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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY - September 2020

Sep 2020

Aug 04, 2021

Hindustan Paper Corp under Liquidation

  • Hindustan Paper Corporation Limited (HPC) is under liquidation process on the directions of the National Company Law Tribunal and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.
  • In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Heavy Industries Krishan Pal Gurjar said that Cachar Paper Mill, Panchgram and Nagaon Paper Mill, Jagiroad are mills of HPC in Assam and these mills are presently non-operational.

IMF Approves Historic $650 bln Allocation of Special Drawing Rights

  • The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a record general allocation of $650 billion in IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR), to help boost global liquidity. The $650 billion SDR allocation aims to support member countries, especially emerging and developing nations, battling the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused.
  • This allocation is the largest-ever distribution in the IMF's 77-year history, in terms of monetary reserves assets. The allocation will become effective from August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to member countries in proportion to their existing quotas shareholding in the Fund.

VRK Gupta is New CFO of Bharat Petroleum

  • Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation appointed VRK Gupta as chief financial officer, following the superannuation of N. Vijayagopal, who was Director of Finance.
  • Vijayagopal retired on July 31 after an illustrious career of 34 years with the Maharatna company.
  • The designation of CFO is new to the sell-off bound state-owned company, as previously the head of the finance department has been designated as director, finance.
  • Gupta was handling various functions of finance for the past two decades and has rich experience in corporate accounts, risk management, budgeting, business plan, and treasury operations among others. His immediate past assignment was heading the corporate treasury.

RBI Empanels IndusInd Bank as Agency Bank

  • IndusInd Bank has been empanelled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to act as an 'Agency Bank' to facilitate transactions related to government businesses.
  • It will strengthen the bank's presence within the government domain.
  • The announcement come close on the heels of a recent RBI guideline that authorises scheduled private sector banks as agency banks of the regulator for the conduct of government business.
  • With this, IndusInd Bank joins ranks with few other private banks of the country to carry out general banking business on behalf of the central and state government, while also offering customers - the convenience of undertaking routine financial transactions through its banking platform.

ABL Indira JV Bags Project to Upgrade Police Infra in Maldives

  • ABL Indira Projects -- a joint venture between Ashoka Buildcon Ltd and city-based Indira Projects and Developments, signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract worth Rs. 350 crore with the Maldives Police Service.
  • The agreement was towards the design, construction of police stations, barracks and detention centre facilities.
  • The Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM) was funding 85 per cent of the total construction through buyers' credit facility.

RBI Imposes Penalty on Hewlett-Packard Financial Services

  • The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 6 lakh on Hewlett-Packard Financial Services (India) Private Ltd, Bengaluru for non-compliance with certain directions issued by it.
  • RBI said that the statutory inspection of the company, with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2019, revealed non-compliance with the statutory directions on submission of credit information to CRILC and submission of credit data to credit information companies (CICs).
  • The penalty is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the company with its customers.

Aug 03, 2021

K. M. Birla Offers to Hand over His Vodafone Idea Stake

  • Aditya Birla group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has offered to hand over his stake in debt-laden Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) to the government or any other entity that the government may consider worthy to keep the company operational.
  • According to official data, VIL had an adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability of Rs. 58,254 crore out of which the company has paid Rs. 7,854.37 crore and Rs. 50,399.63 crore is outstanding.
  • VIL alongwith Bharti Airtel had approached the Supreme Court for correction in the government calculations but their plea was rejected.

Indian Bank Signs MoU with IIT Bombay

  • State-owned Indian Bank entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Bombay - an initiative of Indian Institute of Technology - for extending exclusive credit facility to start-ups and small businesses.
  • SINE, IIT Bombay, supports the MSME sector by providing joint research and development arrangements and technical and financial support for incubation and acceleration of high-end technology products.
  • This initiative, it said, is a part of the bank's scheme "Ind Spring Board for financing startups" and will empower startups and MSMEs to realise their research efforts powered by financial support from the bank and backed by incubation facility offered by SINE, IIT Bombay. The bank will extend loans of up to Rs50 crore to these startups for their working capital requirements or purchase of machinery, equipment, among others.

Reliance Slips 59 Places on Fortune List

  • Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd slipped 59 places to rank 155th on the 2021 Fortune Global 500 list released. Reliance took a beating on the rankings as revenues dropped owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is its lowest ranking since 2017.
  • Walmart continues to top the Fortune list with a revenue of USD 524 billion, followed by China's State Grid at USD 384 billion. With USD 280 billion revenue, Amazon came in at the third spot, replacing Chinese giants. China National Petroleum was ranked fourth and Sinopec Group fifth.
  • Other Indian oil companies on the list too slipped ranks as their revenues tumbled because of the fall in oil prices. State Bank of India (SBI) moved up 16 places to rank 205 but Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) dropped 61 places to 212th rank. This is the second straight year of SBI improving its ranking. It had moved up 15 places last year.

PM Modi Launches e-RUPI

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a digital direct benefit transfer (DBT) platform called e-RUPI, which aims at making sure that the money transferred by the user, in this case, the government, is used exactly for the same purpose as it is intended to be.
  • Prime Minister Modi termed the e-RUPI as a "big reform", in line with the launch of BHIM-UPI payment system in December 2016. The UPI system has indeed changed the payment landscape in India and has become the preferred mode of payment in many cases. In July alone, UPI registered 3 billion transactions, worth Rs 6 trillion-plus.
  • e-RUPI is a one-time digital voucher developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) that will be transferred directly to the mobile phone as an SMS string or QR code which can be redeemed at particular merchant points that are specifically focused on delivering services related to the benefit scheme for which the money has been transferred. To start with, e-RUPI has been launched to transfer benefits schemes of the Ministry of Health.

Tata Sons' Arm Panatone Finvest Acquires Stake in Tejas Networks

  • Tata Sons' arm Panatone Finvest picked up 8 per cent stake in domestic telecom equipment maker Tejas Networks through an open market transaction.
  • The shares were bought at an average price of Rs. 258, aggregating the transaction size to Rs. 193.5 crore.
  • In July, Panatone Finvest had announced that it has purchased 16.8 per cent equity shares of Tejas Networks for around Rs. 404 crore.

Deepak Maheshwari is New CEO of Essar Oil UK

  • Deepak Maheshwari is the new Chief Executive Officer of Essar Oil (UK).
  • Maheshwari joins Essar Oil (UK), an important asset in the energy portfolio of Essar Global Fund, at a transformative juncture as it accelerates its transition to a 'Low Carbon Energy Provider' of the future.
  • Maheshwari was CFO and Head of Strategy at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone. He was the CFO of Essar Energy during his previous stint with the group.
  • As CEO, Deepak will work closely with the EOUK Board on the delivery of a number of strategic energy transition projects which are aimed at making Stanlow a green refinery to meet the post-carbon needs of a progressive UK.

Vedanta Aluminium Purchases 354 Million Units from IEX

  • Vedanta Aluminium procured 354 million units of solar and non-solar renewable energy primarily from Green Term-Ahead Market (GTAM) at IEX for its aluminium production facility at Jharsuguda, in Odisha.
  • IEX is a premiere energy marketplace and is the largest power exchange in the country.
  • GTAM, introduced last year by IEX, supports buyers in procuring green energy in the most competitive and flexible manner. The purchase of green power from the exchange has enabled organisations like Vedanta and the industry at large to achieve their carbon-mitigation targets while producing 'green' value-added products.

Aug 02, 2021

Sterlite Power Transmission Hires Two Banks for IPO

  • Sterlite Power Transmission Ltd., controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, has hired JM Financial and Axis Capital for a planned initial public offering.
  • The firm, part of the Vedanta group, plans to raise about 30 billion rupees ($403 million) in the financial year through March.
  • As per reports, The IPO will mainly consist of new shares, and more bankers may be added.

CIL Board Approves Increase in Coal Evacuation Facility Charges

  • State-owned CIL's board has approved a proposal to increase the coal evacuation facility charges.
  • The board has also approved subsuming rapid loading charges with evacuation facility charges with effect from Sunday.
  • The board enhanced evacuation facility charges to Rs. 60 per tonne with effect from 1st August, 2021.
  • The boards of CIL arms have been authorised to determine the evacuation facility charges to be charged from the consumers with the provision of annual review with effect from August 1.

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.
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