India's Paytm in talks with SoftBank
NEW DELHI • Electronics payments provider Paytm is in talks with Japan's SoftBank Group to raise US$1.2 billion to US$1.5 billion (S$1.7 billion to S$2.1 billion) in cash, making the latter one of the largest shareholders in the fintech start-up, India's Mint newspaper reported yesterday, citing sources.
The deal, which could increase Paytm's valuation to US$7 billion to US$9 billion, will see SoftBank buying some shares from existing Paytm investor SAIF Partners and founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma beside investing money in the company, the report said.
Local media reported recently that SoftBank is keen to sell its stake in India's e-commerce firm Snapdeal in exchange for a stake in market leader Flipkart. Paytm may also buy Snapdeal-owned payments rival Freecharge, as part of the deal, the report said.
Malaysia's CPI at eight-year high
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's consumer price inflation hit an eight-year high last month, but was slightly below the forecast in a Reuters poll and not expected to push the central bank to change its stance on monetary policy.
Annual inflation was 5.1 per cent in March, the highest since the 5.7 per cent of November 2008. In February, annual inflation was 4.5 per cent. Inflation in March was driven by a low-base effect and higher retail fuel prices compared to a year earlier, according to the Malaysian statistics department.