As Asian deals disappear, India becomes unlikely hotspot for M&A


Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious courtship of international investors has helped turn India into a rare bright spot for dealmaking in 2020, a shift that bankers say is likely to continue as the battle for the country’s digital economy heats up.

Thanks in large part to $15 billion of investments in Ambani’s technology venture from the likes of and Silver Lake Partners, India accounts for more than 12 per cent of announced deals in the Asia Pacific region so far this year, the highest ratio since at least 1998. The country’s tally has jumped 18 per cent from a year ago to $55.3 billion, defying an 18 per cent slide for the region, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With half a billion internet users and growing, India is witnessing pitched battles in everything from e-commerce and content streaming to messaging and digital payments — similar to the early days of China’s digital boom. The sector’s importance has only increased this year as the Covid-19 pandemic pushed India to impose the world’s biggest in late March.

“India has become one of the busiest markets for M&A in Asia,” said Kerwin Clayton, co-head

Washington Visit ‘Very Intense’: Mexican President


Mexico’s president said Thursday his visit to Washington to meet US President Donald Trump was “very intense” and important for both countries.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met Trump on Wednesday to mark the launch of the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal, revamped after Trump had branded its predecessor treaty a killer of working-class US jobs.

“It was a visit with little time but very intense, and I consider it very important for the three North American countries because the new trade agreement was put into effect,” Lopez Obrador said before flying back to Mexico City.

“This is going to mean investment for the region, businesses, work, and the wellbeing of our people,” the president added later in a message on social media. The treaty went into effect on July 1.

In their first face-to-face meeting, Trump and Lopez Obrador voiced mutual praise and ignored the tensions that have marked relations between the neighbors, particularly over migration and security policy since Trump took office.

As part of his austerity policy, the leftist president was returning to his country in an economy-class seat on a commercial flight that stops in Miami on the way to Mexico City.

Canada was a notable

Centre may disburse Rs 10,000 cr worth of loans in FY21 under agri fund


The Centre plans to disburse Rs 10,000 crore worth of loans at concessional rates to cooperative societies, farmer-producer organisations (FPOs), start-ups, and others in the current fiscal year under its ambitious Rs 1-trillion fund to create storage and processing infrastructure at the farm-gate level.

Loans up to Rs 2 crore will be provided to entrepreneurs at 3 per cent interest subvention for a period of seven years, according to the Union Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday. The loans will have moratorium on repayment that will vary from six months to two years.

The fund called the Infrastructure Fund, announced as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Package’ in May by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, got formal Cabinet approval on Wednesday.

The fund, along with the three facilitating Ordinances on freeing marketing, amending Essential Commodities Act and framework for contract farming, is aimed at providing an ecosystem to private companies to encourage them to invest in storage and warehousing in a big way.

IRB infra raises Rs 150 crore via NCDs on private placement basis


on Wednesday said it has raised Rs 150 crore through allotment of on a private placement basis.

“This is to inform you that the management administration and share transfer committee of the board of directors of the company…has allotted 9.55 per cent secured, redeemable, listed, rated non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of face value of Rs 10 lakh each, for cash at par, aggregating to Rs 150 crore on a private placement basis to an eligible investor,” the company said in a BSE filing.

Dilip Buildcon, in a separate filing, said it has raised Rs 200 crore via

“The company has issued and allotted 2,000 senior, secured, listed, rated, redeemable non-convertible debentures rupee denominated face value of Rs 10,00,000/- bearing a coupon rate 8.67 per cent p.a, on private placement basis,” it said.

Eight Contenders Battle For WTO Leadership


Three last-minute contenders on Wednesday joined the race to become the next head of the beleaguered World Trade Organization, meaning eight candidates in total are vying for the daunting position.

Britain’s first post-Brexit international trade secretary Liam Fox, former Saudi economy minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri and Kenya’s former WTO General Council chair Amina Mohamed all threw their hats in the ring in the final 24 hours before Wednesday’s deadline.

They join candidates from Egypt, Mexico, Moldova, Nigeria and South Korea, a WTO official confirmed after the close of nominations.

The WTO General Council will meet from July 15-17 to hear their presentations and quiz them on their plans for the global trade body, which was beset with mammoth challenges even before the pandemic-driven global economic crisis struck.

“As the world seeks to recover from the shared challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of free and fair trade has never been more crucial,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his letter to the WTO, nominating Fox.

He said the former defence minister, 58, could implement the necessary reforms “to ensure the global trading system truly delivers for all WTO members.”

The new chief must revive stalled trade talks, lay the

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