QBiz: Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma Cuts Short Her Tenure & More

Here are the top business stories of the day.

4 min read
Axis Bank CEO and MD Shikha Sharma.

1. PNB Won't Seek Govt Support to Tackle Nirav Modi Fraud: MD Sunil Mehta

Punjab National Bank (PNB) will take care of problems emanating from the Rs 13,000-crore fraud perpetrated by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi on its own and will not seek any government assistance, the bank’s managing director Sunil Mehta said on Monday, 9 April.

PNB has enough resources and capability to meet the challenges posed by a fraud of this nature, he said. “We said this is problem of the bank and we will solve it ourself. We are not seeking government’s help by way of capitalisation,” Mehta said, when asked if the bank has sought help from the majority shareholder to tide over the problem of fraud.

(Source: Livemint)

2. After IndiGo, Jet Airways Not to Participate in Bid for Stake in Air India

Jet Airways has decided not to participate in the bid for a stake in Air India, further denting the divestment process. The move comes four days after IndiGo’s decision to back out of bidding.

While Jet Airways had never formally announced its interest in Air India, the management had held discussions with its alliance partners Air France-KLM, Delta, and other investors to put up a proposal. But the airline has now decided to call off its efforts.

3. PM Modi Asks PSUs to Come up With Development Roadmap in 100 Days

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 9 April, gave a 100-day deadline to the heads of central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to come out with a roadmap with "measurable targets" for strengthening state-owned companies and promoting development activities.

Addressing a CPSE conclave in New Delhi, Modi also suggested that their CSR spend should be focused largely on one specific theme each year.

4. Axis Bank's Shikha Sharma Wants New Term Cut Short

Private sector lender Axis Bank Ltd. on 9 April said the board has accepted a request from Chief Executive Officer Shikha Sharma to shorten her reappointment period till the end of December 2018. In July 2017, well ahead of the end of her current term, the board had reappointed Sharma for three years starting 1 June 2018.

Sharma has asked the board to reconsider the term of her reappointment, a statement to the exchanges said. The bank’s board has accepted her request, subject to the approval of the RBI, the statement added.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

5. ICICI Board to Decide Chanda Kochchar’s Future as CEO Soon

As ICICI Bank is shrouded in the shadow of the Videocon scam, reports suggest that the bank’s board is divided over CEO Chanda Kochhar continuing in her position.

Quoting anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported that some outside directors are opposed to Kochhar continuing with the bank, even as Chairman MK Sharma expressed ‘full faith and confidence’ in Kochhar.

However, when Bloomberg approached ICICI to verify reports of some board members wanting Kochhar’s exit, a spokesperson from the bank termed the reports ‘totally baseless and incorrect’.

The board is reportedly expected to meet early this week to decide its course of action. Kochhar’s tenure as CEO of ICICI Bank ends on 31 March 2019.

(Source: The Quint)

6. Hong Kong Can Take Decision on Nirav Modi's Arrest, Says China

China, on 9 April, said that Hong Kong could accede to India’s request to arrest fugitive Indian diamond merchant Nirav Modi based on local laws and mutual judicial assistance agreements.

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh told Parliament last week that “the ministry has sought the provisional arrest of Nirav Deepak Modi by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the People’s Republic of China.”

“According to the one country two systems and basic law of the HKSAR, under the assistance and authorisation of the central government, the HKSAR can make proper arrangement on mutual judicial assistance with other countries,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a media briefing when asked about India’s request.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. L&T Files Objections to Tata Steel's Bhushan Steel Bid

Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) on Monday submitted its objections to Tata Steel Ltd’s resolution plan for Bhushan Steel Ltd before the National Company Law Tribunal. The plan was approved by the committee of creditors (CoC) of the debt-laden steel maker.

Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for L&T, argued that Tata Steel’s proposal of Rs 200 crore on pro rata basis for all operational creditors and then an additional Rs 1,000 crore on preferential basis left room for arbitrariness as it was discretionary. He submitted that L&T had supplied “huge parts of the steel plant”, over which L&T held charge under the Transfer of Property Act.

(Source: Livemint)

8. HDFC Hikes Lending Rate by up to 20 Basis Points

India’s largest mortgage lender HDFC Ltd. on 9 April upped its lending rates by up to 20 basis points, in line with similar moves by commercial banks.

The increase in the retail prime lending rate, on which it benchmarks the adjustable rate home loans, is effective from 1 April, an official statement said. The rate hike is progressive, between 0.05 percent to 0.2 percent, with the lowest hike applicable to the low-ticket size loan, a company spokesperson said.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

9. IMF Says Moving Jobs Away From Manufacturing Can Boost Growth

In what could be a lesson for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Make in India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said shifting of jobs from manufacturing to services would not affect growth adversely.

In its analytical chapter on World Economic Outlook, the IMF said such a shift should not hinder productivity growth. Instead, it would boost the prospect of developing economies to gain ground.

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