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Reliance Industries' Net Debt to Fall 67% After Silver Lake Deal, WhatsApp Pay Expected to Launch in India by May-End

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
May 5, 2020 3:09 PM 5 min read

WhatsApp Pay expected to launch in India by May-end. India's gold imports plunge 99.9% to three-decade low in April. India takes to floating storage as onshore storage options run out. Reliance Industries' net debt to fall 67% post Silver Lake deal. WeWork cofounder Adam Neumann sues SoftBank over failed tender offer.




Paytm launches loyalty program for kirana stores.

Loyalty Pays

Financial services platform Paytm has announced a loyalty program for kirana stores across the country. 


As part of the new loyalty program, all merchant partners will be eligible to earn reward points for accepting payments from Paytm Wallet, Rupay Cards, and all UPI-based payment apps. 


Paytm also said that it has set aside ₹100cr ($13m) to invest in providing financial services and marketing tools to encourage kirana stores accelerate growth of digital payments through Paytm All-in-One QR during the lockdown. [ET Rise]


WhatsApp Pay expected to launch in India by May-end.

Final Lap?

Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp is set to go live with its payments offering in India by the end of this month, as per sources. 


The development comes shortly after news of WhatsApp eyeing digital money lending in India emerged last week. 



WhatsApp has been testing its UPI-based payments service in India since 2018 but is still awaiting regulatory approval from authorities for a full-fledged commercial launch. [Moneycontrol]



Reliance Industries' net debt to fall 67% post Silver Lake deal.

Debt of the Past

Reliance Industries Limited's (RIL's) net debt is expected to fall 67% post the Silver Lake investment deal announced yesterday.


Let's Talk Numbers

Last year, RIL had a net debt of ₹1.61trn ($21bn), built up as it undertook capital expenditure over the past few years in expanding its telecom and retail ventures, as well as a few projects on the refining front. Of that, the company has already raised ₹1.09trn ($14bn) including the latest investment.


In addition to this, the upcoming rights issue worth ₹53,125cr ($7bn) and a previous investment by British Petroleum in FY2019-20 worth ₹7,000cr ($933m) have led to this massive decline in RIL's debt. [CNBC TV18]


Shared mobility services are restructuring category mix to deal with post-COVID demand.

Sharing No Longer A Sign of Caring

Shared mobility service providers including Ola, Uber, Vogo, Bounce, Rapido, and Yulu are expanding their portfolio and restructuring their category mix to gear up for a post-COVID market, as consumer appetite for on-demand mobility looks to weaken, at least for a year, as per an ET report. 


For the full scoop, click here. [ET Tech]



India's gold imports plunge 99.9% to three-decade low in April.

The Golden Era

India, the world’s second biggest consumer of gold, witnessed its imports plunge 99.9% YoY in April - their lowest in nearly three decades - as air travel was banned and jewellery shops were closed amid a nationwide lockdown, as per Government sources. 


India imported around 50 kg of gold in April, down from 110.18 tonnes a year ago. In value terms, April imports dropped to $2.84m from to $3.97bn a year ago. [Reuters]


India takes to floating storage as onshore storage options run out.

A Floating Storage

Oil prices have nose-dived and India is trying to take full advantage. So much so that Indian refiners are now making use of floating storage as the country’s 25m tonnes of crude and fuel storage capacity at refineries, pipelines and inland depots are all full.


State-run and private processors are now holding seven million tonnes - equivalent of more than 50m barrels - on-board tankers out at sea, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in a Facebook post. [Livemint]



WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann sues SoftBank over failed tender offer.

Sue Me Like You Do

Remember WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann? He had stepped down last year as CEO of the coworking space company after a failed IPO attempt. He has now filed a lawsuit against Japan’s SoftBank Group (a major investor in WeWork) and its Vision Fund for terminating a $3bn tender offer to the startup’s shareholders. Click here for more details [CNBC]


India reportedly developing land twice Luxembourg size to attract companies leaving China.

Make in India

The Indian Government has reportedly identified pockets of land scattered throughout different states and is developing them to attract multinational companies looking to shift or diversify production from China. The land – which will be developed for select industrial sectors – is reportedly twice the size of the country of Luxembourg. [BS]



Less luggage, more delays, social distancing...airports might impose new safety regulations once restrictions are lifted.

A New Normal

One day airports will reopen and airplanes will take to the skies again. But fliers will likely have to contend with several new rules and regulations in the few months after restrictions are lifted to ensure safety of passengers and staff.


These could include being allowed to carry only one baggage item, being asked to report earlier than usual and be thermal scanned while departing and arriving, and standing at designated areas at every point in the terminals. [ET Airlines]


Government to fast-track clearance for drones engaged in COVID-19 work.

Look Up To the Skies and See

Drone usage has spiked amidst the lockdown for a variety of activities like spraying disinfectants, surveying areas, monitoring containment zones and making public announcements. This is especially true for cities in Telangana, Karnataka and Gujarat.


Now, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that Government entities seeking permission to use drones for COVID-related activities will get approvals quickly. [ET Tech]


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