you are here: HomeNewsBusiness

Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power

MC Insider: NSE glitch blame game, the strange IT rule clause, automobile comeback and the conglomerate making big moves

Last Updated: March 01, 2021 / 08:59 AM IST

NSE BLAME GAME

NSE BLAME GAME

The recent technical glitch in an exchange that hit trading has ruffled feathers at the regulator too. After all, the decision of re-opening of the bourse with extended timings was a rare event in the history of the capital markets. It has come to light that the crucial approval to reopen was given by a junior officer at the regulator. After all, not many were ready to take the responsibility to do so. In the backdrop of miffed investors and intense criticism, we now hear that senior regulatory officials have asked this junior official for an explanation and have sought a report. We will keep you posted on the events that unfold, so keep an eye out on this space.

GIFT OF GAB

GIFT OF GAB

A recent aviation industry event had top government officials discussing and debating with chief executives on how to promote India as a destination for aircraft leasing companies. After all, India doesn't have a single leasing company, despite having the world's second largest aircraft order, after China. The chief executive of a major airline quipped that GIFT City, which is to be the hub for leasing in India, will need to 'hard sell' to be able to attract international leasing companies. The anchor promptly asked a senior GIFT official, who was also on the panel, how he would 'hard sell.' His reply went something like this: Indian airline officials travel to Ireland (a hub for aircraft leasing) to meet lessors. Half of these officials in leasing companies are of Indian origin. And half of them are Gujaratis. Now, why should one travel half the world to meet Gujaratis when one can do so in GIFT City itself? One doesn't know if the hard sell was effective. But it was inventive for sure.

‘JUST’ A BLUE TICK

‘JUST’ A BLUE TICK

Of the 26-page new IT rules governing social media and digital content that the government announced on February 25, 2021, there was ONE unique rule that stood out like a sore thumb. This particular rule, dubbed as the Blue Tick Rule by those tracking the industry, asked the social media intermediaries to let the users “voluntarily verify their accounts using appropriate mechanisms, including Indian mobile number.” According to industry insiders, it is rather petty to bring this as a provision when nobody else in the world has it. “It is a pure blue tick provision aimed at Twitter to satisfy the ego of certain right wing Twitter users,” commented an expert. When it comes to verified accounts, Twitter has been accused of having a left wing bias even in India. The right wing Twitterati, experts pointed out, had a big problem that their handles don’t get verified when the left wingers get verified easily. So now we have this “blue tick rule” that the government wants the social media intermediaries to follow, they quipped.

TAKE YOUR PICK

TAKE YOUR PICK

IPO pitches by investment banks and law firms are gradually getting more and more diverse. After all, it’s no longer merely the desi listing option today. ReNew Power was the first major listing via the SPAC route by an Indian firm and the mega deal has turned the spotlight on this shorter alternative to an IPO. The route is a definitely a craze currently on Wall Street, but the de-SPAC (merger between a private operating company and a publicly traded SPAC) within a timeline can be tricky. Thirdly, even though the government is yet to release the guidelines for overseas direct listing, firms in certain sectors are convinced this option suits them the most. Why? These companies, from the fintech and renewable energy segments seem to be convinced that they will fetch far better valuations abroad.

HERE’S TO THE COMEBACK KID

HERE’S TO THE COMEBACK KID

We heard the buzz about an auto vertical (once considered a laggard) of this conglomerate, which is exploring options for an equity fund raise and may be soon hit the markets. The car segment may have been down 13 percent during the April-December period but this firm beat peers in terms of sales growth and also improved its market share. The share price has also seen a sharp surge in recent months and the idea is to reduce the debt burden via the fund raise.

THE STRING OF PEARLS STRATEGY

THE STRING OF PEARLS STRATEGY

The domestic IT segment is in the midst of a mega sale process, which may see the largest private equity cheque ever signed. And the most aggressive global PE fund during the phase of lockdown deals seems to have trumped its peers. But that’s not the only deal brewing in the sector. One of the global tech bellwethers that has expanded its roster and grown from strength to strength through the inorganic route is on the prowl once again and is sniffing around in India. We hear this Fortune 500 firm has trained its eyes on an Indian tech firm for a complete buyout.

CARGO MOVES

CARGO MOVES

Moving onto the transport and logistics space. We hear that one of the biggest domestic aggregators in this segment is eyeing another strategic deal to further expand its formidable footprint. This firm is eyeing the PE stake in the target entity down south. Hint: the target entity’s promoter is related to an “ex-tech czar who fell from grace and did not know how to get off while riding a tiger!”

CONGLOMERATE IN ACTION

CONGLOMERATE IN ACTION

The street may be focusing on the much needed fund infusion in the troubled arm of this conglomerate, which has become a pain point in recent times, but 2021 is likely to see a lot of M&A and fundraising activity as this group benefits from sectoral tailwinds in many of the key businesses. The year has started on a rather “fashionable” note for one the group firms which has struck two back-to-back strategic deals. Another vertical is gearing up for a big-bang IPO. A third vertical is now betting on a stricter capital allocation policy. And the end aim is simple – generate shareholder value.

DEBT DUD

DEBT DUD

COVID-19 has dented the operations of this popular consumer brand which has fallen on rather tough times. In the past, it has attempted to woo both strategic and financial suitors to sell a minority stake but later called off the plans. The firm’s debt has become a serious issue and the lenders are getting increasingly impatient we hear. So impatient that one of the lenders has taken the onus to sell a majority stake in the firm. Will it have any takers this time around? Let’s wait and watch!

LOOK WHO’S PLANNING!

LOOK WHO’S PLANNING!

Let’s round up this week’s edition with yet another juicy deal buzz. And this one is from the buzzing life sciences and healthcare segment. Rumour has it that this cash-rich private firm, which is debt free and has a robust business may be on the block “sooner than later”. But when the fundamentals are sound, why go down the sale route? Fair question. Well, it’s the familiar issue of succession planning we are told. Hmm, now haven’t we heard that before!

Note to the Readers : Chances are you love a juicy story as much as we hacks do and you might have one to share. Please share the story in an email to MCInsider@nw18.com.

Also, spare a moment to tell us what you think of this series. Send your hosannas and howls to the same email address.

Sections