Walmart’s Flipkart to spin off digital payments business

Flipkart will continue to be PhonePe’s majority shareholder. (Reuters)
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Updated 03 December 2020

Walmart’s Flipkart to spin off digital payments business

  • Flipkart will continue to be PhonePe’s majority shareholder
  • India’s digital payments market expected to more than double in size to $135 billion in 2023

NEW DELHI: Walmart-controlled Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart said on Thursday it was partially spinning off PhonePe to widen the digital payments platform’s access to capital to fuel its growth.
PhonePe, which competes with Alibaba-backed home-grown payments pioneer Paytm and Google Pay, will raise $700 million in primary capital, Bengaluru-based Flipkart said in a statement.
The money will be raised from existing Flipkart investors led by Walmart, giving PhonePe a valuation of $5.5 billion including the fundraising, the statement said.
Flipkart will continue to be PhonePe’s majority shareholder, it added.
“We are really excited to have access to dedicated long-term capital to further our ambitions in the financial services distribution sector as well as creating large innovative growth platforms for India’s micro, small and medium enterprises,” PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam said.
PhonePe is eyeing profitability by 2022 and a public listing the following year, Nigam has previously said.
The fintech firm has more than 100 million monthly active users which helped it clock nearly one billion digital payment transactions in October.
India’s digital payments market, expected to more than double in size to $135 billion in 2023 from 2019 levels, has also attracted the likes of Amazon.com and Facebook, which have come up with their own systems to woo users.
That rapid growth in fintech has driven India’s flagship payments processor, the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), to cap the share of digital transactions some companies can account for.
The NPCI’s move, announced last month, is expected to hinder the growth of payments services offered by Facebook, Google and PhonePe, while boosting the likes of Reliance’s Jio Payments Bank and Paytm, which have niche bank licenses.


Iran: Oil product exports hit record high despite US sanctions

Updated 22 January 2021

Iran: Oil product exports hit record high despite US sanctions

  • ‘The enemy and Trump wanted us to perish and die, our exports to reach zero’
  • ‘We set the highest record of exports in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period’

DUBAI: Iran has achieved record high exports of petroleum products despite US sanctions, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in televised remarks on Friday.
Zanganeh said former US President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, had “joined the dustbin of history, but we are alive and working with more hope to build the country.”
“The enemy and Trump wanted us to perish and die, our exports to reach zero,” he said.
“We set the highest record of exports in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period.”
Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions on the Iranian energy and banking sector.
It is estimated that Iran exports less than 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), compared with a peak of 2.8 million bpd in 2018.
US President Joe Biden has said that if Iran resumed strict compliance with the nuclear agreement — under which it restrained its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions — the United States would too.
However, two of Biden’s top national security nominees said on Tuesday that the United States was a long way from making a decision to rejoin the deal.
Iran has significantly increased exports of petroleum products in recent years although oil products, like crude, fall under US sanctions.
Unlike crude oil, where the ultimate buyer is a refinery, other products can find their way to potentially thousands of small-scale industrial or residential buyers, making them difficult to trace.