Launches a distinctive movement-‘Health Promise’ at the Lakme Fashion Week 2011
Max Bupa, a specialist health insurance company, has introduced health movement - 'Health Promise'. The movement, aimed at creating awareness about the importance of being healthy, will connect with the public at large through Max Bupa's commitment of enabling people to live healthier and by being their healthcare partners for life.
The initiative which was introduced at the Lakme Fashion Week propagates the idea of healthy living and remaining fit amongst its universal audience and at the same time encourages them to make a health promise for people they care about. As part of the initiative, Max Bupa also gave a preview of a website, www.YourHealthFirst.in, which will enable the people to keep their promises for loved ones by actionable tips, health advice and health information.
Dr Damien Marmion, CEO, Max Bupa said, "To achieve this, Max Bupa has launched a health movement-'Health Promise', which will enable people to give priority to their health first and at the same time encourage them to make a health promise for their loved ones. The initiative is being launched against the backdrop of the Lakme Fashion Week. Our tie up with Lakme Fashion Week is part of our endeavour to promote healthy and positive living among people."
NFO opens on August 22nd and closes on 5th September
SBI Mutual Fund has launched Gold Fund, an open ended fund of fund to enable the common man to invest systematically in gold and take advantage of the current rally. The NFO period is from 22nd August to 5th September.
The fund is designed in such a way, that an investor can invest through a single investment or through systematic investment plan (SIP) as per their convenience. The minimum denomination of investment is kept as Rs100, which is very affordable for a common man.
The corpus collected through the NFO will be invested in SBI GETS, the Gold ETF offering from SBI Mutual.
The crash of KS Oils Ltd underlines the perils of how PE funds can also get it very wrong
Private equity (PE) players, who come with billions of dollars of cash, pick up significant stakes in firms and often work with managements to improve performance and exit at a profit. Their stock picking is supposedly based on excellent research of companies, sectors and markets. But it's quite a different experience for these players who happen to step into the Indian corporate sector which is a minefield of poor corporate governance. The recent crash of KS Oils is a classic example.
On 16th August the company's share price crashed by a whopping 32% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) following months of steady decline. Its biggest lender, Sicom Ltd, sold around 23.84 lakh shares which were pledged by the company.
That same day, Edelweiss Finance and Investment Limited sold around 44.50 lakh shares on the BSE at Rs9.13 a share. Earlier, on 12th August, Sicom had sold 25.78 lakh shares of KS Oils at Rs12.96 on the National Stock Exchange. The company has pledged around 80% of its shares against loans. There are stories doing the rounds that funds have been grossly mismanaged.
KS Oils, whose scrip has plunged by 90% since January 2010, had received investments from some large PE funds. In May 2009, Rajat Gupta-promoted, Asia-focused New Silk Route (NSR) invested around Rs135 crore through preferential equity shares. Also, Citigroup Venture Capital and Baring Private Equity Partners Asia invested Rs49 crore each through subscription to convertible warrants.
Currently, NSR Direct owns a 9.5% stake and Baring has 5% stake in KS Oils, which produces cooking products like mustard oil, rapeseed oil plus others like refined blended oils, vanaspati and also non-edible solvent oil. Baring bought into KS Oils when it acquired 50,000 acres of its palm oil plantations in Indonesia.
The third largest private investor in KS Oils is astute NRI businessman Siva Sankaran, who has an over 8% stake in the company through Siva Ventures. Siva has been the last resort for troubled businessemen. Those who know Siva well believe that he would not be a sitting duck, unlike some other private equity funds, and that he would find a way to get his money back. Siva also has a stake in Ruchi Soya, India's largest soya processing company.
It is most strange that Barings and NSR picked KS Oils from among a host of Indian companies that have comparatively better governance and stable finances.
Moneylife had earlier reported that the Intelligence Bureau in December 2010 noted massive price rigging and insider trading in KS Oils. (IB report available with us.) The company has also been accused of tax evasion. So what did the philanthropic Mr Gupta find attractive about this investment?
Two years back, New Silk's investment in high-profit 9x media group crashed and burned. 9x News was spun off from INX Media, after apparent large-scale mismanagement. It was probably the first case in India where private equity investors asked promoter-shareholders to get out of the management.
In a filling to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday, KS Oils informed that its chairman Ramesh Chandra Garg has sold 3.05% of his holding. With this sale, Mr Garg's share holding has is now down to 8.23%. Other institutional investors continue to offload shares.