QBiz: Cabinet Clears Key GST Amendments; RBI Penalises 13 Banks

The Quint brings to you a collection of the most important business stories from the previous day. 

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Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister, India (Photo: Reuters)

1. GST Bill: Cabinet Clears Key Amendments to Push Reform Through Parliament

On Wednesday, the Union cabinet approved key changes to the constitution amendment bill for the goods and services tax (GST), abolishing a 1 percent inter-state tax on supply of goods, and additionally proposing full compensation to states for revenue losses in the first five years of GST.

The approval of the changes push the bill to be tabled in the Upper House, where the numbers have been more favourable than they have been in the last two years.

Source: Livemint

2. Government Raises Foreign Shareholding Cap in Stock Exchanges to 15 Percent

On Wednesday, the Cabinet increased the cap on foreign shareholding in Indian stock exchanges from 5 percent to 15 percent. The move will equalise foreign investments with those by domestic institutions.

In yet another decision directed at inviting more private sector participation in defence manufacturing, the cabinet attempted to cut the red tape around public sector defence companies forming joint ventures with private companies.

Source: Livemint

3. Rise India to Spend Rs 12 Crore on Infra Development and Hiring

Rise India, a skill development and education investment firm, has announced plans of investing up to Rs 12 crore on “training infrastructure development and hiring” in an effort to expand and set up centres across the country.

Also on its agenda is the recruitment of more than 150 people in the next three months, in areas including automotive training, operational execution and business development.

Source: The Economic Times

4. RPGLife Buys Seven Brands of Sun Pharma’s at Rs 41 Crore

Harsh Goenka-promoted RPG Life Sciences has bought seven brands of Sun Pharma at Rs 41 crore and is expected to give RPG more space to grow in the nearly $5 billion domestic market.

Sun Pharma had reportedly been in search of an appropriate match for these drugs, which are a part of the overlap of products from the Ranbaxy merger. The pharmaceutical company had been looking for a buyer for six months as sales had been declining.

The Rs 250-crore RPG Life Sciences has bought products to do with therapy areas like heart disease, respiratory, anti-diabetes, among others.

Source: The Economic Times

5. SBI to Refinance New Entity’s Rs 28,000 Cr Debt in the RCOM-Aircel Merger

The State Bank of India will refinance a debt of Rs 28,000 crore that will be given to the entity formed from the merger of wireless businesses of Reliance Communications and Aircel, which will most likely be announced next month.

Under the terms of refinancing, “maturity period of the loans will be 20 years as against the existing tenures of 4-5 years on both sides,” said a source close to the matter.

After having finalised all details to combine their businesses, the promoters of RCom and Aircel are set to announce the merger pact around the second week of August.

Source: The Economic Times

6. RBI Penalises 13 Banks for FEMA Violation and KYC Lapses

The Reserve Bank of India has thrust a penalty of Rs 27-crore on 13 public and private sector banks, including Punjab National Bank Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd, for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act and for lapses in Know Your Customer norms.

The central bank also urged eight others including State Bank of India and ICICI Bank to follow the guidelines strictly.

In October and November 2015 the RBI had undertaken a “scrutiny on advance import remittances” in 21 banks based on inputs received from a public sector bank, the RBI said in a statement.

Source: BloombergQuint

7. Bharti Airtel First Quarter Profit Jumps 10 Percent, Africa Business Lags

India’s largest telecommunications company by market share, Bharti Airtel, reported a steady growth in profits for the first quarter, beating street estimates.

The net profit for the company rose 10.8 percent to Rs 1,462 crore from Rs 1319.5 crore in the previous quarter.

While Airtel’s data ARPU was up bu Rs 21, reaching Rs 202, its reported average revenue per user is of Rs 196.

Source: BloombergQuint

8. HDFC Standalone Net Rises 37 Percent

Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), the Indian financial conglomerate continued its steady performance in the first quarter, posting a 37 percent year-on-year growth in net profit in the first quarter of this fiscal (FY17) to Rs 1,871 crore, on a standalone basis.

During the quarter, HDFC sold a 22.9 percent stake in its general insurance subsidiary HDFC ERGO to ERGO International AG, making a pre-tax profit of Rs 922 crore and a post-tax profit of Rs 725 crore, according to a statement from HDFC.

One of the key factors in its performance was an increase of 26 percent in individual disbursements, which took its total assets under management to over Rs 3-lakh crore.

Source: The Hindu BusinessLine

9. Bajaj Auto Wants to Do a Tesla; Make Affordable, Green Vehicles in Longer Term

Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director for Bajaj Auto indicated to shareholders that the company wanted to expand into electric vehicles that were both eco-friendly and stylish for use as personal transportation in urban areas.

To take on such an initiative, the company seems to be doing well on weight and size and volumes and make the vehicles affordable, Bajaj felt.

In the short run, the company revealed plans to invest Rs 2500 crore as capital expenditure over the next three years and launch a series of new models, including the Pulsar 400 next month and the KTM Husky in January.

Source: The Hindu BusinessLine

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