News Digest 10 Oct 2019

MC Mary Kom becomes the most medalled World Championship Boxer
She has 7 World Championships medal and 2012 London Games Bronze in her kitty. With the latest World Championship medal at Ulan-Ulde, she now has the most medals in World Championship Boxing. 
Felix Savon, Cuban, had the most medals – 6 Gold and a silver.

Nobel Prize for Literature 2018 : Olga Tokarczuk, Polish novelist, for her works that explore the “crossing of boundaries as a form of life”. She becomes the 15th woman in more than a century of awards to win.
Noble Prize for Literature 2019: Peter Handke, Austrian writer, for his work exploring “the periphery and the specificity of human experience with linguistic ingenuity”.

Why two awards in one year?
Last year literature prize was cancelled due to a scandal following conviction of Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of former academy member for two rapes in 2011. He also allegedly leaked the names of literature winners seven times. The Nobel Foundation initially warned that another group may be chosen if Swedish Academy didn’t improve its image. Later the Foundation was satisfied with the corrective steps taken by Academy. The Academy made a new committee – Nobel Committee with four academy members and five external specialists. The committee picked names and finally selected by Academy.

HongKong Protests – Apple pulls out HKmap.live app under Chinese pressure
The app shows real time updates on police movements and help steer users away from possible baton charges, volleys of tear gas and police ID checks. The company stated that it removed the app as it was used to target and ambush police and threaten public safety.

Syria Crisis
Turkey started offensive against Syria days after US troops pulled out of Syria. 

Committee to study regulation and coordination between different ministries and states
The panel members include Secretary of economic affairs department, Secretary of financial services department, Deputy governor of RBI. Rural development ministry and Urban affairs ministry may also join the panel. The panel will also deliberate on increasing the deposit insurance. The current deposit insurance is of Rs.1lakh, a limit set on 1993.

 

SEBI sets new classification norms for FPI/FDI
Equity holdings up to 10% will be classified as FPI (Foreign Portfolio Investments) and above 10% will be considered as FDI (Foreign Direct Investments). FPI attracts a higher level of regulation and needs license against no license requirement for FDI. Also, under FPI an entity cannot hold unlisted shares. FPI investments are subject to higher regulations wiht KYC documentation for key management officials. As per RBI data, FDI inflow of $62 billion in FY19. Under earlier rules, classification of investment into FPI or FDI was based on the route through which investment was made.

SEBI bars Indian citizens from investing in DRs
The move bars Indian Citizens – including Ordinarily resident overseas – from buying depository receipts (DR) issued by locally listed companies. This will tighten ownership rules on entities that are raising funds through equity sales abroad. SEBI also said DRs need to be listed on an international exchange of a permissible jurisdiction and also the custodians should take voting instructions from DR holders before voting for company resolutions.
DRs, like American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) are financial instruments in foreign currency issued against the shares deposited with a custodian in India.

Twitter will consult with Pakistani Government before barring official Pakistani accounts
This was announced on Twitter by Pakistan’s national IT Board CEO Shabhat Ali Shah. Twitter did not confirm or deny this. 

Large Uranium levels in underground water in AP, Telangana
Atomic Minerals Directorate found high level of uranium concentration (2,618 parts per billion against permissible limit of 30ppb) in ground water samples taken across Lambapur-Peddagattu region in Nalgonda district of Telangana. The uranium reserves in Kadapa (AP) and Nalgonda (Telangana) were found in huge quantity but the latest deposits found are closer to the ground level.
Uranium Corporation of India which operates underground mines in AP plans to set open pit and three underground mines in Telangana and a central plant at around 50kms from the mine site. 

Government build Startup Hub for stakeholders
Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has set up “the social media platform for startups”. Deepak Mishra, former entrepreneur has been appointed to head this program. The platform lists the startups according to area of expertise or state to which they belong. This will help startups to connect with right talent, mentor and VC funds. Startups will also get a dedicated webpage to showcase their company. India with 7,200 startups is the third largest startup hub. 

Pakistan bond markets surge
Foreigners invest $342million in July to September with attempts at economic reforms, support from IMF, and interest rates rising to 13% being the key drivers. This is in stark contrast to almost nil fund inflow in last two years. This reminds of the Egyptian rally in 2016 when a bailout package from IMF turnaround the economy with higher growth, lower inflation, and increased foreign inflows. Pakistan has appointed Reza Baqir, former IMF senior as central bank governor.

Geek Goddess 2019
In its fifth edition, the competition aims to improve representation of women in technology. American Express has joined hands with Times for this year’s competition. The entries are open till October 14.

Slower growth
Moody’s cut 20109-20 growth forecast to 5.8% from 6.8%.
Last week, RBI cut 19-20 forecast to 6.1% from 6.8%.
Forecast of ADB (Asian Development Bank) is at 6.5% and OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) is at 5.9%
The slow-down has broadened into consumption, rural income and job creation areas. NBFC credit issues has increased the problem.
The Q1 (Apr-Jun) quarter slowed to a six-year low of 5% and estimated at 5.3% for Q2 (Jul-Sep).

Corporate News
Gurugram based Minda Industries bought Germany based Delvis Gmbh. Delvis is a design and development company for lights and would help the auto parts maker in gaining market share in passenger vehicle lightning industry. Currently, Lumax Idustries leads the passenger vehicle market. Minda’s acquisition of Rinder in 2016 helped gain market share in two wheeler lightning segment. 

Bombay High Court has restrained Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL) from making further payments or disbursements to any unsecured creditors till further orders. Edelweiss Asset Management had approached the Court to recover dues of around Rs70crores. 

Religare Finvest Ltd, the lending arm of REL (Religare Enterprises) complained of fund misappropriation of Rs.2,397crore. Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police have arrested Shivinder Mohan, erstwhile promoter of REL; Sunil Godhwani, former REL chairman and MD; Kavi Arora, former RFL CEO; and Anil Saxena, former REL CFO. The police is still searching for Malvinder Mohan Singh who went to Ludhiana for medical treatment. 

RBI rejects merger of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IHFL) with Lakshmi Vilas Bank. This rejection raises question on IHFL’s fund-raising capabilities in liquidity crunch.

BMW (Bavarin Motor Works) increased its market share in luxury segment from 19% to 24% in last three to four quarters. The company sold 7,049 units in Jan-Sep period with a decline of 11%. Mercedes, the closest rival of BMW saw a decline of 16% with 9,915 units sold. Super-luxury segment carmaker, Lamborghini expects 30% growth. The firm expects to sell 60 units in 2019. 

WeWork India plans to raise funds for expansion. The Indian Franchise is 100% owned by Embassy Group till 2021. The group paid $200million to acquire Franchisee rights two years ago. The group is looking to raise $200million to fund growth and expand desks from 48,000 to 1,00,000.

Samsung Display plans to invest 13.1 trillion won ($10.9billion) by 2025 to upgrade its liquid crystal display (LCD) production facilities.

Credit Saison operating under registered name “Kisetsu Saison Finance Ltd” has received non banking finance company (NBFC) license from RBI. The company got $30million funding from parent company and will focus on consumer & corporate lending, debt to fintech ventures, and co-lending with other NBFCs.

DealShare, social buying platform, raised $11mn from Matrix Partners, Falcon Edge, and partners of DST global and Omidyar Network. The company focuses on group buying of grocery and home merchandise with target group of middle and lower income consumers in small cities and towns. The Jaipur based company claims to be growing 50% month-on-month with 15,000 orders per day. Other social commerce companies raising funds are WMall ($10mn from Chirate Venture Partners and SAIF partners) and Mall91 ($8mn from GoVentures, investment arm of GoJek)

InnovationQore launches a pan-India program , Turbostart. It plans to invest in 100 startups in next two years and provide support of legal, regulatory services, tax planning, accounting & financial reporting, amd compliance. The investors in fund are Vinod Kini, Artha Ventures; Dr Charit Bhograj, founder Tricog; Shyam Powar, Allegro Capital.

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) has 42 stores in 15 cities. They plan to scale this to 100 stores. Rival Zara of Spain has almost half count of stores despite entering Indian market five years earlier to H&M. They plan to increast the size of store from 15k sqft at present to 25-30k sqft.

Walmart plans to de-merge Flipkart and PhonePe. This will help Walmart get into digital payment space directly and unlock the value of two entities separately.Walmart paid $16-17billion to acquire ~82% stake in Flipkart. Phonepe, developed by former Flipkart executives was acquired in 2016 by Flipkart.

Seattle based Columbia Asia with 11 facilities in India and total bed strength of 1200 and another 200 in construction – is looking to sell complete stake. The group has recently sold its Southeast Asian operations to Malaysian Conglomerate Hong Leong Group for ~1.2billion USD.

 

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