Mallya’s assets under dispute, US withdraws duty benefits to India, Nifty reclaims 11K – Weekly Digest #79

Monday- 4th March 2019

  • Two shareholders of UTI AMC, SBI and LIC have sought more time from the SEBI to divest their stake in the asset manager, but SEBI has declined them an extension of time. Last year, the SEBI introduced a cross-holding limit in mutual funds to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
  • Zomato Media, which owns and operates the eponymous online food-delivery and restaurant-discovery platform, has sold its UAE delivery business to Berlin-based Delivery Hero for $172 million (₹1,220 crore).
  • The Centre has nominated state-run GAIL to buy the gas output from Vedanta’s prolific Barmer block, which has recently begun pumping the energy resource after accounting for a fourth of India’s domestic crude oil production.
  • Enforcement Directorate quizzed former ICICI Bank chair Chanda Kochhar for over eight hours, on the fourth consecutive day of questioning. The agency also questioned Matrix Group chairman Nishant Kanodia for the second time. The central agency is probing dealings of NuPower with Videocon as well as the Matrix Group.


Tuesday-  5th March 2019

  • The United States announced the withdrawal of special duty benefits available to India, escalating differences over trade between the two countries. India said this would make little difference. Meanwhile, the US is said to be nearing an agreement with China on its ongoing trade dispute.
  • Pakistan’s use of F-16s against India has raised tough questions for Washington, which had justified the sale on grounds of not just combatting terror but also as providing “deterrence value” to Pakistan in case of a future conflict with India.
  • Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity fund, is set to merge Sunjay Kapur-led Sona BLW Precision Forging with Comstar Automotive Technologies to create a Rs 4,200-crore auto components platform. Blackstone will own 62% of the merged company. Kapur will own the rest and will be the chairman.
  • SoftBank has completed its investment in logistics major Delhivery, having put in about $350 million into the Gurgaon-based company, in the process catapulting it into India’s growing list of startups with billion-dollar valuations.
  • Canadian fund CDPQ has agreed to invest $250 million (Rs 1,767 crore) in the convertible debentures of the Edelweiss Group’s non-banking finance company, ECL Finance. The deal values the lending arm of Edelweiss a minimum of about ₹9,500 crore.


Wednesday-  6th March 2019

  • The government opposed any review of the Supreme Court’s refusal to order an investigation of the Rafale deal, insisting that the documents on which the case rests were “stolen” and could not be used in a court of law.
  • Saudi Arabia is set to become the only beneficiary of India’s tightly managed foreign flying rights regime with the Centre giving it a 40% hike in quota. The comes after the India visit of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman last month.
  • According to a recent ruling by SC, if the taxman can back up its claim with sufficient investigation and the company receiving funds as share capital fails to prove the genuineness of the deal and creditworthiness of the investor, the company will have to pay tax on the amount.
  • The information technology ministry has approved contract manufacturer Wistron’s ₹5,000-crore plan to make high-end Apple devices, a move that will give a big push to the government’s Make in India initiative. Wistron currently makes cheaper Apple phones in India.
  • India’s benchmark equity indices posted gains for the third straight session on sustained buying mainly in finance, energy and metal counters amid positive global cues. The 30-share BSE Sensex spurted 193.56 points to finish at 36,636.10, while the broader NSE Nifty gained 65.55 points to 11,053.


Thursday- 7th March 2019

  • British spirits maker Diageo, the majority owner of United Spirits, has sought first access to and restoration of attached shares of Vijay Mallya in United Breweries Holdings and Watson to recover dues from its former joint venture partner. The company has written to the Enforcement Directorate with this request.
  • An appellate tribunal stayed an order allowing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to attach the assets of fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Gems after lender ICICI Bank argued that this was preventing the bankruptcy process from going ahead.
  • Hyundai Motor Company is in advanced discussions with domestic ride-hailing company Ola, which could see the South Korean automaker invest $250-300 million in the Bengaluru-based company. Hyundai could pick up a 4% stake in Ola, for a valuation of about $6 billion.
  • Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies sued the US government saying a law limiting its US business was unconstitutional, ratcheting up its fight back against a government bent on closing it out of global markets.


Friday- 8th March 2019

  • ArcelorMittal won a crucial round in its high-stakes battle to wrest control of Essar Steel after the Ahmedabad bench of the bankruptcy court approved the lenders’ plan to award the firm to the global steel giant. The payment of ₹42,000 crore by Arcelor-Mittal be distributed among financial and operational creditors in the ratio of 85:15.
  • The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will oppose any claims of first right of access to the assets of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya by any private entity. This comes after British spirits maker Diageo claim of first right of access to Mallya’s assets.
  • The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the money laundering case against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak, is focusing on the trail of kickbacks allegedly paid by two companies and the possibility of their diversion abroad to a tax haven.
  • Reliance Industries raised ₹7,000 crore by selling three-year bonds, amid signs of a revival in the debt market. Axis Bank, Barclays, Nomura and ICICI Bank bought these short-term papers.
  • The appellate bankruptcy court has directed the NCLT to pronounce an order in the Bhushan Power & Steel insolvency case by March 31. JSW Steel, which has offered an upfront payment of ₹19,300 crore to the lenders of Bhushan Power & Steel, has the overall approval of over 90% of the committee of creditors.


Source: The Economic Times

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