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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY - April 2019

Apr 2019

Apr 30, 2019

China Shores up Projects

  • China is shoring-up its connectivity projects with Nepal and Myanmar, including a trans-Himalayan network, a cross-border railway venture and an economic corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network, including the Nepal-China cross-border railway, have been named under the list of projects under the BRI.
  • The naming of the bilateral projects with Nepal coincided with Beijing dropping the BCIM or the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Corridor from the BRI projects' list.
  • Instead, China has now named the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor under the BRI, an indication that Beijing will go ahead with infrastructure projects in south Asia bilaterally.

India Notifies Pact with US

  • India has notified the inter-governmental agreement with the US for exchange of country-by-country (CbC) reports on multinational companies regarding income allocation and taxes paid in order to help check cross-border tax evasion.
  • The agreement, which was signed by Central Board of Direct Taxes Chairman P. C. Mody and US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster in March, was notified by the revenue department in April.
  • This agreement for exchange of CbC reports, along with the Bilateral Competent Authority Arrangement, will enable both the countries to automatically exchange CbC reports filed by the ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) in the respective jurisdictions, pertaining to the years commencing on or after January 1, 2016.

Max Offers Exit to Investors

  • Analjit Singh's Max India Ltd said that it would offer an exit opportunity to public shareholders as the company plans to enter new businesses after selling its hospitals and health insurance arms.
  • Max India is currently in the midst of selling a 51% stake in its health insurance joint venture, Max Bupa, to private equity firm True North. The process is likely to be completed in the next six months.
  • Max India is also preparing to demerge into two listed entities. The first entity will be created by the merger of Max Healthcare Institute Ltd with the KKR backed hospital operator Radiant Life Care Pvt. Ltd. The combined entity will be India's third largest corporate hospital chain, with more than 3,200 beds and 16 hospitals and will be listed on the stock exchanges.
  • Radiant Life Care agreed to buy a majority stake in Max Healthcare from Max India in December last. According to the company's statement, Max India's other demerged entity named Advaita will own the group's retirement homes business, Antara Senior Living. It will also manage a corpus of over ₹500 crore received from the sale of Max Bupa.

Apr 29, 2019

Sale of Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo

  • The apex child rights body has asked all states to stop the sale of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo after its sample was found to be of substandard quality in a lab test.
  • In a letter to chief secretaries of all states, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) ordered stoppage of sale of Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and also removing the product from stock of shops after Drug Testing Laboratory, Jaipur declared it of substandard quality as the presence of formaldehyde was confirmed in it.

Apr 28, 2019

PayPal Invests in Uber

  • As per reports, global online payments system PayPal is investing $500 million in Uber ahead of the highly anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO).
  • PayPal needs to step on the growth gas pedal and these investments will buy the company access to millions of global customers.
  • Earlier in March, the payments major had invested $750 million in Argentina`s e-commerce giant MercadoLibre.
  • PayPal has been working with Uber providing payment services since 2013 and is its lead processing partner in the US and Australia.

Apr 27, 2019

IL&FS Invites Bids for ITNL Stake

  • Troubled infrastructure conglomerate Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) has invited expression of interest from potential investors for buying stake in ITNL International Pte Ltd.'s 49% equity in Chongqing Yuhe Expressway Company Limited.
  • ITNL International Pte Ltd. is a company incorporated in Singapore and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited. ITNL is a subsidiary of IL&FS.

Piramal Looks to Merge Shriram Group Entities

  • Piramal Group is looking at a possible merger of Shriram Transport Finance and Shriram City Union Finance with Shriram Capital, before selling its stake in Shriram Group, with investments of $1 billion.
  • Besides, the group is also looking to segregate the less-risky pharma business from the riskier financial services business in the mid-term.

Yes Bank in Red

  • Private sector lender Yes Bank posted a whopping Rs. 1,507 crore loss during the Jan.-March period of 2018-19, as bad loans surged due to its exposure to troubled firms like Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS) and an airline company.
  • The lender posted a Rs. 1,179-crore profit during the same period of the previous financial year. This is the first quarterly results under the new MD & CEO Ravneet Gill, who replaced Rana Kapoor.

Apr 26, 2019

Biocon Net Soars

  •  Biocon's revenue grew 31% to Rs. 5,659 crore and net profit soared 143% to Rs. 905 crore for the fiscal ended March 31, 2019.
  • The fiscal that went by was a landmark year for Biologics business, which reported a 97% growth, emerging as a key driver for Biocon's incremental growth and crossed the $200-million revenue milestone.
  • Syngene, its research services subsidiary, crossed Rs. 500 crore revenue with a net profit of Rs. 100 crore in Q4.

Vedanta Gets Green Nod for Project Expansion

  •  Mining firm Vedanta Ltd. has received environment clearance for the expansion of its oil and gas operation in Rajasthan that would entail an investment of Rs. 12,000 crore.
  • The proposal is to expand onshore oil and gas production from 3,00,000 BOPD (barrels oil per day) to 4,00,000 BOPD and 165 mmscfd (million standard cubic feed per day) to 750 mmscfd from the 'RJ-ON-90/1' block in Barmer and Jalore districts.
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