OPINION, P8 ECONOMY, P2 SUNIL JAIN Furore over GDP is not about data, it’s about politics ON G20 SIDELINES $21-BN OPEN OFFER Older telcos done well to shut out low-paying users, must also subsidise 4G phones SURJIT BHALLA INTERNATIONAL, P14 India to play ‘responsible’ role at climate talks, PM Modi tells UN chief Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank sets its IPO price at 1,500 yen PUNE, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2018 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL.IX NO. 224, 18 PAGES, `10.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 36194.30 ▲▼ 23.89 NIFTY: 10876.75 ▲▼ 18.05 NIKKEI 225: 22351.06 ▲▼ 88.46 HANG SENG: 26506.75 ▲▼ 55.72 `/$: 69.58 ▲▼ 0.27 `/€: 79.17 ▲▼ 0.16 BRENT: $58.74 ▲▼ $-0.77 GOLD: `30240.00 ▲▼ `-120 THREE-QUARTER LOW FE BUREAU NBFCs surge on bourses Shares of non-banking financial companies gained after the RBI relaxed rules to sell or securitise their loan books Dewan Housing Indiabulls Housing Bajaj Finance Intra-day on BSE (`) Nov 30 Intra-day on BSE (`) Nov 30 Intra-day on BSE (`) Nov 30 217 725 215 720 213 715 211 710 209 705 715.15 2,572 207 205 208.7 Open Previous close 200.55 Close 2,560 Previous close 2,505.70 2,528.40 2,548 2,536 717.15 700 695 2,536 Open 2,524 Previous close 700.95 Close 2,512 2,500 Open Close Special Feature Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi: Unholy alliance Carlos Ghosn’s arrest shows the merits of a carmakers’ merger; an alliance that once put a halo on Mr Ghosn’s head has become an unholy mess—the alliance is tarnished for good ■ Motobahn, P13 QuickPicks Govt may give AI `12,000 cr over two years to pare debt 5.6 9 12.5 6 3 0 2 0 6.8 3.8 Q2 Q3 FY18 Q1 Q2 Source: MoSPI Q3 FY18 Q4 Q1 Q2 FY19 7 Private consumption Q4 Q1 Q2 FY19 Sectors that grew over 7% in Q2 Manufacturing; ‘electricity & others’; construction; ‘public administration etc’ review and engendered some hope of even a reduction in the rates, especially since retail inflation slowed to a benign 3.3% in October. The RBI had put the GDP growth for FY19 at7.4%whilethefinanceministry in August said the rate could even exceed 7.5%. The economic growth had accelerated forfourquarters in a row and peaked at 8.2% in June quarter (Q1). While a favourable (low) base added half a percentage point to the Q1 growth figure, it also seemed to reflect a pick-up in manufacturing, construction, agriculture-allied sectors besidesagatheringofmomentum in private consumption, the largest constituent of GDP, with close to 55% share. TheQ2data,however,unsettled that narrative. Some ana- lysts even warned of an ‘acute slowdown’ in private demand, largely reflecting the rural (farm-sector) distress. Among key sectors, financial services, whichhavewitnessedasub-7% expansionforfivequartersnow, couldcomeundergreater pressureinH2astheNBFCliquidity crisis became more pronounced,post-Q2. A saving grace about national income data released by the Central Statistics Office on Friday was an acceleration in investment growth. Also, utility services — gas, water supply — saw a seven-quarterhigh expansion in Q2. INDU BHAN New Delhi, November 30 ANIL AMBANI’S RELIANCE Communications on Friday got a huge relief from the Supreme Court,which allowed it to furnish corporate guarantee worth `1,400 crore via its sister firm Reliance Realty to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The DoT had asked RCom to provide a bank guarantee of `2,950 crore towards outstanding spectrum charges for approving its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio. 0 MA Y3 9 Nov 27: Govt moved SC seeking `2,940 cr bank guarantee from RCom towards outstanding spectrum usage charges MA Y2 7.1 4 When RCom said it did not have money to provide bank guarantee but can offer land as security,and if the DoT did not accept the offer its spectrum tradingdealwithJiowillcollapse, theapexcourtaccepteditsplea. It said the corporate guarantee will be in addition to the land parcel, which the companyhas to provide as security, as per the order of theTelecom Disputes Settlement and SC asked RCom to clear the pending dues of `550 cr by Dec 15 Appellate Tribunal. The move paves thewayfor the completion of RCom’s asset monetisation programme under which it will sell its assets like spectrum, telecom towers and optical fibre to Jio. This will bring down the company’s overall debt of `45,000 crore by 25,000 crore. The apex court has given two days time to RCom to fur- nish the guarantee basiswhich the DoT will have to grant a finalapprovalforthespectrum sale in one-week time. The `25,000 crore, which RCom will receive from Jio includesaround`18,000crore in cash and another `7,000 crore towards deferred spectrum liabilities, which will get transferred to Reliance Jio, as thenewownerofthespectrum. Ofthe`18,000crore,RCom needs to pay Ericsson its dues worth`550crorebyDecember 15.IfRComfailstopaythedues within the stipulated time, then insolvency proceedings against it will be restored. Additional solicitorgeneral PS Narasimha on Friday opposedthefurnishingofland parcels,pointingoutthatthese did not belong to RCom. “Please see if this security is enough. We can’t go from pillar to post to recover money... Onehastolookattitlesandthe deal,”he said. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 ■ Fiscal deficit at 104% of annual target Page 2 ■ Infra growth slows down to 4.8% Page 2 DID SOROS SHORT FB SCRIP? Sandberg asks staff to probe BLOOMBERG San Francisco, November 30 FACEBOOK INC CHIEF operating officer Sheryl Sandberg told employees to investigate financial dealings by George Soros, the billionaire who criticised the company at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. Sandberg wanted to determine whether Soros had a financial incentive to see the company’s share price decline, Facebook said in a statement. The social networking giant said it had been looking into his holdings and trading activity. “That research was already underwaywhen Sheryl sent an email asking if Mr Soros had shortedFacebook’sstock,”Facebook said in a statement. Her directivewaspreviouslyreported bythe NewYorkTimes. Sandberg has come under fire for Facebook’s handling of a rising tide of criticism,much of it related to the spread of disinformation across the social network. She initially denied knowing FACE-OFF WITH CRITIC ■ Sandberg wanted to determine whether Soros had a financial incentive to see FB’s share decline ■ Facebook had been looking into Soros' trading activity ■ The company hired PR firm Definers, which drew links between Soros and some of the company’s critics that the company had hired public relations firm Definers, which drew links between Soros and some of the company’s critics. Sandberg later conceded that “some of their work was incorporated into materials presented to me and I received a small number of emails where Definers was referenced.” Continued on Page 2 UP IN ARMS: Thousands of farmers from across the country marched to Parliament on Friday, to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices EXPRESS PHOTO: PRAVEEN KHANNA ● FARM DISTRESS ● COAL SCAM Opposition closes ranks Former secy HC Gupta behind protesting farmers found guilty again PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, November 30 LEADERS OF ABOUT a dozen non-BJP parties closed ranks on Friday at a mega rally here ofprotestingfarmersinashow of unity,as thousands of farmers marched through the streets chanting slogans to press for their demands like debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce. As Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI-M chief SitaramYechuryNCPsupremo SharadPawarandotherleaders shared the stage and backed the demands, the farmers started their march towards Parliament from Ramlila grounds around 10.30 am amidheavypolicydeployment, only to be stopped at Parliament Street police station. “The farmers are not seeking a free gift from the government,” Gandhi thundered at the rally in Jantar Mantar.The farmers had gathered from various states and camped at the Ramlila grounds overnight. Traffic in many parts of the capital was affected due to the march. National secretary of AllIndia Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) Asish Mittal said farmers from 24 states joined the protest. Continued on Page 2 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA New Delhi, November 30 ADELHI COURTonFridayheld ex-coal secretary HC Gupta guiltyoftheoffencesofcorruption and criminal conspiracyin a coal scam case relatingtoallotmentofcoal blocks inWest Bengal. Special CBI judge Bharat Parashar also held guilty private firm Vikash Metals and Power(VMPL),exjoint secretary in the ministry of coal KS Kropha, who is still in service, and then director (CA-I) in the ministry KC Samria in the case. The court also convicted the firm’smanagingdirectorVikash Patni and its authorised signatoryAnand Mallick in the case. The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocation of Moira and Madhujore (North and South) coal blocks in West Bengal to VMPL. In September 2012, the CBIhadregisteredanFIR in the case. After pronouncement of the decision, all the five convicted personswere taken into custody by the court which fixed December 3 for hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment. Continued on Page 2 SOTHEBY'S AUCTION DESPITE THE FISCAL constraints, the Centre is likely to provide `12,200 crore from the Budget — half of it this fiscal and the balance in the next year—to retire 40% of the `30,000 crore working capital debt of Air India, report Prasanta Sahu & Arun Nayal. As a precursor to this, this debt—not backed by assets— will be shifted to a special purpose vehicle (SPV). The balance of this debt will be serviced by the SPV through monetisation of the carrier's assorted assets. PAGE 6 Tyeb Mehta’s ‘Durga’ fetches `20.49 cr PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Mumbai, November 30 China manufacturing stalls in Nov for first time in two years GROWTH IN CHINA’S vast manufacturing sector stalled for the first time in over two years in November, missing expectations and adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more economic support measures amid a bitter trade war with the United States, reports Reuters.The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.0 in November from 50.2 in October, data showed on Friday. It was the weakest reading in 28 months. PAGE 14 7 5 6 6.3 7.7 NCLT admitted insolvency plea by Ericsson India against RCom for failing to pay its dues MA Y1 8 8.2 Ericsson filed contempt petition against RCom after it failed to pay by the deadline 23 RBI boost 10 (% change, y-o-y) 18 Govt consumption 12.7 Fixed 15 investment 12 6.1 RCom offered an out-of-court settlement T OC OIL PRICES FELL on Friday as swelling inventories depressed sentiment. Global benchmarks, North Sea Brent and US light crude have had their weakest month for more than 10 years in November. Brent fell $1.20 to $58.31/b, before recovering to around $58.50 by 1425 GMT. INDIA’S GROSS DOMESTIC product (GDP) expanded at a lower-than-expected 7.1% in September quarter (Q2) of the current fiscal,as a deceleration in key service industries that beganinthefinalquarteroflast fiscal persisted, private consumption slowed and the dragdown effect of ‘net exports’ aggravated. Public expenditure continuedtobacktheeconomyinabig way, helping to an extent to crowd in private investments, but the latest data still promptedanalyststoparedown their forecasts for the second halfoftheyear.Sub-7%growth earlierpredictedbymostforthe fourth quarter of this fiscal might kick in earlier, many of themsaidwiththebenefitofthe latest data, while settling for full-year growth estimates of around 7% versus near-7.5% prognosticated earlier. The Q2 growth figure has nullified the chances of a rate hike by the monetary policy committee at the December 5 (%, y-o-y) Pvt consumption slows SC gave nod to RCom-Ericsson settlement pact for `550 cr instead of `1,500 crore by Sept 30 T2 Weakest month in a decade for oil benchmarks FE BUREAU New Delhi, November 30 GDP growth drops after four quarters NCLAT stayed insolvency proceedings to work out-of-court settlement OC THE GOVERNMENT has extended the due date for filing tax deducted at source (TDS) returns under GST laws for the OctoberDecember period to January 31, 2019. According to the Central GSTAct, the notified entities are required to collect TDS at 1% on payments to goods or services suppliers in excess of `2.5 lakh. Major service sectors subdued, private demand hit; RBI to at least hold rates on Wednesday RCom pleaded that it be allowed to offer land as security against spectrum dues, else its deal with Jio will collapse G3 AU IN THE NEWS TDS deadline for Oct-Dec extended 212.4 SPECTRUM TRADE GDP growth slows SC clears way for RCom-Jio deal to 7.1% in Q2 WORLD AIDS DAY ‘Durga Mahisasura Mardini’ TYEB MEHTA’S PAINTING‘Durga Mahisasura Mardini’ was sold for $2.9 million (`20.49 crore) at Boundless India, Sotheby's inaugural auction in Mumbai. Art works worth $7.9 million (`55.40 crore) were sold at the auction,a Sotheby's official said,adding that over 75% of sold lots achieved prices above their pre- sale high estimates. Mehta’s painting had remained in the same private collection ever since it was commissioned from the artist in 1993. Strong competition for Amrita Sher-Gil’s‘The Little Girl in Blue’drove the painting to sell over the high estimate for `18.69 crore ($2.7 million),a record price for the artist in India. This is only the seventh oil painting by the artist to be offered anywhere in the world.The work had remained in the same collection for 80 years,since it was selected by the artist for her first solo show in 1937. Earlier in the sale,a second work by Sher-Gil,a work on paper created by the artist when she was just 10-yearold,was also sold. Edward Gibbs,Sotheby's chairman for the Middle East and India,said, “This is a milestone moment for Sotheby’s.Tonight’s sale reflects Sotheby’s continued commitment to the South Asian market.” Yamini Mehta,Sotheby’s International Head of Indian and South Asian Art,said, “Tonight's results are a vote of confidence for the South Asian art market,with significant new records and benchmarks achieved across different artists and genres.” One of the most important sculptures created in modern India,an untitled 1950s bronze by Sadanand Bakre, achieved a record price for any 20th century Indian sculpture at `1.88 crore. ▲ ‘The Little Girl in Blue’
The Financial Express (FE) is a business paper that’s closest to the people who are in the business of business. From business policies to market trends to new developments, The Financial Express comes packed with incisive news on every relevant issue.