Trump signs $3bn defence deal and three other agreements on safety of medical devices, energy cooperation and mental health upon India visit. 12.67L new jobs created in December 2019 vs 14.59L in November. Bob Iger announces that he is stepping down as Disney's CEO effective immediately. Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to step down.
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You Have My Word
Donald Trump's first visit to India as US President ended yesterday without any big bang announcements.
The $3bn defence deal signed with India’s military to purchase Apache and MH-60 Romeo helicopters was perhaps the biggest.
Both parties also signed three other agreements, including those on the safety of medical devices, energy cooperation and mental health.
Trump also seemingly tried to nudge India to keep Chinese 5G network providers away. He said 5G should “be a tool for freedom, progress and prosperity” and “not a conduit for suppression and censorship”. [BS]
The RBI has come up with a working paper with a new method of calculating India's growth.
The paper introduces the Dynamic Factor Model of calculating GDP, using twelve indicators like Sensex, non-food credit and the nominal effective exchange rate, in addition to industrial production, car sales, trade numbers and others. [ET Indicators]
As per the Employees' State Insurance Corporation's (ESIC) payroll data, 12.67L jobs were created in December 2019 vs 14.59L in the previous month.
In addition to this, a net of 10.08L new enrollments with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was recorded in December 2019 compared with 10.09L in November last year. [Business Insider]
Putting Lipstick On A Pig
In November 2013, the then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had warned banks against dressing up loans, likening the practice with “putting lipstick on a pig (that) will not make a princess”. His stance marked the beginning of the end of forbearance.
Rajan's successor Urjit Patel too continued with the tradition of nixing proposals that kicked the can down the road.
I Object, Milord!
JSW Steel’s $2.7bn purchase of bankrupt Bhusan Steel faces a fresh hurdle after a former Chairman of Bhushan Power & Steel, Sanjay Singal, challenged the deal in the Supreme Court.
Sanjay Singal filed a petition on Monday against a ruling by a bankruptcy tribunal that had approved the deal earlier this month. [BS]
All That Glitters is Gold
Bengaluru-based online marketplace for gold loans Rupeek Fintech has raised $60m from global venture capital firm GGV Capital, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal’s BTB Ventures, and Bertelsmann India Investments across two separate rounds.
The financing round also saw participation from Tanglin Venture Partners, Korea’s KB Investment, Sequoia India and Accel Partners.
The latest funding takes Rupeek’s valuation to more than $300m. [VCCircle]
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has notified the Government's decision to allow 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance intermediaries under the automatic approval route.
Intermediary services include insurance brokers, reinsurance brokers, insurance consultants, corporate agents, third party administrators, surveyors and loss assessors.
Up until now, FDI in the insurance sector was capped at 49% under the automatic route. [CNBC TV18]
Take My Pain Away
As per sources, ailing under the burden of AGR dues, Vodafone Idea has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for settlement of Goods and Services Tax refund to the tune of ?8,000cr ($1,113m).
It has also requested the DoT for a three year moratorium period to settle its dues and requested the Government to reduce the license fee to 3% from the current 8%. The telecommunications giant has also sought the reduction of spectrum usage charges to 1% from the current 3%. [BS]
Iger Iger Burning Bright
The Walt Disney Company has announced that Bob Iger will be stepping down as its CEO effective immediately and Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, will succeed him. Iger will however stay on as Executive Chairman through the end of 2021.
Iger's departure comes at a unique point in Disney's history. His aggressive expansionism since he took the helm of the media giant in 2005 saw it push ambitiously into movies, theme parks and other entertainment verticals. This culminated last year in the $71.3bn acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the launch of streaming platform Disney+, which has already drawn almost 30m subscribers.
At the same time, even as Disney earnings and numbers have enjoyed ecstatic highs, Disney faces park shutdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak. And Iger is only 14 months into a 36-month contract expansion, which makes the timing unusual. [TechCrunch]
To read an overview of Bob Iger's achievements during his tenure as Disney's CEO, read this article.
Ajay Banga, Mastercard's CEO, will be stepping down at the start of next year and be replaced by Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach.
Banga, who took charge of the company just after the 2008-09 financial crisis, has seen the payment processor's revenue triple during his tenure as online shopping gained prominence around the world. [ET]
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