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AGR Woes Continue: Vodafone Idea Pays INR1,000cr to DoT

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Feb 21, 2020 1:57 AM 4 min read

Vodafone Idea pays ₹1,000 cr ($139.7m) more to the Telecom Department. Dish TV-Bharti Airtel deal reportedly called off on differences over valuation. After Meesho, Unacademy becomes Facebook’s second investment in India’s startup space. Swiggy raises $113m led by Prosus Ventures. 




Vodafone Idea pays ₹1,000 cr ($139.7m) more to the Telecom Department.

Due Day

On Thursday, Vodafone Idea paid ₹1,000 cr ($139.7m) to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).


Earlier on Monday, the telco had paid ₹2,500cr ($349.28m) to the Government. Overall, it owes ₹53,000cr ($7.4bn) in statutory dues. [Firstpost]


Government issues fresh notices to telcos over non-payment of dues. 

Meanwhile, the DoT will reportedly send fresh notices to telecom companies Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices regarding non-payment. Airtel had paid ₹10,000cr ($1.39bn) on Monday while it owes ₹35,600cr ($4.9bn).


Notices will also be sent to Tata Teleservices for recovery of full dues – it owes over  ₹14,000cr ($1.9bn). [BS]



Dish TV-Bharti Airtel deal reportedly called off on differences over valuation.

Missed Opportunities

A deal between Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group, promoters of Dish TV and Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel has reportedly been called off due to differences over valuation.


Bharti Airtel had been looking forward to expand into the DTH market to take on competitor Reliance Jio’s fibre-to-home business. Acquiring Dish TV would have made Airtel the largest player in the DTH market with a market share of over 54.62. [Livemint]


Axis Bank could buy 20% stake in Max Life Insurance. 

Extra Crunch

Max Financial Services share price rose up to 15.71% today on the back of reports that Axis Bank was in talks to buy 20% stake in Max Life Insurance through fresh insurance of equity shares. [Business Today]



After Meesho, Unacademy becomes Facebook’s second investment in India’s startup space.

Unacademy Gets a Like

Facebook has made its second bet in India’s startup space. After investing in social commerce platform Meesho last June, the social networking giant has participated in a $100m investment round in ed-tech firm Unacademy.


Founded in 2015, Bengaluru-based Unacademy provides online lessons and specialised courses on various competitive examinations such as UPSC, CAT and JEE. It has so far raised $88.5m in six rounds. [BS]


Swiggy raises $113m led by Prosus Ventures. 

Money for Food

Moving on from ed-tech to food tech, Swiggy has announced that it has raised $113m in a Series I financing round led by Prosus Ventures. Coming on the heels of rival Zomato’s acquisition of Uber Eats India, this means Swiggy will have more ammunition in the fight to dominate India’s food delivery industry. [TechCrunch]



SBI Cards and Payment Services IPO likely to open on March 2nd.

Going Public

The initial public offering (IPO) of SBI’s credit card unit, SBI Cards and Payment Services, will reportedly open on March 2nd. The bidding process will close on March 5th and the lender plans to issue shares worth ₹500cr ($69.85bn) and offer up to 13.05bn shares for sale.


SBI Cards and Payments is backed by the country’s largest lender and private equity firm Carlyle Group, which will make a partial exit from the company as part of the IPO process. SBI and Carlyle Group have 74% and 26% stake in the credit card unit respectively.


The offer price for the IPO is likely to be between ₹745-₹775 per share. [Business Today]


Indiabulls Group stock jumps on reports of no irregularity in deals. 

Clean Chit Grooves

After reports suggested that the Government found no irregularity in the deals entered by Indiabulls Group, the conglomerate’s shares jumped 14.49% in value.


Indiabulls Housing Finance, Indiabulls Ventures and Indiabulls Real Estate are being probed for potential wrongdoing by the Registrar of Companies. The probe began in July 2018. [ET Markets]



OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal defends business practices that have angered some hoteliers.

Interview with the CEO

In a recent interview with Skift, OYO CEO Ritesh Agarwal defended his company’s business model and gave no hint that he would be seeking to decelerate the hotel chain’s growth. He acknowledged that more has to be learnt to improve OYO’s dynamic pricing, and when asked about issues like some hoteliers’ complaints about technology shortfalls and minimum guarantees, he said “we don’t claim to be – and we are not – a perfect company”. [Skift]

The rise and fall of an Indian billionaire. 

Rise and Fall

Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty used to live a high-end, extravagant billionaire’s life. He had help found companies like hospital operator NMC Health Plc and financial services firm Finablr Plc, with his stake in the public companies being valued at $2.4bn.


But a few weeks earlier, investment firm Muddy Waters issued a report criticising NMC’s accounts and disclosing a short position. Since then, the scrutiny has snowballed and cast doubts on Shetty’s net worth. The billionaire is now caught in a corner, with doubts also being cast about his share arrangements. [NDTV]


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