New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Kumar Manglam Birla, the chairman of Aditya Birla Group, has written to the Cabinet Secretary saying that he is ready to hand over his stake in Vodafone-Idea to any government entity.
In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on June 7, Birla said that with a "sense of duty" towards 27 crore Indians connected with Vodafone Idea, Birla is willing to hand over his stake to the public Sector Unit (PSU), a government entity or any domestic financial entity, or any other entity that the government may consider worthy of keeping the company as a going concern.
Birla said that VIL has been trying to raise Rs 25,000 crore to sustain VIL operations and pay regulatory and governmental dues.
He said that foreign investors wanted to see a clear government intent to have a three-player telecom market.
In the letter, Birla sought clarity on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), an adequate moratorium on spectrum dues, and floor pricing adding that without immediate and active government support VIL's operations will be at an "irretrievable point of collapse".
He also said that investors have also sought clarity on these issues.
Birla said that he and his team would be more than happy to work with the government to urgently explore all possible options to save the company and without any consideration to our private interest, Birla said.
Online insurance marketplace Policybazaar has filed a draft red herring prospectus with the Securities Exchange Board of India for an initial public offering to raise Rs 6,017.50 crore from the market.
With this, Policybazaar joins a growing number of Indian startups looking to raise funds from the capital markets to support the country's booming digital economy.
The IPO will be undertaken by PB Fintech Ltd, the parent of Policybazaar. The issue comprises fresh issue of Rs 3,750 crore worth of equity shares and an offer for sale of Rs 2,267.50 crore by existing shareholders and promoters.
The OFS will see sale of up to Rs 1,875 crore worth of shares by SVF Python II (Cayman) and up to Rs 392.50 crore by others.
The company also proposes to raise Rs 750 crore through placement of shares before the IPO. Information regarding this has already been shared by the company with the regulator.
A major chunk of money raised through the IPO will be used for expansion of the company's operations and for furthering growth plans. Reports suggest that Policybazaar is seeking a valuation of $5.5-6 billion.
Policybazaar is backed by investors such as Softbank, Temasek, Info Edge, Tiger Global Management and Tencent Holdings Ltd., was founded in 2008 to tap vast under-served Indian insurance market.
It's IPO follows good response received by another Indian startup Zomato. This IPO received overwhelming response from the market that has seen its shares jump over 80 per cent.
Policybazaar works on the business model that provides its customers choice of policies at different price points and helps them in making an informed decision on insurance.
The success of this IPO is expected to open the floodgates for similar entities to tap the market.
Kotak Mahindra and Morgan Stanley are the global coordinators for PB Fintech's IPO. Other bookrunners include Citigroup, ICICI Securities, HDFC Bank, IIFL Securities and Jefferies.
Kia, South Korea's second-biggest carmaker, on Monday launched an all-electric EV6 sedan in the domestic market ahead of its overseas launches later this year.
The EV6 is Kia's first model embedded with Hyundai Motor Group's own EV-only electric-global modular platform (E-GMP).
Kia has received over 30,000 preorders for the EV6 in the domestic market, and a combined 8,800 preorders in Europe and the United States, the company said.
The maker of the K5 sedan and the Sorento SUV aim to sell 13,000 units of the zero-emission model on its home turf and 17,000 units in overseas markets this year, reports Yonhap news agency.
The EV6 is priced at 47 million won-57 million won ($40,800-$49,500) in Korea. With government subsidies, it can be purchased for under 40 million won.
The model is available with two kinds of battery packs -- a standard 58-kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack and a long-range 77.4-kWh one. The 58-kWh and 77.4-kWh models can travel up to 370 kms and 475 km, respectively, on a single charge.
In April, Kia's bigger affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. launched the IONIQ 5 all-electric model equipped with the E-GMP platform.
Hyundai plans to introduce the IONIQ 6 next year and the IONIQ 7 large SUV in 2024. It will begin using alphanumeric names like its bigger rivals, such as BMW, whose models are named Series No 1-8.
India's manufacturing sector output accelerated to the strongest growth rate in three months during July.
Accordingly, the headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 55.3 (index reading) in July as against a reading of 48.1 in June.
The PMI ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading above 50 indicating an overall increase compared to the previous month.
Besides, the latest reading pointed to renewed stream of new orders, exports, quantity of purchases and input stocks.
Furthermore, the data report by IHS Markit, cited a marginal increase in employment which ended a 15-month sequence of job shedding.
However, there was softer but still sharp increase in input costs.
The report pointed out that factory orders rose amid reports of improved demand and the easing of some local Covid-19 restrictions.
"The upturn was sharp and compared with a marked decline in June. Strengthening international demand contributed to the uptick in total order books."
"New export orders expanded markedly in July, following a moderate contraction in June."
"Rising sales supported a recovery in output, which increased in July after falling for the first time in 11 months during June."
The rate of production growth was sharp and outpaced its long-run average, the report said.
Positive global cues from Asian indices along with domestic hopes of more healthy quarterly results lifted India's equity markets during the morning trade session on Monday.
Initially, the equity markets had a gap up opening due to positive global cues.
Consequently, the BSE Sensex traded at 52,868.36 points, at 10.15 a.m., higher by 281.52 points or 0.54 per cent from its previous close.
The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 15,851.55, higher by 88.50 points or 0.56 per cent from its previous close.
New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) The Centre has proposed a crackdown on insolvency professionals that develop nexus with companies facing bankruptcy proceedings thereby delaying the resolution process.
Bankruptcy regulator, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has tightened disciplinary proceedings for insolvency professionals (IPs), instituting heavy penalties for violations of laid down code of conduct with the possibility of erring professionals also losing their license to practice.
The IBBI had decided that misconduct or violations by IPs would attract a penalty that will up to 25 percent of the fee charged by professionals for their services in a resolution process. The regulator has instituted a system of maximum and minimum penalty with minimum not being less than Rs 50,000 and maximum being Rs 2,00,000 or 25 percent of the fee, whichever is higher.
Under the new system, penalties would be imposed by insolvency professionals agencies (IPAs) for violations found in the conduct of their members.
The IBBI circular said that IPAs will have the flexibility "to impose a graduated system of penalties, where minor non-compliances will result in monetary fines, and major violations will result in expulsion from the agency."
So the fine will be up to Rs 1,00,000 or 25 percent of the fee, whichever is higher, if IPs fail to submit disclosures, returns, etc. to IPAs or submits inadequate or incorrect disclosures, returns, etc., relating to any assignment, as required under the Code.
The penalty will also be imposed if IPs accept an assignment having a conflict of interests with the stakeholders or fail to maintain records.
Under the new regulations, a fine has also been proposed if IPs reject a claim without giving any proper reason while undertaking an assignment, fails to give notice about the meeting of creditors, fail to reject resolution plans from ineligible applicants, etc.
IBBI has set a benchmark for penalties so that IPAs or self-regulators impose penalties in a uniform manner.
The IPAs enroll, educate, monitor, and regulate insolvency professionals who come from different backgrounds. Chartered accountants, cost accountants, company secretaries and lawyers are usually enrolled as IPs.
The new system of penalties has been introduced in the interest of objectivity and uniformity so that there are no cases of conflict of interests and the resolution process is undertaken in a free and fair manner.
(Subhash Narayan can be reached at email@example.com)
Aiming to offer top-notch devices for the users in the super-crowded mid-premium price segment in India, smartphone brand POCO has unveiled another device -- POCO F3 GT -- that features the latest 6nm Dimensity 1200 chipset for top-end performance.
The smartphone comes in three storage variants -- 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB -- for Rs 25,999, Rs 27,999 and Rs 29,999, respectively, in Gunmetal Silver and Predator Black colours.
According to Counterpoint Research, POCO helped Xiaomi gain 28 per cent shipment share in the April-June quarter in India.
We used the 8GB+128GB variant in Gunmetal Silver colour for a few days and here's how it performed.
The smartphone comes with a 6.67-inch full-HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+. The display has thin bezels, which makes the device look more beautiful. You will find Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection at the front and back.
The glass back gives it a premium look and feel. There's a hole on the top for the selfie camera on the front.
We found that the frame of the phone is made out of metal and has different design elements. It roughly weighs around 205 grams.
The smartphone has a strong grip and users can hold the perfectly with one hand.
While using the smartphone under direct sunlight, we did not face any issues as it comes with the right level of brightness. Also, we noticed that the colour reproduction remains intact even when you are viewing the screen from different angles.
POCO F3 GT offers a triple-camera setup, consisting of a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2MP macro camera. There's a 16MP selfie camera.
We found that the images clicked from the rear and front camera were nice and clear under direct sunlight or bright light as well as low light conditions.
POCO F3 GT comes integrated with a flagship MediaTek chipset and features a 6nm Dimensity 1200 chipset, thereby delivering a new era of incredible mobile experience on the back of superior performance and effective power consumption.
Featuring one of the fastest CPUs on a smartphone, it runs on one ultra-core with a Cortex-A78 core at 3.0 GHz, three super-cores with Arm Cortex-A78 at 2.6GHz and four efficiency cores with Arm Cortex-A55 at 2GHz.
The 3GHz ultra-core processor promises immediate response and power-efficiency which is 22 per cent and 25 per cent faster, respectively, vis-a-vis the previous generation.
We noticed that the device is ideal for gaming as it could handle most mid-to-heavy games compared to other phones in this segment.
The phone did not lag while multitasking. The face unlocks and the in-display fingerprint sensor worked fine too.
POCO F3 GT features a 5065mAh battery. The 67W fast charger takes the F3 GT from 0 to 50 per cent battery quite quickly. For security, POCO F3 GT has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
POCO F3 GT is embedded with Aerospace grade vapour chamber cooling, which has eight-layered graphite sheets for faster heat dissipation to keep the temperature 2 degree Celsius less compared to phones without this system.
Conclusion: Overall, the smartphone looks classy with a beautiful design and tough specifications and is going to impress a lot of Android users in India.
The pricing of the device is increasing each week for the coming two weeks as part of a 'Mad Reverse Pricing' offer that started on July 26. So it would be better to go for it fast if you wish to own and flaunt the device.
New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) American investors are asking whether China Inc is still worth the risk following a widening series of regulatory crackdowns that have wiped some $400 billion off the value of US-listed Chinese companies, Wall Street Journal reported.
Investors ranging from pension fund Orange County Employees Retirement System in California to money manager William Blair & Co are rethinking their portfolios following Beijing's decision last week to curtail the operations of China's for-profit tutoring industry along with its ongoing campaign to rein in tech companies. The moves fuelled large declines across sectors of China's stock markets and hammered Asia-focused funds stateside, the report said.
The investor retreat sent tutoring firm TAL Education Group's American depositary receipts down some 70 per cent in a matter of days to $6.19 Friday morning. TAL traded above $90 in February. American depositary receipts, or ADRs, are certificates issued to US investors that represent a specified number of shares in a foreign company.
New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc has fallen roughly 66 per cent since July 22 and was at $2.24 Friday morning.
It was the latest of regulatory crackdowns that have hit the value of Chinese firms as large as Tencent Holdings Ltd, even as US indexes have risen to records. Earlier regulatory moves that had rattled companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, its unlisted sister company Ant Group Co and Didi Global Inc, which is considering going private again to placate authorities, had already caused concern among western investors.
Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet will launch 16 new flights from August.
Accordingly, they will add Bhavnagar in Gujarat to its domestic network. Bhavnagar will now be connected to Delhi, Mumbai and Surat with direct flights starting August 20.
Besides, the budget carrier will also launch 10 more flights that will connect Gwalior with Jaipur, Kishangarh (Ajmer) with Mumbai, Belagavi with Delhi and Vishakhapatnam with Bengaluru, and add an additional frequency to the Delhi-Jammu sector.
According to Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Commercial Officer, SpiceJet: "Strengthening regional connectivity between metros and underserved cities is at the heart of SpiceJet's mission and vision and we are delighted to add the beautiful city of Bhavnagar to our fast expanding domestic network.
"Being one of the key cities for trade and commerce with many large & small scale industries, having the world's largest ship breaking yard and variety of holy places to visit, Bhavnagar comes with great potential for both business and leisure travel alike."
Furthermore, she said the industry-first flights connecting Gwalior with Jaipur and Mumbai with Kishangarh and other new and additional flights will support the domestic expansion we are aiming for aggressively.
"SpiceJet is well aligned and fully committed to aid the recovery of air travel and realise India's dream of a having a strong, stable and progressive aviation market by constantly adding new routes and destinations."
San Francisco, July 31 (IANS) Elon Musk has refuted a story based on an upcoming book about Tesla that he tried to replace Tim Cook as Apple CEO.
The book, titled 'Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century' by The Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, claims that Musk reportedly wanted to become the Apple CEO in a 2016 phone call with Cook, who suggested to Musk that the iPhone maker acquire the electric car-maker.
Musk reportedly said that he wished to become Apple CEO, reports The Los Angeles Times, quoting from the book.
In a tweet on Friday, Musk denied that any such conversation ever took place.
"Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever," Musk posted.
"He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today's value," the Tesla CEO added.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Cook had said: "I've never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he's built".
Cook replied after Musk in December last year tweeted that he offered Cook to sell his electric car company at one-tenth of its value during the struggling period in 2017 but the Apple CEO refused to meet him.
Musk had said that during the "darkest days" for Tesla Model 3, he wanted to sell the company off.
"During the darkest days of the Model 3 programme, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting," Musk had said in a tweet.
Satya Nadella-run Microsoft is in advanced talks to invest in Airbnb-backed Indian budget hotel chain OYO at a valuation of $9 billion, the media reported on Friday.
According to a TechCrunch report citing sources, a deal may close soon but the "proposed size of the investment is unclear".
Both Microsoft and OYO declined to comment on the reports.
The Ritesh Agarwal-run hospitality chain has Airbnb, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and ride-hailing firm Grab as strategic investors.
The news comes after OYO announced earlier this month that it has raised $660 million from global institutional investors as TLB (Term Loan B).
A company statement had said that the offer was oversubscribed by 1.7 times and the company received commitments of close to $1 billion from leading institutional investors.
"We are delighted by the response to OYO's maiden TLB capital raise that was oversubscribed by leading global institutional investors. We are thankful for the trust that they have placed in OYO's mission of creating value for owners and operators of hotels and homes across the globe," said Abhishek Gupta, Group Chief Financial Officer, OYO.
The company said it will utilise these funds to retire its past debts, strengthen the balance sheet and other business purposes including investment in product technology, it said.
OYO is the first Indian startup to be publicly rated by Moody's and Fitch, two of the leading international rating agencies.
The Microsoft deal "may also involve OYO shifting to use its cloud services," the report mentioned.
OYO has aggressively been expanding its operations to several markets including Southeast Asia, Europe and the US in recent years.