Government seeks ?10,000cr ($1.4bn) interim dividend from RBI. Investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in government and corporate bonds raised to 30%. SEBI to conduct forensic audit of Infosys books. Deadline to pay AGR dues ends, but government not to take action against telcos.
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We Need Money: The Central Government has reportedly demanded ?10,000cr ($1.4bn) as interim dividend from the RBI for FY19-20 to bridge the fiscal gap. The demand comes at a time when tax receipts are dwindling and disinvestment goals are floundering even as the economy struggles through a prolonged slowdown that has dragged the GDP growth rate down to 4.5%.
The RBI is likely to take a final call on the interim dividend during its Central Board meeting scheduled for February 15th. Before that, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to address the RBI’s Central Board.
BTW: This is the third consecutive year when the government has demanded an interim dividend from the Central Bank. BS
Bring in the Money: To bring in more foreign funds into the market, the RBI on Thursday raised the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in government and corporate bonds to 30%.
Presently, short-term investments should not exceed 20% of total investment of that FPI in either central government securities or state development loans or corporate bonds.
The short-term investment limit has now been increased to 30% in both cases, the RBI has said. Livemint
Let's Hear You: The Supreme Court (SC) has agreeed to hear the modification pleas moved by state-owned companies in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) verdict that made non-telecom firms holding licenses for internal communications and signalling liable to pay license fees on their entire revenue, even if they do not offer telecom services.
The SC has asked non-telecom state-run companies including Gail India, Power Grid Corp and Oil India to pay more than ?3tr ($42.39bn) in arrears on their telecom licenses. Livemint
We Object, My Lord!: In a rather surprising turn of events, the SC has stayed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal's (NCLT) order dismissing the Registrar of Companies (RoC) plea seeking modification of its verdict in the Tata-Cyrus Mistry matter.
The SC said that it would hear the matter along with the main plea filed by Tata Sons against the December 18th verdict of NCLAT, which restored former Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry as the Chairman of the Group, holding the appointment of N Chandrasekaran, the current Chairman of Tata Sons, as Executive Chairman as "illegal". India Today
Markets regulator SEBI is set to order a forensic audit of Infosys books following whistleblowers’ allegations, which emerged last year that its top executives were involved in financial irregularities.
The development comes shortly after Infosys’s internal audit committee concluded that the charges made by the whistleblowers were without merit. Bloomberg Quint
The Supreme Court deadline to pay AGR dues ended yesterday.
Now while Reliance Jio has paid ?195cr to clear dues related to its licences, Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Tata Teleservices are still awaiting the hearing of their pleas in the top court before paying the dues.
However, as per a Department of Telecommunications (DoT) internal letter, the government shall not take any coercive action against the licencees in case they fail to comply with the SC order, until further orders. Livemint
FYI: As per the SC verdict, Vodafone Idea owes more than ?50,000cr ($7,035m) to DoT, while Bharti Airtel has to pay ?35,586cr ($5,007m). Tata Teleservices, which sold its mobile services business to Airtel, has dues of ?14,000cr ($1,969m).
Noticed: The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has sent a notice to Adani Gas, who could be staring at a ?400cr ($56.12m) penalty and loss of license.
Adani Gas had bid for gas projects using net worth calculations of Adani Enterprises without disclosing the scheme of arrangement between the two companies. Adani Gas was later demerged as a part of the restructuring between Adani Enterprises, its holding company. However, PNGRB believes that this was in violation of the law as Adani Gas’ shareholding changes and restructuring were in violation of regulations. Moneycontrol
Tes-la and Behold!: Tesla's stock rose by 4.1% to push the electric vehicle maker's value past $100bn. Tesla's market capitalisation now exceeds the value of Ford and General Motors combined.
The milestone also triggers a lucrative option for CEO Elon Musk, who can now buy 1.69m shares of Tesla stock for $350.02 per share. If he sells the shares, he would make just over $371m. ET Energy
...Is Not Gold: The US government is preparing to take on the sale of imported counterfeit goods over the internet, a practice that it says undermines US technology and manufacturing, harms bricks-and-mortar retailers, and endangers consumers.
The War Against Fakes: This involves new laws and regulations governing e-commerce, more power to authorities to investigate shipment, and threatening industry giants with penalties if they fail to take action against fakes. WSJ
Tightening the Noose: The Finance Ministry is reportedly considering proposals to toughen norms on high-value transactions in the gems and jewellery sector, among others. One suggestion is to link high-value transactions with the Aadhaar card number or another identity document. Another proposal pitches making gem and jewellery dealers a reporting entity under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). You can read details here.
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