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Thursday,29-July-2021

Business

Kerala Financial Corporation to tap bond market for Rs 250 crore

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Rupee

The state’s leading financial institution, Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) hit the BSE electronic bidding platform on Friday to raise Rs 250 crore from the debt market by issuing non-SLR bonds of Rs 100 crore, with a greenshoe option of Rs 150 crore, on private placement basis.

The bonds, rated AA (SO) by two RBI and SEBI approved rating agencies with a stable outlook for investment, would have a tenure of ten years bearing a coupon rate payable semi-annually and be redeemable from the sixth year.

Tomin J Thachankary, CMD of KFC, said they have been issuing bonds since 2011 and this is the seventh such launch.

“KFC is the only PSU under Kerala Government and the only SFC in the country raising funds without government guarantee. We are going to the market based on the strength of our financials,” said Thachankary.

The KFC has raised Rs 1600 crore so far from the bond market in seven issues of which Rs 415 crore has been redeemed.

Initially KFC was raising bonds with a state government guarantee, where they had to pay a Guarantee Commission of 0.75 per cent plus GST thereby increasing the cost by one per cent.

Since 2016, KFC has been raising funds without a government guarantee, based on the strength of its balance sheet.

“The bond market has been volatile due to various reasons and there is extremely less liquidity for bonds, less than AAA credit rating now. Most of the similar rated issues were bid above eight per cent coupon rate and we are expecting rates less than eight per cent,” added Thachankary.

KFC aims to build the loan portfolio to a level of Rs 4000 crore by the end of this fiscal from the present level of Rs 3300 crore and is mulling another bond issue by the end of this year.

Business

PUBG developer Krafton to raise $3.7 bn via IPO next month

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PUBG

Krafton, the video game developer behind global hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), will raise 4.3 trillion won ($3.7 billion) in its initial public offering (IPO), the company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

Krafton said it priced its shares at 498,000 won each at the upper end of the range announced earlier this month.

The listing, scheduled for August 10, is expected to be one of the largest ever on the local bourse. Samsung Life Insurance holds the record for its 4.89 trillion won IPO in 2010, reports Yonhap news agency.

While Krafton had initially sought to raise up to a record 5.6 trillion won, it lowered its pricing band after financial authorities requested revisions to its plan amid controversy of overvaluation.

Krafton has downplayed overvaluation concerns, with the company saying in an online press conference that it is among a few players in the local tech and entertainment industry to hold a significant presence in the global market.

The video game maker has sold over 75 million copies of PUBG for PCs and consoles globally since its launch in 2017.

The mobile version of the battle royale shooter, in which players fight each other until the last survivor, has reached 1 billion downloads globally, excluding China.

Krafton is eyeing active mergers and acquisitions after going public, with plans to spend 70 percent of the funds secured from the IPO in acquiring promising game developers.

The company is looking to expand its video game portfolio with the launch of new in-house mobile game “PUBG: New State” as early as September this year and horror game “Callisto Protocol” next year.

The company is also expanding big in the Indian market.

Developed by Krafton for the Indian audience, the Battlegrounds Mobile India game surpassed 34 million registered users within a week after its release.

Online storytelling platform Pratilipi announced on July 14 that it has raised $48 million in a funding round led by South Korean gaming company Krafton.

The next day, Krafton announced its first esports tournament — Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021 — that was kicked off from July 19 with a prize pool of Rs 1 crore.

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Bollywood

‘Toofan’ leads the race as Amazon Prime’s most watched Hindi film in 2021

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toofan

In a rare instance, OTT giant Amazon Prime Video has released data, revealing its highest streaming projects within their launch-weeks so far in this year. Actor Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Toofan’ is on top position as the most watched video within first week of its release globally.

According to the data released by the OTT platform, the Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra directorial was watched by more customers on Prime Video India than any other Hindi film in its opening week. The film was viewed in over 3,900+ towns and cities in India and in 160+ countries and territories across the globe.

Besides this, in the local languages catagory, films ‘Narappa’ (Telugu), ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’ (Tamil) and ‘Malik’ (Malayalam), were each watched in over 3,200+ towns and cities in India and in over 150+ countries and territories globally.

In the catagory of web shows, Adarsh Gourav’s ‘Hostel Daze (S2)’ emerged as one of the most loved shows amongst young adults within just a week of its launch, with viewership from 3,600+ towns and cities in India and from over 100+ countries and territories around the world.

The data comes to light as Amazon marked July 26 and July 27 as Prime Days. Prime Day 2021 marked the most Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) selling on Amazon.in ever, as they saw an overwhelming response from Prime members.

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Business

Pandemic pushes digital payments, RBI index up 30%

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Online-payment

The Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions associated with it has pushed up digital transactions in the country.

An indicator to faster adoption of online payment medium is the Reserve Bank of India’s Digital Payment Index. After moving at moderate pace over the years, the index has jumped sharply 30 per cent between March 2020 and March 2021.

The pandemic is one of the reason while people are increasingly preferring digital payment mechanism over physical mode. But improvement in the digital payment infrastructure has also pushed up this adoption.

The RBI had earlier announced construction of a composite Reserve Bank of India – Digital Payments Index (RBI-DPI) with March 2018 as base to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country.

The index for March 2021 stands at 270.59 as against 207.84 for March 2020, announced while launching the index on January 1, 2021.

The RBI-DPI index has demonstrated significant growth in the index representing the rapid adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country in recent years, the apex bank said in a statement.

Starting from March 2018, the index stood at 153.47 in March 2019, 173.49 in September 2019. This improved to 207.84 in March 2020, 217.74 in September 2020 and further increased to 270.59 in March 2021.

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