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Banks free to provide funds to Amrapali projects, RBI tells SC

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Reserve Bank of India (RBI). (File Photo: IANS)
Reserve Bank of India (RBI). (File Photo: IANS)

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that banks are free to decide on the aspect of financing the Amrapali projects in accordance with their commercial judgements.

A bench comprising Justices U.U. Lalit and Ashok Bhushan directed the RBI to depute a high-ranking officer to coordinate with the court-appointed receiver to conduct a meeting with banks to arrange funding of these projects.

In an affidavit, the RBI has informed the top court that the banks are free decide on financing these projects and it has also written a letter to the Indian Banks Association to consider financing Amrapali projects. The top court also allowed the receiver to independently try and arrange funding for construction.

The receiver also informed the court that UCO bank and Union Bank (including erstwhile Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank) representing 3,074 buyers have entered into an agreement for restructuring the loan accounts, but the other banks are not responding to his requests. The bench directed the other banks to treat these agreements as standard and execute similar agreements with the receiver and consider the applications for fresh loans on their merits independently.

Kumar Mihir, advocate for homebuyers, said: “With Reserve Bank of India playing an active role in arranging the finance for these projects, and finalisation of the action plan for sale of properties and unsold inventory, the biggest hurdle in completion of construction and the prevalent apprehension in the minds of homebuyers will be removed. I am sure, there will not be any shortage of funds and NBCC will be able to complete these projects on time.”

The receiver also informed the bench that the MSTC has filed a detailed action plan for valuation and e-auction of properties and this entire exercise will be completed by February 2021. The bench gave in-principle approval to MSTC to go ahead with the plan and directed it to place a revised schedule on record and the valuation report in a sealed cover.

NBCC informed the court that it will undertake sale of unsold inventory and FAR, and the court directed it to place the complete list of unsold inventories by next date of hearing.

The receiver submitted before the court that talks with SBI Caps have been finaliwed and sought the court’s permission to incorporate a “Not for Profit Company under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 to receive funds from SBI Caps/SWAMIH Fund. The court granted its permission.

The top court has scheduled the next date of hearing on October 29, when it will take up the issues regarding recovery of funds in terms of findings of Forensic Auditors.

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Uber hires Amazon veteran to lead mobility teams in Bengaluru

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Manikandan Thangarathnam
Manikandan Thangarathnam

Uber on Thursday announced it hired Amazon veteran Manikandan Thangarathnam as senior director to lead all rider and platform engineering teams in Bengaluru.

Uber said it is also hiring 85 more engineers in the country. This is in addition to hiring 140 engineers the ride-hailing service announced last month.

“As the world steps into a new normal, adaptability is going to be a key aspect to usher in growth. I look forward to leading the bright minds at Uber and innovating together for the world, one ride at a time,” said Mani.

At Amazon, Mani helped build several core platforms and products.

He led engineering efforts for the Amazon Appstore and was instrumental in bootstrapping the tech major’s Chennai office and building a vast team of engineers.

The Rider mobility team works on the challenge of enabling the next billion trips by building new services including high capacity vehicles (Uber bus), and car rentals, among others.

The company said the Marketplace team is building a highly-available and scalable self-serve gateway to configure, manage, and monitor Application Programming Interfaces (API) of every business domain at Uber.

Uber recently hired another Amazon veteran Jayaram Valliyur as senior director to lead its global finance technology team, spread across multiple geographies.

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OnePlus investing Rs 100 crore to boost retail footprint in India

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OnePlus to launch 2 Nord smartphones on Oct 26
OnePlus to launch 2 Nord smartphones on Oct 26

Smartphone maker OnePlus is committed to invest Rs 100 crore towards deeper market penetration by taking premium offline experience beyond metro cities and expanding its reach through new online and offline retail partnerships, a top company executive said on Thursday.

With over 5,000 offline stores including partnered stores across the country, the smartphone maker is planning to scale up to more than 8,000 stores in the coming quarters, Navnit Nakra, VP and Chief Strategy OnePlus India told IANS.

“At present, we have over 30 OnePlus experience stores across India and will be opening 14 new experience stores in the next six months.

“We’ll launch our biggest experience store globally, the OnePlus Nizam Palace in Hyderabad later this year. We are also working towards covering 100 cities through our service centre network in the next year,” Nakra informed.

The smartphone maker launched its India R&D centre in 2019 and is committed to achieve long-term growth in the country.

Currently, the company has 300 employees in the R&D team and hope to double that number in the coming months.

Nakra said that India continues to be a key market for OnePlus since the brand’s entry in 2014.

“We began our commitment to Make in India initiative in February 2018 and since then, we have been manufacturing our devices in the country. We have also commenced the manufacturing of the OnePlus TVs and OnePlus Nord in India,” Nakra told IANS.

By 2021, all OnePlus TVs will be manufactured locally in India.

“On our smart TV portfolio, we commenced the manufacturing of the Y series in India and by 2021, all OnePlus TVs will also be manufactured locally including the Q and the U series,” Nakra informed.

He said that 100 per cent of OnePlus smartphones are being manufactured in India including OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus Nord and the recently launched OnePlus 8T.

OnePlus has launched its new flagship 5G smartphone the ‘OnePlus 8T’ with 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display and quad-camera set up, in India.

The OnePlus 8T will be available in two colours, aquamarine green and lunar silver at Rs 45,999 (12GB RAM+ 256GB internal storage) and Rs 42,999 (8GB RAM+128GB internal storage).

“OnePlus is consistently exploring opportunities to fuel its growth and meet the needs of more users, by starting to strategically diversify into new product categories and new price points but, at the same time, not compromising on our OnePlus promise,” Nakra told IANS.

OnePlus Nord series is also likely to get new entrants this month, according to multiple reports.

The rumoured OnePlus Nord N10 5G and OnePlus Nord N100 are said to be launching as soon as the end of October, first in the US market.

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Sensex in red amid volatility on global cues

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Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). (File Photo: IANS)
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). (File Photo: IANS)

Amid a largely volatile trade, the key Indian equity indices traded in negative on Thursday morning.

Weakness across Asian markets and fading hopes of a further stimulus in the US, weighed down on the investor sentiments, analysts said.

At 10.25 a.m., Sensex was trading at 40,643.97, lower by 150.77 points or 0.37 per cent from its previous close of 40,794.74.

It opened at 41,048.05 and has so far touched an intra-day high of 41,048.05 and a low of 40,541.13 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading at 11,953.30, lower by 17.75 points or 0.15 per cent from the previous close.

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US stocks drop as stimulus hopes wane

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New York Stock Exchange. (File Photo: IANS)
New York Stock Exchange. (File Photo: IANS)

Wall Street’s major averages finished lower on Wednesday as investors grew concerned over the uncertain fate of a US coronavirus stimulus deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 165.81 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 28,514.00. The S&P 500 fell 23.26 points, or 0.66 per cent, to 3,488.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 95.17 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 11,768.73, Xinhua news agency reported.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors declined, with consumer discretionary down 1.43 per cent, leading the laggards. Industrials closed up 0.54 per cent, the best-performing group.

US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

Investors continued to look for clues on new stimulus. An impasse among US lawmakers in Washington has somewhat dimmed hopes that more Covid-19 relief aid would come to fruition before the election.

“We have two sides that are very far apart in terms of arriving at some form of stimulus, and I do not think it is likely we see a breakthrough before the election,” Mitch Zacks, CEO at Zacks Investment Management, said in a note on Wednesday.

Looking ahead, analysts said markets will remain sensitive to news of fiscal support in the lead-up to the election.

Meanwhile, Wall Street pored through newly-released earnings reports.

Goldman Sachs on Wednesday delivered quarterly results that well exceeded consensus estimates. Its shares rose 0.2 per cent.

Bank of America shares fell more than 5 per cent after its earnings topped expectations and overall revenue missed estimates.

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Business

US dollar slips as traders monitor stimulus

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Dollar
Dollar

The US dollar weakened in late trading on Wednesday as market participants continued to look for clues on new stimulus.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 0.16 per cent at 93.3865, Xinhua news agency reported.

In late New York trading, the euro was up to $1.1750 from $1.1744 in the previous session, and the British pound was up to $1.3023 from $1.2933 in the previous session. The Australian dollar increased to $0.7166 from $0.7153.

The US dollar bought 105.10 Japanese yen, lower than 105.49 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar decreased to 0.9131 Swiss franc from 0.9145 Swiss franc, and it was up to 1.3145 Canadian dollars from 1.3140 Canadian dollars.

Recent market moves have oscillated with the probability of substantial additional fiscal stimulus. An impasse among US lawmakers in Washington somewhat dimmed hopes that more Covid-19 relief aid would come to fruition before the election.

“It’s likely that markets will remain sensitive to news of fiscal support in the lead-up to the election,” analysts at UBS said in a note on Wednesday.

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IBC still evolving, can be far more efficient: CEA

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KV Subramanian. (File Photo: IANS)
KV Subramanian. (File Photo: IANS)

Chief Economist Adviser (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian said on Wednesday that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is an evolving process and there is scope for the framework to become more efficient.

Speaking at a webinar on ‘Investment Opportunities in Stressed Assets in India’, organised by FICCI, Subramanian noted that the ecosystem of creative destruction is a very important part of any economy. He said the exit process for businesses was not enabled well in India before the IBC.

He added that there are some market failures in India in the “creative destruction” process.

“The IBC is an evolving process and there’s still scope for making it far more efficient,” he said.

Stressed assets are important components of a market economy and focus on various stakeholders that enable a process of creative destruction is very crucial, Subramanian said.

The CEA was of the view that corporate India also needs to recognise and respect the equity contract.

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