QBiz: SC Upholds Insolvency Law; Maruti Suzuki Q3 Net Dips 17.2%

1. Supreme Court Upholds Insolvency Law in Entirety

The Supreme Court on Friday, 25 January, upheld the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, dismissing a challenge to several of its provisions. "We have upheld the insolvency code in its entirety," a bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman said.

The court, however, said the definition of related persons in the code must mean one who is connected to the business, and not relatives.

This comes as a setback to operational creditors and promoters of companies that have defaulted on their debts. They were seeking quashing of certain provisions in the code regarding voting rights, and an option to bid for companies by promoters of companies in debt default.

(Source: Livemint)

2. Maruti Suzuki Q3 Net Dips 17.2% to Rs 1,489 Crore

Net profit at Maruti Suzui India Ltd, India’s largest passenger vehicle manufacturer by sales, fell 17.2 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) in the December quarter, the company said on Friday, 25 January, putting the result down to several negative factors coming together at once.

Net profit fell to Rs 1,489.30 crore from Rs 1,799 crore a year ago as retail automobile sales during the last festive season hit a six-year low amid increases in crude prices, insurance costs and high interest rates on vehicle loans.

The bottomline was also hit by high commodity and staff costs, as well as mounting expenses for marketing new vehicles launched during the quarter.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Zuckerberg Plans to Integrate WhatsApp, Insta & Facebook Messenger

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, plans to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger — asserting his control over the company’s sprawling divisions at a time when its business has been battered by scandals.

While all three services will continue operating as stand-alone apps, their underlying messaging infrastructure will be unified, the people said. Facebook is still in the early stages of the work and plans to complete it by the end of this year or in early 2020, they said.

Zuckerberg has also ordered all of the apps to incorporate end-to-end encryption, the people said.

(Source: The New York Times)

4. India Keeps off 75-Member WTO E-Comm Agreement Talks

A group of 75 countries announced its decision on Friday, 25 January, to launch negotiations on the trade-related aspects of e-commerce at the WTO, but India has decided to steer clear of the plurilateral talks.

“India will not even be an observer at the plurilateral negotiations at the moment. We do not think the time is right for the country to take on multilateral obligations in the area of e-commerce rules,” a government official told BusinessLine.

The announcement of the plan to start the e-commerce negotiations was made at the on-going World Economic Forum (WEF) meet in Davos. “We confirm our intention to commence WTO negotiations on the trade-related aspects of e-commerce,” said a joint statement of the 75 countries that include EU members, the US, China, Japan, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Peru, Myanmar, Nigeria and New Zealand.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

5. Essel Mining Puts in Highest Bid of Rs 450 Crore for Pro Minerals

Essel Mining & Industries, the unlisted unit of the $44.3-billion Aditya Birla Group, has emerged as the top bidder for Pro Minerals Pvt Ltd with an offer of about Rs 450 crore, a bid that would see banks getting a significant portion of their outstanding advances. \

Lenders led by Bank of Baroda voted for the Essel Mining plan that also involves some capital infusion, said two senior bankers aware of the development.

Pro Minerals has a one million tonne per annum iron-ore beneficiation plant and a one million tonne per annum pellet plant at Basantpur in Odisha. Bank of Baroda referred Pro Minerals to the bankruptcy court after it failed to repay its dues. Other lenders included State Bank of India, UCO Bank, Union Bank, and Axis Bank.

(Source: The Economic Times)

6. India on Way to Becoming 5th Largest Economy: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 25 January, said India is on the way to becoming the fifth largest economy in the world.

Speaking at the India-South Africa Business Summit, he said India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy and the government is committed to reforms that will further propel it.

At $2.6 trillion, the Indian economy is currently ranked sixth in the world behind the United States (US), China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK).

(Source: PTI)

7. New Plan for Jet's Recast on Anvil; Naresh Goyal's Stake May Go Below 20%

Within weeks of proposing a formula for restructuring the ailing private carrier Jet Airways, lenders — led by State Bank of India — are now working on a revised plan.

The new plan, which could possibly see Jet Founder Chairman Naresh Goyal’s stake go down below 20 percent from the current 51 percent, is likely to be finalised in the next two weeks, according to sources close to the development.

The earlier proposal had suggested diluting Goyal’s stake to around 25 percent.

(Source: Business Standard)

8. L&T Net Profit Surges 37% in December Quarter

Larsen & Toubro on Friday, 25 January, reported a 37 percent jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 2,041.62 crore for the third quarter ended December 2018, against Rs 1,489.98 crore in the year-ago period. Revenue jumped 24 percent to Rs 35,708.87 crore.

India’s biggest engineering and construction firm reported a net profit of Rs 1,489.98 crore and revenue of Rs 28,747.45 crore in the same period a year ago.

The consolidated order book of L&T totalled Rs 2,84,049 crore as at 31 December, 2018, up by 5 percent over December, 2017, of which international orders were 11 percent.

(Source: The Hindu Business Line)

9. Govt Awards 235 Routes Under UDAN Scheme, Seaplanes to Fly on 18 Routes

Seaplanes will fly on 18 air routes among the 235 routes awarded on Friday, 25 January, under the government's ambitious regional connectivity scheme that will also connect 16 unserved airports and six water aerodromes.

Announcing the awards of the third round of regional air connectivity scheme or UDAN, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said as many as 6.93 million seats would be added on an annual basis across the 235 routes. More than 100,000 seats would be through seaplanes.

Besides, the civil aviation ministry announced that SpiceJet would operate international flights under UDAN from Guwahati to Dhaka and Bangkok.

SpiceJet, IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services Ltd or Alliance Air, and Turbo Aviation are among the operators that have bagged the routes in the third round.

(Source: PTI)

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