The European Union and the Republic of India benefit from a longstanding relationship going back to the early 1960s. Since then trade ties between the two have evolved slowly and steadily. From being an acceptor of help and services from the European Union, India has now emerged as an investor in the European countries′ development and growth. 'India Global Business' traces some milestones in this journey.Indiabulls to pick up stake in UK bankIndiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IHFL) acquired a 40 per cent stake in OakNorth Bank of the UK for $100 million, making it the largest shareholder of a full service universal bank.Separately, IHFL promoter and chairman Sameer Gehlaut purchased up to 10 per cent more in OakNorth for $25 million.OakNorth Bank is a start-up full-licence universal bank, which accepts online deposits and lends offline to SMEs."The company believes that the largest shareholding in OakNorth Bank and the related approvals will not only improve the perception of the company but also go a long way in providing enhanced comfort to all stakeholders of the company, including rating agencies," IFHL said in a statement.UK-based start-up secures Indian funds
Indian Angel Network (IAN) has invested an undisclosed amount in Aznog, a UK-based Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services provider.The funding round was led by Alok Agarwal, Harsh Hada and Vishal Khare of the IAN network, IAN said in a statement. As per the investment deal, Alok Agarwal and Harsh Hada are also joining the board of Aznog.“Aznog is a globally scalable product and it's changing the way people make calls. The offline model is what will give it an edge over other companies,” Hada said.The Indian Angel Network (IAN) is one of the country's largest network of angel investors. Founded in 2005, IAN incubates about 20 start-ups every year. IAN last put money in Bangalore-based health food start-up Jiyo Natural Pvt Ltd.Aznog, which is run by Aznog Technologies Ltd, allows users to make unlimited free phone calls directly to mobile and landline numbers worldwide without any credits or subscriptions package. The caller only requires to download Aznog app and get Internet on the device while the call recipient gets a normal phone call, which does not require app or Internet to answer or talk.HCL Tech to take over Swedish auto-maker
India's fourth-largest software services firm, HCL Technologies, has inked a deal to take over Swedish automobiles maker Volvo's external IT business for $138 million in an all-cash deal.HCL Technologies will take over about 2,600 employees from Volvo Group. Volvo Group will also outsource its IT infrastructure operations to HCL Technologies for an undisclosed contract value for five years.“This has been a thorough process and I am pleased with the outcome. Not only will our cooperation with HCL Technologies provide significant cost-savings. We will also make a capital gain when the contract is signed,” said Jan Gurander, Volvo's CFO and acting president and CEO.The Volvo Group and HCL have signed a Letter of Intent, awaiting the signing of the final contract, the Swedish firm's statement said. The transaction is expected to close by mid this year.HCL itself has done some such deals in the past including one involving a unit of Citigroup. However, this is its biggest acquisition move in seven years.Times Now launches in UKIndia's 24/7 news channel 'Times Now' is entering the UK market as part of the Sky DTH bouquet. The flagship channel of Times Network claims to be a leader in the English news space in India since its inception seven years ago.Announcing the UK launch of 'Times Now', M.K. Anand, CEO and managing director of Times Network, said: “The expansion of the channel in the UK market, for us, is the most important one since we launched in America in 2011, our International debut. UK is probably our biggest diaspora market.“With this launch, we have just started building our presence in the European market and we intend to enter France and Germany too by next year.”Times Network channels claim a reach across 80 countries in five continents. The channel plans to launch in other European markets, including France and Germany, by next year.“'Times Now' is not just another English news channel that is launching in the UK,” said Arnab Goswami, president and editor-in-chief of 'Times Now' and 'ET Now'.