ECONOMY, P2 COMPANIES, P4 BEYOND STIPULATED LIMITS Overseas investment norms: Finmin includes ‘strategic sector’concept INTERNATIONAL, P8 RESTRUCTURING MEETING WITH BIG TECH BUYOUT BATTLE: NEW TWIST Commerce dept rejig to make it future-ready, says Piyush Goyal Parliamentary panel to build legal framework for fair competition Elon Musk subpoenas former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey MUMBAI, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2022 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL LXII NO. 200, 20 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: 59,031.30 ▲ 257.4 NIFTY: 17,577.50 ▲ 86.8 NIKKEI 225: 28,452.75 ▼ 341.8 HANG SENG: 19,503.25 ▼ 153.7 `/$: 79.87 < > 0 `/€: 79.3 ▲ 0.68 BRENT: $97.62 ▲ $1.14 GOLD: `51,220 ▲ `15 — MOVE TO ACQUIRE 55.18% STAKE Adani Group makes hostile bid for NDTV A FORMER Twitter Inc security chief has alleged that the Indian government forced the social media firm to put a government agent on the payroll, according to a whistleblower disclosure with US regulators, reports REUTERS. ■ PAGE 16 Govt may set FY23 exports target at a record $750 bn INDIA MAY target goods and services exports of about $750 billion for FY23, up 11% from a record $676 billion last fiscal, despite mounting concerns about a recession in key markets, sources told Banikinkar Pattanayak in New Delhi. ■ PAGE 2 FE SPECIAL ‘Finding quality manufacturers locally a challenge’ Lifestyle’s Devarajan Iyer on the retail chain’s beauty brand Iksu, its online business & more ■ BrandWagon, P7 (L-R) NDTV Group executive co-chairpersons Prannoy Roy & Radhika Roy; Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani NDTV Intra-day on BSE (`), Aug 23 380 370 366.20 354.35 360 ■ Adani Group firm VCPL exercises its rights to acquire 99.5% stake in NDTV promoter group firm ■ Post transaction, Adani 350 to have 29.18% stake 340 330 TAKEOVER ROUTE ■ To also launch `493-cr Previous close: 356.90 Open Close group’s media business. Following this, the group will launch a `493-crore open offer, under Sebi’s takeover regulations, for an additional 26% stake at `294 a share. Three Adani Group firms — AMNL, VCPL and Adani Enterprises (AEL) — have offered to acquire up to 16.7 million fully paid-up shares of NDTV open offer for an additional 26% stake with face value of `4 from public shareholders. In its statement, NDTV said the rights were“executed without any input from, conversation with, or consent of the NDTV founders”. NDTV added that it was not aware of the development till it got a notice on Tuesday. Continued on Page 8 Sebi to tighten norms for mutual fund chiefs STRICTER WATCH Regulations for AIFs may be amended ■ MFtrustees, ■ Chiefswill ASHLEY COUTINHO Mumbai, August 23 THE SECURITIES AND Exchange Board of India (Sebi) may tighten regulations for mutual funds and alternative investment funds (AIFs) in its upcoming board meeting. The role of chief executive officers and managing directors of MFs may come under greater scrutiny. MF trustees as well as independent auditors or lawyers may be asked to review the performance of all MD-CEOs. The chiefs will have to file undertakings declaring that the investments made bythe fund house are kosher and do not independent auditors or lawyers may be asked to review performance ofall MD-CEOs have to file undertakings saying investments made by fund house don’t violate norms violate existing guidelines. The chiefs of at least three different fund houses have come underregulatoryglare in the past few months. The regulator may pronounce direct action against these CEOs by debarring them from the capital market or asking that they not to be a part of theAMC setupanymore.“Instancesrelated to front-running, interscheme transfers and investmentsinAT1 bondshave come to light. In all these cases, the actions of the top brass have been found wanting,”a person familiarwith the matter said. Axis MF has come under the spotlight after it sacked two employees, including its chief dealer, earlier this year, amid an internal probe. The fund house has submitted the findings of the probe to the regulator,which has been carrying on its own independent probe.The income tax department recently searched the premises linked to the dealer along with a few middlemen and some brokers over suspected tax evasion. Continued on Page 2 DEMAND SURGES WITH STATE GOVTS PLACING BIG ORDERS Tata Motors,Ashok Leyland battle it out, this time in electric bus space SWARAJ BAGGONKAR Mumbai, August 23 WITH THE DEMAND for electric buses going up as several stategovernmentsinductthese cost-effectivevehiclesintotheir fleet,theoldrivalrybetweenthe top two manufacturers — Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland — has come to the fore. Electric buses are steadily replacing diesel and CNGpowered buses in several cities as theyare aided bythe Central government’s subsidy scheme as well as several new appbased startups driven by the private sector. While Tata Motors has deployed the second-largest fleet of electric buses in the country(withabout715buses, trailing 850 e-buses of Olectra ■ CESLis planning ■ Tata Motors has delivered tenders totalling 50,000 e-buses ■ Diesel/CNG buses to be phased out countrywide 715 e-buses, Ashok Leyland 190 e-buses ■ Ashok Leyland in final stage ofstake divestment in Switch ■ Tata Motors bagged 5,450 e-bus order worth `5,000 cr ■ Ashok Leyland- Chalo’s 5,000 order isworth `8,000 cr Greentech), Hinduja Group flagship firm Ashok Leyland (and its subsidiary Switch Mobility) may be ahead in terms of the order book numbers. SANDEEP BAKHSHI, MD & CEO, ICICI BANK The organisation man ICICI Bank’s head wears his considerable success lightly Ashok Leyland has an order bookof5,600e-buses,ofwhich 5,000 are under a partnership with transport technology startup Chalo. The rest comprises orders from Bengaluru MetropolitanTransportCorporation (BMTC), Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST),andsomeprivateorders. While Tata Motors has bagged the 5,450 e-bus tender floated by the Centre-backed Convergence Energy Services (CESL),it has assured orders for only 3,600 e-buses so far. This is because other companies like VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV)havematchedthe price offered by Tata Motors which has led VECV winning the supply order in a couple of cities, thereby reducing the overall share ofTata Motors. Continued on Page 2 THE SUPREME COURT on Tuesday held that the 2016 amendmenttobenamitransactions lawcannot be applied retrospectively and quashed certain provisions in the law that criminalised such transactions. Refusing to buy the government’s argument that the changesweremerelyprocedural and not substantive, the top court struck down the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act of 1988, which provided for imprisonmentforatermthatmayextend tothreeyearsorwithfineorwith both for those indulging in ‘benami’transactions. The changes in the lawwere made as part of the government’s assault on black money and was one of the harshest steps taken along with the demonetisation of high-value bank notes. Subsequent to the 2016 amendment,the income taxdepartmenthasissuedhundreds of notices to firms and individuals and initiated criminal prosecution and confiscation proceedings against them by invoking the retrospective nature of the newprovisions. Continued on Page 2 SHOBHANA SUBRAMANIAN Mumbai, August 23 WHEN SANDEEP BAKHSHI took over as the MD & CEO at ICICI Bank in late 2018, the privatesectorlender’sreputation had taken a severe beating. Employee morale had sunk following an inglorious exit by the previous incumbentamidstallegationsofbad corporate governance practices.Investors feared it could takeyears tofix the problems. But they had underestimatedtheextremelylow-profileBakhshi’sleadershipskills. TheICICIveteran(hejoinedin 1986 when ICICI was just a development financial insti- ROHNIT PHORE FE BUREAU Mumbai, August 23 IN THE NEWS Govt forced Twitter to employ agent: Whistleblower BANKER OF THE YEAR 2020-21 INDU BHAN New Delhi, August 23 Media house says not kept in the loop GAUTAM ADANI-LED Adani Group has set the ball rolling to acquire a controlling stake of 55.18% in New Delhi Television (NDTV). The move is being seen as a hostile takeover bid as NDTV was swift to make a statement to the stock exchanges that “therewas no consent from its founders for the exercise of rights byVCPL”.The company, however, did not indicate its future course of action. Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Limited (VCPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited (AMNL),onTuesday exercised its rights to acquire 99.5% stake in RRPR Holding Private (RRPRH), a promoter group company of NDTV.This will result in AMNL indirectly acquiring a 29.18% stake in NDTV, which is currently being held by RRPRH. VCPL holds warrants of RRPRH which entitles it to convert them into 99.99% stake in RRPR. AMNL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises (AEL),which houses the SC scraps criminal provisions under benami law tution) worked quietly, and withgreatresolve,rallyingthe team behind him.Afterfixing the systems and processes across functions and depart- ments,hegalvanisedtheteam into action and together they strategised forthe future. The CEO’s biggest contribution to ICICI Bank, according to insiders, has been his democratic style — bank insiders say it is now run though a collaborative effort and decision-making has been de-centralised. This changeintheworkculturehas boosted both employee morale and productivity. Within a year of his taking over,thebank’snumberswere lookingdecidedlybetter.Butit was in FY21 that the lender proved its mettle. Net profits at `16,193 crore were a near four-fold increaseoverthe`3,363crore posted in the year to March 2019. And it wasn’t just the impact of smaller provisions. Theperformancecameonthe back of a smart 13.7% increase in net loans with retail loans clocking a growth of 17.5%. Continued on Page 2
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