QBiz: 5G Spectrum Auction in 2019; Import Curbs to Bring Rupee Up
1. Import Curbs to Bring Rupee to 68-70 Level, Economic Affairs Secretary Says
The government will “very soon” implement the second set of measures including curb on imports of non-essential items to shore up the rupee to 68-70 level against the US dollar, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said, terming the about 12 percent slide in the currency as a temporary phenomenon.
Earlier this month, the government had announced the easing of overseas borrowing norms for manufacturing companies, removal of restrictions on foreign portfolio investors investment in corporate bonds, and tax benefits on Masala bonds to shore up rupee and curb widening of current account deficit.
2. IL&FS Default: No Concern on Liquidity of NBFCs, Says SBI Chairman
Assuring lending support to non-banking financial companies, State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar said there was no concern on liquidity of such firms, amid the ongoing debt crisis at the IL&FS Group.
Shares of housing finance companies came under sudden heavy selling pressure Friday as investors raised concerns over rising cost of borrowing for the companies amid crisis at IL&FS.
Experts attributed the fall in NBFC scrips to tightness in the money market and a lack of clarity on IL&FS exposure.
“Some comments are being attributed to SBI about the bank being wary of lending to NBFCs. The rumours are baseless. SBI lends support to NBFCs in private and public sector within the regulatory policy framework and will continue to do so”. said Rajnish Kumar, Chairman of SBI.
3. RBI Shortlists Infosys, TCS, 3 Other IT Firms to Implement CIMS
The Reserve Bank has shortlisted five IT firms including Infosys and TCS for implementation of a centralised information and management system (CIMS) for seamless data collection and validations. The central bank had invited of expression of interest (EOI) in July for identification of solution provider for implementation of CIMS by overhauling the Data Warehouse (DW) of the apex bank.
After evaluation of the responses, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said “it has been decided to shortlist” five vendors for issuance of ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) for selection of vendor for CIMS development and implementation.
4. Narendra Modi Rolls out Ayushman Bharat Scheme, Calls It ‘Game Changer’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, 23 August, rolled out the ambitious Ayushman Bharat–Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) in Ranchi, Jharkahnd.
The insurance scheme aims to provide an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. The programme, which will benefit about 100 million poor households, or 500 million people, is touted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as the world’s largest healthcare programme.
“People are calling the scheme Modicare, and by other names, but for me, it is an opportunity to serve the poor. This scheme that comes into effect from Sunday, is the world’s biggest health assurance scheme and will be a game changer,” said Modi.
5. ONGC Videsh Served Rs 7,666 Crore Service Tax Demand
The tax department has served a service tax demand of Rs 7,666.1 crore on ONGC Videsh Ltd for remittances the firm has made to its overseas subsidiaries over the past decade, sources in know of the development said.
OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, has stakes in 41 projects in 20 countries spanning Venezuela to New Zealand. For the operations of these projects, the local units and joint ventures would raise a demand for money on the parent, OVL, which would transmit the funds.
The Service Tax Department now contends that the overseas units are rendering a service to OVL and as such the company is liable to pay service tax at the full rate, sources said.
6. FPIs Turn Net Sellers in September, Pull Out Rs 15,365 Crore So Far
Overseas investors have pulled out a massive Rs 15,365 crore ($2.1 billion) from the capital markets so far in September, after putting in funds during the previous two months, on widening current account deficit coupled with global trade tensions.
The latest outflow comes following a net infusion of close to Rs 5,200 crore in the capital markets, both equity and debt, last month and Rs 2,300 crore in July. Prior to that, overseas investors had pulled out over Rs 61,000 crore during April-June.
According to the latest depository data, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) withdrew a net sum of Rs 6,832 crore from equities during 3-21 September and Rs 8,533 crore from the debt market, taking the total to Rs 15,365 crore ($2.1 billion).
7. Spectrum Auction for 5G Likely to Happen in Later Half of 2019: Telecom Secy Aruna Sundararajan
Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan Sunday said auction of spectrum for 5G services is likely to happen in the later half of 2019.
“Right now, it (5G allocation) is looking to happen in later half of next year,” she told PTI.
The 5G services would offer telecom companies better visibility into market dynamics and potential revenue streams of the next-generation mobile services, Sundararajan said.
As long as monetisation avenues and opportunities are properly identified, rollout would not take long because there is no requirement for replacing hardware as it was done to upgrade from 3G to 4G services, she noted.
8. Assets of Nine CPSEs to Be Hived off Before Stake Sale
Four subsidiaries of Air India will need to be hived off before the Centre undertakes a strategic disinvestment in the national carrier. The government has also identified assets of eight other central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) that will undergo a similar exercise before a strategic stake sale is taken up. They are: Pawan Hans, Project & Development India Ltd, Hindustan Prefab Limited, Bridge and Roof Company, Scooters India Limited, Bharat Pumps and Compressors Limited, Hindustan Newsprint Limited, Hindustan Fluorocarbons.
Budget 2018-19 has targeted ₹80,000 crore from disinvestment in State-run companies. This will involve sale of a minority stake in some CPSEs and strategic disinvestment — handing over management control to other entities.
(Source: Business Line)
9. Comcast Outbids Murdoch's Fox With 30 Billion-Pound Bid for Sky
US cable giant Comcast outbid Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in a blind auction for the European TV operator Sky on Saturday that all but settled a titanic battle between the two media empires.
Britain's takeover regulator said the secret process ended with Comcast offering to pay 30.4 billion pounds (USD 39.7 billion, 33.8 billion euros).
Sky's highest offer was worth 27.6 billion pounds.
The pan-European TV operator's shareholders will have until 11 October to decide which bid to accept.
But Comcast's chief executive Briant Roberts quickly hailed the outcome as "a great day" for his company.
(Source: Business Today)