Top News Today: SEBI Eases Norms for FPIs, Amazon Hyderabad Campus, Zomato Gold to be Amended

 

SEBI eases norms for FPIs in a bid to boost investments. After days of protests, #LogOut movement ends with Zomato, Swiggy, Dineout etc. promising to stop deep discounts. Zomato Gold to be amended to avoid misuse. Amazon opens its biggest campus – and it’s in India. Amazon India looks to boost involvement and exports. Thyssenkrupp says it will file complaint against EU decision to block its venture with Tata Steel. Dept of Telecom asks Airtel-Tata Tele merger to be put on hold.

 

Moving on to top Business news of the day:

 

 REGULATIONS 
 
SEBI eases norms for FPIs in a bid to boost investments. 
 
Easing Out: In a bid to boost investments, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has eased regulatory and compliance norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPI).
 

This includes broad-basing the classification of FPIs, simplifying their registration and Know Your Client (KYC) requirements, among others.
 

Further, FPIs will also be permitted off-market transfer of securities that are unlisted, suspended or illiquid, to a domestic or foreign investor. 
 

It has additionally introduced an ‘informant mechanism’ to gather better evidence and crack down on insider-trading cases.
 

A deep dive into the matter here.
 

Shashi At RBI: Amidst political uncertainty and a slowing economy, it seems that the Central Bank has also resorted to convoluted language. 
 

In the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting published on Wednesday, MPC member Chetan Ghate said "estimates of economic growth in India have unfortunately been subject to a fair degree of floccinaucinihilipilification. Notwithstanding this, growth is likely to pick up."
 

Confused? Read more here.
 
 
 M&A 
 
Thyssenkrupp says it will file complaint against EU decision to block its venture with Tata Steel. Dept of Telecom asks Airtel-Tata Tele merger to be put on hold.
 
Bring It On, Brussels: Thyssenkrupp said it will file a complaint to the General Court of the European Union after its planned joint venture with Tata Steel was blocked. The European Commission had vetoed the plans fearing that it would hurt competition by creating the continent’s second-largest steelmaker. 

 
Merger Denied: Meanwhile, In India, the Department of Telecom asked the Registrar of Companies to put the Bharti Airtel-Tata Teleservices merger on hold since it is yet to grant its approval for the same. This merger was announced in 2017 and was reported as complete in July 1.
 

The DoT says it will go to the Supreme Court to challenge the merger, which could delay passage of the high-profile deal.
 
 
 FOOD DELIVERY 
 
After days of protests, #LogOut movement ends with Zomato, Swiggy, Dineout etc. promising to stop deep discounts. Zomato Gold to be amended to avoid misuse.
 
 
What: In the past few days, the restaurant industry has enagaged in a coordinated campaign against food service aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy, Nearbuy, Dineout, EazyDiner, and Magicpin. 
 
 
Why: Their grievances are many, but chiefly have to do with these companies’ deep  discounts. As anyone who has ordered food online knows, food delivery apps have an obsession with offering steep discounts to stay competitive. 
 
 
These discounts/cashbacks/BOGO offers are reportedly funded by the restaurant industry and not the aggregators. Additional complaints are the steep commissions demanded, miscommunication, lack of transparency, one-sided contracts, and threats to downgrade restaurants if they refuse to adhere to discount policies. 
 

Action & Reaction: 
Industry trade bodies launched a #LogOut movement on August 18. 1,200+ restaurants pulled of food tech platforms to protest deep discounting. In response, the food tech companies agreed to alter their features to “detox customers from addiction of deep discounts”. 
 

Gold No Mo’: Zomato faced the most wrath. Its Zomato Gold programme has elicited a lot of discontent amongst restaurants, which offer subscribers 1+1 on food and 2+2 on drinks under the scheme. To prevent misuse of the feature, Zomato has agreed to limit its usage to one unlock per day and act against multiple users sharing the same account.
 
 
 
 AMAZON 

Amazon opens its biggest campus – and it’s in India. Amazon India looks to boost involvement and exports.
 
 
Campus Diaries: Amazon has opened its largest campus yet – and it’s in India. Its 9.5 acre 1.8mn sq ft of office space in Hyderabad will house 15,000 employees. A third of the e-commerce giant’s 62,000 employees in India are based in the city. The campus, built in a record time of about three years, houses 290 conference rooms, 49 elevators, an entire floor for recreation, and a helipad.
 
 
Betting Big on India: Meanwhile, Amazon is betting big on India. Despite talk of economic slowdown, the company says it won’t get distracted by “short-term” developments. Saying there’s much room to grow, Amazon’s India manager added that it wants to boost exports of Indian products from the present $1bn to $5bn in the next three years.
 
 
 WORLD 

Germany issues zero-percent 30-year bond for first time. Alibaba postpones Hong Kong listing due to massive ongoing pro-democracy protests. Companies are finding it difficult to quit China for Vietnam.
 
 
Zero Hero: For the first time, Germany has sold a zero-percent 30-year bond. This means that Berlin will not make any interest payments to those buying the bond until it matures in August 2050. Thus investors have an option to place their money in a long-term safe-haven asset for three decades at a time when the global economy is rocked by uncertainties. More details here.
 
 
Jack Nah: China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba was set to list in Hong Kong in late August. But it will delay the listing on account of the massive protests that have been taking place in the special administrative region. The pro-democracy protests have continued unabated for about 11 weeks, sparked by a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed Beijing to extradite “fugitives” to mainland China to be tried under Chinese law.   
 
 
Bye Bye, Beijing; Hello, Hanoi: The trade war is forcing companies that have for years relied on China as a manufacturing hub to diversify to other shores – in particular, Vietnam. But duplicating supply chains that took decades to build is no simple task. This means quitting China is something companies are finding impossible.
 
 
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