Read Weekly India Business News 20th to 24th August 2018:
– The readymade retailer of apparel, Lifestyle, is planning to invest around ₹ 200 crores to add about 20 new stores in the next one and a half year, as it aims at a 16%-18% growth.
– ONGC has used its internal resources to repay about ₹ 24,881 crore loan, that it had taken from HPCL and is not looking to sell its stake to Indian Oil and GAIL. ONGC had earlier taken approval from the Government to sell 13.77% stake in Indian Oil and 4.86% stake in GAIL to help HPCL in its ₹ 36,915 crore acquisition.
– Vedanta is looking to increase its investment by $2.3 billion towards its oil and gas activities to increase the base by about 375 million barrels. Currently, the production is 200,000 barrels per day and it aims to increase it to 300,000 barrels per day over the next 5 years.
– Dominos Pizza is planning to swap its tie-up with Coke for PepsiCo, resulting in at an end of 20 years of exclusive deal with Coke in the country.
– After an exclusive deal with Coke in the country, Emami has stepped back from the acquisition of GSK’s Horlicks and Kraft Heinz’s Complan and Glucon-D and decided to defer its entry into the food space.
– Within a week of removing all its content from Jio, over a price disagreement, Zee Entertainment Enterprises entered into a partnership with Bharti Airtel for 3 years.
– Bharti Airtel and Zee Entertainment are entering into a strategic content partnership with a plan to “drive the over-the-top video streaming ecosystem in India”. Partnership with Zee will give Airtel to expand and enrich its library.
– Traders have called for a Bharat Bandh on 28th August as a protest to the acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart alleging that it is designed to control and dominate the retail trade through e-commerce.
– NCLAT has granted an interim stay on the liquidation orders of Jyoti Structures. Earlier in July, the Mumbai bench of NCLAT had ordered the liquidation of the company after it had rejected the resolution plan submitted by a resolution professional.
– Flipkart is in talks with an artificial intelligence company Liv.ai and may shell out $40 million to acquire the company. It is seen as a bid to compete with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
– Pallonji Mistry, one of the largest shareholders of Tata Sons Ltd., holding 18.4% equity in Tata Sons, cannot sell their holdings without the approval of the board. Pallonji Mistry and his family have filed numerous lawsuits alleging suppression of minority interests and governance lapses by the company’s board.
– The online fashion retailer Myntra, hit the annual run rate of $2 billion in gross merchandise value making it the market leader in online fashion over the past six months. Myntra generated ₹1,000 crore monthly sale in the month of July, making it the first time the company touched the ₹1,000-crore number in a non-sale month.
– The CEO of Novartis, Vasant Narasimhan, said in an interview that it is supportive of Donald Trump’s campaign of lowering the drug prices and it shall not increase the prices for the rest of the year.
– Infosys has roped in the global consulting firm McKinsey, to participate in the sales review of the company, in order to win major deals and achieve faster cost take-outs. McKinsey had earlier worked with Infosys in its Bangalore Headquarters and had helped infy expand some of its work.
– Flipkart has launched a new website called 2GUD to sell only refurbished products. The website will sell only unused or returned products or used products that are restored to full functionality by the professionals. The website will sell mobile phones, tablets, smart watches, etc.
– GlaxoSmithKline Plc has sought bids from potential bidders like Pepsico, Reckitt Benckiser Group, and Nestle for $4 billion India sale. Glaxo has already sent out its information memorandum with the preliminary details.
– Facebook dismantled the disinformation provided by claiming that the campaigns were a part of two different accounts tied to two different countries, that is Iran and Russia. The first campaign was from Iran having ties with state-owned media while the second linked to sources which Washington has named as Russian military intelligence services.
– The finance ministry has asked the PSUs to check their NPA which exceeds ₹50 crore for fraud. Inability to do so will lead to criminal conspiracy charges.
– Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has said that Air India has “unsustainable debt” and legacy issues that are required to be dealt with. He added that it is not possible for any airline to service that debt.
– Haier Appliances is planning to invest ₹3,069 crore in establishing manufacturing units in Greater Noida, an industrial township. It would generate a direct ownership of 3,950 people, in the project. 123.7 acre of land in the DMIC Integrated Industrial Township Greater Noida has already been allotted for the purpose.
– Reliance Jio has completed the sale of its media convergence nodes and related infrastructure assets which was worth ₹ 2,000 crores. Earlier in August, RCom had reinstated bank guarantees worth ₹ 774 crores with the department of telecommunications.
– Mindshare has bagged the digital media mandate of fast moving consumer goods HUL. HUL has appointed Mindshare Fulcrum to be responsible for planning and buying of digital media, along with other responsibilities.
– A panel under retired justice B. N. Srikrishna had been set up by ICICI bank to probe the allegations against Chanda Kochhar, the Managing Director and the chief executive officer and they are expected to submit the report in the next three months.
– Digitas India, Publicis Groupe-owned digital agency has announced Himani Kapadia as the Chief executive of Digitas after SapientRazorfish stepped down.
– Volkswagen is working towards invested around $4 billion by 2025 to build a new software operating system known as “vw.OS” which will be introduced in the VW brand electric cars from 2020 onwards. They are trying to build digital businesses and products including a cloud computing-based platform which will connect the vehicles and help the customers in vehicle sharing.
– Goldman Sachs is shutting down two hedge funds which are run by partners Ryan Thall and Hideki Kinuhata based on Asia. The two funds combined, manage about $1.4 billion in assets.
– New Delhi Municipal Council has put a relaxation in the eligibility criteria for bidders of Taj Mansingh hotel. After two failed attempts to auction the hotel, this decision was taken at a council meeting presided over by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Now the minimum number of bids has been reduced from three to two. Other details shall be notified soon.
– Ajay Singh, the Chairman of Spicejet is in advance talks with JetBlue Technology Ventures, to invest in the silicon valley. SpiceJet is looking to tie up with the startups so that it can contribute to low-cost carrier’s operation.
Policies & Practices:
– Facebook and Coca-Cola have been battling the IRS through strategies related to transfer pricing. After Medtronic Plc suffered a legal setback for avoiding $1.4 billion US tax bill, Coca-Cola and Facebook might be next.
– The Sunil Mehta committee is working on guidelines to quicken the bad loan for the banks who participate in the inter-creditor agreement. Most of the banks that are involved in ICA are likely to accept the norms.
– In order to provide, relief to the FPI’s, SEBI extended the time for providing a list of beneficial owners by two months and assured that the issues raised shall be looked upon by an expert panel.
– The Government of India has directed WhatsApp to comply with the local laws and establish a local entity in India. It has also sought for an appointment of a grievance officer in India to control the spread of violent or fake messages on the platform.
– Ajay Tyagi, the Chairman of SEBI said that India will soon come up with policies on close-ended funds. Close-ended schemes are the ones where the money is locked in for a specific period.
– WhatsApp feels that it’s payment service is getting unfair Government treatment under India’s regulatory regime while Google and other payment services are getting an unfair advantage. Now WhatsApp is looking at other countries for a full-scale launch.
– In order to challenge the dominance of Flipkart and Amazon in India’s e-commerce market, Alibaba Group is planning to invest $5 billion to acquire a large stake Reliance Retail Ltd and to form a mega retail Indian Joint Venture.
– Amazon is planning to team up with Goldman Sachs and Samara Capital, to acquire Aditya Birla Group’s food and grocery supermarket chain “More” at a valuation of ₹4,500-5,000 crore. Samara and Aditya Birla Retail Ltd signed an “exclusivity” agreement at the end of June for bilateral negotiations.
– Flipkart has acquired the Artificial Intelligence startup, Liv.ai, which can translate speech to text in 10 different languages. Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the chief executive of Flipkart said that the company will continue to invest in new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
– UltraTech received an approval from CCI for the acquisition of Century Textiles and Industries. The acquisition is supposed to take place by a share swap deal, which will consolidate the position of UltraTech as a market leader.
– Vodafone Group Plc and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd are in advanced talks of combining their mobile phone operations, with TPG Telecom Ltd, to intensify the competition against its rivals. TPG has a market value of A$5.84 billion and it is termed as a “merger of equals”.
– Pratap snacks is planning to buy 80% stake in Avadh Snacks for ₹148 crore. The acquisition shall be made by both primary and secondary investments. Avadh snacks is significantly famous in Gujrat, while Pratap snacks is a BSE listed company which sells its products under Yellow Diamond brand.
– PNB update- The former MD and CEO of Allahabad Bank, was granted bail by a special CBI court, in connection with the Rs 14,000 crore fraud at PNB. Three months ago she was relieved from all her powers at Allahabad bank due to her failure to exercise proper control over PNB bank while being the Managing Director.
– PNB fraud update- Authorities have directed one of the ‘illegal’ bungalows of Mehul Choksi, located in Alibaug to be demolished. The direction came after Bombay High Court pulled up the State Government for not having taken action against it.
– The UK has confirmed the presence of Nirav Modi in the country. The CBI has now sent an extradition request papers to the home ministry. CBI has also requested the UK authorities to detain Nirav Modi since a red corner notice exists against him.
– The National Green Tribunal said that an independent judicial committee will decide in six weeks whether allow the reopening of Vedanta Ltd. It was previously shut down permanently by the Tamil Nadu Government on the grounds of causing environmental hazards.
– The domestic unit of Coca-Cola has appointed Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan as vice-president, strategy, and insights, for the company’s India operations, and Sundeep Bajoria as vice president for its south-west Asia operations. They are expected to optimize marketing efficiencies and build the foundation for e-commerce competency for the company.
– Sriraman Jagannathan, one of the few vice presidents of Amazon India has resigned from his position for personal/family reasons. The financial services portfolio which was earlier under the purview of Jagannathan will be managed by the Amazon Pay head Mahendra Nerurkar.
– Uber has named Nelson Chai as its new chief financial officer before it goes for an IPO next year. Nelson Chai came on board from Warranty Group, a Chicago-based insurance firm.
– Apple has already hired 3,500 people for their development center in Hyderabad. They are expected to hire about 5,000 people in total, although the headcount to achieve 5,000 is not fixed.
– Zomato has expanded its delivery services to tier II and tier III cities including Cuttack, Madurai, and Vijayawada. CEO Mohit Gupta said that such expansion is encouraging for the company.
– Chanda Kochhar who is currently on indefinite leave due to a pending probe against her in an alleged quid pro quo in loan sanctioning case is set to retire from the Board of ICICI Securities. She has offered herself to be reappointed on the Board.