QBiz: Nirav Modi Behind PNB Fraud; Jet Airways Profit Falls Again

Here are the top business stories of the day.

4 min read
State-owned lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) is at the centre of a $1.8 billion fraud – one of the largest to be detected across the Indian banking sector.

1. The Nirav Modi Case: How the $1.8 Billion Fraud at PNB Unfolded

State-owned lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) is at the centre of a $1.8 billion fraud – one of the largest to be detected across the Indian banking sector.

In a statement issued to stock exchanges on Wednesday, PNB said that it has detected some “fraudulent and unauthorised transactions (messages)”, which it has reported to the authorities concerned. Based on these ‘transactions’, other banks appear to have advanced money to customers overseas, said the bank.

The fraudulent transactions are allegedly linked to designer and jeweler Nirav Modi, against whom a complaint has been filed with the Central Bureau of Investigation.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. Jet Airways Profit Falls for Second Straight Quarter

Jet Airways Ltd’s profit fell for the second straight quarter due to higher fuel expenses.

Net profit decreased 46 percent year-on-year to Rs 165.2 crore in the October-December quarter, Jet Airways said in a stock exchange filing. That compares with the Bloomberg consensus estimate of Rs 181.3 crore. The bottom line was hit by fuel expenses which has increased 28.7 percent to Rs 1,840.08 crore due to rising Brent crude prices.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

3. Aster DM IPO Sees 45% Subscription on Second Day of Share Sale

The Rs 980 crore initial public offering (IPO) of Aster DM Healthcare Ltd, which runs hospitals in India and West Asia, witnessed an overall subscription of 45% on Wednesday, the second day of its share sale.

On the first day on Monday, the Aster DM IPO was subscribed 26%.

According to data from stock exchanges, as of 5pm, the portion of shares reserved for institutional investors in the Aster DM IPO was subscribed 51%, while that set aside for retail and non-institutional investors was subscribed 50% and 24%, respectively.

(Source: Livemint)

4. Campus Placement at IIMs, Top B-Schools Sees Robust Response

Final campus placements at top B-schools, including the older Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), have started on a strong note with some institutes finding jobs for their entire outgoing batch within days, indicating a possible uptick in the job market.

IIM Calcutta on Tuesday said it had completed placements for all outgoing students in two days. XLRI Jamshedpur and IIM Lucknow took less than four days. At IIM Ahmedabad, the first cluster placement is over and two more are expected to end by Friday.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Nestle India's Annual Sales Cross Rs10,000-Crore Mark in 2017

Swiss packaged food company Nestle SA has finally joined the Rs10,000 crore sales club in India—more than a century after it entered the burgeoning market to sell Swiss condensed milk as a trader.

On Wednesday, its local entity Nestle India Ltd reported total sales at Rs10,135.11 crore for the year ended December 2017. The maker of Maggi noodles, Kit Kat chocolates and Nescafe instant coffee mixes follows a January-December accounting year.

(Source: Livemint)

6. Railways Initiates Recruitment Process to Hire 89,000 Employees

National carrier Indian Railways has begun the process of launching one of its biggest recruitment drives, to hire 89,000 Group C and D employees, including assistant loco pilots, technicians, gangmen, switchmen, trackmen, cabinmen, welders, helpers and porters.

In a tweet on Wednesday, railway minister Piyush Goyal announced the railway recruitment drive, saying there were Group D openings for 62,907 jobs.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Government Readies AI-Muscled Cyber Security Plan

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is working on a project to provide cyber forensic services to law-enforcing and other government and non-government agencies.

The project seeks to support activities using artificial intelligence-based tools to tackle cyber security threats. The CDAC Digital Forensic Centre will also undertake problem oriented research in cyber forensics and allied areas, and help micro, small and medium enterprises to undertake commercial activities in the area of cyber security. C-DAC’s Kolkata centre and Indian Institute of Technology-Patna will implement the project with a total budget of Rs 3.95 crore. MeitY’s contribution is Rs 2 crore.

8. Tata Steel Top Bidder for Bhushan Power, Beats JSW With Rs 170-Bn Offer

Tata Steel seems to be emerging the highest bidder for Bhushan Power and Steel. According to sources close to the development, Tata Steel has offered to pay Rs 170 billion upfront to financial creditors against JSW’s Rs 110 billion.

The finals bids were placed on 9 February and sent to the legal team for scrutiny.

SBI caps will now evaluate the bids.

9. Bharti Airtel Explores Options to List Africa Arm on Global Exchange

The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led Bharti Airtel is considering listing its subsidiary Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (BAIN), which controls the group’s African operations, on a stock exchange overseas.The company has started discussions with banks and intermediaries to evaluate the feasibility of the listing.

“The board of directors of BAIN BV on February 12 has authorised its management to initiate non-binding exploratory discussions with various banks/intermediaries to explore the possibility/feasibility of listing of its shares on an internationally recognised stock exchange,” Bharti Airtel said in regulatory filing.

The discussions were of an exploratory nature and there was no certainty over their outcome, it added.

Bharti Airtel operates in 14 African countries and all the operations are managed by BAIN.A focus on optimising capital requirements and costs is bearing fruit, with Airtel’s Africa operations reporting profits for the last few quarters.

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