Flipkart raises $3.6bn in latest funding round



Business Desk, Barta24.Com
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has raised another $3.6bn (£2.6bn) ahead of an expected stock market debut.

The Walmart-backed company said it will use the money to expand its operations and invest further in its grocery, fashion and delivery service.

The latest round of fund-raising increased the firm's value to $37.6bn.

The new valuation is more than double the amount the American retail chain paid for a majority stake in Flipkart three years ago.

Flipkart's chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the new funds would support the company's expansion plans: "As we serve our consumers, we will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses."

"We will continue to invest in new categories and leverage made-in-India technology to transform consumer experiences and develop a world-class supply chain," Mr Krishnamurthy added in a company statement.

The new round of funding was led by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Japan's SoftBank and Walmart.

The deal marks the return of SoftBank, which sold its stake of around 20% of Flipkart to Walmart as part of the 2018 deal.

Other investors included sovereign wealth funds from Malaysia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

The fund-raising came as the Bengaluru-based company is expected to make its stock market debut as early this year.

In 2018, Walmart paid $16bn for a 77% stake in Flipkart and said later said that it could take the company public within four years.

In September, the Reuters news agency reported that Flipkart was preparing for an initial public offering outside of India as early as this year, in a move which could value it at as much as $50bn.

Since the Walmart deal the company has added many more items to its online store, including groceries and furniture.

Flipkart has also increased its warehouse capacity as it battles competition from Amazon's Indian operation and local rival Reliance Industries, which is owned by Asia's richest person Mukesh Ambani.

India has seen huge growth in online start-ups, selling everything from groceries to holidays, which has been driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones and cheap mobile data deals.

Several of the country's biggest digital start-ups are already on track to sell shares on the stock market.

India's biggest food delivery app Zomato is due to make its debut this month, while payments service PayTM is expected to launch its initial public offering by the end of the year.

Source: BBC

Amari Dhaka has won 2022 resort and retreat awards



News Desk, Barta24.com
Amari Dhaka has won 2022 resort and retreat awards

Amari Dhaka has won 2022 resort and retreat awards

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Located at the center of the business and diplomat districts of Dhaka; Amari Dhaka has received the "Resort and Retreat Awards 2022" from LUX Life Magazine.

LUX life launched the Resorts & Retreats Awards almost a decade ago to recognize those who have dedicated themselves to offering the finest experiences, products and services all over the globe. From established stalwarts, to up and coming newcomers, we endeavor to seek out the paragons who lead the pack and set the pace for all others to follow.

This award annually recognizes the Best Contemporary Business Hotel – Dhaka "for proven expertise, customer service and commitment to promoting excellence in the sector". After an exhaustive evaluation during the seventh edition of the annual ‘Resort and Retreat Awards 2022’, the international jury of LUX Life Magazine has awarded the prize in the category ‘Best Luxury Hotel Resort’ to Amari Dhaka "for its merit and contribution to the luxury industry, now and more than ever, in a time of uncertainty". Christopher Baker, General Manager of Amari Dhaka, has declared that "We are very happy and proud of our team. In times as difficult as these, our staff has kept the enthusiasm and the service quality we offer our clients. This recognition from LUX Life Magazine is an incentive that encourages and inspires us to continue improving and innovating in our value offer".

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Akasa Air gets flying licence from DGCA



News Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-owned Akasa Airlines on Thursday received its flying permit from DGCA.

The Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the country’s aviation regulator will make it the eighth domestic airline, not counting regional airlines.

The airline services tweeted, We are pleased to announce the receipt of our Air Operator Certificate (AOC). This is a significant milestone, enabling us to open our flights for sale and leading to the start of commercial operations.

It will start commercial operations later this month. The grant of the AOC marks the satisfactory completion of all regulatory and compliance requirements for the airline's operational readiness, Akasa Air said in a statement.

The process concluded with the airline having successfully conducted a number of proving flights under the supervision of the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), it added.

We are thankful to the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA for their constructive guidance, active support and the highest levels of efficiency throughout the AOC process. We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July, Vinay Dube, Founder-Chief Executive Officer of Akasa Air, said.

We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July. This will begin our journ

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City Bank avails USD 45 million Syndicated Loan from Bank Muscat



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
photo: collected

photo: collected

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The City Bank has successfully closed a USD 45 million syndicated loan, which was arranged by Bank Muscat, the leading financial services provider in the Sultanate of Oman. The transaction, which was initially launched for USD 25 million with a Greenshoe option, received strong participation from reputed international banks across different geographical locations including Europe, Middle East and Africa. It was subsequently scaled up by 80%, finally closing at USD 45 million. Bank Muscat is a leading Syndicated loan arranger in Emerging Markets. This is the third successful syndicated loan facility arranged by Bank Muscat for City Bank, and the first one, which is SOFR-linked. In addition to being the arranger, Bank Muscat also acted as the book runner for this transaction.

With the world still recovering from the pandemic and economies impacted heavily by the current geo-political tension, this loan facility will provide crucial support to City Bank’s foreign currency liquidity. City Bank, which is one of the top banks in the trade sector of the country, will be able to use the loan to finance its trade transactions. This will in turn assist the country’s trade activities in the current world scenario, and support the growth of the economy.

Sheikh Mohammad Maroof, Additional Managing Director & Chief Business Officer expressed delight on the closure of the syndicated loan and said, “We are extremely happy to see the overwhelming response from global banks to City Bank’s syndication loan. Being oversubscribed by 80% portrays City Bank’s strength and acceptance in global financial markets. In the current global scenario, we have taken multiple initiatives including this loan to ensure strong liquidity for the bank and cater to increasing trade requirements of our clients. I would like to thank Bank Muscat for the longstanding relationship with City Bank and for helping us close this deal.”

It must be noted that City Bank availed the first syndicated loan of EUR 20 million from Bank Muscat in 2019, which was the first such loan by a Bangladeshi bank that was arranged by an Omani bank. In 2020, City Bank followed up its initial loan with a USD 30 million syndicated loan.

With assets worth over US$ 33 billion, Bank Muscat is the leading bank in the Sultanate of Oman with the largest banking network and a 35 per cent market share. The bank has an extensive network of correspondent banking relationships across the world, which is instrumental in channelising trade business and raising funds on favorable financing terms from lenders across the GCC, Europe, USA, Asia and Africa.

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Operation of Counterfeit Giordano products on the market!



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Operation of Counterfeit Giordano products on the market!

Operation of Counterfeit Giordano products on the market!

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The Giordano Bangladesh team has launched an operation against the production and marketing of counterfeit Giordano products.

The operation was carried out on Monday (June 20) evening in several shopping malls in the capital.  During this time, a large number of counterfeit Giordano merchandise including counterfeit Lycra (LYCRA) tags, were recovered and destroyed.

It is to be noted that a case including GD is being processed at Dhanmondi Police Station against unscrupulous traders for preventing counterfeiting of world famous lifestyle brand Giordano.

Giordano's Bangladesh Country Manager and CEO Shah Eskander Ali Swapan was present there.

He said Giordano is an international quality brand.  Its sole distributor is Neera International.  But fake Giordano products are being sold in different shopping malls claiming Giordano,which is very sad.  We are against all kinds of counterfeit products.Bangladesh is at a forefront of development.Many international brands and companies and businesses are thriving.If we allow counterfeiters and imposters it will ruin the image of Bangladesh and hamper its progress as a proud nation with many untapped opportunities.So an operation was conducted today by Giordano team and further will be carried out against unauthorized online sellers.  At the time, counterfeit Giordano products were found in several shopping malls.

He said legal action would be taken if such counterfeit products were found in the future.

Meanwhile, all Giordano products are made in its own factory and sold in Giordano's own 6 stores in Bangladesh.  No wholesale or wholesalers are permitted.

Giordano's stores in Bangladesh are- Anam Rangs Plaza, Shat Masjid Road Dhanmondi.  Bashundhara City Shopping Mall, Shop-41, Block A Level- 1 panthapath.  Police Plaza Concord , Hatirjheel, Gulshan.  Road 11, House-54, Banani.  SKS Tower, VIP Road, DOHS, Mohakhali, and Bashundhara City Shopping Mall, Level 8, Block A, Panthapath.  Giordano products can also be ordered online by contacting GIORDANO Bangladesh page on Facebook.

Giordano's use of trademarks, symbols, logos and other words as such amount to is unauthorized and illegal and a civil and criminal offense.  Only Neera International reserves exclusive rights of Giordano in Bangladesh.  Giordano's operations in Bangladesh are conducted under a joint venture between Neera International, Giordano Middle East FZE, Dubai and Giordano International Limited, Kowloon, Hong Kong.  Only Giordano International Limited retains all rights relating to trademarks worldwide.

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