1. Sensex Rises 537 Points Ahead of Exit Poll Outcome; Nifty Ends at 11,407
The benchmark indices on Friday posted their biggest single-day gain in nearly four months after banking, automobile and consumer goods stocks rallied in anticipation of a favourable poll outcome. Better-than-expected earnings posted by financial companies Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv also buoyed sentiment.
The Sensex rose 537 points, or 1.44 per cent, to close at 37,931, while the Nifty rose 150 points, or 1.33 per cent, to end the day at 11,407 – the biggest gain for both the indices since 31 January. The sharp rally comes ahead of exit polls, which will be released on Sunday evening after the seventh and last phase of polling ends.
(Source: Business Standard)
2. In Kochhar Case, ED Probe Points to Conflict of Interest
An Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigation has revealed that former ICICI Bank managing director and CEO, Chanda Kochhar, already held shares in a private company, Credit Finance Limited (CFL), along with her family members and the Videocon Group when she became the executive director of the bank in April 2001 – a significant conflict of interest. It isn’t clear whether this was disclosed to ICICI Bank when Kochhar was named on the board or, indeed, to the Reserve Bank of India when she became CEO.
HT has reviewed a copy of an internal ED report, which states that CFL was held jointly by Chanda Kochhar and family (60% of shares) and Videocon (24.7% shares) since 2000-01. “She became executive director (of ICICI) in April 2001 and also held share of CFL along with other shareholders of the Kochhar group. Her husband Deepak Kochhar was the managing director of CFL till 2009,” the report said.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
3. Rival Carriers Eye Jet Airways' Foreign Flying Rights
Airlines have staked claim for distressed Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s foreign flying rights, which will be allotted in an open and transparent manner, civil aviation secretary P S Kharola said on Friday.
The government is allocating Jet’s flying rights on a temporary basis till the company resumes operations.
With no funds to meet expenses, Jet Airways had suspended operations a month ago and there is no sign of a credible revival scheme in sight for the airline. With the airline losing leased planes for defaulting on dues, airport slots have been reassigned to other carriers and employees have quit.
4. Indian Hotels, Singapore’s GIC to Invest $600 Million in India
The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has signed a strategic partnership with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, for an investment framework of about $600 million over a period of three years from the date of signing.
The capital platform will be used to acquire fully-operational hotels, mainly in the luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments in India. The mandate is to acquire fully-operational hotels which will also include distressed or underperforming hotels that can be turned around banking on IHCL’s experience and capabilities, the firm said.
“This platform allows IHCL to pursue acquisitions in an asset light format, with the equity contribution from IHCL at 30% and the balance contributed by GIC, over a period of three years,” IHCL indicated in an exchange release.
(Source: Financial Express)
5. Aircel Lenders Agree to Take 99% Haircut on Dues Worth Rs 20,000 Crore
In an unprecedented move, the lenders to bankrupt Aircel, a mobile operator, have agreed to take a massive 99 per cent haircut on their dues worth Rs 20,000 crore by agreeing to a Rs 150-crore upfront offer by UV Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC).
The move may lead to litigation as some of the operational creditors are planning to challenge the committee of creditors’ (CoC's) decision in both local and US courts.
A source said the resolution plan was approved by 73.88 per cent (in voting share) of lenders and was rejected by Canara Bank and China Development Bank. State Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Bank of Baroda, L&T Finance, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Punjab National Bank, Exim Bank, and Nordic Bank voted for the offer.
(Source: Business Standard)
6. Etihad’s Nominee Director on Jet Board Kamark Puts in His Papers
Etihad Airways PJSC’s nominee director to the board of Jet Airways (India) Ltd, Robin Kamark, has resigned, adding to uncertainties around the future of the grounded airline.
“...we wish to inform you that Mr. Robin Kamark, nominee director of Etihad Airways PJSC, resigned as director of the company with effect from 16 May 2019," Jet Airways said in filing with the BSE on Friday.
Kamark’s exit comes days after the airline saw a slew of high profile exits, including its chief executive officer Vinay Dube, chief financial officer Amit Agarwal and whole-time director Gaurang Shetty.
7. Spencer’s to Buy Nature’s Basket
RP Sanjiv Goenka Group-owned Spencer’s Retail Ltd is set to acquire gourmet retail chain Nature’s Basket Ltd for ₹300 crore, as it seeks to expand its footprint in the Western region, the company’s filings with the BSE show. The acquisition is subject to shareholders’ approval.
The deal will give Spencer’s access to 36 Nature’s Basket stores in prime locations of Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. The Kolkata-based retail chain will also get access to Nature’s Basket’s online platform.
On Friday, Spencer’s Retail shares rose 2% to 132.70 on BSE, while Godrej Industries Ltd, which owns Nature’s Basket, closed at ₹449.70, up 2.34% from the previous day’s close.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
8. Cash-Strapped BSNL Expects Liquidity Position to Improve
After facing cash crunch for some months, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is expecting normalcy in cash flows in the second quarter (July-September) of FY20, according to the BSNL Director (Finance) who blamed the "predatory pricing" for the current crisis in the sector and in the BSNL.
"The liquidity position of the company may start improving and normalcy could be restored in the next quarter," S K Gupta, BSNL Director (Finance), has stated in a 16 May letter to the chief general managers and financial advisors of all its telecom circle heads and district maintenance regions.
9. India’s Forex Reserves up by USD 1.36 Billion to USD 420.05 Billion
The country’s foreign exchange reserves rose by USD 1.368 billion to reach USD 420.055 billion in the week to May 10 on account of a rise in foreign currency assets, RBI data showed Friday. In the previous week, the reserves had increased by USD 171.9 million to USD 418.687 billion.
In the reporting week, foreign currency assets, which are a major component of the overall reserves, swelled by USD 1.358 billion to USD 392.227 billion. Expressed in dollar terms, foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and the yen held in the reserves.
Gold reserves remained unchanged at USD 23.021 billion, according to the data. The special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund rose by USD 3 million to USD 1.454 billion.