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QBiz: Govt Mulls Selling 5% Stake in SAIL; 10 PSBs’ Merger Likely

1. Govt Plans to Sell 5% Stake in SAIL Through OFS, May Rake in Rs 1,000 Crore

The government is planning to sell 5 percent stake in Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) through an offer for sale, which could fetch about Rs 1,000 crore to the exchequer, an official said.

Officials from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) and steel ministry are planning roadshows in Singapore and Hong Kong for SAIL stake sale. However, the Hong Kong roadshow might be called off due to coronavirus outbreak.

(Source: Business Standard)

2. Despite $8.5 Billion Loss in 2019, Uber Sees Profit by End of 2020; Claims Market Leadership in India

SoftBank-backed ride-hailing company Uber in its Q4 2020 results has claimed to be the market leader in India where it competes with Ola with SoftBank as the common investor. Without disclosing the figures, the company claimed over 50 per cent market share in India in terms of the number of rides.

The share is based on its internal estimates of gross bookings, the company said as it claimed the top position in other markets including the US and Canada, Latin America, Europe etc. Ola’s ride numbers are also not public.

However, Ola is the largest ride-hailing company in India if one looks at the monthly active users (MAUs) even as it is ahead of Uber in terms of app downloads.

(Source: Financial Express)

Also Read: Laid Foundation for $5 Trillion Economy in Budget: Sitharaman

3. Govt May Notify Merger of 10 PSBs to 4 Lenders This Week

The government is likely to notify the merger of 10 public sector banks to create four big lenders later this week, as they have completed the groundwork for the same, two people familiar with the development said.

After it is notified, the respective bank boards will meet to give their customary final approval and fix the all-important swap ratio for the mergers.

"We are expecting the government to notify the merger this week," United Bank of India managing director Ashok Kumar Pradhan told ET.

(Source: The Economic Times)

4. Tata, Adani, Hyundai Queue up to Run Private Trains on Indian Railways' Tracks

In Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the Indian Railways is all set to introduce more private trains like the Tejas Express to connect tourist places. The Railways has recently proposed a mega plan to include private players in 100 routes across the country.

Indian Railways' maiden attempt to let private companies run trains received a warm welcome among global and local players. More than two dozen global firms including as Alstom Transport, Bombardier, Siemens AG, Hyundai Rotem Company and Macquarie have shown interest. Among home-grown companies, Tata Realty and Infrastructure, Hitachi India and South Asia, Essel Group, Adani Ports and SEZ, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) are also in the race to run private trains in the country.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Over 45% Drop in Indian Companies’ Foreign Borrowings in December 2019 Compared to Year-Ago Period

Foreign borrowings of Indian companies fell over 45 per cent to USD 2.09 billion in December 2019 as compared to the year-ago period, according to the Reserve Bank data. Indian firms had raised USD 3.81 billion in December 2018, which included USD 37 million through the issuance of masala bonds. Of the total money borrowed by domestic companies during December 2019, USD 1.2 billion was through the automatic route of external commercial borrowing (ECB) and USD 840 million via approval route of ECB.

The remaining USD 55.98 million was raised through the rupee-denominated bonds or popularly known as masala bonds. The borrowers taking the automatic route of ECB included HPCL-Mittal Pipelines (USD 262.5 million), HDFC Credila Financial Services ( USD 100 million), LIC Housing Finance (USD 200 million) and Toyota Financial Services India (USD 100 million), among others.

(Source: Financial Express)

Also Read: Budget 2020: Egregious State Oppressing Performers (ESOP)

6. Once-a-Year Tweak in GST Rates on the Cards, Says Nirmala Sitharaman

The government is examining a proposal to consider tweaks in GST (goods and services tax) rates only once a year against the present trend of periodic changes.

Speaking at a press meet in Kolkata on Sunday, 9 February, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “Periodically changing rates brings uncertainty and creates a ripple effect on businesses because they cannot ascertain how much to keep aside for the year. The government also does not know how much revenue would come in. So we, not formally, propose to the GST Council to consider a situation where rate rationalisation can be done only once a year.”

(Source: Business Standard)

7. IL&FS: SEBI Looks to Levy Higher Penalties on Three Rating Agencies

The markets regulator has sent fresh notices to rating companies for failing to warn bond investors of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) in time about the scam at the shadow lender, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said, after its board disapproved of the low penalty imposed on them on 26 December.

A sizeable section of the board of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), including chairman Ajay Tyagi, felt the penalty was rather low, following which fresh notices were sent to ICRA Ltd, India Ratings and Research Pvt. Ltd and Credit Analysis and Research Ltd (CARE), the people said on condition of anonymity.

(Source: Livemint)

8. Falcon Edge Capital in Talks for $250 Million Fund Focused on India

American hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital, best known in India for investing in Ola and Dailyhunt among others, is in talks to raise a debut India-focused fund of $250 million, said two people aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

New York-based Falcon Edge currently has more than $2 billion in assets under management and has made technology as well as non-tech consumer investments. Its global portfolio includes Alibaba’s financial services firm Ant Financial, Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and German food delivery firm Delivery Hero.

(Source: Livemint)

9. Ease of Doing Business: Govt to Bring Spice Form in New Avatar to Cut Time, Cost for Starting Business

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is replacing the existing SPICe (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically) form with a new web form called SPICe+. The existing form, which is used for reservation of name, company incorporation, DIN allotment, and application for PAN/TAN, in its new avatar, would offer 10 services by three central government ministries and departments, the ministry said in a notice on its website.

The form would be applicable for all new company incorporations from February 15, 2020, onwards, the ministry said. The 10 services to be offered by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance and Maharashtra government will save “as many procedures, time and cost for starting a business in India.” it said.

(Source: Financial Express)

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