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Friday, July 28, 2017

Medwell gets a Rs 136-crore shot from Mahindra Partners, others


MUMBAI: Mahindra Partners has led a $21-million (Rs 136 crore) series-B round in healthcare venture Medwell Ventures which operates Nightingales Home Health Services.

The round also saw the participation from existing investors like Eight Roads Ventures and US-based F-Prime Capital Partners, along with early angel investors and the founders. As part of the round, Mahindra Partners will occupy two board seats in the company .

Founded in 2014 by former Fortis Healthcare group CEO Vishal Bali, Ferzaan Engineer, Lalit Pai and Himanshu Shah, Medwell Ventures had raised $10 million from Eight Roads Ventures, formerly Fidelity Growth Partners India and F-Prime Capital Partners, formerly Fidelity Biosciences in June 2015.

With this recent infusion, the total amount raised by the firm is $35 million (Rs 227 crore) across multiple rounds.

The funds that have been raised for the Nightingales’ business will be used to expand the company’s footprint in the four cities it is operational in ­ Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune and also expand its network across 10 metro clusters. “The idea is to grow deeper in each of the four cities. In Mumbai, we will add five to six more branches to the existing four.We will also start operations in NCR, Chennai and Eastern India,“ Vishal Bali, cofounder, Medwell Ventures

Nightingales has grown to a strength of 13 branches across the four cities and has a team of over 1,000 medical, paramedical and healthcare professionals.

Arun Jaitley meets FinMin’s consultative committee, discusses banks’ bad loans


NEW DELHI: The government is taking sector-specific measures to deal with bad loans, especially the resolution of large debts, and may include setting up of more oversight committees, as initiated by the Reserve Bank of India, for faster settlement of such cases.

“RBI has made an oversight committee to look into process of cases referred to it by different banks. Seeing the response and its performance, the government is considering multiplication of such committees,” finance minister Arun Jaitley told the first meeting of his ministry’s consultative committee on Wednesday, which discussed non-performing assets.

According to a finance ministry noted statement, Jaitley said the core problem of non-performing assets was with very large companies – although few – mainly in steel, power, textile and core sectors.

“They had expanded capacity during the boom period (2003-08) but could not face the onslaught of the global financial crisis and consequent slowdown,” the minister noted, adding that the steel sector is recovering while many decisions have been taken to resolve problems in infrastructure, power and textile.

The growth of bad loans slowed in the last quarter of the current financial year, Jaitley said. He said options are being debated on setting up a bad bank to hold stressed and non-productive assets.

Some members of the consultative committee suggested that state governments should be allowed to take part in the auction of stressed assets. Some said the government must establish a Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency and it should consider NPAs where sector-specific reforms do not work.

There was a suggestion to explore a long-term debt market for financing NPAs. It was also recommended that criminal action be taken against big, wilful defaulters.

All government schemes to have sunset clause: Finance Ministry


NEW DELHI: All government schemes should have a sunset clause and must be co-terminus with the tenure of Finance Commission, which is constituted every five years, the Finance Ministry said today.

In a communication to various departments and ministries, it said the Five Year Plan era ends with the 12th Plan this month and hence all the schemes should also revisited to improve the quality of government expenditure.

Every scheme should have a sun-set date and an outcome review, it said, adding that “for aligning the schemes with financial resources cycle of centre and and state governments, these will be co-terminus with the Finance Commission cycles, the first such be the remaining 14th Finance Commission period ending March 2020”.

All ministries and departments, it said, should submit their schemes for appraisal by the Finance Ministry by this month-end so that they can continue beyond the 12th Plan period “in a smooth, rationalised and effective manner”.

The circular said that the approval for continuation of a current scheme may be sought if the review is positive and its objectives have been achieved effectively.

“It may be ensured that in all such schemes which are proposed for continuation, there should be no scheme where the competent authority had specifically decided to terminate it at the end of 12th Five Year Plan,” the ministry said.

In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had abolished the Planning Commission and replaced it with a think-tank Niti Aayog.

ESAF Microfinance to raise Rs 650 crore before small finance bank launch


KOLKATA: ESAF Microfinance, which will be kicking off its small finance bank journey in a fortnight, is looking to ramp up capital ahead of the transition.

The Thrissur-based company is in talks with investors such as insurance companies and mutual funds to raise Rs 500 crore in non-convertible debentures, along with another Rs 150 crore in commercial papers.

ESAF Chairman K Paul Thomas said the company expects to close the issues by the end of this week. The lender has already mobilized Rs 180 crore in commercial papers last week.

“If we can ramp up capital before the conversion, we can focus on scale and retail liability franchise development in small finance bank from the beginning,” Thomas told .

ESAF will officially launch small finance bank operation on March 17 after a week’s of trail run starting from March 10.

The lender from Kerala, a state on India’s Malabar Coast with a vast non-residents population sending remittances and dollar deposits in local banks, plans to offer “a little higher” interest rates compared to mainstream banks to attract depositors.

Chennai-based Equitas Small Finance Bank offers 6% on savings deposits while Suryoday Small Finance Bank, which operates in Maharashtra, offers 6.25% on savings deposits up to Rs 1 lakh.

Thomas said ESAF would start as a full service bank with 15 branches and digital facilities such as internet banking and mobile banking. It would like to have 85 branches by September.

“We will also start lending to agriculture, housing and MSME sectors,” Thomas said. The lender has an outstanding micro-loan portfolio of Rs 2500 crore. It lends at 22.9% a year.

Reserve Bank of India offered preliminary licences to 10 entities and the list includes Janalakshmi Financial Services, Disha Microfin, RGVN Microfinance (North East) and Au Financiers (India).

ESAF is the sixth to commence small finance bank after Capital Small Finance Bank, Equitas, Utkarsh, Suryoday and Ujjivan.

It is promoted by ESAF Swasraya Multi State Cooperative Agro Society with 50.34% stake and has Rs 360 crore networth. Dia Vikas Capital, a subsidiary of Opportunity International Australia, holds 19.97% with Small Industries Development Bank of India’s 12.86% interest

Finance Ministry to finalise capital infusion of Rs 8K-cr within 15 days


NEW DELHI: The Finance Ministry is giving final touches to infusing around Rs 8,000 crore in public sector banks (PSBs) as part of its second and final tranche for the current fiscal, 2015-16.

The second round of capital infusion is almost ready and in the next few days it should go to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for approval, sources said.

The entire process should be over within a fortnight and then the respective bank would start receiving funds, sources added.

The second round of funding would be based on the strict parameters, sources said, adding that few banks would be eligible, and include those whose common equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital is lower than 8 per cent.

Some of the banks eligible for fund infusion include IDBI BankBSE -2.57 %, Indian Overseas BankBSE -0.92 % and UCO BankBSE 0.54 % where CET1 has been less than 8 per cent at the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal.

The government has already announced fund infusion of Rs 22,915 crore, out of the Rs 25,000 crore earmarked for 13 PSBs for the current fiscal. Of this, 75 per cent has already been released to them.

The first tranche was announced in July with the objective of enhancing their lending operations and enabling them to raise more money from the market.

Under Indradhanush roadmap announced last year, the government will infuse Rs 70,000 crore in state banks over four years while they will have to raise further Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the markets to meet their capital requirement in line with global risk norms Basel-III.

In line with the blueprint, PSBs are to get Rs 25,000 crore in each fiscal, 2015-16 and 2016-17. Besides, Rs 10,000 crore each would be infused in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

In the Budget 2017-18 speech on February 1, Jaitley announced capital infusion of Rs 10,000 crore for the next fiscal beginning April 1.

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