QBiz: Coal India’s Q1 Profit Falls; Vodafone to Invest $3 Billion

The Quint brings you the top business news from dailies across India. 

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Vodafone is planning an up to Rs 20,100 crore equity infusion in its India unit to replace debt as competition intensifies with the entry of Reliance Jio. (Photo: Reuters)

1. Vodafone Plans to Invest $3 Billion into India Operations

Vodafone is planning an up to $3-billion (Rs 20,100 crore) equity infusion in its India unit to replace debt as competition intensifies with the entry of Reliance Jio and bidding for spectrum gets underway in less than a month.

Europe’s largest mobile phone operator is also believed to be reviewing the timelines for Vodafone India’s initial public offering, wary of value erosion due to a tariff war unleashed by Jio, people familiar with the matter said.

“Overseas market conditions make it favourable to replace the debt with equity as the return on equity is higher and it will cut the debt servicing costs,” one of the people said.

2. Govt Readies for next Big Push on Roads

The government is proposing to develop 40 economic corridors spanning 21,000 km of roads.

Not only will the project, entailing an investment of Rs 3 trillion, improve freight movement by reducing distance and travel time, ease traffic bottlenecks and improve inter-city connectivity, it will also open up neglected regions of the country such as the north-east.

It is by far the most ambitious roads project since the previous National Democratic Alliance in 2001 embarked on the Golden Quadrilateral connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, entailing the development of 5,846 km of four and six-lane expressways costing Rs 60,000 crore.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Coal India’s Profit Falls 18.6% in First Quarter

Coal India Ltd.’s net profit declined 18.6 percent to Rs 3,065.3 crore in the April to June quarter, from Rs 3,596.9 crore in the same quarter of last year.

The world’s largest coal miner’s profit fell after two quarters of increase. Its sales fell 6.1 percent to Rs 17,796 crore in the quarter in focus, from Rs 18,956 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year, according to the company’s filing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Other income stood at Rs 1,130.6 crore as of 30 June. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped 12 percent to Rs 4,254 crore on a year-on-year basis.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

4. Tata Motors to Double Export of Commercial Vehicles in 2 Years

Tata Motors Ltd is planning a big push in the export of commercial vehicles in a bid to cushion itself from the cyclical nature of the home market.

The market leader in trucks exported 50,000 units in the year ended in March 2016 and is now looking to double overseas sales in the next two years, Ravindra Pisharody, executive director of commercial vehicles said in an interview with Mint.

“Besides defence, exports is an important pillar to hedge ourselves from the cyclical swings in the domestic market,” he said.

The plan, he added, will include a two-pronged strategy of consolidating presence in markets like Vietnam, which it had entered three years ago, and focusing on newer ones like Tunisia in North Africa.

(Source: Livemint)

5. GST Rate: Congress to Reach Common Stand after Talks with CMs, FMs

The Congress will hold talks with the chief ministers and finance ministers of the eight party-ruled states on framing a common position in the GST Council, especially on “fighting for a pro-consumer and anti-inflationary GST rate.

The Congress Central leadership has decided to hold deliberations with the chief ministers and finance ministers of the Congress-ruled states in order to establish a common stand among them during the GST Council deliberations, especially on key issues such as framing a GST rate that should guard the common man and consumers against inflation.
Senior Congress Leader

The GST Council is headed by the Union Finance Minister and includes the finance ministers of all the states.

6. HSBC Sees Room For 50 Basis Points Rate Cut This Fiscal

RBI is expected to go for a 50 basis points rate cut over the remaining months of the fiscal as inflationary pressure is expected to stay contained thanks to good monsoon and falling vegetable prices, says a report.

According to global financial services major HSBC over the next 12 months, CPI inflation is expected to trend at or below 5 percent, which incidentally is RBI’s upcoming target for inflation in early 2017.

“We expect a 50 bps rate cut over the remained of FY17 (October 2016 to March 2017),” HSBC said in a research note, adding a 25 bps cut is expected in October-December quarter and an additional 25 bps in January-March period.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. Petroleum Products to Enter Under GST Regime to Fuel Big Gains

Petroleum products, including crude and some intermediate products, could be taxed under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST), a move that will reduce the imperfections in the new levy and also narrow the inflationary impact of the tax.

A proposal favouring imposition of a modest tax on these products is being examined and is expected to be taken up by the newly-constituted GST Council where the government will try and convince states of its merit.

The idea is to have some minimal tax of about 2-3 percent so that seamless flow of credit is not broken and cascading is removed.

These products are at present proposed to be covered within the GST but zero rated till the time the council decides to impose a tax. States will continue to have freedom to levy local sales tax on it.

8. Wipro Steps up Blockchain Focus

Wipro Ltd has set up a research facility to develop software applications using blockchain, the technology behind virtual currency Bitcoin.

India’s third largest software firm has partnered with a few start-ups to scale up the business and is in the midst of completing a few so-called pilot projects.

Wipro’s push into building applications using the blockchain technology makes it the third outsourcing firm, after Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), and Infosys Ltd, to embrace the database technology.

Disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, are upending the traditional outsourcing model of deploying an army of engineers in cheap locations.

(Source: Livemint)

9. Bengaluru Food, E-Comm Firms Worst Hit

Several traditional and new-age ventures said they had been affected by the riots and bandh in Bengaluru related to the ongoing Cauvery river water dispute with Tamil Nadu. Online grocery firm Bigbasket said that it has suffered Rs 4 crore losses over two days after it was forced to shut down its office on Monday.

“Now we have an order backlog of 20,000 to be delivered to the consumers. It will take three days to clear the backlog if we work on Wednesday. The packed fruits and vegetables will be spoilt,” Bigbasket co-founder and CEO Hari Menon told The Times of India.

Bigbasket, which could not ship products from its collection centres on Bengaluru-Mysuru road, will now call customers and fix new time slots for delivery. Its second customer service centre in Pune is functioning at full strength and working overtime, Menon said.

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