Yes Bank sets up $1 bn debt programme to raise money

Private sector lender Yes Bank today said its board has approved proposal to set up MTN programme to raise USD 1 billion (about Rs 6,500 crore) on private placement basis.

Private sector lender Yes Banktoday said its board has approved proposal to set up MTN programme to raise USD 1 billion (about Rs 6,500 crore) on private placement basis.

The Medium Term Note (MTN) programme, an instrument to raise money through debt securities that typically matures in 5-10 years, is within the overall borrowing limit of Rs 20,000 crore, the bank said.

“The Capital Raising Committee of the board at its meeting held on November 29, 2017 has considered and approved bank’s proposal to set up the MTN programme for an amount of USD 1 billion to eligible investors, from time to time, in one or more tranches,” Yes Bank said in a regulatory filing.

The bank can raise money, in Indian or foreign currency through various means, including issuance of debt securities such as non-convertible debentures, MTNs, tier I/II bonds, as well as long-term infrastructure bonds.

As per approval from its board of directors and shareholders, the bank has permission to raise funds up to Rs 20,000 crore in one or more tranches on private placement basis from time to time.

Shares of Yes Bank closed 0.92 percent down at Rs 312.30 per unit on BSE today.

Google has a new site for tracking your investments

The new version replaces an aging portal that looked outdated but still provided valuable information.

Google Finance got a complete redesign on Tuesday.

The new version replaces an aging portal that looked outdated but still provided valuable information. The new Google Finance is smarter and takes advantage of your search history. For example, since Google knows what you’re looking up, it automatically pulls in ticker symbols for companies you’ve read about and can recommend others to follow.

It’s rolling out to users now, so some people will have to wait a day or two for the new version hits their browsers.

Here’s a look at the new Google Finance.

This is the new Google Finance homepage. It shows information on stocks or companies that you’ve recently searched. In this case, we looked up Nvidia and Netflix. At the bottom, Google recommends stocks. The right of the screen gives a snapshot of U.S. and global markets.

Your Stocks

This is your stocks page, where you can follow specific companies. Think of this as the portfolio section from the old Google Finance. You’ll get a snapshot of stocks you own or want to track. However, you can’t create different portfolios, which was a unique feature in the old version.

Local Markets

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This is your stocks page, where you can follow specific companies. Think of this as the portfolio section from the old Google Finance. You’ll get a snapshot of stocks you own or want to track. However, you can’t create different portfolios, which was a unique feature in the old version.

Local Markets

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This is the new local markets page. It shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite in the U.S., with charts and performance for each market. The chart can be updated to reflect changes over the past month, three months, one year, five years or from the beginning of trading. The bottom of the page shows local market news.

World Markets

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This is the world markets tab. It looks just like global markets. Here we see a snapshot of the Dow, the German DAX Performance Index and a look at the performance of the finance. There are also news feeds if you scroll down.

News

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Here’s a look at the news feeds. The topics consist of information relevant to the tab you’ve selected. Here you will see the top stories on the homepage that are related to what you have searched. Also note that since the news is further down the page, there’s additional information on global exchanges and currency exchange rates.

India ranks 100 in global prosperity index, catches up with China

India’s improvement stems from gains in three — Business Environment, Economic Quality and Governance — of the nine pillars of prosperity.

India has been ranked at the 100th position among 149 nations in the global prosperity index, showing a four-rank improvement from last year, according to 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index released on Wednesday.

India’s improvement stems from gains in three — Business Environment, Economic Quality and Governance — of the nine pillars of prosperity. Last month, the country jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, owing to the string of reforms implemented by the Narendra Modi government.

The improvement in Economic Quality is reported to be due to the proportion of the population with bank accounts, which increased to 53 percent in 2014 from 35 percent in 2011. While gains in Business Environment is said to be driven by improved intellectual property rights.

India recorded the second largest increase in the business environment after South Africa that saw the largest jump due to reduced electricity connection costs and an improved Logistics Performance Index.

In Governance, where every region shows an improvement, India’s legislation recorded also an increase in the ability to challenge regulation in the legal system.

The percentage of Indians who reported to not have enough food to eat rose to 35 percent from 26 percent in 2016, owing to the largest falls reported the availability of adequate food since last year.

India is catching up with China, which ranks 90th in the prosperity index.

“India has narrowed the gap on China to a quarter of what it was in 2012,” said the report.

More Indians reported being satisfied with their standard of living and household incomes as India shows significant improvement in Economic Quality and Education.

In contrast, China, saw a decline in the same pillars as economically people perceived greater barriers to trade and less encouragement of competition; and educationally through a falling primary school completion rate.

“Our hope is that our Index can continue to help governments and policy-makers to identify and promote policies that create pathways from poverty to prosperity,” the Legatum Institute’s CEO, Philippa Stroud said.

India’s neighbour, Pakistan ranks 137th in the prosperity index. It performs poorly in Natural Environment, Safety and Security and Personal Freedom.

The Legatum Prosperity Index is the world’s leading global measure of economic and social wellbeing that studies 104 indicators under these categories: Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety and Security, Education, Health and Natural Environment.

Norway tops the prosperity index by regaining the first spot from New Zealand. The country shows consistent improvement in business environment and governance in the past twelve months, with Norwegians more optimistic about starting a business and more confident in their government than last year.

Europe ranks fifth in the index, while the UK maintains its 10th place driven by the best Business Environment in Europe. Economic Quality in the UK has also begun to recover and now sits ahead of both Canada and the US.

The key findings show that global prosperity now sits at its highest level — 2.6 percent up since 2007, in spite of significant international turbulence, an alarming deterioration in global security and a widening gap between the most and least 30 nations prosperous nations.

Nearly two-thirds of nations show a decline in Safety and Security pillar, five times more than any of the Index’s other pillars. The Middle East and North African (MENA) records the highest decline as a result of Syria’s civil war.

Follow the moneyed: Identifying winners from the Bankruptcy Ordinance

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In a landmark move, the President of India gave his assent to the Bankruptcy Ordinance. The move has unintended consequences. For bidders with requisite financial muscle, it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here’s a look at who could gain from this exercise.

In a landmark move, the President of India gave his assent to the Bankruptcy Ordinance, which has virtually closed the door on errant promoters wanting to regain control over their defaulting companies. While the signalling is strong and welcome and would force promoters of stressed companies to hasten the resolution process, the move has unintended consequences as well. For bidders with requisite financial muscle, it might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here’s a look at who could gain from this exercise.

The Ordinance

But first, a look at the Ordinance. Its broad objective is to prevent unscrupulous, undesirable persons from participating in the resolution process – in lay man’s terms to prevent back door entry of promoters who have defaulted. It also puts the onus on the Committee of Creditors (who are mostly going to be bankers) to ensure the viability and feasibility of the resolution plan before approving it.

In a nutshell, the following categories would be out of the bidding process for stressed assets:

    • Wilful defaulters

    • Undischarged insolvents

    • Promoters or sister concerns of companies with non-performing assets of more than one year

    • Persons convicted of an offence with over two-year imprisonment

    • Individuals disqualified as directors under Companies Act

    • Person banned by SEBI from Securities market

    • Persons banned under IBC for fraudulent activities

    • Person who executed enforceable guarantee in favour of a creditor in respect of insolvent entity

The Good

The tweak in the Ordinance at a first glance looks like a great move on the transparency front as domestic and global investors have time and again expressed concerns over meddling promoters in the resolution process.

In the long-run, it will force promoters whose companies are about to default to press for an early resolution to prevent the company from being taken to insolvency by the banker. Promoters are likely to pull out all stops early in the restructuring exercise and unlikely to put the onus solely on the bankers, as the evergreening exercise by banks seldom prevents an ultimate default.

The promoter might themselves take the initiative to refer the company to the NCLT in order to meet the one-year deadline to avoid being barred from bidding for their assets. An early restructuring is in the interest of the system: usually by the time a company goes into insolvency it loses most of its value. An early resolution will minimise the loss, as the haircut on an asset which is still not defunct is likely to be a lot less.

The Ordinance will therefore have a bearing on all future defaults including the cases identified by RBI for the second round of NCLT.

However, the harsher provisions of the Ordinance have a few grey areas and unintended consequences.

The grey 

The RBI might classify an account as stressed even before it has actually become NPL in which case the promoter will have to bring in funds earlier to prevent being called a defaulter for over one year.

Banks often engage in a one-time settlement with borrowers and this has similar characteristics of the promoters getting back control of their assets at a discount.

… & the ugly

As is evident, the Ordinance clearly bars promoters of the first list of twelve cases before NCLT from participating in the bidding process. With the revival of the steel cycle, there is palpable investor interest in steel assets that dominates this list and a couple of other companies (like the auto ancillary company) may also see investor interest.

However, beyond this list, there will be many more assets which might not draw an equal amount of interest from competitors/financial investors. If the promoter is out of the fray, these assets are likely to fetch distressed valuations leading to a higher hair cut for the banks.

We also got to remember that not all defaulters are “wilful” in the sense that stress in many companies may be linked to external/macro factors and a promoter losing business to competitor/financial investor might go against the spirit of enterpreneurship.

As the resolution of India’s great NPA saga moves into high gear, many companies may not find buyers leading to liquidation thereby impacting jobs. Finally, financial investors may not always have a necessary bandwidth to run the show and effect a turnaround in the absence of the promoters.

Now the winners

However, as the system ponders over the nuances of the Ordinance, it clearly gives an edge to the solvent bidders. Global giants like Arcelor Mittal to home-grown competitors like JSW SteelTata Steel and Vedanta will definitely have reasons to welcome the changes. We have a positive long-term view on these potential acquirers.

There is a long list of private equity investors/pension funds and more are likely to queue up in a bid to make money from India’s junk.

In our opinion, yesterday’s tweak of the ordinance is unlikely to be positive for Indian banking sector as a whole. Beyond some of the lucrative assets, the overall haircut to the system in the absence of the promoters is likely to be higher although it is difficult to quantify the same at this stage. However, a bank like Kotak that has recently raised capital (to the tune of Rs 5,803 crore) specifically with an eye on buying stressed assets will be in a vantage position. The bank’s chief expects disproportionate returns from this once in a lifetime opportunity. We have a positive view on Kotak Bank as well.

Other players who are likely to be in the thick of action are the likes of Piramal EnterpriseEdelweiss, Il&FS and Aditya Birla Capital.

HDFC Life looks to raise exposure to infrastructure stocks

Funds are likely to be put into cement makers, suppliers of building materials such as tiles and paints, and financiers of road and housing projects, Prasun Gajri, chief investment officer at HDFC Life told Reuters.

HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. is looking to invest more in the capital goods sectors and a range of companies that are expected to benefit from a major government push to build more homes and roads.

Funds are likely to be put into cement makers, suppliers of building materials such as tiles and paints, and financiers of road and housing projects, Prasun Gajri, chief investment officer at HDFC Life told Reuters.

“I think the entire capital goods sector could start looking better than what it has been in the past,” said Gajri, who oversees management of more than $15 billion of investments in debt and equity. “We could look to increase exposure in some of these areas as we go along.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has pledged to spend billions of dollars under its “housing for all” programme through 2022. The government also has an ambitious roads programme with planned spending of more than $100 billion over the next five years in an effort to bump up growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The insurer, however, does not expect better days any time soon for property developers, many of whom are weighed down by high debt levels and stricter regulations, Gajri said.

Among other areas HDFC Life is positive on are consumer discretionary sectors such as automakers, which, Gajri said, could report positive earnings growth as the impact wanes from both the government’s surprise removal of high-value banknotes from circulation and its new goods and services tax.

Gajri said he would also look to “allocate a bit more” to commodity stocks, especially metals, as a supply clampdown in China has led to higher prices in India. The insurer is bearish on information technology and pharma stocks.

Helped by strong foreign fund inflows, Indian stocks have hit a string of record highs this year, with the main index gaining more than 26 percent so far in 2017, even as corporate earnings remain muted and businesses struggle with the new tax rollout.

Gajri said he expected a recovery in corporate earnings beginning from the current quarter and that it would continue for the next two to three years.

“If the earnings story plays out, then frankly, that will be a buying opportunity.”

HDFC Life, a joint venture between Indian mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp and Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, went public earlier this month after a $1.34 billion IPO.

The insurer has just under 60 percent of its assets invested in debt and the remainder in equity.

It has cut the average maturity of bonds held under the unit-linked plans in the past 12 months due to concerns over inflation, fiscal slippage and a hawkish monetary policy, although Gajri said he did not expect a complete reversal of the rate cut cycle or a “large and meaningful” slippage number.

“We would look to increase duration maybe at some point of time, but for the interim we’ll probably wait and watch and see how this pans out.”

‘Pay least, board last’: Global airline comes up with controversial new policy

British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London, Britain May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX37W6D

According to the carrier the new system will speed up the checking in process and is being followed by several other aviation companies

A new flight boarding policy by British Airways is creating a lot of controversy with a section of people terming it as discriminatory.

According to the new ‘pay least, board last’ policy that will come into effect on December 12, passengers will be allowed to board an aircraft based on the money they spend on their tickets. In other words, this would mean that passengers with the cheapest ticket will now be allowed to board only after all others have hopped in.

As per a report in The Telegraph, passengers flying within Europe will be divided into five groups at the check-in counter. Group one will have first-class ticket holders and Gold members of the British Airways Executive Club. They will be the first to board into the aircraft. They will be followed by group two and three consisting of silver and bronze status holders followed by group four that comprises of economy class passengers.

And lastly, group five i.e. those who have opted for the cheapest hand-luggage only fares will follow. This would mean that they will have to wait until the end to board the aircraft.

According to the carrier, this will speed up the checking-in process and is being followed by several other aviation companies.

Lodging protest, a section of people have voiced their disagreements against the new system.

One netizen termed the decision as discriminatory and tweeted “Nothing quite like a British class system to let you know your place!”

Another person criticised the move by saying that the carrier is degrading its own value by adopting the policy. “Think BA has lost the plot. Instead of competing with the Aldi and Lidl of the airline world they should have stuck to offering more and costing more. This is a race to the bottom. #britishairways #Lowcost #dignity,” he tweeted.

However, there were also others who did not mind the new policy and could not understand why it was being made an issue of. “I thought airlines have always done this? If people are prepared to pay way more for a seat that is essentially the same that’s on them. Equally, how sad do you have to be as a person to find your worth in an airline seat?!,” read one tweet.

While the carrier is going to move ahead with the new policy that may bring a slight improvement on overall boarding time, it is very unlikely that this will bring big improvements on the time needed to check-in or prompt passengers to take an expensive ticket.

Pravin Rao likely to continue as Infosys CEO: Sources

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Pravin Rao, who became the CEO temporarily after the then CEO Vishal Sikka suddenly resigned, is likely to continue to be the CEO of the firm, according to sources.

Interim Infosys Chief Executive Officer (CEO) UB Pravin Rao is likely to hold his post, sources told CNBC-TV18, dismissing earlier reports that claimed BG Srinivas and Ashok Vemuri to be in the race to become the company’s new CEO.

Pravin Rao, who became the CEO temporarily after the then-CEO Vishal Sikka suddenly resigned, is likely to continue being the CEO of the company, according to sources. This is likely because Infosys is known to prefer people who have been a part of the company and understand its ethics.

BG Srinivas, who was one of the two other choices, is now unlikely to return to the company because Non-executive Chairman Nandan Nilekani is reportedly favouring an internal candidate to become the next chief executive of Infosys. Srinivas is currently the CEO of Hong Kong-based PCCW Group.

The above-mentioned sources told CNBC-TV18 that Ashok Vemuri, one of the claimed top two choices, is not in the league and is believed to have told investors that he is likely to continue to be the CEO of the Xerox BPO, Conduent.

Interim Infosys Chief Executive Officer (CEO) UB Pravin Rao is likely to hold his post, sources told CNBC-TV18, dismissing earlier reports that claimed BG Srinivas and Ashok Vemuri to be in the race to become the company’s new CEO.

Pravin Rao, who became the CEO temporarily after the then-CEO Vishal Sikka suddenly resigned, is likely to continue being the CEO of the company, according to sources. This is likely because Infosys is known to prefer people who have been a part of the company and understand its ethics.

BG Srinivas, who was one of the two other choices, is now unlikely to return to the company because Non-executive Chairman Nandan Nilekani is reportedly favouring an internal candidate to become the next chief executive of Infosys. Srinivas is currently the CEO of Hong Kong-based PCCW Group.

The above-mentioned sources told CNBC-TV18 that Ashok Vemuri, one of the claimed top two choices, is not in the league and is believed to have told investors that he is likely to continue to be the CEO of the Xerox BPO, Conduent.

Electric vehicle campaign could be $300 billion opportunity for battery makers: NITI Aayog

Around 25 to 40 percent of the EV battery market and around 2/5th of the global battery demand could be captured through the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

NITI Aayog on Wednesday said that India’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Mission 2030 was an opportunity for battery manufacturers under the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, according to a reportby Mint.

The think tank said that mass conversion to electric vehicles in the country could create a domestic market for EV batteries worth USD 300 billion by the year 2030.

According to the report, around 25 to 40 percent of the EV battery market and around 2/5th of the global battery demand could be captured through the ‘Make in India’ initiative, which is aimed at encouraging manufacturing in India and attracting foreign investment to the country.

NITI Aayog also batted for a ‘feebate’ policy to support the automobile sector’s transition to the mass production of electric vehicles, under which inefficient vehicles could incur a surcharge, while efficient vehicles could receive a rebate.

The think tank said that the competition created by India’s EV demand could bring down global battery prices by 16 percent by 2030.

As the battery currently accounts for almost one-third of an electric vehicle’s cost, reducing the cost of the battery by scaling production and standardizing components could also bring down the price of an EV.

Telecom sector’s serial purchaser Airtel now interested in buying RCom’s spectrum

In a bid to take on competition in a consolidating market, the Sunil Mittal-led company has been buying stressed assets in the telecom sector, and spectrum.

Bharti Airtel has said that it is interested in buying selected spectrum and some equipment of Reliance Communications (RCom), according to a report by The Economic Times.

Lenders are currently in the process of selling RCom’s assets in a bid to recover some portions of the roughly Rs 45,000-crore debt.

When asked about Airtel’s interest in RCom’s assets that are being put for sale by lender, a company spokesperson for Bharti Airtel told the newspaper, “We have expressed our interest only in buying select spectrum and some equipment.”

According to the report, Airtelcould be contesting Reliance Jio for the 850 megahertz (MHz) band spectrum which is considered to be highly efficient for 4G services. The proceeds of the sale will be going to the lenders as debt recovery.

Other companies in the sector, tower providers Indus, Bharti Infratel and Brookfield are also considered to be interested in purchasing RCom’s towers.

In a bid to improve its spectrum holdings to taking on Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea Cellular, in what has become a highly competitive market, the Sunil Mittal-led company has been buying stressed assets in the telecom sector, and spectrum.

Here are some of Airtel’s recent acquisitions:

Telenor

In February this year, Airtel bought Telenor’s ailing Indian subsidiary, Telenor India. According to the deal, Airtel took over Telenor India’s liabilities related to licence fees and lease obligations for mobile towers.

The deal which gave Airtel 44 million additional users, did not involve any cash payment to Telenor. It also accessed Telenor India’s 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band.

Aircel’s 4G spectrum

In April 2016, Airtel entered into an Rs 30,000-crore-agreement with debt-ridden Aircel to take over its 2,300 MHz spectrum band across eight circles.

Tata Teleservices

In October, the company announced merger of its mobile operations with struggling Tata Teleservices. According to the deal, Airtel would acquire Tata’s consumer mobile business in 19 circles.

The merger was done on debt-free, cash-free basis. The deal also gave Airtel access to Tata’s 1,800, 2,100 and 850 MHz bands spectrum, all widely used for 4G.

Tikona

In September this year, Airtel announced that it had fully acquired Tikona Digital Network’s share capital. Earlier, the company had announced a plan to purchase Tikona’s 4G airwaves for Rs 1,600 crore.

The acquisition gave the Sunil Mittal-led telecom company access Tikona’s 4G spectrum in five circles, namely Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Hackers stole data from 57 million Uber riders, drivers: CEO

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” said a statement from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over at the ride-sharing giant in August.

Uber said that hackers compromised personal data from some 57 million riders and drivers in a breach kept hidden for a year.

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” said a statement from chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over at the ride-sharing giant in August.

Two members of the Uber information security team who “led the response” that included not alerting users that their data was breached were let go from the San Francisco-based company effective on Wednesday, according to Khosrowshahi.

The Uber chief said he only recently learned that outsiders had broken into a cloud-based server used by the company for data and downloaded a “significant” amount of information.

Stolen files included names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers for riders, and the names and driver license information of some 600,000 drivers, according to Uber.

Uber paid the hackers USD 100,000 to destroy the data, not telling riders or drivers whose information was at risk, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Co-founder and ousted chief Travis Kalanick was advised of the breach shortly after it was discovered, but it was not made public until Uber’s new boss Khosrowshahi learned of the incident.

“You may be asking why we are just talking about this now, a year later,” Khosrowshahi said.

“I had the same question, so I immediately asked for a thorough investigation of what happened and how we handled it.”

Khosrowshahi said that what he learned about Uber’s failure to notify users or regulators prompted corrective actions.

Uber is notifying drivers whose license numbers were swiped and offering them credit and identity theft protection.

The company also said it is notifying regulators, and monitoring affected rider accounts for signs of fraud.

“While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes,” Khosrowshahi said.

“We are changing the way we do business.”

Khosrowshahi inherited a litany of scandals and a toxic workplace culture when he replaced Kalanick.

Kalanick’s brash style has been credited with driving Uber to the leading spot in the smartphone-summoned ride market but also blamed for fostering an atmosphere of impropriety and rule-breaking at the company.