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QBiz: NCLAT Lifts Debt Moratorium on IL&FS Subsidiaries, And More

1. NCLAT Lifts Debt Moratorium on 22 Indian, 133 Foreign Subsidiaries of IL&FS

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal today directed 22 domestic subsidiaries of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd to service their operational and financial debt obligations. Additionally, it lifted the moratorium on debt repayments by 133 offshore group entities.

On 15 October last year, the NCLAT had allowed IL&FS and its 348 group entities to halt debt repayments until a resolution plan was worked out. The newly appointment board of IL&FS had subsequently decided to stop servicing debt across entities, including those that had the cash to support such repayments. This decision alarmed investors who feared that the ring-fenced special purpose vehicle (SPV) structure commonly used in infrastructure financing was being challenged.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. SUUTI to Sell up to 3% Stake in Axis Bank via Offer-For-Sale

The government said it will launch an offer-for-sale to divest up to 3 percent stake in Axis Bank Ltd it holds through Specified Undertaking of United Trust of India as it rushes to meet its divestment target for the ongoing financial year.

The sale will fetch the exchequer a little less than Rs 5,500 crore, a government official told BloombergQuint requesting anonymity, taking it closer to the Rs 80,000-crore divestment target for 2018-19.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

3. Malvinder Singh Goes to Cops Against Sunil and Sanjay Godhwani

Businessman Malvinder Mohan Singh has filed a police complaint against his former associates Sunil and Sanjay Godhwani, along with some employees of Ligare Aviation Ltd, for allegedly defrauding Singh’s Malav Holdings Pvt Ltd of Rs 30 crore.

One of the charges filed on behalf of Malav Holdings claims that the Godhwani brothers, along with officials working for Ligare, sanctioned bogus and fake invoices for fictitious expenses. The complaint was filed on 30 November with the economic offences wing of Delhi Police. Mint has reviewed a copy of the complaint.

(Source: Livemint)

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4. BlueStone Jewellery Eyes up to $25 Million to Expand Offline Stores

Online jeweller BlueStone Jewellery and Lifestyle Pvt Ltd is looking to raise up to 25 million dollars in fresh funding to expand its offline presence, a top company executive said. The BlueStone website sells gold, diamond and pearl pendants, necklaces, earrings and nose rings, among others. It also has six stores in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and New Delhi.

“We are looking to raise up to 25 million dollars and will finalise a deal in the next couple of months," Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, founder and CEO, BlueStone, said over the phone.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Allianz Invests $200 Million in Edelweiss’s Stressed Assets Fund

Insurer Allianz AG, through its investment management arm Allianz Investment Management, has invested more than 200 million dollars in the private debt platform of financial services group Edelweiss.

The deal marks Allianz’s first investment in the private debt and distressed assets space in India, while it is Edelweiss’s second global partner for stressed assets and credit, after Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ), one of Canada’s largest pension fund managers.

The Allianz investment is part of the 1.3 billion dollars worth of commitments that Edelweiss has secured for its EISAF II fund.

(Source: Livemint)

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6. Essar Steel Insolvency Case: SC Clears Decks for Arcelormittal's Bid

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea by 28 operational creditors of Essar Steel seeking to be heard by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) before any decision was taken on ArcelorMittal’s bid for the company. The court also rejected their plea seeking a stay on the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s (NCLAT’s) order asking the NCLT Ahmedabad Bench to take a decision on ArcelorMittal’s bid by 11 February.

Now, the NCLT will be able to decide the fate of ArcelorMittal’s bid quickly.

The court was of the opinion that the promoters of Essar Steel were acting through the operational creditors to delay the insolvency process. It said 571 days had passed since the insolvency process began for Essar Steel, and it must not be delayed. The deadline for an insolvency process is 270 days.

(Source: Business Standard)

7. Angel Tax Row: Genuine Start-Ups Can Breathe Easy, Says Piyush Goyal

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday said the government would not go after start-ups raising funds through legitimate means, responding to the criticism over the “angel tax”.

Replying to the debate on the interim Budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha, Goyal also said he could have easily kept the fiscal deficit for 2018-19 at 3.3 percent of gross domestic product, but did not in order to present an “honest Budget”.

The demand for grants was later passed by the Lok Sabha by voice vote, amid a walk-out by Opposition parties including the Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

(Source: Business Standard)

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8. Vistara and Indigo Announce Sale on Major Routes

Budget airline IndiGo and full-service carrier Vistara on Monday announced sale on major routes.

On IndiGo, the passengers can book the domestic as well as international tickets anytime between this Monday to Wednesday to get discounted price for the travel period between 26 February to 28 September, the airline said.

The sale on Vistara begins Tuesday and the passengers can book tickets till Wednesday to get discounted price for the domestic travel between 27 February and 18 September, the airline said.

(Source: Economic Times)

9. EPFO Likely to Retain Interest Rate at 8.55% for FY19

Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to retain the interest rate on employees' provident fund at 8.55 percent rate for the 2018-19 fiscal for its more than six crore subscribers, a highly-placed source said.

"The proposal for providing interest rate for the current fiscal would come up in the meeting of the trustees of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation on 21 February," the source said.

"The interest rate would be retained at 8.55 percent for the current fiscal as provided  in 2017-18 in view of forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The EPFO's income projections for the current fiscal would be tabled in the meeting."

(Source: Economic Times)

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