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Top 10 biz headlines: 200k auto jobs lost, pharma CEOs take pay cut & more

From India Inc hoping for an improvement in the second half to Jio and Airtel competing for RCom assets, here are the top 10 business headlines on Monday

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Insolvency and Bankrutcy code IBC

1) Govt moves SC to make NCLT judges stick to deadline for resolving cases

The government has sought the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) approval to frame rules for making judges of the Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) accountable in ensuring corporate insolvency cases are disposed of in time.

In the latest amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), the government has made it mandatory for all corporate insolvency procedures, including litigation, to be wrapped up in 330 days. The Bill, passed in both Houses of Parliament, has put the onus on the NCLT Benches to increase their productivity. (Read more here)

2) CEOs bank on festive cheer; India Inc hopes for improvement in second half

While top India Inc leaders have raised concerns about the economy in the past week, a large number of chief executive officers (CEOs) expect growth to improve around the festival season, starting next month, due to falling interest rates, increased government spending in social schemes, and infrastructure projects. This would positively impact consumer demand, they said.

Last week, three stalwarts of Corporate India, Housing Development Finance Corporation Chairman Deepak Parekh, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, and Larsen & Toubro Chairman A M Naik warned about the present state of the economy. (Read more here)

3) 200,000 jobs lost in 3 months across auto dealerships, says FADA

Around two lakh jobs have been cut across automobile dealerships in India in the last three months as vehicle retailers take the last resort of cutting manpower to tide over the impact of the unprecedented sales slump, according to industry body FADA.

With no immediate signs of recovery, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) feared that the job cuts may continue with more showrooms being shut in the near future and sought immediate government intervention such as reduction of GST to provide relief to the auto industry. (Read more here)

4) Embassy may call off stake-purchase deal with Indiabulls Real Estate

The proposed stake-purchase deal between Embassy Property Developments and Indiabulls Real Estate (IBREL) may be called off, it is learnt. According to the earlier agreement, Embassy was supposed to buy an additional 14 per cent stake in IBREL from its promoter Sameer Gehlaut and his group companies, following the first tranche of 14 per cent it acquired in June.

The second tranche was expected to conclude in six-eight weeks. Sources in the know said this transaction was unlikely to go through. (Read more here)

5) Nilesh Gupta to Dilip Shanghvi, most pharma CEOs took a pay cut in FY19

As the pharmaceutical sector is going through a slow growth phase, be it in the US market or the Indian domestic market, chief executives (CEOs) of the top drug firms either have taken a pay cut or have taken home a flat package in 2018-19.

The country’s largest drug firm, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which battled allegations of questionable corporate governance practices through the year, saw its founder and managing director (MD) Dilip Shanghvi take home a Rs 1 salary in FY19 apart from perquisites of Rs 262,000, a 99 per cent pay cut. (Read more here)

6) DST may back PhonePe’s $1-bn raise

Marquee investors such as DST Global, Ribbit Capital, Falcon Edge, Green Oaks and China's Hillhouse Capital have had discussions with PhonePe to invest in its independent fund-raise, which is expected to be $1 billion in size, the Times of India reported on Monday.

Sources familiar with the development told the daily that these investors were looking to back Walmart-owned Flipkart's payments platform and had held multiple rounds of talks with the Bengaluru-based company.

7) Jio, Airtel to compete for RCom assets

Around a dozen companies, including Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm and Sunil Mittal's Bharti Airtel, have shown interest in the assets of bankrupt Reliance Communications (RCom) and its Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel units, the Economic Times on Monday reported, while citing people in the know.

The sources told the financial daily that private equity firms, asset management companies and telecom tower operators had also submitted expressions of interest.

8) Coffee tycoon Siddhartha repaid all loans, had no dues: Tata Capital

Amid talk of financial stress driving founder V G Siddhartha to allegedly end his life, the coffee tycoon had repaid all the loans taken from Tata Capital Financial Services (TCFS) and has no outstanding dues to the entity.

According to TCFS, it had a maximum exposure of Rs 165 crore to Caf Coffee Day (CCD) group in FY2017-18, and that the entire amount had been repaid by March 2019. (Read more here)

9) Ikea plans to set up smaller format stores this year, decides to go online

Swedish giant Ikea is coming to a neighbourhood near you soon. As part of a major change in its strategy, the company is scouting for locations in Mumbai to set up five to six smaller format stores. These smaller outlets will offer a more limited array of products and services.

The stores will be in the range 50,000-150,000 square feet, one-third to a tenth of the size of their flagship stores, which go up to 500,000 square feet. The Navi Mumbai store is over 400,000 square feet. (Read more here)

10) L&T board charged in pothole death case

Five years after a three-year-old boy died in an accident caused by a pothole, the Faridabad police has named all the directors of Larsen & Toubro, including the chairman and its two independent directors, in its chargesheet, reported the Times of India on Monday. According to the report, the chargesheet has been submitted to a local court, which has issued notices to all of them, and the case is to be heard on Friday.

According to the daily, the case dates back to February 10, 2014, when Pavitra (3) lost his life on NH-2 while travelling with his parents on a motorcycle. His father, Manoj Wadhwa, had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court to fix responsibility on the NHAI and agencies involved in road widening and maintenance.

First Published: Mon, August 05 2019. 07:49 IST