Myntra logo. Image for representative purpose. (Photo: Reuters)
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QBiz: Myntra Takes Over Tech Firm; Possible Ease in FDI Policy

1. Mallya Gifted $40 Mn to His Children to Keep it Far From India: ED

Following the hullaballoo over the arrest and subsequent release of Vijay Mallya, an analysis by Moneycontrol has revealed how the liquor baron managed to transfer $40 million to his children – Siddharth Mallya, Leena Mallya and Tanya Mallya. This amount was reportedly given to senior Mallya by London-based alcohol firm Diageo Plc after he stepped down from the position of chairman of United Spirits Ltd, which happens to be a subsidiary company under Diageo, Moneycontrol reported.

The ED alleged that Mallya did so with the intent of ensuring that the money doesn’t reach India.

Another aspect that the analysis revealed was the laundering of money amounting to over Rs 3,200 crore overseas by Mallya. This money was largely given as loans to the now – defunct Kingfisher Airlines from various banks.

Read the full story on The Quint.

2. Tata, Godrej, Patanjali Eye Sahara Group’s 30 Properties

A large number of corporates, including Tatas, Godrej, Adani and Patanjali, have shown interest in buying embattled Sahara group's 30 properties estimated to be worth about Rs 7,400 crore.

The properties, mostly land parcels being auctioned by real estate consultant Knight Frank India, have also generated interest from several real estate developers – including Omaxe and Eldeco – as also from HNIs and at least one public sector firm Indian Oil, sources familiar with the process said.

Besides, Chennai-based Apollo Hospital has shown interest in acquiring Sahara Hospital in Lucknow.

Read the full story on The Quint.

3. Govt to Hire UK Arbitrator to Bring Back Vijay Mallya

The government is planning to get on board a UK-based “independent arbitrator” to appear on behalf of Indian authorities and put up a strong case of extradition against absconding liquor baron Vijay Mallya, an Enforcement Directorate (ED) official said.

The move comes in view of India’s past experiences with extradition cases and long-drawn legal processes.

The person who will represent the case should be well-versed with the judicial system of the country where the matter will be heard. The court of law differs from country to country, so it is essential that the representative knows the law and legal remedies of that country
ED official

(Source: Business Standard)

4. New RBI Rules on Provisioning, Bad Loans Seen Taking a Toll on Banks

New RBI guidelines on standard asset provisioning and disclosure of details regarding non-performing assets (NPAs) may create difficulties for Indian banks, thanks to additional provisioning requirements, analysts estimate.

Public sector banks are likely to see a 5-15 percent impact on their earnings going ahead, while private sector lenders would see their earnings hurt by 1-2 percent due to the new norms, Credit Suisse said in a report on Wednesday. Prior to this advisory, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) required banks to set aside 0.4 percent as provision against standard assets. The RBI on Tuesday had advised banks to consider setting aside higher provisions even for good loans in stressed sectors.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Government to Widen Entry For Foreign Funds While Shuttering FIPB

The proposed dismantling of Foreign Investment Promotion Board, which vets proposals involving fund inflows from overseas, is likely to be bundled with related policy reforms.

On top of the list is doing away with prior government approval for investments in most sectors, including single-brand retail, which could see dilution of the 30 percent domestic sourcing clause.

Contours of the proposed changes to the foreign direct investment policy are almost ready... Non-strategic sectors should be on automatic.
Senior government official on the matter

(Source: The Economic Times)

6. Oil Prices Come Down by Over 3 Percent; Energy Shares Affected

Oil prices dropped more than 3 percent on Wednesday following a surprise increase in gasoline inventories, and declines in energy shares weighed on US stocks. The dollar recovered from recent weakness against the euro and the safe-haven yen, while sterling was off six-month highs hit after Britain’s prime minister on Tuesday called for a snap election. Investors also braced for the coming French election.

In the oil market, the counter-seasonal build of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline in the latest week, along with an increase in US production, pressured prices. US crude futures fell 3.8 percent to settle at 50.44 dollars, while Brent crude futures dropped 3.6 percent to 52.93 dollars. The oil losses hurt shares of US energy companies, pushing the S&P 500 energy index down 1.4 percent and causing the benchmark S&P 500 index to reverse earlier gains.

(Source: Reuters)

7. Logistics Firm InLogg Taken Over by E-Commerce Player Myntra

E-commerce portal Myntra on Wednesday announced that it has acquired InLogg, a Bengaluru-based technology platform that provides end-to-end logistics solutions for the e-commerce sector.

As part of the acquisition, the team at InLogg has been inducted into Myntra, making it an acqui-hire that will further strengthen and expand Myntra's supply chain capabilities.

InLogg was founded in 2015 by a team with first-hand expertise in fulfilment, technology and business, with an aim to standardise the process of logistics in remote areas and bring in efficiency. To enable accessibility, the InLogg platform has on-boarded local and regional courier players in multiple states across the country.

(Source: ANI)

8. ITC to Launch New Products, Segments to Topple Nestle, Britannia in Packaged-Foods Industry

ITC aims to outrun Nestle and Britannia as the leader of India's packaged-foods industry in the next two-three years, crowning the two-decade transformation of the century old tobacco giant into a diversified consumer-goods company.

The formula for dominance in the increasingly competitive packaged foods industry would be accelerated introduction of new products, and entry into seven-eight newer categories, divisional chief executive for foods business Hemant Malik told ET.

In essence, the recipe would borrow the template ITC had initially chosen in 2003, when a flurry of products marked ITC's expansion beyond the bailiwick of tobacco and hotels.

(Source: The Economic Times)

9. Godrej Properties to Raise  Rs 1,500  Crore by Selling Office Assets

Godrej Properties Ltd (GPL) plans to sell some of its office assets to raise around Rs 1,500 crore, a significant portion of which would be used to pare debt.

The Mumbai-based developer has been among the country’s best developers in terms of sales and delivery even during the prolonged slowdown, and is on an acquisition spree when many developers have sold projects and not launched anything new.

GPL’s net debt increased by Rs 270 crore on a sequential basis to Rs 3,270 crore in the October-December quarter due to land and approval related cash outflows, according to a February report by Edelweiss Securities Ltd.

(Source: Livemint)