♦Vistara gets Rs 2,000 cr from Tata Sons, Singapore Airlines
- Full service carrier Vistara, which is preparing to fly overseas, has received Rs 2,000 crore from Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, according to a regulatory filing.
- The airline, majority-owned by Tatas, commenced operations more than three years ago and currently has a fleet of 22 planes.
- On October 12, the board of Vistara approved allotment of 200 crore equity shares of Rs 10 apiece to Tata Sons Pvt Ltd and Singapore Airlines, a filing with the Corporate Affairs Ministry showed.
- The allotment of these shares amounts to a fund fusion of Rs 2,000 crore. As per the filing, the board approved issuance of little over 101.99 crore shares to Tata Sons and 98 crore shares to Singapore Airlines. Vistara did not offer any comments about the fund infusion.
- Tata Sons holds 51 per cent stake and the remaining 49 per cent is owned by Singapore Airlines in Vistara.
- The fund infusion comes at a time when the airline has embarked on ambitious expansion plans, including buying 19 Airbus, Boeing planes worth USD 3.1 billion. While making the announcement about aircraft purchases in July, Vistara had also announced leasing 37 new A320 neo family planes.
♦Six global investors, including Softbank group and SingTel, to invest $1.25 bn in Airtel Africa
- Global investors comprising Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel, SoftBank Group International and others will invest $1.25 billion through a primary equity issuance in Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary Airtel Africa, which will help in paring down debt and pave way for an initial public offering.
- According to the Sunil Mittal owned telco’s statement , the proceeds will be used to bring down the Africa based operator’s debt from $5 billion and grow its business
- “This primary equity issuance clearly underlines the confidence of leading global investors in Airtel Africa’s successful business strategy and its potential to sustain growth and profitability,” said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Africa, Bharti Airtel.
- The company said that the investment will be through a primary equity issuance in the company at a post money equity value of ~ $4.4 billion. “Airtel Africa subsequently intends an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and use the proceeds primarily for further reduction of debt,” said the statement from the company.
- The operator added that the transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders.
- “The transaction will help us further deleverage our balance sheet and boost our capacity to upgrade networks, expand coverage in different markets and achieve rapid growth of Airtel Money across our operations,” Mandava added.
♦Veecon Rok partners BSNL to roll out wifi in 25 cities; to invest Rs 36,000 cr
- Telecom company Veecon Rok has partnered with state-owned firm BSNL to roll out wifi networks across 25 cities with an investment of Rs 36,000 crore over a period of five years.
- Veecon Rok Corporation has also partnered with US space body NASA for communications technology, including wifi and mobile handsets.
- It will also start selling Veecon ROKiT mobile handsets — first glasses free 3D mobile phone through BSNL network from first quarter of 2019.
- The telecom firm, a 50:50 joint venture between India’s Veecon group and US based Rok Corporation, claims that it will provide both street level and indoor wifi coverage across the cities.
- “India has surpassed US and China in terms of data usage due to Digital India architected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To honour this commitment, under partnership with Veecon RoK people will get free wifi access for first three months in cities where network will be rolled out ,” BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava said while announcing the partnership.
- He said that monetisation plan for cities will be decided after three months, which is very likely to be competitive compared to existing data plans.
♦Reliance in talks to buy multi-system-operator GTPL Hathway
- Reliance Industries (RIL) has begun talks to acquire a controlling stake in GTPL Hathway, a leading multi-system-operator (MSO) that dominates the Gujarat market, said people with knowledge of the matter. This follows the announcement of plans by RIL to acquire a majority interest in two of India’s largest cable TV and broadband services providers —DEN Networks.
- After Hathway and DEN, RIL believes it makes sense to acquire strong regional MSOs, and GTPL is the first such company with strong financials and clean books,” said one of the people cited above. RIL and GTPL Hathway didn’t respond to queries. Hathway owns 37.3 per cent of GTPL Hathway. Through the acquisition of a 51.3 per cent stake in Hathway for Rs 2,940 crore, RIL gets an indirect 19 per cent stake in GTPL Hathway.
♦PM Narendra Modi awarded 2018 Seoul Peace Prize for ‘Modinomics’,
‘furthering democracy in India’
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded the Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for his contribution to high economic growth in India and world through ‘Modinomics’, the award citation stated. His contribution to world peace, improving human development and furthering democracy in India, too, were the reasons for him getting the award, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Wednesday. PM Modi is the fourteenth recipient of this award.
- The MEA statement says, “The Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in recognition of his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth in the world’s fastest-growing large economy and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.”
♦Asian Hockey Championship 2018 highlights: Malaysia hold India to a draw
- In Match 12 of Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy, India, led by Manpreet Singh, will lock horns with Malaysia, who defeated India in the semifinals of Asian Games 2018, at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat. The spirited Indian hockey team will look to extend their unbeaten streak in the Men’s Asian Championship in their fourth round-robin match today.
- The team had earlier produced a flamboyant performance in their third match against Japan, blanking the latter by a massive 9-0 margin. In tie against Japan, the world no 5 team showcased some domineering display scoring goals in all the four quarters through Mandeep Singh (4′, 49′, 57′), Harmanpreet Singh (17′, 21′), Gurjant Singh (8′), Akashdeep Singh (36′), Sumit (42′) and Lalit Upadhyay (45′) to register a convincing victory and remain at the top of the Pool Standings.
♦Only Bharat Stage VI compliant vehicles to be sold from April 2020: SC
- The Supreme Court Wednesday said that no Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020.
- The Bharat stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
- The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020 across the country.
- A three judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur made it clear that only BS VI compliant vehicle shall be sold in the country from April 1st, 2020.
- The bench said the need of the hour was to move to a cleaner fuel.The BS IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017.
- In 2016, the Centre had announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
♦India explores corridor to Kazakhstan, Eastern Russia via Iran
- India, notwithstanding impending sanctions on Iran, is attempting to put in place a corridor linking Gujarat and West Bengal to Kazakhstan and Eastern Russia via Iran’s Bandar Abbas Port.
- Plans are afoot to link Gujarat’s Mundra PortNSE -1.52 % with Bandar Abbas and connect it to Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway network and onwards to Eastern Russia.
- The idea is to not only access markets of this landlocked region but also create a corridor to import natural resources from the region in a shorter period than being done currently, according to officials.
- Officials from India and Kazakhstan are meeting in Delhi next week to finetune proposal for the corridor which will run parallel to International North South Transport Corridor and Chabahar corridor both through Iran.
- While Gujarat is geographically closer to Bandar Abbas, the goal of the proposed corridor is to connect Eastern India with Eurasia in the backdrop of India’s Indo-Pacific construct from Western part of Indian Ocean region to the Pacific.
- The proposal for new corridor is the backdrop of Moscow launching talks with Delhi for the creation of a corridor connecting Russia-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman-India.
- The resource rich and growing economies of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are seeking access to ocean and nearest gateway to ocean is via Iran. Sources said that two big Central Asian republics mindful of sanctions on Iran is seeking to engage with Tehran in their national interest.
♦Cabinet approves creation of director’s posts at 6 AIIMS
- The Cabinet Wednesday approved creation of a director’s post in six branches of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) with a starting salary of more than Rs 2 lakh.
- The post would be created in the branches of AIIMS at Raebareli and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Bathinda in Punjab, Guwahati in Assam, Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand’s Deogha.
- According to an official statement, the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the creation of the post with “the basic pay of Rs 2,25,000 (fixed) plus NPA but not exceeding Rs 2,37,500”.
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