NATION, P22 ECONOMY, P2 INTERNATIONAL, P11 DAY 1 OF GOAFEST CHANGING THE GLOBAL ORDER BLOODBATH IN STOCK PRICE EssenceMediacom, ABP take top honours at The Abby Awards Trade partners want to fast-track FTAs with India: Goyal LVMH's Bernard Arnault, world's richest man, loses $11 bn in a day BENGALURU, THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2023 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL NO. XXXV 342, 32 PAGES, `10.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E SENSEX: 61,773.78 ▼ 208.01 NIFTY: 18,285.40 ▼ 62.60 NIKKEI 225: 30,682.68 ▼ 275.09 HANG SENG: 19,115.93 ▼ 315.32 `/$: 82.67 ▲ 0.14 `/€: 89.07 ▲ 0.21 BRENT: $78.26 ▲ $1.42 GOLD: `60,411 ▲ `360 IN THE NEWS LIC profit surges over fivefold in Q4 to `13,428 crore LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION on Wednesday reported an over fivefold y-o-y jump in its net profit to `13,428 crore in Q4 as it transferred `7229.15 crore from nonparticipating policyholders' accounts to shareholders' accounts, reports Mithun Dasgupta. ■ PAGE 10 Big relief to highway developers on BGs THE FINANCE MINISTRY has agreed to allow highway developers to replace their existing bank guarantees with insurance surety bonds, which would help unlock capital and speed up projects, reports Mukesh Jagota. ■ PAGE 2 Aditya Birla Fashion cautiously optimistic ADITYA BIRLA GROUP'S fashion arm, among the country’s largest apparel companies with FY23 sales of `12,418 crore, is taking measured steps in FY24, after a spate of acquisitions over the last few years, reports Viveat Susan Pinto. ■ PAGE 7 Uber steps up EV push in India STEPPING UP ITS India plans, Uber will launch Uber Green in June to add 25,000 electric cars on its platform in partnership with fleet providers like Lithium, Everest and Moove. It will also roll out 10,000 electric twowheelers in Delhi by 2024 along with Zypp Electric. ■ PAGE 7 Nykaa loses glow, profit dives 70% FSN E-COMMERCE VENTURES, the operator of beauty and personal care startup Nykaa, saw its profits decline by nearly 70% y-o-y in Q4 to `2.3 crore on the back of higher raw material and a one-time tax expense of `4.4 crore, reports fe Bureau. ■ PAGE 6 Meta starts final round of layoffs META PLATFORMS STARTED carrying out the last batch of a three-part round of layoffs on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter, as part of a plan announced in March to eliminate 10,000 roles. ■ PAGE 11 FE S P E C I A L S ‘India generates 20% of data,but has 2% of data centres’ Right policies on data protection are critical, says Intel’s Steve Long ■ EFE, P9 MAY INFLATION TO BE LOWER THAN 4.7% GDP growth likely to cross 7% in FY23: Das Not just pent-up demand, momentum maintained in Q4 SHAKTIKANTA DAS, RBI GOVERNOR There is no room Macroeconomic stability (is for complacency. there) in the We will have to sense that see how the inflation has El Nino factor moderated. plays out. Perhaps the next print could be lower. PRASANTA SAHU New Delhi, May 24 INDIA'S ECONOMY MAY have grown more than the second advance estimate of 7% in FY23,as the momentum gained after the ebbing of the pandemic was maintained in the second half of theyear, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday. The governor also stuck to the central bank's standing forecast of 6.5% growth for the current fiscal, and expressed the hope that retail inflation in May could be less than 4.7% registered in April, which was an 18-month low. This is a more sanguine view of the economy than not only those of most private agencies and rating firms, but also of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and even the finance ministry to an extent. Speaking at the plenary session of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII’s) annual session,the RBI governorsaid:“On the back of macroeconomic stability and therobustfinancialsectorstabilitythatwe have, I think there is a platform for supportingdomesticgrowth.Macroeconomic stability(isthere)inthesensethatinflation has moderatedwith the last print at 4.7%. Perhaps the next print could be lower.” TATA GROUP HAS stepped up its ambitionsintheelectricvehicle(EV)spacewith the formation of a newcompanythatwill make batteries and cells. Sources said that the new company, Agratas Energy Solutions, is directly managed by Tata Sons — the principal investment holding company of theTata Group. Tata Motors' two top executives — PB Balaji, chief financial officer, and Thomas Flack,chief procurement officer — are the directors on the new company's board. AmailsenttoTataSonsseekingdetails of the new company's business plans remained unanswered at the time of going to press.Atop executive from one of theTata Group companies,however,confirmed the creation of the new company. AnEVbatterycellmanufacturingplant augurs well for Tata Motors as this will eliminate the company's dependence on third-party suppliers based in China and South Korea. These are often exposed to geopoliticaltensions,supplychaindisruptions and demand spikes bycompetition. Lastyear,TataChemicals,thecompany whichexpertstrackingthegroupbelieved wouldleadtheEVbatteryplans,saiditwas notinterestedinenteringthisspace.However, chairman N Chandrasekaran had added that the company would continue to provide critical components for making EV batteries. According to earlier reports, the Tata Group is also believed to be exploring the idea of setting up an EV battery plant in the UKorSpain to support the electrification plans of British luxury unit Jaguar and Land Rover.The UK government has offered £500 million in subsidies to build a battery plant in the UK for the group. GREEN MOBILITY ■ Agratas Stands out for its big display, fast processor, nice cameras and more ■ GADGETS, P9 Q4 GDP growth seen sub-5%, FY23 figure below 7% PAGE 2 DGCA to first check if Go is flight-ready ROHITVAID New Delhi, May 24 In 2021,Tata Motors carved out a separate EVcompany,Tata PassengerElectric Mobility, where it brought in external funding to the tune of $1 billion from TPG and Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ, giving it a valuation of $9.1 billion.Tata Motors has pledged to invest more than $2 billion in its EV business over five years. Tata Motors is already the market leader in the passenger EV space with a market share of over 85%. AVIATION REGULATOR DGCA will conduct an audit of Go First's preparedness beforegivingago-aheadtotheailingcarrier to resume operations,Rajit Ranjan,the airline’s head of operations,said in a communicationto the staff. The communication also mentioned that the CEO has assured staff that salaries for April will be credited to their accounts before the commencement of operations. “Going ahead,salarywill be paid in the first week of everymonth,” it added. The carrier, whose petition for voluntary insolvency has been admitted by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), stopped flying from May 3 and has cancelled all its flights till May26. Inthe communication, the airline said that the governmenthasbeenverysupportive andhas asked it to commence operations as soon as possible. Speakingtoreportersonthesidelinesof industry body CII's annual session on Wednesday,civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said,“We have not received anything (the plan for restarting flights) fromGoFirstyet.Whenwedoreceiveit,the DGCAwill look at the safety protocols and take a decision based on that.” Earlier,in a replyto a show-cause notice by the DGCA, the airline had stated that it does not have any definitive timeline to restart flight operations as of now. The show-cause notice was issued on May8 inviewof the sudden cancellation of flights and initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for its failure to continue the operation of the service in a safe, efficient and reliablemanner. Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 4 Energy Solutions to be directly managed by Tata Sons ■ EV battery cell plant to eliminate ■ Tata Motors’ dependence on PB Balaji and third-party suppliers Thomas Flack from China and are directors South Korea on the new company’s Tata Motors board has pledged to ■ Tata invest more than Chemicals to provide critical in its EV business components over five years for making EV batteries $2 billion RAJESH KURUP Mumbai, May 24 THE ADANI GROUP'S plans to raise funds may not face any hurdle as a clutch of marquee investors, both foreign and domestic, have shown interest.The group is planning to raiseabout$2.5-3billionbyoffloadingshares through qualified institutional placements (QIPs) or other modes. The funds would be utilised to reduce debt and for capital expenditure (capex) plans. While foreign investors like Abu Dhabibased International Holding Company, Abu Dhabi InvestmentAuthority(ADIA) and GQG Partnersarekeentopickupstakesinthecompany, domestic names like LIC and SBI seem tobeinterestedtoo,sourcesclosetothedevelopment said.Besides general insurance companies and financial firms, investment arms of Indian conglomerates are also keen to participate,they added. “Most global investors are upbeat as the group,duringitsroadshowsconductedacross Asia and Europe, had promised a 20% yearon-year growth across its companies. The share prices of all group companies are also on the rise,”one of the sources said. Adani Group stocks had a mixed day at the bourses,withAdaniEnterprises(AEL)fallingthe most at 5.90%.Out of the 10 listed entities,7 fell while the rest three — NDTV,Adani Transmission andAdaniTotal Gas — rose 5% each. Two Adani group companies — AEL and ATL — have announced plans to raise up to `21,000 crore through QIPs or other modes to secure additional capital.While AEL plans to raise up to `12,500 crore,ATLis looking to raise about `8,500 crore. AEL is the flagship company of the group, while ATL is the largest private power transmission and distribution company in India. WAR CHEST ■ Adani Enterprises & Adani Transmission plan to raise up to `21,000 cr via QIPs and other modes ■ Adani Green is also looking to raise up to `5,700 crore ■ Foreign investors like Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company, ADIA and GQG Partners are keen Investment arms of Indian ■ LIC, State Bank of corporate India, general insurance companies houses are also keen to and financial firms participate are interested too AdaniGreenEnergy(AGEL),therenewable energy arm of the Adani Group, is also considering fundraising through share sale. While the company did not disclose the amountitintendstoraise,sourcesclosetothe development had previously told FE that AGELwas looking to raise about $500-700 million(`4,100-5,740 crore),whichwould be used for capex and debt reduction. Continued on Page 4 ZestMoney plans to be profitable in 6 months SALMAN SH & AJAY RAMANATHAN Bengaluru/Mumbai, May 24 ZESTMONEY IS ON track to hit profitability within3-6monthsandwillraisefundsthrough aninternalroundfromexistinginvestorsinthe next fewweeks,a top executive said. “Once we hit profitability, the need for funds will not arise.We will then be sustainable like any other company and will be completely on our own,” Mandar Satpute, chief bankingofficer,ZestMoney,toldFE.Thefundingwill be purelyan equityround andwill not have any convertible structures. The fintech firm is said to be finalising a new investment round from its existing shareholders, including Quona Capital, Zip, Omidyar Network India, Flourish VC and Scarlet Digital. To ensure business continuity,ZestMoney plans to operate as a lending service provider (LSP) partnering with banks and NBFCs to write out loans rather than lending directly from its balance sheet,Satpute added. According to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI's) recent digital lending guidelines, an LSPis an agent of a bank ora non-bank lender that carries out one or more of the lender’s functions like customer acquisition, underwriting support, pricing support, servicing, monitoring, recovery of specific loan or loan portfolio on behalf of these lenders. Satpute pointed out that ZestMoney’s non-performing asset (NPA) rate has always remained at 2.5% or lower, and it will continuetomaintainthesamelevel.“Largebanks and non-bank lenders come to us becausewe We do not see cost to be a problem. Whatever corrections we had to do, we have already done.” We have been working under the radar for the last eight-nine months, making us leaner, smarter, more profitable." MANDAR SATPUTE, CHIEF BANKING OFFICER, ZESTMONEY are able to give a different kind of customer. Wehavetheirbackingandsupport.Webelieve in the partnership model (LSP model),which has worked verywell for us,”he added. On the cost-control measures,Satpute said that course“corrections”have been completed and that further expenditure cuts may not be requiredinthenearterm.“Wedonotseecostto be a problem.Whatever corrections we had to do,wehavealreadydone.TheemployeecorrectionthatyouseehashappenedinApril,”hesaid. Continued on Page 2 ● SUGANDHA HIREMATH, NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HIKAL ‘I simply want what my parents left for our family’ The `2,000-crore Hikal’s promoter siblings Baba Kalyani and Sugandha Hiremath are involved in a court battle after the former sought to increase his group’s stake in the company by 5%.Hiremath tells Rajesh Kurup and Joydeep Ghosh that Kalyani benefited substantially from the‘crucial 1994 note’made by theirfather and that he is selectively choosing to ignore the part that said that Hikal shares would be transferred to herfamily.Excerpts: & OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G: A wellbuilt device that delivers Deadline aims to make recall of `2,000 notes effective: RBI governor PAGE 4 Continued on Page 11 New battery firm to charge up Tata EVs SWARAJ BAGGONKAR Mumbai, May 24 INSIDE Adani’s $3-bn raise may see marquee investors What is the genesis of this problem? The issue is about mybrother,Baba Kalyani,refusingtotransferHikalshares(34% stake) in our name — something that waspromisedtous,accordingtoa1994 note by our father. For many years, I have been talking to my brother over thetransfer,andhehasbeenpromis- ❝ A family agreement in 1993 clearly says Hikal shares have to go to me and Jai (Hiremath), which was signed by my father and my brother (Baba Kalyani). He cannot deny that. signedinthepresenceofeminentpersonalitieslikeMrVaghul(NarayananVaghul,then chairman of ICICI Bank) and Nadkarni (Suresh Shankar Nadkarni, then chairman of Sebi).There is also a 2012 letter from Mr Vaghul,which was notarised, confirming that he was present at the meeting. So to safeguardmyfamilies’interestandfuture,I had no otheroption but to move the court. ingme,infrontofmymother,thathewilldo the needful.However,aftermymotherpassed awayin February-end this year,he deniedthatheeverpromisedmeanything.Following this,his (Baba Kalyani’s) companies put a request to Hikal to purchase another 5% shares.That’swhat reallybothered us. There was a 1993 memorandum of understanding(MoU)signedbyhimandour father,andthenanotheragreementin1994 Do you think the Hikal case is yet another example of women being done out of business in India? Yes, in all business families and even normal families, women are totally sidelined from being given properties or businesses.Theyarenevergiventheirdueshare. All that needs to change.This is to fight for equal share ofwomen in familybusinesses or properties.Though my parents wanted to do it,I’ve been wronged by my brother.I want today’s women to take proper action, take everything in writing, notarise them, so that theydon’t get into trouble like me. The affidavit filed before Bombay High CourtonbehalfofBabaKalyanisaysthat there was no agreement or deed, and whatever you are claiming as an MoU was merely a written by your father Neelkanth Kalyani? It’s totally wrong. There was a family agreement in 1993 which clearly says Hikal shares have to go to Sugandha and Jai(SugandhaandJaidevHiremath),which was signed by my father and my brother. He cannot deny that. Secondly, the 1994 agreement signed in Mumbai,though my brother has not signed it, there are eminent witnesses who have signed it. Continued on Page 4 BENGALURU
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