QBiz: China Mobile in Taks With Voda-Idea; Govt’s Pre-Budget Meet
Top business news of the day.
1. China Mobile in Tie-Up Talks With Vodafone Idea, Airtel
China’s largest mobile operator, China Mobile, is keen to enter the Indian market and has held early stage talks with telecom service providers Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd to jointly develop a cloud network here.
“The top executives of China Mobile met senior managements of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea separately in December. China Mobile is interested in the Indian market and wants to come as a holding company with either of these two companies or even both," a person aware of the matter said, requesting anonymity.
2. Pre-Budget Meet: Fundamentals Are Strong, Economy Will Rebound, says PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the fundamentals of the Indian economy were strong, it had the capacity to bounce back, and the Centre was expecting an economic revival in the coming quarters.
At a pre-Budget meeting, organised by the NITI Aayog, with economists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and sectoral experts, Modi said: “The strong absorbent capacity of the Indian economy shows the strength of basic fundamentals of the Indian economy and its capacity to bounce back.”
3. DHFL Subsidiaries May See Changes in Management
The Reserve Bank of India-appointed administrator to Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd (DHFL) is planning to effect management changes at the mortgage lender’s subsidiaries to control its insolvency process better, a banker aware of the development said, requesting anonymity.
According to the banker, among the items put to vote by the administrator for voting by DHFL’s lenders last week was one seeking to change nominee directors of subsidiaries and step-down subsidiaries. That item or resolution, the banker said, also mentioned that he was contemplating a management change in DHFL’s subsidiaries. Last November, the RBI took over DHFL’s board and named R. Subramaniakumar, a former managing director and chief executive of Indian Overseas Bank, as its administrator. DHFL became the first financial service provider to end up at the bankruptcy tribunal for debt resolution.
4. Tax Dept Allows Joint Property Owners to File Returns Using Simple Forms
Rolling back its week old order, the Income Tax Department on Thursday allowed joint owners of single house property to file income tax return using simple Form-1 (Sahaj) or Form-4 (Sugam).
On 3 January, it had debarred individual taxpayers owning house property in joint ownership and those who paid Rs 100,000 in electricity bills in a year or incurred Rs 200,000 expense on foreign travel from filing their annual income return using the simple return forms.
5. SEBI Weighing Three Options to Implement New CMD Post Rules
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering three options to implement new rules on the separation of the roles of chairman and managing director. However, the final choice will depend on the next chief of the market regulator, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Ajay Tyagi’s stint as Sebi chairman ends on 1 March and though he is up for an extension for two more years, the chairman and managing director (CMD) issue is likely to get a fresh twist if there is a new Sebi chief.
6. HDFC Completes Majority Acquisition in Apollo Munich
Mortgage lender HDFC on Thursday said it has completed the acquisition of majority stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance for Rs 1,495.81 crore.
HDFC bought 50.80 percent stake of Apollo Hospitals Group in Apollo Munich for Rs 1,485.14 crore and 0.36 percent shareholding of employees for Rs 10.67 crore.
7. RBI Approves Aadhaar-Based Video Authentication as Alternative to E-KYC
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed video-based authentication as an alternative to the accepted e-KYC (know-your-customer) practices, but such verification will be Aadhaar-based, either online or offline.
The need for video-KYC was proposed in the report of the Expert Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, headed by UK Sinha, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in June last year.
8. Relief to Airlines: Govt Scraps Fuel Throughput Charge at All Airports
The fuel bill of airlines is set to reduce as the civil aviation ministry has ordered discontinuation of the fuel throughput charge (FTC) collected by airports from oil companies.
People in the know said the move will help airlines save close to Rs 500 crore per year. Fuel is one of the highest cost components for airlines.
9. ICICI Prudential AMC Invests Rs 334 Cr in its Credit Risk fund in Dec Quarter
ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company on Thursday said it invested Rs 334 crore in its credit risk fund in the December 2019 quarter, a move that may encourage investors to put in their money in the fund.
The fund house has invested Rs 256 crore in December and Rs 78 crore in October.
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