Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power
Last Updated: December 27, 2021 / 08:57 AM IST
We hear the hunt is on and how for one of the most coveted posts currently in the Indian equity capital markets—the job of investor relations head at a PSU behemoth which is preparing for the mother of all IPOs next year with an estimated valuation of Rs 8-10 lakh crore. Amongst other duties, the person will be in charge of liasoning with the biggest global investors ranging from pension funds to sovereign wealth funds to asset managers. So who will win the race?
END TO TUSSLE
Much has been said about the scrutiny and eventual action by the regulator against a lender. Was the regulator worried about the bank’s asset quality? That’s not what we heard. It was a long-running tussle with the regulator that cost the job of the boss who was running it. He had apparently questioned the regulator’s decision of not allowing a long tenure. He was aggrieved that the regulator had done the same for another bank. There was much back and forth and hence, the regulator decided to put an end to the tussle by ousting the man at the helm.
DEAL FOR THOUGHT
A secondary stake sale deal is believed to have been sealed at this food company down south which faced a sudden online backlash earlier this year, forcing it to step in and take legal action. We hear the new investor is an Asian private equity investor that will pick up around 20 percent stake held by a VC firm.
HIGH-PROFILE MF EXIT
The head of investments at a mid-sized fund house is on his way out. Where he is off to is yet unknown; the last we heard was that he had a couple of interesting offers within the mutual fund industry. That’s not entirely bad news given the number of fund managers who have left the mutual funds industry and started their own portfolio management services firms. But this exit is among a few such key exits in the fund management team that this fund house has seen over the past year. Curiously, while people have come and gone, one of the stable factors has been its chief executive officer who has been with the fund house for more than a decade. But that’s another story. In the past though, this fund house was rocked by high profile fund manager exits for a variety of reasons. Despite having an international name associated with it, the fund house’s pay scales are modest in a highly competitive market. With new fund houses coming up, equity markets rising in the past year and a half and the Indian economy finally looking to come out of the funk, the job market for fund managers is bound to open up. And mid-sized fund houses like this one are sure to be a good poaching ground for many. Already this fund house has lost a handful of fund managers over the past 1-year period. Aside from regularly writing investment columns at a top business and finance news website, this outgoing head of investments comes with a good track record; it’s a loss for the fund house. The succession plan, though, seems to be sorted so far.
'BANKING' ON FILLING THE GAPS
A mid-sized private sector bank based in South India is witnessing some turmoil at the top. This bank is in the news for a while due to the tussle at the top management and a widening divide at the board level. There have been quite a few back-to-back resignations already. At least two key senior management members in the bank are actively looking out for opportunities, we hear. The chairman had quit recently. That said, the powerful board members are confident that gaps can be filled in no time, no matter what happens in the bank. The question is can they walk the talk.
AXIS OF DEALS
Buzz is that an official announcement on a mega deal involving the sale of an MNC lender's consumer assets could happen very shortly, most likely before the end of December. After the exit of the overseas front-runner, it was all down to a battle between the domestic private sector heavyweights. And we hear in the last leg, the one that bagged the deal did so because it was ready to pay all-cash. Expect some moves from rival lenders in the coming days as the winner of this race gets set to absorb a premium credit card clientele.
THE FIRM'S WAY OR THE BANKER'S WAY?
Differences between investment bankers and promoters on the path to an IPO are not unusual and many of them get ironed out ahead of listing. Not in this case, we hear, involving an IPO aspirant in the lifesciences and healthcare space. Grapevine has it that a certain bank on board was keen that the last financial year be also audited by a Big 4 firm. The company wasn't keen considering the timelines it had in mind. Unfortunately, the deadlock wasn’t broken and the i-bank is now no longer part of the deal and another peer has been tapped. At least this is the version that reached our ears.
Yet another deal brewing in the consumer tech space. A popular messaging services company is eyeing the buyout of a controlling stake in the Indian operations of a cloud computing firm. A little birdie tells us a deal could be signed by the end of the month and the sellers may include two top VC firms.
The Zomato IPO has without a doubt given a great deal of confidence to Indian internet entrepreneurs and their investors to list on the desi bourses rather than making a beeline for the likes of Nasdaq. In some cases, it has enthused even internet firms which have been listed years back! Confused? Don’t be! We are talking about an internet firm that listed overseas and is now eyeing a dual listing because it believes it can unlock greater value back home and be more prominent in the market. Not bad, eh?
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