QBiz: Alibaba Pauses India Investments; RIL’s New Commerce Venture

Here are all the top business stories.

4 min read
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1. Centre Plans Wider Method to Measure Income of Farmers

The Narendra Modi government will count on a much wider measure of earnings of a farming household than is captured by agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) while calculating the income of cultivators in 2022-23, the year by which the government has promised to double farmers’ incomes, according to a draft proposal reviewed by HT.

In 2016, Prime Minister Modi first declared his government would double farm incomes — in other words, raise them by 100% — in six years by 2022-23, a politically significant goal in a country where nearly half the population depends on a farm-based livelihood.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. Alibaba Hits Pause Button on Fresh India Investments

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, one of the biggest investors in Indian startups such as Paytm and Zomato, is temporarily halting fresh investments in the country as the Chinese e-commerce giant reviews its India strategy, four people aware of the development said.

Alibaba’s four-member investment team in India led by Raghav Bahl, who was appointed last August from Bessemer Venture Partners, has been mandated to currently manage only the existing portfolio, said the people cited above, requesting anonymity.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. RIL Plans Diwali Launch of ‘New Commerce’ Venture

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ltd could launch its “new commerce” venture around Diwali, three industry officials aware of the plans said.

New commerce is Reliance Retail’s offline-to-online initiative, which would link producers, traders, small merchants, brands and consumers through technology. The company, the retail arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has been working on its new commerce plan for nearly two years. Currently, it operates neighbourhood stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, wholesale, speciality and online stores.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. Tata Motors Defers Plan to Raise Foreign Currency Loans

Tata Motors Ltd has indefinitely deferred a planned fundraise up to $1.5 billion in foreign currency loans after failing to garner sufficient interest from potential lenders, two people directly aware of the development said, requesting anonymity.

The funds were to be raised by a Singapore-based entity of Tata Motors to refinance existing loans of Tata Motors as well as its wholly-owned unit, UK-based Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc (JLR), said the people cited above.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

5. Finmin May Go Slow on Overseas Bonds Plan

The finance ministry may go slow on the contentious budget proposal to issue overseas sovereign bonds with officials maintaining that no timeline has been set so far for the bond issue.

“We are yet to decide a timeline or tranches for the bond issue. What is more important is that we have shown our willingness to borrow overseas through the Budget announcement. The intention is more important," a finance ministry official said seeking anonymity.

(Source: Livemint)

6. Embassy Buildcon Pledges WeWork Shares to Raise Rs 200 Crore

Embassy Buildcon LLP, the holding company of WeWork India, is pledging its shares in the co-working firm for a Rs 200 crore financing facility from ICICI Bank Ltd, according to a filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

As per the pledge agreement, Embassy Buildcon has agreed to pledge its shares in WeWork India Management Pvt Ltd, representing 26% of the paid-up equity share capital of the latter, in favour of ICICI Bank.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Jet Airways Crisis: Lenders to Discuss Bids, Interim Funding on Monday

Jet Airways lenders will meet on Monday to consider an expression of interest (EoI) from an overseas airline and release of interim funds to the airline.

In the earlier meetings, the committee of creditors (CoC) had agreed to release $10 million in interim funds and had approved criteria for evaluation of bids for the revival of the grounded airline.

The airline’s resolution professional Ashish Chhawchharia received an EoI from the overseas airline last week well past the bid submission deadline.

(Source: Business Standard)

8. ITC Leads Seven of 10 Most Valued Firms to Lose Rs 86,878 Crore in Market Cap

Seven of the 10 most valued domestic companies cumulatively lost Rs 86,879.7 crore in market valuation last week, with FMCG major ITC taking the biggest hit. In a weak broader market, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), HDFC Bank, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank and SBI were the other firms which witnessed a drop in their market capitalisation (m-cap), while TCS, HUL and Infosys finished with gains.

The m-cap of ITC dropped by Rs 20,748.4 crore to stand at Rs 2,89,740.59 crore. It was followed by SBI whose market cap tumbled Rs 17,715.4 crore to Rs 2,41,946.22 crore. The m-cap of HDFC Bank tanked Rs 17,335.3 crore to Rs 5,91,490.98 crore and that of ICICI Bank declined by Rs 15,084.5 crore to Rs 2,55,484.91 crore. HDFC’s valuation fell by Rs 9,921.2 crore to Rs 3,52,202.72 crore and that of Kotak Mahindra Bank dipped Rs 5,155.85 crore to Rs 2,81,185.14 crore. The m-cap of RIL went down by Rs 919.16 crore to Rs 8,08,836 crore.

(Source: PTI)

9. Bank of Maharashtra to Link Retail Loans with Repo Rate

State-owned Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) on Sunday said it will link its retail loans with the repo rate, which will make the loans cheaper.

“It will be effective from September 1, 2019 for the ensuing festival season. Presently, it will be for new customers only and in due course it will be extended to existing customers as well,” it said in a statement. The bank has already linked the housing loan interest rate with repo rate, it added.

(Source: PTI)

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