One of India’s leading Edtech Unicorns, Upgrad, is set to become profitable in fiscal 2022-23. As per an interview given by managing director, Mayank Kumar, the company is contemplating to get listed in the stock market over the next 24 months. Currently, its focus is to cut losses by reducing the cash burn and double revenues for FY22. It had recorded revenues of Rs.302 crore in FY21. Upgrad will still need to invest heavily in people, products and outreach. It will also acquire B2B players in the corporate learning space.
The rally in crude oil continued as Brent rallied above $89/bbl to touch a 7-year high. Indian markets were closed on account of Republic Day celebrations. This was triggered by tight supply conditions and tensions in Middle East and Ukraine. The US is already considering individual sanctions on Putin if Russia invades Ukraine and this uncertainty is boost oil prices. There are fears of disruption of supplies from the Straits of Hormuz. The tensions have limited downsides for oil prices. US Fed statement is expected on 26-Jan.
Life Insurance Corporation fully exited Air India debt prior to the airline being handed over to the Tatas. LIC held Air India bonds worth Rs.3,800 crore which it sold at a profit after the airline agreed to prepay debt worth Rs.12,900 crore. LIC made a profit of Rs.800 crore in these bonds. Air Indi had offered interest rate between 9% and 10.5% per cent on debentures. The prepayment reduces the debt servicing cost of Air India. It may be recollected that Talace, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, bought Air India for Rs.18,000 crore.
Reliance Industries is going aggressive on the media business with a big thrust on broadcasting and digital segments. Viacom plans to raise Rs.12,000 crore for investors to beef up its media business. Former Star TV honcho, Uday Shankar, will take over as chairman of the media interests of Reliance group. James Murdoch comes in as an investor. The presence of fat wallet partners will help Reliance take on Amazon Prime, Netflix and Disney-Hotstar in the OTT war. Viacom18 is a JV between Network18 and Viacom CBS.
S&P has upgraded the outlook for Axis Bank from Stable to Positive; citing improvement in asset quality. However, the ratings remain the same. According to the note by S&P, Axis bank was expected to sustain improvements in asset quality supported by better risk management and boosted by GDP recovery. This upgrade reflects a 33% probability that Axis Bank asset quality would continue to improve. S&P expects the NPL ratio to further ease to the range of 3.3%-3.5% over next 12 months as credit conditions stabilize.
The board of JB Chemicals approved the acquisition of a portfolio of brands from Sanzyme Private Limited. The deal marks the entry of JB Chem into probiotics, therapeutic nutraceuticals and the highly lucrative reproductive health market. These brands have an approximate normalized annual revenues of Rs.150 crore. Sanzyme is a specialist in probiotics and therapeutic nutraceuticals. JB Chem had reported 32.4% rise in net profit in Sep-21 quarter. The deal will substantially enhance and enrich the JB Chem portfolio.
The legendary Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting may be held in person, after a gap of 2 years. The in-person event in Omaha is being planned on 30-April this year. Last year, Buffett had said that he fervently hoped it would be the last virtual meeting. In 2020, Buffett was helped by Greg Abel to field questions, making the succession plan quite clear. His portfolio changes are of interest, although it is well known that Apple remains their biggest stock holding. The annual Berkshire Hathaway letter will be posted on 26-Feb.
Adani Wilmar garnered Rs.940 crore from anchor investors on 25-Jan, ahead of its IPO opening on 27-Jan. Adani Wilmar will allocate 4.09 crore equity shares to anchor investors at Rs.230 per share with the Government of Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore among the biggest anchor investors. The total anchor allocation was worth Rs.940 crore. Jupiter India Fund, HDFC MF, Nippon MF were other key investors. Adani Wilmar is a 50:50 JV company between Adani Enterprises and Wilmar of Singapore.