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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

October 14, 2021 / 07:47 AM IST

Five banks eye Citi’s India consumer business

Five top banks are in the fray to submit binding bids for the Citi India consumer businesses before the October 26 deadline, The Economic Times reported.

Why it’s important: Citi is India’s sixth-largest card issuer, but it has lost market share on card spends from 20 percent a decade ago to 4 percent now.
However, Citi has consistently logged 15-25 percent higher expenditure per card against the industry average.
HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are the frontrunners to win the business that generates about $1 billion in revenue.
Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and DBS India are also shown interest.

Citi India is looking at a valuation above $2 billion.


Vodafone Idea in talks to raise up to $1 billion in equity


The beleaguered telecom company Vodafone Idea is in discussion to sell a minority stake to global private equity investors to raise up to $1 billion, The Economic Times reported.

Why it’s important: The advanced talks are with Apollo Global Management and Carlyle to raise about Rs 7,540 crore in three months.
Vi may follow that up with an FPO to raise another $1 billion around June 2022.

The institutional fundraising is likely to boost the confidence of retail investors betting on Vi’s revival.


Ratan Tata credits Chandrasekaran for the decision behind AI buy

Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata has credited the decision to bid for Air India to group Chairman N Chandrasekaran, The Economic Times reported.

What Tata says: “The decision reached by Tata Sons was totally based on the study undertaken and concluded by those under the leadership of group chairman N Chandrasekaran,” Tata said in an email response to queries from ET.

Tata Sons is said to have also sought the counsel of Ratan Tata, its chairman emeritus while putting in what turned out to be a successful bid.

“It is true that I have a passion for aviation and have enjoyed my time as a type-rated pilot on a variety of aircraft. I have not, however, had an involvement in the decision to bid for Air India other than a positive emotional feeling that we could endeavour to help re-establish Air India to the level of prominence it had in days gone by.”


Chip shortage inflates smartphone prices

Global supply chain constraints and shortage of chips and other electronic components are pushing the prices of smartphones, The Times of India reported.

Why it’s important: Prices of several mobile phone models currently being sold are 8-10 percent high.
The average selling price of smartphones is up from $155-163 to around $180 in recent quarters.

Companies are working on new plans to be competitive by re-launching with new chipsets, tweaking accessories and through various promotions.


Power ministry warned about coal stocks in August

The power ministry cautioned States about depleted coal stocks as early as August, Mint reported.

Why it’s important: The ministry highlighted the possible electricity short supply.
It also asked States to clear their pending fuel and transportation dues.

The coal stock available at power plants on August 15, was only 18.5 million tonnes, sufficient for only nine days of generation, it showed.


CarDekho is eyeing a public listing in the next 18 months: CEO Jain

Girnar Software Pvt. Ltd, which runs CarDekho, is planning to list on the domestic exchanges over the next 18 months, Mint reported.

Why it’s important: The plans for the IPO are currently being discussed by the company’s board, said Amit Jain, co-founder and chief executive at CarDekho.

CarDekho raised $250 million earlier this week as a part of its pre-IPO round in a mix of equity and debt, led by LeapFrog, valuing the startup at $1.2 billion.

What the founder says: “Markets are always favourable to a good company. At present, our business lines of selling new cars, insurance and financial services are profitable businesses or are breaking even.”


PE money floods EV firms with a good technology base

Private equity funds are showing keen interest in domestic electric vehicle companies with a strong technology and software base and the aim to scale up, Business Standard reported.

Why it’s important: PE players are betting big on the future growth of electric vehicles.
The interest is visible as compared to incumbent vehicle makers as well as other EV startups.
This was reflected in the deal that Tata Motors had raised Rs 7,500 crore from TPG and Abu Dhabi ADQ for a newly-formed EV subsidiary.

Ola Electric is also raising another $200 million, which will push up its valuation to $5 billion from $3 billion.


Coal shortage gives Railways a Rs 1,000-cr windfall

Indian Railways has earned close to Rs 1,000 crore more by ferrying imported coal in the April-September period this fiscal, Business Standard reported.

Why it’s important: The Railways was told to make more racks available for coal supply to power plants for the immediate future.
Total imported coal loaded during the six months stood at 45.87 mt, up from 37.24 mt during the same period last fiscal year.
This is expected to go up further, with the directive to thermal power generators to import coal for at least 10 per cent blending, citing shortage of domestic coal supply.
Total coal movement by train also reported an uptick at 257.09 mt during the period under review, up from 197.03 mt from the year-ago period.Earnings from the domestic coal movement rose over 53 per cent to Rs 25,705.90 crore, up from Rs 16,760.21 crore.
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