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MC Insider: Dinesh Trivedi’s loss is Yashwant Sinha’s gain, political pressure on private lender, M&A buzz, war for talent and more

Last Updated: May 10, 2021 / 07:52 AM IST

TRIVEDI’S LOSS IS SINHA’S GAIN

TRIVEDI’S LOSS IS SINHA’S GAIN

Not everyone can read the political leaves like the late Ram Vilas Paswan. Paswan had an uncanny ability to switch to the winning side in advance. Ask veteran former Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi who dramatically resigned from his Rajya Sabha seat just before the West Bengal polls and went to join the BJP. Trivedi represented TMC in Parliament for almost 18 years in both houses and was a Union Minister twice. But BJP lost the Bengal polls and Trivedi now neither has a Rajya Sabha seat nor a senior spot in the BJP government in Bengal. On the other hand, former finance minister of BJP in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Yashwant Sinha, who has been in the political wilderness for long, joined the TMC just before the polls and Mamata Banerjee made him the Vice-President of the party and a national working committee member. Sinha is now also tipped to be sent to the Rajya Sabha by the TMC when the by-poll on Trivedi’s seat is held as he can be a solid counter to his former party in the Upper House.

(POLITICAL) WOES OF A BANK

(POLITICAL) WOES OF A BANK

Theoretically, this bank is a private lender. But its presence in a politically sensitive region and high loan concentration to a specific borrower segment means it operates almost like a public sector bank. We hear, pretty often, this bank gets calls from powerful local politicians asking to lend aggressively to the local vote bank. The bank can't say no. Denial will land it in even bigger soup. Quite a dilemma, isn't it? The result? It has witnessed significant pressure on the asset quality front. Major investors of the bank too have rung the alarm bells. There have been massive write-offs of late, and, as it appears, it doesn't seem like there will be any respite in the near future. Our birdie tells us the vexed bank management has now reached out to top politicians in Delhi citing these issues caused by local political involvement.

SHED FLAB, RAISE MOOLAH

SHED FLAB, RAISE MOOLAH

A public sector lender which is looking to widen its capital base and has sold its non-core assets in the past might be soon at it once again. We hear the lender is mulling an exit from one of its insurance ventures to monetise its investments. A lot depends on the joint venture partner’s strategy as well. Will it stay put or move on? Additionally, the non-core divestment move is being planned prior to a fund-raising drive.

NAME OF THE GAME

NAME OF THE GAME

Value unlocking for shareholders is an M&A theme which is fast becoming a favourite since the outbreak of COVID-19. Take the example of this consumer firm based out of the north. The buzz on the street is that it is considering an internal restructuring exercise and may look to demerge two of its keys business verticals. Similar attempts have been made in the past. So let’s see how the plans will fructify this time around.

HEALTHY DEAL

HEALTHY DEAL

Word on deal street is that a key hospital chain in Eastern India which has gained a healthy reputation due to its handling of COVID-19 cases might be looking at the sale of a majority stake. A top private equity player which has a penchant for the healthcare space is eyeing this target and if things go as per plans, then this seems to be a done deal. Unless a strategic player plays spoilsport! Wink, wink!

WAR FOR TALENT

WAR FOR TALENT

The game of musical chairs continues in the advisory world which has seen a raft of key executive movements since March. MC Insider has been informed that a senior dealmaker who has struck deals in the tech and consumer internet sector at a foreign i-bank is heading overseas as part of an internal move. The replacement, who tracks the same segments, has been tapped from a rival overseas bank. Keep an eye on this space for more updates.

CLOUD OVER PENSION FDI

CLOUD OVER PENSION FDI

While JV partners in pension funds were hoping that the insurance FDI limit hike to 74 percent would automatically lead to a rise for the pension sector as well, it has now been brought to their notice by their legal teams that this won't be the case. While the original regulations did say that whenever insurance FDI is hiked it will apply for pension sector players automatically, the reality on the ground looks different. All eyes are on the government to clarify its position on this matter.

PATENT POLITICS

PATENT POLITICS

The Biden administration’s announcement supporting temporary waiver of patents for COVID-19 vaccines should have enthused Indian pharma, but it didn't. One industry executive told MC Insider that you can have the entire patent data on a pen drive, but what do you do with that data, when you don't know how to interpret it or you don't have the know-how or technology to manufacture. Vaccine making is a complex business. That could be a reason why the Indian government is now asking patent waivers for COVID-19 therapeutics or drugs as well. This is definitely music to the ears of the India generic pharma industry.

BACK-TO-BACK LISTINGS

BACK-TO-BACK LISTINGS

This super active alternative asset manager recently saw the head of its domestic private equity vertical elevated to head (Asia). The gentleman will continue to oversee India and if things go according to plan and market conditions are favourable, the firm is planning to launch two big-ticket IPOs this month–one in the financial services segment and the other in the auto component space.

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