Mark down: Japan’s SoftBank has written off around $550 million in the value of shares in its Indian investments – directly affecting ANI Technologies-owned Ola and Jasper Infotech’s Snapdeal. The Indian investments have adversely affected SoftBank’s profitability, leading to a loss of over $550 million from financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss. The move comes at a time when ride hailing app Ola is trying to raise more funds to beat its global and richly-funded rival Uber which has stepped up its India game after losing to Didi Chuxing in China. Meanwhile, Snapdeal’s value has gone down due to the stiff competition from Amazon and Flipkart. Although CEO Masayoshi Son had earlier indicated that SoftBank may invest more than $10 billion in India in the next 5-10 years, it seems less probable now.
Cost dilemma: Flipkart wants to slash its burn rate and save about $150-200 million a month as it goes out seeking fresh funds for its next push. Cost cutting and better efficiencies may also help draw in new investors. As part of this plan, Flipkart, which had signed up for a 2 million square feet office, may take up just 60 percent of the space when it shifts to its new campus in 2017. Meanwhile, the e-commerce firm is now looking for its next generation of leaders, which it hopes to find from within the company after some of its high profile hires didn’t quite go the way they expected. (Pic credit: Economic Times)
Social connection: After broadband service, Facebook is now all set to provide mobile internet access in remote areas. The world’s largest social network is looking to tie up with Indian telcos and the government to use its solar-powered plane Aquila to provide the infrastructure to offer affordable mobile internet access in remote areas. It is already working with the telecom operators for its Express Wi-Fi project – broadband service in rural parts.
Away from ground reality: The ease of doing business index, prepared by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, may not be reflecting the ground reality with regard to states’ ability to implement projects. (Pic credit: Business Standard)
Borrowing costs: With no end in sight for the Tata-Mistry saga, it seems borrowing costs for the Tata group companies could surge. If Tata Sons decide to renew guarantees then the borrowing costs will go up quite a bit but bankers said that the companies wouldn’t be materially affected by the withdrawal of guarantees.
About Nirajita Banerjee
Nirajita Banerjee has over 4 years of experience and has worked with organizations like International Business Times, India Edition, Myntra Designs Pvt Ltd, The Pioneer newspaper & Times Group, The Times of India, BCCL. Nirajita holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Philosophy from Miranda House, Delhi University.