Religare to Acquire Controlling Stake in Maharishi - Delhi based financial services company Religare Enterprises Ltd., is acquiring a controlling stake in Maharishi Housing Development Finance Corporation (MHDFC) for an undisclosed amount. MHDFC has the National Housing Bank (NHB) and Securintisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests (SARFAESI) licence. With this deal Religare will be able to get into home loans, which requires a NHB licence and will also be able to get onto asset recovery and reconstruction business. The acquired company will be merged with Religare’s NBFC arm, Religare Finvest Ltd., which runs a consumer finance business with a mortgage book size of about Rs 450 crore. (The Economic Times)

Centre Orders Special Audit for Leading Telcos - The government on Wednesday ordered a special audit on the books of leading private telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular. The special audit has been ordered as the department of Telecom has received complaints from various sections regarding all leading operators. The audit aims to establish if there are any discrepancies in the revenues reported by these companies. Besides, it will also examine if leading GSM players have not included revenues from sale of bundled handsets (which is given for free or at a subsidised rate along with a mobile connection) in their books. Since telecom companies pay 6-10% of their annual revenues as licence fee and 2-6% as spectrum usage charges, reporting lower revenues will bring down the component they have to share with the government. (The Economic Times)

Mobilestore to Raise $75 Million Through PE - Essar Groups' telecom retail arm, The Mobilestore plans to raise $75 million through private equity placement for its expansion. The firm will soon begin discussion with PE firms and is expecting to close the deal in about 4 months. The company is open to raise funds both from domestic and overseas private equity players within the prescribed Government guidelines. The Mobilestore has around 1,400 stores owned and operated by the company. These outlets sell mobile phones, accessories, mobile connections & recharges and provide services like bill payments, mobile repairs and exchange. (The Economic Times)

Shishir Bajaj Increases Holding in Bajaj Hindustan to Over 51% - Bajaj Hindusthan chairman Shishir Bajaj is scaling up his group’s equity holding in the country’s largest sugar company by nearly 5% through subscription of preferential warrants. Post-conversion of the warrants, the shareholding of the Shishir Bajaj group, promoters of the company, will be over 51%. The Bajaj Hindusthan board on Wednesday approved a proposal to issue 14.5 million convertible warrants to promoters. The warrants will be converted into equal number of equity shares. A back-of-the-envelop calculation shows the promoters’ shareholding will be 80.1 million equity shares, representing a 51.37% stake, post-conversion of warrants, from the existing 65.6 million shares, amounting to a 46.42% stake. (The Economic Times)

ICICI Bank Repurchases Bonds Worth $90.88 Million - Private sector lender ICICI Bank on Wednesday said it has bought back bonds worth $90.88 million (Rs 460 crore) at face value from its Baharain branch. ICICI Bank has repurchased bonds in their face value, aggregating to $75.88 million, out of the $2 billion bonds. Besides, the private sector lender has also bought back bonds valued $15 million, out of the $750 million, the filing added. The value of the bonds bought back aggregates to $90.88 million. The repurchase was carried out through open market purchases by dealers acting on behalf of ICICI Bank. ()

Bad Loan Data to Facilitate Bank-ARC Deals By Year-End - A central data repository for information on distressed assets may be operational by the year-end to facilitate transactions between banks and asset reconstruction companies (ARCs). ARCs buy distressed loans through a process of bidding usually at a steep discount, as high as 75-80% of the original loan value. This year, assets worth at least Rs 1,500 crore are expected to be traded as banks look to clean up their books. This step has been taken as the transactions in non-performing assets are increasing, and buyers are incurring significant upfront costs and are dissuading certain buyers from these transactions. The details of the non-performing liabilities are expected to become more transparent and effective once the central data room is in place, especially in cases of consortium-funded accounts. (The Economic Times)


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