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QBiz: IDBI Employees Threaten Strike; May Unveils Post-Brexit Plan

1. IDBI Bank Officers Threaten Strike From Monday

A section of IDBI Bank officers has threatened to go on a six-day strike from Monday in protest against the proposed acquisition of the state-owned lender by insurance behemoth LIC and wage-related issues, among others.

“It is advised that the bank has received notice from a section of officers that they propose to go on strike from 16 July, 2018 to 21 July, 2018,” IDBI Bank said in a regulatory filing. Wage revision for IDBI Bank employees is pending since November 2012. They had threatened to go on strike last year, but later it was called off following assurance from the management.

In a representation to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the All India IDBI Officers’ Association had opposed the up to 51 per cent sale of the bank’s equity to LIC, saying the move tantamounts to privatisation of the bank.

(Source: Financial Express)

2. 1,000 NPA Accounts Under Scanner in ICICI Bank Probe

ICICI Bank Ltd is preparing to submit details of at least 1,000 loan accounts that turned sour since April 2010 to an independent panel, as part of a board-instituted probe into alleged wrongdoings by the lender’s top executives, including its off-duty CEO Chanda Kochhar, two people aware of the development said.

The panel, headed by former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna, has started investigating, among other issues, three of the most serious allegations made by a whistleblower – impropriety in lending decisions; conflict of interest in loans made to business groups; and that Kochhar favoured certain borrowers.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Tata Sons Had Nothing to Do With ₹22-crore AirAsia Fraud: NCLT

The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in its order dismissed all allegations against Ratan Tata and Tata Sons Ltd, saying it did not find merit in any of the issues raised.

The tribunal in its 368-page order, which was uploaded on the tribunal’s website late on Thursday, ruled that the Tata Sons Ltd board had nothing to do with the fraudulent transaction of ₹22 crore that ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry had alleged in his plea.

“As to the allegation of fraudulent transaction worth of ₹22 crore, no doubt, it has come out in the forensic investigation conducted by Deloitte revealing the ex-chief executive officer (CEO) of AirAsia India indulged in that fraud, with which none of the directors of Air Asia India has been connected, whereby a fraud committed by a CEO cannot be attributed as fraud committed by the directors of that company,” said the NCLT bench, presided over by B.S.V. Prakash Kumar and V Nallasenapathy in its ruling.

(Source: Livemint)

4. May Unveils UK Soft Brexit Blueprint, But Banks Cut Loose

Theresa May released the most contentious document of her two-year premiership on Thursday, 12 July, vowing to push through her plan to keep the UK closely tied to the European Union single market after Brexit.

Despite the resignation of two pro-Brexit Cabinet ministers and a growing rebellion from within her own party, May published a 98-page “white paper” setting out in detail the deep trading partnership the UK wants with the EU.

Yet the critical test is still to come: how will the EU respond? Time is running out to reach an exit agreement by the self-imposed October deadline, and May’s proposal says nothing new about the critical issue that’s holding up progress–avoiding customs checks at the border with Ireland.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

5. India’s Industrial Output Growth at Seven-Month Low in May

After gathering pace in April, India’s industrial activity declined sharply in May mainly due to a slowdown in manufacturing activity.

The index of industrial production rose 3.2 percent year-on-year in May, compared to a revised 4.8 percent in April, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed. A Bloomberg poll of economists had projected a 4.4 percent growth.

The Reserve Bank of India, in its June monetary policy review, had said that a slowdown in the industrial industrial activity expansion is likely in the first quarter of current fiscal. “That’s due to a significant rise in input prices and perceptions of softening domestic and external demand,” according to the MPC statement.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

6. DoT Rejects RCom’s Complaint on Discriminatory Treatment

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has rejected a complaint by Reliance Communications (RCom) of unfair treatment vis-à-vis Vodafone in the matter of one-time spectrum charges on grounds that the two cases were different.

Officials in the ministry added that DoT intends to go ahead with an appeal in the Supreme Court against a telecom tribunal ruling asking it to release bank guarantees worth Rs 2,000 crore against one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) sought from RCom.

The department had asked RCom to provide the bank guarantees towards the market value of its allotted spectrum before sharing the airwaves with Reliance Jio Infocomm, as per spectrum-sharing rules. The appellate tribunal had struck down the demand.

(Source: Economic Timeso

7. With US Trade Under a Cloud, China Opens Up to Indian Pharma

China is preparing to give swift regulatory approvals to India-manufactured drugs, the head of an Indian export promotion group said, as Beijing looks for new commercial partners ahead of what could be a protracted trade war with the United States.

Indian firms are looking to fill gaps in Chinese demand for generic drugs, software, sugar and some varieties of rice, trade officials in New Delhi said. “We do feel that China is receptive at this time and it's all about making prices competitive,” said a government official involved in the effort to promote trade with China. The official declined to be identified since he is not authorised to speak to the media.

(Source: Business Line)

8. RBI Cautions on Fiscal Risks Emerging From States Going to Polls

An intention to consolidate finances at the state level could be derailed for a fourth consecutive year due to state elections, cautioned the Reserve Bank of India in its annual report on state finances. Fiscal pressures across states are already elevated with states breaching the 3 percent threshold set under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act for the third consecutive year in 2017-18.

Slippage at the state level, along with the Central government’s decision to push back the goal of a 3 percent fiscal deficit, will mean a general government deficit much higher than the medium-term target, the report said.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

9. HCL Tech Gets Board Nod For ₹4,000 Crore Share Buyback

The board of IT services firm HCL Technologies Ltd on Thursday approved a share buyback plan worth ₹4,000 crore, the firm said in a stock exchange filing.

On 9 July, the company informed the exchanges that the board would consider a share buyback plan in its meeting on 12 July.

The company will buy back the shares at ₹1,100 per share.

“The board of directors of the company, in its meeting held today, has approved the buy-back of up to 3.63 crore (36.3 million) fully paid-up equity shares of the company of a face value of ₹2, each, (representing 2.61% of the fully paid-up equity shares of the firm) at a price of ₹1,100 per equity share payable in cash for an aggregate amount not exceeding ₹4,000 crore,” the filing said.

(Source: Livemint)

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