1)The Government on Wednesday ruled out extending the last date for filing of income tax returns by individuals beyond July 31. “There is no proposal to extend the last date for filing returns by individual tax payers beyond July 31,” a Senior Finance Ministry official said.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)UTILITY and tractor major Mahindra & Mahindra on Wednesday signalled its entry into the two-wheeler segment by agreeing to buy the assets of Kinetic Motor Company for Rs 110 crore. M&M will buy the assets through a new company, Mahindra Kinetic Scooters and Motor- cycles, that would own the assets of the Pune-based Kinetic Motor.
3)INDIAN pharma firm Lupin has acquired the German generics drug maker, Hormosan, for an undisclosed sum. The deal will help Lupin access Europe’s biggest generic market. The generic drug market in Germany is valued at $14 billion while the country’s entire pharma market is worth $45 billion.
4)PUNJAB Tractors, a Mahindra & Mahindra subsidiary, is merging with M&M in a move aimed at reviving profits and reducing costs. M&M had bought 63.33% equity stake in Punjab Tractors in July last year. M&M said it would issue shareholders one Mahindra share for every three Punjab Tractor shares held.
5)Fertiliser companies in the country are planning to invest around $5 billion(Rs 21,000 crore) in overseas joint ventures over the next three years. These companies are in negotiations for 19 such ventures, said government officials. These joint ventures are aimed at sourcing nitrogenous, phosphatic fertilisers and other raw materials.
MONEY & BANKING
6)The rupee gained against the dollar on Wednesday tracking the up-swing in the domestic stock market and the ease in oil prices. The domestic currency opened at 42.52/53 and touched an intra-day low of 42.58/59. It then appreciated to finally end at 42.36/37, against the previous close at 42.64/65.
7)SEVERAL banks have increased their lending rates in response to the rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday. State-owned Punjab National Bank has raised rates by one percentage point while in the private sector Axis Bank has increased its benchmark rate by half a percentage point. Among foreign banks, Standard Chartered Bank and ABN Amro Bank are likely to announce an increase in their lending rates on Thursday. The country’s largest housing finance company HDFC will review its lending rates in a couple of days. “We will make assessment of the impact on our cost of funds and take a decision on lending rates,” said an ICICI Bank spokesperson.
8)PRIVATE non-life insurance companies have increased their share of motor insurance, following introduction of free pricing. Private insurers’ share of premium from comprehensive insurance of vehicles is 50% for 2007-08 against 41% a year ago.
9)LIC has launched an insurance policy designed exclusively for women called Jeevan Bharati-I. The policy is essentially a money back policy with a term of 15 or 20 years. Besides critical illness and accident benefit riders, it offers a congenital-disability benefit rider, which ensures the payment of 50 per cent of the rider’s sum assured to the women policy holder, in the event that she gives birth to a child with congenital disabilities.
10)BULLS shrugged off the impact of the knock-out punch delivered on Tuesday by RBI, bouncing back strongly on the back of falling oil prices and firm global markets. Concerns relating to the local economy, mainly inflation and rising interest rates, receded to the background as the 30-share Sensex ended Wednesday at 14,287, a gain of 495.67 points or 3.6% while the NSE Nifty rose 124 points or 3% to 4314. Wednesday’s rebound helped the market recoup a significant part of Tuesday’s losses caused by the steep hike in the benchmark short-term rate by 50 basis point. The Sensex had fallen 558 points and the Nifty by 142 points on Tuesday.
11)Construction and engineering company, Punj Lloyd jumped 11.88 per cent to close at Rs 271.20 after reporting an 88 per cent y-o-y increase in consolidated net profit to Rs 111.9 crore on an 89 per cent y-o-y growth in total income to Rs 2,658.2 crore in Q1 FY09.
12)Anil Ambani group company Reliance Power rose 5.77 per cent to close at Rs 163.05 after the National Stock Exchange announced in a circular that Reliance Power would be replacing Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in the S&P CNX Nifty index with effect from September 10.
13)Sebi has finalised the guidelines that would allow a retail investor investing in an initial public offering, to pay only to the extent of shares allotted to them and not pay 100% upfront advance for shares applied as in the current norm.
14)Power sector IPOs would seem to be the latest buzz in government corridors following the trust vote. The power ministry is planning to list at least three central power companies over the next few months. While hydel major NHPC will be the first to hit the market, others like Damodar Valley Corporation and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation would also come with their public issues soon.
15)Private sector life insurer Aviva India on Wednesday said it is exploring possibility of entering into asset management business. “As part of our expansion strategy in Asia Pacific and keeping in mind the opportunity India presents, we would like to enter into asset management business as soon as possible,” Aviva India managing director Bert Paterson said.
16)Mutual funds are now changing tack to attract investors to invest in their products after a bearish sentiment in equity markets led to a spate of new fund offerings(NFOs) that managed to collect meagre amounts of money from the investing public. A spate of NFOs – those of Morgan Stanley, HSBC and Mirae that hit the market after the market meltdown in January – together managed to mop up only about Rs 250 crore. Funds are now offering protection on the downside for investors. Birla Sun Life’s equity-linked fixed maturity plan(FMP) is positioned as giving returns between an equity fund and an FMP. The fund will invest in debt securities with coupon linked to the Nifty and will offer the enhanced upside of the equity market as well as protection if the equity market goes down.
17)Gold fell to a one-month low as the dollar extended its rally, eroding demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment. Silver also gained. Gold futures for December delivery fell $14.40 or 1.5 per cent, to $912 an ounce at 9:15 a.m on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
18)A sustained fall in prices of four agriculture commodities-futures trade in which were suspended in May-could lead to revoking of the suspension. In May, the government suspended futures trade in potato, refined soyaoil, chana, and rubber for a period of four months, to check rising prices.
19)Pepper futures market continued their upward swing on Wednesday also on tight supply position. There were no arrivals even when there was good demand from the internal market. All the contracts moved up. Aug-Sep were up by Rs 145 to Rs 169 while Nov-Jan contracts went up by Rs 104 to Rs 132 a quintal from the prices of Tuesday. Spot pri- ces moved up by Rs 100 a quintal to close at Rs 13,800(un-garbled) and Rs 14,400 (MG 1) on Wednesday.
20)Gold prices tumbled by Rs 200 per 10 gm on the bullion market in New Delhi today on heavy selling by stockists sparked by strong domestic bourses amid weak global trend after crude oil declined. In the domestic market the precious metal fell after the Bombay Stock Exchange surged by 495.67 points to 14,287.21 as market participants indulged in covering up their short positions ahead of expiry of July contract in derivative segment. Standard gold and ornaments fell by Rs 200 at Rs 12,800 and Rs 12,650 per 10 grams respectively. Sovereign fell by Rs 25 at Rs 10,625 per piece of eight grams.
21)In line with analyst expectations, property developers, such as Unitech, Puravankara Projects and IVRCL Infrastructure, today registered an average net profit growth of 23 per cent. Unitech, the country’s largest listed developer, posted a 15.7 per cent growth in net profit for the first quarter ended June 20,2008, beating analyst expectations. The growth was mainly due to higher realisation in the mid-income housing segment(apartments in the range of Rs 40-45 lakh). The company posted a net profit of Rs 423.31 crore as compared with Rs 365.67 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
22)SATYAM Computer Services is betting big on the high-end engineering services segment. The firm plans to ride on the new opportunities to sustain growth in an uncertain global business environment. As part of this effort, it has spent $1 million to develop talent-pool for the segment. It will look at raising its headcount from 4,400 to 5,000 by this fiscal end. The firm expects revenues from this segment to rise from 8% to over 10% in future.
23)WIPRO Technologies’ research team is developing technology to help provide cheaper, high-speed broadband internet access and has tied up with manufacturers to make the product overseas for sale in India and the global market.
24)INFOSYS Technologies has bought nearly 10 acres near Bangalore’s new international airport, marking its biggest land deal in the city in three years as top technology companies struggle to win government approvals to acquire land in the country’s technology capital.
25)Mastek Ltd expects the US to account for almost half of the firm’s revenues in the next three years as the credit crunch there does not have a direct impact on the city based company’s chosen areas of business. The company is keen to have a 50:50 mix going forward, where in 50 per cent revenues would be from US with the remaining coming from other geographies, the company Chairman and Group CEO, Mr Sudhakar Ram, said on the sidelines of a news conference.
26)Crude oil fell, approaching a 12-week low, before an energy department report that’s forecast to show fuel supplies increased. The department may say that gasoline supplies rose for a fifth week, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. Consumption of the motor fuel has declined for 14 weeks as high pump prices have caused peo- ple to cut back on their driving, MasterCard Inc reported on Tuesday. Crude oil for September delivery fell 38 cent, or 0.3%, to $121.81 a barrel at 9:13 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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