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India GDP Growth Slumps to 5-Quarter Low, Naresh Goyal Steps Down as Jet Chairman, Tesla to Shut Stores, Airtel Approves Fundraiser et al.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Mar 1, 2019 1:46 PM 4 min read
Editorial

India GDP growth slumps to 5-quarter low of 6.6%. Manufacturing PMI climbs to 14-month high. Naresh Goyal to step down as Jet Chairman. Ola Electric Mobility raises INR292cr. Tesla to shut stores and start selling online.

 

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

 

MACRO

India GDP growth slumps to 5-quarter low of 6.6%. Manufacturing PMI climbs to 14-month high. RBI signs $75bn Bilateral Swap Arrangement with Bank of Japan.



Slowing Down: India’s GDP growth in Q3 slumped to 6.6% vs 7% in the previous quarter and 7.7% growth in Q3 FY17-18. The drop comes on the back of poor performance of farm, mining and manufacturing sectors.
 

Remap: The Central Statistics Office has revised downwards the growth estimates for the current fiscal year to 7% from the earlier estimated 7.2%. 
 

Silver Lining: India’s manufacturing sector performance strengthened in February and touched a 14-month high at 54.3 vs 53.9 last month, primarily driven by strong inflow of new business, technological progress, beneficial public policies, and positive market conditions.
 

Chart: View India's Manufacturing PMI Trend here.
 

Deal Time: The RBI and Bank of Japan have signed a bilateral currency swap agreement for $75bn, which will enable both countries to swap their local currencies against US dollar for up to $75bn.

The move will help in bringing greater stability in foreign exchange and capital markets in India.

With this deal, India can access the agreed amount of $75bn for its domestic currency, for the purpose of maintaining an appropriate level of balance of payments or short-term liquidity.

 

COMPANIES

ED raids office, residential premises of Chanda Kochhar, Dhoot. Infosys Board fines Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Naresh Goyal to step down as Jet Chairman. 

Knock Knock: The Enforcement Directorate today carried out searches in at least five offices and residential premises of Chanda Kochhar and Videocon promoter Venugopal Dhoot in connection with the Videocon loan fraud case.
 

Earlier: The agency had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) earlier this month against Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, Dhoot and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of INR1,875cr loans by ICICI Bank to the corporate group.

Fool's Gold: Infosys has imposed an INR9.5L fine on lead Independent Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw for inadvertently trading 1,600 shares of the company without getting a pre-clearance.

Guilty by Association: Even though the trade was carried out by the portfolio manager without the knowledge of Ms. Shaw, there was a violation of the company's Insider Trading Policy.

End of an Era: Naresh Goyal Founder of Jet Airways steps down as the Chairman, to allow the Board to move ahead with a debt recast plan for rescuing the carrier.

 

MONEY

Cabinet approves transfer of Air India's INR29,464cr loans to a Special Purpose Vehicle. Bharti Airtel's Board approves INR32,000cr fundraiser.

Go Ahead: The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval for the creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) - Air India Assets Holding - for the disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Air India’s debt amounting to INR29,464cr will be transferred to the SPV.

The four subsidiaries which have been transferred to the SPV are Air India Air Transport Services (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services (AASL), Air India Engineering Services (AIESL) and Hotel Corporation of India (HCI). Non-core assets - painting and artefacts, and other non-operational assets of the national carrier too will be transferred to the SPV.

Early Planning: The SPV was set up on January 22 last year as part of a financial restructuring of the debt-laden national carrier. The government has decided to allocate INR1,300cr for the SPV this fiscal, and INR2,600cr would be provided in the next financial. 

Fan the Flames: Bharti Airtel announced its Board of Directors approval for the fundraising plan of up to INR32,000cr. INR25,000cr will be raised by way of a rights issue and another INR7,000cr will be mobilised through foreign currency perpetual bonds. 

This will help reduce the company’s debt of about $14bn and also fire up the telco’s fight against its rivals. 

 

RIDEHAILING

Ola Electric Mobility raises INR292cr. Uber in talks to buy rival, Careem.

 

New Backers: Ola Electric Mobility, a subsidiary of ANI Technologies that owns Ola, has raised c. INR292cr from global investment firms Tiger Global Management, Matrix Partners, and Sarin Family.

Baby Steps: This is the first instance where Ola Electric Mobility has tapped external funding, independent of its parent.

Ola Electric Mobility has issued and allotted 1993 Series A compulsory convertible preference shares of face value of INR10 each of the company, at an issue price of INR14,61,523, to the above investors.

Eating Competition: Ride hailing giant Uber is in talks to buy its Dubai-based rival Careem. The deal would expand Ubers’s operations in the Middle East.

The deal is expected to be a cash-and-shares transaction, valuing Careem at about $3bn.

 

GLOBAL

US GDP grows 2.6% in Q4. Tesla to shut stores and start selling online.

Modest: The US economy expanded at a 2.6% annual rate in Q4, beating expectations of 2.2% growth on back of a robust consumer spending, tax cuts and household income gains.

Consumption, which accounts for the majority of the economy, grew 2.8%, slightly below forecasts, while nonresidential business investment accelerated to a 6.2% gain on equipment, software and research spending.

Buy Online: Tesla announced its plans to shut down stores and start selling vehicles online. The move comes as the automaker attempts to cut costs in a bid to offer the Model 3 car at a starting price of $35,000.

Read more on what Tesla has planned for the future here.

 

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