QBiz: Air Fares Crash to New Lows; Vodafone Pips Jio in Auction

Read The Quint’s compilation of top business stories from dailies across the country.

4 min read
Telecom companies are biding for 4G bands in the spectrum auction. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)

1. Air Fares Crash to New Lows Despite Festive Season

Airlines have started a new round of air fare wars this week, reducing fares to new lows to keep their planes full. Typically, the last quarter of the year— from October to December—is reserved by airlines to make money for two lean quarters that come before and after this.

Fares crashed across the board to levels not seen in this season for a long time, analysts said.

The rush to lower fares started on Monday after SpiceJet launched a flash sale, followed by GoAir. Jet Airways was next to lower its fares on Tuesday night. Vistara and IndiGo followed suit on Wednesday.

(Source: Livemint)


2. Amazon Sells 15 Mn Units in 5-Day Sale, Claims Market Leadership

Prime, Amazon’s subscription-based loyalty programme, drove a third of all orders on its platform, its highest sales so far in India, during its five-day festive season sale which concluded on Wednesday.

The US-based e-tailer shipped a little over 15 million items to customers across the country and got tens of thousands of users to pay Rs 499 for its Prime membership. Overall, more customers bought Amazon’s Prime subscription than the best-selling smartphone on the platform.

Electronics, fashion and fast moving consumer goods continued to be the biggest three categories for Amazon during the sale. The company said it saw growth across all its categories, a healthy sign for the e-commerce segment.

(Source: Business Standard)

3. Vodafone Pips Jio in Spectrum Auction

The spectrum auction continued for the fourth day, with about Rs 2,500 crore being added to the government’s kitty, as the value of bids reached Rs 63,500 crore at the end of 23 rounds on Wednesday.

UK-headquartered telco Vodafone has committed bids worth Rs 17,500 crore, the highest in the auction till now, industry sources said.

Reliance Jio is learnt to be next in the pecking order, with a bid value of Rs 16,500 crore, followed by Idea Cellular at Rs 15,500 crore, Bharti Airtel Rs 13,500 crore and Tata Teleservices Rs 7,000 crore. Sources also said Tata Teleservices has committed Rs 550 crore in Mumbai alone to retain spectrum in the 1,800-megahertz band, as its licence is coming up for renewal.

(Source: Business Standard)


4. Win for Splurge Pricing: Retail Demand Surges to Its Best in 3 Years

Consumer buying has rebounded across the board this festive season, reflecting a surge in discretionary spending after several quarters of dull demand for both online and offline retail channels.

Same-store sales growth reported since last weekend when the inauspicious shraadh period ended, leading to the onset of festival buying.

It should be pointed out that these are early numbers and anecdotal evidence will need to be backed up by data that will be available a few months down the line.

Future Group, Lifestyle, Gap, Arrow, Puma reported 9-20 percent growth in same-store sales over the year-ago period, while top consumer electronic brands Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Videocon said sales grew 30-35 percent in brick-and mortar outlets.

(Source: The Economic Times)

5. Mines Auction: States To Garner Revenue Of More Than Rs 35,500 Crore

After a lacklustre start earlier this year, auction of mines is gathering pace with states set to get more than Rs 35,500 crore as buyers lapped up 11 mines containing minerals such as iron ore, gold, and limestone.

The first phase of the auction saw miners bid for seven mines – five limestone and one each of iron ore and gold.

In the second round, states have so far auctioned 4 mines – three iron ore mines and one of limestone. Through this the revenue that is set to accrue is to the tune of Rs 20,515 crore. The estimated value of reserves is about Rs 24,325 crore.

(Source: BloomberQuint)


6. RBI Seeks To Be Heard In Tata-Docomo Case

The Reserve Bank of India approached the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking to be heard in the 2009 NTT Docomo versus Tata Sons case, and has been asked to file an application on the same.

Docomo in an affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court – which has been accessed by BloombergQuint – claimed that Tata Sons does not require permission from the RBI for enforcement of the London Court of International Arbitration's (LCIA) arbitral award. At the heart of the dispute is the price at which Docomo could exit its investment. The LCIA ruled in Docomo's favour and directed Tata Sons to pay $1.17 billion for breach of contract.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. Intas Pharma Trumps Aurobindo to Bag Teva's UK Assets

Closely held Ahmedabad drug maker Intas Pharmaceuticals has trumped larger domestic peer Aurobindo Pharma and Cinven, a London-headquartered private equity firm, to acquire assets of Teva Pharmaceutical in the UK and Ireland for an enterprise value of around $764 million (approximately 5,085 crore).

The deal ends a much-watched bidding war for the sale of assets that include a long list of products and a manufacturing site. A formal announcement was made late on Wednesday evening.

With the acquisition of Teva's products, sold through erstwhile Actavis' operations, Intas is set to emerge as a top player in the UK generics market.

(Source: The Economic Times)


8. Jindal Steel Says It Defaulted on Debenture Interest Payments

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd said it didn’t pay interest due on 30 September on non-convertible debentures, a sign that cash flows are falling short of liabilities.

The New Delhi-based company, controlled by former lawmaker Naveen Jindal, listed 11 groups of securities on which it failed to make the interest payment, according to a stock exchange filing. The company didn’t cite a reason for the default.

Jindal has reported losses for the past seven quarters and endured a two-year slump in steel prices before the government started restricting imports. Its power plants have been running below capacity and have struggled to obtain long-term purchase contracts.

(Source: Livemint)

9. Adani Buys R-Infra's Transmission Biz

Adani Transmission is now the largest private operator of power transmission networks in the country after buying the transmission assets of Reliance Infrastructure (R-Infra).

The Anil Ambani-promoted R-Infra has signed a binding agreement with Adani Transmission to sell its power transmission business and use the proceeds to pare its debt.

The company did not disclose the value of the transaction, but investment banking sources said it was expected to close at an enterprise value of over Rs 2,000 crore.

(Source: Business Standard)

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