SBI cuts interest rates on home loans and fixed deposits. Total SA buys 50% of Adani Group's solar business in $510m deal. WhatsApp gets regulatory approval to launch WhatsApp Pay across India. ShareChat eyes fantasy sports market in India.
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Marginally Reducing the Marginal Rate
The SBI has announced a reduction in its lending rates across all tenors. The country's largest lender by assets said its marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) will be reduced by 5 basis points (0.5 percentage point). This marks the ninth consecutive reduction of such a kind, with the new rates poised to take effect on February 10th.
The MCLR will stand reduced to 7.85 % for the one-year tenor, as against the existing 7.90%, according to the bank's statement.
The announcement comes a day after the RBI decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 5.15%. [CNBC TV18]
Since the Central Bank made know-your-customer (KYC) mandatory for mobile wallet users, fraudsters have entered the arena to exploit hapless consumers of their hard-earned money. Read this article to know how you can protect your e-wallet from KYC frauds.
Sun is Shining
Adani Group has inked a deal with French energy giant Total SA that will see the latter acquire 50% of Adani's solar assets. The $510m deal is one of the biggest transactions in India's clean energy industry.
The transaction comes during testing times for the country's clean energy industry, which is facing a tough lending environment, mounting dues and record low tariffs.
Adani Green Energy has a renewable energy project portfolio of 6 gigawatt (GW), including under-construction capacity. It is also a successful bidder in state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India's tender of 8 GW manufacturing-linked development project for setting up solar power capacity. [Livemint]
Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) is a key chemical that goes into making polyester yarns, which are used in embroidery, sewing, knitting, weaving and so on. Reliance Industries is among the world's five largest producers of PTA. And now, the Union Budget has proposed to cut its import duties, allowing customers to seek other sources to buy the chemical. This could see Reliance's profits slashed by ?400cr ($56m) in the next FY. [Financial Express]
Nod of Approval
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved the merger of the consumer mobile operations of the Tata Teleservices with Bharti Airtel.
This final approval comes over two years after the companies had announced their plan to merge businesses.
In October 2017, the Tata Group had announced that it would sell its consumer mobile business to Bharti Airtel on a debt-free, cash-free basis, except for it assuming a fraction of the unpaid spectrum fees that the Tata Group owes to the DoT. [Moneycontrol]
India’s largest private steel company, Tata Steel is expected to announce its Q3 earnings today. While Tata Steel reported a 17% sequential growth and 24% year-on-year rise in domestic steel sales in Q3, it remains to be seen whether realisations have kept pace. [Livemint]
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has granted WhatsApp permission to roll out its digital payment platform WhatsApp Pay across the country in a phased manner.
The regulatory approval - coming days after the RBI's nod - comes after WhatsApp assured officials that it will comply with data normalisation norms.
The trial run of the Facebook-owned company's payment app began in February 2018 when it was introduced to a million users. Now, it will be able to offer services to 10m users and then follow it up with a full rollout. Given WhatsApp's 400m-strong user base in India, it could become one of the biggest payments players in the country. [BS]
18 months after it launched IGTV, Instagram may let video makers monetise content on the longer-form content hub by showing advertisements along with their videos. It's similar to Facebook Watch, where producers earn a 55% cut of revenue from "Ad Breaks".
Previously, IGTV didn't have this feature, which might have contributed to the limited usage and content on the destination. The new rules could incentivise creators to bring more and higher quality content to IGTV. [TechCrunch]
Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei had filed two lawsuits against US carrier Verizon in US courts on Thursday, seeking compensation for alleged unauthorized use of Huawei patents for optical transmission, digital communications and related services.
Hitting back, Verizon has slammed Huawei’s lawsuit against it, tagging it a “PR stunt”, claiming that it is a “sneak attack on our company and our nation.” [CNBC]
The US has barred Huawei from supplying core equipment to major US carriers on the pretext of threat to national security. Hence the Chinese technology company currently has very limited presence in the US. Nevertheless, Huawei's technology has found its way into the US network because Verizon buys telecommunications equipment that uses the Chinese company's technology from other vendors. Some of that equipment, according to Huawei, doesn't have cross-license agreements.
Huawei claims it has been trying to negotiate royalty payments with Verizon “for a significant period of time” but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement.
A Figment of Imagination
Vernacular social networking app, ShareChat after gaining immense popularity in the Indian market is now eyeing to enter the fantasy sports market.
ShareChat has reportedly developed a fantasy sports app - Jeet11, which allows betting on cricket and football matches. ShareChat has reportedly been testing the app for six months now and has over 120K registered users.
Since fantasy gaming apps aren’t allowed on Google Play Store, ShareChat is distributing Jeet11 via the website as Xiaomi’s GetApps app store. [TechCrunch]
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