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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY - January 2021

Jan 2021

Jul 26, 2021

Rules Related to Incorporation of Companies Changed

  • The government has amended the rules concerning to the incorporation of companies which comes under the Companies Act, 2013. From 1st September, these changes will come into effect.
  • Companies Act, 2013, is being implemented by the corporate affairs ministry and they have amended the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014.
  • Changes have been made to the Section 16 of the Act which relates to the allotment of a new name to an existing company.
  • Section 16 relates to rectification of the name of a company which is subjected to various conditions, including that the government may direct the name changing a firm's if it is identical with the name of another existing company. It has to be implemented by the concerned company within three months.
  • New rules have been introduced by the ministry of Corporate Affairs wherein the 'ORDNC' (Order of Regional Director Not Complied) tag would be attached to a company's name that does not comply with name changing direction within the time period.

YES Bank Inks Pact with RuPay

  • YES Bank may have to forgo issuance of 100,000 new credit cards in three months. The private lender, which has exclusive tie-up with Mastercard, says the curb will not impact profitability.
  • The bank has tied up with National Payments Corporation of India for issuing RuPay cards and will ink a similar deal with VISA.
  • Earlier this month, the RBI barred Mastercard from issuing new cards for failing to comply with rules to store data related to payment systems only in India.
  • The recent regulatory restrictions would not have any impact on the bank's existing customers.

RBI Increases Loan Limit of Bank Directors

  • The Reserve Bank of India increased the limit of personal loans given to any director of a bank to Rs. 5 crore, from Rs. 25 lakh earlier.
  • The central bank amended the master circular for this, and said unless sanctioned by the board of directors or the management committee, banks should not grant loans and advances aggregating Rs. 5 crore and above to any relative other than spouse and dependent children of their own Chairmen/Managing Directors or other Directors.
  • This also extends to firms in which any relative other than spouse or dependent children is interested as a partner or guarantor.

Shiv Nadar Steps Down as HCL Tech MD

  • HCL Technologies announced that its Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director Shiv Nadar has stepped down from the position with immediate effect. However, he has now been appointed Chairman Emeritus & Strategic Advisor to the board, the company added.
  • The company's board of directors has appointed current President & CEO C. Vijayakumar as the CEO & Managing Director for a term of five years with effect from July 20, 2021.
  • Shiv Nadar is one of the pioneers of the computing and IT industry in India. In 1976, he founded the HCL Group, leading the computing revolution as India's original garage startup. Under his guidance, HCL has continued to ride the waves of the changing global IT landscape for over 45 years.

Avigna to Invest in Tamil Nadu

  • Avigna Industrial & Logistics Park will invest Rs. 837 crore in Tamil Nadu to develop industrial parks.
  • The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tamil Nadu government for an investment of Rs. 837 crore in the state.
  • The agreement has been signed between Managing Director Rajasekaran S. and Executive Director Abhijit Verma from Avigna Group and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin.
  • Avigna will utilise the proposed investment to develop modern industrial development parks in various parts of Tamil Nadu in the coming years.

Jul 25, 2021

PAG Inks Pact to Acquire Controlling Stake in Acme

  • Asia-focused private equity firm PAG reached an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Acme Formulation Pvt Ltd (Acme) for USD 145 million (around Rs. 1,054 crore).
  • Acme is a leading contract development and manufacturing outsourcing (CDMO) company with a focus on complex pharmaceutical products.
  • Viral Shah, the founder of Acme, will retain a significant minority stake in the company and continue as Managing Director and CEO.

Biz2X Launches API-based Loan Management System

  • Biz2X, a Noida-based digital-lending SaaS platform that enables financial institutions to provide a customised online loan servicing experience for their small- and mid-size business customers, has announced the launch of Biz2X LMS (Loan Management System), an end-to-end API-based platform for loan management, servicing, and collections.
  • The LMS is an advanced and comprehensive bank loan management system that automates the entire loan lifecycle for achieving cost savings and enhanced customer experience. It is accessible from REST API and can be integrated with any downstream or upstream system, including core banking systems, accounting software, and consumer-facing apps.

Kotak Mahindra Bank Signs MoU with the Indian Navy for Salary Account

  • The Indian Navy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kotak Mahindra for salary accounts of all its personnel - both serving and retired.
  • The signing ceremony took place in Delhi in the presence of Commodore Neeraj Malhotra (commodore pay and allowances) of the Indian Navy and Parminder Varma, business head (corporate salary) at Kotak Mahindra Bank.
  • The bank will reportedly offer special salary account benefits to the Indian Navy like enhanced complimentary personal accident insurance cover, special education benefit for children, and additional girl child benefit, and attractive rates and zero processing fees on personal loans, home loans and car loans.

Banks to Stop Issuing New Cards on Mastercard Network after RBI Ban

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban on Mastercard Asia Pacific to onboard new debit, credit or prepaid card customers came into effect from July 22. India's central bank pulled the plug on Mastercard over non-compliance with directions on 'Storage of Payment System Data' which mandates all system providers to store entire data of domestic customers relating to payment systems only in India.
  • In April 2018, the RBI issued a circular notifying all payment networks to store data locally, including end-to-end transaction details, and information collected, carried, and processed as part of the message or payment instruction.
  • Mastercard is the third major payment system operator to face restrictions for non-compliance with RBI's local data storage rules. The RBI had imposed similar restrictions on American Express Banking Corp and Discover Financial Services' Diners Club card from May 1 for violating data storage norms. While Mastercard has been barred from onboarding new customers from July 22, the restrictions will not impact existing customers.

Jul 24, 2021

Airtel, Intel Announce Collaboration for 5G Rollout in India

  • Bharti Airtel is collaborating with Intel for 5G network development by leveraging vRAN/O-RAN technologies.
  • The collaboration is part of Airtel's 5G roadmap for India as it transforms its networks to allow its customers to reap the full possibilities of the hyperconnected world where Industry 4.0 to cloud gaming and virtual/augmented reality become an everyday experience.
  • Airtel is the first telecom operator in India to demonstrate 5G over a LIVE network and is conducting 5G trials in major cities.
  • Airtel will deploy Intel's latest third generation Xeon Scalable processors, FPGAs and eASICs, and Ethernet 800 series across its network to build a solid foundation for rolling out wide-scale 5G, mobile edge computing and network slicing.

Government Approves Rs. 6,322 crore PLI Scheme for Speciality Steel

  • The Union Cabinet approved Rs. 6,322 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for speciality steel in a move that is expected to attract an additional investment of about Rs. 40,000 crore and capacity addition of 25 million tonnes in the segment.
  • According to the government, the scheme will give employment to about 525,000 people of which 68,000 will be direct employment.
  • segment by the government because out of a production of 102 million tonnes of steel in 2020-21, only 18 million tonnes of value-added steel/speciality steel were produced in the country.

RBI to Introduce Central Bank Digital Currency in Phases

  • According to deputy governor T. Rabi Sankar, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will introduce its own version of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in a phased manner and after carefully weighing its impact on various issues, including how it could hamper the deposit mobilisation abilities of banks, and its potential effect on the conduct of the monetary policy.
  • The RBI is currently working towards a phased implementation strategy and examining use cases "which could be implemented with little or no disruption," said Rabi Sankar.

Jul 23, 2021

Sterlite Tech to Acquire UK-based Network Integration Firm Clearcomm Group

  • Broadband technology company Sterlite Technologies will acquire Clearcomm Group, a leading Network Integration company in the UK, to further globalise its system integration business at an enterprise valuation of around Rs. 160 crore.
  • Sterlite Tech will acquire 100 per cent of the share capital of Clearcomm Group in two tranches.
  • The company will acquire 80 per cent stake in Clearcomm Group in the first tranche at enterprise valuation of around Rs. 158 crore and rest of the 20 per cent in 2023.

ICICI Bank, HPCL launch 'ICICI Bank HPCL Super Saver' Credit Card

  • ICICI Bank announced the launch of a co-branded credit card with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to enable users to get benefits and reward points for using multiple credit cards in one. Named, 'ICICI Bank HPCL Super Saver Credit Card', the card offers best-in-class rewards and benefits to customers on their everyday spends on fuel as well as other categories including electricity and mobile, departmental stores like Big Bazaar and D-Mart, and e-commerce portals, among others. Powered by VISA, the card is unique among its peers which typically offer benefits on only one category of spend.
  • Customers can apply for the 'ICICI Bank HPCL Super Saver Credit Card' through the Bank's internet banking platform or the mobile banking app, iMobile Pay. They get a digital card in a 100% contactless and paperless manner. The physical card is also sent to the customer by ICICI Bank within a few days. Further, customers can manage their transaction settings and credit limit conveniently on the iMobile Pay app.

SBI Selects Paisalo as its National Corporate Business Correspondent

  • State Bank of India has selected Paisalo Digital as the National Corporate Business Correspondent of the bank for financial inclusion. Paisalo Digital shall extend its services and its reach to the general public including its existing customers and new customers. As a business correspondent for the bank, it will focus and improve the synergy with the thrust of the already up and running fully digital small loan business under SBI-Paisalo Loan Co-origination. Santanu Agarwal, Deputy CEO, Paisalo Digital, said that the company is tapping into the Rs. 8000 billion market opportunity of small ticket loans for India's 365 million unbanked population. This engagement will help the company increase share of fee and service income in total income in future, he added. He also mentioned that coupled with the fully digital SBI-Paisalo Loan Co-origination Scheme, Paisalo will achieve its target of creating a seamless banking solution for India's Bottom of the Pyramid population.
  • Paisalo Digital Limited is a Systemically Important Non-Deposit taking NBFC registered with the Reserve Bank of India. The Company was incorporated in the year 1992 as a Private Limited Company, converted itself in a Public Limited Company in the year 1995 and got listed in the year 1996 through Initial Public Offer (IPO). Presently the company is listed on NSE & BSE.

Max Bupa Rebrands Itself as Niva Bupa

  • Standalone health insurer Max Bupa Health Insurance, backed by private equity firm True North and Bupa, has rebranded itself to Niva Bupa Health Insurance.
  • Max India, which owned 51 per cent in the insurer sold its stake to True North in February 2019 for Rs. 510 crore. While the erstwhile promoters exited the venture, it was decided that the use of the "Max" brand will be phased out over a period of two years and replaced with a suitable name. The Bupa brand name, however, would continue as before.
  • Niva Bupa is one of the five pure-play health insurers in the country. Others in the space are Start Health and Allied Insurance, Care Health Insurance, Manipal Cigna Health Insurance, and, Aditya Birla Health Insurance.

FCB India Names Debarpita Banerjee as CEO

  • FCB India, the newly created creative agency of FCB Group India, on Thursday announced its new leadership team. The agency will be led by Debarpita Banerjee as chief executive, Surjo Dutt as chief creative officer and John Thangaraj as chief strategy officer.

Jul 22, 2021

ESR Inks MoU with TN Govt. to Build Industrial Parks

  • Industrial and logistics real estate platform ESR India signed an agreement with the Tamil Nadu government to develop two industrial parks with an estimated investment of Rs. 550 crore.
  • The MoU is signed for the launch of two industrial parks in Kancheepuram and Krishnagiri districts of the state over the next five years.
  • ESR India said the MoU will facilitate its proposed investment at Kancheepuram and Krishnagiri industrial parks by helping in streamlining land acquisition, approvals, clearances, and administrative processes as per existing policies, rules, and regulations of the state government.
  • ESR is the largest APAC focused logistics real estate platform by gross floor area and by value of the assets owned directly and by the funds and investment vehicles it manages.
  • The ESR platform spans major economies across the APAC region, including the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, India, and Vietnam.

IBM Signs Partnership Deal with Bangalore International Airport

  • IBM and Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which operates Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/BLR Airport), announced a 10-year partnership under which IBM and Kyndryl will provide IT solutions to create a new "Airport in a Box" platform that will support transforming the end-to-end travel experience for passengers at BLR Airport.
  • IBM and BIAL will work to ensure that the platform supports BIAL's commitment to sustainability and the community at large. BIAL recently achieved its goal of net energy neutral status in the financial year 2020-21, consuming energy from renewable sources.

Dyson Enters Hyderabad, Chandigarh

  • British tech firm Dyson announced expansion of its retail sales network by adding more demo stores and mall demo zones, taking its total count to 12 in the country.
  • As part of its expansion, Dyson has entered two new markets -- Hyderabad and Chandigarh, besides strengthening its presence in Bengaluru and Chennai with new demo stores.
  • After this, South India emerges as a key market for Dyson.
  • At demo stores and mall demo zones, Dyson displays its range of products like vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and hair dryers, among others.
  • Dyson, which operates in four categories -- floor care, environmental care, personal care and professional care -- started operations in India in February 2018.

BoB, U GRO Capital Launch Co-lending Platform 'Pratham'

  • Bank of Baroda and fintech platform U GRO Capital have launched a co-lending platform 'Pratham', under which Rs. 1,000 crore loan will be disbursed to the MSME sector in the country.
  • Commencements of loan disbursements under Pratham mark the 114th Foundation Day of Bank of Baroda.
  • Pratham, a Rs. 1,000 crore co-lending programme, will allow the MSMEs to avail customised lending solutions at a competitive rate of interest with a significant reduction in turn-around time.
  • The loan amount ranges from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 2.5 crore to be offered at an interest rate starting from 8 per cent with a maximum tenure of 120 months.

LIC Launches Arogya Rakshak Insurance Plan

  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has introduced Arogya Rakshak, a non-linked, non-participating, regular premium, individual, health insurance plan. The plan provides fixed benefit health insurance cover against certain specified health risks. It provides timely support in case of medical emergencies and helps the insured and his family to remain financially independent in difficult times.
  • The Arogya Rakshak policy is different from the regular comprehensive health insurance in terms of method of payment reimbursement.
  • Generally, the comprehensive health policies reimburse the actual cost incurred on the medical treatment, up to the limit of the sum insured.
  • On the other hand, the Arogya Rakshak policy pays a lump sum benefit equal to the sum insured irrespective of actual medical treatment costs.
  • Individuals can insure themselves (as the principal insured), their spouse, all children, and parents under one policy.

IBBI Amends Regulations for more Transparency and Accountability

  • In order to bring more discipline, transparency, and accountability into the corporate insolvency process, resolution professionals (RPs) will be required to inform the adjudicating authority about avoidance transactions of a corporate debtor, according to the amended Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) Regulations, 2016.
  • As per IBBI, this not only claws back the value lost in such transactions, increasing the possibility of reorganisation of the corporate debtor through a resolution plan, but also disincentivises such transactions, preventing stress to the company.
  • The new regulations for the insolvency resolution process for corporate persons allow the RP to appoint any professional, including registered valuers, to assist him in discharge of his duties during the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP).

Colliers Appoints Ramesh Nair as CEO for India Business

  • US-based property consultant Colliers announced the appointment of Ramesh Nair as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for India business, as part of its strategy to accelerate growth in the country.
  • Nair, an industry veteran, will also be the Managing Director, Market Development for Asia.
  • In January this year, Nair quit JLL India, where he held the position of CEO & Country Head and led a team of over 12,000 people.
  • Nair joined JLL as an analyst in 1999, and became the CEO of India business in 2017.
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