Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) CEO, will retire from the current post in September this year as he turns 65. According to the company’s HR policy, executive directors retire at the age of 65. However, Speth will continue to be on the board of JLR in a non-executive capacity. He will be redesignated as the vice-chairman of the company that accounts for the bulk of parent Tata Motors’ revenue. According to the company’s HR norms, a non-executive director can remain on the board until the age of 70. Tata Motors had acquired JLR from Ford Motor Company for $2.3 billion in 2008 and brought Speth, a German engineer, on board to steer JLR in 2010. Besides JLR, Speth is a director on the board of Tata Motors and Tata Sons, the promoter of the Indian automotive giant. A search committee has been formed to find the next CEO for JLR, Tata Motors said.
RBI penalises HDFC Bank for failing KYC
The RBI has imposed a £100,000 penalty on HDFC Bank for failing to comply with the central bank’s know your customer (KYC) norms. The RBI said that 39 current accounts opened by the bank had transactions disproportionate to the declared income and profile of the customers. “Based on the observations made during the on-site inspection for FY17, a scrutiny of 39 current accounts opened by its customers for bidding in initial public offer was conducted by the RBI, which revealed that the bank had failed to exercise ongoing due diligence in those accounts,” the central bank said. The RBI then issued a showcause notice to the bank. After considering the bank’s response, the central bank concluded that the charge of non-compliance with the direction was sustained and warranted imposition of monetary penalty. “This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers,” the RBI said.
Govt notifies rules for winding up of companies
In a move that will help lessen the burden on the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the government has notified the rules for winding up of firms under the companies law. The corporate affairs ministry has notified the Companies (Winding Up) Rules, 2020, which would be effective from April 1. Petitions for winding up of companies are subject to various conditions, including thresholds on turnover and paid-up capital. Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas partner & head (M&A) Akila Agrawal said the rules seek to inter alia reduce the burden of the NCLT by enabling summary procedures for liquidation to be filed with the central government. “A large part of the procedure applicable to regular companies continues to be applicable to the companies that can opt for the summary procedure. It is therefore unclear if the process will be fast tracked merely by shifting the jurisdiction to the central government,” she noted. Currently, voluntary liquidation cases are primarily taken up under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The rules have been notified under the Companies Act, 2013, which is implemented by the ministry.
SBI sees highest quarterly net in Oct-Dec
SBI reported its highest ever quarterly net profit of £558.3 million - up 41% from the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The gains were bolstered by a sharp jump in net interest income which was partly because of the recovery of £1.1 billion following resolution of Essar Steel default due to its sale to Arcelor Mittal under the insolvency process. The bank managed to grow its net interest income by 22% to £2.28 billion despite loan growth being subdued at less than 7%. This was because the bank managed to cap increase in interest outgo to less than one per cent despite deposits growing by 10%. “For the quarter our net interest margin was 3.59, if we remove the impact of Essar Steel recovery the NIM would be 3.37. We are maintaining the cost of deposits very well and passing on the benefit to the borrower which is how we have managed to maintain our net interest margin,” said Rajnish Kumar, chairman, State Bank of India. Kumar said that in the current quarter the bank was anticipating recovery from one large steel company and a textile company.
Unilever to review global tea biz
Unilever said it has initiated a strategic review of its global tea business. Industry analysts, however, do not expect the Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever (HUL) to evaluate selling its tea business in India. Tea is part of HUL’s food and refreshments (F&R) portfolio, which contributed about 19% to the company’s 2018-19 revenues. Brooke Bond, a key tea brand of HUL, is an over £200 million brand, and is one of the leading players in India’s beverage category. Other brands include the iconic ‘Taj Mahal’ tea under Brooke Bond, which is marketed as a brand closely linked to the heritage culture, while Lipton focuses on emerging consumer tastes such as green tea. With tea in its portfolio, HUL’s connect with consumers goes beyond personal products, opening new opportunities in foods and refreshments in addition to growth in the out-of-home channel. In a statement on Unilever’s fourth quarter and full year performance, CEO Alan Jope said, “We are continuing to evaluate our portfolio and have initiated a strategic review of our global tea business.”