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Barrick Gold Bids $18bn for Newmont Mining, RBI Extends KYC Compliance Norms for E-wallet Companies, Amazon Adds Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to its Board et al.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Feb 26, 2019 2:38 PM 4 min read

Barrick Gold bids $18bn for Newmont Mining. RBI extends KYC compliance norms for e-wallet companies. Amazon adds former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to its board. Elon Musk in trouble for comments on Twitter, again.


Now to Today's Top Business News Stories in Our End Of Day Wrap Up:



Barrick Gold bids $18bn for Newmont Mining. Thomas Cook India buys 51% stake in Digiphoto.


It’s Raining Gold: Canada-based Barrick Gold has made a $17.85bn bid for US rival Newmont Mining in an all-share deal that would combine the world’s biggest gold miners, valuing the merged entity at c. $42bn.


Perspective: The announcement comes months after Barrick Gold bought Randgold Resources in a $5.4bn deal and Newmont announced plans to buy Canada-based gold production company Goldcorp in a $10bn all-stock deal.


Caveat: Barrick's acquisition of Newmont will be contingent upon the company scrapping its agreement with Goldcorp, Barrick said, adding that its offer was a "significantly superior" option for Newmont shareholders.


New Toy: Thomas Cook India has acquired 51% stake in Dubai-based Digiphoto Imaging at an enterprise valuation of $40.6m.


Digiphoto is an imaging solutions provider to various tourist attractions and resorts in 14 countries and has a network of over 120 partners. 


The partnerships would enhance Thomas Cook’s travel services portfolio in several key markets.



RBI extends KYC compliance norms for e-wallet companies.

Sigh of Relief: RBI has extended the deadline for compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, for prepaid payment instrument (PPI) issuers by six months.

The move has come as a relief for e-wallets which were struggling to complete Aadhaar e-KYC and put in place alternative systems for completing the KYC process before the earlier stipulated deadline of 28 February.

PPIs are instruments that facilitate purchase of goods and services, including financial services and remittance facilities, against the value stored on such instruments.

Death by a Thousand KYCs: According to an estimate, the market share of e-wallets in India is said to have fallen by c. 50% from October 2017 to March 2018. The regulatory burden imposed by the RBI’s Know Your Customer guidelines is widely cited as the cause for the slow death.



GE to sell its biotech business to Danaher. Roche to buy Spark Therapeutics in a $4.3bn deal. 

The Deal: General Electric to sell its biotechnology business to life-sciences conglomerate Danaher in a $21bn cash deal, in an attempt to drive down accumulating debt, which is now pegged at more than $100bn. 

The announcement comes as the company envisions an IPO of the rest of the health-care division later this year. 

GE surged c. 6% on back of the news, while Danaher rose c. 9%. 

Also This: Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche to buy Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based gene therapy specialist in a $4.8bn deal.

Roche will acquire US-based Spark for $114.50 per share, a premium of about 122% to Spark's closing price on February 22. 

What You Need to Know: Spark is a gene therapy company with a pipeline of potential products targeting blindness, hemophilia and neurodegenerative diseases.The deal would aid Roche build its haemophilia portfolio and augment its presence in gene therapy.



Amazon adds former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to its board. Adani group bags Guwahati airport. Reliance Jio could lose as much as $2.1bn this FY, as per analysts.

Welcome Aboard: Amazon has appointed former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi as a director.

Early this month, Starbucks executive Rosalind Brewer also joined the Amazon Board. 

The Final Piece: Adani infra group has emerged the highest bidder for Guwahati airport.

The Complete Set: The news comes almost immediately after Adani Group won bids to operate five airports including Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangalore, Trivandrum and Lucknow 

Loss: According to analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, Reliance Jio could lose as much as $2.1bn this FY when costs such as handset subsidies are included.

This would be a bigger deficit than those of its larger rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone.

Read an analysis by BBG Quint here.



House of Congress to vote on US shutdown. Elon Musk in trouble for comments on Twitter.

Close the Shutdown: House to vote on resolution to overturn the national emergency declaration by President Donald Trump.

The resolution is expected to pass the House easily with unified Democratic support.

While: Republican leaders are urging their members to oppose it, aiming to keep the final tally low enough to demonstrate that Congress would be unable to overturn the veto that Trump has threatened.

Trouble Again: The SEC on Monday asked a Federal court to hold Elon Musk, in contempt of court for violating a settlement that he and the company reached with the Commission last year.

In his Feb 19 tweet, Musk forecasted that the electric-car company would make around 500,000 cars in 2019, a substantial increase from a target of 400,000 set at the end of January.

Earlier: The Commission had sued Tesla and Musk last year over a tweet in which Musk claimed that he had the funding secured to take the company private at $420 a share.


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