News Highlights for the week
– by Ravleen Kaur
1. Another Disinvestment: Government raised 2218 from sale of 15% stake in NBCC
The government has budgeted to raise Rs 56,500 crore through disinvestment this year. With NBCC disinvestment, the government has raised Rs 8,632 crore through OFS and buyback of equities so far in the current fiscal. The offer for sale (OFS) for 9 crore shares over two-days fetched total bids for 11.35 crore shares. With this, the government has successfully sold a 15 per cent stake in NBCC, reducing its holding to 75 per cent. This was 2016-17’s third divestment by the government through the OFS route. This financial year, it has raised a total of Rs 5,317 crore by selling holdings in three public sector undertakings (PSUs).
2. Ex-HCL honcho floats Rs 100-cr venture fund
HCL Technologies former Chief Executive Anant Gupta on Friday announced a Rs 100-crore venture fund for developing disruptive products and businesses through his new technology investment firm TechCelx. The company will also invest in ventures which will specialise in machine learning, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Analytics and Data Science and Automaton across banking, education and healthcare verticals.”Our vision is to help start-ups develop and apply next-gen technology solutions to disrupt legacy operating models,” asserted Gupta
3. India inks loan pact with World Bank for Eastern Freight Corridor
The government on Friday signed an agreement for a $650 million loan from the World Bank towards the third tranche for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) designed for faster movement of goods between northern and eastern parts of India. According to an Indian Finance Ministry, the “objective of the EDFC-III Project is to augment rail transport capacity, improve service quality and enhance freight carriage throughput on the 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, and develop institutional capacity of the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. to build, maintain and operate the entire DFC network.”
4. Green Signal for startups: RBI eases norms for foreign investment in startups
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has eased norms for foreign investment in start-ups. The banking regulator said that any Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCI) which is registered under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Regulations can invest in equity or equity linked instrument or debt instrument issued by an Indian ‘start-up’ irrespective of the sector in which the start-up is engaged. They will not require any approval from RBI.
5. Home Textile Under Special package
The made-ups and home textile segment is expected to be covered under the Rs 6,000-crore special package recently approved for the garment sector. Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani today told the industry her Ministry is actively considering to extend the benefits of special package to the made-ups and home textile segment, which had been excluded from its ambit. “The Ministry is actively considering to extend the special package recently approved for the garment sector to be made-ups and home textile. An announcement for the same is likely to be made around Diwali,” Irani said
6. TVS Capitals’ Chairman invests in International Money Matters
Gopal Srinivasan, chairman of TVS Capitals and a senior member from the TVS Group family, along with other investors have picked up 52 per cent stake in International Money Matters Pvt Ltd (IMMPL), a SEBI registered financial planning and investment adviser with assets under management of around Rs 850 crore.
7. Tata Motors hikes passenger vehicle prices by up to Rs 12,000
Home-grown auto major Tata Motors has increased prices of its passenger vehicles by up to Rs 12,000 across models to offset rising input costs.”We have hiked prices of our passenger vehicles by one per cent ranging between Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000 due to rising input costs,” Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, told PTI.He said prices of raw materials such as steel and zinc have gone up prompting the company to take such a step.
8.L&T Tech bags multi million dollar contract from large semi-conductor company
L&T Technology Services, a provider of digital engineering solutions, today announced that it has secured a new multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with a large global semi-conductor company to provide verification support on their expansive portfolio of offerings and products. This strategic tie-up between the two companies will enable the customer to strengthen its product offerings and capitalize on market opportunities with superior quality products, the company said.
9. Ernst & Young to pay $11.8 mn over failed audits
Global accounting firm Ernst & Young will pay $11.8 million to resolve allegations it failed to uncover deceptive tax practices at an oil services company The announcement follows September’s settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the oilfield services firm Weatherford International, which the SEC fined $140 million for fraudulently lowering its year-end tax provisions.
The SEC said that Ernst & Young, one of the global “big four” accounting firms, had failed to detect the fraud for more than four years.
10. Second largest acquisition: Wipro acquires US firm Appirio for $400 mn
IT-major Wipro has acquired US-based consultancy firm Appirio, a services firm with a large offshore firm that helps corporates implement cloud applications such as SalesForce.
Appirio has an India offshore base in Jaipur, where the majority of its 1,200-strong workforce is located. Apprio says its customers include eBay, Facebook, Home Depot, Sony PlayStation, IBM and Cardinal Health. The news helped Wipro stock rise and was Rs 3.2, or 0.65 per cent, up at Rs 497.75 on the BSE at 11.20 on 20th october.