Companies & Sectors
Religare Enterprises gets board nod for IFC's $75 million investment

Religare received approval from its board for $75 million investment by the World Bank unit IFC through preferential allotment

 
New Delhi: Religare Enterprises said it has received approval of the board for World Bank arm International Finance Corp (IFC)'s $75 million (about Rs400 crore) investment in the company, reports PTI.
 
The entity is the holding company of financial services conglomerate Religare Group.
 
In a statement, Religare Enterprises said it has received the company board's approval for $75 million investment by the IFC through preferential allotment.
 
The board approved the investment on 29th September. The transaction is subject to customary documentation and approvals.
 
"This investment by a marquee investor such as IFC at the Religare holding company level is a strong endorsement of the Religare Enterprises business model and its underlying portfolio," Religare Enterprises Group CEO Shachindra Nath said.
 
"We have endeavoured hard over the last few years to create a distinctive and diversified financial services franchise that fundamentally believes in the long term growth potential offered by the Indian market," Nath said.
 
Last week, Religare had said its board would consider the proposal for issue of Compulsory Convertible Debentures on the preferential allotment basis to IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
 

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RBI rationalises categories of pre-paid payment cards

As per revised guidelines, pre-paid payment cards have been divided in to three categories and would require necessary documents depending on the card value

 
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has rationalised categories and value limit of pre-paid payment cards to three broad categories from five earlier, reports PTI.
 
The pre-paid cards, technically known as semi-closed pre-paid instruments (PPI) are convenient alternatives to cash and cheques. These are mainly issued by banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) on payment of specified amount and are used for purchasing goods and services from limited outlets.
 
As per revised guidelines, the first category of cards will have cash limit of Rs10,000 and the re-load should not exceed the said limit during a month. These cards can be issued minimum with details of the customer.
 
Secondly it said, for issuing cards of value of Rs10,001 to Rs50,000, officially valid documents will be required and these should be non-reloadable in nature.
 
It further said for issuing cards up to value of Rs50,000 full know-your-customer (KYC) details will be needed and these can be relodable in nature.
 
RBI said these cards can only be issued in electronic form.
 
RBI said non-banking entities issuing pre-paid cards are required to maintain the outstanding balance in an escrow account with any commercial bank and the account should be credited as and when the issuer sells such a card to the end-user.
 
To promote cashless transfer of funds, the central bank has also relaxed domestic money transfer norms and said the three categories of pre-paid payment cards will qualify for domestic money transfer.
 
Under the domestic money transfer facility amount up to Rs10,000 can be transferred to beneficiaries not having a bank account subject to an overall monthly cap of Rs25,000 per beneficiary.
 
Such facilities have been made to facilitate fund transfer, particularly to migrants, who face difficulties in want of proof of identity or address.
 

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Kingfisher declares partial lock-out, suspends flights till Thursday

Kingfisher operations got completely paralysed after pilots and some other staff joined the striking engineers protesting non-payment of salaries for the last six months

 
Mumbai: Kingfisher Airlines on Monday night declared a partial lock-out with immediate effect and suspended till Thursday flight operations which came to a grinding halt following a strike by a section of its employees, reports PTI.
 
In a statement, the Vijay Mallya-owned private carrier said it has been forced to declare a "partial lock-out" following a series of "protracted and unabated incidents of violence, criminal intimidation, assault, wrongful restraint and other illegal acts" including refraining from attending work, by a small section of "recalcitrant" employees.
 
The airline said the action by the recalcitrant employees who have regrettably chosen to take law into their own hands forcing a complete paralysis of operations were all "unnecessary and unprovoked."
 
"It has been decided that flight operations will be suspended for the next three days, i.e. until 4 October 2012," it added.
 
The operations got completely paralysed on Monday after pilots and some other staff joined the striking engineers protesting non-payment of salaries for the last six months, sending the shares of the airline tumbling by 5%.
 
Before commencing legal action, the airline said it will make efforts to continue to engage with striking employees to persuade them not to indulge in any intimidatory tactics.
 
The management earlier in the day warned of a temporary shutdown, citing lack of funds to pay salaries even for a month.
 
"We had a long meeting with the CEO Sanjay Aggarwal but no solution has come out rather he threatened a temporary shutdown saying it did not have funds to pay salaries even for a month," a representative of the striking engineers who was part of the meeting told PTI.
 
The meeting between the representatives of striking engineers and Aggarwal lasted for around two-and-a half-hours.
 
With its engineers on strike, Kingfisher reportedly approached Air India and others for getting its aircraft checked for certification.
 
Earlier in the day, the Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had said, "We can't allow Kingfisher to fly until their aircraft are certified. (Since) their engineers are on strike, they can get the planes certified by other engineers also." 
 
However, the minister warned that if the DGCA finds that Kingfisher is not sticking to its schedule or violating safety norms, action will be initiated.
 
Significantly, Singh ruled out shutting down the airline saying, "the government is not in the business of shutting down businesses," as that will "create lot of problems. Even with the 3% market share Kingfisher has, such a move will create a havoc." 
 
For the second day today, operations of the private carriere were paralysed as most of its pilots and engineers, who have not been paid for the six months, struck work.
 

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