Top 10 biz headlines: Telcos to hike tariffs, Budget 2020, and more

The first telecom tariff hike in several years follows record second-quarter losses reported by the two operators
Telcos ready to bite the bullet: Airtel, Voda Idea to hike tariffs from Dec
Telecom operators Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, bruised by fierce competition to keep prices low, will hike tariffs starting December 1, the companies said in a surprise announcement on Monday. The first telecom tariff hike in several years follows record second-quarter losses reported by the two operators. Read more.

Budget 2020: Govt to focus on tax incentives, private investments
The government is setting the tone for 2020-21 Union Budget with a clear focus on steps to encourage private investment, sources in the know said. If welfare schemes were at the centre of Budget-making in the past few years, private investment, economic growth, and tax incentives are expected to be the dominant themes now, they pointed out. Read more.

Top-rated companies tap into low money market rates as liquidity improves
The working capital cost for India’s top-rated companies has fallen significantly since the IL&FS-induced credit crisis a year ago. They are now raising money very close to the overnight repo rate, as liquidity improves in the banking system to more than Rs 2.5-trillion surplus. Rates on AAA-rated papers up to one year have fallen from 8.51 per cent on November 27, 2018, to 6.1 per cent now, much sharper than a 100 basis points fall in the 10-year bond yield. Read more.

NHAI to issue land bonds for acquisition from states, other stakeholders
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to issue land bonds to pay for acquiring land from states or other stakeholders — as part of a funding mechanism amid escalating land acquisition and compensation cost. Read more.

Amid slowdown, steel companies reduce prices for automakers by 14%
For the automobile sector reeling from slowdown, there could be some breather from steelmakers lowering contract prices by 11-14 per cent for the second half (H2) of the financial year (2019-20 or FY20). Read more.

Tata Steel to cut 3,000 European jobs due to excess supply, high costs
Tata Steel plans to cut around 3,000 jobs across its European operations as it wrestles with excess supply, a source close to the discussions told Reuters on Monday. Read more.

Patanjali stabilises biz after a year of faltering sales; revenue up 2.4%
After a year of faltering sales, Patanjali Ayurved has managed to address the slide. The ayurveda major clocked Rs 8,330 crore turnover for 2018-19, 2.4 per cent higher than Rs 8,136 crore it had posted in 2017-18, according to its fillings with the Registrar of Companies. While the company did not reveal its profit or loss for the period, according to its fillings, food and beverages was the largest category — accounting for 62.23 per cent or Rs 5,184 crore of its total sales. Read more.

ArcelorMittal hopes to complete Essar acquisition by December end
ArcelorMittal is expecting to complete the transaction for Essar Steel before the end of December. ArcelorMittal India Private Limited’s (AMIPL) resolution plan for Essar Steel India Limited (ESIL) has been unconditionally approved by the Indian Supreme Court, the company announced. Read more.

ICICI Bank plans Rs 20,000 cr capital boost via QIP
ICICI Bank Ltd, the nation’s largest private lender, is looking to expand lending and compete with rivals to fill in the void left by shadow lenders after a crisis engulfed the sector. As a part of this effort, it plans to raise at least Rs 20,000 crore by selling shares to institutional investors, in the biggest such capital raising in India, reports LiveMint.

Promoters may ‘give way’ to controlling shareholders
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is planning to overhaul the concept of promoters that could lead to the introduction of ‘controlling shareholders’ — a structure new to India but prevalent in various developed markets, according to sources quoted by The Economic Times.

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