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News digest: Rafale deal, RBI board meet, Fortis-IHH deal, and more

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das chaired his first board meeting, discussing issues ranging from governance at the central bank to liquidity in the financial system

BS Web Team 

nirmala sitharaman, sitharaman, arun jaitley, jaitley

sees no wrongdoing in deal, rules out probe

Vindicating the position of the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the on Friday said there was “no occasion to really doubt” the procurement process of 36 fighter jets “even if minor deviations have occurred”.

The had accused Modi of malfeasance in the deal. The three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said after perusing the material provided by the government and having interacted with Air Force officers, the court did not see any reason as to why it should intervene in “the sensitive issue of the purchase of 36 defence aircraft by the Indian government”. Read more

RBI board reviews economy and liquidity, to hold talks on governance

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor chaired his first board meeting on Friday, discussing issues ranging from governance at the central bank to liquidity in the financial system.

The board did not arrive at any decision but held extensive discussions on the governance structure in the RBI and the liquidity situation of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) — two key areas of concern flagged by the finance ministry recently, sources said. Read more

Fragile coalition can't undertake reforms, says FM Arun Jaitley

Amid speculation about opposition unity after the snatched three states from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Finance Minister on Friday defended the strong leadership of the Narendra Modi government and said “fragile coalitions” could not take stable policy decisions and pursue reforms.

“...You need a decisive leadership, you can’t have fragile coalitions because at the end of the day if one partner says I can pull down the government if you don't declare my state as special status, then those worse off can even say, why not me? And you would have half a dozen wanting special status,” he said at the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

The Telugu Desam Party broke away from the ruling Democratic Alliance over the issue of special status to the state in the aftermath of the creation of Telangana. Read more

SBI orders forensic audit of Jet's accounts from April 2014 to March 2018

The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has ordered a forensic audit of Jet Airways’ accounts. The audit, ordered last week, is being carried out by consultancy firm EY.

Jet is looking for fresh funds from banks and is in discussion with SBI to convert loans into equity and this would depend upon outcome of the audit. The airline has a debt of Rs 82 billion.

The audit is being carried out after a complaint of financial irregularities. The exact details, however, could not be ascertained. The audit period will be April 2014 to March 2018. Read more

SC puts Fortis-IHH deal on hold as Daiichi alleges fresh encumbrances

In a major setback for Fortis Healthcare, the (SC) on Friday ordered that the status quo be maintained with respect to the stake sale of the beleaguered hospital chain to Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad.

Hearing a contempt petition moved by Daiichi Sankyo, the apex court issued notices to Indiabulls Housing Finance, Indiabulls Ventures, Oscar Investments, and RHC Holding. Following the news, shares of Fortis fell as much as 14 per cent, but partially recovered later to close at Rs 141.5 apiece, down 6.7 per cent.

Sources in Fortis, however, indicated that the hospital major, now backed by IHH, might move a review petition in the SC soon. The court reopens on January 2 after the winter break. The Fortis-IHH deal, as a result, will be on hold till the matter comes up before the court. Read more

Investment bankers' fee pool rises to 21% to $321 mn in 2018

have taken home more money this year than they did in 2017, a record-breaking year for equity issuances. According to the Thomson Reuters data, the so-called equity capital market (ECM) fee pool has risen 21 per cent year-on-year to $321 million in 2018, despite equity issuances dropping 44 per cent to $15.8 billion from $28.3 billion last year. Industry players said deals this year were more lucrative compared to last year, which was dominated by big-ticket issuances from the government sector, where fees are near zero. Read more

First Published: Sat, December 15 2018. 02:57 IST