1. IMF Forecasts India’s Growth Will Improve to 7.5% in the Next FiscalIndia will grow at a world-beating 7.5 percent in 2019-20 amid slower global expansion, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said, upgrading its October forecast of 7.4 percent.“India’s economy is poised to pick up in 2019, benefiting from lower oil prices and a slower pace of monetary tightening than previously expected, as inflation pressures ease," IMF said in an update to its biannual World Economic Outlook (WEO) on Monday, 21 January.IMF estimates India to grow 7.3% in 2018-19 and 7.7% in 2020-21. India’s contribution to world growth has risen from 7.6% during 2000-08 to 14.5% in 2018, according to IMF.(Source: Livemint)2. Lockheed Sees Potential Exports of 200 F-16 Jets from Proposed Indian PlantLockheed Martin sees a potential export market of more than $20 billion for its F-16 fighter aircraft from an assembly line in India it has offered to set up in order to win a large Indian military order, a top executive said.The US defence firm is competing with Boeing's F/A-18, Saab's Gripen, Dassault Aviation's Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon and a Russian aircraft to supply the Indian air force with 114 combat planes in a deal estimated to be worth more than $15 billion.Lockheed Martin has offered to shift its F-16 production line from the United States to India, potentially the biggest boost for PM Modi's ‘Make in India’ project to create a defence industrial base and generate jobs for the thousands of youth entering the workforce each month.(Source: Reuters)3. Govt Wants Lenders, Resolution Professionals to Close 12 Top Bankruptcy Cases by 31 MarchOfficials reviewing the progress of 12 top bankruptcy proceedings in the country have urged the bankers and resolution professionals to close these cases by 31 March, pointing to further federal scrutiny of these insolvencies that have been delayed by protracted litigation.“The government is keen to expedite all such dozen cases stuck in litigation. It has directed all 12 resolution professionals to complete those bad-loan cases by March 31,” said a person aware of the discussions at the high-level review meeting on Monday, 21 January.“You can expect frequent government interventions in the coming days."(Source: The Economic Times)4. NCLT Okays Airtel, Tata Tele MergerThe National Company Law Tribunal has approved Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Tata Teleservices’ mobility business, Airtel said in a stock filing on Monday, 21 January.The merger, which is subject to the approval of Department of Telecommunications now, will help Airtel to strengthen its 4G network and compete with Reliance Jio and come closer to number one player, Vodafone-Idea, in terms of market share.Airtel will get additional spectrum pool of 178.5 MHz in the 1800, 2100 and 850 MHz bands — all widely used for 4G — out of this merger.(Source: The Hindu Business Line)5. Xander in Talks to Set up Logistics Platform in IndiaReal estate-focused private equity (PE) firm Xander Group Inc. is in talks with potential investors to set up a logistics platform in India, said two people directly aware of the ongoing discussions, on the condition of anonymity.Based in Singapore, Xander invests primarily in companies in infrastructure, hospitality, entertainment, retail and real estate sectors. It manages equity capital in excess of $2 billion.Xander has also begun negotiations to identify and acquire land, where proposed logistics parks are expected to come up, one of the two people cited above said.(Source: Livemint)6. ‘Humara Bajaj’ Becomes ‘the World’s Favourite Indian’After more than four decades of ‘Humara Bajaj’ tagline of Bajaj Auto, the company on Monday, 21 January, released its new identity as ‘The World’s Favourite Indian’ as it achieved dramatic transition from a domestic scooter maker to a global motorcycle powerhouse in 17 years.The launch of the Pulsar from its Chakan plant in 2001 marked the beginning of this interesting global ride, the company said, adding that building on its ‘Humara Bajaj’ roots of providing reliable mobility solutions, Bajaj Auto has invested a lot in technology and innovation to design motorcycles that are loved not only in India but 70 countries around the world.The retail showrooms will also undergo a transformation with new signage and branding in line with the message of ‘The World’s Favourite Indian’, the company said.(Source: The Hindu Business Line)7. French Firm's Indian Unit to Buy Prabhat's Dairy Business for Rs 1,700 CroreGlobal dairy major Lactalis will buy Mumbai-based Prabhat Dairy, a bulk producer of milk and dairy products, in its third acquisition in India.Prabhat told the stock exchanges on Monday, 21 January, that Lactalis’s Indian subsidiary Tirumala Milk Products was acquiring its dairy business for Rs 1,700 crore, which is 1.17 times its FY18 sales of Rs 1,442 crore.The transaction is subject to mandatory approvals. The company did not specify a timeline for completion of the deal, but analysts expect it to be done in the next six months.Besides the dairy business, the transaction also involves sale of 100 percent shareholding in Sunfresh Agro Industries, a subsidiary of Prabhat, via a share purchase agreement, the company said.(Source: Business Standard)8. Govt May Issue NCDs of up to Rs 29,000 Crore to Repay AI's Outstanding Working Capital LoansThe Centre may issue Non-Convertible Debentures (NCD) of up to Rs 29,000 crore to repay Air India’s outstanding working-capital loans that have been taken over by the government as part of the debt-laden carrier’s financial restructuring.The NCDs will come with sovereign guarantees. “A plan to transfer the debt to a subsidiary, complete with the approvals from the lender banks, is taking a lot of time as various banks have to agree,” said a senior government official who did not want to be named.“AIAHL can issue the NCDs to raise money and repay the outstanding loans to banks… That is being considered.” The NCDs could reduce the debt servicing costs, currently between 9% and 11%, by up to 300 basis points besides speeding up the process to transfer the loan from the books of Air India.(Source: The Economic Times)9. IDBI Gets Nod to Resume Insurance JV Stake Sale PlanIDBI Bank Ltd has said its board has approved a proposal to resume the process of divesting its stake in a life insurance joint venture.IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd is a three-way joint venture between IDBI Bank, Federal Bank and Belgian insurer Ageas. IDBI holds 48 percent stake, while Federal Bank and Ageas own 26 percent each.“In continuation of IDBI Bank’s earlier disclosure dated 21 February 2017, we hereby advise that the board of directors of IDBI Bank at its meeting held on Monday, 21 January 2019, has approved in-principle, the proposal to re-initiate divestment process of IDBI stake in IDBI Federal Life Insurance Co. Ltd subject to statutory/regulatory approvals, if any, required to be obtained in this regard," the bank said in a regulatory filing.(Source: Livemint) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. 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