Uber India revenue growth slowed and losses persisted in the fourth quarter, casting a possible shadow over the ride-hailing giant as it prepares for a public offering this year. Like many unicorns, San Francisco-based Uber is emphasizing growth over profits. The company is investing aggressively in food delivery, logistics, electric bikes and self-driving cars. Last year, Uber bought Jump Bikes to help with its new mobility efforts, and it has a $1 billion budget for such projects this year.
Avendus Capital Ltd has started accepting money for one of India’s first funds to base investment decisions on environment, social and governance (ESG) parameters as investor concerns about governance at Indian companies surge. Avendus expects to raise $1 billion over two years with its ESG fund and sees around 70% of that money coming from overseas investors.
In a first of its kind, the RBI has come down heavily on Yes Bank for making public certain portions of the confidential Risk Assessment Report (RAR) and sees it as a deliberate attempt by the private lender to mislead the public”. On February 13, Yes Bank had cited the report in a press release and said the RBI has found nil divergences in its asset classification and provisioning in 2017-18. However, it chose to withhold the fact that the RAR also identified several other lapses and regulatory breaches in various areas of the Bank's functioning.
SBI, one of the major lenders to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications (RCom), has approached few Big Four audit firms including EY and consultants to identify and select a resolution professional (RP) to manage insolvency proceedings of the bankrupt telco. SBI is considering initiating an independent application against RCom before the NCLT. The lender also has the option of waiting for RCom to initiate bankruptcy proceedings suo moto and then recommending an RP of its choice once the committee of creditors (CoC) is convened. RCom on February 4 had announced its decision to file for corporate insolvency resolution process.
Industry trade bodies at a meeting chaired by commerce minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday raised concerns regarding the challenges facedby them. The concerns varied from the flow of credit to export sector, exports to countries reeling under US sanctions like Iran, delay in uploading of electronic Bank Realization Certificate (eBRC) by banks and the likely withdrawal of benefits to Indian exporters by the US. Delayed input tax credit refund, denial of GST on availing higher duty drawback, higher price of steel in domestic market, and lack of availability of incentives for exports to neighbouring countries were the other issues highlighted.
One97 Communications, the parent company of digital payments platform Paytm, has pledged all its current assets and mutual fund investments to ICICI Bank to raise up to Rs 1,400 crore for working capital, according to ROC documents. Paytm could use the funds to channel its growth plans for Paytm Postpaid, which it operates in partnership with ICICI Bank. Paytm Postpaid offers credit facilities to eligible customers of ICICI Banks to buy now and pay later on Paytm. Paytm has diversified its businesses from being a digital payments entity to handling mutual funds, e-commerce, and hotel bookings, among other businesses.
Indian companies raised Rs 4.57 lakh crore through private placement of corporate bonds during the first 10 months of the current fiscal. Firms collected Rs 4,56,962 crore during the April-January period of 2018-19 as compared with Rs 4,87,764 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, according to the latest data available with the SEBI. These funds have been raised mainly for expansion of business and to support working capital requirements. In the full financial year 2017-18, companies had raised 6 lakh crore through the route. In debt private placements, firms issue securities or bonds to institutional investors to raise capital.
The RBI on Friday withdrew the 20% limit on investments by Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in corporate bonds of an entity with a view to encourage more foreign investments. As part of the review of the FPI investment in corporate debt undertaken in April 2018, it was stipulated that no FPI should have an exposure of more than 20 per cent of its corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate (including exposure to entities related to the corporate).
Chartered accountants' central body, ICAI, on Friday withdrew its January 29 announcement regarding applicability of rotation of auditors. The announcement dealt with applicability of rotation principles where a company ceases to fall under the ambit of rotation principles in subsequent years.The decision follows a directive from the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) which asked the ICAI to "immediately withdraw" the announcement. Section 139 of the Companies Act, 2013 requires certain class of companies to rotate their auditors. Further, the ministry has demanded reasons from the ICAI for issuing such announcement without any authority and specific approval of this ministry".
US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions has agreed to pay $25 million (Rs 178 crore) to settle charges towards violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. US-regulator SEC alleged that in 2014, a senior government official from Tamil Nadu demanded a $2-million bribe from a construction firm responsible for building Cognizant’s 2.7-million-sq-ft campus in Chennai. Cognizant president Gordon Coburn and chief legal officer Steven E Schwartz not only authorised the contractor to pay the bribe to the government official but also authorised the contractor to make two additional bribes totalling more than $1.6 million.
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which completed its acquisition of 51% stake in IDBI Bank in January, may infuse another Rs 12,000 crore into the loss-making PSB to meet its huge provisioning requirements amid mounting losses. The bank has already received total capital of Rs 21,624 crore from the insurer in the four-month period prior to formalisation of acquisition. IDBI Bank Q3 losses jumped threefold to Rs 4,185 crore while gross NPAs stood at 29.67%. IDBI Bank, with its highest NPAs, had got the maximum Rs 10,610 crore from government last year to maintain regulatory capital in January last year.
A consortium of banks, along with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Etihad, will infuse about Rs 3,400 crore in Jet Airways. The infusion will be made in phases following which the consortium of banks, led by SBI, will own 32% stake in Jet and Abu Dhabi-owned Etihad and the NIIF will hold about 24.9% and 19.5%, respectively. The management of the company will also be restructured with Naresh Goyal left out of the board and management control. Goyal’s stake will drop to 20% from 51%. He will, however, retain his status as promoter.
The government is considering various incentives to boost sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and promote its manufacturing in the country. The Centre is planning to offer rebate of upto Rs 50,000, bringing them under the umbrella of priority sector lending and lowering interest rate on loans, the ET reported. The plan could be rolled out in select cities in the first phase. The government is targeting to raise the share of EVs to 15% of the total auto sales from almost negligible today. The government is aware of the need for adequate charging infrastructure to ensure faster adoption of EVs.
According to a study by UK major BP in its annual energy outlook, India is expected to outgrow China as the world's largest energy growth market. India will account for over 25% of the incremental global demand. Global energy demand is expected to increase by around 33% by 2040, driven by improvements in living standards, particularly in India, China and across Asia. This will be met mostly by natural gas, which is expected to overtake coal as the second largest source of energy by the mid-2020s. Share of renewable energy is expected to increase from 4% to 15% by 2040.
The country's foreign exchange reserves declined by $2.119 billion to $398.122 billion in the week to February 8, due to fall in Foreign currency assets, according to the RBI data. Foreign currency assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves, fell by $2.448 billion to $370.981 billion. Expressed in US dollars, Foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves. The forex reserves had touched a record high of $426.028 billion in the week to April 13, 2018.