1)EVEN as the ruling UPA and its Left partners appear set to part ways over the civil nuclear deal, a senior US lawmaker will be in New Delhi next week to convey Washington’s keenness to see the deal through at an early date. “I look forward to the Government of India completing its internal processes so that the US Congress can give final approval to this historic deal,” Gary Ackerman, a strong voice for India on Capitol Hill, said on Wednesday.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd(BHEL) on Thursday announced it has bagged a Rs 506 crore contract from Oil Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) for upgradation of drilling rigs. Under the contract, Bhel would upgrade 12 onshore drilling rigs and supply new rig equipment to ONGC, a company statement said.
3)Bangalore-based biotechnology major, Biocon, has said it is eyeing opportunities in global immunosuppressants market. Immunosuppressants are drugs given to transplant recipients in order to prevent donar cell rejection. The current size of immunosuppressants in seven major global markets is about $3.3 billion. The market in US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK is growing by 5-10 percent per year.
4)The Rs 3,336-crore diversified Lanco Group has firmed up its plans to foray into wind energy, with an initial investment of nearly Rs 500 crore. The Hyderabad-based power and infrastructure major is planning to set up a wind turbine manufacturing unit in Puducherry. It has also set its eyes to establish wind farms in India, the US and Europe.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee gained six paise at 42.68 against the greenback today as demand for dollar from oil refiners eased mid a fresh rally in stock markets. In hectic trade at Interbank Foreign Exchange(forex) market, the local currency touched a high of 42.66 per dollar after resuming firm at 42.66/67 a dollar.
6)Kick-starting a rate hike in the wake of the Reserve Bank of Indi’s (RBI) decision to up CRR and repo rates by 50 basis points each, State Bank of India(SBI) and Union Bank of India have decided to raise their benchmark prime lending rates(BPLR). The increase in prime lending rates would expectedly increase the borrowing cost for people. While SBI has raised rates to 12.75%, Union Bank revised its BPLR to 13.25%, effective from July 1. SBI’s fresh rates will come into effect on Friday.
7)UCO Bank has received the Union Finance Ministry’s approval for a follow-on public issue in 2008-09, according to Mr S K Goel, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank. “Depending on the price and the market condition, we will look at raising close to Rs 400 crore through the follow-on issue during the third quarter of this financial year,” he said.
8)The ongoing focus on health insurance business is expected to provide the much needed boost to the third party administrator(TPA) business. TPAs provide the much needed linkage services to the customers and insurance companies by managing the claims. However they are not allowed to market health insurance products. The business of health insurance which is offered by both life and general insurers are growing at 50% and is being encouraged by the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority. By 2012, the Indian TPA industry is expected to grow exponentially to Rs 15,000 crore in size in terms of value of premiums managed.
9)BULLS retained their grip on the market in Thursday’s F&O expiry session, but market watchers are not convinced that they will be able to hold on. Rather than genuine buying at lower levels, it was short covering of positions that fuelled the rally, brokers say. Reliance Industries was a major contributor to the uptrend, with the index heavyweight rising 5% to Rs 2,239.25. The 30-share Sensex gained 201.75 points or 1.4% to end the day at 14,421.82. The broader 50 share Nifty rose 63.20 points, or 1.5%, to 4315.85 at close. Shares from the oil and gas, information technology and metal sectors were in demand. The market opened on a firm note tracking the positive trend in key Asian markets, but gave up some of its gains following a subdued start to European markets.
10)India’s largest company by market capitalisation, Reliance Industries, surged 4.87 per cent to close at Rs 2,239.25, after the oil ministry said on Wednesday evening that the company will start production of natural gas from its D-6 field in the KG basin by September 2008.
11)BULLS stormed fertiliser counters on Thursday, cheered by the government’s measure aimed at improving profits of key companies in the sector. Most of these stocks shot up between 5% and 15% follow- ing the policy announcement.
12)Rayban Sun Optics India hit the 20 per cent upper circuit to close at Rs 109.20 after its Italy-based promoter, Luxottica, proposed a voluntary delisting of the Rayban shares from the Bombay Stock Exchange.
13)Edelweiss Mutual Fund has filed papers for its maiden income fund, Edelweiss Fixed Term Fund, according to information available on Securities and Exchange Board of India Web site. The interval income fund will comprise of four schemes each of 30-days and 90-days maturity and two series of 180-days maturity. The schemes’ assets will be invested in fixed income securities having maturity profiles similar to the respective schemes.
14)UTI Opportunites Fund has declared a dividend of 18 per cent(Rs 1.80 per unit on face value of Rs 10). The record date for the dividend is July 1, a press release issued today stated. All unit holders registered under the dividend option of UTI Opportunities Fund as on the record date will be eligible for the dividend, the release said.
15)India’s second largest and world’s fifth-largest steelmaker Tata Steel on Thursday said that it made a net profit of Rs 12,321.76 crore for the year ended March 31,2008 as compared to Rs 4,165.61 crore in financial year 2007. Boosted by the addition of Anglo- Dutch Corus Group Plc it acquired last year. Consolidated total income increased from Rs 25,650.45 crore for the year ended March 31,2007 to Rs 1,32,110.09 crore for fiscal 2008.
16)DOUBLE-digit inflation is here to stay for some more time, with the wholesale price index(WPI) expected to peak in the coming weeks. With prices of crucial commodities such as steel likely to rise further, inflation is likely to stay over 11% before peaking around September. It is estimated that steel and steel products (used in industries such as auto, housing, white goods and capital goods) contribute almost 21% to inflation.
17)Despite the government’s suspension of futures trading in eight agricultural commodities, the turnover of the three national commodity exchanges and 19 regional bourses increased by more than 27%. The cumulative turnover recorded Rs 1,91,663 crore during the first fort-night of June 2008 up from Rs 1,50,796 crore recorded same period last year.
18)Gold rose 1.5 per cent in Europe on Thursday, supported by a softer dollar after the US Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged, and as traders scaled back expectations for further rate rises. Gold rose to $893.90/894.90 an ounce at 0959 GMT from $879.60/880.60 an ounce late in New York on Wednesday, when it dropped to its lowest level in a week – $873.50 – due to weaker oil prices.
19)HT Media Ltd has acquired a stake in Mumbai-based real estate major Sunil Mantri Realty Ltd. It has invested Rs 20 crore in equity shares of Re 1 each at a price of Rs 125. Sunil Mantri Realty’s projects are spread across 15 cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Nagpur, Solapur and Gwalior. The company has a land bank of over 1,400 acres. It will use the fund for new projects.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
20)FINANCIAL services major Citi-group, which is under pressure from mounting credit-related losses in US, is believed to be re-structuring its India back-office operations valued at over $1 billion in a bid to cut down costs and also monetise some of these assets. The bank is learnt to have embarked on a larger exercise involving the sale of outsourcing of most of its back office assets under the new management led by Vikram Pandit. Sources said that the group’s captive BPO, Citigroup Global Services, as well as its technology and infrastructure outsourcing arm, Citos, are on the block and the bank could be close to finalising the deal with multinational technology vendor IBM Global Services, which is the lead contender for the assets.
21)HCL Infosystems has bagged the mandate to implement IT infrastructure in a Pan-Africa project that aims to connect 53 African countries into one network, providing electronic and knowledge connectivity to the nations.
22)Oil rebounded above $138 today reversing the previous session’s losses that followed an unexpected rise in fuel stocks last week in top consumer, the United States. US crude was up $3.60 at $138.15 a barrel by 1319 GMT. London Brent crude was up $3.50 at $137.83.
23)CRUDE oil prices could rise to as high as $170 per barrel in the coming months, but are unlikely to hit $200 and should ease towards the end of the year, Opec president Chakib Khelil said on Thursday. “I forecast prices between $150-170 during this summer. That will perhaps ease towards the end of the year,” he said. The comments came as crude prices neared $135 per barrel, after rising about 40% this year.
24)CITIGROUP may suffer $8.9 billion of second-quarter write-downs, forcing it perhaps to cut its dividend again. While Merrill Lynch & Co may incur $4.2 billion of write-downs, Goldman Sachs & Co analyst William Tanona wrote on Thursday.
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