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QBiz: SoftBank Offers to Infuse $1bn in Ola; Qatar to Quit OPEC

1. SoftBank Comes Calling Again to Infuse $1 Billion in Ola

Japanese investment major SoftBank has offered to invest as much as $1 billion in a new financing round for Ola, as the ride-hailing company plans to aggressively grow its food delivery business, said several people familiar with the development.

Further, the taxi aggregator may invest in areas such as e-pharmacy and is said to be close to finalising an investment in this fast-growing sector.

It’s not clear if Ola’s cofounder Bhavish Aggarwal will accept more capital from SoftBank and allow the investor to ratchet up its shareholding from about 26 percent at present. However, he may consider a smaller amount from the Japanese investor, these people indicated.

(Source: The Economic Times)

2. HUL Buys GSK Consumer in Mega Deal

In a move that will consolidate its position as India’s largest fast-moving consumer goods company, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) on Monday, 3 December, announced a merger with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (GSK CH India).

As part of this steaming hot deal, health drinks including Boost, Horlicks and Maltova – the mainstays of GSK CH – will now move to the HUL stable. The transaction is an all equity merger with 4.39 shares of HUL being allotted for every share in GSK CH India. The deal values the total business at Rs 31,700 crore.

GSK Plc (including its other group companies such as GSK Healthcare) will own 5.7 percent of the merged entity but will have no representation on the board. GSK is expected to sell these shares subsequently, HUL’s Chairman and MD Sanjeev Mehta said at a press conference in Mumbai.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

3. Navy Encashes Reliance Naval’s Bank Guarantees

The Navy has encashed bank guarantees of debt-ridden Reliance Naval and Engineering Limited (RNEL) after the company overshot the deadline by four years for the naval offshore patrol vessels project.

This was announced on Monday, 3 December, by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, who was responding to queries on whether action has been taken against the Anil Ambani-promoted company.

Sources told The Economic Times that bank guarantees worth over Rs 100 crore were encashed earlier this year.

(Source: The Economic Times)

4. Qatar to Pull Out of OPEC ‘To Focus on Gas’

Qatar said on Monday, 3 December, that it will quit OPEC from January, to focus on its gas ambitions, taking a swipe at the group's de facto leader Saudi Arabia and marring efforts to show unity before this week's meeting of exporters to tackle an oil price slide.

Doha, one of OPEC's smallest oil producers but the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, is embroiled in a protracted diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states.

Qatar said its decision was not driven by politics but in an apparent swipe at Riyadh, Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad al-Kaabi said in a press conference: “We are not saying we are going to get out of the oil business but it is controlled by an organisation managed by a country.”

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

5. Adani, PowerGrid Selected for Transmission Projects in UP

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Monday, 3 December, approved selection of Adani Transmission and Power Grid Corporation for setting up transmission networks for evacuation of power from two thermal power projects – 2×660 MW Obra-C project and 2×660 MW Jawaharpur project.

Both these projects, which have been awarded through the tariff-based competitive bidding process, will bring an investment of Rs 1,401 crore in the state.

Giving details of the Cabinet’s decision, UP government spokesperson and power minister Srikant Sharma said Power Grid Corporation and Adani Transmission were selected as service providers for power generation in under-construction Jawaharpur and Obra Thermal Power projects and that letters of intent (LoIs) have been handed over to them.

(Source: Financial Express)

6. Crisil Cuts India’s growth Forecast to 7.4 Percent

Crisil on Monday, 3 December, cut India’s growth forecast for current fiscal to 7.4 percent on the back of weakening global GDP and trade growth.

India’s growth in the July-September quarter slipped to 7.1 percent from 8.2 percent in the April-June quarter.

“For fiscal 2019, we are lowering our GDP growth forecast by 10 basis points to 7.4 percent from 7.5 per cent estimated earlier. Forecasts of lower global trade and GDP growth has created a downward bias to growth in emerging economies,” Crisil said.

India’s export, which saw a revival in early part of 2018, could likely see a slower growth, it projected.

(Source: PTI)

7. Amazon Briefly Becomes Wall Street’s Most Valuable Company

Amazon.com Inc. briefly became the most valuable company on Wall Street in intraday trade on Monday, 3 December, days after Microsoft Corp dethroned long-time leader Apple Inc.

Amazon rose by 4.7 percent at one point, putting its market capitalisation at $865.0 billion. At the same time, Apple traded up 2.1 percent, giving it a market capitalisation of $864.8 billion.

Microsoft, which on Friday, 30 November, closed above Apple’s market capitalisation for the first time in eight years, was up 0.9 percent, leaving its stock market value at $859.0 billion, third in the group.

(Source: Live Mint)

8. Sun Pharma Says it Has Not Received Any Query From SEBI

Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on Monday, 3 December, said it has not received any query so far from the markets regulator SEBI regarding a whistleblower complaint regarding alleged irregularities by the company.

Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical dived 7.5 percent after reports that markets regulator SEBI may reopen an insider trading case against the firm and probe alleged lapses by some of its promoters.

As of now the company has not received any query from SEBI with regard to whistleblower complaint and not received any information from SEBI with respect to reopening insider trading issue, Sun Pharma Founder and MD Dilip Shanghvi said in an investors call.

(Source: PTI)

9. Physical Shares: SEBI Extends Deadline for Demat to 1 April

SEBI has extended the deadline for compulsory dematerialisation of shares held in physical form to next 1 April from 5 December.

On 28 March, SEBI decided that requests for effecting transfer of securities shall not be processed unless the securities are held in the dematerialised form with a depository.

SEBI in a statement on Monday, 3 December, said it had received representations from shareholders for extension of the date of compliance.

In view of that, the deadline has been extended and the aforesaid requirement of transfer of securities only in demat form shall now come into force from 1 April 2019.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

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