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Top business headlines: Vodafone's India crisis, retail inflation, and more

From Supreme Court striking down amended Finance Act rules for tribunals to SpiceJet second quarter loss, Business Standard brings you the top business headlines for the day

BS Web Team 

Big adversities and some mistakes: The story of Vodafone's fall in India

1. Govt wants telcos to clear AGR dues in 3 months; relief package in works

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has started the initial process of claiming its dues from telcos, directing them to pay up in accordance with the Supreme Court’s October 24 order, under which they have been given three months to fulfil their obligations.

The letter to the telcos points out that it is the responsibility of the licensees to pay after carrying out their own assessment as prescribed in the licence agreement. Read more.

2. Govt objects to Voda CEO's comments on India JV being pushed to liquidation

The central government has objected to the reported comments of Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone, that the India unit of the telecom major was headed for liquidation due to, among other factors, the Supreme Court decision requiring payment of Rs 28,300 crore as spectrum dues. According to media reports, Union Telecom and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad spoke to Vodafone Idea Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla to express displeasure.

Vodafone Plc, the parent entity, says its chief's comments were taken “out of context”, presenting an incorrect picture. Read more.

3. Liquidation of Voda-Idea may mean $1.7-trillion hit for shareholders

Shareholders of Vodafone Idea will lose Rs 1.68 trillion of their equity investment in the event of liquidation under the burden of mounting financial liabilities. Of this, nearly Rs 99,000 crore is the cumulative equity investment by the company shareholders, including the AV Birla group and Vodafone Plc, over the years, and the balance is the reinvested earnings of the company. Read more.

4. At 4.6% in Oct, breaches RBI comfort level after 15 months

Consumer prices rose at 4.6 per cent in October, the fastest rate since June last year, reflecting that vegetables and pulses have become more expensive in the country.

This is an inch above the median 4 per cent target set by the Reserve Bank of India under its inflation-targeting framework. Read more.

5. Future group ties up with US food major Dole for packaged food distribution

The Kishore-Biyani-led Future Group on Wednesday said it had entered into a distribution agreement with American food major Dole, the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables. The partnership will see the retail major distribute the packaged food products of Dole by December-January at its outlets in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru in the first phase, Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president, Dole Packaged Food Worldwide, said in a conversation. Read more.

6. Supreme Court strikes down amended rules for tribunals

The Supreme Court passed an interim order on Wednesday that said appointments to tribunals would be on the basis of existing laws governing the relevant sectors, and not on the basis of rules framed under the of 2017.

The five-judge Constitution Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta, and Sanjiv Khanna, also ordered that the validity of the passage of the 2017 as Money Bill should be decided by a larger Bench. Read more.

7. Riding the wave of online sales, smartphone shipments continue to surge

Despite country-wide agitations by traders against the alleged unfair practices by e-commerce giants, shipments of smartphones continue to surge — riding on the astounding growth in online sales.

Amid the protests against leading e-commerce firms, Flipkart and Amazon, shipments through the online route in fact witnessed a double-digit growth every quarter. Data from analyst firms like IDC India and Counterpoint Research show that shipments through the online channel grew by a whopping 28.3 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in the quarter ended September. Read more.

8. reports Rs 462-crore loss in Sep quarter on higher costs

on Wednesday reported a loss of Rs 462 crore for the September quarter, its first quarterly loss during the current financial year. This was on the back of higher costs during a seasonally weak quarter.

The numbers could havebeen worse, if the Rs 171-crore compensation from aircraft manufacturer Boeing wasn’t accounted for — a component that was contested by the airline’s auditor. Read more.

9. Big aim for as it eyes break-even across top 10 cities in FY20

Online grocer is expecting to break even at an operational level in the top 10 metro cities this financial year. The Alibaba-backed company, which competes with Grofers and the grocery arms of Amazon and Flipkart, operates in 26 cities, though 80 per cent of its revenues come from the top 10 metros. Read more.

10. Chinese Breathe Life into Local Auto Mart

At a time when mainstream carmakers slow down on investments in the country, Chinese companies may save the blushes for the Indian auto industry which, till recently, was considered one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

At least half a dozen Chinese vehicle makers are expected to pump in about $5 billion over the next three-five years along with their vendor-partners to make inroads into the Indian market as their local market staggers, reported Economic times. While MG Motor and BYD continue to invest in India, the likes of Great Wall Motors, Changan and Beiqi Foton are slated to commit investments in local manufacturing.

11. faces fresh audit into complaints by whistleblower

Ltd’s statutory auditor, BSR & Co., has sought a fresh audit into whistleblower complaints levelled against the bank and its founder Rana Kapoor after a special audit done by JLN US & Co. turned out to be inconclusive, a person familiar with the matter told Livemint.

The audit committee of Yes Bank’s board had ordered the special audit into the whistleblower’s complaints received in September 2018. The whistleblower had raised allegations of irregularities in the bank’s operations, potential conflict of interests in relation to Kapoor and misclassification of bad loans.

First Published: Thu, November 14 2019. 06:51 IST