquisition. Employees can liquidate their stock options in three instalments—half on the date of closing the Walmart deal; 25% a year later, and the rest after two years.

Start-ups:

 

  • The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a top state-run Bank, has launched China’s first India dedicated publicly offered investment fund. The move is being considered as significant to boost investments in India.
  • Centre for innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship of IIM Ahmedabad has launched a $25 million ‘Bharat Inclusion Initiative’ to mentor and invest in start-ups in the early stage and seed segment over the next three-four years. The fund will invest in areas like livelihood, education, financial inclusion, health and agriculture.
  • Discom in MP sets up a virtual office app called “smart bijlee” which will allow the users to make payments, submit complaints and apply for a new connection, online.

Ongoing cases:

 

  • Income Tax department will seek share purchase agreement from Flipkart on their deal with Walmart to ascertain tax liability as also whether GAAR provisions can be invoked.
  • Flipkart-Walmart deal – As part of the Flipkart-Walmart deal, current Flipkart employees will be allowed to fully encash their ESOPs over the next two years. However, the former employees will be able to cash out their 30% shares only and shall have to hold on to the rest for an undefined period. Only 300 ex-employees of Flipkart have received formal communication to this effect till now.
  • Fortis case – Manipal Hospitals have submitted a revised bid @ Rs180 per share against their earlier proposal of Rs160 per share. The new offer values Fortis at Rs9,403 crore and Manipal Health at Rs6,070 crore.
  • Vodafone-Idea merger – The merged entity of Vodafone and Idea is likely to face a conflict of interest when it plans to buy tenancies as both the companies have telecom tower operator American Tower Corp. as a preferred vendor and at the same time also have stakes in its rival Indus Towers-Bharti Infratel combine.
  • PNB fraud – The government has initiated the process of removing top bankers, including Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD of Allahabad Bank and two executive directors of PNB, Sanjiv Sharan and K.V. Brahmaji Rao, charged by CBI in the case. Anathasubramanian was MD & CEO of PNB from August 2015 to May 2017.
  • PNB fraud: The board of Allahabad Bank has divested Usha Ananthasubramanian, its MD and CEO, of all powers following a finance ministry’s directive after CBI named her in the charge sheet in PNB fraud case.
  • PNB fraud: The board of Allahabad Bank has divested Usha Ananthasubramanian, its MD and CEO, of all powers following a finance ministry’s directive after CBI named her in the charge sheet in PNB fraud case.
  • PNB fraud case – CBI has filed its supplementary charge sheet against Nirav Modi and MehulChoksi, in connection with over $2 billion scams in the PNB. The MD
  • of PNB, Mr. Anathasubramanian and two serving Executive Directors, Sanjiv Sharan and Mr. K. V. Brahmaji Rao were also named in the charge sheet. They have been charged under Section 409 and Section 420 of Indian Penal code.
  • PNB scam- SEBI has warned PNB against delay in making disclosure to the stock exchange pertaining to filing of reports/copies of complaints under consideration with RBI and CBI. It has further asked PNB to comply with all the provisions of SEBI (LODR) Regulations
  • Daiichi case – Delhi high court has ordered the sale of unencumbered listed shares owned by Malvinder Singh and others for recovery of Rs3,500 crore arbitration award in favor of Daiichi.
  • Bhushan Steel case – NCLT has approved resolution plan of Tata Steel, which has offered an upfront payment of Rs35,200 crore to lenders, along with a 12.27% stake.
  • Essar Steel case – ArcelorMittal has parked Rs 70 billion, transferred to an escrow account of SBI, to become an eligible bidder for Essar Steel. The payment relates to dues on account of Uttam Galva Steels and KSS Petron, both classified as NPAs for more than a year.
  • Binani Cement case – Binani Cement has told NCLAT that it shall pay off its dues, amounting to over Rs 6500 crore, to the creditors in the next two weeks.
  • Vijay Mallya case- SEBI is of a view that logical conclusion cannot be drawn against a company against liquidation and has closed adjudicating process against three group firms of Vijay Mallya.
  • Piyush Goyal, who has temporarily been given the charge of the finance ministry, has vowed to clean up the entire banking sector and quickly get it back on its feet.
  • Vedanta Plant- After the Tamil Nadu Board rejected the license of Vedanta Plant for non-compliance with the local environmental laws, the plant is to remain closed at least till June 2018.
  • Vedanta case- NCLAT has accepted the appeal made by Renaissance Steel against the order made by NCLT on 17th April, approving Vedanta Ltd’s Rs 5320 crore resolution plan for debt-ridden Electrosteel. Renaissance Steel contended that Vedanta was ineligible to bid under Section 29A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code as one of Vedanta’s affiliates in Zambia was guilty of criminal misconduct, that is punishable with two or more years in jail.

People:

 

  • Lightspeed India Partners has appointed Hemant Mohapatra, former Andreessen Horowitz executive, as a partner to make investments in consumer internet and enterprise software start-ups. Lightspeed’s current portfolio of startups includes OYO Rooms, Byju’s, ShareChat, Udaan and LimeRoad.
  • Zee Entertainment has appointed Shariq Patel as CEO for Essel Vision, known for television programmes like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Marathi films. Patel will be reporting to Punit Goenka, MD & CEO ZEEL. Patel has previously served as senior VP at Studio18 and at Indian Cricket League (ICL), as also worked with Radio One Bharti Airtel.
  • Britannia Industries has re-appointed its Managing Director, Mr. Varun Berry for a period of five years, subject to shareholders approval
  • Sameer Maheshwary, who is currently the CFO at GE South Asia will join Zomato as CFO.

Here we cover the essential Weekly India Business News from 14th May to 18th May 2018, hope it is helpful for you. Don’t forget to give your feedback.

 

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