Stocks to Watch: Infosys, India Cements, HDFC Bank, HAL, BOI, IOCL, Zomato

India Cements: The company’s promoters have been persistently raising debt against their shares, with the most recent borrowing occurring last month as India Cements grapples with working capital deficits. Promoters, led by Managing Director N. Srinivasan, had pledged 45.5% of their shares with banks by the end of December 2023, a significant increase from 16.8% at the end of September 2022. The most recent data on share pledges is yet to be updated on the stock exchanges. EWS Finance and Investment, which holds three-quarters of the 28.42% promoter stake in the company, announced on March 15 that the promoter had raised additional funds by creating new pledges. The exact amount of the new share pledges or the funds raised could not be independently verified by Mint.

HDFC Bank: The private sector bank is planning to sell its 100% stake in HDFC Education and Development Services via the Swiss challenge method, and is currently in the process of identifying a buyer. In a regulatory filing on March 30, the bank disclosed that it has initiated engagement with a potential buyer through a binding term sheet, which serves as the base bid to invite counterproposals from other parties interested in the stake.

Bank of India: On March 31, Bank of India disclosed that it had received a demand notice for ₹1,128 crore from the Assessment Unit of the Income Tax Department, pertaining to the assessment year 2016-17. The notice is associated with certain disallowances under section 156 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The bank said it will appeal against the order with the Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals), National Faceless Appeal Centre (NFAC).

Hindustan Aeronautics: The public sector defense firm has entered into a ₹1,173.42 crore agreement with Cochin Shipyard, Kochi to provide six LM2500 gas turbines (GT), GT auxiliaries (GTAE), spare parts, and tools for the Indian Navy’s Next Generation Missile Vessel (NGMV) Project.

Indian Oil Corporation: IOCL has announced its plan to establish a joint venture with Panasonic Energy of Japan for the production of cylindrical lithium-ion cells in India. Following the signing of a heads of agreement on January 21, which is a preliminary non-binding document that outlines the key points of a tentative sale, partnership, or other agreement, the companies have now signed a binding term sheet to establish a framework for the joint venture. According to the filing, the companies aim to finalize the specifics of their partnership by this summer.

Zomato: The online food delivery platform, announced on March 31 that it had received a GST demand order amounting to ₹23.26 crore for the fiscal year 2018-19 from the tax authorities in Karnataka. This order, received on March 30, pertains to the excess availment of input tax credit along with the associated interest and penalty, as stated in an exchange filing by the company. The company disclosed that it had received an order for the fiscal year 2018-19 following the audit of GST returns and accounts by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes (Audit), Karnataka.

Canara Bank: The bank intends to go public with its mutual fund subsidiary, Canara Robeco Asset Management Company (CRAMC), by selling 13 percent of its equity shares. The public sector bank has announced in an exchange filing that it has approved the commencement of the process to dilute a 13 percent stake through an initial public offering (IPO). However, the proposed IPO is still awaiting approval from the Reserve Bank of India and the Department of Financial Services under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. In December of the previous year, Canara Bank had given an in-principle nod to initiate the process of listing its mutual fund subsidiary through an initial share sale.

Tata Consultancy Services: TCS is currently facing allegations of hiring biases at its US branch. A Wall Street Journal report reveals that a group of disgruntled American employees claim that they were dismissed by the software behemoth to make room for Indian workers on H-1B visas. According to the WSJ report, 22 ex-TCS employees have lodged complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since December 2023. These complainants, who are Caucasians, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic Americans aged between 40 and 60s, hold master’s degrees in business administration or other advanced qualifications.

Macrotech Developers: The company has announced a share purchase agreement to secure a 50% stake in Siddhivinayak Realties Pvt. Ltd.’s paid-up equity capital, according to an exchange filing. The total cost to acquire the shares, along with securities and instruments, is ₹250 crore, which will be transferred through banking channels. Real estate development firm Siddhivinayak Realties, holds rights in various lands, including the development of a free sale portion of an SRA project in Mumbai. The transaction is expected to be finalized within a week.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises: The company has announced a revamp of its technology and innovation centre, which includes a 50% reduction in expenses and a team restructuring based on recommendations from a new management oversight panel. These actions align with the strategy of Punit Goenka, the Managing Director and CEO, to optimize resources and establish a cost-efficient structure to foster growth, as stated by the company on Friday. Following guidance from Zee’s board during the recently held monthly management mentorship program, Goenka has reduced the structure of the technology center by approximately 50% and refined its work scope, according to the company.

Yes Bank: The bank has received ₹366 crore from a single trust in the Security Receipts Portfolio pertaining to the sale of the NPA portfolio to J.C. Flower Asset Reconstruction on December 17, 2022. Meanwhile, the bank has received a reassessment order from the National Faceless Assessment Unit, Income-tax Department, raising additional demand for tax liability (including interest) on various income-tax disallowances, amounting to ₹112.81 crore.

EIH: On March 28, hospitality company EIH announced that its board has approved the construction of a luxury Oberoi resort at Cavelossim beach in South Goa. The announcement was made during a board meeting and later shared in a stock exchange filing. The resort, which will be named “The Oberoi, Goa”, will be built on a 52-acre site owned by the company. It will boast 90 rooms and suites spread across its expansive property. The project, estimated to cost ₹421 crore, is expected to be operational by October 1, 2027. The funding for this venture will be obtained through internal accruals and debt.

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