Jet Airways sees hope, US sues Google, L&T set to win big infra contract

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet global funds to seek investment and know their views on reforms required for India's economy. The US Justice Department sued Google in the most significant antitrust case against an American company in two decades. The Shapoorji Pallonji Group withdrew letters alleging irregularities and conflict of interest in Tata Projects winning a bid to construct the new Parliament. Larsen & Toubro is likely to emerge as the lowest bidder for work on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country. Here is more on what happened this week.

Business Standard
24th October

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet 15 of the world’s largest funds to seek investment in capital-starved sectors like infrastructure and know their views on reforms required for the economy. The development comes at a time when capital expenditure has seen a significant fall in view of the coronavirus pandemic, with companies going slow on their new projects.
  • India is “at the doorstep of the revival process” from the coronavirus pandemic and lenders must ensure they have capital to help the economy, said Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das. Banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) must get busy raising capital and do stress test as soon as the pandemic is over to build resilience, he said.
  • Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is likely to be the lowest bidder for the design and construction of civil works for 47 per cent of the alignment of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail corridor, anchoring it to win one of India's largest infrastructure tenders. L&T quoted Rs 24,985 crore for the 237-km stretch and the second-nearest bidder, a consortium led by Tata Projects, around Rs 28,228 crore.
  • The US Justice Department sued Google in the most significant antitrust case against an American company in two decades, accusing the search giant of breaking the law in using its market power to fend off rivals. Google is the “unchallenged gateway” to the internet and engaged in a variety of anticompetitive practices to maintain and extend its monopoly, said the US government.
  • Hero Future Energies (HFE) will issue fresh equity of about $250 million to fund its renewable energy projects outside India. The company said it is in talks with global institutional financers to raise capital, aiming to make HFE a $1-billion clean energy firm with the funding. HFE has 500 Mw under construction in India and 2 Gw overseas. It has a commissioned capacity of 1.5 Gw in India.
  • The Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group withdrew letters alleging irregularities and conflict of interest in Tata Projects winning a bid to construct the new Parliament building after the government said the process was fair. The two groups have been embroiled in a legal battle since 2016 when Cyrus Mistry, scion of the family that controls the SP Group, was sacked as chairman of Tata Sons.
  • A panel of creditors to Jet Airways approved a resolution plan for the bankrupt airline, bringing a 16-month long process to recover dues to lenders closer to completion. A consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and UAE-based Murari Lal Jalan, which made the winning bid, has proposed to re-launch Jet as a full-service carrier with an initial investment of Rs 1,000 crore.

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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.

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