27 June 2008

GENERAL

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.

Indian Express

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.

BL

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.

BS

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.

BL

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.

BL

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.

FE

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.

BL

INSURANCE

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.

FE
 
MARKETS

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.

ET

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.

BS

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.

ET

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.

BS

MUTUAL FUNDS

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.

BL

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.

BL

CORPORATE SCORE

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.

FE
 
COMMODITIES

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.

ET

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.

FE                                                                    

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.

BL
 
REAL ESTATE

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.

BL

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.

ET
 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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.

BL

INTERNATIONAL

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.

BS

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.

ET

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.

ET
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.

Karvy Consultants Ltd       www.karvy.com
                            www.khojhyderabad.com
                            www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
                            www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
KARVY Global Services Ltd   www.KARVYGlobal.com
KARVY Realty (India) Limited www.karvyrealty.com
Economic Times              www.economictimes.com
The Financial Express       www.financialexpress.com
Business Line               www.businessline.in
Business Standard           www.business-standard.com
The Times of India          www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu                   www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle            www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express      www.newindpress.com

17 June 2008

GENERAL

1)Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagma met External Affairs  Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday and formally conveyed his  government’s invitation to India to attend the coming SAARC sum-  mit in Colombo.  The summit, the 15th of the South Asian group-  ing, is to held in the beginning of August.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)Japanese company Daiichi Sankyo on Monday announced that it will  make an open offer to buy 20% stake(92 million shares) in Ranbaxy  Laboratories.  The offer opens on August 8 and will close on August  27.  The last day for submitting a competing bid is July 7.  There  is unconfirmed speculation that US major Pfizer is exploring the  posibility of making a counter-offer to buy the 65% non-promoter  stake in the company.

ET

3)JSW Steel, India’s second largest private sector maker of the alloy,  will set up a greenfield plant in Georgia (Europe) in partnership  with UK’s Geo Steel to produce bars used in building construction,  a statement released by the company during its 14th annual general  meeting said today.

BS

4)DUBAI-based Al Rostamani group is expected to buy 15% stake from  the promoters of GHCL as a part of a larger transaction which could  result in the Middle East group owning a little more than one third  of the flagship company of the Sanjay Dalmia group.  The deal, includ-  ing the mandatory open offer will be triggered as part of the transac-  tion, which is expected to cost anywhere between Rs 550-690 crore.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee was flat against the dollar on Monday as demand from oil  companies were met by inflows into the domestic stock market.  The  rupee opened at 42.88/89, but fell to close at 42.95/96, almost un-  changed from the previous close of 42.94/95.

BL

6)EVEN as banks hesitate to pay a higher rate of interest on retail  deposits, they have began offering better rates to bulk depositors  after last week’s repo rate hike.  Interest rates offered on the cer-  tificate of deposits(CD) have gone up in the past 3-4 days. Sources  in the banking sector say that most banks are paying in the  range of 9.25-9.50% for the one-year bulk deposits against 8.75-9%  offered earlier.  Most bulk deposits are placed by public sector
companies.  As against this, on retail deposits, banks are offering  8.85-9% for 1-3 years.

ET

7)KOLKATA-based Allahabad Bank has decided to offer 35% dividend   on equity shares of face value Rs 10 to its shareholders for 2007-08.  The bank has raised the dividend percentage from 30% proposed earlier.  The dividend percentage was approved on Monday by shareholders at its  sixth annual general meeting(AGM).

ET

8)While the bigger players are debating the pros and cons of raising rates, the smaller banks have already set the ball rolling.  Atleast  two banks – Yes Bank and United Bank of India(UBI)-have announ-  ced an increase in deposit rates.

BS

INSURANCE

9)A THREE-WAY life insurance joint venture between Canara Bank,   HSBC and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) started operations on  Monday with a call by finance minister P Chidambaram to keep life  insurance products simple to tap into the growing market in rural  areas.  Called Canara HSBC Life Insurance Company, it is the 19th  life insurer to commence business in the country.

ET

10)LIC has launched its new unit linked deferred pension plan, Market  Plus 1.  The plan offers four investment options, which include bond,  secured, balanced, and growth funds.  One of the highlights of the   plan is the enhanced limit for investment in the equity market for  secured and balanced types of funds.  Though primarily a pension  product, the plan has many attractive features and options.

FE

11)The private sector life insurer, ICICI Prudential Life, has intro-  duced the webchat service for its policyholders that will help them    resolve their policy related queries, instantly. To avail this 24×7  webchat service, the only thing the consumer needs to do is log  on to the company’s website.

FE

MARKETS

12)Taking cues from global markets, key Indian indices ended the day  on a positive note after players resorted to short-covering with some  of them mopping up stocks in the realty and banking sectors.  The   Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) Sensex closed on a positive note at   15,395.82 points, surging 206.20 points or 1.36% while the broader  National Stock Exchange(NSE) Nifty gained 55.40 points or 1.23%  to end at 4,572.50 points. However, the fag end of the session saw   some profit-booking at higher levels, forcing indices to pare early  gains.

FE

13)The BSE has revised circuit filters of shares of eight companies  with effect from Tuesday. National Fertilisers would attract a circuit  filter of 10 per cent.  The BSE imposed a 5 per cent circuit filter on  stocks such as Punjab Chemicals and Crop Protection, Bharat Bhu-  shan Share & Commodities Brokers, Arihant Capital markets, BDH  Industries, Fortis Financial Services, Kirti Finvest and Entegra  5 per cent, according a statement from the exchange.

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MUTUAL FUNDS

14)Balanced funds and fixed maturity plans (FMPs) offered by mutual  fund houses are the flavour of the season as the equity markets are  fraught with volatility and price declines, say analysts.  The net as-  set values (NAVs) of the balanced funds have remained unaffected  compared with those of equity oriented funds.

BL

15)DSP Merrill Lynch Mutual Fund on Monday launched DSP Merrill Lynch  FMP-3M-Series-10 that will remain open for subscription till Wednes-  day, an official from the fund house said.  The three-month, close-  ended income scheme will deploy its entire assets in fixed income  securities having a maturity profile similar to its own

BS

16)Optimix Mutual Fund is likely to launch open-ended fund of funds  scheme Optimix Global Commodities Fund in July, a fund house official  said.  The fund will invest in global commodity related funds and ex-  change traded funds that invests in commodities or commodity related  securities. It will seek to deploy at least 65 per cent  of its corpus  primarily in overseas third party commodity related funds.  The fund  house has capped investment limit under exchange-traded funds  to 25 per cent.

BS

COMMODITIES

17)Industrial metal copper rose more than 1 per cent in London on Mon-  day, while the premium for metal for nearby delivery rose ahead of  a key trading day.  Three-months futures in the metal, often consi-  dered a good gauge of underlying economic activity, were up $80 at  a quoted $8,060/8,080 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange by   1056 GMT.

BL

18)Gold rose in Europe on Monday as the dollar weakened against  the euro and as oil prices steadied after earlier losses, with traders  expecting rising fears over inflation to give the precious metal its  next leg up.  Gold rose to $875.40/876.40 an ounce at 1020 GMT,  up from $869/870 an ounce late in New York on Friday.

BL

19)Maize futures and spot prices are expected to remain firm on good  export demand as well as good sustained buying from poultry and   starch sector supported by lower inflows in Bihar.  NCDEX maize  futures(August 2008 contracts) on Monday crossed the Rs 1,000-  mark and moved up to an all time high of Rs 1,011 a quintal on   local buying support.

FE

REAL ESTATE
20)MUMBAI and Delhi no longer figure in the map of ‘the world’s most  expensive property markets’.  A slow growth in rentals which gripped  the country’s commercial property market for the past six months is forcing real estate developers to cut commercial rentals by 10 to 15%  across India.  A softening of prices is also underway in the resi-  dential property market, particularly in the more expensive segment,  where developers are willing to offer 20-30% discount to customers  who are willing to pay upfront.

ET

21)LEHMAN Brothers Real Estate Partners, the $4-billion global pri-  vate equity fund managed by Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers, is  investing $700 million in Unitech’s realty projects in Mumbai.  It is  learnt that Lehman is in the process of striking three separate equi-  ty deals with Unitech for a combined investment of $525 million.  These deals are over and above Lehman’s $175-million investment in  Unitech’s Santacruz project in Mumbai, which was announced on  Monday.

ET

22)Emaar MGF Land, one of the leading real estate players, will soon  sign a deal with an Indian construction company for Mohali Hills,  its up-coming housing project spread over 3,000 acres.  The project  will be Emaar MGF’s maiden integrated township in India.

BS
 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

23)IT companies may have got a year’s respite on the extension of  tax sops for STPI units, but a bigger devil may be lurking in the fine  print in the proposed tax exemption from SEZs.  Under Section  10AA(7) of the Income Tax Act only a percentage of profits – not  all – will be eligible for exemption.  Already, TCS, Infosys Tech-  nologies and Wipro get some amount of their revenues from SEZs  and continue to add new capacities in SEZs.  By 2010, most of the  leading software companies expect to receive up to 50% of their  export revenue from SEZs.  Under the SEZ Act, profits earned by  the unit are 100% tax exempt in the first five years, and 50% tax  exempt for the next five years.  The 50% tax exemption can be ex-  tended for another five years based on the amount re-invested in  the SEZ unit.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

24)CRUDE oil futures hit a record close to $140 a barrel on Monday  as the dollar weakened against the euro.  Light, sweet crude for   July delivery rose to $139.89 before retreating to trade up $3.62 at  $138.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  Many in-  vestors buy commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation   when the dollar falls.  Also, a weaker dollar makes oil less expen-  sive to investors dealing in other currencies.

ET
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.

Karvy Consultants Ltd       www.karvy.com
                            www.khojhyderabad.com
                            www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
                            www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
KARVY Global Services Ltd   www.KARVYGlobal.com
KARVY Realty (India) Limited www.karvyrealty.com
Economic Times              www.economictimes.com
The Financial Express       www.financialexpress.com
Business Line               www.businessline.in
Business Standard           www.business-standard.com
The Times of India          www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu                   www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle            www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express      www.newindpress.com