Money & Banking
ICICI Bank evokes SDR for Jaypee Associates; 25th such case
ICICI Bank Ltd has evoked its strategic debt restructuring (SDR) provision in Jaypee Associates Ltd (JAL). According to Religare Capital Markets Ltd, so far lenders have evoked SDR in 24 companies with a total debt of Rs2 lakh crore, including Rs70,000 crore (consolidated) for Jaypee. 
 
"Banks have highlighted that it is difficult to find new buyers in 18 months for companies in the troubled sectors with high debt where investors' interest is low. Banks are now looking to change the management outside the SDR window. A management change outside the purview SDR will give more time to banks in finding new buyers and selling the stake after new management is in place," Religare said in a research note.
 
ICICI Bank's decision to evoke SDR in Jaypee comes amidst uncertainty over the sale of JAL's cement assets to UltraTech Cement. UltraTech wants to reduce the ticket size of the Rs15,900 crore transaction by cherrypicking only some of the assets, now possible under the recently amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act.
 
Jaypee's standalone debt is about Rs28,000 to Rs30,000 crore while its consolidated debt is around Rs70,000 crore.
 
Earlier, in February, UltraTech had agreed to buy Jaypee's 21.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) cement capacity while leaving out just 10.6 MTPA of their portfolio in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The payment was expected to take place by June. 
 
 
According to Religare, banks are finding it very difficult to turnaround SDR cases given several difficulties under the process and market condition. Banks have dropped cases like Alok Industries, which has a debt of Rs15,300 crore and ABG Shipyard with a debt of Rs11,000 crore sighting difficulties in finding new management in 18 months, it pointed out.
 
 
As per the research note, at present there are 20 active SDR cases with a debt of Rs1.6 lakh crore. There were 24 companies, however, later landers cancelled SDR in four companies, Surana Industries, Educomp, Alok Industries and ABG Shipyard.

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Pre-2005 banknotes still valid, but...
While clarifying that the pre-2005 banknotes are still valid, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said from 1 July 2016 such notes can be exchanged only at its select offices across the country. Earlier, the central bank had said such notes could be exchanged at identified bank branches and RBI offices till 30 June 2016.
 
This means pre-2005 currency notes cannot be exchanged at any bank branches. However, according to a report from the Economic Times, if one has such notes, the person can deposit those notes in his bank account and the bank will then send such notes to RBI. 
 
RBI said, from 1st July, its office at Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Belapur, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi would only provide the exchange facility for pre-2005 currency notes.
 
The Reserve Bank stated that it is a standard international practice not to have currency notes from multiple series remaining in circulation at the same time.
 

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Drive to plant two crore saplings starts in Maharashtra
A unique afforestation drive by Maharashtra to increase the green cover by planting two crore saplings was inaugurated by Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao, signalling the start of the Forest Festival (Vanamahotsav), here on Friday.
 
The event in which schools, colleges, corporates, government departments and the defence establishments participated, marked the beginning of the state government's ambitious project to plant 50 crore saplings in the next three years.
 
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, and state Environment Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar were present on the occasion along with top government officials and 3,500 students at the five-hectare Mahim Nature Park.
 
The defence authorities also joined in the drive by planting around 8,000 saplings at various establishments in Colaba, Kalina and Kandivali with the participation of defence personnel and their families.
 
The Hinduja Foundation of the Hinduja Group, through its employees in various group companies started a month-long drive to plant 100,000 saplings in Thane's Jawahar sub-district.
 
Mungantiwar said the state government has already finalised 65,674 sites and created a bank of over 5.32 crore saplings for distribution to the people. 
 
"Nurseries shall be developed in each village in the state for which funds will be made available through District Planning Committee. This will ensure ready availability of saplings throughout the next three years," Mungantiwar added.
 
He said people have responded spontaneously who will also take part in a 'Selfie With Tree' contest. 
 
The Forest Department had prepared around 3.55 crore pits across the state for the plantation drive. 
 
To ensure proper preservation and maintenance of the saplings, one family per 1,000 trees shall be provided employment under the Employment Guarantee Scheme, the minister added.
 
Around five million (50 lakh) saplings are being planted and will be maintained by government employees all over the state for which they were officially given half-day off on Friday.
 
The government plans to create a million-strong 'green army' of students drawn from the 89,000 schools in the state to create awareness about ecology. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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