1. BSNL, MTNL to Be Merged as Part of Rs 56,000 Crore Rescue Plan
Government will merge its twin state-run telecom companies in an effort to turn around the money-losing firms, which it considers core assets.
The strategy would also see the government look at ways to exploit the vast land assets of the two companies while paring their manpower by offering incentives to employees to avail an early retirement plan.
The Rs 56,000 crore merger and revival plan for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL) was approved by the Union cabinet on Wednesday. MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai, and BSNL in the rest of India.
2. Sebi Probes Insider Trading at Infosys, Whistleblower Claims
The markets regulator is investigating a huge buildup of derivatives positions in Infosys Ltd’s stock before allegations of accounting malpractices raised in a whistleblower complaint were made public, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Exchange data showed that huge put positions, or the option to sell shares at an agreed price on or before a particular date, were accumulated in the November series contracts of Infosys at a strike price of Rs 740.
3. Cabinet Throws Open Fuel Retailing for Non-Oil Companies Too
In a move that is expected to make auto fuel retail business more attractive, the government has has tweaked the guidelines for granting authorisation to sell petrol and diesel in the country.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday revised the norms and has now allowed companies with a net worth of Rs 250 crore and more to get into this business.
The earlier policy for marketing transportation fuels mandated a minimum prior investment of Rs 2,000 crore in the domestic oil and gas sector.
4. DHFL Crisis: Banks Stare at Huge Provision Burden If Fraud Is Established
Banks which have loaned to beleaguered mortgage lender DHFL might have to provide for the exposure within weeks, if the account is treated as a fraudulent one after accountancy entity KPMG’s finding.
KPMG did a forensic audit on DHFL. Its draft report has startling findings and says DHFL could have diverted funds to promoter-led entities.
Banks have combined exposure of Rs 38,342 crore to DHFL, in the form of term loans, non-convertible debentures and commercial paper, according to the draft debt resolution plan.
A senior executive with a South-based public sector bank said: "While activity relating to restructuring of DHFL is still in a work-in-progress state, banks have to take a call on whether to get the Wadhawans (promoter family) to cooperate, and begin recoveries, or declare the account as fraud if diversion is established. Declaration of the account as fraud would create a burden of provisioning as early as the third quarter (October-December) of the current financial year.”
5. Wipro Employees to Get Bumper Promotions This Year
Wipro will promote over 5,000 employees by December as it looks to retain crucial younger talent with digital skills within its fold in a market that is witnessing high demand for such professionals, similar to the early 2000s.
Wipro and its peers such as Infosys have seen high attrition in the three-five year experience level as there is a global demand for people with such skills. With more customers of these IT services companies shifting to digital technology such as cloud computing led or artificial intelligence driven operations; companies are rushing to bridge the skills gap.
(Source: Economic Times)
6. Indian Economy Seen Rebounding to 7% Next Fiscal Year : IMF Official
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees Indian economic growth rebounding to around 7 per cent in the next financial year, supported by measures like monetary policy stimulus and corporate income tax cuts.
“We see the Indian economy rebounding from our projected 6.1 percent growth this fiscal year to something like 7 per cent in the next fiscal year (2020). We see the factors that will support growth, including monetary policy stimulus, working their way through the pipeline,” Jonathan Ostry, Deputy Director, Asia Pacific Department at the IMF, told reporters.
7. Govt Accords 'Maharatna' Status to Hindustan Petroleum, Power Grid Corp
The government on Wednesday accorded 'Maharatna' status to state-owned Hindustan Petroleum and Power Grid Corporation, thus giving them greater operational and financial autonomy.
Two separate orders to this effect were issued by the Department of Public Enterprises, under the Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises.
The grant of Maharatna status to the PSUs will impart enhanced powers to their Boards to take financial decisions.
The Boards of Maharatna central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) can make equity investments to undertake financial joint ventures and wholly owned subsidiaries and undertake mergers and acquisitions in India and abroad, subject to a ceiling of 15 per cent of the net worth of the concerned CPSE, limited to Rs 5,000 crore in one project.
8. WeWork Plans to Lay off 4,000 Staff: Report
Office-sharing startup WeWork is planning to cut as many as 4,000 jobs as a part of a turnaround plan put in place by top shareholder Japan's SoftBank Group after it took control of the company this week, Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
The job cut will amount to just under a third of WeWork's global workforce, and about 1,000 of the cuts will hit employees such as janitorial staff, the report said, citing people with direct knowledge of the plans.
9. India Inc Q2 Earnings Start on Positive Note, Tax Rate Cut Boosts Profit
The July-September 2019 quarter (Q2) earnings season has started on an optimistic note for corporate India. Excluding the exceptional gains and losses, the combined net profit of 200 companies that have declared their results so far is up 15 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), while profit before tax (PBT) has risen by a higher rate of 20.7 per cent, thanks to the cut in tax rates.
In comparison, net profit was up 23.3 per cent in the year-ago period and 20.1 per cent during the April-June 2019 quarter. Similarly, PBT was up 12.2 percent in the year-ago period and 18.6 percent in the June 2019 quarter.