QBiz: Heineken Raises UB Stake, RBI Eases Liquidity Rules & More

Latest business stories of the day.

5 min read
India’s RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. (Photo: Reuters)

1. Taxpayers Told to File Correct Interest Information: ET

The revenue department has asked taxpayers to file correct details of interest income for the assessment year 2014-15 on or before 31 March while filing their income tax returns (ITRs), according to Economic Times.

In a statement issued recently, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) also asked the assessees to revise their ITRs for assessment years 2014-15 and 2015-16 if the returns filed did not include taxable interest income.

Tax payers are advised to collect correct details of interest received or credited and file their return of income for assessment year 2014-15 (if not filed already) on or before 31 March 2016, in case their total income exceeds the maximum amount not chargeable to tax.

2. Infibeam IPO Fully Subscribed Despite Lukewarm Investor Reception: Livemint

Infibeam’s Rs 450 crore initial share sale was fully subscribed on the last day of its initial public offering (IPO), which made it the first Indian online retailer to go public.

According to Livemint, the issue was subscribed 1.11 times at the close, according to data from NSE and BSE.

If Infibeam’s share sale was a gauge of investor interest in the country’s online retailers, which have received multi-billion dollar valuations, things have got off to a somewhat rough start.

While Infibeam is much smaller than Flipkart and Snapdeal, India’s biggest online retailers, it is still among the few profitable Internet companies.

3. RBI Makes Liquidity Monitoring Rules Easier for Banks: ET

Reserve Bank of India has reportedly made life a bit easier for banks by softening rules on liquidity measurement and risk management, reports Economic Times.

It said that banks do not need to consider retail deposits with maturity beyond a month for liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) calculation, giving more flexibility in their daily operations.

The banking regulator has also excluded pledged deposits with over 30 days residual maturity from the calculation.

There were some doubts over these issues and RBI addressed these on Wednesday. It has provided exemption to branches of foreign banks from submitting statement with regard to foreign currency.

4. Heineken Increases Stake in United Breweries to 43%: Livemint

Dutch beer maker Heineken has bought additional shares of United Breweries from the open market to raise its total stake in the Indian company to 43 percent amid rumours that Heineken will ask Mallya to step down from the board, reports Livemint.

Heineken confirmed that it has acquired 21.15 lakh shares of United Breweries representing 0.8 percent stake. Heineken is the largest share holder in United Breweries, India’s largest brewer.

Mallya, who owes banks more than $1 billion, and his associate companies hold 32.45 percent stake in United Breweries.

Heineken can confirm that it has acquired in total 21.15 lakh United Breweries shares. We acquired 6 lakh United Breweries shares from Yes Bank for Rs 847 per share, 8.52 lakh United Breweries shares from ECL Finance for Rs 845 per share and an additional 6.62 lakh shares from ECL Finance for Rs 847 per, respectively
Heineken Spokesperson

5. Torrent Pharma Seeks Shareholder Nod to Raise Rs 10,500 Cr: BS

Ahmedabad-based Rs 4,700-crore pharma major, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, has sought approvals from its shareholders to raise Rs 10,500 crore through issue of shares and other securities to fund its growth activity, reports Business Standard.

The company has been quoted saying that it was prudent to have approvals in place as it would help the pharmaceutical major to take quick and effective actions to capitalise on opportunities, especially for inorganic growth.

The Board of Directors of the company have decided to renew the enabling approvals from the shareholders for equity shares, convertible bonds, debentures through qualified institutional placement (QIP), depository receipts or any other modes for an amount not exceeding Rs 3,000 crore.

6. Budget Gives a Fillip to PE Investment: FE

The success of private equity (PE) investment is predicated on an encouraging business environment, with favourable policies for investment and exit and a great degree of ease in doing business, according to this special Financial Express report.

The Narendra Modi-led government’s mantra—of encouraging foreign investment, foreign collaboration and Make-in-India—backed by strong macroeconomic landscape, made India the most attractive investment destination (among other emerging markets).

Budget 2015 introduced favourable amendments such as the deferral of the applicability of General Anti-Avoidance Rules by two years, some clarity on indirect transfer taxation provisions, tax provisions pertaining to Real Estate Investment Trusts and Infrastructure Investment Trusts, tax “pass through” status provided to Category I and Category II Alternative Investment Funds and the non-applicability of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) to foreign companies.

These amendments were seen as a concerted effort by the government to regain investor confidence.

Rate Cut in PPF: Still Worth Your Money? : Livemint

On 18 March, the government cut interest rates on small savings schemes, which includes products such as the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS). Just as the dust was settling after the government decided to roll back the Budget proposal to tax Employees’ Provident Fund withdrawals, the cut in the interest rate of small savings products, especially PPF, stoked another social media storm. But should this cut make you rethink your PPF investment?

Our answer is a firm ‘no’, because if you look at the reduction in the context of overall falling interest rate and inflation, you will realise that PPF continues to be one of the best debt products. But before that, we must understand the background of small savings scheme.
Livemint Report

8. Credit Suisse to Axe 2,000 More Investment Banking Jobs: ET

A slump in investment banking revenues has pushed Credit Suisse to accelerate its cost-cutting plan as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam admitted he had been unaware of trading positions that triggered more big writedowns in the first quarter.

According to Economic Times report, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank has said it would shave an additional 800 million Swiss francs ($821 million) off costs and cut 2,000 more jobs from its Global Markets division.

The unit is expected to record a 40 to 45 percent drop in first-quarter revenues and is selling off holdings of illiquid assets that the bank’s senior management had not had on its radar.

9. NDA Plans New Push for Labour Reform: Livemint

The government plans to introduce five new labour bills in the second half of the budget session, resuming an effort to reform labour rules after a year’s hiatus, in a move likely to be resisted by opposition parties and unions.

According to Livemint, these bills are the Industrial Relations Code Bill 2016, Wage Code Bill 2016, the Small Factories (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Bill, the Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Bill, and Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill.

Two government officials have been quoted saying that the intent is to accelerate labour reforms that have been on the back-burner for the past year. The second half of the budget session resumes on 25 April.

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