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Tuesday,20-October-2020

Business

Government hopeful BPCL strategic sale to sail through without further extensions

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After four extensions, the government is hopeful that strategic sale of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) may go through without any further need to postpone the bidding deadlines.

The deadline for submitting the Expressions of Interest (EoI) for 52.98 per cent stake in the BPCL is ending on November 16. Prior to this, the bid start date was September 30, but it got postponed due to bidders’ request in wake of prevailing situation arising out of Covid-19 pandemic.

BPCL disinvestment has received interest from several large global oil and gas companies and a few Indian entities as well. In fact, the process so far has generated close to 100 enquiries in a clear signal that investors remain interested in the maharatna oil PSUs despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic, official source privy to the development said.

According to them, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc), Exxon Mobil intend to participate in the bidding process for the PSU. Indian oil majors are not behind their global counterparts and are also actively pursuing the prospects of bidding for BPCL. Oil-to-telecom major Reliance Industries is understood to have shown interest for the bid.

Reports, however, suggest that world’s largest oil producer Saudi Aramco and Rosneft of Russia may not participate in the bid due to soft oil prices and fragile demand conditions.

The deadline for submitting EoIs has been postponed four times and the current deadline ends on November 16. We are confident that EoI will sail through within time with several interested bidders coming into the fray, the sources quoted above said.

While the queries about the sale is a reflection of interest that BPCL disinvestment has, it does not always amount to investment. But the queries relating to timing to complete the bids, net worth requirement, what kind of controls investors may have to face, will they have to operate in regulated regime or how the money would have to be brought for the purchase, had given confidence that investors remain serious about BPCL.

On its part, disinvestment department had issued several clarifications to investors and eased several processes to make the sale attractive.

The disinvestment in BPCL involves the government selling its entire 52.98 per cent stake in the company to a strategic investor with transfer of management control. The government has barred PSUs from bidding for BPCL and expects private sector Indian players and global MNCs to bid for its stake.

The Indian government proposes to disinvest its entire shareholding in BPCL comprising 1,14,91,83,592 equity shares held through the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, which constitutes 52.98 per cent of BPCL’s equity share capital, along with the transfer of management control to the strategic buyer (except BPCL’s equity shareholding of 61.65 per cent in Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) and management control thereon).

The shareholding of BPCL in NRL will be transferred to a Central Public Sector Enterprise operating in the oil and gas sector under the Ministry and accordingly, is not a part of the proposed transaction.

The government’s stake in BPCL is worth around Rs 50,000 crore at BPCL’s current share price.

Business

Hiring activity dips 30% in Q2, rise in contractual jobs: Report

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Job

The hiring activity in India saw a 30 per cent decrease in the June quarter compared to the same period last year as the country saw a rise in contractual jobs, a new report said on Tuesday.

However, the Jube quarter witnessed a 13 per cent increase in the number of work-from-home jobs as compared to Q2 2019.

Furthermore, the demand for contract workforce increased by 11 per cent in Q2 from the same period last year, while the demand for full-time employees decreased by 13.8 per cent, according to data from SCIKEY talent commerce platform, a talent marketplace.

IT and IT Services sectors indicated recovery in contractual jobs in the June quarter.

“Cloud businesses and digital transformation is the need of the hour and one of the top most requirements for all industries to adapt to the new normal,” said Karunjit Kumar Dhir, Co-Founder SCIKEY.

“This will definitely have a positive impact on the hiring sentiments among techies who will now look for jobs in India especially due to the strain in H-1B visas”.

The pandemic has given rise to a huge number of contract workers for a plug and play model allowing companies to reduce their hiring costs.

In the packaging, IT, telecom and ecommerce industry, some of the top job roles companies are looking for are developer, analyst, management profiles, tester, engineer, senior and consultants.

An earlier study from the company found that there was an uptick in hiring senior executives in India compared to freshers and mid-level executives in the pandemic period (April to July) as the enterprises looked to invest in talent at the very top levels.

Indian companies hired 72 per cent of top executives as compared to 28 per cent of freshers and mid-level executives in the reported period.

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Business

LG launches world’s 1st rollable TV for whopping Rs 64 lakh

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LG Electronics on Tuesday released the world’s first rollable TV in South Korea at a jaw-dropping price of $87,000 (about Rs 63.9 lakh) as the tech giant aims to target high-end consumers amid the pandemic.

The company said overseas launch schedules of LG Signature OLED R have not been fixed yet due to the Covid-19 situation in each country, reports Yonhap news agency.

LG said the product, which uses flexible OLED display that leverages self-lighting pixel technology, is designed to deliver a differentiated user experience to high-end consumers and strengthen its position in the premium TV market.

Its name “R” contains the meaning of “revolutionary,” “rollable” and “redefine the space,” according to the home appliance maker.

The 65-inch TV model named RX is highlighted by its screen that rises from a box and can be rolled up inside.

Depending on how much the screen has rolled up inside the base, it provides three different viewing options for users to design interior space.

While the full view option is for watching TV, the line view option exposes only a part of the screen and offers five different stylish modes: music, clock, frame, mood and ThinQ home dashboard to check conditions of other smart devices inside the house.

The ‘Zero view’ completely hides the screen and allows it to be used as a Bluetooth speaker.

LG said it has adopted a differentiated system for its rollable TV from production to customer care service.

LG said production and quality inspection of the rollable TV will be processed by artisans and craftspeople at LG’s TV assembly line in Gumi, some 260 kilometers southeast of Seoul, a similar system used in making luxury cars and watches.

It will also engrave a message of the customer’s choice on the TV’s aluminum cabinet.

The owners of LG Signature OLED R will get free after-sales support for three years and will get special checkup service twice a year.

LG’s rollable TV was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the United States last year.

The world’s top OLED TV maker originally planned to launch the rollable TV in 2019, but its mass production has been delayed due to OLED display supply and yield rate issues.

At this year’s CES, LG unveiled a different model of its rollable TV with a screen that rolls down from the ceiling.

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Business

L&T shares rise on hopes of contract for bullet train project

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Shares of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) rose over three per cent on the hopes of bagging the contract for constructing the 237 km length of the bullet train project under the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor.

The engineering and infrastructure major has emerged as the lowest bidder for constructing the bullet train project.

The financial bids for the design and construction of 237 km length of viaduct for 508 km of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor were opened on Monday and Larsen and Toubro emerged as the lowest bidder, said a statement from the Indian Railway.

On Tuesday, shares of L&T surged 3.6 per cent on the BSE to touch an intra-day high of Rs 935.60 per share.

At 9.43 a.m., its share price was at Rs 927.55, higher by Rs 24.55 or 2.72 per cent from its previous close.

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