5 Companies Submit EoI for Jet, Airtel Plans to Buy Stake in Dish TV to Take On Jio, Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested et al.

Kotak Mahindra Asset Management withholds part of the redemptions from one of its fixed maturity plans, on back of Essel woes. 5 companies submit expression of interest (EoI) for Jet, deadline for EoI extended. Airtel plans to buy stake in Dish TV to take on Jio. Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested. Indian IT Dept asks over 100,000 taxpayers to provide income details along with profit and loss for AY2012-13 within 30 days.
 

Moving on to the top Business stories of the day. 

 

 AVIATION 

Naresh Goyal pledges 26% of his stake in Jet as security for loans from PNB. 5 companies submit expression of interest (EoI) for Jet, deadline for EoI extended. SpiceJet and IndiGo may see better yield in Q4.

 
Slim Pickings: Jet Airways Founder, Naresh Goyal, has pledged over 29.5 million shares or 26% of his stake in the beleaguered airline as security for loans from Punjab National Bank.
 

The stake pledged by Goyal is now up to 41.1% out of his total 51% holding. 
 

The move comes shortly after Goyal gave up the Chairmanship of Jet Airways last month. 
 

Swipe Right: Five companies have submitted EoIs in buying stake in Jet Airways. However, as per reports, the EoIs were either “non-serious” or lacked critical details on how the bidders will recapitalise Jet. 
 

What You Need to Know: This is the first stage of the bidding process and the EoIs are non-binding. 
 

Deferred: However, the lenders have extended the Wednesday deadline by two days, in the hope that Etihad Airways, which hasn’t submitted an EoI, will show interest. 
 

Glass Half Full, Half Empty: Domestic carriers, SpiceJet and IndiGo expect better yields in Q4 on back of capacity cut due to the recent Boeing 737 MAX crisis and Jet Airways woes. More on the matter here.

 

 TROUBLES 

Kotak Mahindra Asset Management withholds part of the redemptions from one of its fixed maturity plans, on back of Essel woes. Investigation reveals names of several senior executives of generic drug companies in US pharma case. 
 

Trouble’s Knocking: Kotak Mahindra Asset Management has withheld part of the redemptions from one of its fixed maturity plans (FMP).
 

The news comes as two Essel Group companies in which the FMP had invested had not repaid in full, forcing the asset manager to hold back part of the payments when the plan matured on 8 April.
 

We’ve Got You Covered: Lakshmi Iyer, Head of Fixed Income at Kotak AMC noted that the fund had returned “100% of the principal amount" to investors and that the impact is primarily on the returns. Moreover, some units with their corresponding net asset value (NAV) have been kept aside, and that the fund expects to allow investors to realize these units once the Essel Group companies pay them back. 
 

In the Same Boat: Altogether, nine AMCs have lent to Essel Group across 87 schemes, including FMPs and open-ended debt funds. Other funds that have exposure to Essel Group debt are SBI Asset Management Co. Ltd, HDFC AMC, Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management Ltd, Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Pvt. Ltd, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd, UTI AMC Ltd, Baroda Asset Management India Ltd and ICICI Prudential AMC.
 

Something’s Fishy: A multistate investigation of an anti-trust lawsuit against 18 generic pharma companies, including five Indian firms, over price cartelisation has revealed some key details of perhaps the largest cartel case in the history of the US. 
 

The Indian generic makers named in the lawsuit are Aurobindo, Dr Reddy’s, Emcure, Glenmark, and Zydus. Other generic makers named in the suit include Apotex, Teva, Heritage Pharma, and Par Pharma. 
 

The state of Connecticut alleged that these drug companies had entered into conspiracies to fix prices and allocate customers in order to inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition, and unreasonably restrain trade for 15 separate generic drugs, resulting in the rise in prices of generic drugs.

 

 TECH 

Airtel plans to buy stake in Dish TV to take on Jio. Delhi HC questions Google Pay authorization.
 

Step 1: Singapore Telecommunications, Bharti Airtel and Warburg Pincus are in talks to buy c. 61% stake of Zee founder Subhash Chandra’s family in Dish TV.
 

Step 2: This is to be followed by an open offer for 26% more.
 

Step 3: Following this, Bharti Airtel’s digital TV business, housed under Bharti Telemedia, is likely to be hived off and combined with Dish TV through a reverse merger. 
 

The development comes as Airtel tries to boost its digital TV and home broadband play to take on Jio as it plans to buy Hathway Cable & Datacom and DEN Networks.
 

If the Airtel-Dish TV deal goes through, the combined entity will be the world’s largest TV distribution company with over 38 million subscribers and 61% share of India’s DTH market. In comparison, Jio, after acquiring majority stakes in Hathway and DEN, would have over 24 million subscribers across 750 cities. This is around 35% of India’s estimated cable industry base of 70 million.

 
Unauthorised Entry: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the RBI to verify as to how Google’s payment application, Google Pay, was functioning in India without proper authorisation.
 

Abhijit Mishra in his petition had claimed that Google Pay does not figure on the RBI’s list of authorised ‘payments system operators’ that was released as late as March 20.
 

Against the Motion: In its response to the petition, Google India said that as Google Pay operates as a technology service provider to its partner banks, to allow for payments through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) infrastructure, and is not part of payment processing or settlement, there was no requirement for licensing of these services under the prevailing statutory and regulatory provisions.

 

 BREXIT 

EU extends Brexit deadline until Oct 31.
 
More Room: The European Union has agreed to extend the Brexit deadline by six-months to October 31.
 

In an emergency European Council meeting that began Wednesday evening, British Prime Minister Theresa May formally requested a second short extension of the Article 50 procedures, which has already been extended once past the original date of March 29, 2019, until the end of June. May requested more time to seek approval in the British House of Commons for the Withdrawal Agreement.
 

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the "flexible extension" will put "the course of action entirely in the UK's hands." The UK "can still ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, in which case the extension will be terminated. It can also reconsider the whole Brexit strategy," he said.
 

Sincere Apologies: PM Theresa May reacted to the extension by pledging to ensure that the UK could “leave as soon as possible.” She said she “sincerely regretted” the fact that she had not been able to persuade parliament yet to reach a deal.
 

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker also confirmed that the UK would participate in EU parliamentary elections in May.

 

 BIZZARE 
 
Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested.
Indian IT Dept asks over 100,000 taxpayers to provide income details along with profit and loss for AY2012-13 within 30 days.
 

Arrested: Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
 

Mr. Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.
 

View a detailed timeline of Julian Assange’s saga over the last ten years here.
 

Ghost from the Past: The IT department has asked over 100,000 taxpayers (particularly high net-worth individuals) across the country to provide income details along with profit and loss for assessment year 2012-13 within 30 days. 
 

The department has issued notices under Section 148 of the IT Act to reopen returns for scrutiny, alleging that some portions of income had escaped assessment. 
 

More on the matter here.

 

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