BQuick On August 27: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes
Power lines hang from a transmission tower on Torrens Island, Australia. (Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg)

BQuick On August 27: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes

This is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.

1. Setback For Debt-Ridden Power Companies

Lenders will be allowed to initiate insolvency proceedings against power producers, which didn’t get an interim relief from the Allahabad High Court against the Reserve Bank of India’s stricter debt resolution framework.

  • Private power producers wanted the RBI to allow special relief as the central bank’s Feb. 12 circular laid down strict timelines for initiating insolvency proceedings.
  • However, at today’s hearing, the high court said that it will pass no interim order at this stage, and that petitioners are free to approach the court separately after putting the matter and facts on record.
  • The court also asked the central government to begin a consultation process with the RBI under Section 7 of the RBI Act, which gives the government broad powers to direct the RBI in public interest.

Read more on the impact of Allahabad High Court’s orders.

2. Adani Nears Acquisition Of GMR Power Plant

Billionaire Gautam Adani’s energy unit is nearing a deal to acquire a 1,370-megawatt thermal power plant backed by GMR Infrastructure Ltd., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

  • Adani Power Ltd. will take over about Rs 3,800 crore of loans out of a total of Rs 5,800 crore that GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Ltd. owes.
  • Adani Power will also assume non-funded liabilities of about Rs 1,400 crore.

Here’s the likely timeline for the deal.

3. Record Highs All Around

Indian equity benchmarks clocked their best single-day gains in over two months to resume the record-breaking run.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 1.16 percent or 442 points to 38,694.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 Index climbed 1.17 percent or 135 points to 11,692.
  • All 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE ended higher led by the S&P BSE Utilities Index’s 2.4 percent gain.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

U.S. stocks added to all-time highs, joining a global equity rally on speculation the Federal Reserve’s tightening policies won’t stymie growth in the world’s largest economy.

  • The S&P 500 Index rose a second day after closing Friday at a record for the first time since January.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude gained less than 0.05 percent to $68.75, the highest in over three weeks.
  • The euro increased 0.1 percent to the strongest in more than three weeks.

Get your fix of global markets here.

4. Jet Airways Reports A Loss For The Second Straight Quarter

Jet Airways (India) Ltd., which had deferred announcing its results, reported a loss for the second straight quarter, hurt by surging fuel costs, competitive fares and foreign exchange loss.

  • The Naresh Goyal-led carrier reported a Rs 1,323-crore loss for the first quarter ended June compared with a Rs 54-crore profit in the year-ago period.
  • Analyst estimates compiled by BloombergQuint had pegged the loss at Rs 495 crore. Jet Airways had posted a Rs 1,036-crore loss in the previous quarter.
  • Revenue rose 6.4 percent year-on-year to Rs 6,010 crore. That was lower than the estimated Rs 6,323 crore.
  • Ebitdar loss stood at Rs 382 crore.

Jet also outlined cost reduction plans.

5. Sun Pharma Faces Surprise U.S. FDA Inspection

The U.S. drug regulator is said to have started a surprise inspection at Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s Halol unit in Gujarat, three people with knowledge of the matter told BloombergQuint requesting anonymity.

  • A team of four inspectors of the U.S. FDA are inspecting the plant and examining records, according to one of three persons quoted above.
  • The exact reason why these officials initiated the inspection was not known.
  • The company refused to comment on an email sent by BloombergQuint seeking confirmation of the development.
  • The Halol unit in June had received an ‘establishment inspection report’ from the regulator post an inspection earlier this year, paving the way for its first drug approval in five years from the plant.

Read more about the surprise inspection.

6. Warren Buffett Prepares To Sign Into Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s Paytm

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is set to pick up a stake in One97 Communications Ltd., the parent of homegrown digital payments firm Paytm, according to a person familiar with the matter.

  • One97 Communications will raise an amount of about $300-350 million dollars as part of the transaction, the person said.
  • The Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm has been in talks with Buffet for a few months now. Earlier in the day, Mint reported that the deal has been struck at a valuation of $10-12 billion.

Read more about Buffett’s first foray into the Indian startup universe.

Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.,  at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg)
Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/Bloomberg)

7. SEBI Vs Brokers: Who Will Certify Investor Networth?

Market regulator’s proposal to limit equity and derivative market exposure to the networth of an investor has run into a logistical hurdle. Brokers don’t want the onus of certifying client networth.

  • In a meeting earlier this month, brokers’ associations told Securities and Exchange Board of India that networth determination should be left to chartered accountants or self-certification by the investor.
  • SEBI is not convinced. It wants brokers to take on the responsibility.
  • The regulator is also mulling the right way to determine networth by including income data.

Here’s what the deadlock is all about.

8. SpiceJet Makes Maiden Flight Using Blended Bio Fuel

SpiceJet Ltd. today completed its maiden flight using a blend of aviation fuel and oil from jatropha seeds, furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for greater use of alternative resources to cut India’s dependence on oil imports.

  • A Bombardier Q400 aircraft made the one-way trip to New Delhi from the city of Dehradun.
  • The private airline plans to blend a quarter of its energy requirement with bio fuel for flight operations, that would lower costs and help reduce carbon emissions by 15 percent, SpiceJet said Monday in a statement.
This fuel is also clean, it creates less noise pollution, it creates far less carbon footprint, in fact it creates zero emission of greenhouse gases.
Ajay Singh, Managing Director, SpiceJet

Here’s more on SpiceJet’s first bio fuel flight.

9. Apple To Embrace iPhone X Design In Three New Phones

Apple Inc. is not only doubling down on the iPhone X, it’s tripling down. The company plans to launch three new phones soon that keep the edge-to-edge screen design of last year’s flagship, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • The devices will boast a wider range of prices, features and sizes to increase their appeal.
  • However, none of the three iPhones will be wholly new designs like the iPhone X was last year.
  • The company is planning more significant changes for the next year.

Read more on Apple's plans.

10. Read Down Section 377, Don’t Delete It Entirely

BQuick On August 27: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes

Noted activist Pinki Virani writes to India’s Supreme Court – says IPC Section 377 should not be fully struck down, raises heterosexual male rights and requests definition of ‘explicit consent’ for anal sex among adults.

  • The tough, gender-neutral Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act is applicable for children till they are under-18. The anti-rape law takes over for young-women from 18-plus. IPC Section 377 is the only law which would apply for young-men from 18-plus.
  • If IPC Section 377 is struck down in its entirety, at risk will be the largest population of Indians – the heterosexual male, age 18 and upwards.
  • If the Supreme Court is inclined to agree, by ordering that only a specific section of 377 be read down, it would rightly retain the constitutional validity of 377 by not discriminating against the larger.

More on Pinki Virani’s take on the IPC Section 377.

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