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Paytm extends losses after quashing Jio Financial deal rumor

Date 06 Feb, 2024

Writen by Manish Singh

Shares of Paytm fell another 10% Tuesday, the fourth consecutive session in decline since the regulatory setback last week, after the financial services firm and Reliance spinoff Jio Financial Services denied reports about them exploring any deal.

Jio Financial said Monday evening that it is not negotiating with Paytm to acquire its wallet business. Paytm and Paytm Payments Bank also clarified that neither of them had engaged with Jio Financial Services and any report suggesting otherwise is “factually incorrect.”

Paytm fell to 394.55 Indian rupees on Tuesday, shrinking its market cap to about $3 billion. Paytm, which IPO-ed at $20 billion valuation, had a market cap of $5.8 billion before the RBI notice. The Noida-headquartered firm raised more than $5 billion in private rounds and IPO proceeds.

The Hindu Business Line reported over the weekend that Paytm and Jio Financial Services have been engaging for months for a deal, something that escalated after the Indian central bank widened its crackdown on Paytm’s Payments Bank, the unit that processes transactions for financial services giant Paytm. Shares of Jio Financial Services jumped more than 15% on local exchanges Monday on the speculative reports. They remained unchanged somewhat on Tuesday.

The RBI has barred Paytm Payments Bank from offering many banking services, including accepting fresh deposits and credit transactions across its services. Paytm, the parent firm of ubiquitous mobile payments app with the same name, has said that it will terminate business with its affiliate and seek partnership with other banks for continuity of many of its core businesses.

TechCrunch first reported last week that the Reserve Bank of India is considering levying additional penalties on Paytm and may revoke its bank permit. Paytm Payments Bank, an affiliate of Paytm, houses the 330 million wallet customers of Paytm. In early 2018, when Paytm received the Payments Bank license — which allows the holder to offer customers a savings account of up to $2,400 — it had to surrender its PPI license, the permit required to operate the wallet business.

Reliance listed its little-known non-bank financial subsidiary Jio Financial Services last year. Jio Financial Services owns about a 6% stake in Reliance and is increasingly expanding its lending and insurance businesses.

Story updated with Paytm’s Tuesday comment and market reaction. 

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