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QBiz: India-Japan Currency Swap Pact; RBI-Govt Rift & More

1. India Signs Currency Swap Pact With Japan To Stabilise Rupee

The Indian government signed a $75 billion currency swap agreement with Japan to stabilise foreign exchange and capital markets.

The deal will help the two countries to swap their currencies for US dollars to stabilise the rupee which has witnessed the steepest fall in recent years. The agreement, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance, will allow India to tap foreign capital as and when the need arises, and help to bring down the cost of funds for Indian companies while accessing the foreign capital market.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. Govt Upset with RBI for Being Kept in the Dark About PCA, NPA Norms

Amid differences between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance Ministry, officials said the government was upset with the central bank for not consulting it before finalising norms for prompt corrective action (PCA) and classification of non-performing assets (NPAs). The RBI did not discuss these at its board meetings either, a senior government official said.

“The PCA framework was revised and tightened in April 2017, but there was no discussion in any board meeting. The government does not know the rationale behind revising the framework and how the RBI arrived at it. Similarly, there was no discussion in the board meeting on the revised NPA framework,” said an official.

(Source: Business Standard)

3. India Court Asks Regulator to Decide on Tata, Adani Power Relief

India’s top court Monday, 29 October, directed the federal electricity regulator to decide within 8 weeks on approving revised tariffs for three power producers in the western state of Gujarat due to increased cost of imported coal.

The Gujarat government sought the top court’s intervention to implement a state government panel’s report that recommended implementing a cost-reflective tariff, which would mirror any increase or decrease in input costs. The plea also includes a provision to extend the contract period for the plants run by Tata Power Co, Adani Power Ltd and Essar Power.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

4. BigBasket in Talks to Raise Funds at $1.5-2 Billion Valuation

BigBasket, which has put merger talks with smaller rival Grofers on hold, may raise fresh funds from at least one new investor and existing investors in a round that is likely to value India’s largest online grocery startup at $1.5-2 billion, three people aware of the discussions said.

Mint could not immediately ascertain the name of the new investor.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Tycoon's Mortgage Lender to Seek Foreign Cash Amid India Squeeze

Indian billionaire Ajay Piramal’s home finance firm is set to tap overseas markets for funds, as hurdles mount for such non-bank lenders to raise money at home after landmark defaults by IL&FS group.

The tycoon’s Piramal Capital & Housing Finance, which provides services including mortgages to individuals and real estate financing, is firming up plans to raise "sufficient capital" through external commercial borrowings and bond markets.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

6. Jet Airways Eyes Help from Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani

Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s struggle to raise capital has led its founder Naresh Goyal to the doorsteps of some of Asia’s richest men. Among various names that are doing the rounds, two that stand out are Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani and chairman emeritus of Tata Group Ratan Tata, three people familiar with the matter said. Goyal, who owns a controlling stake of 51% in Jet Airways, has spoken to Tata in the past fortnight, the people cited earlier said on condition of anonymity. Overseas airlines also figure on Goyal’s list of potential fundraising sources, they said.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Bharti Airtel Is Said to Delay IPO of $8 Billion Africa Business

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s second-biggest wireless carrier, is delaying a planned initial public offering of its Africa unit due to the turmoil in emerging-market stocks, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company, which was originally aiming to list the unit in London by March, has pushed back the share sale by about half a year, according to the people. It plans to seek an enterprise value of about $8 billion for the Africa business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

(Source: Livemint)

8. After Years of Global Success, Mukesh Ambani's RIL Faces Oil Shock at Home

Reliance Industries, currently India's second most valuable listed company, got rich by trading fuel across Asia, Africa and Europe while effectively ignoring its home market.

Reliance's refineries processed crude from the nearby Middle East and sold fuel to fast-growing markets in North Asia including China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

(Source: Business Standard)

9. Indian IT Companies Bullish on Hiring Plans for Next 6 Months: Report

The Indian IT industry is bullish about its hiring plans for the next six months and a major chunk of these recruitments is expected to happen for the junior level, says a report. Corporate India's hiring intention is gearing up after the slowdown in the last few months due to the proposed visa restrictions in the US.

(Source: The Economic Times)

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