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India Business Briefs for May 14: Stellantis open to use India facility to roll out Chinese JV partner Leapmotor EVs

A facade of a Stellantis site in Velizy Villacoublay, France, on April 22, 2024.(Photo by MAGALI COHEN/Hans Lucas/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HERE are news in brief on Indian economy and business for Tuesday, May 14, 2024:

Global automotive major Stellantis is open to using its manufacturing facility in India to produce and sell electric vehicles (EVs) of its Chinese joint venture partner Leapmotor in the country to overcome the hurdle of high import duties, its CEO Carlos Tavares said on Tuesday. Stellantis NV and China’s Leapmotor on Tuesday said they have received all required authorisations, thus completing the formation of Leapmotor International BV – a 51:49 joint venture led by Stellantis. Under the JV, Leapmotor International’s EV products will be launched in nine European countries starting September. Later this year, the Leapmotor product roll-out will expand to the Middle East and Africa (Turkiye, Israel and French Overseas), India and Asia Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and India), and South America (Brazil and Chile), the two companies said.

Noting that a majority government with a visionary leader are prerequisite for a stable, vibrant and deep Indian financial market, Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition fulfils these parameters. Speaking at the Bombay Stock Exchange on ‘Vikshit Bharat 2047’ theme, she said that stability of policy, predictability, and a soft-touch regulatory framework are among the high points that help make markets efficient. “Stability of government, stability of policy particularly of taxation policy, predictability, and above all a soft touch regulatory framework these are the high points with which markets become efficient, markets function without volatility…,” she said.

India’s palm oil imports registered a 34.11 per cent jump on-year in April to 684,000 tonnes, buoyed by a fall in global prices, the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India said on Tuesday. Palm oil accounted for 52 per cent of India’s total edible oil imports of 1,304,409 tonnes in April, the trade body said in a statement, adding that sunflower and soybean oil imports stood at 620,315 tonnes. Including non-edible oils, overall vegetable oil imports rose 26 per cent in April to 13,18,528 tonnes compared to 1,050,189 tonnes a year ago, it said. Bearish global prices encouraged higher imports of refined, bleached and deodorized palmolein and crude palm oil, which declined by nearly $100 (£79.48) a tonne last month, SEA said.

India’s elite investigating agency CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has arrested Dheeraj Wadhawan, former director of housing finance company DHFL in connection with a Rs 34,000-crore bank fraud case, officials said on Tuesday. Wadhawan was taken into custody from the western city of Mumbai on Monday (13) evening, they said, adding that he was produced before a special court in Delhi on Tuesday that sent him to judicial custody. He was already charge-sheeted by the CBI in connection with the case in 2022, they said. Wadhawan was earlier arrested by the agency in connection with the Yes Bank corruption case and was on bail, they said. The CBI had registered the DHFL case related to the alleged defrauding of a consortium of 17 banks to the tune of Rs 34,000 crore, making it the biggest banking loan fraud in the country, they added.

Private equity firm Chryscapital on Tuesday said it will invest up to $100 million (£79.4 million) in the eye care chain Centre for Sight for a significant minority stake. The investment includes a primary infusion and also a secondary one, where it is buying out the entire stake in the New Delhi-headquartered company held by Mahindra Group arm Mahindra Holdings, a statement said without disclosing the exact split between the two. The money will be used for expansion in tier-1 and tier-2 cities by the company, the statement said. The 1996-founded CFS is among the top three organized eye care chains in the country with a network of 83 centres across 15 states, it said, adding that in the NCR market alone, it has 15 centres and 13 vision stores.

(With agencies)

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