07:11 pm Brookfield Asset Management Inc. of Canada has completed its purchase of Hotel Leelaventure Ltd's luxury hotels to mark its entrance into the Indian hospitality industry with a brand competing with the likes of Indian Hotel Co. Taj Hotels, Ltd. and Oberoi Hotels, EIH Ltd. The hotel chain based in Mumbai has sold four of its hotels in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Udaipur together with a parcel of land in Agra. The deal, which was first announced in March, excludes its fifth property in Mumbai and a parcel of land in Hyderabad. The hospitality company said it obtained Rs 3,950 crore ($556.9 million) on October 16 from Brookfield for the offer to repay its loans to banks and financial institutions. The promoters and promoter group companies have completed the sale of the Leela brand and trademarks to Brookfield for Rs 150 crore in the hotel and hospitality market. Leelaventure also announced the resignation of its President Rajiv Kaul and Chief Financial Officer Rajan Shah following the agreement. Umesh Dombe has been appointed Chief Financial Officer by the company with effect from October 23, it said. The announcement comes almost a month after an appeal by ITC Ltd, which owns a 7.92 percent stake in Hotel Leelaventure, was dismissed by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), challenging the sale of Leelaventure's assets to Brookfield. Before SAT, ITC challenged the deal before the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), citing Leelaventure, its promoters, and 26 percent shareholder JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company's oppression of minority shareholders and corporate governance issues. It had also approached the bankruptcy court asking for a waiver of the requirement to hold no less than one-tenth of the company's issued share capital. The ITC's petition for waiver is pending before the court. The Bombay High Court has also dismissed an appeal filed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) that challenged the deal with Brookfield. Brookfield had been in talks with the promoter Nair family of Hotel Leelaventure to purchase the four luxury hotels. In addition to Brookfield, there was also reportedly a consortium of investors including Blackrock, SSG Capital and RB Capital in the hotel chain's acquisition fray. It was reported that Rashid Al Habtoor, a billionaire based in Dubai had bid Rs.4,200 crore for the hotel chain, real estate and infrastructure sectors of India. Overall, the company has so far plowed nearly $2.5 billion into India's commercial real estate market. The investor is currently developing 4 to 5 million square feet of commercial properties in India, including Mumbai's Waterstones hotel and about 1.5 million square feet of an office park in Pune. A report on Monday indicated that Brookfield looks to buy Sri Chaitanya school chain from its promoters and New Silk Route private equity firm.
10:10 pm New Delhi: The Delhi Police arrested former promoter of Ranbaxy, Shivinder Singh, in connection with the Rs 740 crore fraud case. The arrest was made on the basis of a criminal complaint lodged in December last year by Religare Finvest against the Singh brothers with the Economic Offences Wing. The search is reportedly on for his brother and co-accused Malvinder Singh. The offences booked for the brother duo are criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy, fraud, and money misappropriation. In the situation, the name of Sunil Godhwani of Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL). is also taken in the case.
10:09 am Chennai: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday that the slowdown in the automotive sector was due to a number of factors, such as a change in the minds of millennials, who now prefer taxi aggregators like OLA and UBER to commit monthly installments to own a vehicle. Sitharaman said that the automotive sector had its "nice times" until two years ago. "It was certainly a nice upward trajectory for the automotive sector," she said to reporters. The Minister said that the industry had been influenced by a number of factors, including moving towards BS-VI standards and registration associated issues and She said some surveys have revealed that there has been a shift in the Millennials ' mentality of not committing EMIs (equivalent monthly installments) to the purchase of a car, instead of OLA, UBER or Metro (train) facilities.changing attitudes. We are all seized of the problem. We will try to solve it", she said. The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission standard will enter into force across the nation from 1 April 2020. Currently, cars comply with BS-IV emission norms. On 23 August, in a bid to tackle the slowdown in the automotive industry, Sitharaman announced that it had lifted the ban on the acquisition of cars by public agencies and that it had permitted an extra 15% depreciation on cars obtained from now on.
05:09 pm Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will set up the country's first International Women's Trade Center (IWTC), in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in Kozhikode, in a significant initiative to accelerate women's entrepreneurship and secure gender parity. A main project of the State's Gender Park under the Social Justice Department, it is intended as a safe space away from home for women to harness their entrepreneurial capacities, set up or expand their businesses and market their products worldwide. The first phase of IWTC is scheduled to be completed by 2021 under the "Vision 2020" of the Gender Park. "It is important that the Gender Park unveiled the IWTC project at a moment when more and more women are foraying into entrepreneurship and exploring other alternatives for self-employment in Kerala," Health and Social Justice Minister K K Shailaja said. Gender Park CEO, P T Mohammed Sunish said that IWTC's general system would be a world-class shopping destination, covering a range of outlets for women entrepreneurs.
11:09 am Mumbai: Stock markets were closed for trading on Monday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The 10-day Hindu festival is celebrated to honour the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha's birthday.
03:08 pm On Monday, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd Mukesh Ambani said Saudi Aramco will invest $75 billion in the conglomerate and have a 20% stake in its chemical oil (O2C) business. "This is Reliance's largest foreign investment and one of India's largest. Saudi Aramco's partnership to cover Reliance's refining and petrochemical assets, including 51 percent of the petroleum retail joint venture." He said. He aso said BP acquired 49 per cent stake in Reliance's petro-retail business in another major new initiative. For this transaction, Reliance will get BP's Rs 7,000 crore, "As the world moves towards renewable energy sources and electric vehicles, Reliance has positioned itself to generate fresh value far ahead of the curve,"
03:08 pm On Monday, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani, announced that his business had plans for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the two newly formed union territories. "We are committed to the requirements of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh people in response to PM Narendra Modi Ji's call. You're going to see several announcements in the coming days for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh," Ambani said at the group's 42nd Annual General Meeting. Article 370 which granted Jammu and Kashmir special status was scrapped and divided into two union territories – J&K with a legislature and Ladakh without an assembly. The changes were passed by both Parliament Houses.
03:08 pm RBI to cut repo rate again. The new rate is 5.40%. The rate for the first week of June is 5.7. The decision was taken at a meeting of the six-member Finance Committee headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das. This is the lowest rate in nine years. Four favoring a reduction of 0.35%, two saying a reduction of 0.25%.This is the fourth time this year that repo rates have come down. RBI cuts rates in February and April.. Experts say that interest rates on loans will come down as repo rates fall. Repo rate is the interest charged on short-term loans taken by RBI from commercial banks. Meanwhile, the GDP growth rate for the current financial year (GDP) is 7% to 6.9%.Shaktikanta Das, Governor, RBI said. 5.8 - 6.6% in the first quarter of 2019-2020 and 7.3 – 7.5 in the second quarter.
07:08 pm Jet Airways extended the original bid date for the bankrupt airline from August 3 to August 10, a business declaration said on Saturday. After running out of cash and failing to obtain funds, Jet, once ranked among the country's largest airlines, was compelled to ground all flights in April, crippled by rising losses as it tried to compete with low-cost rivals.At the request of some potential bidders, the deadline for bid submission has been extended, it said. Since its aircraft were grounded and employees left unpaid, Jet Airways and its lenders have been looking for fresh investors.
08:07 am New Delhi, A bill to amend the Companies Act to provide for ease of doing business, tighten Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) compliance, transfer certain responsibilities to the NCLT and re-categorise offences as civil defaults was on Friday passed in Lok Sabha with voice vote despite opposition's objection that they had received very little time to scrutinise it. Replying to the debate on The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the legislation is necessary as the government had promulgated an ordinance on the subject twice - in November 2018 and February 2019. Sitharaman, who on Thursday introduced the Bill which was strongly opposed by the opposition, said that a bill to replace the first ordinance was passed in the Lok Sabha in January 2019 but could not get through in the Rajya Sabha. "Hence the second ordinance was promulgated in February. This Bill has been brought to replace the second ordinance," she said. Rejecting the opposition's claims, she said the government was not bringing the Bill in haste and that best practice were being adopted to enact the law. Noting a committee was set up in July 2018 and which made a detailed study of penal provisions in the Act and some offences of minor nature were being non-compoundable, she said that the changes were being made to plug gaps and strengthen the corporate compliance system. Opposing the Bill, Congress' leader in the house Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that government is pushing legislation through Parliament at a fast pace. He said that while he doesn't have a cogent argument to oppose this legislation, he opposes the way this is being brought about in the House. Chowdhury also said he wanted to know how the government defines shell companies. Participating in the debate, DMK's A. Raja pointed to a World Bank report where India is ranked 77th in starting of a business, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency among other factors. Although the amendment is to provide ease of doing business, he asked if the government also has an eye on the means through which it wants to achieve the end. He quoted a Tamil couplet that says the means is more important than the end, he claimed that the bill gives absolute power to the Registrar of Companies and suggests that there must be a body of members who take decisions. Under the Companies Act, 2013, certain classes of public companies are required to issue shares in dematerialised form only and the amendment bill states this may be prescribed for other classes of unlisted companies as well. While the Act contains 81 compoundable offences punishable with fine or fine and imprisonment, the amendment bill re-categorizes 16 of these offences as civil defaults, where adjudicating officers (appointed by the Central government) may now levy penalties instead. These offences include issuance of shares at a discount, and failure to file annual returns. The Bill also amends the penalties for some other offences. Under the existing Act, if companies, which have to provide for CSR, do not fully spend the funds, they must disclose the reasons for the non-spending in their annual report. As per the Bill, any unspent annual CSR funds must be transferred to one of the funds under Schedule 7 of the Act within six months of the financial year. The Bill states that a company may not commence business, unless it files a declaration within 180 days of incorporation, confirms that every subscriber to the memorandum of the company has paid for the shares agreed to be taken by him, and files a verification of its registered address with the Registrar of Companies within 30 days of incorporation. If it fails to comply with these provisions and is found not to be carrying out business, its name of the company may be removed from the Register of Companies. The Act requires companies to register charges on their property within 30 days of creation of charge, extendable upto 300 days with the permission of the Registrar of Companies. The Bill changes the deadline to 60 days. Under the Act, any change in period of the financial year for a company associated with a foreign company, has to be approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Under the Bill, the power has been transferred to the Central government.