1)In keeping with its policy to build maritime bridges with countries in the region, India will be hosting two Saudhi Arabian warships in its waters from July 28 to 31. Al Dammam, a modified French La Fayette-class stealth frigate, and Yan bou, a modified American Durance-class warship, will dock at Mumbai next week, in what will be the first-ever such naval visit to India by Saudi Arabian warships.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)JSW Steel Group today said it has identified a place in Orissa to build a port with an initial capacity of 25-30 million tonnes at an investment of Rs 2000 crore. “We have identified a place in Orissa situated in Bhadrak district. We are talking to the government,” JSW Steel vice-chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal said.
3)DELHI-based component major Amtek group is going in for a major restructuring exercise as part of which it will consolidate all its Indian companies under group flagship Amtek Auto. The roster of companies to be consolidated will include Amtek India, Ahmednagar Forgings, Benda Amtek and Amtek Siccardi.
MONEY & BANKING
4)The rupee depreciated by 11 paise against the dollar mainly due to losses in the stock market. The domestic currency opened weaker at 42.21/22 due to the fall in global indices. It touched an intra-day low of 42.35 and closed at 42.25/26, against the previous cose of 42.14/15.
5)EXTENDING losses for the second day on Friday, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex shed a hefty 500-plus points due to aggressive selling triggered by weak global cues. The 30-share BSE barometer which opened lower by 446 points lost further and closed 502.07 points down at 14,274.94 points. The 50-scrip index Nifty on the National Stock Exchange also ended down by 121.70 points at 4,311.85. It touched the day’s low of 4,297.15 and a high of 4,440.85.
6)Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals(MRPL) rose 16.7 per cent to Rs 67.45 on the Bombay Stock Exchange to emerge as the top gainer in the ‘A’ group. The company reported a 129.39 per cent surge in net profit to Rs 845.40 crore on a 43.97 per cent rise in total income to Rs 10,811.39 crore in Q1 FY09.
7)United Phosphorus Limited UPL) rose 5.21 per cent to Rs 336.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange and was the fourth biggest gainer in the ‘A’ group. The company reported a 57.9 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 46.63 crore on a 54.26 per cent increase in total income to Rs 553.67 crore in Q1 FY09. It announced a bonus in the ratio of one equity share of Rs 2 each for every share held.
8)JM Mutual Fund, the asset management arm of the JM Financial has identified three institutional investors namely, Valiant Capital Partners, Blue Ridge Capital and Eton Park, who propose to participate in the equity capital of the company to the extent of 4% each in the equity, at a premium, on a fully diluted equity capital of the business. These investors will be contributing together Rs 111.7 crore giving a total post money valuation of Rs 931 crore which works out to 7.32% of the current assets under management. The AUM has stabilised at around Rs 11,000 crore due to bearish markets and lower levels of investor activity.
9)At a time when concern is rife that high inflation might lead to lower consumer spends, the country’s largest fast-moving consumer goods(FMCG) company, Hindustan Unilever Ltd(HUL), said it posted one of the highest quarterly sales in recent times, driven by an underlying volume growth of 8.3% and price growth of 9.7%. HUL on Friday said it posted a 13% rise in net profit at Rs 558.18 crore for the quarter ended June 30,2008 (the company’s second quarter), compared with Rs 493.08 crore for the same period last year. The company’s total income increased from Rs 3,508 crore to Rs 4,300 crore for the same quarter.
10)ABB India Ltd’s net profit during the second quarter of the current fiscal rose 21 per cent to Rs 132 crore driven by rising orders, which grew 11 per cent to Rs 221 crore. The overall revenue saw a rise of 16 per cent at Rs 1,637 (Rs 1,415.6 crore).
11)Indian Hotels Co, which owns the luxury Taj chain of hotels, has notched up a nearly 12 per cent increase in net profit for the quarter ended June 30,2008, mostly driven by high room rates. IHC, part of the salt-to-software Tata Group, reported a net profit of Rs 61.27 crore, as against Rs 54.76 crore in the same period of last fiscal.
12)Despite the government’s imposition of a ban on the trading of futures of eight commodities, the turnover of 22 commodity exchanges registered a rise of more than 33% till July 15. The turnover went up to Rs 13,53,173 crore against Rs 10,14,845 crore during the corresponding period in 2007-08. According to data released by commodity-market regulator, the Forward Market Commission(FMC), during July 1-15 the total turnover of all 3 national commodity exchanges and 19 regional exchanges in the country doubled to Rs 2,36,846 crore from Rs 1,17,028 crore recorded in the same period in the previous year.
13)WITH stocks turning volatile, high net worth investors have shifted focus to commodities, increasing their exposure in the futures market while going slow on stocks. With prices rising, commodities are turning out to be a good investment hedge. And this is reflected in the turnover of the commodity exchanges. On January 4, the combined turnover of MCX and Ncdex at Rs 20,000 crore was a fifth of the turn- over in equity markets. Six months down the line, things have changed with the aggregate turnover on these two exchanges rising to Rs 31,000 crore while that at NSE and BSE dropping to Rs 59,000 crore.
14)Gold rose on Friday as the dollar weakened and oil prices pared losses, while platinum and palladium firmed from 6-month lows on bargain hunting. Spot gold was up at $931/932 an ounce at 1000 GMT from $923/24 late in New York on Thursday.
15)Future prices of chilli(LCA334 grade) on the national bourse are set to bounce back and expect to rule higher in the next few days mainly on reduced warehouse stocks, steady demand for export and slow progress of sowing in the chilli-growing areas, mainly Andhra Pradesh.
16)Pepper and cardamom production from Kerala is likely to be affected because of low monsoonal rains in the regions producing these two spices. The shortfall in the monsoon has been worst in the Idukk and Wayanad districts of Kerala. These districts account for 70% – 80% of the pepper and cardamom production in the country.
17)At a time of market slowdown and cash crunch, the real estate sector is battling with too many odds. While the going has got tough for them, realty firms are reinventing themselves constantly to keep their profit margins intact. Vipin Aggarwal, executive director, finance, Omaxe Ltd, confessed to having started exercising cost cutting measures. He specified, “We are planning more affordable housing, repackaging homes, introducing friendlier home loan payment schemes.”
18)Backward integration seems to be the order of the day in the construction and real estate sector. The rising cost of raw materials and thin- ing of margins has forced many real estate and construction compa- nies to set up their own factories for manufacturing raw materials such as ready mix concrete, form work and crushed aggregates.
19)THE $50-billion IT services industry is in for some tough times now. It’s not just a slowdown in IT spending that’s a concern, but in- creasing competition from the multinational service providers who
have ramped up significantly. With a robust low-cost delivery model in place, MNC IT services companies including IBM, Accenture, HP- EDS, CSC have bagged quite a few new offshoring contracts in recent times. This includes contracts where Indian IT companies were already doing work for the clients.
20)Crude oil went lower again on Friday and gave back most of its gains from the previous session. Light sweet crude for September delivery moved to $124.53, down 96 cents on the session. Oil touched as low as $123.85 in electronic moves.
21)HOME foreclosure filings rose 14% in the second quarter, the eighth consecutive quarterly climb, and more than doubled from the same period a year-earlier, real estate data firm RealtyTrac said on Friday. Home foreclosure filings during the second quarter were reported on 739,714 US properties, up 121% from a year earlier, RealtyTrac, a online market of foreclosure properties, said in a report. The surg in foreclosures indicates an increasing number of home-owners are struggling to make mortgage payments amid the worst US housing market down turn since the Great Depression.
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