Sebi has modified the rules for corporate takeovers. Its new regulations allowed the presence of anchor investors in Indian Depository Receipts. Also, under the rules, holders of American Depository Receipts and Global Depository Receipts who have voting rights will be on par with shareholders.
Sebi’s announcements could make the merger between Bharti and MTN easier. According to the new rules, any entity acquiring 15% or more through GDRs or ADRs has to float an open offer only if the transaction gives it voting rights. That means MTN can acquire a 36% stake in Bharti without floating an open offer.
NBC Universal is about buy a majority stake in NDTV Networks, which is the holding company for NDTV’s entertainment and lifestyle channels. Currently NBC holds a 26% stake in the company that it bought for about $150 million in January last year. As part of the deal, NDTV will launch NBC’s own entertainment channels in India.
In what could be a sign of economic recovery, Indian companies are paying more taxes in the second quarter. Taxes paid by Indian firms rose to Rs44,010 crore in the quarter ending in September from just Rs20,720 crore in the previous quarter. This is also 14.7% higher than in the same quarter last year.
ICICI Bank is changing it business model for collections. Until six months ago, the bank relied on about 2,300 collection agencies to deal with defaulters. It has now cut that number down to 900. ICICI plans to move to a model where it’s own relationship managers will track defaulters.
Advertisers may be cheering ads for emergency contraceptives, but India’s drug regulator is worried. After complaints about the ads and reports of overuse, the drug controller general of India is considering converting emergency contraceptives into prescription drugs. In India, companies are not allowed to advertise prescription drugs. Critics say the current ads for Unwanted 72 and I-Pill depict their products as alternatives to normal contraceptives rather than as pills for emergency use.
Tube Investments of India says it plans to buy Indian or foreign companies as part of its effort to take advantage of the increased spending in infrastructure in India. Company officials say infrastructure projects will require metallic items like chains, tubes, and boilers. Currently Tube Investments gets half its income from bicycles and electronic scooters and about a quarter from making metal components.
Adobe System’s Indian arm has unveiled a new strategy for fighting software piracy. The company is issuing student licenses of some of its software at highly discounted prices. The basic Adobe software suits, which sells for about Rs76,000 will now be available for just Rs3,999. Education contributes to about a fifth of Adobe’s Indian revenues and the company hopes its student licenses will help boost that figure to a fourth.