HC nod for Uninor rights issue; arbitration simultaneously

The court also said that the foreign partner and the domestic partner will continue the arbitration process to resolve the difference between the two over the rights issue

New Delhi: Norwegian telecom giant Telenor, a majority shareholder in Uninor, today said the Punjab and Haryana High Court has given its approval to the company for proceeding with the Rs6,500-crore rights issue.

The court also said that the foreign partner and the domestic partner will continue the arbitration process to resolve the difference between the two over the rights issue.

The issuance of shares will be subject to the outcome in arbitration proceedings, sources said.

Telenor Group holds 67.25% in Uninor and Unitech Group has 32.75%. Uninor operates in 13 circles. The company had procured pan-India licence in 2008. The company is being probed by the CBI as part of the 2G scam investigation for irregularities.

“The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision on 26th August cleared the way for Uninor to proceed with the rights issue. We welcome this decision as Uninor will be able to raise additional funding from both its shareholders while the arbitration process continues.

“Uninor will continue its efforts to implement its board's decision and proceed towards a rights issue to secure long-term funding for the company,” Telenor spokesperson Glenn Mandelid said.

Earlier, Unitech Wireless board, which operates under Uninor brand name, had decided to go for the right issue to raise up to Rs6,500 crore for the funding. It was challenged by the real-estate company Unitech in the District court of Gurgaon, which stayed the process.

Telenor challenged the stay in the Punjab and Haryana High Court which also decided to continue with the stay.

Telenor than challenged the stay in Supreme Court which directed Punjab and Haryana High Court to review the case, which now has cleared the way for Uninor to proceed with the right issue.

“We received the court order on 2nd September,” Mr Mandelid said.

Uninor holds a pan-India UAS licence to offer mobile telephony services in each of India’s 22 circles. It is yet to receive spectrum in some circles, including Delhi, J&K, Rajasthan, Assam and the North-East.

Uninor services are available in the 13 circles of UP (West), UP (East), Bihar, Orissa, Kolkata, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

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Telenor liable to pay taxes: CBDT tells JPC probing 2G scam

The tax authorities are also examining instances of issuance of shares at a huge premium mainly to foreign companies. However, these shares were transferred at par or at a very low premium to group companies, the CBDT said

New Delhi: Telenor of Norway has confirmed that it has permanent establishments in India which makes it liable to pay taxes from revenue sourced from the country, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) told the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, reports PTI.

In a presentation before the JPC, the CBDT said Unitech Wireless had made payments to Telenor and its associate companies against purchase of services and equipment.

“Investigations reveal that these foreign companies have substantial physical and economic presence in India creating their permanent establishments in India,” the CBDT said.

These foreign companies are liable to tax in India in respect of revenue sourced from the company, it said.

On issue of statutory notices, the companies have confirmed that they have permanent establishments in the country and four such firms have furnished returns of income for 2010-11 and admitted total income of about Rs25 crore.

“Their (tax) liability for earlier years is under examination,” the CBDT said.

The tax authorities are also examining instances of issuance of shares at a huge premium mainly to foreign companies. However, these shares were transferred at par or at a very low premium to group companies, the CBDT said.

The CBDT is also examining the genuineness of remittances made to foreign investors for purchase of goods/services as well as tax implications in relation to witholding tax and taxability in India.

“The reasonableness of the amounts paid to the foreign companies has to be examined in the case of these payer companies from the point of view of transfer pricing,” the CBDT said.

CBDT chairman NC Joshi, finance secretary RS Gujral and senior officials from the finance ministry made the presentation on the progress of the investigation into the 2G cases before the JPC.

The CBDT told the JPC that it was also examining Swan Telecom which got the UAS license and subsequently sold a major chunk of shares to Etisalat Group of the UAE.

Etisalat invested in Swan through Etisalat Mauritius Limited and Genex Exim Ventures Private Limited (GEVPL).

Etisalat and GEVPL were issued 12.63 crore fresh equity shares of face value Rs10 at a premium of Rs275.72 crore, it said.

The CBDT said that on 25th May, last year, the EtisalatDB Telecom issued one equity share to Etisalat Mauritius at a premium of Rs106.95 crore.

On the same day it issued one equity share at a premium of Rs6.86 lakh to Tiger Trustees, which is now known as Majestic Infracon Pvt Ltd.

The CBDT told the JPC that it was also examining capital gains on account of transfer of share amongst various entities of the Essar Group/Khaitan Group and Rajiv Chandrashekhar Group.

“The issue of disallowance of interest relatable to the advances by Essar Group to Loop Telecom is also under examination, it said,

The CBDT said that tax implication of transfer of shares from Videocon Telecommunications to the Videocon Group companies at a face value of Rs10 was also under examination.

The JPC also drew a time table for having 78 sittings over the next seven months and is hoping to present its final report by the end of the Budget Session of Parliament.

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BSE’s Rs107 crore liquidity boost to derivatives brokers

“We have been working very hard on the structure of the programme and have taken extensive feedback from market participants in designing the programmes,” BSE MD & CEO Madhu Kannan said

Mumbai: Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the country’s oldest stock exchange on Wednesday said it has launched a series of liquidity enhancement incentive programmes (LEIPS), with the goal of creating liquidity in the derivatives segment, reports PTI.

As part of these programmes, BSE will incentivise all its derivatives members by paying them as much as Rs107 crore over the duration of these two programmes, a BSE statement said here.

BSE will pay incentives worth Rs5 crore in the first phase of the two-tier series of LEIPS-I (Beta) to participating members.

In the second phase of the programme (or series LEIPS-II), incentives to the tune of Rs102 crore (Rs17 crore on a monthly basis) would be paid out to all participating members.

The LEIPS-I (Beta) will run from 28 September to 25 October 2011 and LEIPS-II will commence on 26th October and run for six months.

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had allowed the exchanges to introduce liquidity enhancement schemes in the equity derivatives segment this June.

The focus of the first two programmes will be on derivatives on the bellwether index Sensex and its underlying 30 stocks, it said.

“Within the guidelines prescribed and direction provided by SEBI, we are happy to announce our biggest ever initiative in the form of the LEIPS in the derivatives segment.

“We have been working very hard on the structure of the programme and have taken extensive feedback from market participants in designing the programmes,” BSE MD & CEO Madhu Kannan said.

“Sensex is the true barometer of our economy and we are hopeful of extensive market participation in the most well- known and globally tracked index,” he added.

The key features for the LEIPS structure include payments to all participating members for derivatives traded volumes and also for open interest (OI) maintained in the segment.

Additionally, the exchange has decided to abolish payments in some cases of the derivatives segment and cap it at Rs50 in some other cases, which works out to 1/100th the fees for options trading on other exchanges.

Liquidity in the segment will also be ensured with the presence of market makers. However, incentive payouts will be made to all participating members and not just the market- makers, the BSE said.

The first programme in the two-tier series is LEIPS-I intended to assist BSE’s derivative trade members assess and test their end-to-end systems for quoting, trading and clearing capabilities for BSE derivatives segment.

The second programme in the series-LEIPS-II- is intended to help in building a healthy derivatives order book on the BSE derivatives platform. All derivatives members would be incentivised for their participation—some as market makers and others as general market participants, the exchange said.

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