QBiz: Flipkart Sends Snapdeal New Offer; Are Cigarettes Costlier?

Here’s all the important business stories from the previous day. 

4 min read
SoftBank floated the idea of Flipkart acquisition to Snapdeal board. (Photo: Reuters)

1. Flipkart Sends Snapdeal Revised Buyout Offer of $850 Million

Online retail firm Flipkart has sent a revised buyout offer to smaller rival Snapdeal of roughly $850 million, said two people familiar with the matter.

Flipkart has offered to pay $650-700 million in stock immediately and another $150 million at a later date, the people said.

The board of Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd) met on Monday night to consider the offer, the people said.

Flipkart’s offer includes Snapdeal’s marketplace business and Unicommerce but not Freecharge and Vulcan Express, the people said.

(Source: Livemint)

2. Cigarettes Get Costlier? GST Council Raises Cess to Fix Tax Anomaly

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Monday raised the cess on cigarettes over the peak rate of 28 percent as the effect on their prices was lower under the new taxation regime than earlier. The increase will give the government Rs 5,000 crore more in revenue, which would be used for compensating states.

The peak GST rate of 28 percent and ad valorem cess of 5 per cent would remain, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced after the meeting. However, specific cess on the basis of the length of cigarettes would be raised from midnight Monday.

It was noted in the first 15 days of the GST implementation that when the rate on cigarettes was translated, the cascading effect of taxes was not factored in. We noted that cigarette companies were getting windfall profit from reduction in cigarette prices  .

3. Regret Quitting as Infosys Chief, Should Have Heeded Colleagues: Murthy

NR Narayana Murthy on Monday said he regrets quitting as chairman of Infosys in 2014 and should have listened to other co-founders of India's second largest software exporter firm and stayed on.

Murthy, who had infamous run-ins with the current management led by Vishal Sikka over corporate governance issues, however, said he did not miss being in the campus daily.

Opening up about his biggest regrets – personal or profession, he recounted that "a lot of my founder colleagues told me not to leave Infosys in 2014, to stay a few years".

Generally, I find that I am a very emotional person. A lot of my decisions are based on idealism and probably, I should have listened to them.
As told to CNBC TV 18

(Source: PTI)


4. No Fresh Window for Note Exchange: Government

The Modi government on Monday formally told the Supreme Court that no fresh window of exchange can be given to those still in possession of old demonetised notes, irrespective of the reason why they could not avail of the first opportunity to exchange them for new.

In a fresh affidavit submitted to court, the finance ministry said that the very objective of demonetisation and the elimination of black money would be defeated if a new window of exchange is opened for a further period.

(Source: Economic Times)


5. Housing Prices Up 10.5 % in January-March 2017: RBI

Housing prices increased by an average 10.5 percent during January-March quarter of last fiscal across ten major cities of the country compared to the year-ago period, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

However, the prices increased marginally by 0.8 percent over the October-December quarter of 2016-17.

The RBI on Monday released its quarterly House Price Index (HPI) for the fourth quarter of 2016-17 fiscal. The index is based on transaction data received from housing registration authorities in 10 major cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Kanpur.

(Source: PTI)


6. HDFC Life Board Decides to Launch an Initial Public Offering

HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd. will launch an initial public offering, even as the fate of its proposed merger with Max Life Insurance hangs in balance after the deal ran into regulatory hurdles.

The IPO will be in the form of an offer for sale of up to 20 percent of the company’s paid up and issued equity capital by promoters HDFC Ltd. and Standard Life Plc, the insurer said in a regulatory filing on stock exchanges.

The board of HDFC Standard Life on Monday agreed to proceed with an IPO ahead of the merger, as both companies failed to arrive at a structure that would satisfy the regulator, said Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life Plc, which is a joint venture partner of HDFC Ltd. in the life insurer. The timeline of filing for the public offer, and the initial size of the offer will be decided in the next few weeks, he added.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


7. RIL, Shell, ONGC Asked to Pay $3 Billion in Penalty

The government has ordered Reliance Industries (RIL), Shell and ONGC to pay a combined $3 billion in penalty following an arbitration award in the Panna Mukta Tapti (PMT) oil field dispute that went in favour of the government, according to people familiar with the matter. RIL and Shell have appealed the arbitration award in a UK court.

The oil ministry sent out a demand notice last month to Reliance and Shell, which own 30 pecent each in the PMT fields off the Mumbai coast, as well as to ONGC that owns the balance 40 percent participating interest.

The three companies have to pay the penalty proportionate to their stake in the fields.


8. Can't Make Public the Names of Big Defaulters: RBI to SC

On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India told the Supreme Court that it could not make public the identities of the big defaulters of loans as such disclosure could severely impact the businesses.

Telling the bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar that disclosing the names of big defaulters could adversely impact the businesses, the RBI said that there were laws that can be looked into to decide whether the identities of big decision can be made public.

(Source: IANS)

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9. Gujarat HC Dismisses Essar Steel Plea Against RBI’s Bankruptcy Order

The Gujarat High Court on Monday cleared the way for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to press ahead with the bad-loan resolution process, dismissing Essar Steel Ltd’s petition challenging the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings against the company.

The ruling throws judicial weight behind RBI’s 13 June directive asking lenders to initiate action against the steelmaker and 11 other companies that account for a quarter of the Rs7.8 trillion of bad loans clogging up the banking system.

(Source: Livemint)

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