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Investigation

The lure of quick returns: how some “SmartOwners” got stuck in not-so-smart bets on Bengaluru realty

Well-heeled NRIs have put in crores in SmartOwner’s Bengaluru projects on the promise of over 24% return. Acting through an online interface, they bought properties expecting quick exits. But with a challenging macro environment, cracks are beginning to appear. While SmartOwner admits to delays in projects, with nearly INR800 crore riding on them, it denies any breach of contract.

Policy and regulations

The IBC puzzle: new provisions stir confusion, mar Covid-19 relief for insolvency stakeholders

Over four months into the pandemic, the insolvency ecosystem is still struggling with the ambiguities in the notification that increased the default trigger to INR1 crore from INR1 lakh earlier. An ordinance that came two months later has not put the matter to rest. As debtors and creditors play a cat-and-mouse game, confusion prevails.

Policy and regulations

Sustainability scorecard: Top NSE companies understand the letter of the law better than its spirit

Compliances and disclosures in the area of governance seem far better than in environment and social, where rules are yet to be codified. ESG (environment, social, and governance) standards and processes, therefore, need to be uniform and implemented well for companies to ensure long-term sustainability and enjoy high levels of investor confidence. Voluntary disclosures don’t work.

Financials

The pandemic ruins Uday Kotak’s resolution plans for IL&FS. It’s a long and hard road ahead.

Uday Kotak was confident of recovering half of IL&FS’s INR94,000 crore debt by March 2020. But his plans lie in tatters, a victim of the rampaging pandemic. Kotak’s second term as chairman ends soon and the IL&FS board must consider the new realities. Kotak tells ET Prime a review is on the cards. It’s a test case for India’s troubled financial sector.

Board Matters

Regulations give women a presence on company boards. But the glass ceiling remains unbroken.

Although regulations have helped corporate India to kick-start the gender diversity agenda in boardrooms, it seems more an enforced development than out of the belief that diversity adds value. Women still only have token presence on boards, and companies must take the initiative in making gender equality a natural outcome. Indeed, the glass ceiling remains intact in India, and globally.

Investigation

Fresh twist in realty NBFC Altico’s resolution. Corporate-governance concerns cloud suitor SSG Capital.

Altico’s lenders had cleared SSG’s proposal last month and sent it to RBI for final approval. But its management and staff have written to the central bank about some legal proceedings against the acquirer, casting a shadow over its “fit and proper” status under the law. Employees are also worried that SSG might wind down the business, jeopardising their jobs.

Corporate Affairs

God (or Devil) is in the detail: how one clause can give companies more grief during this crisis

Can the force majeure or Act of God clause for a standard contract and the material adversity clause for an M&A become a potential deal-breaker during Covid-19? ET Prime got in touch with a legal firm and an investment banker to break down the possible impact of these clauses. We also considered the possible solutions.

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Under the lens

The crisis at NCLAT: why speedy resolution of corporate disputes is beyond reach

An interim chief, infrastructural constraints, and thousands of pending cases — the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal is weighed down by numerous challenges. Stakeholders say that even the latest step of notifying a new bench at Chennai is unlikely to bring immediate relief. It’s a crisis of sorts for the judicial system for resolving corporate disputes.

Policy and regulations

Thermometers can’t prevent heart attacks: Big Four flay proposals on ‘dominance’, joint audit

Deloitte, KPMG, and other large firms oppose most of the key measures proposed in a controversial discussion paper floated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs last month. The auditors say the focus should be on making the smaller firms big and improving quality, rather than breaking down the bigger ones through limits and quotas.

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