Mars Opportunity May Have 'Died', NITI Aayog Proposes New Scheme for Distressed Farmers, SEC Probes Nissan et al.

Scientists fear that NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover may have 'died' in dust storm. Zee confirms that there has been no default in repayment of loans by the parent Essel Group. NITI Aayog proposes area-based income compensation (ABIC) scheme for distressed farmers. Last budget may include INR10,000 per farmer income transfer.

 

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

 

Mars Opportunity May Have 'Died', NITI Aayog Proposes New Scheme for Distressed Farmers, SEC Probes Nissan et al.

ZEE

Zee confirms that there has been no default in repayment of loans by the parent Essel Group.

The What: Zee MD Punit Goenka confirmed that there has not been any default so far in the repayment of loans by its parent Essel Group.The news comes as Essel reached an agreement with its lenders wherein they would not sell off any more any more pledged shares even if their value fell. 

Up Close: Pledge-holders had sold off 60 basis points of promoter stake on Friday, resulting in Zee Enterprises crashing c. 31%, Dish TV falling c. 37% and Essel Propack slumping c. 11%.
 

Also This: Goenka also said that the moratorium for repayment of loans had been extended beyond April 2019. Meanwhile, he noted that the stake sale process in Zee was on course.

Hard Fact: Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund is the biggest investor in Zee, with an exposure of INR2,936cr (37% of the total debt fund) spread across 28 schemes.

In Other News: As per a Business Standard report, Reliance Jio is likely to compete with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Tencent, Alibaba, AT&T, Singtel, Comcast and Sony Pictures to buy half of promoter Subhash Chandra’s stake in Zee Entertainment. 

Hit Refresh: Zee Group on Friday suffered a loss in market capitalisation after shares of its entertainment arm crashed over 30% in light of a media report, which alleged links between its promoter company Essel Group and Nityank Infrapower and Multiventures, a company that is under the scrutiny for deposits of over INR3,000cr after demonetisation.
 
Zee Limited share price chart here.

 

AGRI

NITI Aayog proposes area-based income compensation (ABIC) scheme for distressed farmers. Last budget may include INR10,000 per farmer income transfer.
 

The Plan: As per the proposed area-based income compensation scheme, farmers will be paid the difference between the actual price they get and the state-mandated minimum support price (MSP) on a per acre basis.
 

Then There's This: Centre likely to announce a ?10,000 per-farmer income transfer scheme in the Interim Budget, amongst other steps to pacify agrarian distress in the country. 

 

STARTUP

Ola cuts investment in Foodpanda, to focus on private labels and cloud kitchen instead.
 

Expanding Horizons: Ola has more than halved its investment in food delivery platform Foodpanda and will hereafter focus on its own private labels and cloud kitchens including The Great Khichdi Experiment, Lovemade and FLRT brands, and continue to leverage its customer base for efficient growth. 

Ola also plans to focus on scaling its payments, lending, and core transportation portfolio, which includes scooters, international business and electric vehicles.
 

Add On:  Read this fascinating article to know how messaging platform Telegram has replaced more popular competitors Facebook and WhatsApp to become a go-to platform for test-prep in India.

 Mars Opportunity May Have 'Died', NITI Aayog Proposes New Scheme for Distressed Farmers, SEC Probes Nissan et al.

GHOSN

SEC probes Nissan over Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s pay disclosures.
 

Under Watch: US Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a preliminary investigation against Nissan Motor in connection with Carlos Ghosn’s pay disclosures, and has requested documents from both the car maker and its former Chairman.
 

Backstory: Nissan and Mr. Ghosn have been charged in Japan with underreporting his compensation by more than $80m on eight years of the company’s financial reports.
 

France Voices Concern: French President Emmanuel Macron voices concern over Carlos Ghosn’s conditions in jail, stating that the detention was 'too long and too hard'. 

 

SPACE

Scientists fear that NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover may have 'died' in dust storm.

Mission to Mars: Opportunity's last communication with Earth was received June 10, 2018, after which a dust storm blanketed the solar-powered rover's location, eventually blocking out sunlight and leading to a discharge of its batteries.
 
NASA’s robotic rover, Opportunity (also known as MER-B or MER-1), and its twin craft, Spirit landed on Mars on 24 Jan, 2004.
 

Bonus: Read this fascinating study by Rice University scientists which discusses how Earth is likely to have received the bulk of its carbon, nitrogen and other life-essential elements from the planetary collision that created the moon more than 4.4 billion years ago. Check out a more detailed article on the study here.

 

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