QBiz: Eyes on Kellogg and Heinz, Monsoon Blues, GST Woes & More
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1.RBI Gives Banks More Say Over Sick Companies – FE
The Reserve Bank of India said banks can start using the strategic debt restructuring (SDR) scheme, which will allow them to acquire a 51% stake or more in stressed companies. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had given its nod to the scheme earlier this year, allowing banks to convert debt into equity at a price that was fair but not below the face value.
The SDR scheme is aimed at helping banks turn around companies that are faring badly, if necessary by initiating management changes. However, while the new provisions do give banks more power, lenders are not too sure to what extent they will be able to use them.
2.Just Dial Hangs Up on Fundraising, Plans Share Buyback – ET
At a time when India’s largest Internet companies such as Flipkart and Ola are raising record amounts in funding, India’s largest local search company Just Dial has shelved plans to raise Rs. 1,000 crore and will instead buy back shares, a rarity for an Internet company.
Co says valuations of Internet cos are too high & it would do better to wait for market to settle before making an acquisition.
3.JSW Steel is Now the Largest Steel Maker in India – BS
Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Steel is now the largest steel maker in the country ahead of long-time market leader Steel Authority of India (SAIL). Last year, the company had overtaken Tata Steel to become the number two in the industry.
JSW Steel reported net sales of Rs 52,971 crore
in the year ended March against Rs 45,710 crore reported by SAIL. In comparison,
Tata Steel’s India operations reported net sales of Rs 33,666 crore in the same
Including its global operations, however, Tata Steel remains the largest with revenue of Rs 139,503 crore.
4.New Demand by States Could Hit GST Rollout – Hindu
In a setback to the government’s plan of rolling out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by April 1, 2016, the States demanded on Thursday that the Centre compensate them fully for any loss of revenue during the first five years of transition to the new tax regime.
In the Constitution Amendment Bill for the introduction of the GST, pending before a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha, the Centre proposes to compensate the States fully for the first three years, followed by three-fourths of the losses in the fourth year and half during the fifth.
5.Now, Food Safety Regulator Turns to Kellogg and Heinz – BS
At a time when a controversy over whether Maggi is safe is still on the boil, questions have been raised on labelling and branding of some other popular packaged food products. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is learnt to have asked multinationals including Kellogg and Heinz to give a scientific justification on the way some of these products are labelled, marketed and sold.
6.Monsoon Blues: Limited Impact for India Inc - BS
India Inc need not lose much sleep over the poor monsoon forecast. Contrary to general perception, there is only a weak correlation between monsoon rains (June-September) and growth in corporate revenues. Additional factors such as the general growth environment, global macro-economic factors and government response to a weak monsoon matter more than the extent of rain.
There were three instances of deficient rain during the 2003-2008 boom but India Inc’s revenues continued to grow in high double digits during that period, indicating rains had only a marginal impact. For example, in 2003, the south-west monsoon was deficient by 19.2 per cent but net sales grew 14.1 per cent year-on-year in 2002-03 - faster than in 2000-01, when the rain gods were more considerate. A rainfall deficit of 20 per cent or more is officially a drought year.
7. 250 Laid-Off at Disney, Replaced With Indian H1-B Workers – PTI
Entertainment giant Walt Disney has laid off about 250 employees and replaced them with Indians holding H1-B visas, raising new questions on how outsourcing companies are using the temporary visas to bring immigrants into technology jobs in the US, according to a media report.
The layoff caused huge resentment among the Disney employees, who said they were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.
8.Make in India Catches Youth Fancy – FE
The Make In India (MII) digital campaign — launched on September 25 last year by the Modi government with the objective of turning the country into a global manufacturing hub — has managed to create a buzz, especially among the youth. Every hour, 105 posts are put out on MII by people in the 21-35 age group online, according to the first ‘six-month report’ of the campaign.
9.India Loses Poultry Case Against U.S. at WTO – PTI
India has lost a case at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the body on Thursday ruled that the Indian ban on import of poultry meat, eggs and live pigs from the U.S. was “inconsistent” with the international norms.
India will have 12-18 months to implement this ruling, after which the U.S. can begin exports of these products to India. “The Appellate Body agreed with the panel’s finding that India’s AI (avian influenza) measures are inconsistent... because they are not based on a risk assessment,” the WTO said.
A WTO panel last year had ruled against India’s ban.
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