Thursday, 12 July 2018

State Bank of India plans to raise $750 million via maiden green bonds


India's largest lender, the State Bank of India has announced plans to issue an inaugural USD benchmark green bond in the Reg S market. Green Banking and Sustainability have long been areas of priority for the lender and in an early delineation of this approach, SBI had enunciated its Green Banking Policy a decade back.

Through its inaugural green bonds launch from its London branch, SBI is seeking to raise between USD 500 million (EUR 426m) and USD 750 million.

The transaction will likely consist of two tranches and could open for subscription in the next few days, people aware of the development told the newspaper. The raised funds will be used to support investment in sustainable and climate-friendly projects.

The bank has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC, SBICAP and Standard Chartered Bank to manage the issuance. According to Business Standard, bankers will meet with investors this week. As per the Green Bond Framework, the proceeds from the bonds will be invested in research and development of ecological solutions to make this world a better place for our future generations.

The Green Bonds market as per July 2018 stands at $80 billion against $170 billion against the full year of 2017. The estimated investments in Green Bonds stand at $250 billion.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Bank of China to open office in Mumbai

Bank of China office in New York.

Reserve Bank of India has issued scheduled commercial bank license to the Bank of China. Bank of China is one of China's largest banks which is set to open its first branch in Mumbai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a commitment to Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Bank of China to set up branches in India when they met on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Chinese city of Qingdao last month. Bank of China will be the second Chinese bank to enter India after Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

As China’s most internationalised and diversified bank, Bank of China provides a comprehensive range of financial services to customers across the Chinese mainland as well as 51 countries and regions. The Bank’s core business is commercial banking, including corporate banking, personal banking and financial markets services.

"By the end of 2017, Chinese investments into India added up to more than $8 billion, as India has become an important market for infrastructure cooperation among Chinese companies and a major investment destination," Gao Feng, Ministry of Commerce, People's Republic of China.

China had permitted Indian banks to open seven branches in China since 2006. The State Bank of India was the first to start operations in China where it has two branches. The Bank of India, the Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have one branch each.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Turnaround Strategy? LIC likely to acquire 51% stake in IDBI Bank.


In a bid to achieve targets in Operation Clean-up, the Ministry of Finance is keen to finalise the acquisition of state-owned IDBI Bank by Life Insurance Corporation of India in three-four months to ensure the lender’s balance-sheet shows an improvement by next fiscal.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had, on June 29, given a one-time exemption to LIC to acquire a 40 per cent stake in debt-ridden IDBI Bank, taking its total holding in the lender to over 51 per cent. The acquisition will help infuse ₹10,000-13,000 crore in the bank, which had non-performing loans totalling ₹55,588 crore as of March 2018 and is under the RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action.

“IRDAI has already cleared the transaction and other approvals are also in the pipeline. The idea is that before the end of 2018, the transaction should be finalised and it should start showing results by the end of the financial year,” as reported in a corporate announcement page of BSE. The Finance Ministry is already in discussions with IDBI Bank and LIC on the timelines and proposed valuation for the acquisition.

As IDBI Bank is a listed entity, the deal is likely to take place at market value. The boards of IDBI Bank and LIC are, however, expected to come up with a final proposal on the valuation and timeline by the end of this month.

The next step is LIC has to go to its board and inform the board about the conditions under which the approval is given. What we have asked for is: what is going to be their plan for reducing the stake to 15% over a period. The government, which is the promoter of the bank, holds almost 81%. The deal, which will trigger takeover regulations, will also require an approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

Interestingly, as per capital market regulations, any company that acquires 25% stake in a listed entity has to make an open offer to acquire 26% additional stake from public shareholders. SEBI is likely to waive off this requirement as it has previously done before in case for government companies.

The IRDA rules don't permit a single entity to run two separate insurance companies. With this acquisition, IDBI Bank will be a subsidy of LIC. LIC's ambition of getting into banking business may come true as LIC Housing Finance had applied for the banking license in 2014 but failed to receive RBI nod. No clear information regarding the business of IDBI Federal Life Insurance has been decided yet.

Several financial experts have opposed this deal as it needs to bypass Insurance law. The infusion of capital by LIC is a bet on NPA struck IDBI Bank as it is very unlikely to turn around the bank's books in near term.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

#MarketWatch: What next for Manpasand Beverages?

Manpasand Beverages auditor resignation

Over the last few weeks, the Indian stock market has been hit with several shocks. The large caps were affected by rising crude and currency prices. The tumble in the small cap and mid-cap were led by the investor confusion in few selective stocks like Vakrangee, Inox Wind and Manpasand Beverages. Manpasand Beverages through its corporate disclosure declared the announcement of resignation of its statutory auditors M/S Deloitte Haskin & Sells, Vadodara. On the subsequent day, the Board of Directors of Manpasand Beverages appointed M/s Mehra Goel and Co., as their statutory auditor for the year. The newly appointed accounting firm has 13 partners on-board with an operational experience of sixty five years.

Although, there have been many cases of resigning auditors in the recent past. Several misinformed presumptions were disseminated through mainstream and social media which affected investor sentiments at large. Most of them are unsubstantiated rumours that are not based on any factual evidence and a lot of shareholders and investors have been negatively impacted. In fact, according to Prime Database, between January and May 2018, 32 auditors have resigned midterm, while for 2017-18 the number of exits stood at 36. 

Investors should be aware that Deloitte was auditing the financial results of Manpasand Beverages for the last 8 years and had never expressed their concerns on the financial performance of the company. Further, there has been no instance till date where the company has denied disclosure of any financial information. This rumour ride has affected the stocks of the company. Although the investors should prefer official sources of information than media agencies for further investment opportunities.

Manpasand Beverages has been one of the fastest growing listed FMCG companies. The company reported staggering 43.8% rise in net profit of Rs 72.6 crores for the financial year end of 2017. The total income for the same year stood at Rs. 735 crores. For Q3 2017-18, India’s leading fruit drink player, Manpasand Beverages, reported a growth of 64% rise in net profit at Rs 11.9 crores against net profit of Rs 7.2 on Year on Year. 
A 2016 report by Mintel on the global juice market indicates that in India too, packaged juice is likely to grow by taking a share from fresh-squeezed juice and moving into small cities and more rural areas, similar to what is observed globally.

“In India, for example, local fruit juice manufacturer Manpasand Beverages found success focusing on semi-urban and rural markets, where growth is fuelled by rising disposable incomes and a void left by bigger brands that have largely stuck to urban centers,” the Mintel report states. 

Manpasand's healthy market position in the fruit drink segment is underpinned by presence of brand Mango Sip and Fruits Up. The company has made several innovations in the past couple of years, which have enabled it to enter in top 5 players in the mango-based drinks market. In fiscal 2014, it launched the Fruits up brand in the carbonated drink market. The brand grew 71.30% over the past three fiscals and contributed 25% to the company's revenue in fiscal 2017. With network of 4000 distributors across the country and strong presence in Western and northern parts of India, revenue increased significantly over five fiscal through 2017.

The company already has 5 manufacturing units spread in Vadodara, Varanasi and Ambala. Manpasand Beverages plans capex of Rs 600 crores to increase manufacturing capacity with plants at Sri City, Vadodara, Varanasi, and in Khurda, Odisha. The ground-breaking ceremony of upcoming Khurda plant was commenced in the august presence of CM of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik. These four new plants are sure to double the company’s production capacity in the coming months. This shall also help the brand to reach newer markets as the production facilities increase. Manpasand Beverages also plans to enter into new beverage verticals in near future.

What market investors want? Stable outlook, prospective growth and a laborious past for a glorious future. Manpasand Beverages Limited was set up as a proprietorship firm named Manpasand Agro Foods in 1996 in Vadodara, and was reconstituted as a private limited company in fiscal year 2012 and public limited company in fiscal year 2014. Since then it has been expanding its market portfolio. 

Manpasand’s flagship brand, Mango Sip is growing by leaps and bounds and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 33.1% to Rs 1,408 crore by FY20. The recent backlash against carbonated cola drinks especially in the south and the upcoming Sricity facility will help Manpasand acquire southern markets. The Indian Juice market is expected to register compounded annual growth rates (CAGR) of 8% by 2022 to cross Rs. 17,500 crore compared to around Rs. 12,040 crore at present, according to Euromonitor International. The report states that the regional players and start-ups are currently challenging present market leaders by introducing new healthy lines of juices. Over the forecast period, these companies are expected to increase their production capacity and distribution networks to ensure year-round availability, which is likely to affect the current competitive landscape of juice in India.

The Euromonitor International report states that Coca Cola, Parle Agro, PepsiCo and Dabur together account for the vast bulk of juice sales primarily due to their successful portfolios of mango-based drinks. However, companies like Manpasand Beverages and Hector Beverages are quickly gaining market share since the last couple of years. Also, a Motilal Oswal report published in May 2018 suggested that Manpasand Beverages Limited shall see continuous growth in the coming years and would positively impact in its stock value.

Much of the ambiguity around Manpasand Beverages was to do with the fact that the company had not shared a schedule for its Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company. However, now that the company has informed the bourses that it would convene a board meeting on June 27 to consider and approve audited financial results for Q4 FY2017-18. Soon, after this corporate announcement, the shares of Manpasand Beverages saw an upward trend since the third week of June; further validating the growing positivity about this company in the investor community.

Disclaimer – We have provided all information based on our research and we do not have any holding. Please consult your financial advisor before making any investment decision.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Monday, 25 June 2018

India becomes 69th member of Europe's EBRD Bank

India EBRD bank

India’s membership will pave the way for more joint investment in EBRD regions.

Shareholders of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have agreed to India becoming the Bank’s 69th member, setting the stage for an increase in joint investment with Indian companies in the EBRD’s regions.

The Indian government applied for EBRD membership on 18 December 2017, saying the step would benefit both the Bank and India. India will take a shareholding in the EBRD but it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing. The EBRD’s Board of Governors, which represents all of the existing shareholders, voted in favour of India’s application.

With India’s impressive economic growth over the years and enhanced international political profile, it was considered appropriate that India should expand its presence on the global developmental landscape beyond its association with the Multi-lateral Development Banks (MDBs) such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank. The decision to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB) was taken earlier in this backdrop.

“This is an important step in the relationship between the EBRD and India, allowing us to build further on already very close ties.” – Suma Chakrabarti, President, EBRD.

The EBRD has long worked with top-class Indian companies on investments in the EBRD’s regions, which comprise 38 economies across three continents. The Bank has cooperated with Indian enterprises on joint projects worth nearly €1 billion, including investments with Tata, SREI and Jindal.

Impact:

  • Membership of EBRD would enhance India’s international profile and promote its economic interests. Access to EBRD’s Countries of Operation and sector knowledge.
  • India’s investment opportunities would get a boost.
  • It would increase the scope of cooperation between India and EBRD through co-financing opportunities in manufacturing, services, Information Technology, and Energy.
  • EBRD’s core operations pertain to private sector development in their countries of operation. The membership would help India leverage the technical assistance and sectoral knowledge of the bank for the benefit of the development of private sector.
  • This would contribute to an improved investment climate in the country.
  • The membership of EBRD would enhance the competitive strength of the Indian firms, and provide an enhanced access to international markets in terms of business opportunities, procurement activities, consultancy assignments etc.
  • This would open up new vistas for Indian professionals on the one hand, and give a fillip to Indian exports on the other.
  • Increased economic activities would have the employment generating potential.
  • It would also enable Indian nationals to get the employment opportunity in the Bank.

The total value of joint India-EBRD investments in EBRD economies currently stands at €982 million, with the majority of the transactions in the private sector.

The EBRD also works closely with leading Indian chambers such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. It recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

In 2017, the EBRD signed an accord to strengthen ties with the International Solar Alliance, which was launched during the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the initiative of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former French President Fran├žois Hollande as a platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich economies.

XX – XX

Also published on InfraStory.com

Thursday, 24 May 2018

HDFC Bank launches Digital Loans against Mutual Funds (LAMF) facility.

HDFC Loan against Mutual Funds

HDFC Bank, India’s leading private sector lender, has launched instant digital loan facility against Mutual Funds. The initiative is an industry first and is a part of HDFC Bank’s on-going digital transformation strategy. Thanks to the internet, banking has become more and more convenient and the future of banking is growing increasingly digital. India has leapfrogged into the era of innovation and Indian banks like HDFC are at the forefront for adopting change.

After the success of Digital Loans against Securities facility, HDFC Bank has now automated the entire process for Digital Loans against Mutual Funds (LAMF). HDFC Bank has partnered with CAMS to provide hassle-free service to its customers.  With LAMF, customers can now pledge mutual fund assets online and get overdraft limit set in their account in under 3 minutes. Customers can now avail of this product through the HDFC Bank website in 3 easy steps.

With this product, customers can leverage their mutual fund (MFs) portfolio to avail funds for any contingencies or emergencies without liquidating their investments or stopping their regular investment plans/SIPs. Digital Loans against Mutual Funds is available for resident Indians and for portfolios that are individual holdings.


One can avail Digital Loan against Mutual Funds (LAMF) through the website of HDFC Bank in 3 easy steps through Net Banking:-

    • Login to myCAMS via HDFC Bank website and select which mutual funds they would like to pledge from their portfolio
    • Click on loan terms and conditions
    • Input one-time password (OTP) and overdraft will be ready to use in their account.

HDFC Bank has collaborated with CAMS, a transfer agent for mutual funds to create a seamless customer experience. It is open to all HDFC Bank customers holding assets in at least one of the ten mutual fund houses registered with the CAMS. These ten fund houses together constitute about 65% of the total assets under management of the industry.

With paper-based loan processing, the customer generally has to wait for 5 to 6 days for loans against mutual funds. Even redemption of mutual funds takes 2 – 3 business days. With Digital LAMF, customers can design their own loan against mutual fund, choosing which assets from their portfolio they would like to pledge, calculate their overdraft limit eligibility against mutual fund, open a current account online instantly and get the money into the account; all in a matter of minutes. Instant loan facility like LAMF can be beneficial during emergencies.

Key benefits of Digital LAMF:

    • Instant availability of money in the account within minutes.
    • Available against both Debt & Equity Mutual Funds
    • Customer retains mutual fund portfolio without liquidation
    • First-time borrowers without a credit history can access loans
    • Interest applied only on amount utilised
    • Available across the country on HDFC Bank website
    • New Loans and Enhancements can be done online.

Mr. Arvind Kapil, Group Head, Unsecured Loans, Home and Mortgage Loans, HDFC Bank at the launch of Digital LAMF
Digital Loan against Mutual Fund is an industry first innovation and takes customer convenience, flexibility and access to greater heights. In emergencies, customers will not be forced to liquidate assets at less than optimal market conditions. They can instead design their own loan to tide over the cash crunch.  We are happy to partner with CAMS on this initiative to provide completely digital access for loans against mutual funds to our customers . With this product, we hope to reach out to customers in the tier 2 and 3 markets and bring them into the digital lending fold. - Mr. Arvind Kapil, Group Head – Unsecured Loans, Home, and Mortgage Loans, HDFC Bank.

The minimum loan amount is fixed at Rs 1 lakh, while there is a limit of Rs 10 lakh for loans on equities and Rs 1 crore for debt mutual funds. HDFC Bank is clocking loan sales of Rs 1,000 crore per month through digital platforms across products and expects it to go up further with the launch of Digital Loans against Mutual Funds.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Cleaning India's bank mess - NPA of Rs 1,00,000 crore may find resolution.


With the debacle of the UPA regime, the people of India were expecting a cleaner, fair and sustainable banking systems. Four years passed, our bank's NPA issues are still haunting us. The Q4 results of all major banks reported a higher NPA growth. Fraudsters like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have fled to Hong Kong duping Punjab National Bank, India's second-largest lender of approx Rs 11,000 crores. India's fight in the courts of Hong Kong, UK and other thug-friendly nations have regularly failed in the past. But, not all is gloomy and scary. The major chunks of NPA by companies operating in steel, cement and infrastructure sector are nearing resolution.

Just days before, Tata Group acquired a controlling stake of 72.65 percent in the debt-ridden Bhushan Steel Ltd for around Rs 36,000 crore will help in cleansing the banking system as well as boost lenders profitability. The consortium of state-run banks had the largest exposure to scam-ridden Bhushan Steel.

Of the total exposure to Bhushan Steel, the Punjab National Bank had set aside Rs 1,542 crore as provisions. “While the bank will recover Rs 3,050 crore of the outstanding amount, it will also be able to write off Rs 807.5 crore from the provision it had held for this NPA,” a PNB official said in an interview published by ET. Also, lenders, including PNB, will continue to own 12% in the acquired entity, giving it the opportunity to cash out later when the valuation of the company goes up, the banker added. The State of Bank is likely to get Rs 6,000 crore along with the shares of the entity. Bank of India reported that it would be able to recover Rs 1993 crore from the first successful NCLT recovery of 12 large NPAs.

Last year in June, RBI's internal advisory committee identified 12 accounts, each having more than Rs 5,000 crore of outstanding loans and accounting for 25 percent of total NPAs of banks. Following the RBI's advisory, banks referred Bhushan Steel Ltd, Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd, Essar Steel Ltd, Jaypee Infratech Ltd, Lanco Infratech Ltd, Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd, Jyoti Structures Ltd, Electrosteel Steels Ltd, Amtek Auto Ltd, Era Infra Engineering Ltd, Alok Industries Ltd and ABG Shipyard Ltd to NCLT. These accounts together have a total outstanding loan of Rs 1.75 lakh crores.

For the acquisition of Essar Steel with NPA of Rs 49,000 crores, Numetal and Arcelor Mittal are having tough competition in the NCLT courts. Bloomberg reported that VTB backed Numetal has made a bid of Rs 37,000 crores in the second round of bidding. ArcelorMittal is understood to have made an upfront offer of Rs 30,500 crore and pledged another Rs 8,000 crore in the form of capital infusion into Essar Steel. It is expected that NCLT may approve the better deal by mid-June 2018.

Lanco Infratech owes INR 45,000 crore to a group of lenders, including ICICI Bank with the exposure of Rs. 7,380 crore and IDBI Bank at Rs 3,680 crore. Thriveni Earthmovers is said to have offered INR 1,400 crore in cash and liability for INR 38,000 crore of debt at the subsidiary level. The bid failed as the company couldn't get creditors vote. It is understood that Lanco Infratech has filed for liquidation.

With the successful resolution of Bhushan Steel, the finance ministry expects that the NPAs of 12 large companies would be cleared in near future and banks would get minimum Rs 1 lakh crore for further lending. Along with clearing NPAs, India's banks need to implement effective credit control mechanism which would result in greater transparency and sustainable financial modelling.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Dubai's Relam Investment pumps $250- 300 million in India.


Relam Investment LLC, a new international joint venture formed by UAE-based Vault Investment and Vietnamese MIG Holding officially made entry into Indian markets. The company, headquartered in Dubai is set to focus on investments across multiple sectors including real estate, technology, energy, oil & gas, trading, healthcare, F&B, retail and agriculture. The company looks to invest USD 250-300 million in the Indian market with an initial focus on real estate and technology.

The company announced two new technology-led investment projects. The first would serve the real estate sector through the crowdfunding platform and the second, a trade hub platform, which will move small and medium enterprises into a different paradigm. Relam Investment LLC has allocated an investment portfolio of $50million to fund companies innovating in emerging technology like blockchain, AI, Big Data and another $200 million into the real estate sector, where India stands as one of its main hubs.

Relam Investment LLC also signed a cooperation agreement with RRP S4E Innovation Pvt. Ltd in order to set up renewable energy plants using CIGS, one of the most cutting-edge Nanotechnologies in the renewable domain. The partnership will also lead to setting up of a unique Electro-Optics park, as a part of its programme.

“The partnership between the two companies will bring together proven expertise into multiple sectors, which we aim to replicate in the Indian market. Our strategy is aligned with Dubai’s vision for globalized growth via effective investments. India is a developing region and its ‘Made in India’ project has made the country a global hub for investments. Through Relam Investment LLC, we aim to give a boost to the Indian start-up ecosystem.” - Sultan Ali Rashed Lootah, Chairman & MD, Relam Investment LLC.

Apart from India, Relam Investment LLC will focus its operations in the UAE, Vietnam, GCC countries, United Kingdom, Turkey, South East Asia and Egypt in the initial years, before expanding to other countries and regions around the world.

Source - Press Release.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Walmart - Flipkart deal: India's largest FDI investment

India's largest FDI investment

Walmart-Flipkart deal at $20.8 billion is largest FDI investment in India after Essar Oil stake sale to Rosneft - Trafigura at $12.9 billion.

India's leading e-commerce giant has been sold to America's leading e-commerce giant, Walmart. Walmart had been keen to enter India's booming demand-driven market. Some analyst thank the change in government policy. Just a month back, the cabinet approved 100% FDI in Single brand retail. Walmart has been thinking of India as its next market since then. The Walmart - Flipkart deal of $20.8 billion has surprised many including its rival Amazon.

Walmart announced it has signed definitive agreements to become the largest shareholder in Flipkart. The press release says that the investment will help accelerate Flipkart’s customer-focused mission to transform commerce in India through technology and underscores Walmart’s commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India, one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world.

Walmart had already entered India's retail market by joining hands with Bharti. They operate 21 cash and carry stores in 9 states of India. The joint company Bharti-Walmart failed to make an impact in the grocery mall business which is ruled by Big Bazaar, D-Mart, Reliance, Tata and the Godrej. Whereas, India's e-commerce market had only three major players namely Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal.

Subject to regulatory approval in India, Walmart will pay approximately $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77 percent in Flipkart, formally Flipkart Private Limited. The remainder of the business will be held by some of Flipkart’s existing shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings Limited, Tiger Global Management LLC and Microsoft Corp. While the immediate focus will be on serving customers and growing the business, Walmart supports Flipkart’s ambition to list on financial market's in future. The deal bids a good-bye to Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal.

Founded in 2007, Flipkart has led India’s eCommerce revolution. The company has grown rapidly and earned customer trust, leveraging a powerful technology foundation, including artificial intelligence, and emerging as a leader in electronics, large appliances, mobile and fashion and apparel. In a market where Walmart expects eCommerce to grow at four times the rate of overall retail, and with well-known platforms such as Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe, Flipkart is uniquely positioned to leverage its integrated ecosystem, which is defined by localized service, deep insights into Indian customers and a best-in-class supply chain. Flipkart’s supply chain arm, eKart, serves more than 800 cities, making 500,000 deliveries daily.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, Flipkart recorded GMV of $7.5 billion and net sales of $4.6 billion representing more than 50 percent year-over-year growth in both cases. With the investment, Flipkart will leverage Walmart’s omni-channel retail expertise, grocery and general merchandise supply-chain knowledge and financial strength, while Flipkart’s talent, technology, customer insights and agile and innovative culture will benefit Walmart in India and across the globe.

Walmart’s investment includes $2 billion of new equity funding, which will help Flipkart accelerate growth in the future. The Flipkart investment transforms Walmart’s position in a country with more than 1.3 billion people, strong GDP growth, a growing middle class and significant runway for smartphone, internet and eCommerce penetration. Now, America's rivals will fight in Indian markets, largely benefitting the final consumers and the retailers.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source: Flipkart, Walmart.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

BHEL bags contract for Nepal’s largest hydroelectric power project

Hydro electric power project

State-run PSU Bharat Heavy Electric Limited has bagged an order to build the largest hydro electric power project in neighbouring Nepal. This prestigious order is a testimony to BHEL’s proven technological prowess in executing power projects of this magnitude. The order will also provide a fillip to the company’s focus on globalization as a driver for growth.

BHEL bag 900 MW hydro electric power project in Sankhuwasaba, Nepal

Amidst stiff international competition, BHEL has secured a prestigious order for executing 900 MW Arun-3 Hydroelectric Project from SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (SAPDC), Nepal. Notably, once completed, this will be the largest Hydropower project in Nepal. Located in the Sankhuwasabha district, this project will substantially enhance Nepal’s present installed power capacity and will contribute significantly to Nepal’s vision of utilising its vast Hydro potential for accelerated economic development.

The total contract value of Arun 3 project is pegged at Rs 536 crores. The order envisages design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection and commissioning of Electro-Mechanical equipment involving the supply of four Vertical Francis Turbines and Generator sets, each rated 225 MW.

The cumulative installed capacity of power plants overseas with BHEL supplied equipment stands at close to 11 GW. Continuing its focus on globalization, BHEL has achieved consistent growth in its exports.

Recently, BHEL also secured maiden export orders from Benin, Togo, Chile and Estonia, expanding its global footprints to 83 countries across all the six continents. A major highlight of recent past was the receipt of an export order valued at US$1.5 billion for setting up 1320 MW (2x660 MW) Maitree Super Thermal Power Project in Bangladesh. BHEL is currently executing hydro projects of over 2,700 MW capacity in the country and 2,940 MW in Bhutan which are under various stages of implementation, demonstrating our commitment to promote clean and renewable energy in India and in subcontinent around India.

Arun 3 mega hydro power plant has to be constructed within 5 years.

As per the tender contract, the Turbines, Generators, Generator Transformers, Control System, Bus ducts and other associated equipment will be manufactured at BHEL’s manufacturing units in Bhopal, Bangalore, Rudrapur, Jhansi etc. Erection and Commissioning will be undertaken by BHEL’s Power Sector Northern Region and 400 KV GIS will be executed by Transmission Business Group, Noida. The construction period of the project is 60 months from the date of awarding the contract.

BHEL has so far bagged orders for more than 500 hydroelectric generating sets cumulatively of various ratings in India and abroad, with a capacity of more than 30,000 MW. Out of these, equipment for about 6,600 MW generating capacity is for overseas projects. BHEL’s hydro plants are successfully and efficiently performing in India and across the world, including at Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nepal, Rwanda, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand and Vietnam.


Hydro power projects like these would help Nepal – the land of rivers become a power surplus state. India and Nepal mutually signed power trade agreements in October 2014. The agreement aims to enhance friendly relations and mutual trust between Nepal and India through increased cooperation in the field of transmission interconnection, grid connectivity and power trade. It facilitates government, public and private enterprises in planning and construction of interconnection facilities and power trade.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Sindhudurg Airport to be operational by Q3 2018.

Parule Chipi Airport Konkan

The much-awaited Parule Chipi International Airport in Sindhudurg area of Konkan in Maharashtra is expected to be operational by Ganeshotsav festival. The airport is being constructed by IRB Sindhudurg Airport Pvt. Ltd. on a design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) basis for the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). Sindhudurg airport will have a 2500-meter runway which has provision for future development. The airport will be built at an approximate cost of 520 crores.

Sindhudurg airport will have the capacity to handle 200 departing and 200 passengers arriving during peak hours with expansion facilities to serve up to 400 departing and 400 arriving passengers without additional construction. Although the airport will be serving domestic travellers it will be equipped with facilities to serve International charter flights.

The upcoming Sindhudurg airport is in the vicinity of Tarkarli Beach. Tarkarli beach which also has a Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation resort is known for its pristine virgin beaches, corals, water sports and dolphin rides. The upcoming airport is expected to boost tourism in the region. But, Sindhudurg airport will face tough competition from India's second largest proposed airport in Mopa in North Goa.

Agreement for construction of the airport has already been signed between Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and IRB Sindhudurg airport Pvt. Ltd. in 2009. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has given in-principle approval and environmental clearance has also been granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Construction of taxi way, apron and isolation bay has been completed and work on the airfield ground lighting in on. Construction of passenger terminal building, ATC tower and technical building is on in full swing. Construction of other ancillary buildings is in progress and will be completed on time.

An airport in Sindhudurg was necessary in order to provide better connectivity to the Konkan region of Maharashtra, parts of Goa, North Karnataka and Western Maharashtra. At present the state of Maharashtra has three functional international and 13 domestic airports. Sindhudurg may have direct connectivity to Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The route was also added in Phase 2 of UDAN scheme.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Saudi Arabia invests to develop World's largest Oil refinery in Ratnagiri.

RIL's Jamnagar Refinery is currently the world's largest.

An Indian Consortium consisting of IOCL, BPCL and HPCL and Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex, Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) in the State of Maharashtra.  Saudi Aramco may also seek to include a strategic oil partner from other Gulf countries to co-invest in the project.  

The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world. A pre-feasibility study for the refinery has been completed, and the parties are now finalising the project’s overall configuration. Following the signing of the MoU, the parties will extend their collaboration to discuss the formation of a joint venture that would provide for joint ownership, control and management of the project.

The Ratnagiri refinery in Konkan region of Maharashtra will be the World's largest Oil refinery with the capacity of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum, or MMTPA). Reliance's Jamnagar Refinery, which is currently the world's largest, has a maximum capacity of 34 MMTPA. It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including petrol and diesel meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms. The Refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemicals complex, which will be capable of producing approx. 18 million tonnes per annum of petrochemical products.

In addition to the refinery, cracker and downstream petrochemical facilities, the project will include associated facilities such as a logistics, crude oil and product storage terminals, raw water supply, as well as centralized and shared utilities.

Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around $44 billion.

This a joint partnership between the consortium from India consisting of IOCL, HPCL and BPCL and Saudi Aramco & an additional strategic partner on a 50:50 basis. This project, with an estimated investment of over Rs. 3 lakh crore, would bring huge benefits to the Region, the State of Maharashtra and the entire country in terms of large-scale employment generation, direct and indirect, as well as the all-round economic development of the Region.  This project is in line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and His Highness the King of Saudi Arabia. - Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India.

Investing in India is a key part of our company’s global downstream strategy, and another milestone in our growing relationship with India. The signing marks a significant development in India’s oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve India’s fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products. Participating in this mega project will allow Saudi Aramco to go beyond our crude oil supplier role to a fully integrated position that may help usher in other areas of collaboration, such as refining, marketing, and petrochemicals for India’s future energy demands. - Amin Nasser, CEO, Saudi Aramco.

The refinery will be situated in two villages namely Nanar and Babulwadi. Activists and local political party are protesting the upcoming project over land acquisition issues and alleged 'destruction of the environment'. A fear among locals is created as the mega refinery and petrochemicals complex is just 14km away from World's largest nuclear power plant at Jaitapur. The project is expected to give 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Konkan region. These two projects are important to turn around the financial fortunes of the Konkan region. Among this political slugfest, the Union government and Maharashtra government has clarified that it will go-ahead with Ratnagiri mega refinery project.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source - Saudi Aramco, PIB.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Choosing an English language test to go abroad? #DefinitelyPTE


The globalised world has shaped the importance of English as a global language. From Los Angeles to Christchurch, English has spread its roots to become the official language of the unions and finance. India and Indians are not an exception here. India has accepted English as an official language of union and diplomatic communication since independence. There are very few countries in the world which are as linguistically diverse as India. Though I am writing this blog in English, my most comfortable language of communication is my mother tongue, Marathi. Millions of students and professionals who aspire to study abroad need to skill up their English language. All you need is practice and guidance.

Lack of expertise in Grammar is a major issue for most aspirational Indians. At large, English is a complicated language. Before applying for universities abroad, a student must groom himself with effective English writing, hearing and speaking skills. Universities generally look for intelligent candidates who are equally good at everything. A good score in Quants and a bad score in English could affect your chances of being selected. English becomes an important choice of communication between the local students and international students. Also, an effective English portrays on employment readiness for students who are willing to work abroad once they finish their studies.

Pearson is a trusted name in the education consultancy. Thousands of students have successfully enrolled in foreign universities with PTE test. The Pearson Test of English or #DefinitelyPTE is a computer-based language test that offers candidates the fastest, fairest and the most flexible way of proving their English language proficiency for immigration and student Visas. Students can enroll for PTE online or can visit Pearson centres which are located in all majors cities in India.


Before the exam, students can prepare from the Pearson handbook provided online. It also contains a sample of 200 questions and gist of the syllabi. The PTE Academic is a single 3-hour English test comprising of these sections namely – Introduction, speaking and writing, reading and finally listening. Students can book an exam 24 hours in advance. The test is scored by the computer and generally takes 5 days to get the result. PTE Academic test is as par as IELTS or TOEFL. The certification is accepted by thousands of institutions and universities abroad. Professionals can attach the PTE Academic certificate to CV, as most jobs require strong communication skills.

#DefinitelyPTE! There are more than 150 centres so can choose from if you are serious about opportunities abroad. Get over rejection as PTE score are accepted by London Business School, University of Pennsylvania, University of Ottawa, Deakin University and more than 6,000 universities.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Disclaimer: I am really happy to work with our sponsor, Pearson, for sharing this information with our readers.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Edelweiss Mobile Trader app – Your personal wealth advisory.

EMT share market india app

India’s economy and her bustling stock markets had a phenomenal rise in the last decade. Such is its success that very few would believe that BSE Sensex was trading below 10,000 points just 8 years back. With a reform-based approach, Indian stock markets have improved their index by three-folds. As per the World Bank report, India’s economy is expected to double to $5 trillion by 2025. Most market experts firmly believe that BSE will touch the historic 1,00,000 index points before 2025. It is impossible to miss out on this golden opportunity. Stock market investment, be it equity or mutual funds, are one of the very few investment avenues which can beat real inflation.

The times they are a changin’! From floor trading to desktop and now in a mobile app. Mobile-based trading apps are the choice of today as they are highly efficient. You can manage the products or assets at any time with easy to operational and navigational tools. If you are so serious about stock trading, then it is must for you to keep every piece of information at your fingertips. Yes, nothing else than a mobile app can do this for you. Timely information means greater margin.

With an enormous amount of data and continuous transactions, traders often complain of mobile app downtimes. This is a unique problem of sentimental markets like India. Be it budget, government policy, US fed, SGX Nifty or Trump’s China trade feud, the downtime of trading apps is a major issue where traders may potentially lose hard-earned money. Users on Google Play Store have commended the Edelweiss Mobile Trader (EMT) app for smooth functioning during national and global events. The EMT app is built on the philosophy of speed, stability and simplicity.

Market mein kya chal raha hain?

The Edelweiss mobile trader app offers OTP based login for quick, simple and secure trade. The application is free for all. Users can check quotes from BSE and NSE from the main landing page itself. Users can track and trade across Equity, Equity Derivatives, Commodity, Currency Derivatives, NCDs, Bonds, Debt and e-SIP across NSE, BSE, MCX and NCDEX, all in one place. This is not something you can find being offered by all brokerages, all in one place. Market experts can predict early trends with movements in SGX Nifty of Singapore. Edelweiss Mobile Trader app is an early pioneer to bring SGX Nifty index feature. Drag the bull down when you wake up and you can the sense of movements in Indian markets later in the day.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. When it comes to investing, nothing will pay off more than educating yourself. - Benjamin Franklin.

Research is at the core of investing. Important information like live indexes, currency exchange rates, market commentary, sector performances, IPOs, FII DII flow, volume buzzer are easy to find in the EMT app. The left-hand side of the app is dedicated for research and the right-hand side involves trading. Trading advisories and Buy & Sell calls on a short term to long term horizon help in investment decisions. The research calls are thoroughly studied by the team of research analysts at Edelweiss.

Buy low and sell high. The super trend feature in technical studies allows to you to study the historical data of the selected scrip in detail for last 15 years. Along with updates on important events like bonus, splits or dividends, traders can buy when the super trend line indicates green and sell when its red. Prediction analysis and technology truly reflects in Ease of Doing Trading. The Edelweiss Mobile Trader app is one of the finest and advance charting tool on Smart Phone provided by anyone in the country.

Edelweiss Mobile Trader app tops the chart on both Google PlayStore and iOS App Store. With over 3 million minutes of app usage every day, the EMT app has a rating of 4.4 and 4.3 out of 5 on Android and iOS stores respectively. Each query raised on play store or social media by users is reviewed on daily basis. The Edelweiss Mobile Trader app has been awarded for ‘Best use of Mobile Technology in Financial Services’ by ET NOW BFSI Awards & best ‘Consumer Mobile Service’ by BBC Knowledge.

Download the #BestTradingApp from Play Store and iOS app store and try it yourself.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Monday, 9 April 2018

India to have 50 crore mobile internet users in 2018

RailTel wifi

478 million mobile internet users in India by June 2018: IAMAI

Like food, garments, and shelter, the internet connectivity for e-governance and information has been the 21st century’s basic human need. Cut-throat competition between telcos like Jio, Airtel and Idea has benefitted mobile internet penetration at large. Some telcos going ahead announcing that India’s 99% villages will get 4G internet connectivity by Diwali 2018. This isn’t a mere announcement as Open Signal report suggests that India’s mobile internet penetration may be far ahead than the US and developed countries in Europe. Although India ranks amazingly good (much better than its competitors) at last-mile internet connectivity, but we still suffer from low and inconsistent speeds.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar-IMRB report points that India may have 478 million mobile internet users by June 2018. According to the report, the number of mobile internet users increased by 17.22% from December 2016 to reach 456 million users by December 2017. Urban India witnessed an estimated 18.64% Y-o-Y rise, while Rural India witnessed an estimated growth of 15.03% during the same period. With 59% penetration, Urban India is expected to show a slowdown, while Rural India with only 18% mobile internet penetration is clearly the next area of growth.

Young students are the most prolific users of most services. Middle-aged and older men show the greater propensity of using social networking and browsing; with old men having lower habits of audio/video streaming. Working women have the highest propensity for social networking and browsing, while non-working women have the highest propensity for text chatting. The report further finds that Mobile Internet is predominantly used by youngsters, with 46% of Urban users and 57% of Rural users being under the age of 25. Urban India has around twice the proportion of users over the age of 45, while the age range of 25 to 44 has almost equal distribution of users in Urban and Rural Areas.

Data is the new oil.

Since the launch of Jio, the affordability aspect of mobile internet services has been benefitting consumers at large. 4G internet can be obtained at just Rs 5 per day if chosen for a three-month plan. Expenditure on Voice has been steadily decreasing from 2013; and with the popularity of VOIP and video chatting, the expenditure on voice services has decreased drastically in recent times. This in turn means that there is a rise in proportion of Data expenditure in comparison to Voice expenditures for most users. In just 5 years from 2013 to 2017, the ratio of Data:Voice went from 45:55 to 84:16.

Telecom companies now not just offer data. They have also ventured into video content, music streaming and online news portals. The latest example of business diversification is JioMusic, which merged into Saavn to create $1 billion dollar entity.

Going forward, NTP 2018 with focus on new technologies like 5G is expected to promote better quality data services at more affordable prices and can be expected to help address the digital divides and promote internet penetration in the rural areas via mobile internet.

– Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source – IAMAI

Friday, 30 March 2018

Ministry of Civil Aviation invites EOI tender for Air India sale

Air India divestment
Source - Airplane Pictures

Air India Expression of Interest has been released by the government. The government hopes to announce EOI winner on May 28. Then, the government would proceed with RFP and RFQ. Aviation experts suggest that the complete sell-off will be done before December 2018.

The government has decided to retain a 24 percent stake in Air India and Air India Express, as part of its divestment in the state-owned airline. The government is also proposing divesting 50 percent of its stake in Air India Sats Airport Services. The divestment is to be carried out through an open competitive bidding process.

Air India is the national flag carrier of our country with a significant market position in the domestic and international aviation market. Air India along with Air India Express has 42.8% share of international traffic to and from India among Indian carriers and 16.9% share amongst international carriers. With the competition increasing from new players in India's domestic aviation market, Air India's domestic market share has been reduced to 12.3% recently. 

Air India, being the oldest commercial airplane, has extensive reach at smaller airports. Air India, a prestigious star alliance member operates to/from 54 domestic locations and 39 international destinations. The world's longest direct flight, from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to San Francisco is operated by Air India. Air India has an operated fleet of 115 aircraft as on December 2017, comprising of Airbus and Boeing. The Air India Express, the low-cost carrier operates from 16 domestic and 13 international locations.

Air India SATS is a 50:50 joint venture between Air India Limited, and SATS Limited. As part of the Indian Government's initiative to upgrade its airports to world-class facilities and attract more airlines to fly into India, AISATS was formed with the vision to provide world-class airport services in ground and cargo handling that exceed customers’ expectations. Since the start of its operations in 2008, AISATS has provided hassle-free and comprehensive solutions to its customer airlines in international airports at Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mangalore, and Trivandrum. AISATS has more than 7000 employees.

The government is proposing a strategic divestment of the airline by transferring management control and sale of 76 percent of its equity share capital in Air India. Ernst and Young is the transaction advisor to the government on the divestment process.

The bidder should have a minimum net worth of 5,000 crore rupees and the requirement is subject to certain conditions depending on the class of entities. Among others, the Civil Aviation Ministry has said that each consortium member should have a positive profit after tax in at least three of the immediately preceding five financial years from the EoI deadline. The bidder will have to keep the name 'Air India' for a specified number of years mentioned in RFP proposal. The last date for submission of EoI is May 14 and intimation to the qualified interest bidders will be made on May 28. Bidding can be done as a single player or as part of a consortium.

CAPA, an aviation think-tank has said that Air India may get 6 to 8 bidders.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source - Ministry of Civil Aviation.