QBiz: Sensex, Nifty Rise on Day 3; Fortis Bidding Likely Again
Top business stories of the day.
1. Sensex, Nifty Rise For Third Straight Day, Oil Refiners Rally
Indian equity benchmarks gained for third straight day to their highest level in over a week led by HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Sun Pharma and ITC.
The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.7 percent or 241 points to 35,165 and the NSE Nifty 50 index climbed 0.8 percent or 83 points to 10,689.
The broader markets outperformed their larger peers as the S&P BSE MidCap index advanced 1.35 percent and the S&P BSE SmallCap index climbed 1.6 percent.
2. Fortis Sale Process is Likely to Begin Again
The consortium led by Hero Enterprise chairman Sunil Munjal and Dabur India Ltd chairman Anand Burman has given its consent to reopen the bidding process for sale of troubled Fortis Healthcare Ltd.
The consortium’s offer to buy Fortis was selected by the erstwhile board, of which three members resigned and the fourth, the company’s chairman Brian Tempest, was voted out of the board by shareholders.
Munjal and Burman told Fortis that they provided their consent for the company to re-open the bidding process so that the company can “expeditiously” finalise and close its fund-raising so that its business does not suffer any further.
3. Q4 Results: Piramal Enterprises Profit Rises 21% On Strong Operational Performance
Indian billionaire Ajay Piramal-promoted Piramal Enterprises Ltd’s profit rose in the quarter ended March due to higher sales and strong operational performance.
Profit rose 21 percent to Rs 394 crore as compared with the same quarter last year, the company said in its filing with the stock exchanges. The bottom line was aided by improved sales and operational performance. Net sales, contributed by its three verticals — financial services, pharma and healthcare analytics — increased 21 percent to Rs 2,991 crore on a yearly basis.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 33.7 percent to Rs 1380.6 crore while the operating margin expanded to 46.1 percent to 41.2 percent.
4. Ola Follows Flipkart, Moves to a Group Company Structure
Ola is adopting a holding company structure similar to that of India’s most successful internet startup Flipkart to boost the cab-hailing company’s valuation and improve the management of its businesses, four people familiar with the matter said.
Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd) will set up a holding company that will own different units, including its core cab business, food delivery app Foodpanda and the nascent businesses of electric vehicles and the international unit, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity. These businesses and some others are expected to have their respective heads who will run them independently, the people said.
After the recent departure of Ola’s chief operating officer Vishal Kaul, senior vice-presidents Saikiran Krishnamurthy and Pallav Singh are expected to get bigger roles under the new structure, the people said.
5. Tamil Nadu Govt Orders Permanent Shutdown of Sterlite Copper Plant in Thoothukudi
Sterlite Industries Ltd’s Thoothukudi plant was sealed on Monday after the Tamil Nadu government ordered its permanent closure in the wake of last week’s firing that killed 13 people protesting against the plant.
“Under section 18(1)(b) of the Water Act, 1974, in the larger public interest, the government endorses the closure direction of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and also directs the TNPCB to seal the unit and close the plant permanently,” an order from the environment and forests department said.
It also said that under the Article 48 A of the Constitution, “the state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.
6. L&T Net Profit Rises 5% to Rs 3,338 Crore in Q4
Engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) on Monday said fiscal-fourth quarter profit rose 5 percent from a year ago.
Net profit, including those of its units, increased to Rs 3,337.95 crore in the March quarter from Rs 3,180.41 crore a year ago.
Revenue from operations rose 10 percent to Rs 41,110.86 crore from Rs 37,179.30 crore. The board recommended a dividend of Rs 16 a share.
7. CEO Salaries in Top 500 Companies Outpaced Performance in Past 5 Years
An IiAS study on executive remuneration reveals that, in the past five years, CEO salaries in the S&P BSE 500 companies has outpaced performance. This is a worrying trend across most sectors, especially the automobiles, FMCG and engineering companies.
Further, in sectors like construction materials, where there is some degree of linkage between pay and performance, the median pay levels and remuneration multiples are significantly higher. To address this, compensation committees in these sectors may need to rethink the entire pay construct and devise pay arrangements which are more equitable and help align executive expectations with stakeholders’ desire for fairness, benchmarking, and comparability.
8. Manpasand Beverages Plunges 20% As Auditor Resigns
Shares of Manpasand Beverages Ltd hit the 20 percent lower circuit after the fruit juice maker announced the sudden resignation of its statutory auditor Deloitte Haskins & Sells.
That came four days ahead of Saif Partners and Nomura-backed company’s board meeting to announce March quarter results on 30 May. The maker of Mango Sip juice appointed Mehra Goel & Co in place of Deloitte, it said in an exchange filing yesterday. Also, the board meeting has been cancelled, it informed the NSE in a filing.
Everything related to financial results announcement and the timing of the auditor's exit is purely coincidental, Manpasand Beverages said in another exchange filing today.
9. Volkswagen to Open New China Factories as SUV, EV Demand Booms
Volkswagen AG is opening three new factories in China with its local partner FAW Group as it steps up efforts to maintain leadership in the world’s biggest auto market.
Two of the new facilities will be in Tianjin and Foshan, VW said in an emailed statement, adding it opened one in Qingdao on Monday. The plants will focus on bringing more sport-utility and electric vehicles for local production, the fastest growing segments of China’s auto market.
Wolfsburg, Germany-based VW is among automakers expanding local production of sport-utility and electric vehicles even as China eases access to its market by reducing import tariffs.
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