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Muthoot Finance to acquire IDBI Mutual Fund

After the transactions, both IDBI AMC and IDBI MF Trustee Company will become wholly owned subsidiary companies of Muthoot Finance.

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Muthoot Finance

New Delhi, Nov 22 : Foraying into the mutual fund space, Muthoot Finance Ltd said on Friday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire IDBI Asset Management Ltd (IDBI AMC) and IDBI MF Trustee Company Ltd for Rs 215 crore.

Muthoot Finance said in a statement that the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of February 2020 subject to receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

After the transactions, both IDBI AMC and IDBI MF Trustee Company will become wholly owned subsidiary companies of Muthoot Finance.

“The transaction will be completed pursuant to the share purchase agreement dated November 22, 2019 entered into by and between Muthoot Finance Limited, sellers and the target companies. Upon completion of the transaction, Muthoot Finance Ltd will purchase 100 per cent equity shares of IDBI Asset Management Ltd and IDBI MF Trustee Company Ltd held by the sellers for a total consideration of Rs 215 crore,” the statement said.

The transaction is subject to receipt of approval from the regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), it added.

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DoT cracks whip, tells telcos to pay pending AGR dues fast

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New Delhi, Dec 10 : The Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked telecom licencees to speed up the process of self-assessment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) based dues and the payment of over Rs 1.47 lakh crore and submit comprehensive representation on previous issued demands latest by December 13, 2019.

The letter issued by the DoT has been viewed by IANS. The deadline for payment of AGR dues is January 23, 2020.

Three telcos — Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Tele — have filed review petition of the Supreme Court order in October, which paved the way for the DoT to seek AGR dues, penalty and interest from the telcos.

“The comprehensive representation shall be submitted within a week latest by December 13, 2019,” DoT said in the letter to the telecom licensees, adding that majority of the licence fee assessments have been settled after the SC judgement and for any remaining issues, a comprehensive representation needs to be submitted to the department.

In light of the Supreme Court order on AGR computation, all the annual assessment for licence fees and spectrum usage charges for relevant years are being re-examined.

“And now since all the earlier demands are being re-examined with respect to the SC judgement, you are requested to kindly submit a comprehensive year-wise, circle-wise representation except for issues which have been decided by the SC,” the letter said.

“In this regard, it is pointed out that over a course of time, multiple representations related to LF (licence fee) assessments were received from various licencees for consideration by the department,” the DoT letter added.

Further, self-assessment of dues and payments along with the submission of relevant documents as per a licence finance wing letter of November 13 needs to be expedited, the letter said.

Any issues should be pointed out in the comprehensive representation to be submitted but in no case the self assessment of the dues and payments along with the submission of relevant documents are to be delayed, it pointed out.

The Supreme Court decided in favour of the government’s contention that all revenues, including that from non-core sources, would be counted in calculating AGR. Licence holders have to pay about 8 per cent of AGR to the DoT as fees. Telcos also pay about 3-4 per cent of AGR as spectrum usage charges.

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RBI seen holding rates in the remainder of FY20

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Reserve Bank of India RBI

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Notwithstanding growth pangs, the Reserve Bank is expected to maintain the accommodative monetary easing pause till the end of FY20 to contain retail inflation levels, say industry observers.

Economists and industry experts pointed out that an imminent rise in retail food inflation over the next two months will override growth concerns and deter RBI to go in for a rate cut during the final monetary policy review for FY20 in Februray.

“In our view, the CPI inflation will rise sharply in the next two prints. So, we expect a pause in the February 2020 policy review,” said ICRA Principal Economist Aditi Nayar.

“Further monetary easing may not be sufficient to trigger a rapid revival in economic growth in the current situation.”

Recently, RBI’s monetary policy committee in its fifth review of the current fiscal maintained the repo, or short-term lending rate for commercial banks at 5.15 per cent.

The apex bank had reduced key lending rates during the last five policy reviews to reverse the current consumption slowdown that has plagued the country’s economy.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das defended the decision by recalling the “primary objective” of the central bank was inflation targeting and price control.

He pointed out that headline inflation is currently high, largely due to rise in food inflation. Das added that food inflation will remain “very high” during January-March, which prompted the RBI to hit the pause button on rate cuts.

Last month, macro-economic data showed that a substantial rise in food prices had lifted India’s October retail inflation to 4.62 per cent from 3.99 per cent in September.

The National Statistics Office is slated to release the macro-economic data point of Consumer Price Index for November on December 12, followed a day later by Wholesale Price Index.

Besides, RBI reduced the country’s FY20 GDP growth forecast from 6.1 per cent in the October policy to 5 per cent.

“Interestingly, the RBI seemed content with the pace of transmission and no longer sees the transmission as staggered and incomplete,” Edelweiss Securities’ Economist Madhavi Arora.

“We think that this easing pause is temporary. Even so, our estimates suggest inflation will likely remain above 5 per cent in 4QFY20 and could constrain a rate cut in February.”

Furthermore, RBI may await the budgetary announcements and the fiscal measures thereof before any decision to revise the rates.

According to Acuite Ratings & Research Lead Economist Karan Mehrishi: “At this point, an accommodative policy in pause mode appears likely till Q1 FY21.

“While there may be a potential risk of a rate hike if the inflation print remains persistently elevated along with a comfortable liquidity scenario, it is likely that the MPC will abstain from such action unless there is a modest revival in growth rate.”

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])

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Slowdown Saga: Nov auto sales decline by 12 %

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Auto sector slowdown

New Delhi, Dec 10 : Domestic automobile sales continued to decline in November with the overall sectoral off-take plunging 12.05 per cent on a year-on-year basis, data showed on Tuesday.

According to the data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the sector’s total sales declined to 17,92,415 units in November from 20,38,007 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

In October the overall sectoral off-take had declined by 12.76 per cent to 21,76,136 units.

Segment wise, the off-take of passenger vehicle sales during the month under review slipped by 0.84 per cent to 2,63,773 units this November on a year-on-year basis.

In terms of passenger cars’ sales de-grew by 10.83 per cent to 1,60,306 units from 1,79,783 units sold during November 2018.

But the utility vehicle sales grew by 32.70 per cent to 92,739 units, whereas vans’ off-take went down by 34.32 per cent to 10,728 units against that in the same month a year ago.

On the other hand, the key indicator of economic activity — commercial vehicle — segment’s sales were down by 14.98 per cent to 61,907 units.

The sale of three-wheelers in November rose by 4.45 per cent to 55,778 units.

In the case of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, the sale edged lower by 14.27 per cent to 14,10,939 units.

However, exports across categories were higher by 17.60 per cent at 4,11,470 units.

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