India is likely to restrict Chinese imports after a deadly military clash between the two nations. Radhakishan Damani is reportedly considering acquiring a controlling stake in India Cements. Tata Motors is looking for a strategic partner after reporting record losses in the March quarter. French bank BNP Paribas said it will shut down its onshore wealth management business in India. Here is more on what made news this week.
- India will speed up measures to limit Chinese imports, reacting after 20 of its soldiers were killed in a clash with the neighbouring country's troops in eastern Ladakh. Imports of 371 items worth $12b billion may be restricted. Separately, two state-owned telecom companies were asked to exclude Chinese gearmakers from supplying 4G equipment.
- Billionaire Radhakishan Damani is considering acquiring a controlling stake in India Cements, said Bloomberg News. Damani, the owner of Avenue Supermarts, has informally reached out to the cement manufacturer’s controlling shareholder, N Srinivasan, to explore a takeover.
- French bank BNP Paribas said it will shut down its onshore wealth management business in India. BNP Paribas Wealth Management, the largest foreign wealth manager in India, handled client money worth $14.72 billion (about Rs 1.1 lakh crore) as of December 2019.
- The government has asked state-owned banks to cut costs and defer “avoidable expenditure” like purchasing cars for employees or sprucing up offices. The move comes days after Punjab National Bank bought three Audi cars worth Rs 1.34 crore last month for senior executives. PNB, India's second-largest state-run bank, said in 2018 diamond merchant Nirav Modi had defrauded it of $2 billion.
- Tata Motors is in talks with automakers for a strategic partner after posting a consolidated net loss of Rs 9,863.73 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31. The company said it would review its business to save Rs 15,000 crore for the consolidated entity in FY20-21.
- Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) said it had received a preliminary, nonbinding letter of intent (LoI) from AION Capital-backed Clix Capital Services and Clix Finance India for a proposed capital-raising transaction. Private equity player AION Capital, through the two non-banking financial units, is set to lead the deal as it looks to buy over a 51 per cent stake for Rs 1,400-1,600 crore, Business Standard reported.
- Reliance Industries announced that it had sold a 0.93 per cent stake in Jio Platforms to global investment firm TPG for Rs 4,547 crore and 0.39 per cent to private equity firm L Catterton for Rs 1,894 crore, taking the total investment in the digital services platform to Rs 1.04 trillion.
A few links for further reading
Hard path to growth
The signals for the economy are not positive: overall demand is yet to pick up; the share of total exports in India’s GDP is declining, and industrial output pattern remains worrying.
Small savings scheme
Investors breathed a sigh of relief when the government announced that interest rates on these instruments would not be revised for the fourth quarter of the calendar year.
Invest and emigrate
The great Indian dream of settling abroad is achievable if one has a few crores to invest. Rich nations offer a variety of investment options in a quid pro quo arrangement: immigrants get a better quality of life and revenue from them helps these countries’ finances. Wealthy Indians, troubled by polluted cities and the red tape holding up entrepreneurship, may want a quick ticket out of the country. Sanjay Kumar Singh lists a range of options: from a Canadian province’s investor programme to America’s US EB-5 plan.