Yes Bank has witnessed a gross withdrawal of ?1Lcr ($14bn) since March 1st 2019, alleges former Director. Meanwhile, India Ratings has downgraded YES Bank’s long-term issuer rating to ‘A-’ from ‘A’, while maintaining it on rating watch negative. Indian economy not in trouble, green shoots visible, Nirmala Sitharaman says. Deep Kalra steps down as MakeMyTrip CEO, co-founder Rajesh Magow to take his place. US antitrust officials to probe every acquisition made by Big Tech firms in 2010-2019.
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Can You See the Silver Lining?
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently opined that there were several signs the economy is not in trouble and with the measures taken by the Government, the economy is moving forward.
In a reply to a debate on the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman cited net positive foreign portfolio investment, national infrastructure pipeline, growth in Index of Industrial Production, Purchasing Managers’ Index, forex reserves, gross GST revenue collection during last three months and secondary markets as “green shoots” to back her argument. [Indian Express]
Has India Arrived?
India has been classified as a developed economy, the United States Trade Representative has said. This is expected to stop all chances of India reclaiming its benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, the privileges under which were revoked in June.
The GSP is America’s oldest preferential trade scheme, which offers developing countries tariff-free access to the US market. It considers a country’s per capital gross national income (GNI) and share of world trade to designate its level of economic development. [BS]
LPG prices have been hiked by up to ?149 per cylinder. Check the new rates here.
Deep Kalra is stepping down as CEO of MakeMyTrip. Co-founder Rajesh Magow will take his place. Kalra will serve as executive chairman on the MakeMyTrip board.
“We believe that separating the roles of Group CEO and Executive Chairman will allow us to focus more on long-term strategic opportunities within and outside India, while maintaining our market-leading position in our existing businesses,” Kalra said. [Inc42]
All in the Letters
A letter reportedly sent by a former independent director of Yes Bank to Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, claims the private lendor has seen a massive erosion in its deposit base.
Uttam Prakash Agarwal, who resigned as an independent director of the Bank during mid-January, says Yes Bank has witnessed a gross withdrawal of ?1Lcr ($14bn) since March 1st 2019. The letter has also accused CEO Ravneet Gill of breach of governance, non-compliances, undue influence and control on the majority members of the board through quid pro quo and misleading investors. [Deccan Herald]
The Union Cabinet is reportedly likely to approve the merger of three state-owned general insurers – Oriental Insurance Company, National Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. The merger will be accompanied by capital infusion and is expected to improve operational efficiency, solvency ratio and profitability. [Livemint]
Probe Me In
The US Federal Trade Commission has issued Special Orders to give Big Tech firms – Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. The motive is to examine every acquisition made by these firms in the past decade.
Big Tech firms don’t always disclose every acquisition they make, especially if the companies being acquired are little fish in the big tech pond. US officials believe that analysing these companies’ history of acquisitions could shed light on their financial power and market influence in anticompetitive ways. [TechCrunch]
Black and White
Ride-hailing major Lyft reported some good news, but that didn’t stop its shares falling by more than 4%.
Lyft’s Q1 numbers included more than $1bn in revenue against $356m in losses in the previous quarter. But markets were unimpressed sending the company’s stock down following the release of the results. Uber, Lyft’s top competitor, showed that it was moving up the profitability ladder in its recently released Q4 results. Investors are unsure if Lyft can keep up or even meet its target of turning profitable by late 2021. [MarketWatch]
In A Beijing Minute
A sensational Wall Street Journal report claims that what has widely been rumoured is actually true – that Chinese tech giant Huawei can access networks it helped build that are being used by mobile phones around the world. The backdoors that gave Huawei access were designed for law enforcement officials.
Given that Chinese tech was less-expensive, it was too tempting an option to be turned down for many countries – but this came “with a price”, which was giving Huawei the “capability to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world”, as per Robert O’Brien, America’s National Security Advisor.
The report quoted top US officials, who say intelligence sources have shown Huawei had this secret capability for more than a decade. [CNET]
A US district judge has ruled in favour of Sprint’s $26bn deal to merge with fellow telecom major T-Mobile. Shares of Sprint and T-Mobile surged 77.7% and 11.8% respectively on the news. This culminates the companies’ years-long courtship that involved multiple attempts to merge. But the merger has one more hurdle to cross – the California Public Utilities Commission needs to approve the deal before it can become reality. [CNBC]
Change is the Only Constant
Audio streaming platform SoundCloud has secured a $75m investment from broadcasting company SiriusXM, which will get a minority stake and two board seats on SoundCloud.
If you remember, the last time SoundCloud raised money, it had just cut 40% of its workforce and was closing its San Francisco and London offices to cut costs. Then the company secured a $170m investment and today it’s moving toward generating more than $200m in annual revenue. [Engadget]
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