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QBiz: Middle Ground on GST Bill, PE Investments Rise and More

Read the top business stories of the day. 

Updated
Business
5 min read
An employee changes the price tag of a product at the Big Bazaar retail store in Mumbai. (Photo: Reuters)

1. Select Panel Arrives at Middle Ground on GST

Parliamentarians are understood to have recommended a mechanism to do away with the contentious issue of a cascading effect of one per cent tax over the proposed national goods and services tax (GST). A select panel of the Rajya Sabha is believed to have suggested the tax be made liable only in the case of inter-state supply of goods for a consideration, adding this be made explicit at the time of making the GST law.

It also accepted a demand by most states that the Constitution amendment Bill on GST provide that they be fully compensated for revenue loss for five years.

Read more here.

2. FPI Sub-Limits in Banking & Defence to Stay: Nirmala Sitharaman

Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday clarified that the Centre has retained the sub-limits for foreign portfolio/foreign venture capital investments in defence and private-sector banking at 24% and 49%, respectively, to ensure that these sensitive sectors are not affected by “fly-by-night operators”.

In those two specific areas (defence and private-sector banking), those specific sub-caps (will) prevail… We do not want fly-by-night operators or quick money coming in or going out (in these two sectors).

–Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and industry minister

Read more here.

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3. FM Warns of Threat to Job Creation

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: Reuters) 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo: Reuters) 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday warned against throttled job creation if investments were blocked. He urged unions opposing labour reforms not to persist with ideas that could harm economic activity. A day after a ministerial panel headed by Jaitley failed to break an impasse over proposed labour reforms, he said the safety of the workforce could not be ensured without an increase in economic activity.

If we stop the fountain of investment, then employment will not increase; economic activities will also not increase. And it becomes a threat to existing jobs.

– Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister

Read more here.

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4. PE Investments on Rise in Listed Firms for Better Returns

With exits becoming difficult, private equity firms have increasingly begun to invest in listed companies for better returns. The trend becomes evident if one looks at private investments in public equity (PIPE), which in the first half of calendar year 2015 crossed the $1-billion mark.

This is higher than the total PIPE investments in 2013 and 2014, data from Venture Intelligence shows. For instance, if in CY14 there were 43 PIPE deals of $887 million, in the current calendar, so far, it has already touched $1.2 billion across 15 deals.

Read more here.

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5. Gold Slide Helps Erase Half of Gains From 12-yr Bull Run, $1000/Ounce on Horizon

Gold bars. (Photo: iStockphotos)
Gold bars. (Photo: iStockphotos)

Gold’s latest slide has helped wipe out half the gains from the last decade’s historic bull run, taking prices back to a key chart level on Monday and threatening a break towards $1,000 an ounce.

Gold slid to a five-year low of $1,088.05 an ounce overnight in Asia, approximately a 50 percent retracement of the rally from its 1999 low of $251.70 to its record high of $1,920.30 seen in September 2011.

Technical analysts, who study past price patterns for clues to future direction of trade, expect this level to hold for now. However, a break could see gold drop back to levels not seen in nearly six years.

Read more here.

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6.Fairfax India to Buy 74 pct Stake in Logistics Firm NCMSL for $126 mn

Fairfax India Holdings, a fund set up by Canadian investor Prem Watsa to target Indian assets, on Monday said it would buy a 74 percent stake in commodities storage and services firm National Collateral Management Services (NCMSL) for about $126 million.

Reuters had reported in June that Watsa’s firm was set to take a 70 to 75 percent stake in NCMSL worth $120 million to $150 million. The deal, valued at about 8 billion rupees, is expected to be completed in 2015, Fairfax said in a statement.

Read more here.

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7. Bharti Airtel in Talks with Orange to Sell African Subsidiaries

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator, has entered into exclusive talks with France’s Orange to sell its subsidiaries in Africa.

According to a company statement, Orange and Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) have entered into an exclusive agreement “to explore the possible acquisition by Orange of Airtel’s subsidiaries in Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone”.

However, there is no certainty of any binding agreement as a result of these discussions.

Read more here.

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8. Jan Dhan Gives Fillip to Government’s Mission of Financial Inclusion as More People Sign Up

The government’s mission to provide a bank account for every household and social security schemes for the poor is slowly taking root, with more people signing up for them, improving the prospects of achieving financial inclusion for all.

In addition, the share of bank accounts with a zero balance has fallen to about half of the total under this initiative compared with as much as 76% in October last year.

According to data from the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana website, 16.9 crore accounts were opened as of July 15 across public, private and rural regional banks with a combined balance of Rs 20,288 crore. The share of zero-balance accounts has come down to 50.6%, suggesting that account usage is increasing.

Read more here.

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9. Global Indian Takeover: Indians Heading Global Companies Not a Novelty Anymore

File picture of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Photo: Reuters)
File picture of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Photo: Reuters)

Satya Nadella, Ajay Banga, Indra Nooyi, Nikesh Arora, Anshu Jain, Vikram Pandit, Arun Sarin... all the way back to Bhaskar Menon. Indians heading global companies, that’s not a novelty anymore.

With the pioneers having broken down the barriers in the past few decades, an everincreasing number of Indian-origin executives have come to occupy key corporate positions. Some of them will go on to become the next generation of global business leaders.

Read more here.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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