Regulations
HC asks IRDA to specify roles of TPA in settlement guidelines

Directing the IRDA to go ahead with the process of finalising the regulations, the HC asked the authority to specify the role of TPAs and state whether more powers could be given to the Ombudsman while hearing consumer complaints

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has said the Insurance Regulation and Development Authority (IRDA) can go ahead with the process of finalising regulations for settling insurance claims and for the role of third party administrators (TPAs) and powers of Ombudsmen, reports PTI.

 

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice AV Mohta was hearing a public interest litigation filed by social worker Gaurang Damani about the hardships faced by Mediclaim policy holders.

 

IRDA told the court that it had submitted draft regulations which would be placed before the Ministry of Finance for final approval.

 

Directing the IRDA to go ahead with the process of finalising the regulations, the HC asked the authority to specify the role of TPAs and state whether more powers could be given to the Ombudsman while hearing consumer complaints.

 

"The ombudsman as of now only has power to decide the approval or rejection of a claim but he has not been empowered to impose penalty or increase the claim amount," the Chief Justice said.

 

The next hearing would be on 12th February.

 

Damani has alleged there are no standard guidelines to settle claims and it is left to the whims and fancies of the TPAs who are in fact not entitled to settle claims but are found to be doing so in several cases.

 

"TPA receives financial incentives to reduce claim ratio," Damani's petition says, adding there is discrimination in settling insurance claims of individuals and that of corporate clients.

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Open offer for United Spirits postponed; awaits final SEBI nod

The proposed open offer for an additional 26% stake in United Spirits entails Diageo to purchase about 3.8 crore shares at Rs1,440 per share

Mumbai: The open offer for buying 26% in Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits, which was to start on Monday, has been postponed, pending final approval from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), reports PTI.

 

JM Financial, the manager for the open offer, has said that since the "final observations from SEBI" are awaited, the schedule has been revised.

 

"... The revised schedule of activities will be intimated in due course," according to a filing made by United Spirits to the BSE.

 

Global liquor major Diageo Plc is to acquire 26% shareholding in United Spirits through the open offer worth Rs5,441 crore, as part of a deal to buy up to 53.4% stake in the company.

 

As per the detailed public statement (DPS) issued in November last year, the open offer was to start on 7th January.

 

Shares of United Spirits declined 1.12% to close at Rs1,915.25 on the BSE.

 

As per the transaction, announced on 9th November, Diageo is acquiring a 27.4% stake in USL, through a combination of purchase of shares from existing promoters and a preferential allotment of share, for Rs5,725.4 crore.

 

Any acquisition of 25% or more stake in a listed company triggers a mandatory open offer for purchase of additional 26% stake from the public shareholders and the same needs to be cleared by the market regulator.

 

The proposed open offer for an additional 26% stake in United Spirits entails purchase of about 3.8 crore shares at a price of Rs1,440 per share, totalling to Rs5,441 crore.

 

United Spirits, the country's largest spirits company, is part of Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, whose aviation venture Kingfisher Airlines has been going through turbulent times for many months now.

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RBI relaxes ECB norms for infrastructure finance companies

RBI has enhanced the ECB limit for NBFC-IFCs under the automatic route to 75% of their owned funds, including the outstanding ECBs, from 50% of their owned funds

Mumbai: Relaxing the external commercial borrowings (ECBs) norms, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) operating as infrastructure finance companies (IFCs) can now avail the overseas borrowings up to 75% of their owned funds without its approval, reports PTI.

 

"On a review, it has been decided to enhance the ECB limit for NBFC-IFCs under the automatic route from 50% of their owned funds to 75% of their owned funds, including the outstanding ECBs," the RBI said.

 

However, NBFC-IFCs desirous of availing ECBs beyond 75% of their owned funds would require the approval of the RBI and will, therefore, be considered under the approval route.

 

The RBI move is expected to help such infrastructure finance companies to raise overseas funds at attractive rates.

 

The Planning Commission envisages the need for investment of $1 trillion to build the country's infrastructure during the Five Year Plan which began this fiscal.

 

The Commission expects half of the funds to come from the private sector.

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