Passengers stand in the doorways of train carriages as the train arrives at Sewri railway station in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

BQuick On April 30: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

Introducing Election Soundtrack, a daily podcast that’ll get you up to speed with everything that you need to know about Elections 2019.

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

1. NSE Co-Location Case: SEBI Order

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India has ordered India’s leading stock exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd., to disgorge Rs 1,000 crore for having violated Stock Exchanges and Clearing Corporation regulations.

  • The case pertains to allegations that the NSE gave preferential access to some co-location clients thereby giving them a trading advantage.
  • SEBI said, in an order published today, that it didn’t find sufficient evidence to conclude that NSE committed fraudulent and unfair trade practice but it has been established beyond doubt that the exchange did not exercise requisite due diligence while putting in place tick-by-tick architecture.
  • This amounted to a violation of SECC Regulations that provide for equal, fair and transparent access to all persons.

Former executives Ravi Narain and Chitra Ramkrishna have been asked to disgorge salaries.

2. RCom Enters Bankruptcy... Again

Former Billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd. will fall back into bankruptcy as an appeals court allowed the beleaguered company’s request to enter the process in an attempt to sell assets.

  • The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal allowed RCom to withdraw its appeal against insolvency proceedings initiated last year and lifted interim orders that temporarily halted the bankruptcy case.
  • The moratorium on recovery of dues from RCom will continue.
  • Today’s order allowing RCom to be sent back to bankruptcy court is in accordance with the company’s plans.

The younger Ambani will look to sell telecommunications assets and airwave licenses through the insolvency.

3. 63 Moons-NSEL Merger Set Aside

The Supreme Court today set aside the merger of 63 Moons Technologies Ltd. with National Spot Exchange Ltd.

  • The top court bench headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman allowed the appeals filed against the Bombay High Court order which had earlier upheld the merger.
  • The merger was a first of its kind where the central government had passed the order for merger of the NSEL companies in February 2016, saying that the merger was in public interest.
  • The order by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs was challenged in the Bombay High Court. The Bombay High Court had upheld the order in December 2017 while granting a 12-week stay on the merger for appeals to be filed against the order.

Here’s how the Supreme Court decided on the matter.

Also read: Ness Wadia Sentenced For Possession Of Drugs In Japan

4. Strong Quarter For Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.’s profit grew at its fastest pace in at least eight quarters, driven by strong loan growth.

  • Net profit rose 25 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,408 crore.
  • Net interest income, or core income of the lender, rose 18 percent to Rs 3,048 crore.
  • The bank’s profit was aided by a 21 percent rise in total advances to Rs 2,05,695 crore.

However, bad loan ratio rose slightly.

5. Indian Markets Flat, U.S. Stocks Drop

Indian equity benchmarks ended largely unchanged after the gains in HDFC Bank Ltd. and Infosys Ltd. were negated by Yes Bank Ltd.’s 30-percent fall.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex ended flat at 39,031.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 Index closed at 11,748, down 6 points.
  • The broader market index represented by the NSE 500 Index ended 0.26 percent lower.
  • Seven out of 11 sectoral gauges compiled by NSE ended lower.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

BQuick On April 30: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

U.S. stocks pared their monthly rally after a news report that punitive tariffs pose an obstacle in trade talks between the world’s two largest economies.

  • Traders also assessed a mixed bag of earnings. Disappointing results from Alphabet Inc. to Samsung Electronics Co.’s weighed on technology shares, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average outperformed on better-than-estimated numbers from Pfizer Inc.
  • The U.S. dollar and Treasuries were little changed on the eve of the Federal Reserve decision.
  • Oil rose as Saudi Arabia signaled OPEC and its allies could extend supply cuts to the end of the year.

Get your daily fix of global markets here.

6. What Reliance Jio InvIT Offers

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. hived off most of its fibre assets and towers into an infrastructure investment trust to reduce debt, hoping that investors seeking a piece of its telecom bet will find it lucrative.

  • It retained some strategically important assets, such as last mile-fibre and electronic items.
  • Together, these assets were part of its 100 percent subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., - the disruptor that unleashed the cheap data boom in the world’s second-largest telecom market.

Does the InvIT present an attractive investment opportunity for investors?

7. Private Banks Playing It Safe

The clutch of once-aggressive private lenders in India are slowly pivoting towards safer businesses and improved profitability as they start to recover from a grueling bad loan cycle.

  • The three private lenders — ICICI Bank Ltd., Axis Bank Ltd. and Yes Bank Ltd. — which were the worst impacted by asset quality troubles have all seen leadership changes in the past 12 months and are now beginning to set strategy for a new lending cycle.
  • While the fine-print of each bank’s strategy may differ, the new managements at each of these lenders have suggested a more cautious approach to large corporate loans while focusing on lending to retail clients and small businesses.
  • Yes Bank, now headed by former Deutsche Bank veteran Ravneet Gill, is the latest to articulate its shift in priorities.

The shift, analysts said, will be not be painless.

8. Dealer Survey: Cement Prices Jump

Cement prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in April even as companies in the southern region cut prices due to excessive supply, according to a BloombergQuint dealer survey.

  • All-India prices rose by Rs 19 for a 50-kilogram bag to Rs 361, the highest jump in at least over a year, BloombergQuint’s interaction with 13 dealers across five regions showed.
  • The prices were mainly driven by demand seen in central and north India.
  • The uptrend is expected to continue for the month of May as most contractors complete their projects ahead of the monsoon, cement industry expert Sanjay Ladiwala said.

The trend may reverse with the onset of the monsoon.

Also read: BQSurvey: Auto Sales Expected To Fall In April 

9. L&T Completes Buying 20% Stake In Mindtree

Larsen & Toubro Ltd. has acquired a 20 percent stake in Mindtree Ltd. through a block deal on the stock exchange.

  • Nearly 3.28 crore shares changed hands at Rs 976 apiece on the BSE Ltd. in pre-market session, Bloomberg data showed.
  • Earlier, L&T had agreed to acquire the Cafe Coffee Day Group’s stake at Rs 976 per share.
  • The group’s owner VG Siddhartha, along with its entities, sold their holdings through a block deal window, people aware of the development said on condition of anonymity.

After the block deal, L&T Group will seek approval for the open offer.

10. Rahul Gandhi’s Citizenship Questioned

The Home Ministry has served a notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, asking him to clarify his "factual position" on a complaint questioning his citizenship status, within a fortnight.

  • In a letter, the Home Ministry said it has received a representation from Bharatiya Janata Party’s Subramanian Swamy, in which it has been brought out that a company named Backops Ltd. was registered in the U.K. in 2003 with Gandhi as one of its directors.
  • The Home Ministry said Swamy's letter also mentioned that in the British company's annual returns filed on Oct. 10, 2005 and Oct. 31, 2006, Gandhi’s date of birth has been given as June 19, 1970 and had declared his nationality as British.