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No violation in rs 7,266 crore bid for Binani Cement under IBC: Ultratech

Aditya Birla group firm UltraTech Cement on said that it has not violated the IBC in offering a Rs 7,266 crore bid to acquire debt ridden Binani Cement (BCL), which was already set to be sold to the Dalmia Bharat group by its creditors.

UltraTech has announced to acquire BCL by providing Rs 7,266 crore to its parent company Binani Industries Ltd (BIL) against bid of Rs 6,350 crore along with 20 per cent equity in BCL by Rajputana Properties, a part of Dalmia Bharat group, approved by the resolution professional (RP).

“We are fully compliant with IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code). We have submitted our bid. We are allowed to revise our bids. IBC says maximise value and if the banker is getting higher amount of money before they have taken a decision, then they should take a decision with their eyes open,” UltraTech Cement CFO Atul Daga told PTI.

He further added that the company is “committed to honour” the amount which it has offered.

“We have filed it with NCLT, well before the Committee of Creditors (CoC) recommendation was put out, well before CoC filed their resolution plan bid with NCLT. Where we have gone wrong?,” Daga added.

He said UltraTech agreed to issue ‘comfort letter’ to provide Rs 7,266 crore in return for 98.43 per cent stake in Binani Cement after an approach from the owners of BCL.

“If they can take the company out of insolvency proceedings, we are happy to pay the same amount of money to buy the company and it has to be used to repay the debt. For that purpose they wanted a letter of comfort and we have given them a letter of comfort. I do not think that we have gone against IBC anyway,” Daga added.

Ahead of Chandrayaan-2 launch, government says ISRO looking at habitation on moon

India, which sent an orbiter to Mars at about 1/10th the cost of NASA’s Maven probe, is examining how to build habitations on the moon.

“ISRO, along with academic institutions, is doing experimentation on potential structures for lunar habitation,” Jitendra Singh, the junior minister for space, told lawmakers on Wednesday, referring to the Indian Space Research Organisation. “Various options are being studied about the requirements and complexities of habitats.”

India’s declaration — just ahead of Chandrayaan-2 mission, slated sometime in April– comes at a time when governments are looking at the moon for the first time in years. In the US, President Donald Trump requested almost $900 million in new funding for NASA moon missions, which include building a space station in lunar orbit by the mid-2020s. China this year plans to land a probe on the unexplored dark side of the moon, where radio signals from Earth can’t be received.

Singh’s answer was in response to a question on whether ISRO has started working on building “igloo-like habitats” on the lunar surface for potential future missions and is planning to use the Moon as an outpost such as those used for missions in Antarctica. The current study is “more towards futuristic developments,” Singh said in a written reply.

SC asks rcom to wait for approval of sale of assets to reliance Jio

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday directed Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom) to maintain status quo on sale of the company’s assets to elder brother Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio). The court said that the sale will be subject to its final order, which effectively means that the deal cannot be finalised without SC approval.

The apex court bench, comprising Justices A K Goel, R F Nariman and U U Lalit, refused to lift the stay ordered by Bombay High Court on R-Com asset sale. The top court will hear pleas from the consortium of banks and RCom against stay of assets sale by HC on April 5. On December 28, 2017 the debt-laden RCom had announced the sale of its wireless spectrum, tower, fiber and media convergence node (MCN) assets to Jio, as a resolution plan to reduce the company’s debts by Rs 39,000 crore. On March 8, the Bombay high court rejected RCom’s appeal against an order of an arbitration tribunal barring the sale or transfer of its assets without prior permission. The order was passed in a proceeding initiated by Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson for recovery of Rs1,012 crore of arrears from RCom.

On Wednesday, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) also went to the top court challenging the tribunal’s order. SBI argued that as a secured lender, its claim took precedence over others. Apart from SBI, 24 other Indian lenders constitute the Joint Lenders Fora, including Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Dena Bank, Corporation Bank, Union Bank, United Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and Barclays Bank. RCom’s total dues to SBI as on 28 February stood at Rs 4,027 crore.

TIMES PRO LEAGUE: corporates’ find best way to beat the office stress

They say ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy’. This is pertinent in today’s world when hectic work life and tedious lifestyles take a toll on physical activities and health in general.

Adding a pinch of excitement to the stressful corporate lives, TimesJobs conceived a series of innovative corporate Cricket matches titled – ‘TIMES PRO LEAGUE’ – to encourage cricketing action among Indian corporates. Times Pro League (TPL) started its first set of matches on Feb 3, 2018 which finished recently and the series is headed for its final match now.

Incidentally, TPL is India’s biggest corporate cricket tournament. It saw enthusiastic participation from 32 teams belonging to corporate giants like PWC, American Express, GMR, Hike, Zee, Ericsson, AON Hewitt, Cognizant and HCL. These 32 teams were divided into eight groups, each constituting four teams. The organisers – TimesJobs – provided cricketing kits and branded colourful jerseys to all participating teams.

The sponsors include Cleo County, Ocean, Playbook, Decalthon, Ace Group, Red Tape and OPTM.

Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, Business Head, TimesJobs and TechGig is equally ecstatic about the upcoming finals. “Times Pro League was envisaged as an exclusive cricket tournament with the goal to bring together professionals from different work spaces, enabling them to display their cricketing talent and have extraordinary fun. Gladly, we saw a very encouraging participation from all teams and a camaraderie beyond what can be explained in words. I think that this is the biggest take away from Times Pro League,” he said.

Now, as the tournament heads for its mega finals, the finalists don’t want to leave any opportunity to grab the coveted title. Alok Ranjan, HRBP, HCL Infosystems and his team from HCL is practising relentlessly for the much awaited final match. “We are very excited to be in the finals. We would like to see a lot of supporters from the HCL podium at the finals,” he said.


Indian firms most concerned about rising protectionism: report

Firms in India are most concerned about rising protectionism across the world, which in turn is affecting cost of cross-border trade and international business, says a survey.

According to HSBC’s global survey, that covered 6,000 companies in 26 markets, nine in ten businesses in India feel governments are turning increasingly protectionist, more than the global average.

As per the survey titled ‘Navigator: Now, next and how for business’, three in five (61 per cent) of respondents globally think governments are becoming more protective of their domestic economies.

The rise in protectionism is leading to an increase in the cost of doing international business, altering trade routes and raising hurdles to obtaining trade finance, the survey said.

Other regions where the sentiment is strongest among companies are MENA (70 per cent) and Asia Pacific (68 per cent). In the USA, 61 per cent believe protectionism is on the rise, while in Europe, half (50 per cent) are seeing a rise in protectionist tendencies.

“An increase in protectionist sentiment is causing concerns about the cost of doing cross-border trade and international business,” said Rajat Verma, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC India.

Verma further noted companies are adapting to business plans and relationships to participate in shifting supply chains.

The strategies that companies adopt include increasing regional trade, establishing joint ventures or local subsidiaries in more markets and capitalising on trends in consumer demands and digital technologies.

Jewellery chain Kanishk gold defrauds 14 banks to tune of Rs 824.15 crore

In yet another bank fraud + , State Bank of India has requested the help of the CBI in January to investigate jewellery chain Kanishk Gold Pvt Ltd for loan fraud to the tune of Rs 824.15 crore.

Kanish, which has a registered office in T Nagar in Chennai, is owned by promoters and directors Bhoopesh Kumar Jain and his wife Neeta Jain. Bankers said they were unable to contact the couple. The CBI on Wednesday conducted searches at the official and residential premises of accused persons and Kanishk offices at various places in Chennai. CBI has registered a case. Sources said, “The accused people have been contacted and have been asked to join investigation.”

SBI was the lead bank in a consortium of 14 public and private sector lenders to give loans to Kanishk. In a letter dated January 25, 2018 to the CBI, SBI charged Kanishk with “manipulating records, shutting shop overnight.”

While the principle loaned is about Rs 824 crore, adding the interest due would indicate a loss of more than Rs 1,000 crore to the banks.

SBI was the first to declare the account fraudulent to the RBI on November 11, 2017. By January, all other members had declared the account as fraudulent to the regulator.

SBI said the jeweller first defaulted in March 2017 in interest payments to eight member banks. By April 2017, Kanishk stopped payments to all 14 banks. The bankers were unable to contact the promoter when it initiated its stock audit on April 5, 2017.

On May 25 2017, when bankers visited Kanishk’s corporate office, factory and showroom — the facilities were shut with no activity and stock.

On the same day, Bhoopesh Jain wrote a letter to his bankers admitting falsification of records and removal of stocks — secured as collateral to the lenders. Subsequent visits by the bankers to the other showrooms of the jeweller revealed that they had also been locked.

A representative from the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association said, “The company shut down as early as May 2017 since it couldn’t cope with the losses.”

SC asks Jaiprakash Associates Ltd to deposit Rs 200 crore by May 10

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the embattled realty firm Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) to deposit Rs 200 crore in two instalments by May 10.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked the real-estate major to deposit Rs 100 crore by April 6 and the rest by May 10.

The bench, comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, also asked the firm not to send any notices for default in payment of EMIs to home buyers who have opted for refund.

The top court asked JAL to submit a project-wise chart of home buyers seeking refund so that the amount can be dispersed on pro-rata basis.

“At present we are concerned with the refund and will take later the issue raised by home buyers who want delivery of flats,” the top court said.

Meanwhile, JAL informed the apex court that only eight per cent of 31,000 home buyers have opted for refund and the rest want possession of flats. The firm also told the court that it has received/sought occupation certificate with regard to 13,500 flats so far in 2017-18.

The firm had on January 25 deposited Rs 125 crore in the Supreme Court after being directed to do so to safeguard the interests of home buyers. The top court had on January 10 directed JAL, the holding firm of Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL), to provide details of its housing projects in the country, saying home buyers should either get their houses or their money back.

Sadbhav infra bags 2 road projects worth Rs 1,567.92 crore from NHAI

“The company has received letter of award from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for new hybrid annuity project in Andhra Pradesh. Project bid price is Rs 520.3 crore,” Sadbhav Infrastructure Project said in a BSE filing.

The project is for four lane connectivity to Visakhapatnam Port Road from 0.00 km to 12.700 km in Andhra Pradesh.

In a separate filing, the company said it has received letter of award from NHAI for new hybrid annuity project worth Rs 1,047.62 crore in Gujarat.

“The project is for upgradation to four lane with paved shoulder of Bhimasar Junction of NH-41 to Anjar- Bhuj up to Airport Junction from 0.00 km to 65.478 km of NH-341 in Gujarat,” the company said.

Shares of the company were trading 1.15 per cent lower at Rs 124.50 on BSE.

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