Blackstone Group plans to set up an ARC in India

Source: The Hindu Business Line, July 23, 2017

Mumbai: Global private equity firm Blackstone Group is exploring setting up an asset reconstruction company (ARC) in India to tap the opportunity thrown up by bad loans approaching Rs10 trillion, two people aware of the development said.

“Blackstone is keen on the stressed assets space in India. They have been assessing the opportunity for some time and now they are looking to set up an ARC to tap into the growing opportunity and are in talks with experts in the field for the same,” said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.

“As a matter of policy, Blackstone does not comment on media/market speculation,” a Blackstone spokesperson said in an email response to a query.

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India’s edible oil imports fall for first time in six years

images.jpgSource: The Hindu Business Line, July 23, 2017

Mumbai: India’s edible oil imports are set to fall for the first time in six years as a surge in local oilseed output cuts into overseas purchases, but intake needs to fall further to fortify the health of the market, the head of a leading importer said.

The lower purchases by the world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils come amid a 13 per cent run-off in international crude palm oil prices this year that has also pulled down other edible oil benchmarks and kept domestic oilseed crushing in India unprofitable.India is expected to import 14.3 million tonnes of edible oils in the year to end-October 2017, down 300,000 tonnes or 2 per cent from the previous year, Dinesh Shahra, managing director of Ruchi Soya Industries, told Reuters.

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Govt eyes $10bn investment in food processing sector in next 5 years

images.jpgSource: Business Standard, July 21, 2017

Mumbai: The government is eyeing an investment worth $10 billion in next five years in the food processing sector, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Friday said.

“We have seen 40 per cent growth in FDI in multi-branded food retail after we announced 100 per cent FDI in the sector last year.”So after all the infrastructure is ready and the seamless ‘farm to fork’ value chain is in place we will get huge investment,” Badal said on the sidelines of a roadshow on ‘World Food India: 2017’ organised by CII.

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Rules may be eased to help e-commerce companies boost exports

Source: The Economic Times, July 23, 2017

NEW DELHI: To enable homegrown ecommerce players such Myntra, Snapdeal and a host of handicraft and garment platforms to expand their global footprint, India is looking to revamp the export framework governing overseas sales by them. The measures under consideration include a complete switchover to e-enabled filing systems and even doing away with the current cap of Rs 25,000 on a purchase.

“A number of steps have been identified to make it easier for the ecommerce sector to trade,” said a senior finance ministry official. A pilot has already been launched in Mumbai and will be expanded to other customs ports. Exports via these online marketplaces rely on couriers and small packages and often involves a lot of paperwork at the ports. Essentially, these couriers act as aggregators for ecommerce platforms.

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India launches first R&D facility for high-end fuels, gas

Source: The Economic Times, July 23, 2017

NEW DELHI: India has launched its first petroleum Research & Development (R&D) facility for testing high-end BS-VI quality fuel emissions, according to an official here.

Operated by state-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the R&D facility is designed to test all types of fuel including petrol, diesel, ethanol-blended petrol, bio-diesel, CNG, LNG, hydrogen-CNG and 2G-ethanol blends to ensure they meet the superior BS-VI norms that are to be implemented across the country by April 2020, a Petroleum Ministry statement said.

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Lulu Group to bring Toys `R’ Us to India in September; plans Rs 300cr investment in retail

download (3)Source: ETRetail.com, July 19, 2017

Bengaluru: Lulu Group’s retail initiative Tablez will bring Toys `R’ Us, one of the world’s largest toy store chains, to India in September. The first destination will be Bengaluru, where it will come up in the Phoenix Mall in Whitefield and where it will compete with the UK-based Hamleys.

Tablez will simultaneously bring Babies `R’ Us, the specialty baby products retailer of the Toys ‘R’ Us group, to the city.
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Pharma firms may report up to 12% drop in domestic sales in Q1

Source: LiveMint.com, July 21, 2017

Mumbai: Pharmaceutical companies are likely to report up to 12% decline in domestic sales in the quarter ended June on account of de-stocking in the trade channel ahead of the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

Analysts said the impact of this de-stocking would be more on operating margins and profitability as India business has high margins.“Our interactions with various stakeholders suggest that up to a third of 1Q (June quarter) India revenues could be affected for most companies. Given the 60%+ gross margins in India, we expect a high impact on profitability as well,” according to a 3 July note of Citi Research.

Companies with higher exposure to domestic market such as Cipla Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Ltd, Ipca Laboratories Ltd and Alkem Laboratories Ltd are expected to bear a bigger brunt, according to analysts.

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