RBI released guidelines for digital banking units (DBUs) with a target of setting up 75 DBUs in 75 districts in fiscal year FY23. As per the guidelines, scheduled commercial banks with digital banking experience can open DBUs in Tier 1 to Tier 6 centres without RBI permission. The establishment of DBUs should be part of the digital banking strategy of the bank. Each DBU must offer minimum digital banking products and services; on the liabilities and assets side. The board has to ensure appropriate monitoring of DBUs.
Tata group launched its super app, Tata Neu on 07th April. Tata Neu begins with a customer base of 120 million, 2,500 offline stores and 80 million app footprint across the digital platform. It is designed to be a one-stop destination for all consumer needs; including groceries, hotel bookings, electronic gadgets, fashion products, financial products and services, pharmaceuticals and bill payments. In short, it will offer all that a consumer needs. Tata Neu was designed to take on competition from Amazon and Reliance Jio.
Kalpataru, the premium real estate developer based out of Mumbai, will develop a commercial project spread across 6 lakh SFT in Mumbai. The project, christened Kalpataru Summit, will be a commercial Grade-A project in Mulund in the central suburbs of Mumbai. Kalpataru Summit will compact and mid-size offices, apart from retail spaces. The project will offer a choice between 450 SFT and 1,000 SFT units, ready for possession by Jun-26. Kalpataru developed several landmark properties in and around Mumbai.
Flipkart is valuing its ecommerce business at close to $60 billion as it gets ready to fructify its US listing plans in 2023. This betters the earlier valuation pegged of $50 billion. Currently, Flipkart is majority owned by Wal-Mart of the US. The IPO plans had been delayed as it recently launched its online healthcare and travel bookings; both of which were expected to be largely value accretive. Walmart had acquired 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018. Last year, Flipkart raised $3.6 billion at a valuation of $37.6 billion.
Jet Airways, under court-monitored restructuring, will return as a hybrid airline, offering premium and no-frills services. This will help them manage costs and regain market share. The economy section of Jet will continue to operate like low-cost airline. It may be recollected that Jet Airways had collapsed under a pile of debt and a cash crunch in April 2019 and the Kalrock Jalan consortium had assumed control of Jet from the insolvency resolution process. Jet had been extremely popular among the business travellers in India.
It looks like companies across the world will accelerate their borrowing plans as the Fed gets all set to embark on a combination of aggressive rate hikes and bond unwinding. The Fed minutes on 06th April hinted at multiple hikes of 50 bps each in 2022 plus a monthly unwind of $95 billion, starting May-22. This is about borrowings by American corporations plus the dollar debt of other countries. But, experts point out that even if you assume a series of rate hikes in the year, the borrowing rates would still be attractive.
Mahindra & Mahindra confirmed that the deal to sell its SsangYong Motors unit to Edison Motors of Korea had been terminated. It had been terminated by SsangYong Motors due to inability of Edison Motors to deposit the bid amount as per the terms of the deal. Meanwhile, Edison Consortium appealed against the termination. M&M owned about 75% of SsangYong and has been looking for a buyer for the stake. M&M had bought SsangYong in 2010. The Edison consortium had agreed to buy out SsangYong at Rs.1,882 crore.
Sugar consumption is again looking to set new records in the current summer season. The institutional demand for sugar comes from products like colas and ice creams, which see a spike in demand in the summer months. Sugar consumption in sugar year (SY) 2021-22 is up 3% yoy at 27.2 MT. Even exports are slated to touch record levels of 7.2 MT in SY 2021-22. This may reduce sugar stocks and raise sugar prices in India. In the last few years, India had been subsidizing the export of sugar due to the price differentials.