Weekly India Business News from (4th August – 10th August )

Weekly India Business News

 

Weekly India Business News

 

Corporates:

 

Indian Oil is planning to invest ₹ 1.75 trillion for expansion which includes doubling its refinery capacity, laying new pipelines and boosting petrochemical production to become a vertically integrated company.

 

ZipGo, a Bus aggregator, is in talks with the Essel Group to raise a funding of about $50 million and plans to use the funds to offer bookings for electric buses and e-rickshaws as also expand its presence in more cities.

 

Amazon’s plan to launch its own UPI service payment service is stuck due to concerns of storage of data within India. It is waiting for clarity from RBI regarding storing personal data abroad.

 

MuSigma, a data analytics firm, is in discussions with TPG Capital for stake sale. If the deal goes through, it may value the firm at $1.2 billion.

 

The Central Accounts Office of SBI has been shifted to Mumbai from Kolkata after almost 100 years. The most important job undertaken at CAO is compilation and finalization of Bank’s annual balance sheet as well as quarterly and half-yearly P&Ls.

 

Dunkin’ Donuts has shut down more than half of its stores in India over the last two years for being unprofitable. It is now focussing on small stores and kiosks to cut losses.

 

As per Crisil, the Automobile industry is planning for ₹ 58,000 crore Capex in the next 2 years, which would be a 30% jump from the previous two comparative fiscal years.

 

Embassy Office Parks is placing top commercial assets across India under a real estate investment trust (REIT) being created to raise around $1 billion.

 

The government shall be inviting fresh bids for 100% stake sale in Pawan Hans by issuing an addendum to the disinvestment document as ONGC is now ready to sell its entire stake of 49% in the company. It had earlier invited interests for sale of 51%. Pawan Hans has a fleet of 46 choppers.

 

Tech Mahindra is expected to launch around five pilot projects on 5G services by next month and execute some big projects from 2019-20.

 

Xiaomi, which has recently gone through an IPO, plans to use a chunk of the IPO money in India to make more startup investments, build its ecosystem of internet services, and build India-specific IoT devices. Manu Kumar Jain, the Company’s India head said 30% of the $4.5 billion raised in the IPO last month will be used for core R&D, 30% on building the IoT platform, 30% for global expansion and the remaining 10% for miscellaneous expenses.

 

IFC announced that it will invest $25 million in Mahindra Rural Housing Finance. MRHFL plans to utilize the fund to offer small-ticket housing loans in rural areas.

 

NCLAT extended the deadline for the three bidders of Bhushan Power – JSW Steel, Tata Steel and Liberty House, for submission of revised resolution plans to August 13 from 6 August.

 

Reliance Communications is working on to complete the sale of its assets worth Rs 25,000 crore by the end of this month. It has agreed to pay Rs 550 crore to Ericsson by September end towards settlement.

 

Both India and Antigua, recognizing each other as ‘designated Commonwealth countries’ are working on the extradition of Mehul Choksi despite the two nations not having a formal extradition treaty.

 

DoT is looking for options to block, if need be, the popular social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram to curb fake news and child pornography and has asked the internet service provider and telecos to suggest ways of doing so.

 

Infosys has hired John Gikopoulos, former Director of IPsoft, as its global head of AI and Automation business.

 

Japan has lodged a protest with the Government on its decision to impose a duty of 20% on imported cell phones and 10% on ink cartridges, citing it to be against India’s commitment to WTO.

 

Temasek has purchased a secondary stake in Ola from its early investors for about $225 million.

 

Flipkart and Amazon are lobbying the Government to scrap the entire draft e-commerce policy, which will implement strict restrictions on online retail. The policy is even said to curb the discounts. The online retailers are trying to convince the Government to consider fresh regulations.

 

J.P. Morgan and IIM- A, shall start a financial inclusion lab, an initiative of $9.5 million, in order to identify and bring the fin-tech startups in their early stages to achieve scale.

 

Flipkart is planning to expand into new categories via Smart buy and aiming to generate one-fifth of its overall sales over the next three years through private labels.

 

OnePlus has just shown Apple how to become India’s largest smartphone seller. While Apple found the market in India to be tough, OnePlus generated almost one-third of its $1.4 billion revenue from India in 2017.

India is expected to receive data from the Swiss authorities on HSBC accounts in the next 10 days. There is no official estimate of black money stashed in foreign countries.

NCLAT has asked Tata Sons to file all the documents pertaining to conversion from a public company to a private limited company by 10th August.

Supreme Court has said that it would sell “each and every” property of Amrapali Group to cover the cost of construction of pending real estate projects. Amrapali has been accused of delaying its projects detriment to homebuyer’s interest.

GE Capital shall sell its energy finance unit to Starwood Property Trust for $2.56 billion. The move is part of its plan to shrink itself into a more smaller and focused business. The agreement shall also include the transfer of employees.

 

Flipkart has further infused around ₹452 crore into PhonePe to facilitate its expansion plans and to take on Paytm.

 

Flipkart has launched its grocery business in Bangalore and plans to enter 5-6 cities by the end of the year. It is a re-entry of Flipkart into grocery business after its grocery app ‘Nearby’ shut down about two years back.

 

In order to consolidate its business, JP Morgan has taken up 1.1m sq.ft. office space in Bengaluru and another $0.83m sq.ft. in Hyderabad.

 

Supreme Court has ordered the sale of Jaypee Infratech to investors, other than promoters. As per the Bankruptcy Code, homebuyers are classified as financial creditors and shall have the same rights as the lenders, in deciding the company’s future.

 

The IT department has asked Walmart to submit details of capital gains taxes deducted for Flipkart acquisition within 15 days of the closing of the deal. CCI gave its approval to the $16 billion deal, leading to deal completion.

 

HPCL has refused to recognize ONGC as a promoter even after the takeover. The company rep said that they are acting as per their understanding of statute and Sebi guidelines and the Companies Act.

 

The National Green Tribunal has granted conditional access of Sterlite copper plant in Tamil Nadu, to Vedanta. The Sterlite Copper Plant was ordered to be closed permanently in May this year by the Tamil Nadu Government after widespread protests.

 

Vilas Tawde, the CEO of Essar Oil said that it is planning to invest ₹ 7,000 crores to develop about 1.6 trillion cubic feet of shale gas potential in its existing coal-bed methane block at West Bengal.

 

HSBC has launched an online platform called MyDeal to raise funds through capital markets. MyDeal shall contain information relating to a client’s capital markets transactions while being updated on a real-time basis.

 

ShopClues has raised around ₹ 110 crores from its existing investors. ShopClues is depending on new initiatives for monetization as its daily orders take a steep drop.

 

Gome, largest consumer electronics and smartphone retail chain of China, shall be launching its own branded products in India to be sold online and multi-brand stores. To start with it will launch 3 smartphones in Rs.10000 category by the upcoming festival season. Gome has over 1700 stores in China.

 

To take on platforms like CarWale and CarDekho, Maruti Suzuki is building its own website where car buyers will be able to compare prices. The company expects to generate online queries through their platform. Maruti Suzuki makes one of every two cars sold in India.

 

Nestle India is looking to position itself as a complete packaged breakfast products maker to capitalize on the growing market of Indians who still prefer freshly-cooked homemade breakfast. Last month it launched Nesplus, its cereal brand to its existing portfolio of curd, oats, noodles, milk, yogurt and coffee.

 

Ikea’s Hyderabad outlet is now open for public. It has around 7500 products on offer, around 1000 of which cost less than Rs.200. The company expects around 6million visitors annually to its 400,000 sq ft store.

 

Metro Bikes, a two-wheeler rental start-up, has raised $12.2 million in a Series A round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners. The funding will be used to develop technologies as also expand into newer markets

 

Policies & Practices:

 

The Indian Banks’ Association is planning to provide financial and legal support to its existing as also the retired employees who acted in good faith but found themselves in the crosshair of CBI and other law enforcement agencies.

 

Jet Airways has shelved its plan for a pay cut after employees protest. However, the top management of the firm has already taken a pay cut.

 

The parliament panel has asked RBI to restore LoUs and letters of comfort at the earliest. These were banned after the PNB fraud.

 

To consolidate its leading position and prevent loss of market share, Samsung has cut the prices of its top-selling TVs for the 2nd time in the last two months.

 

Various sellers associations are set to offer feedback to the government on e-com policy including calling for protection to independent sellers. The feedback has also been shared with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

The government has raised import duty on many textile products including garments, carpets etc. The aim is to support ‘Make in India’ initiative as also protect domestic manufacturers.

 

The Government may stop wilful defaulters with loans exceeding Rs.50 Crore from traveling overseas without prior approval. The move is part of Government’s crackdown strategy to prevent defaulters from leaving the country.

 

Shadowfax, an on-demand logistics firm, has raised $22 million in a series C round of funding led by Nokia Growth Partners. The latest round of funding values the firm around $87-97 million.

 

Reliance Naval and Engineering Ltd has approached Bombay High Court against ONGC for refusing to take delivery of 8 vessels and terminating the agreement for 12 vessels ordered to support offshore oil exploration.

 

SBI has approved the plan to cover the legal expenses of both current and former employees of the bank who have been booked by the investigating agencies and where no probe has been ordered by the bank.

 

RBI has canceled 368 licenses of NBFCs in the last 6 months as they failed to meet the regulatory norms. It is a move to keep the sector clean which has more than 11,402 entities, of which 222 are non-deposit taking.

 

International Monetary Fund has said that the Government should amend the legal framework to let RBI have full control over the state-run banks. Currently, there exists a dual regulation because of which RBI does not have the power to sack the management and/or the board of these banks.

 

RBI has transferred a surplus of Rs.50,000 crore to the central government which is 91% of the dividend income government had budgeted from RBI, nationalized banks and other financial institutions in the 2018 budget.

 

The government shall soon introduce a new industrial policy aimed to speed up regulatory reforms and lower power tariffs. The policy will mainly focus on competitiveness and sustainability.

 

CCI has ordered an observation on the discounting practices of Flipkart and other online retailers as providing discounts are explicitly banned.

M&As:

 

Malaysia Airports Holdings is evaluating to acquire a minority stake in GVK Airports Holdings which runs the Mumbai airport.

 

MS Dhoni has picked up a 25% stake in Run Adam, a sports tech startup, which connects athletes with resources like sponsors, experts, specialists, etc on its platform.

 

New Zealand based Fonterra has entered into a JV with the Future Group to produce dairy products. With this JV, Fonterra plans to prepare the groundwork as it enters the world’s largest and fastest growing dairy industry.

 

Despite protests from the traders across the country, the Flipkart Walmart deal has received approval from the CCI. CCI said that the discounting policies of Flipkart shall be required to be dealt with separately.

 

Start-ups:

 

ShopX, a B2B startup connecting retailers and kirana store owners in small towns with FMCG brands, has raised $35 million from Fung Strategic Holdings.

 

Hansel.io, a product operations startup, has raised $4 million in a funding round led by Vertex Ventures. Funds are planned to be used for international expansion and hiring in sales and engineering.

 

Ongoing cases:

 

PNB update- A team from India was sent to Antigua to hand over a request to Antigua Government for the extradition of Mehul Choksi, who has now attained the citizenship of Antigua.

 

People:

 

As Walmart continues to focus on technology to give Amazon a tough competition, it plans to hire about 1,000 more people for technology roles in India. Currently, for technology operations in Gurgaon and Bengaluru, it has a headcount of 1800 employees.

 

Bhavdeep Singh, the CEO of Fortis Healthcare said that the management did protest when it came to know about the loans given to companies linked to Singh brothers but they were overruled.

 

Rajan Nanda, the Chairman of Escorts Group, died on Sunday, at the age of 76, after a brief illness. He joined Escorts at the age of 23, in 1965, and took over as group Chairman in 1994 when his father and the founder chairman, H.P. Nanda, stepped down.

 

Effective October 3, the CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, will step down from her position. The Board has elected Ramon Laguarta, to succeed Indra Nooyi, who has been in the company for the past 24 years and CEO for the past 12 years. Ramon Laguarta has been in the company for the past 22 years.

 

Nusli Wadia, the promoter Chairman of Britannia Group has hinted that he might exit the Board. Nusli Wadia joined the Britannia board in 1993.

 

Nikhil Nanda has been appointed as chairman and managing director of Escorts after the expiry of his father Rajan Nanda.

 

Sunil Mehta, the CEO of PNB bank said that the bank is in talks with various government departments including the IT and Central excise to sell off its headquarters situated in New Delhi. The bank is now going for second round valuation of the property due to high demand.

 

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Idea Cellular, Himanshu Kapania, shall be given the position of vice-chairman at Grasim Industries after its merger with Vodafone. He may be the first vice-chairman of Grasim.

 

Neeraj Singal, the former promoter and MD, Bhushan Steel, was arrested for siphoning off funds of more than ₹2000 crores from the company.

 

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