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Karnataka Government Bans Ola, Uber Picks NYSE For IPO, Google Pay to Launch Gold-Backed Investments et al.

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Mar 23, 2019 2:18 PM 4 min read

Jet suspends services on 13 more international routes. Jet lenders unable to reach a consensus on a rescue plan. Google Pay to launch gold-backed investment plans in India. Uber picks NYSE for stock listing. Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling released after 12-years of imprisonment.



Jet suspends services on 13 more international routes. Jet lenders unable to reach a consensus on a rescue plan.  

Mission Aborted: Debt-ridden Jet Airways has suspended operations on over 13 more international routes till end-April due to non-payment of rentals. Besides this, it has grounded seven more planes, taking the number of such aircrafts to 54. It has also reduced frequencies on seven other overseas routes, mostly from Delhi and Mumbai. 

Get the list of flights suspended till April 30 here.

No Signs of Revival: The lenders to Jet Airways have not yet come to an agreement on a rescue package for the beleaguered airline.


  • While SBI, leader of the lenders’ consortium, is working to arrange emergency funds, many other banks are resisting such a move.
  • Etihad, which owns 24% in the airline, offered to sell its stake in the airline at Rs 150 a share to SBI.

As the airline shows no sign of the revival in the near term, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is preparing to redistribute and allocate airport slots held by Jet Airways.

Riches to Rags: For a long period of time, especially during the late 1990s and 2000s, Jet Airways was the shining face of Indian aviation. But now it finds itself on the verge of collapse. Read this article to know what went wrong?



Karnataka government bans Ola. Alibaba, Tencent, car makers set up $1.5bn Chinese ride-hailing venture.

No Entry: The Karnataka government has banned the services of Ola for six months in the state.

The news comes after the state transport department found that the ride-hailing company was operating bike taxis ‘illegally’ - using its existing cab aggregator licence to promote bike taxi services.

Teaming UP: Alibaba, Tencent, Suning, and car makers including Chongqing Changan Automobile have set up a $1.5bn Chinese ride-hailing venture

The move is likely to challenge the dominance of ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing in China.



Google Pay to launch gold-backed investment plans in India. Mswipe looks to expand services beyond card transaction. 

Midas Touch: Google Pay plans to foray into wealth management services as it awaits the launch of ‘Gold Account’ — a gold-linked savings scheme. 

The scheme would allow users to purchase gold at prevailing market prices, maintain gold balance virtually and redeem at a later stage as gold coins or cash.

Google Pay has tied up with MMTC-PAMP India, a joint venture between state-owned metals trading company MMTC, and Swiss refiner of precious metals PAMP SA, for the gold accounts.

Launched as Tez in September 2017, and rebranded as Google Pay a year later, the app currently allows peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant payments.

Expanding Horizons: Mumbai-based card payments company Mswipe is planning to expand its services to the organised retail sector by adding inventory management, billing and other solutions to card transaction. The move will pit it against rivals such as Paytm and Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Zoom Out: Mswipe had recently closed a INR220cr fundraising round from its existing set of investors to support the expansion.



Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling released after 12-years of imprisonment, plans second act. 

12 Years of Slave?: Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling has been released from federal custody after spending 12 years in prison.

Skilling, was released on Thursday after serving 12 years in prison and six months in a halfway house after being convicted for actions that led to one of the worst corporate meltdowns in history. He was convicted of 19 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors in connection with the collapse of the Houston-based energy giant.

Second Act: As per reports, Mr. Skilling has been holding meetings with former Enron executives and others, in an attempt to get back into the energy business

While the exact nature of the project is unknown, several described it as a digital platform connecting investors to oil and gas projects.

Mr. Skilling is known to have met with individuals who specialize in cryptocurrency, blockchain and software development in recent weeks.



Uber picks NYSE for stock listing. Pinterest files for IPO. 

Picking Favourites: The ride-hailing giant, Uber has picked New York Stock Exchange for its IPO next month.

Uber is expected to launch its IPO in April and may be valued as high as $120bn.

The news comes as smaller, ride-sharing rival Lyft prepares to list on the Nasdaq.

Interestingly, major technology companies including Google, Apple and Facebook trade on the Nasdaq. However, NYSE has its own share of big names including Alibaba and General Motors.

On Track: Image-search platform Pinterest made its IPO paperwork public on Friday, putting the platform on pace to begin trading in mid-April. View the details of the filing here.

Video: Know what Uber and Pinterest's IPOs mean for the markets here.


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