Episode 452

Business News at 09:30 am on 23rd March 2023

Listen to the latest in business and finance where we talk about Adani airports, RIL cable firms removing Star channels, disinvestment of up to 3.5% stake in Hindustan Aeronautics, Fintech platform Stashfin raising $100 million in debt, Modi unvieling vision document for 6G services, and lastly, the milk prices.

Today’s Latest Business News at 09:30 am on 23rd March 2023.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

While the Adani Group may go slow with regard to expansion plans in some of their projects post the Hindenburg crisis, airports is not one of them. The group will go ahead with the pace of expansion as planned and will even bid for more if the government puts up fresh airports for privatisation. Adani Airports CEO Arun Bansal on Wednesday said at the CAPA summit that there is no rethinking in terms of pace of expansion or investments for airports business in the context of the challenges faced by the Group. He said, quote, “We have committed, submitted our plans to the government. Whatever plans we have submitted, we are following our investments,” unquote. On future business plans, Bansal said, will selectively look at opportunities where it makes financial sense. He said that not only would the company like to operate more airports, but it would eventually look at becoming a leading airport operator in the world. Next up industry, The Union government on Wednesday announced disinvestment of up to 3.5% stake in Hindustan Aeronautics to raise about Rs 2,867 crore. The offer for sale issue will be open from Thursday-Friday. The floor price for the offer has been set at Rs 2,450 per equity share, at a discount of 6.7% to the closing price of Rs 2,625/share on the BSE on Wednesday. Only non-retail investors are permitted to place their bids on Thursday. Retail investors as well as non-retail investors, who choose to carry forward their unallotted bids, could place their bids on Friday. The OFS constitutes a base offer size of 1.75% of equity shares of the face value of Rs 10 each of the company with an option to additionally sell 1.75%, taking the total offer size to 3.5%, according to the company’s notice to the BSE. At a time when the Indian Premier League is round the corner, around 20 million television viewers may have to spend extra to watch the cricket league as three major multi-system cable operators –DEN Networks, Hathway Cable & Datacom and GTPL Hathway – have intimated subscribers about removing Star Sports and other channels of Star from their basic plans effective April 1. The development can also lead to a regulatory intervention if the consumers choose to approach the sector regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Under broadcasting regulations consumers have the right to demand from their cable or DTH operators the channels they want to view. If the consumers as a group move to Trai complaining that the cable operators concerned have removed some channels from their base pack, the regulator is likely to direct them to restore the channels. Meanwhile, Fintech platform Stashfin said on Wednesday that it has raised $100 million in debt from InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital. Lenders like Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company (Chola), Northern Arc Capital, Vivriti Capital, Hinduja Leyland, MAS Financial Services, among others, also participated in the round. The large ticket fundraise comes as a follow up to the company’s Series C round, in May 2022, where it raised $270 million at a valuation of $730 million. Of the $270 million, only $70 million was in exchange for equity from San Francisco-based Uncorrelated Ventures while the remaining was debt financing from companies like Fasanara Capital, with participation from Abstract Ventures and other investors. Moving on. Months after launching 5G services, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday unveiled the vision document for 6G services in the country and a 6G testbed project for facilitating testing of the new technology and carrying out research and development. The 6G vision document includes a road map for the launch of 6G services, recommendations from task forces, the financial support required for projects, and opening of spectrum bands, among other things. As per the vision document, Bharat 6G Mission will be divided into two phases – the first from 2023-2025 and the second from 2025-2030. In the first phase, the government will provide support towards conducting proof of concept tests and will work with stakeholders to explore ideas. In the second phase, the focus will be on developing the 6G use cases and take them for commercialisation. Lastly, Milk prices will likely remain elevated through this summer, due to a supply crunch and high cost of feed, making ‘milk and products’ a key driver of inflation, when the generalised price pressures are expected to gradually ease. Low supplies and the drying up of stocks in the form of skimmed milk powder, butter and ghee could necessitate tariff reduction to facilitate imports. Inflation in milk and products, which has significant weight of 6.61% in the consumer price index (CPI), has been rising since April last year and stood at 9.65% in February 2023.

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Business News at 09:30 am on 23rd March 2023