Rashesh Shah Denies Any Association between Edelweiss and Sanjay Shah
Rashesh Shah, chairman and chief executive (CEO) of Edelweiss group has refuted media reports about relations between Sanjay Nathalal Shah and the group. 
 
In a letter, Mr Shah, says, "Media reports suggest that Sanjay Nathalal Shah, chartered accountant (CA) and an independent director of a few of our group companies, is alleged to be connected to Capstone (Forex Pvt Ltd). Let me reiterate that he has no other association with the Edelweiss group, nor is he in any way related to me; you will appreciate that Shah is a common name."
 
Mr Shah from Edelweiss also said the group would take appropriate legal action against the media group that had published alleged links between Sanjay Shah and Edelweiss group.
 
Commenting on the summons from Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Rs2000-crore forex scam involving Capstone Forex, Mr Shah reiterated that Edelweiss has no relations with Capstone Forex and all allegations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations are false. 
 
"While it is unfortunate that I was unable to go in person to the ED, our senior authorised representative did attend in person with the requisite information. Needless to say, if in the future any assistance or support to the investigation is requested from us, we will cooperate fully," he added.
 
At 1.17pm Monday, Edelweiss Finance Services Ltd was trading 4.8% up at Rs111.05 on the BSE, while the 30-share Sensex was also marginally up at 41,808.
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    Walmart India sacks 56 senior executives, denies more layoffs
    As Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos begins his India visit this week, its arch rival Walmart India on Monday said it has asked 56 senior executives to leave as part of its corporate restructuring process, shrugging off reports about the second round of layoffs coming in April.
     
    In a statement, the company which operates nearly 28 wholesale stores in the country, said it is looking for ways to operate more efficiently, "which requires it to review its corporate structure to ensure that it is organized in the right way".
     
    "As part of this review, we have let go 56 of our associates across levels at the corporate office. All of the 56 impacted associates (8 in the senior management and 48 in the middle/lower management) have been offered enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services to support their transition," Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, said in a statement.
     
    "A report appearing in the section of the Press speculating second round of layoffs in April is baseless and incorrect," Iyer added.
     
    Walmart partnered Bharti in 2007 for its cash-and-carry business in India and went on its own in 2013.
     
    The world's largest retailer which acquired Flipkart for $16 billion, owns and operates 28 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores offering nearly 5,000 items in a cash-and-carry wholesale format.
     
    The company also has Fulfillment Centres in Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad.
     
    Iyer said that Walmart remains committed to growing its B2B Cash and Carry business in India.
     
    "We opened six new Best Price modern wholesale stores, one Fulfilment Centre and our sales grew 22 per cent in 2019," he said.
     
    Walmart India said it has recently made significant investments in the country to serve its members better.
     
    This includes investments in brick and mortar stores as well as e-commerce.
     
    "Our members are increasingly becoming omni-channel shoppers. We are thus investing heavily in technology and have a healthy pipeline of Best Price stores. This will provide our members a true omni-channel and convenient shopping experience in the future," the Walmart India CEO added.
     
    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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    Fitch puts Airtel's $1bn FCCB bond on Negative Rating Watch
    US rating multinational Fitch on Friday assigned a rating of 'BBB-' to telecom major Bharti Airtel's proposed US dollar senior unsecured convertible notes.
     
    The notes are rated at the same level as Bharti's foreign-currency senior unsecured rating of 'BBB-' and are also placed on Rating Watch Negative (RWN), Fitch said, adding Bharti's free cash flow (FCF) will remain negative during 2019-20 despite tariff hikes.
     
    Airtel has announced plans to raise up to $1 billion through foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) or debentures, besides $2 billion through qualified institutional placement, public issue and preferential shares or private placement.
     
    Fitch placed Bharti's ratings on RWN on October 30, 2019, following the Supreme Court verdict against the country's telcos on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) on which the operators, including Bharti, are now required to pay hefty dues to the government. 
     
    The rating agency said the resolution of the RWN, which may take more than six months, requires a Supreme Court ruling on the review petition subsequently filed by the companies. 
     
    The proposed interest-bearing issuance will be a senior, unsubordinated, unsecured and unconditional obligation and will rank pari passu to Bharti's existing and future senior unsecured indebtedness. 
     
    The terms and conditions on the proposed notes are similar to Bharti's existing senior unsecured notes except the presence of optional convertible features. 
     
    Bharti will use the proceeds of the notes to fund its capex or to refinance its debt, Fitch said.
     
    Holders of the proposed notes can convert to equity at a conversion price premium from a predetermined stock price, during the life of the notes as per the terms and conditions. 
     
    Fitch estimates "Bharti's funds from operations (FFO) adjusted net leverage could be around 2.3x-2.6x for the financial year ending March 2020 (FY20) -- excluding $6.3 billion in deferred spectrum costs -- assuming the company pays estimated unpaid dues of $4.9 billion, raises equity of $2 billion and tariff hikes result in consolidated EBITDA growth of 20 per cent-25 per cent." 
     
    "We will stabilise the outlook only if Bharti maintain its leverage below 2.5x on a sustained basis -- the threshold above which we will take a negative rating action. Bharti's management states that the company is committed to an investment-grade rating and raised about $5.6 billion in equity through a rights issue and the sale of equity in its African subsidiary, Airtel Africa Ltd, in 2019," a statement said. 
     
    "Management is confident of successfully completing the planned equity injection of USD 2 billion in January 2020," Fitch added.
     
    Bharti may also raise $1.7 billion-$2.7 billion through a planned stake sale of the combined Bharti Infratel (Infratel) and Indus Tower entity, which is awaiting regulatory approval of the merger. 
     
    "However, deconsolidation of Infratel-Indus would lead to cash outflow for tower lease rentals, nullifying any significant leverage benefits," said the US agency. 
     
    It also said the Supreme Court's adverse ruling, leading to a DoT demand of $19 billion in unpaid dues on licence fees and spectrum usage charges from Indian telcos before January 24, 2020, is credit-negative for the industry. The court may rule on the review petition during January 2020. 
     
    "The simultaneous announcement by all telcos to hike tariffs by around 30 per cent-40 per cent across different prepaid tariff plans, effective from December 5, 2019, is credit-positive and is the first such increase in tariffs in a decade," the statement said. 
     
    Bharti announced in January 2020 that it will increase its minimum amount, that a customer needs to pay to keep a number active, to Rs 45 ($0.64) from Rs 35. 
     
    "Bharti's free cash flow (FCF) will remain negative during FY20 despite tariff hikes, as cash flow from operations will be insufficient to fund large capex and moderate dividends of Rs 30 billion-40 billion," Fitch said. 
     
    "Barring regulatory dues, we expect FY20 capex/revenue to remain high at 34 per cent-37 per cent, with forecast capex of around $4 billion, as Bharti continues to strengthen its 4G network and fibre infrastructure. However, negative FCF will improve following the government's two-year moratorium on payment of existing spectrum dues, which will save about $840 million in FY21 and FY22," it added. 
     
    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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