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RBI Board Meeting Today, SC puts on hold Fortis sale to IHH, Google launches new search experience ‘Google Shopping’ in India and More...

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Dec 14, 2018 2:30 PM 5 min read

Good evening reader,


Let's end the week on a relatively lighter note, shall we? 


Since Friday is the designated day for excess sugar ingestion (you see what we did there), how about an upcoming consumer technology which claims to measure your sugar level...non-invasively. 


We realize the party pooper ending here but seriously?!  


Yes! Presenting DiaMonTech: A German start-up and inventors of a glucose meter which doesn't require you to prick your finger and put a drop of blood on a strip.


Apparently that is now medieval. 


Using "photo-thermal detection", the device throws light which penetrates your skin, directly heating up glucose molecules in your bloodstream. The tiny changes in temperature become an indicator of your glucose level. Mind. Blown.


Still awaiting certification & clinical trials, let's see whether DiaMonTech is as fascinating as it sounds, or has "Theranos-like" strains. Check their Head of Strategic Partnerships speak in this TechCrunch interview.


Moving on to Today's Top 6 Business Stories through our End Of Day Wrap Up:


RBI Board met today. No material decision on PCA norm or liquidity taken yet. WPI-based inflation down to 4.64% in Nov from 5.28% previous month.


The What: As per an Economic Times report, the RBI Board met today, as scheduled, to discuss liquidity issues and what actions should be taken to improve balance sheet of lenders. It also deliberated on issues related to currency management and capital infusion required for the system. However, no major decisions relating to PCA and liquidity measures were taken during the meeting.  As such, this Board meeting was fairly well-anticipated by industry-wide participants as it marked the first such meeting under the new RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.


Perspective: This Board meet was a follow up to RBI's meeting held last month where the Central Bank discussed topics ranging from its own capital policy, relaxation of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework for ailing banks, a special liquidity window for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), to lending norms for MSME sector.


Also, this: India's wholesale inflation fell to a three-month low of 4.64 % in November, on back of declining prices of food articles and crude oil. Inflation numbers are expected to be closely watched given that a new Governor is in-charge and that the RBI has maintained an "inflation-targeting" approach towards Monetary Policy in recent times.


Walmart Labs acqui-hires machine learning startup Int.AI. Hyperlocal concierge app Dunzo set to raise c. $30m in Series C funding led by Blume Ventures and Google India. Binny Bansal to launch new tech startup, xto10x Technologies.


The What: Walmart Labs acqui-hires machine learning startup Int.AI. The move comes as Walmart Labs, the local product development division of US retail giant Walmart seeks to strengthen its engineering team. Walmart Labs had in September acqui-hired Bengaluru-based micro-app startup Appsfly, which built a system for micro apps to get hosted and streamed on any platform.


Zoom Out: Int.AI operates in the field of data analytics and machine learning wherein it analyses data and shares it with targeted users over email as well as collaborative tools like Slack among others.


What You Need to Know: Companies are increasingly looking to acqui-hire smaller rivals and absorb their engineers. The process is fast emerging as a cost efficient alternative to acquire talent. 


What about Dunzo?: As per a YourStory report, Dunzo, a Bengaluru-based personal concierge app is set to raise c. $30m in Series C funding led by Blume Ventures and Google India. It had raised $12.3m, last year, via Series B Funding led by Google, the first investment by the search-engine giant in an Indian startup.


Binny Bansal to make a comeback: As per an Economic Times report, ex-Flipkart co-founder, Binny Bansal and former McKinsey consultant Saikiran Krishnamurthy are set to launch tech startup xto10x Technologies, which will offer technology tools, learning and consulting services to growth-stage startups, which are looking to scale up.


SC puts on hold Fortis sale to IHH. Yes Bank may appoint independent director Brahm Dutt as the bank’s non-executive interim Chairman, while suggesting that they are on track to submit a name for MD & CEO to RBI in January. 


Case in point: Supreme Court puts on hold Fortis sale to IHH as Japanese drugmaker Daiichi-Sankyo alleges that the Fortis promoters, Singh brothers and Indiabulls had created fresh encumbrances for nearly 1.7 million shares of the total 2.3 million shares of Fortis Healthcare, despite the court’s orders against it.


The Big Picture: Fortis Healthcare stock closed at INR141.10 (-6.93%) after tanking 14% to as low as INR130 during the day.


Yes Bank on track: As per a Livemint report, Yes Bank is likely to name independent director Brahm Dutt as the bank’s non-executive interim chairman. The development comes after former finance secretary Ashok Chawla resigned from the position last month.


What else?: Yes Bank also stated that it is on track to submit the recommendation for the post of the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive to the RBI on January 9, 2019. The news comes after RBI’s directive on 17 September to restrict CEO Rana Kapoor’s term to 31 January 2019. Yes Bank stock closes at INR179.70 (+2.86).


Google launches new search experience ‘Google Shopping’ in India.


Let's go shopping: ‘Google Shopping’, this new search experience will be available across various Google products - Shopping home page, Shopping tab on Google Search and through Google Lens. The platform will allow users to filter through offers, trending products across different categories, review prices from multiple retailers and more.


The Bigger Picture: With this launch, Google appears to be making inroads into the entire retail ecosystem, and the move, as such can be viewed as a challenge to the robust platforms that Amazon and Flipkart have already built.


TRAI sets rules to speed up mobile number portability process.


What You Need to Know: The telecom watchdog has amended the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) regulations to ease and quicken the process.

Up Close: As per the new regulations:


  • For MNP requests in the same circle, the time has been set at 2 working days while for MNP into another telecom circle, it is set at 4 days
  • A telecom operator would have to pay a penalty of up to INR10,000 for any misinformation about the portability and each wrongful rejection of portability request
  • The validity period of Unique Porting Code (UPC) to been lowered to 4 days from the previous period of 15 days


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