Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal come under SFIO probe. Over 57,000 BSNL employees opt for VRS. Alibaba's Singles Day 2019 breaks last year's record with $31bn in sales. Saudi Aramco publishes prospectus for IPO.
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On Cloud Dine: As per reports, Uber Co-Founder Travis Kalanick is building an India team for his new venture, City Storage Systems, which runs delivery-only kitchens called CloudKitchens and is currently operating in stealth mode.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Kalanick's new venture has started engagements with restaurant chains and real estate developers in Mumbai, as well as begun early discussions with marketplaces including Swiggy, UberEats, and Zomato. ET Tech
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund has pumped $400mn into Travis Kalanick’s new venture, valuing it at about $5bn. WSJ
Under the Scanner: Grounded Jet Airways and its Founder Naresh Goyal have come under SFIO probe for allegedly siphoning off money.
Zooming In: The SFIO is looking into the general sales agents (GSAs) model of Jet Airways. The agency has found that the company’s vast network of sales agents across the globe was not independent of Jet Airways and several of these entities were linked to its founder, Naresh Goyal.
When venturing into a new or developing market or cutting costs in an existing market, airlines choose general sales agents as their representatives to offer services and products without investing in their offices and teams. Goyal’s GSA Jet Air Travels also acted on behalf of Jet Airways in multiple countries. But investigative agencies have said these agencies were used by Goyal to siphon off the company’s money. BS
Insurance in Danger: Aviva Life Insurance has become the first financial company to be admitted into Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
The development comes after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) upheld a landlord’s claim accusing the insurer of failing to meet its payment obligations and ordered the commencement of the company’s insolvency process. ET Insure
As per a PTI report, as many as 57,000 employees of govt-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) have already availed themselves of the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) that was rolled out on 5 November.
In all, nearly one lakh BSNL employees are eligible for the VRS out of its total staff strength of about 1.5 lakh. BSNL's internal target for VRS is pegged at 77,000 employees.
The scheme will be open till 3 December. BSNL is looking at savings of about INR7,000cr in wage bill, if 70,000-80,000 personnel opt for the scheme.
The government last month had approved a INR69,000cr revival package for BSNL and MTNL that includes merging the two loss-making firms, monetising their assets and offering VRS to employees so that the combined entity turns profitable in two years. Livemint
Within this backdrop, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed BSNL to ensure measures to maintain business continuity and smooth transition, especially to operate telephone exchanges in rural areas. Business Today
Looking to List: Saudi Aramco took another step towards its first initial public offering (IPO) on Saturday when it released a lengthy prospectus that lays the ground for investors looking to buy into the oil giant.
In the 650-page document, Aramco revealed that 0.5% of shares will be sold to individual retail investors while not disclosing how much would be available for institutional investors.
How much of the company will be up for grabs is still unknown. But even a 2% sale would make it the world's largest IPO. As the world's most profitable company prepares to list on Saudi Arabia's Tadawul stock exchange - the listing could begin as soon as 11 December - the Saudi Crown Prince chases a staggering $2tr valuation (although analysts estimate the company's value closer to $1.5tr). AP
Safety is King: Riyadh's ability to safeguard the company's assets from security threats will be an important factor for investors calculating the company's value. Aramco conceded as much in its prospectus where, talking about risks behind investing, it said “terrorism and armed conflict may materially and adversely affect” operations.
In September, some of the company's facilities were attacked. Saudi blamed Iran, and halved its oil output for a brief period of time. Aramco's quarterly revenue declined in line with oil prices while net profit dropped at a faster rate primarily due to the attacks. WSJ
Infinity Shopping: Alibaba's annual shopping gala - Singles Day - has raked in a record $31bn for the Chinese e-commerce giant. Last year's record was topped in 16 1/2 hours this time. In fact, half of what Alibaba sold during last year's Singles Day was clocked in in less than 90 minutes this time around. CNN Business
The world's largest annual shopping spree has been Alibaba's flagship event ever since it was launched in 2009. This year, more than 200,000 brands from 78 countries participated in the festival, with one million new products up for grabs. ET Rise
It's All About the Yuan: $1bn sold in one minute, $23bn in the first nine hours; $30bn last year and $3bn more this year. Such are the titanic numbers associated with Alibaba's annual 24-hour shopping festival. In terms of money spent, Singles Day rakes in more than Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Similarly, Alibaba gives international peers like Amazon and Flipkart a run for their money. CBS News
Fun Fact: "Singles Day" was originally devised by Alibaba as an anti-Valentine's Day holiday for people who aren't in relationships. It's on 11 November because the date is written as four ones - or singles.
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