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QBiz: Grab Invests $100 Mn in Oyo; PFC Gets Cabinet Nod to Buy REC

1. Singapore Co Grab Invests $100 Mn in Oyo

Singapore ride-hailing company Grab has invested about $100 million in Oyo Hotels & Homes, the Gurgaon-based hospitality chain said in a filing with the Registrar of Companies on Thursday, 6 December.

A1 Holdings Inc, a Cayman Islandsregistered entity controlled by Grab, has been issued 2,884 cumulative convertible preference shares at a price of $34,670 each, as part of the SoftBank Vision Fund-backed Oyo’s Series E equity financing round, according to the RoC filing, which was accessed by data research platform Tofler.

As per calculations, Grab has invested Rs 732.73 crore in hotel aggregator Oyo. The investment, first reported by The Exonomic Times in its 3 December edition, is part of Ritesh Agarwal-led Oyo’s ongoing $1-billion funding round.

(Source: The Economic Times)

2. Disinvestment: PFC Gets Cabinet Nod to Buy REC

The Cabinet on Thursday, 6 December, gave the ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic sale of the Centre’s 52.63 percent stake in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

The deal, similar to ONGC’s purchase of the government’s stake in HPCL last year, would be crucial for the Centre to meet this year’s ambitious disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore. It, however, will involve major market borrowings by the buyer PSU — in this instance, PFC — and so may put pressure on bond yields.

Though the details of the deal, including the pricing methodology are to be worked by a ministerial panel headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, the transaction, according to sources, is expected to fetch the Centre about Rs 14,000-Rs 15,000 crore, at a hefty premium of around 35 percent over RE’s current market price.

(Source: Financial Express)

3. Election Anxiety, US-China Tension Pull Stocks Down

Indian stock indices fell to their lowest level in two weeks on Thursday, 6 December, mirroring weakness in global markets on concerns over possible worsening of the US-China trade dispute with the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada.

Investor sentiment was wobbly also because of uncertainty over the outcome of key state elections next week, seen as the precursor to the 2019 General elections.

The Sensex fell 572.28 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 35312.13 and the Nifty ended down by about 182 points, or 1.7 percent, at 10601.15. On Wednesday, both indices fell 0.7 percent each.

(Source: The Economic Times)

4. Global PE Funds Eye Green Energy Business of IL&FS

Global private equity funds Actis, I Squared Capital, Lone Star Funds and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the country’s largest pension fund manager, are interested in buying the renewable energy business of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services, three people with knowledge of the development said.

The group’s renewable energy business, which will have about 1,300 MW of capacity once all projects are developed, is being valued at about Rs 2,500 crore.

“Four PE investors have shown initial interest in the assets and we are talking to them… they will carry out due diligence and bids will be invited soon,” said one person involved in the process.

(Source: The Economic Times)

5. Investor Concerns: Bank Nifty Falls for 5 Days in Row

The Bank Nifty on Thursday, 6 December, ended 1.21 percent lower than its previous close as fears of banks facing a margin squeeze persisted a day after the RBI announced they will have to move to a pricing model linked to an external benchmark for new retail and MSME loans from next fiscal.

The proposed mechanism will not account for banks’ cost of funds and may, therefore, lead to lower margins.

(Source: Financial Express)

6. Govt Moves to Double Farm Exports By 2022

The Union Cabinet on Thursday, 6 December, cleared a new agriculture export policy, which aims to double agri exports by 2022 by boosting infrastructure and removing export restrictions on a variety of commodities.

Announcing the decision, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said the government has decided to remove export restrictions on most organic and processed agricultural products, barring commodities other than those identified as essential from the food security perspective such as onions.

The idea is to give an assurance that organic or processed agriculture products will not be under any export restrictions such as export duty, export bans and quota curbs.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

7. Centre Sweetens NPS for Govt Staff

The Cabinet is understood to have approved some flexibility to the National Pension System (NPS) so as to benefit over three million Central government employees.

It has now been decided that the government’s matching contribution for NPS to every government employee will be increased to 14 percent as against 10 percent earlier.

Currently, both the employee and the government provide equal contribution of 10 percent. Now from a date to be decided the government contribution will go up to 14 percent, official sources said.

The government also proposes to bring tax breaks for the employee contribution towards NPS, sources added.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

8. NTPC Likely to Buy Centre's Stake in SJVN, Discussions on With HP Govt

Power company NTPC is likely to acquire the Central government's stake in SJVN Ltd, an official said.

However, the acquisition deal is stuck because of resistance from the Himachal Pradesh (HP) government, the official added.

The transaction would fetch the exchequer about Rs 6,700 crore at current market prices.

SJVN is a joint venture between central government and Himachal Pradesh government, with the Centre holding 63.79 percent stake and the latter holding 26.85 percent at the end of September.

(Source: PTI)

9. India Inks Pact With Iran to Pay for Crude Imports In Rupee

India has signed an agreement with Iran to pay for the crude oil it imports from the Persian Gulf nation in rupees, sources in know of the development said.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed following the US letting India and seven other nations to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions were reimposed on the Islamic state on Wednesday, 5 December.

Sources said Indian refiners will make rupee payments in a UCO Bank account of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC).

(Source: PTI)

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