News digest: Fortis sale, T Rowe Price, regulator for crowdfunding and more

Ahead of EGM, Fortis faces ministry probe

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) will start investigation into alleged mismanagement at Fortis Healthcare in the midst of the takeover battle for the company, but it is not considering packing off the board and filling it with its nominees.
Meanwhile, three promoter-nominated directors — Harpal Singh, Tejinder Singh Shergill and Sabina Vaisoha — quit the company’s board a day ahead of the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on May 22. Only Brian Tempest, also promoter-nominated, remains on the board. Read more

T Rowe Price seeks govt role in UTI MF board issues

The tussle between principal shareholders of UTI Mutual Fund (MF) has escalated, with the largest shareholder, T Rowe Price Group, raising concerns over the functioning of the board.

According to sources, T Rowe Price has shot a strongly worded letter to the finance ministry and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), alleging the board is deliberately trying to delay the initial public offering (IPO) of UTI MF. The US-based fund house has sought government intervention and immediate action. Read more

Centre mulls regulator for crowdfunding

With alternative capital-raising facilitators like crowdfunding gaining popularity, the Centre is mulling setting up a new regulator or authority to regulate them. Currently, most crowdfunding platforms neither operate with proper authorisation nor are governed under any law.

Following a finance ministry meeting with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) last month, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) is considering a flexible regulatory regime to recognise crowdfunding platforms as a “marketplace”. The ministry has also proposed an option of a separate regulator other than Sebi and the Reserve Bank of India for governing these entities. Read more

BMW speeds up 16 launches

BMW’s entry in 2007 with trendy cars, in a space dominated by Mercedes-Benz, has flipped the market on its head. In just five years, it had set up 25 showrooms, taken the lead and outsold the competition. 
Today, the race has come full circle. Now the challenge is to overtake Benz, which bounced back three years ago to become the king of the hill. Read more

Samsung gearing up to counter Xiaomi, launching four smartphones

Samsung, the South Korean consumer electronics giant that till recently dominated India’s mobile handset space, is trying to regain the ground it has lost in the past few quarters. To counter the heightened competition from Chinese rivals like Xiaomi, which dislodged it from the top spot nearly after five years in mid-2017, Samsung is lining up new products, increasing focus on e-commerce channels and tightening its grip over retail outlets. Read more

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