Let’s begin. Digital payments firm Phonepe on Friday said that it has raised $200 million from its largest shareholder Walmart, at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion. The funding is part of Phonepe’s ongoing fundraise of up to $1 billion, following its shift to India from Singapore last year, the company said in a statement. With this tranche, the company has raised $650 million from several leading global investors. With the latest round, Phonepe’s $12 billion valuation far exceeds rival Paytm’s $4.5 billion. In the past two months, Phonepe has raised $350 million from private equity firm General Atlantic, and $100 million from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global and TVS Capital Funds. Phonepe also said that it expects further investments which will be announced in due course. The funding will help facilitate Phonepe’s growth in India’s UPI payments space, including “UPI lite and Credit on UPI”.
In some more industry news, the biggest US banks pledged $30 billion of fresh cash for First Republic Bank to stem the turmoil that has sent depositors fleeing from regional banks and shaken the country’s financial system, reported Bloomberg. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. will contribute $5 billion of uninsured deposits each, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley will kick in $2.5 billion apiece, according to a statement on Thursday. Other banks will deposit smaller amounts as part of a plan devised along with US regulators.
Next up, market. Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, and Adani Wilmar were removed from the National Stock Exchange’s short-term additional surveillance measures framework from Friday. The stocks were added to the framework eight days ago – two days after it was announced that Adani Enterprises would be excluded from the exchange’s ASM from the first time it was added. The decision to add the firms’ shares into the surveillance framework had come following the steep rise in the share price. The Adani scrips are among 10 other stocks that will be excluded from the NSE’s ST-ASM, which are Kiri Industries, Tata Teleservices, Uniinfo Telecom Services, D B Realty, Pennar Industries, Focus Lighting and Fixtures, and Geekay Wires.
Meanwhile, Shares of Tata Consultancy Services marginally declined in the morning trade on Friday, a day after the IT major announced that its chief Rajesh Gopinathan has put in his papers. Gopinathan, who has been at the helm of the country’s largest software exporter for six years, has resigned as MD and CEO, nearly four years ahead of the completion of his tenure. He will be replaced by company veteran K Krithivasan. The announcement was made by the company after market hours on Thursday. On the BSE, the scrip opened at Rs 3,151 after it had closed at Rs 3,184.75 on Thursday. After touching an intra-day high of Rs 3,194, the stock was down 0.62 per cent to Rs 3,165.
Moving on. Steel bars and wires manufacturer Maiden Forgings on Friday said it will launch Initial Public Offering to raise Rs 24 crore, reported PTI. The IPO will open on March 22 and close on March 24, Maiden Forgings said in a statement. Out of the total 37,84,000 equity shares on offer, not more than 17,97,000 equity shares have been reserved for Qualified Institutional Buyers. A total of 5,39,100 shares have been reserved for Non-Institutional Investors and the rest for retail individual investors. Nishant Garg, Managing Director, Maiden Forgings Limited, said, quote, “This IPO will enable us to achieve our long-term objectives of developing specialty steel for import substitution in India and expanding into new export markets while delivering superior quality products to our customers,” unquote.
On to the technology sector. ChatGPT Plus premium subscription service has officialy been launched in India. The subscription plan includes several benefits, including general access to ChatGPT, even during peak times, faster response rates, and priority access to new features and improvements, OpenAI says. On Friday, the company announced via Twitter that ChatGPT Plus subscriptions are now available in India, giving users early access to features including GPT-4. The company’s CEO, Sam Altman, also posted a tweet reading, “We love India! Great news! ChatGPT Plus subscriptions are now available in India.
Lastly, let’s see how the Indian share market performed today. Domestic indices ended the week broadly in green. The NSE Nifty 50 rose 114.45 pts or 0.67% to 17,100.05 and BSE Sensex surged 355.06 pts or 0.62% to 57,989.90. Bank Nifty climbed 465.50 pts or 1.19% to 39,598.10. The top gainers on the Nifty 50 were HCL Tech, Hindalco, UltraTech Cement, UPL and JSW Steel while the losers were Eicher Motors, NTPC, Maruti, ITC and Power Grid.