1)Ahead of the crucial IAEA meet this week to discuss India-specific safeguards agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan singh has written separate letters to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao seeking their support for the nuclear deal.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)Indian companies are gearing up to measure their carbon footprints and to set targets for reduction in emissions. Industrial houses like Tata Group and ITC and JSW Steel, the country’s third biggest producer of steel, have mapped their carbon emissions and set reduction targets, says a study.
3)EVEN as the two-wheeler industry is expected to post a flat growth in sales this year, TVS Motor is hopeful of bucking the trend with a 15% growth in topline clocked in the first quarter. This is to be achieved more by volume growth in new vehicles than any price revision.
MONEY & BANKING
4)Life for the EMI-hit borrower just got tougher. Sharpening its ongoing attack on inflation, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) on Tuesday hiked the cash reserve ratio(CRR)- the proportion of deposits a bank must maintain with the central bank – by 25 basis points. This is expected to suck Rs 9,000 crore out of the system. RBI also hiked the repo rate-the rate at which it lends short-term money to banks-by a steep 50 basis points. This will leave banks with very little option but to raise lending rates further. CRR now stands at a hefty 9%, with effect from the fortnight beginning August 30, 2008, the highest since 1999. The repo rate will also stand at 9%. The reverse repo rate and the bank rate, however, remain unchanged.
5)The rupee depreciated by 10 paise against the dollar on Tuesday, mainly due to losses in the stock market. The domestic currency opened weaker at 42.67/68 and closed at 42.64/65 against the previous close of 42.55/56. During the day, the rupee moved in 25 paise range.
6)Despite a sharp increase in provisions and contingencies, Bank of Baroda’s first quarter net profit rose 12.1 per cent as fee-based earnings grew substantially. Net profit rose to Rs 370.86 crore from Rs 330.84 crore in the same year ago quarter.
7)THE Central Board of Trustees(CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund on Tuesday chose four asset management companies(AMCs) to manage fresh additions to the EPF corpus. Around 4.5 crore workers are expected to gain from the asset management expertise of these firms, which will work on the retirement savings from September 1. Apart from HSBC AMC, ICICI Prudential AMC and SBI – which were already shortlisted – Reliance Capital AMC was a surprise choice.
8)After tracking weak global cues, Indian bourses slumped on Tuesday after an overdose of RBI’s harsh liquidity prescription. Both rate hikes were way above market expectations. Worries of slowing GDP growth and an erosion in corporate profits led to a major sell-off,dealers said. The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) pared 557.57 points, or 3.89%, to close the day at 13,791.54 points. The wider S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange(NSE) closed the day at 4,189.85 points, posting a loss of 142.25 points, or 3.28%.
9)The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) decision to hike the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and repo rate by 25 basis points and 50 basis points respectively, impacted the BSE Bankex the most among all sectoral indices, after it registered a loss of 562.22 points or was down 8.31% to close the day at 6,199.60 points. The toll on the Bankex was much higher, as it three key constituents ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and State Bank of India(SBI), who together command more than 71% weightage in the index were the major losers.
10)PNB GILTS was locked in the 20 per cent upper circuit and closed at Rs 27.45 after Punjab National Bank announced recently that it has initiated the disinvestment process for its entire stake in PNB Gilts. PNB Gilts, a 74.07 per cent subsidiary of the state-run bank Punjab National Bank, is a primary market dealer.
11)SELAN Exploration Technology galloped 17.51 per cent to close at Rs 310.35 as the company’s net profit jumped about five times in the quarter ended June 2008. The net profits zoomed 478.57 per cent y-o-y to Rs 17.82 crore and the net sales increased 364.33 per cent y-o-y to Rs 35.80 crore in Q1 FY09.
12)JP Morgan Asset Management India Pvt Ltd on Tuesday announced the launch of its JP Morgan India Alpha Fund. The fund will open for subscription on July 31 and close on August 29. The main objective of the scheme is to generate absolute returns in all sorts of markets, said Mr Harshad Patwardhan, Investment Manager – Equity at JP Morgan Asset Management India Pvt Ltd.
13)RIDING on higher motorcycle sales and reaping the benefits of shifting bulk production to tax-free zone Haridwar, Hero Honda Motors(HHML), the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer by sales, posted a better-than-expected 44% increase in net profit in the first quarter. The company totted up a profit after tax of Rs 272.87 crore for the quarter ended June 2008, up from Rs 189.84 crore in the corresponding period last year.
14)GAIL net profit in the first quarter of current fiscal jumped by 31% at Rs 897 crore from Rs 685 crore in the corresponding quarter previous year on higher trading and tranportation of natural gas. The company’s better performance is despite an outgo of Rs 475 crore on account of oil subsidy.
15)Private carrier Jet Airways India Ltd has posted a net profit increase of 343% at Rs 143.40 crore for the quarter ended June 30,2008 as compared to Rs 30.88 crore in the corresponding quarter during the last fiscal. Sales stood at Rs 2,899.20 crore, up 46% as compared to Rs 1,983.20 crore in the last fiscal.
16)Ranbaxy Laboratories on Tuesday reported consolidated profit of Rs 160.8 crore for its second quarter ended June 30 compared to Rs 160.4 crore for the corresponding quarter last year. This, however, does not include the losses due to fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates.
17)Lead once again is the only base metal showing signs of life with prices ticking higher on Tuesday on tightening inventory levels, a trend analysts expect to continue. Stocks fell by 1,450 tonnes to 89,275 tonnes, with the decline largely in Singapore but also in Long Beach. This, combined with recent production cuts at higher cost operations and the likelihood more might follow, has already lifted prices to a two-month high. As of 0915 GMT, London Metal Exchange lead was trading at $2,059 a tonne, up 1.7 per cent from Monday’s low.
18)Gold prices rose by Rs 95 to regain the Rs 13,000 level on the bullion market in New Delhi on Tuesday on heavy demand from stockists and jewellery fabricators ahead of Teej and Raksha Bandhan amid a steep fall in stock markets. Traders said the rise in prices was also aided by strong cues in the global markets. Gold traded $8.88 higher at $939.50 an ounce in Singapore.
19)Soybean and mustard seed futures slipped by over one per cent on NCDEX counter today following weak global cues and bearish domestic fundamentals. At 1300 hrs, the most-active August contract slipped by 1.48 per cent at Rs 2,535 a quintal, September contract by 1.58 per cent at Rs 2,453 a quintal and November contract by 1.76 per cent at Rs 2,265 a quintal. Meanwhile, mustard seed futures continued its downward trend in line with weak soybean market and sluggish demand for the produce on speculation that the higher acreage under Kharif oilseeds will lead to good harvest of the crop. Both September and November contracts were in red at Rs 615 and Rs 622 per 20 kg respectively. Spot price of soybean stood at Rs 2,650 per quintal, while it was Rs 629.50 per 20 kg for mustard seeds.
20)Real estate stocks dropped 5% after the RBI announced the hiked CRR and repo rates. Both developers and analysts think that the development is going to put even more pressure on the real estate sector. The impact is likely to be felt in a major way in the real estate sector, where companies will have to deal with credit squeeze on the one hand, and waning interest on housing on the other, owing to a likely increase in housing loan rates. Says Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director, Hiranandani Constructions, “The RBI’s credit policy does not allow supply of properties to increase. The cost of construction of properties is expected to increase, leading to less supply of properties. This will ultimately increase real estate prices in the long term.”
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
21)THE environmental impact of the business process outsourcing(BPOs) companies is considerable, since they work at night resulting in higher power usage and wastage; and every few years they have a whole truckload of computers(containing hazardous material) to dispose off. Now they are determined to go green. Patni BPO is the latest entrant, Accenture, CSC claim to have efficient systems in place to conserve energy and other resources.
22)Sundaram Business Services, the BPO arm of Sundaram Finance, has opened a new facility in Chennai for its subsidiary Professional Management Consultants(PMC). This is the fifth delivery centre of Sundaram BPO in the city and can house around 200 people, the company said.
23)HOTEL lobbies overflowing with job aspirants awaiting their turn for interview are soon going to be a thing of the past. Voice resumes, the latest technology innovation that HR companies across the country are expected to adopt in the immediate future, are seen to cut the cost of hiring and do away with logistical hassles for corporates. Business communications solutions provider Avaya Global Connect has developed a solution aimed primarily at companies in the IT/ITeS and banking-financial services-insurance space that are into large-scale hiring, which will help them significantly pare their cost and quality of hiring besides cutting on physical travel for interviews.
24)Software services firm Rolta said it will acquire Chicago-based management and technology consulting services firm WhittmanHart Consulting for an undisclosed amount. Both the companies, Rolta and WhittmanHart Consulting, have signed an agreement to this effect.
25)US crude oil futures fell more than $2 on the combination of Opec remarks counseling no output cuts in the face of lower prices, a stronger dollar and weak US housing data, sources said. Crude futures fell after being lifted more than a dollar by supply snags in Nigeria. On the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10 am EDT, September crude was down $2.11, or 1.69%, at $122.62 a barrel, trading from $122.59 to $125.85.
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