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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY - January 2020

Jan 2020

Aug 01, 2021

Torrent Power to Acquire 50 MW Solar Plant from Lightsource India

  • Torrent Power has inked an agreement with Lightsource India Ltd and Lightsource Renewable Energy (India) Ltd for acquisition of a 50 MW solar plant.
  • The enterprise value for the deal is around Rs. 317 crore.
  • Torrent Power Limited has entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement with Lightsource India Ltd and Lightsource Renewable Energy (India) Ltd for the acquisition of 100 per cent of the share capital and all securities of LREHL Renewables India SPV 1 Private Limited (SPV.
  • The SPV (special purpose vehicle) operates a 50 MW solar power plant, commissioned in April 2018, situated in Maharashtra.
  • Torrent Power, a Rs. 12,173-crore integrated power utility of the Rs. 20,000-crore Torrent Group, is one of the largest companies in the domestic power sector with presence across the entire power value chain of generation, transmission and distribution.

Bharat BillPay Appoints Noopur Chaturvedi as New CEO

  • Bharat Bill Payment System, NPCI's flagship bill payments platform that was hived off into a separate subsidiary in April, has appointed former PayU and Airtel Payments Bank executive Noopur Chaturvedi as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Chaturvedi, prior to this appointment, was the country head for small and medium business at PayU. In a career spanning nearly two decades, she has worked with Airtel Payments Bank, Samsung, ING Vysya Bank and Citibank in various senior roles, according to her profile on professional networking platform LinkedIn.

DBS, Temasek Set Up Financing Platform for Growth Stage Firms

  • Singapore-based financial services group DBS and Temasek have set up $500 million financing platform, EvolutionX Debt Capital (EvolutionX) for non-dilutive funding to technology-enabled firms with a focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia.
  • It will be led by Joint Interim CEOs Amit Sinha, Group Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology, at DBS, and Aftab Mathur, director, Investment, at Temasek, before a full-time CEO is appointed in the next few months.
  • EvolutionX will invest in opportunities arising from an increasingly digital economy – across sectors such as financial services, consumer, healthcare, education and industrial development.
  • DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Marina Bay, Singapore. The company was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited, before the present name was adopted on 21 July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a global bank.

Hero MotoCorp Commences Retail Operations in Mexico

  • The country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp commenced retail sales in Mexico.
  • The company has introduced an extensive portfolio of products, including motorcycles and a scooter, in the country thereby catering to the diverse segments of customers.
  • The models include the Xpulse 200, Xpulse 200T, Hunk 190, Hunk 160R, Hunk 150, Eco 150 TR, Eco 150 Cargo, and Ignitor 125, and the Dash 125 scooter.

Jul 31, 2021

RBI Cancels Licence of Madgaum Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd, Margao

  • The RBI cancelled the licence of the Madgaum Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, Margao, Goa, as the bank with its current financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full.
  • The RBI further said that as per the data submitted by the bank, about 99 per cent of the depositors will receive full amounts of their deposits from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
  • The Office of Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Goa, has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank.

Ladakh Gets RBI Nod to Acquire 8.23% stake in J&K Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India has accorded its approval to the Government of the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh to acquire 8.23 per cent of the paid-up equity capital of Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd as on the date of enforcement of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 ( October 31, 2019). This move follows the Government of Jammu and Kashmir's October 30, 2020, Order regarding the transfer of 8.23 per cent shareholding (about 4.58 crore equity shares) in Jammu and Kashmir Bank as of October 31, 2019, to the UT of Ladakh.
  • The bank, which declared its financial results on July 14, reported a net profit of Rs. 317 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2021, against a net loss of Rs. 294 crore in the year-ago quarter and a net profit of Rs. 66 crore in the December 2020 quarter.

GE Healthcare Selects 6 Indian Start-ups under 'Cohort 3' Programme

  • Medical technology company GE Healthcare has selected six Indian startups under its 'Cohort 3' programme to help them build and scale up their technologies for their target market segments.
  • The selected startups 4basecare, Haystack Analytics, zMed Healthcare Technologies, Tricog, Aira Matrix and Qritive will spend six months with healthcare industry experts from within and outside GE on their product development.
  • Before this, six healthtech startups, Aarogya AI, Brain Sight AI, InMed Prognostics, Onward Assist, Fluid AI and Wellthy Therapeutics that were part of The India Edison Accelerator's Cohort 2, graduated in June 2021.

Zensar Reveals New Logo in Almost Two Decades

  • Pune-based technology services firm Zensar Technologies changed its logo and a new brand identity, its first major rebranding in almost two decades.
  • The new identity, while marking the new engineering-centric strategy, continues to underscore Zensar's strong foundation of innovation, customer centricity and award-winning people-first culture.
  • The rebranding comes on the back of strategic investments in building capabilities that help businesses take disruptive experiences and products to market with velocity.

Jul 30, 2021

Tata Power Tops Crisil ESG Scores for Power Companies in India

  • Tata Power has secured the highest score among its peers in the Indian power sector in rating agency CRISIL's recently launched environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores.
  • The company is committed to its vision to empower a billion lives through sustainable, affordable and innovative energy, and has fared well on all ESG parameters scoring an impressive 67 out of 100.
  • It has scored 61 in environment, and 60 and 77 on social and governance parameters, respectively.
  • This assessment was made voluntarily by CRISIL and is based on publicly available information.
  • The scores are based on CRISIL's proprietary framework and are assigned on a scale of 1-100, with 100 denoting best-in-class ESG performance. The current evaluation analyses three annual reporting cycles through fiscal 2020.

RBI Imposes Rs. 5-crore Penalty on Axis Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs. 5 crore on Axis Bank for contravention of certain provisions of directions issued by the RBI, encompassing those on cyber security framework.
  • The directions include 'Strengthening the Controls of Payment Ecosystem between Sponsor Banks and SCBs/UCBs as a Corporate Customer', 'Cyber Security Framework in Banks', 'RBI (Financial Services provided by Banks) Directions, 2016', 'Financial Inclusion- Access to Banking Services - Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account' and 'Frauds - Classification and Reporting'.
  • "This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
  • The bank was founded on 3rd December 1993 as UTI Bank, opening its registered office in Ahmedabad in 1994.

Tata Teleservices Partners Zoom Partner

  • Telecom operator Tata Teleservices and web-based video conferencing company Zoom announced a partnership for unified communications solution for enterprises and individuals.
  • The partnership will take the reach of Zoom to enterprises in around 60 cities where Tata Teleservices has a presence.
  • Tata Teleservices will provide support to Zoom based unified communications solutions for organisations across industry segments such as banking and financial services, healthcare, IT-enabled businesses, and education.

Three India-based Enterprises in UN Best Small Business Winners

  • Three enterprises based in India are among the winners of 'Best Small Businesses' global competition as announced by the United Nations. These businesses are providing diverse, inspiring and impactful solutions in improving access to sustainable and healthy food.
  • 50 medium and small sized enterprises globally have been announced as the winners of the Best Small Businesses of the Good Food for All competition.
  • This competition was organized in concomitance with the UN Food Systems Summit.
  • The winners from India are Oorja Development Solutions India, Edible Routes Private Limited and Taru Naturals.
  • The winners have been selected from around 2,000 applications from 135 countries across the world.
  • All of the 50 winners showcase diverse, impactful and inspiring solutions in improving access to sustainable and healthy food.
  • $1,00,000 in cash prizes will be shared by the winners.
  • Youths constitute of half of the winners and nearly half of the winners are women.
  • The winners are from 42 countries.

Parle Products Tops Most-chosen FMCG Brand List in India

  • According to the 'Brand Footprint' report by marketing research firm Kantar, homegrown food company Parle Products has emerged as the most-chosen brand among the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in the country.
  • Parle Products leads this year's rankings, as the most-chosen FMCG brands, based on Consumer Reach Points (CRPs.
  • CRPs consider the actual purchase made by consumers and the frequency at which these purchases are made in a calendar year.
  • It is followed by Amul, Britannia, Clinic Plus and Tata Consumer Products.

Jul 29, 2021

Jill Kouri is New Chief Marketing Officer of HCL Technologies

  • HCL Technologies appointed Jill Kouri as its global Chief Marketing Officer.
  • In her new role, Kouri will lead the company's global marketing programmes to advance HCL's focus on helping companies reimagine their business for the digital age.
  • Kouri joins HCL Technologies most recently from JLL, where she was Chief Marketing Officer, Americas, for seven years. Prior to that, she spent 14 years in senior marketing leadership roles at Accenture.

Yes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance Enter Co-lending Setup for Home Loans

  • Yes Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance have come forward for a strategic co-lending tie-up to source and service home loans.
  • Under this strategic co-lending agreement, they will offer home loans to homebuyers at competitive interest rates.
  • The partnership aims at synergising capabilities to provide an efficient and seamless experience to retail home loan customers.
  • The co-lending framework laid down by RBI provides a collaboration tool to benefit from the low-cost funding model of a bank and the cost-efficient sourcing and servicing capabilities of a non-bank.
  • The bank is looking forward to further building a profitable and quality home loan portfolio through this partnership.

RBI Allows Wallets, White Label Card Networks to access RTGS, NEFT Systems

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed payment system providers, prepaid card issuers, card networks and white label ATM operators access to its Centralised Payment Systems (CPS), such as real time gross settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) systems in the first phase of its plan bring non-banks in the same platform.
  • Direct access for non-banks to CPS lowers the overall risk in the payments ecosystem. It also brings advantages to non-banks like reduction in cost of payments, minimising dependence on banks, reducing the time taken for completing payments, eliminating the uncertainty in finality of the payments as the settlement is carried out in central bank money, etc.
  • The RBI had announced opening up of the CPS space in its April policy.

HDFC Enhances Existing Limit to Borrow Via Medium-term Bonds up to $2.8 bn

  • The country's largest mortgage lender HDFC Ltd has enhanced its existing limit to raise capital through medium-term notes to up to USD 2.8 billion (about Rs. 20,875.65 crore).
  • Housing Development Finance Corporation updated its existing medium-term note (MTN) programme for an amount of up to USD 2.8 billion in order to enable the Corporation to issue rupee/foreign currency-denominated bonds in the international capital market.
  • The enhancement is subject to regulatory approvals.
  • "The update of the MTN programme is only an enabling step, and presently no instruments are being issued by the Corporation.
  • The MTN programme allows a company to issue bonds to meet its constant capital requirement for the medium term.

Jul 28, 2021

ICICI Lombard, SVAAS Wellness Tie Up

  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories-owned SVAAS Wellness have joined hands to offer cashless outpatient services to health insurance policyholders.
  • "The partnership marks the launch of Dr. Reddy's digital health solution SVAAS and demonstrates ICICI Lombard's deeper foray into the wellness space.
  • It is a first-of-its-kind integrated and cashless digital health solution in India. To begin with, there will be pilot launch of the service in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.
  • The outpatients will get the benefit of doctor consultations, pathology laboratories and diagnostics services, pharmacies, and insurance through various suitable collaborations.
  • ICICI Lombard will offer wellness solutions to the policyholders through its comprehensive ILTakeCare app to a larger set of health conscious consumers.

Vedanta to Invest Rs. 6,600 cr on Balco Expansion

  • Oil and gas and metals company Vedanta plans major expansion at Bharat Aluminium Company's (Balco) smelter capacity which will involve an investment of Rs. 6,611 crore over the next 18-24 months.
  • This would be first major investment after a long gap by Vendanta in the entity it acquired by purchasing majority government shareholding nearly two decades back.
  • As part of the expansion, Balco's smelter capacity will increase by 414 KTPA, taking its total capacity to close to 1 million tonnes. With this fresh investment, Balco's value-added products portfolio will increase to 92 per cent.
  • In addition, the carbon plant adequacy business at Jharsuguda (Odisha) will set up a new carbon facility at a cost of Rs. 635 crore.

Axis Bank Buys Stake in IBBIC

  • Axis Bank bought 5.55 per cent stake in financial technology firm IBBIC.
  • The bank has subscribed to 50,000 equity shares of face value of Rs. 10 each fully paid up of IBBIC Private Ltd (IBBIC) for a consideration of Rs. 10 per equity share constituting 5.55 per cent of the issued and paid up capital of IBBIC.
  • Incorporated in May this year, IBBIC platform offers distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions to the Indian financial services sector.
  • DLT, more commonly known as blockchain technology, is a protocol to enable secure functioning of a decentralised digital database. It stores information securely using cryptography.
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