BQuick On Dec. 20: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes
Panna Cotta | Brawn, London   

BQuick On Dec. 20: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

This is a roundup of the top stories of the day.

Psst: Today we also bring you a list of 16 dishes you should have eaten in 2018

1. Swiggy Gets Another $1 Billion (Rs 7,000 Crore)

Tencent Holdings Ltd. joined Naspers Ltd. in a $1 billion investment in Indian food delivery service Swiggy, which gains a potentially valuable ally in China’s largest social media and gaming company.

  • Naspers led the financing, which snagged new backers Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management in addition to existing investors DST Global, Meituan Dianping and Coatue.
  • The funding round, which Bloomberg reported on in October, marks Swiggy’s third for 2018 and largest to date. Naspers, Africa’s most valuable company, said it put up $660 million.
  • Swiggy is one of a clutch of fast-growing Indian startups capitalizing on rapid smartphone adoption across the country.
  • Its value was said to have risen to more than $2 billion after Cape Town-based Naspers led two previous funding rounds, becoming the firm’s biggest shareholder.

Here’s the full story - Swiggy has expanded to 42 additional cities in India since the previous funding.

Also read: Gujarat Tops India’s Startup Rankings

2. Angel Tax: Will The Wicked Consume The Righteous?

While on startups - as you know the issue of #AngelTax is back. Startups are ending up as collateral damage in a war against black money, write TV Mohandas Pai and Siddarth Pai.

  • What we’re witnessing is tax officers taking it upon themselves to value a company, like an investor would – without putting the requisite capital behind this themselves.
  • It is not the job of the tax department to dictate how a tax-paying citizen should invest his money or what value he sees in a startup.
  • India runs the risk of becoming a digital colony where the value generation lies within the country but the shareholder and value accretion is benefiting foreign nationals.

Must read this column - It is imperative that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself intervenes, they write.

3. Modi Wants To Pump $330 Million Into Air India

The union government sought Parliament’s approval for an equity infusion of Rs 2,300 crore ($330 million) in Air India, effectively ruling out an immediate revival of its plan to sell the ailing carrier.

  • Modi’s bid to turn the airline profitable under his watch comes after the government failed to find any takers for its ambitious plan to privatize the national airline.
  • Air India, which was offered along with $5 billion of its debt, is surviving on taxpayer bailouts after losing money for years.
  • The failed attempt to sell Air India -- Modi’s most high-profile privatization plan -- was a setback for prime minister’s effort to cement his credentials as a reformist steering the state away from running businesses ahead of an election due next year.

4. Indian Markets Snap Seven-Day Rally

Indian equity benchmarks snapped their seven-day winning streak after the Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs for the fourth time this year and indicated two more hikes next year.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.14 percent or 53 points to 36,432.
  • The NSE Nifty 50 Index declined 0.14 percent or 16 points to 10,952.
  • Twelve of 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE were ended lower led by the S&P BSE Telecom Index's 1.2 percent decline.
  • On the flipside, S&P BSE Industrials Index was top gainer, up 0.4 percent.

Follow the day’s trading action here.

Brent crude briefly fell below $55 a barrel in London for the first time in a year as an U.S. Federal Reserve interest-rate hike stoked demand fears just as markets contend with excess supply.

  • Brent futures slid as much as 4.5 percent to the lowest since September 2017.
  • Traders are avoiding risk assets as Chairman Jerome Powell failed to quell concerns the Fed’s policy will choke global growth, which also drove down equities.
  • Tumbling oil prices have helped the rupee rise almost a percent to 69.69 against the dollar.

The rupee strengthened to below $70 today -
Oil is becoming rupee’s Santa ahead of Christmas.

5. Stepping Up Bank Recapitalisation

As reported by Bloomberg and BloombergQuint yesterday, the government has sought parliament approval to increase the amount of funds it intends to infuse into public sector banks in the current year.

  • The Department of Financial Services is seeking to increase the bank recapitalisation amount by Rs 41,000 crore, showed the Supplementary Demand For Grants filed by the Government on Thursday.
  • The fresh fund infusion plan comes as public sector lenders remain starved for capital, despite significant support from the government over the last four years.
All taken together, the government has infused over Rs 2.5 lakh crore into public sector banks since 2015.

The fund infusion will fall into four categories:

  • Banks that need to meet minimum regulatory capital norms.
  • Better performing banks under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) will be given capital to meet 9 percent CRAR norm and 6 percent Net NPA requirement to help them come out of PCA.
  • Non-PCA banks which are close to red line to ensure they don't fall into PCA.
  • Regulatory capital for banks undergoing amalgamation.

Read the full story here.

Also read: External Commercial Borrowings Will Now Be Subject To A Prudential Limit

6. Small And Mid Caps Lead Year-End Rebound

Small and mid cap stocks led the rebound since the stock market's October low as crude prices fell, the rupee recovered and the liquidity concerns eased.

  • Nifty Smallcap 100 and Midcap 100 indexes have risen 12 percent each since Oct. 9. That compares with a 6 percent gain in the benchmark Nifty 50 index during the period.
  • The rise in small and mid-cap indices in the past two months is because the space was technically oversold and valuations did play a catch up, Hemen Kapadia, research head at KR Choksey, said. These indices were battered since the beginning of the year, he said.
BQuick On Dec. 20: Top 10 Stories In Under 10 Minutes

7. Bharti Airtel’s CFO Joins Infosys

Infosys Ltd. named Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s long-time executive and Global Chief Financial Officer Nilanjan Roy as its new CFO.

  • The board of India’s second-largest software services provider appointed Roy from March 1, according to the company’s exchange filing today.
  • He will succeed Mavinakere Dwarakanath Ranganath who resigned four months ago to “pursue professional opportunities in new areas”.
  • Roy has been with Bharti Airtel for 13 years. Prior to that, he worked for about 15 years with Unilever Plc across its global operations.
  • Jayesh Sanghrajka, who had stepped in as interim CFO, will resume responsibilities as deputy CFO from March 1.

8. Mukesh Ambani’s Warning

Indians should own and control their own data, billionaire Mukesh Ambani has said, coming out in favor of recent efforts by the Asian nation to draft strict rules around how digital information is stored and shared.

  • “Data colonization is as bad as the previous forms of colonization,” Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd. and Asia’s richest man, said at an event Wednesday in Mumbai.
India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people -- and not by corporates, especially global corporations.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries
  • The comments feed into a debate on how India should balance user protections with support for its digital economy in the world’s fastest-growing major internet market.

The growing competition has put a spotlight on the evolving privacy push

9. Excellent Analysis Of What Drives India’s Stock Market

60 percent of the variability in Indian stock prices is driven by just three macro factors, writes Saurabh Mukherjea in this insightful column...

India’s Stock Market Is Unique. Here’s The Data.

10. The 16 Dishes You Should Have Eaten in 2018

The year 2018 has not been a great one for the food world. There was the loss of two of the brightest people in the business, Anthony Bourdain and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles critic Jonathan Gold. Likewise, it was hard to find one new, unifying restaurant that captured everyone’s imagination.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t captivating dishes. In fact, these 16 were positively remarkable. And Dilliwalla Butter Chicken, all the way in New York, features on the list.

For the list of all 16 dishes read this.

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