QBiz: SBI Wrote Off Loans Worth Rs 1 Trillion in Last 2 Yrs & More
Catch all the top business news stories of the day here.
1. Top Indian Drug Makers Accused of Fixing Prices
Seven Indian drug makers, including Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, and five of their executives have been named in a US lawsuit that accuses Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd of orchestrating a conspiracy to raise medicine prices.
The antitrust lawsuit was filed by 40 US states on 10 May and is based on a five-year investigation of the firms. Other Indian generic drug makers named in the lawsuit are Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Lupin Ltd, Wockhardt Ltd and Zydus Pharma.
2. Jet’s Lenders to Reach out to Unsolicited Bidders
Lenders to Jet Airways (India) Ltd will begin reaching out to unsolicited bidders for the grounded airline after existing shareholder Etihad Airways PJSC declined to raise its stake beyond the current 24%, said two people aware of the development, requesting anonymity. They said Etihad has offered to infuse close to ₹1,400 crore in Jet Airways, aimed at keeping its stake at the current level.
“For Jet Airways, which has total liabilities of ₹15,000 crore, this is hardly enough,” said the first person cited above.
The lenders, who currently control Jet Airways, have therefore decided to approach a group of bidders who have shown interest in taking a stake in the carrier after the formal bidding process closed on May 10, the person added.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
3. SBI Wrote off Rs 1 Trillion in Last Two Years to Clean up Its Loan Book
State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest lender by assets, has written off over Rs 1 trillion worth of loans in the two years ended 31 March as it purged its accounts of legacy bad loans.
It wrote off Rs 61,663 crore in the year ended 31 March and an additional ₹40,809 crore in the previous fiscal year, taking the aggregate to Rs 1.02 trillion. This is close to double the Rs 57,646 crore that the lender wrote off in the preceding three financial years.
With a big chunk of bad loans written off in FY19, SBI’s outstanding gross non-performing assets (NPAs) declined 23% year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs 1.72 trillion.
4. IL&FS to Return Incomplete Road Projects to NHAI for Rebidding
Debt-laden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd has agreed to return under-construction road projects to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for fresh bidding, according to the minutes of IL&FS’ April 22 board meeting.
In a meeting with NHAI officials, IL&FS did not object to inviting fresh bids for the underconstruction projects provided that they arrive on “an amicable settlement of dues”. A copy of these board minutes was reviewed by
Settling and awarding dues to IL&FS is imperative as the financial services and manufacturing group of companies is struggling under a massive debt of ₹99,358 crore as of September 2018.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
5. Sensex Falls 2,000 Pts in 9 Days as Economic Slowdown Makes Investors Wary
The equity markets on Monday resumed their downward journey with the benchmark Sensex declining 372 points, or 1 per cent, to end at 37,091, while the Nifty50 index declined 131 points, or 1.2 per cent, to close at 11,148. Both indices logged their ninth consecutive session of decline and ended at two-month lows.
Since April 26, when the losing run started, the Sensex has declined nearly 2,000 points, or 5.1 per cent. On the other hand, the Nifty has shed over 600 points, or 5.2 per cent, in the past nine sessions — its longest losing streak since May 2011.
India’s market cap loss during this period has been Rs 8.53 trillion, with the country’s rank slipping one notch on the world’s most valuable markets list.
(Source: Business Standard)
6. Vodafone Idea Q4 Loss Narrows to Rs 4,881.9 Crore
Vodafone Idea Ltd’s consolidated net loss narrowed marginally in the fiscal fourth quarter, as the company realised merger synergies and as revenue stabilised after the introduction of minimum recharge plans.
India’s largest telecom operator by subscribers posted a net loss of ₹4,881.9 crore in the March quarter. It had incurred a net loss of ₹5,004.6 crore in the December quarter and ₹4,973.8 crore in the September quarter.
It beats a Reuters analyst forecast which had pegged the net loss at ₹4,946 crore.
7. April Retail Inflation Climbs to 6-Month High of 2.92% as Food Prices Rise Again
Retail inflation surged to a six-month high of 2.92 per cent in April due to rise in prices of food items from abnormally low levels, said the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). The inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 2.86 per cent in March and 4.58 per cent in April 2018, it added. A Bloomberg poll of 39 analysts and economists had estimated the inflation at 2.99 per cent for the month under review.
The retail inflation data is analysed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) while drafting the monetary policy. The central bank keeps 4 per cent as the medium-term inflation target and the latest number despite being on a higher side marginally remains below the target. The April CPI food price inflation shoot up at 1.1 per cent as against 0.30 per cent in March, the data showed.
(Source: Financial Express)
8. StanChart Alleges Essar Steel CoC Accepted Lower Bid from Arcelormittal
Reiterating its claim that the Essar Steel’s Committee of Creditors (CoC) had treated it unfairly, Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) on Monday told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal that lenders had accepted Rs 39,500 crore from ArcelorMittal instead of Rs 42,000 crore-bid, as approved earlier.
During the hearing on Monday, StanChart alleged that the CoC had clubbed the debt of Odisha Slurry Pipeline Limited with Essar Steel in the auction to recover unpaid loans, which would in effect reduce the up-front payment to be made by ArcelorMittal. This in turn, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for StanChart said, would mean lower amount for the financial creditors who were not part of the core of CoC.
(Source: Business Standard)
9. HUDCO Approaches NCLAT to Recover Dues from Bakshi
State-owned HUDCO Monday approached the NCLAT to recover its Rs 60 crore loan plus interest from Vikram Bakshi, who has agreed for an out-of-court settlement with McDonald's ending their six-year long dispute.
Counsel for HUDCO filed an intervention application before a two-member bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), headed by Chairperson S J Mukhopadhyay, pleading that its dues should be cleared first from the amount that Bakshi was to receive from the US fast food chain.
The state-owned firm pleaded before the bench that it has the first right over the amount to be received by Bakshi under the settlement agreement with McDonald's. Balance amount, if any, after clearing its dues could be transferred to him.
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