Business

Pollution norms, near parity in fuel prices sound diesel cars’ death knell

A fully accessorized 2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Maruti Suzuki's decision to kill off diesel cars will have a market-wide impact. India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki's decision to stop selling diesel cars from April 1, 2020, when the new BS VI fuel economy norms become effective, making diesel vehicles even more expensive than they are now, will have an impact beyond traditional Maruti users, reports suggest.
“We will stop selling all our diesel cars from April next year as the new fuel economy norms will make diesel cars significantly more expensive. Especially, for small cars with the engine size of fewer than 1.5 litres, the price will become unviable for customers,” said RC Bhargava, the chairman of Maruti.
The decision will kill even its new 1.5 litres indigenously developed diesel engine on mid-size sedan Ciaz introduced only last week, according to Bhargava. The company would watch the market trend for that variant even after the prices go up following the int..

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Domestic fuel price, strategic concerns weigh on India as Iran oil waiver ends

The US decision to end a waiver to India and other countries on Iran oil imports is threatening to drive domestic fuel prices up. Reuters The US has offered to make available crude at concessional terms as India faces runaway fuel price rise when trade with Iran stops as the waiver on oil imports granted to India ends on May 2. However, there is cause for concern that any concession deal could come with strings attached affecting India's strategic interests involving Iran and Russia.
International crude prices have spiked after news emerged of US decision to end the waiver from Iran trade sanctions given to oil imports to India, China, South Korea and Turkey emerged. China and Turkey have taken a defiant stand but India has agreed to stop buying Iranian oil. International crude price has hit a recent high of $74 per barrel and there is a threat that it could go even higher. India's domestic fuel prices are linked to the international oil price and an increase in internationa..

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Major restructuring at Uber: India operation integrated with Europe

Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber's EMEA head.Credits: Reuters Ride-hailing business major, Uber has announced the restructuring of its India's business. Uber's India operations will now report directly to Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty who is the incumbent Vice-president of the company. Coty heads Uber's company's Europe, middle east and Africa business from Amsterdam. Till now India's business reported to Asia Pacific region whose headquarter is based out of Singapore.
Financial newspaper, Business Standard reported that apart from his existing responsibilities, Coty will now oversee an integrated portfolio of the region which would include Asia Pacific's ride business with countries like India and South Asia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. Earlier the Asia Pacific business of the company was headed by Amit Jain, who started Uber's business in India and headed its operations. He eventually went on to head the rides Asia Pacific..

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ITC out to spoil Hotel Leela’s date with JM ARC, Brookfield; wants administrator

Hotel Leela Palace Bengaluru. Courtesy: theleela.com Retail giant ITC has taken the Hotel Leela group to the company law court seeking the cancellation of stake sale deals to asset management firms JM Financial ARC and Brookfield. The petition in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) that also seeks the removal of promoter group directors and the appointment of an administrator can potentially delay the closure of the deals and throw the management of the properties of the troubled group into chaos, according to reports.
ITC, which has 8.72 per cent stake in the Hotel Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, has accused the Hotel Leelaventures Limited, the holding company of the hospitality group, of oppression and mismanagement.
ITC, which has interests in confectionery-to-tobacco and classified as a public shareholder in the beleaguered hotel, has also filed two applications seeking an urgent hearing and the waiver of the requirement of the minimum threshold of 10 per cent shareholdin..

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Flipkart’s mega logistics investment to generate 50,000 jobs

Several Flipkart employees to turn dollar millionaires post the Walmart acquisition [Representational Image]Reuters In a bid to gear up for the next wave of e-commerce opportunity in India, Flipkart is acquiring around 300 acres of land in Karnataka, Haryana and West Bengal to set up logistics parks. Walmart-owned Flipkart is expected to invest Rs 5,000 crore which in turn would generate around 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.
According to Business Standard, the capacity expansion is likely to give an edge to Flipkart over Amazon and other rivals which are locking horns to grab a pie of an exponentially growing India's online retail business.
One of the people aware of the development said, “The Flipkart team is sourcing land privately in Bengaluru and has identified four sites. In West Bengal, construction is expected to start soon. For Gurugram, the land has already been identified for the purpose.” The proposed logistics parks will have state-of-art facilities. The cost of th..

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ED probing kickback angle to Chanda Kochhar role in orders granting major loans

Enforcement Directorate is reportedly widening the probe into the angle of kickbacks in loans that the ICICI Bank granted to dubious entities during Chanda Kochhar's tenure as boss. Reuters The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has widened the scope of its investigation into the conduct of ICICI Bank's former CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar. The agency is examining loans that ICICI Bank gave to Sandesara brothers-led Sterling Biotech and the crisis-hit Bhushan Steels, now a Tata group company.
ED suspects that the firm of Deepak Kochhar, Chanda Kochhar's husband, benefitted from the granting of a loan to the extent of hundreds of crores of rupees to Sterling Biotech. Nitin Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara own the Vadodara-based company and are wanted in alleged Rs 8,100 crore bank loan fraud.
Some reports say the Sandesara brothers are in Albania as economic offence fugitives. Hitesh Patel, one of the accused in the Sterling Biotech bank fraud case and a close aide of the Sandesara..

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Usage-based incentives on electric vehicles will accelerate innovation, says Ola

Ola electric vehiclesTwitter [Representational Image] Towards making electric vehicles viable in our mobility ecosystem, the Ola Mobility Institute, policy research and social innovation think-tank, today unveiled a report on India's first multimodal E-Mobility initiative.
The report, titled 'Beyond Nagpur: The Promise of Electric Mobility', offers insights from extensive electric vehicle operations by India's largest shared mobility provider to help inspire business models, provide data to inform policy and encourage guidelines that will expedite the national effort to adopt electric mobility.
The study primarily focused on experimenting with various scenarios that would test the viability of EVs on economic metrics. One such essential metric, the Total Cost of Ownership or TCO, includes the direct and indirect costs of purchasing, running and maintaining a commercial vehicle over its typical lifetime of four years, making it a key driver to proliferate EVs on In..

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Subhash Chandra’s brother sells Essel Propack stake; not to bail out Essel Group

Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra's brother and Ashok Kumar Goel will sell to US equity firm Blackstone 51 per cent stake in Essel Propack he founded. Financial woes of media group Zee's promoter Subhash Chandra are unlikely to ease anytime soon as his brother Ashok Kumar Goel says the Rs 2,157 crore payout his Ashok Goel Trust will receive from the sale of 51 percent stake in Essel Propack will not be available for paying off creditors of his sibling's group.
Blackstone will buy the shares of Essel Propack from Ashok Goel Trust at the rate of Rs 134 per share, according to a media report. The promoter and promoter group led by Goel holds 57.03 percent shares as on March 31, 2019. Blackstone has said that it will initially buy 51 percent stake from Ashok Goel Trust and will go for an open offer in a bid to acquire an additional 26 percent stake in the firm at Rs 139.19 per share, according to a report in Financial Express.
Goel, however, said that the amount the Trust..

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India may continue to buy Iranian oil amid US ending waiver

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005 [Representational Image].Reuters The United States has announced the termination of all waivers provided to eight nations, including India, to import Iranian oil without any sanctions. The decision by the Trump administration has been taken to further squeeze the finances of Iran which is under huge pressure to shut down its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. The US officials expect the zero-waivers policy to make a significant dent in Iran's gross domestic product, which has expanded since the nuclear accord took effect in 2016.
The sanctions on Iran has resulted in oil supply shortage across the globe and sharp increase in prices but the US has claimed that it is coordinating with leading oil exporter Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure that the market is “adequately supplied”. In a statement issued on Mond..

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Has Jet Airways bidders’ interest nosedived amid loss of flight slots, procedural confusion?

A Jet Airways plane. The grounded airline's prospective investors are worried by the lack of clarity on the regulatory, financial and legal fronts. [Representational Image]SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images The bidders to the grounded Jet Airways are reportedly unhappy about the lack of clarity caused by a host of developments since the State Bank of India (SBI)-led lenders' consortium announced the stake sale. They are particularly worried about the speed with which the aviation regulator is redistributing the lucrative slots of the crisis-hit Jet to rival airlines. Most of the rivals have announced plans for flights on these sectors from Mumbai and Delhi airports and are acquiring new planes on a lease, according to observers.
“The most important question now is what will the winning bidder find in Jet?” an identified source told the Economic Times. “More than 400 lucrative flight slots at the Delhi and Mumbai airports are being allocated to other airlines.” Though the author..

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