RBI digital currency likely in crypto bill
The proposal for a Central Bank Digital Currency backed by RBI is likely to be included in the upcoming bill to regulate cryptocurrency, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: The government’s response is not to ban cryptocurrencies but rather to provide cryptocurrency via the RBI.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 also aims to ensure that RBI does not lose control of the country’s monetary economics while minimising speculative betting around cryptos.
Hindujas ready $1.1 billion to hike stake in IndusInd Bank
IndusInd International Holding Ltd is readying a war chest of more than a billion dollars after the regulator last week allowed bank promoters to raise ownership to 26% of total equity, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: Once operational guidelines are in place, the promoters will raise the money in two to three months to enhance their stakes in multiple tranches to 26%.
At present, the Hinduja-led promoter entity of IndusInd Bank, owns 16.54% in the bank.
Overseas funds collectively own more than 51%.
At about Rs 70,000 crore, IndusInd Bank is the country’s fifth-largest private sector lender by market value.
Ashok Hinduja, chairman of the Hinduja Group of Companies (India), said: “At this stage, we will need more than $1.1 billion to raise our stake to 26% in IndusInd Bank. We won’t like to put all the money at one go.”
Sebi asks portfolio management service managers for client deal data
The Sebi has asked all portfolio management service providers, who handle investments of the rich and ultrarich, to submit information on the quantum of various securities bought by different kinds of clients, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: The move has sparked speculation among some of the portfolio managers about Sebi taking a closer look at the investment patterns through the PMS route.
This is after many high net worth individuals prefer to park a slice of their money under PMS and with alternative investment funds like private equity and venture capital outfits.
Even inflow of funds in every account since a client was onboarded were sought.
The reasons for the may include there has been a rise in the number of boutique PMS outfits, the PMS pie has grown, and the market has become volatile.
Sebi would also like to know whether there were large exposures to some stocks.
WhatsApp Pay lines up India-first features, funding to drive usage
WhatsApp Pay is planning to invest significant sums in India over the next six months to speed up the growth of its payment service, The Economic Times reported.
Why it’s important: It will work towards a full-fledged rollout soon.
WhatsApp, owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), has received approval to scale up its payments business to a tenth of its India user base.
WhatsApp Pay's market share in UPI transactions stands at less than 1%, whereas Walmart-backed Phone-Pe and Google Pay's market share is 46% and 34%, respectively.
The National Payments Corporation of India allowed WhatsApp on Friday to double the number of users on its payments service in the country to 40 million.
WhatsApp claims it has more than 400 million users in India.
Manesh Mahatme, director-payments, WhatsApp India, said: “Over the next 6 months, we have planned significant investments in WhatsApp Pay across India — including many more “India-first” features — that we are sure will accelerate our growth.”
Tatas in talks to buy battery business of UK firm in EV push
Tata Chemicals Ltd is a frontrunner in talks to buy the battery materials business of London-based Johnson Matthey, Mint reported.
Why it’s important: A deal could be struck at a valuation of $500-700 million.
The deal can help Tata Motors expand its range of electric vehicles and secure a cost advantage over rival carmakers in the EV space.
None of Tata Group’s competitors has in-house battery materials manufacturing ability.
Promoter holdings rise in Adani Green
The promoter shareholding in Adani Green Energy has gone up from 56.29% as of March to 60.14% in November, Mint reported.
Why it’s important: A Mauritius-based promoter entity, Infinite Trade and Investments Ltd has acquired about 5% of equity shares in recent months.
Adani Green Energy has a market capitalisation of Rs 2.14 trillion.
Separately, nine Mauritius-based funds, six of whom dominate most of the public float in listed Adani group companies, have pared their holdings in Adani Green.
This is a departure from the historic pattern of trading by the aforementioned six funds, which rarely sell Adani group shares.
Infinite Trade now owns 5.44% of the equity in Adani Green.
‘Sebi won’t interfere with IPO valuations’
Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi said in an interview with Business Standard that
Sebi as the regulator doesn’t, and should not get into IPO valuations.
What the Sebi Chairman says: Start-up getting listed here provides an opportunity for domestic investors to participate.
Based on experience gained and feedback received from various stakeholders, there are bound to be learnings going forward.
The challenge before Sebi is to find the right balance in regulatory architecture.
It has to make sure that investor interests are protected and at the same time, there isn’t over-regulation so that companies don’t get discouraged to list here.
It is for the government to take a view on cryptocurrencies.
‘Teradata is incredibly proud of the India team’
Steve McMillan, president and CEO of Teradata, in an interview with Business Standard, said that the focus is to be a cloud-first organisation.
What the CEO says: Pivoted the research and development organisation and many of the product engineers work in India.
Going to spend from 30 per cent of our research and development budget in the cloud to 70 per cent of our budget in the cloud.
That was about $210 million a year for the research and development budget.
Teradata had a rapidly growing cloud business of over $100 million and we were generating free cash flow of over $400 million.
The company is incredibly proud of the India team.
See significant opportunities in India to continue expansion, as the country’s digital transformation continues to accelerate.India is a tremendous partner in terms of enabling us to deliver the best possible technologies in the world to our customers, but also, we see fantastic opportunities out there in the marketplace.