QBiz: FY20 GDP May Slip to 5%; Vodafone’s Future in India Doubtful

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1. Economists Say Growth for FY20 May Slip to Around 5%

Two of India’s leading banks see growth slowing to 5% in the current financial year, following a sharper-than-expected contraction in industrial production in September and little evidence of a meaningful recovery. GDP grew 6.8% in FY19.

Growth in the July-September period may have dropped to 4.2% from 5% in the first quarter, according to estimates compiled by ET, increasing pressure on the government to take more steps to revive sentiment and demand. Official GDP data for the second quarter will be released on 29 November and the first full-year estimate will be available in January.

(Source: Economic Times)

2. Vodafone CEO Rings Alarm Bell on India Ops

Vodafone Group Chief Executive Nick Read described the status of its joint venture in India as “critical” in the wake of a Supreme Court order that left the telecom company facing thousands of crores in additional statutory dues. The unit’s “carrying value” had been reduced to zero, he said, while also citing “unsupportive regulation (and) excessive taxes.”

Read said the Vodafone Group won’t infuse any further equity into Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), having written down the value of its joint venture with the Aditya Birla Group to zero after the Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

(Source: Economic Times)

3. Munjal, Kothari in Talks to Buy 10% Each in Yes Bank

Sunil Munjal, chairman of Hero Corporate Services Ltd, and Hemendra Kothari, veteran investment banker and founder of DSP Group, have held separate talks with Yes Bank Ltd to purchase stakes of 5-10% each in the cash-starved private lender, three people aware of the matter said.

The two businessmen expressed their intention to invest following discussions over the past fortnight, the people cited above said. If both investments proceed, the bank could receive a total of up to ₹3,500 crore, these people said on condition of anonymity.

(Source: Livemint)

4. Adani Begins Due Diligence of Krishnapatnam Port

Adani Group has commenced due diligence of the Krishnapatnam Port in Nellore district.

“At present, the port is in a mess. This will continue till the new management takes over,” said a top KPCL official on condition of anonymity. Hyderabad-based engineering major CVR Group owns a majority stake in Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd. (KPCL).

Till recently, things were smooth for the CVR Group, which got into a deep financial trouble when the Andhra Pradesh Government cancelled the ₹3,200-crore Polavaram Hydel power project awarded to Navayuga Engineering, the flagship company of the group.

(Source: The Hindu)

5. Bharti Airtel Bids for RCom Spectrum, Jio Seeks Deadline Extension

The Bharti group, through two of its companies, on Tuesday made a conditional bid for the spectrum of Reliance Communications (RCom) even as Reliance Jio asked for an extension of the 12 November deadline to make an offer under insolvency proceedings.

The interim resolution professional (RP) had invited prospective companies to make a bid for the company as a going concern with assets and businesses like telecom towers, spectrum, a fibre network, real estate, and an enterprise business, in order to recover debts of more than Rs 33,000 crore of secured creditors.

(Source: Business Standard)

6. Rising Onion Prices Fueling Inflation, Not Rates

India’s headline inflation probably breached the central bank’s 4% medium-term threshold last month, but that surge – driven by high onion prices – is unlikely to distract monetary policy makers from their focus on growth.

Economists pegged the gains in consumer prices at 4.35% in October, according to the median of 33 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. That would be the first above-4% print since July 2018 and the highest since June last year.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Zomato Halves Cash Burn to $20m in Oct

Food delivery and restaurant recommendation company Zomato has more than halved its cash burn, while also focusing on improving margins and lowering its cost of delivery, Info Edge executives said in an analysts’ call on Tuesday.

“In March, the burn was $45 million, and now (in October), it is $20 million. They have a clear agenda to keep cutting burn, while still growing orders,” Sanjeev Bikhchandani, executive vice-chairman of Info Edge, said during the quarterly earnings call with analysts.

(Source: Economic Times)

8. E-Tailers Cannot Influence Price of Goods on Their Platform: Draft Norms

E-commerce companies cannot influence prices of products being sold on their platform and must adhere to fair trade practices, as per the draft rules proposed by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

The ministry has issued draft 'The Consumer Protection (e-Commerce) Rules, 2019 and sought comments on the same by 2 December.

The ministry has to frame rules under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which has recently been passed by Parliament.

(Source: Business Standard)

9. Infosys CEO Hit by More Charges in Second Whistleblower Letter

Infosys Ltd has received a second whistleblower complaint accusing Chief Executive Salil Parekh of misdemeanours, days after a similar letter prompted the company’s board to institute an independent probe.

The second whistleblower urged the chairman and directors to act against Parekh.

“Though it is a year and eight months since Parekh joined the company, he operates from Mumbai in violation of the condition that the CEO has to be based in Bengaluru.

(Source: Livemint)

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