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Morning Scan: All the big stories to get you started for the day

A round-up of the biggest articles from newspapers

March 29, 2022 / 07:42 AM IST

Regulator says Ruchi Soya must allow FPO investors to cancel bids

In a rare move, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has directed Ruchi Soya Industries to allow retail investors who have submitted bids for its Rs 43 billion follow-on public offering to withdraw their applications on March 28-30. The offer closed on Monday.

Why it’s important: The capital market regulator has taken strong exception to the circulation of unsolicited SMSes to invest in the offer. The contents of the text messages appeared to be misleading and fraudulent and did not comply with regulations, the watchdog said.

 

Banks refer Future Retail to company law tribunal for insolvency proceedings

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Lenders led by Bank of India have decided to refer Future Retail to the National Company Law Tribunal for insolvency proceedings over recovery of unpaid dues. The banks have invited financial and technical bids from insolvency professionals by March 29. It will be followed by a presentation from shortlisted bidders. Grant Thornton, PwC, Alvarez & Marsal, KPMG, BDO India, EY and Deloitte are likely to bid for the mandate.

Why it’s important: The insolvency move that could further hinder the sale of Future’s retail assets to a unit of Reliance Industries. The sales deal has been mired in conflict, with Amazon approaching courts and tribunals to block it. The insolvency proceedings add another layer of issues.

 

BlackRock, Mubadala to invest in Tata’s green energy initiative

Asset manager BlackRock, and Mubadala Investment, the sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates, are in talks to invest around $500 million and $200 million, respectively, in a proposed new energy entity to be floated by Tata Power. The new vehicle will house all renewable energy assets of Tata Power, including hydropower, as well as its transmission and distribution business.

Why it’s important: The renewables business of the Tata group is expected to be valued at $5 billion. The growing interest in India’s green energy space comes amid an investor focus on environmental, social and governance goals.

 

Indian crypto exchanges evaded Rs 815.4 million in taxes

The Central Goods and Services Tax authority recovered Rs 958.6 million, including penalties, from 11 crypto exchanges that collectively evaded Rs 815.4 million in GST, junior finance minister Pankaj Chaudhary said in a written response to a question in Parliament. Although the government does not collect any data on cryptocurrency exchanges, it has detected a few cases of evasion of indirect taxes, he said.

Why it’s important: The Indian government is increasingly trainings its tax lens on virtual digital assets. It has proposed to tax gains from cryptocurrencies at 30 percent from April. There could be more regulations in the offing.

 

Singapore’s ecommerce firm Shopee shutters India operations

Singapore’s ecommerce firm Shopee has decided to close its operations in India about six months after entering the country. Shopee announced the development to its local team in a meeting on Monday, saying it will cease to operate in India immediately. The firm competed with the likes of Meesho, Flipkart and Amazon India, especially at the lower end of the market.

Why it’s important: Earlier this year, Shopee had shuttered operation in France after its recent foray in Europe. The ecommerce firm’s exit comes after the Indian government banned its parent firm Sea’s gaming app Free Fire as part of a wider effort to clamp down on Chinese apps.

 

Flipkart chief buys luxury villa in Bengaluru for over Rs 80 million

Flipkart’s chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy has bought a luxury villa in Bengaluru for more than Rs 80 million. The villa at Adarsh Palm Retreat in Varthur Hobli has a built-up area of 4,921 sq ft and is constructed on a plot measuring 6,918 sq ft, according to a document shared by Zapkey, which aggregates publicly available property registration data.

Why it’s important: The sale of luxury residences in Bengaluru has been led by younger, self-made wealthy individuals, unlike Mumbai, which is dominated by businessmen and top executives of firms. In the last five years, Bengaluru’s ultra-rich population grew by 22.7 per cent, from 287 in 2016 to 352 in 2021.

 

Government to monetise 3,500 acres of land of nine state-owned companies

Nine central public sector enterprises have identified 3,479 acres of surplus land and building assets for monetization by the newly approved National Land Monetization Corporation, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Why it’s important: The corporation is being set up with an initial authorized share capital of Rs 50 billion and paid-up share capital of Rs 1.5 billion solely to sell surplus land and building assets of central public sector units and other government agencies.

 

Airtel considers selling non-core assets, including telecom towers business

Bharti Airtel may monetize its tower, payments bank, data center and fiber assets, among others, the telecom company has told analysts. The company may further increase its stake in tower company Indus Towers to provide stability to the company before monetizing its stake.

Why it’s important: India’s second largest carrier is getting ready to rollout 5G services and has planned capital spending of about $3 billion over the next two years.

 

Reliance Jio close to finalising 5G deal with Samsung

Reliance Jio is in advanced talks with Samsung for the Korean telecom gear maker to be its third-party technology provider, complementing its efforts to roll out a 5G network across India. Reliance has developed its own 5G technology, including the core and 5G radios, and plans to launch standalone 5G services, unlike its rivals who will start with non-standalone 5G.

Why it’s important: Samsung and Reliance have taken important steps towards a collaborative effort by starting 5G test trials in Mumbai. Reliance is also testing its 5G solutions on its own in Mumbai and Jamnagar.

 

Lenders seek more time to implement new MFI guidelines

Banks and microfinance institutions have sought more time to implement the Reserve Bank of India’s new guidelines for MFIs. The new rules, issued on March 14 and expected to come into effect from April 1, allow MFIs to set their own interest rates for loans, provided the rates are not exorbitant.

Why it’s important: MFIs were expecting strong demand for fresh credit 2022-23 financial year, which should get a boost from the central bank’s guidelines. The new rules will provide flexibility and clarity on conducting business.



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