QBiz: HPCL’s Dynamic Fuel Pricing; SEBI Calls for Simpler Rules
The Quint brings you the top business news from dailies across India.
1. Rafale Deal at Final Clearance Level, May Get Go-Ahead Soon
It’s going to be a big test for Indo-French relations as the Rafale fighter jet deal has reached the final clearance level after protracted negotiations.
The price of the combat aircraft has come down to $7.25 billion and Paris is offering cutting-edge technology, including jet engine knowhow, to India.
Sources told The Economic Times that the deal for 36 fighter aircraft could be cleared as early as the next meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), with the Defence Ministry completing all formalities and negotiations with the French side.
2. I Can Assure That We Are Not Going to Lose Money: Mukesh Ambani on Jio
Reliance Jio Infocomm is an Internet company at the “bleeding edge of technology”, not just a telecom operator, and will in time drive “waves” of innovation, including the Internet of Things, virtual reality and even driverless cars.
But for now the focus is on stabilising the connectivity business, which has seen an overwhelming response in the first few days since the official launch of services, said Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
Speaking to The Economic Times in a rare interview, Ambani allayed investors’ fears, asserting that despite the Rs 2.5 lakh crore investment and Jio’s free voice and seemingly dirt-cheap data offerings, the telecom unit would generate very “healthy return on our capital”.
3. SEBI Working Group Calls for Simpler Rules for FPIs
A Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) working group has proposed simpler rules for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) that will increase direct investment by them in Indian equities and reduce investments through opaque channels such as participatory notes (P-notes).
The changes include reducing documentation and minimising compliance requirements for a certain class of investors, such as sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, according to three people familiar with the development, including a SEBI official.
FPIs held Rs 2.4 trillion worth of Indian assets at the end of June. P-notes accounted for 8.8 percent of these holdings.
4. Yes Bank Launches $1 Billion QIP Issue
Private sector lender Yes Bank Ltd has launched a share sale to raise up to $1 billion, the bank said in a notification to stock exchanges on Wednesday evening. The board of the bank had approved the fundraising by way of a special resolution on 7 June.
The qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue planned by Yes Bank will be largest so far this year. While the primary markets have been active, the QIP segment has seen little activity.
According to Prime Database, a firm that provides primary and secondary market data, only six Indian firms have raised Rs 645 crore through QIP issues so far this fiscal.
5. In a First, HPCL to Launch Dynamic Fuel Pricing
To beat competition from its own peers and private players, state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has decided to experiment with dynamic fuel pricing at its fuel retail outlets, said two senior HPCL officials, on condition of anonymity.
Currently, HPCL has launched dynamic pricing at a few of its retail outlets on a pilot basis, to be extended to other outlets across the country at a later stage.
Dynamic or real-time pricing means the cost of a product could be flexible. If HPCL kicks off dynamic pricing, it could well be a market changing phenomena where other fuel retailers may have to follow suit.
Dynamic fuel pricing is a common phenomena internationally.
6. Fifty-Four Of SBI’s Largest Borrowers Face Higher Borrowing Costs
As many as 54 of the largest borrowers of State Bank of India (SBI) may face higher borrowing costs when the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) new norms on large corporate borrowers kick in next fiscal, said a senior official at the country’s largest lender.
The bank can restrict lending to these companies but the question is whether there is enough depth in the bond market to support the shift in borrowings, the official said on the condition of anonymity.
The norms will also put pressure on promoters to bring in more equity, which in the current context looks difficult, the official added.
7. Rural Development Ministry to Seek Rs 10 Thousand Crore More for NREG Scheme
The Rural Development Ministry plans to seek allocation of additional Rs 10,000 crore for the flagship rural jobs programme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for payments from November to the end of the financial year.
The ministry has already received Rs 5,000 crore in the supplementary budget against its demand for Rs 15,000 crore.
While the additional allocation was considered sufficient for the monsoon months, the ministry expects a spike in demand for MGNREGA work from November, officials said.
8. Govt Plans $400 Million Fund for Renewable Energy Firms
The government is shifting up gears for renewable energy promotion with a clutch of policy measures to be rolled out soon.
These are meant to protect clean energy producers from payment delays by distribution firms, and the latter from the eroding market for conventional grid-connected power due to wider adoption of roof-top solar power generation, a government official said.
New and Renewable Energy Secretary Upendra Tripathy told reporters on the sidelines of the Renewable Energy India Expo in Greater Noida that the government is in the process of instituting a $400 million (over Rs 2600 crore) fund sourced from World Bank that will be used to protect clean energy producers from payment delays by distribution firms.
9. Ashok Leyland & Nissan Settle Dispute
Nine years after Nissan and Ashok Leyland signed an agreement for three joint ventures, the partners have decided to part ways after a brief acrimony where each one dragged the other to court.
The two companies on Wednesday announced a “restructuring agreement” under which Nissan will sell all of its shares in the three joint venture companies that were formed in 2008 to Ashok Leyland.
Financial details of the deal, expected to close later this year, were not disclosed. Ashok Leyland will, however, continue to build, under a licensing agreement, its Dost and Partner range of light commercial vehicles, which are based on Nissan’s design, engineering and technology.
(Source: The Times of India)
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