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QBiz: Naresh Goyal Quits Jet Airways; Q3 GDP Growth Slips

1. Founder Naresh Goyal Agrees To Step Down As Jet Airways Chairman

Naresh Goyal agreed to step down as chairman of Jet Airways Ltd to allow the board to move ahead with a debt recast plan for rescuing the carrier he founded, according to two people with direct knowledge of the development.

At the meeting which lasted past midnight, lenders discussed the resolution plan with representatives from Jet Airways and its partner Etihad Airways, the people said seeking anonymity as the talks are private. The plan envisages converting part of debt to long-term equity-like instruments and a rescheduling of loans, help the beleaguered airline service its debt. It also involves allotting 11.4 crore to the lenders, making them the largest shareholder.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. India Q3 GDP Growth Moderates to 6.6%, Slowest in 5 Quarters

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday revised downward its GDP growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7 percent from 7.2 percent projected earlier. It estimated the India’s economy to have grown at 6.6 percent in the December quarter (Q3), lower than Reuters estimate of 6.9 percent for the same quarter and slowest in five quarters. The GDP data for Q1 (April-June) and Q2 (July-September) were also revised to 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Cabinet Clears Ordinance to Allow Use of Aadhaar by Banks, Telecom Companies

The Union cabinet on Thursday, 28 February, approved the promulgation of an ordinance to allow the voluntary use of Aadhaar for opening a bank account and procuring a mobile connection.

The Aadhaar ordinance, once it is promulgated by the President will permit telecom companies and banks to use Aadhaar for KYC with completely voluntary and informed consent of a customer and no person will be denied any service if he is unable or if he refuses to furnish Aadhaar number.

(Source: Financial Express)

4. Cabinet Approves up to Rs 10,540 Crore Soft Loans to Sugar Industry

The government on Thursday, 28 February announced soft loans of up to Rs 10,540 crore to the sugar industry to help mills clear mounting arrears to cane growers, a move that would cost exchequer up to Rs 1,054 crore as interest subsidy.

Sugarcane arrears to farmers have crossed Rs 20,000 crore in the current marketing year 2018-19. “To help the sugar industry clear its cane dues arrears, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by prime minister today approved the proposal to provide soft loans to the extent of about Rs 7,900-10,540 crore to the sugar industry,” an official statement said.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

5. Bharti Airtel Board Approves Raising Rs 32,000-Crore to Fire up Biz

Bharti Airtel on Thursday said its board of directors approved a fundraising plan of up to Rs 32,000 crore through a mix of rights issue and bond. This will help reduce the company’s debt of about $14 billion and also fire up the telco’s fight to reach to the top.

The proceeds are likely to be of much help, especially with the Department of Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan indicating the Centre stands firm on its proposal of conducting the 5G spectrum auctions in 2019. On Wednesday, Sundararajan said: “Documents of notice inviting applications are in place; and after June, we will start planning for 5G auctions.”

(Source: Business Standard)

6. RBI Constitutes Task Force on Offshore Rupee Market to Address Woes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday constituted the task force on offshore rupee market, which will, among other measures, examine why the offshore markets have been created and how to address concerns arising out of it.

The task force, to be headed by former deputy governor of RBI Usha Thorat, will examine the causes behind the development of the offshore rupee market, study the effects of the offshore markets on the rupee exchange rate and market liquidity in the domestic market, and “recommend measures to address concerns, if any, arising out of offshore rupee trading”.

(Source: Business Standard)

7. Cabinet Okays Vodafone Foreign Direct Investment Into India Joint

The cabinet on Thursday approved foreign direct infusion of up to Rs 25,000 crore by the British telecom giant, Vodafone Plc, into its India joint venture Vodafone Idea Ltd.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government had approved the FDI proposal of investing anywhere between Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore, floated by the telecom department.

(Source: The Economic Times)

8. Infosys Fines Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw for Breach of Insider Trading Norms

The country’s second-largest information technology (IT) services company, Infosys, has imposed a penalty of Rs 9.5 lakh on its lead independent director, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, for inadvertently selling 1,600 shares of the company during open trading window period without prior permission to execute such a trade.

In a filing to the exchanges, the IT firm said even though the trade was carried out by the portfolio manager without the knowledge of Mazumdar-Shaw, there was violation of the company’s Insider Trading Policy and the Sebi (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 2015.

(Source: Business Standard)

9. Cabinet Clears Transfer of Air India's ₹29,464 Cr Loans, 4 Subsidiaries to SPV

As a precursor to sale of Air India, the Cabinet Thursday approved setting up of a special purpose vehicle – Air India Assets Holding – to transfer ₹29,464 crore worth loans of the national carrier and its four subsidiaries.

"The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the creation of the SPV and associated activities for the disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries or JV," an official statement said.

(Source: Livemint)

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