Weekly India Business News from 30th July to 3rd August 2018

Read Weekly India Business News from 30th July to 3rd August 2018:

Weekly India Business News from 30th July to 3rd August

Corporates:

– VT Bharadwaj and Gautam Mago, former Directors of Sequoia Capital, are set to launch a Rs.2000 Crore fund and plan to invest across consumer, health, financial services, and technology sectors.

– The Central Board of Direct Taxes has directed Income Tax dept to ensure filing of all petitions before NCLT by 31st August to recover dues from the de-registered shell or dummy companies.

– Shuttle, the urban mobility startup, has raised Rs.75 Crore in series B round of funding from Amazon and Dentsu Ventures. The firm has so far raised $33 million from various investors.

– A TPG fund has invested Rs.375 Crores in Fourth Partner Energy, a rooftop solar panel installation firm.

– Swiggy is set to start delivering in categories other than food. It plans to extend its services across the entire hyperlocal delivery market.

– Competition Commission of India has ordered an investigation into the conduct of Star TV and Sony Pictures after a distributor alleged that they demanded exorbitant prices to relay their channels.

– Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd. is planning to sell around 30% of its flagship coal-bed methane block in Raniganj, West Bengal. The sale could fetch them around $600 million for a stake sale of 30%.

– Tata Power has expressed its interest in buying Equis’s two hydropower projects in Sikkim valued at around $400 million. Equis owns and operates 220 MW of hydro assets in Sikkim through a platform called Hydreq.

– Byju, the education technology platform, is in talks with Softbank and other investors to raise $200-250 million to fund its global expansion plans.

– Reliance retail has just ventured into online sales of televisions, refrigerators, smartphones, and air-conditioners and is gearing up to acquire a sizeable market share during the upcoming festive season. This will intensify the competition for Flipkart and Amazon.

– Harley-Davidson is planning to launch small and mid-sized segment of motorcycles as its strategy to target young buyers and expand its customer base and growth in India and China.

– CureFit Healthcare, an Indian healthcare startup, has raised $120 million in funds from Accel Partners, IDG Ventures, and Kalaari Capital. It plans to deploy the funds to expand its fitness chain, food brands, and clinics. Starting out in April 2016, CureFit has till now raised $175 million in equity and debt.

– The Delhi High Court has issued notices to Flipkart and Amazon for violating FDI norms and circumvented them by selling popular products at much cheaper rates through “proxy controlled sellers”.

– Piramal Group is planning to set up an aggregation cum investment platform for renewable energy assets and is looking for an external investor for funding.

– Tata Power has got its shareholders’ approval to raise around Rs5,500 crore within the next 12 months through the issuance of non-convertible debentures on private placement basis. The firm is also planning to raise Bonds up to Rs2,000 crore to part refinance Coastal Gujarat Power Limited foreign currency loan.

– The Indian Government has told WhatsApp that till the time they open up an office and recruit a team in India, their payment services will not be approved.

– Jet Airways has told its employees that they will have to take a cut of up to 25% in their salaries due to the increasing cost of airlines operations.

– After raising $100 million at a valuation of more than a billion dollars, Freshworks has become the third Indian startup to join the Unicorn club this year. It has so far raised $250 million.

– Anil Agarwal’s family trust, Volcan Investments, has offered to buy the rest of Vedanta Resources. Presently, Volcan investments hold around 67% of Vedanta Resources.

– Realme has decided to split with Oppo to become an independent brand. Earlier OnePlus had also split from Oppo to operate as an independent brand.

– Tata Motors has decided to stop manufacturing in Thailand due to viability issues. The firm, however, shall continue to sell vehicles in Thailand through imports.

– SBI Capital Markets, investment banking arm of SBI, will not provide debt syndication and debt resolution services anymore. It is currently involved in loan syndication, debt resolutions, refinancing, project advisory, and other investment banking services.

– Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus Fund plans to take a significant share in Engie’s India solar business. Engie has an 810MW solar portfolio in India.

– An arbitration panel has rejected Government’s contention that RIL has unjustly gained by the production of ONGC fields and must pay $1.55 billion to the government in order to payback. The majority of the panel is of the view that it was well within the rights of the contract to produce the gas and RIL has not unjustly enriched themselves.

– RBI has raised questions about the cashback being given by Paytm to its customers and has also asked Paytm to stop enrolling any new customers till the time its concerns are resolved.

– Trai has started the spectrum auction process to push 5G technology.

– As per Counterpoint, the global research company, OnePlus has got a market share of 40%, followed by Samsung with 34% while Apple has got only 14% in India.

– WhatsApp is launching its first revenue-generating product in India for enterprises to interact directly with the customers. It will start the project with MakeMyTrip, Zendesk and 1mg.

– The Government has allowed LIC to increase its shareholding in IDBI Bank to 51%. Now LIC will do the due diligence and then subscribe to new shares.

– GST collections in June were highest during the last three months. The amount received by the Government was Rs.96,483 Crores as against their target of Rs.1 Crore.

– NCLAT has told the three final bidders for Bhushan Power to submit their revised plans by Monday. It has also directed Bhushan Power and Steel Committee of Creditors to take a decision over the revised bids and keep it in a sealed cover.

– Mumbai based Piramal Capital and Housing Finance has recently financed three projects adding up to approx. ₹1,500 crore in Delhi NCR.

– Jet Airways pilots union has asked its members not to accept the salary cut of up to 25% as declared by Jet Airways. Jet Airways has over 2,000 pilots in its rolls and about 80% of them are affiliated with the union.

– RBI has barred Fino Payments Bank, one of India’s first payments banks, from adding new customers since the end of May as it found about Fino Payments non-compliant with the operational guidelines laid down by it during auditing.

– Foodvista India, which operates FreshMenu, is in talks to raise $25-30 million from new and existing investors. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Zodius Capital are its current investors. FreshMenu is planning to use the fund to increase its service, infrastructure, and technology and hire more people.

– Google is currently working to launch a new search engine that would meet the china’s draconian censorship rules. Google withdrew itself from China because of censorship and hacking, eight years ago but is now considering working on a project in China.

– Exide is planning to reduce its dependency on lead-acid batteries by developing a new ‘bipolar based battery technology’ in association with a US company as it feels that lead suffers a lot from the erratic price movement.

– Nissan and the Tamil Nadu State authorities are close to settling dispute initiated by Nissan for international arbitration where it has sought a payout of more than $729 million. Nissan has recently lowered its payout and agreed to $292 million in unpaid dues and forego the amount it had sought for damages.

– NCLT admitted the insolvency petition against Provogue after it posted a loss of ₹154 crore in 2017-18. It is the fourth textile and garments brand that attempted loan resolution in bankruptcy court.

– Zomato’s talks with SoftBank have advanced further than Swiggy’s discussions and it is close to raising nearly $500 million in its next round. SoftBank Vision Fund is evaluating both the options and will invest in any one of the two companies.

Policies & Practices:

– SBI has raised the rates on FD or bank deposits with a maturity of more than a year, effective today. This could prompt other banks to increase their rates as well.

– Around 99% of chemicals have been cleared from Vedanta’s Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi during the last 27 days. NGT has refused to grant an interim stay to Vedanta on Tamil Nadu government’s order on the unit closure. The final date of hearing has been fixed on 9th August.

– Government’s draft of e-com policy is strongly favouring Indian online enterprises and may affect foreign-owned e-com companies. Its recommendations also include barring group companies of e-com firms from influencing sale prices – directly or indirectly.

– Swiggy is set to launch a new membership programme, called Swiggy Super, offering unlimited free deliveries across all restaurants on its platform for a monthly fee between Rs.99 and Rs.149.The move is part of its strategy to increase order volumes and raise its market share.

– Air Deccan has restarted its flight services in Maharashtra, which was suspended a month ago due to the shortage of pilots and aircraft issues.

– Amazon and Walmart feel that the draft e-com policy is heavily tilted against foreign firms and are very likely to ask the US government to reach out to the Indian Government in case the draft is approved. Both of the firms are investing heavily in the Indian market.

– Flipkart is set to launch its customer loyalty program ‘Flipkart Plus’ on August 15. Members will be offered early access to products, early shipping and free delivery.

– The Government has allowed LIC to increase its shareholding in IDBI Bank to 51%. Now LIC will do the due diligence and then subscribe to new shares.

– GST collections in June were highest during the last three months. The amount received by the Government was Rs.96,483 Crores as against their target of Rs.1 Crore.

– Retailers Association of India is planning to approach the commerce ministry for seeking clarifications on the draft e-comm policy as they found many issues and ambiguities in the policy.

– HCL Technologies may hire around 5,000 people this year as part of its ‘New Vistas’ programme, under which it is setting up centres in smaller cities like Lucknow and Madurai.

M&As:

– Tech Mahindra and AION capital are in the final stages to acquire InterGlobe Technologies, the IT and back office arm of InteGlobe Enterprises for $400 million. The firm has around 10000 employees.

– TVS Logistics is in talks to acquire Gati by buying a controlling stake for Rs.1500 Crore. As per the industry reports, Logistics industry is set to witness investments of around Rs.50,000 Crore over the next two years.

– Ascendas India Trust is going to acquire two commercial buildings at aVance Business Hub located in Hyderabad for about ₹1,400 crore.

– Tata Group is planning to reduce the number of its listed companies by merging or divesting in its firms. The plan is to have only a limited key set of companies listed.

– After having acquired, Madhouse, a mobile ad agency, WPP has decided to sell its stake in the Rediffusion, an advertising firm.

– With plans to expand its offerings to cloud computing, Cisco Systems shall acquire Due systems, the cybersecurity company for $2.35 billion.

– Ebix Inc has acquired Mercury Travels and Leisure Corp for approximately $14.2 million. The acquisition was made through Ebix’s Indian subsidiary, EbixCash. Ebix is a supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the financial, insurance, healthcare and e-learning industries. It had also bought Via.com a few months back.

Ongoing cases:

– PNB update: After spotting Mehul Choksi in Antigua and Barbuda, India has requested the authorities to restrict his movements by land, sea, and air.

– Vijay Mallya Update- The Westminster Magistrates’ Court has extended the bail of Vijay Mallya till 12th September and asked India to give it a video of the Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, where Vijay Mallya will be kept if extradited from the UK.

– Air India update – The Government has appointed Kumar Mangalam Birla and Y C Deveshwar on the board of Air India for 3 years. Deveshwar also headed Air India during 1991-94.

– PNB fraud update- Antiguan authorities have confirmed that Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi are in their country. Indian authorities will soon start a move to extradite them.

People:

– Apollo Tyres has appointed Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador for five years.

– Supreme Court has asked Malvinder and Shivinder Singh to personally appear in the court for proceedings in the Daiichi Sankyo case to enforce arbitration award of Rs.3500 Crores.

– Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart is planning to raise a fund of $700 million-$1 billion for investing in startups and run an artificial intelligence startup.

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