1. With $21 b, Premji Azim Among World’s Top Philanthropists
Azim Premji, India’s most generous billionaire, has announced a fresh bequest to his eponymous philanthropic initiative that boosts his total commitment to Rs 1.45 lakh crore ($21 billion), making it one of the five largest private endowments in the world and the biggest in Asia.
This has cemented the 73-year-old billionaire’s place alongside the world’s most influential philanthropists including Bill Gates, George Soros and Warren Buffett.
On Wednesday, Premji announced that all earnings from approximately 34 percent shares of India’s fourth-largest software services exporter Wipro – worth about Rs 52,750 crore – would be transferred to the endowment that supports the Azim Premji Foundation.
(Source: The Economic Times)
2. Startup Fund to Get Rs 3,000 Cr Financing Boost
India's flagship startup fund is set to get into high gear after a slow start with Rs 3,000 crore in financing lined up, said people with knowledge of the matter. Apart from this, funding commitments from long-term partners are being secured to the tune of Rs 16,680 crore, which can help accelerate deployment to startups.
“Disbursements have taken off,” said an official with knowledge of the fund’s activity.
The government also expects recent changes to further fuel funding requirements. It recently widened the definition of startups, making more entities eligible under the framework.
(Source: The Economic Times)
3. UK MPs Vote to Rule Out No-Deal Brexit ‘Under Any Circumstances’
British MPs have voted to reject the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place, a move set to delay the 29 March Brexit deadline.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had tabled a government motion against a no-deal Brexit within the 29 March deadline, which was passed by the House of Commons with a majority of 43 votes as 321 MPs backed it and 278 opposed it on Wednesday.
This would now require the Commons to pass a new vote, expected on Thursday, which will authorise May to go back to the EU and seek an extension to Article 50 the legal mechanism for Britain's exit from the union.
4. Goyal May Lose Control of Jet, But Eyes Deal for a Comeback
Naresh Goyal may soon lose his controlling stake in Jet Airways but is pushing for a deal that would allow him to make a comeback in the future.
According to sources, while Goyal’s stake in the airline will come down to 17 percent, he wants lenders and joint venture partner Etihad to leave the door open for him to buy back shares.
“The draft agreement between all parties has put a cap of 22 percent on promoter stake. Goyal wants the cap removed so that he can claw his way back once the financial crisis blows over,” said a source close to the development.
The draft agreement also has a non-compete clause which means Goyal will not be able to invest in any other airline or start a new venture in the same space for three years.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line)
5. SpiceJet to Seek Compensation From Boeing After Grounding 737 Max Aircraft
SpiceJet will seek compensation from Boeing and demand credit on maintenance, repair, and overhaul for the 12 grounded 737 MAX aircraft.
The airline, which had an aggressive expansion plan that banked on the delivery of the Boeing 737 Max, will now look to lease old planes.
SpiceJet had bet its fortunes heavily on the new version of the 737, of which it has 13 planes in its fleet and 192 on order. The fuel-efficient and longer range 737 MAX provided an opportunity for SpiceJet to control its cost and plan new foreign routes, the future of which looks uncertain now.
(Source: Business Standard)
6. Bank Margins May be Hit as New RBI Norms Push Firms to Bonds
Come 1 April, banks’ margins could come under pressure as the Reserve Bank of India’s stringent guidelines on corporate lending will see India Inc increasingly tap the bond market for its funding requirements.
In view of the guidelines, banks are expected to shift gears to cater to the demand for funds by stepping up investments in bonds issued by corporates.
What could nudge banks to re-work their credit growth strategy by upping their participation in the bond market, beginning FY 2020, are the two RBI guidelines pertaining to the ‘Loan System for Delivery of Bank Credit’ and ‘Enhancing Credit Supply for Large Borrowers through Market Mechanism’.
(Source: The Hindu Business Line)
7. NCLAT Reserves Order on RCom Plea to Release Income Tax Refunds
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday reserved its order on a petition by Reliance Communications which has approached the tribunal seeking the release of income tax refunds to clear dues of Ericsson.
Lenders of RCom have opposed the plea. After hearing both the sides, the NCLAT bench headed by Chairperson S J Mukhopadhyay reserved the order in the case.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal appearing for Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications appealed for payment to be made to Ericsson from the trust and retention account held by SBI under which assets of telecom firm have been mortgaged.
8. Rahul Bajaj Resigns as Bajaj Finserv Chairman
Bajaj Finserv on Wednesday said its Chairman and Non-Executive Director Rahul Bajaj has resigned and will take over as the Chairman Emeritus from May.
Bajaj, 80, vide a letter dated 15 February 2019, has tendered his resignation which will be effective from the conclusion of the board meeting scheduled for 16 May 2019, the company said in a regulatory filing. His appointment as Chairman Emeritus will be effective from 16 May 2019, it added.
“The board of directors has appointed Nanoo Pamnani as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the company in place of Rahul Bajaj, with effect from 17 May 2019,” it said.
9. Volkswagen to cut Workforce by 7,000 to Save 5.9 Billion Euros
Volkswagen’s main car brand plans to deepen cost cuts and axe more jobs as profits slip in the industry’s shift to electric and self-driving cars.
The German carmaker said on Wednesday it will eliminate as many as 7,000 positions – with measures including early retirement and not filling vacant positions – to achieve an annual profit gain of 5.9 billion euros ($6.7 billion) starting in 2023.
“We will significantly step up the pace of our transformation so as to make Volkswagen fit for the electric and digital era,” VW brand COO Ralf Brandstaetter said.
(Source: Financial Express)
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