1)India took a big stride on Friday to take its place at the nuclear high table. The India-specific safeguards agreement sailed through the meeting of the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors in Vienna. With this, India is closer to securing nuclear fuel for its reactors and dismantling the technology denial regime against it.
2)FINANCE minister P Chidambaram on Friday said he expects interest rates to decline from their current high levels over the next six months to a year. “Interest rates will not remain very high for ever and for ever. We will get out of this trough and go back to moderate to normal interest rates in six months to one year,” he said at the inauguration of the 1000th and 1001st branches of Corporation Bank in Bangalore.
3)THE next time you buy an insurance policy or open a post office savings account, you may have to quote your PAN number compulsorily. Taking forward its budget announcement, the government has kicked off inter-ministerial consultations in this regard. In line with the finance minister P Chidambaram’s budget 2008-09 announcement, the finance ministry has sought views of the concerned departments – banking, insurance and postal – on making compulsorily permanent account number(PAN) for these instruments.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
4)FMCG major Emami is eyeing acquisition of companies in the UK and South Africa in personal and healthcare spheres. On the other hand, the company is also waiting for a notice from Sebi before it can make an open offer of Rs 7,315 a share to Zandu Pharmaceuticals share holders as it recently increased its stake in Zandu Pharmaceutical Works to 27.5 per cent from four per cent earlier.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee gained almost 20 paise against the dollar on Friday thanks to gains in the domestic equity market and lower oil prices. Rumours that oil bonds may be restored also helped the rupee gain, said a dealer with a private sector bank. The rupee opened at 42.56/58 and appreciated on constant dollar-selling and closed at 48.35/36, against the previous close of 42.5750.
6)The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has charted a plan to give a major push to the electronics payment system by making it reach a level of 50% by volume and 95% by value of the aggregate payment system transactions by March 2009.
7)FEARING defaults and taking a bet that interest rates would soften in the next one year, some state-owned banks are reluctant to pass on the rate hike to existing customers. Their objective is to ensure that default risks are minimised and it is also a bet that inflation will ease and interest rates will fall in a year. Canara Bank is considering a one-year freeze on interest rates for existing home loan and personal borrowers at the prevailing level. Another large nationalised bank – Bank of India – is also looking at not raising rates on home loans depending on the repayment capacity of borrowers.
8)ING Vysya Bank on Friday raised its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) by 50 basis points to 16.25% to offset the increase in key short-term lending rate and the reserve requirement announced by the Reserve Bank of India early this week.
9)Tata Capital Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Limited, plans to enter the booming home loan market by March 2009, its Managing Director and CEO, Mr Praveen P Kadle, has said. “Although we will be a late entrant in this market, we see good business opportunities in offering home loans. We hope to start this by March next year”, Mr Kadle said in New Delhi.
10)AFTER languishing in early trades, the market sentiment revived on hopes that the Indo-US nuclear deal would go ahead. Supported by capital goods and power stocks, benchmark indices rose, as it be- came increasingly evident that the deal will get the IAEA green signal. Significantly, Indian institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 396 crore while foreign portfolio funds, or FIIs were net sellers by Rs 587 crore on Friday. The market witnessed early morning selling pressure, following weak global markets to gain over 600 points from the day’s low. While market participants feel there’s a cautious undertone to the rally, they say that if the price of crude softens confidence will be somewhat restored. Concerns over a slowing economy, high inflation and higher interest rates, receded to the background as the 30-share Sensex ended Friday at 14,656.69, a gain of 300.94 points, or 2.1%, while the NSE Nifty rose 80.6 points, or 1.86%, to close at 4413.55.
11)ESSAR OIL surged 5.89 per cent to Rs 198.70 after announcing a net profit of Rs 29.93 crore in the first quarter. The company had reported a net loss of Rs 5.67 crore in the first quarter last year. The scrip opened at Rs 189.65, touched a high of Rs 199.90 and a low of Rs 184 during the day. A total of 3,339,031 shares changed hands at the BSE. The stock has risen 7.05 per cent in the last one month.
12)ISPAT Industries surged 4.41 per cent to Rs 27.20 on the back of its first quarter results. The company witnessed a 243.2 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 28.73 crore. The scrip opened at Rs 25.75 and touched a high of Rs 27.45 and a low of Rs 25.35 in intra-day trading. A total of 20,466,466 shares changed hands on the BSE. The stock has risen 19.20 per cent since the last one month.
13)THE BSNL board has cleared the company’s proposed $10 billion listing, a top department of telecom (DoT) official told ET on Friday.
14)Gold slipped in Europe on Friday as weaker oil prices and a slightly firmer dollar dampened buying interest, but trading was cautious ahead of key US non-farm payrolls data later in the session. Platinum dropped up to 2.5 per cent after US economic data came in weaker than expected on Thursday, fuelling fears slowing growth could dent demand for the industrial metal. Gold fell to $909.20/910.20 an ounce at 0932 GMT from $913.45/914.65 an ounce late in New York on Thursday, when it posted a volatile session, trading in a wide $20 range.
15)Pepper futures market on Friday moved up on bullish sentiments and tight supply position. On NCDEX, Aug contract moved up by Rs 102 a quintal to close at Rs 14,316 on Friday, while on NMCE it went up by Rs 83 a quintal to close at Rs 14,155. Other contracts on NCDEX increased by Rs 40 to Rs 199 a quintal.
16)Gold fell for the third straight day losing Rs 55 at Rs 12,695 per 10 gm on Friday, triggered by stockists’ sales and a weak global trend. Precious metal prices dropped following low demand in the domestic market. A rise in equity markets also led to the decline in gold prices. Standard gold and ornaments, which lost Rs 250 in the last two trading sessions, fell by Rs 55 to Rs 12,695 and Rs 12,545 per 10 gm respectively. Sovereign, however, remained flat at Rs 10,600 per piece of eight grams.
17)INDIA’S 300-million mobile subscribers have reasons to cheer. From mid-2009, they will be able to access third-generation(3G) services such as high-speed internet, interactive gaming and instant downloads of movies, video clips and music on their mobile phones. And that’s not all. They will also have the option to change their telecom operator without having to change their mobile numbers. After nearly two years of debate and controversy, the government on Friday finally announced its plans for a global auction of 3G radio frequencies, a move that could fetch it billions of dollars. The government also announced the introduction of mobile number portability(MNP) as well as a separate auction for broadband wireless access(BWA) services spectrum, popularly called WiMAX.
18)COGNIZANT Technology Solutions has reported a 26% growth in its net profit on the back of higher revenues. At the same time the company lowered its guidance for the second half of the year by at least 5%, taking into account the impact of a slowing economy on its customers. For the quarter to June 30,2008, the Nasdaq-listed IT and BPO services provider posted a net profit of $103.9 million from $82.3 million during the same period last year.
19)HCL Technologies, on Friday posted a 58.8% sequential and 71% year-on-year decline in net profit for the quarter ended June 30,2008. Net profit dropped to Rs 141 crore on the back of a forex loss of nearly Rs 300 crore. Consolidated revenue for the quarter grew 11.5% sequentially and 34.5% year-on-year to Rs 2168.8 crore on the back of volume growth, largely in the US and Europe. The company declared a 150% dividend for the quarter.
20)Allsec Technologies is to acquire the call centre business of Delhi based i2i Telesource Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help the Chenna based company increase its domestic call centre business from the present 10 per cent of the total revenues (Rs 19.25 crore for the quarter ended June 30) to 30 per cent, according to Mr Ramamoorthi Jagadish, co-founder, Allsec, which provides ‘integrated contact management services’.
21)Oil eased to near $123 a barrel on Friday, extending losses from a day earlier, as sluggish US economic data pointed to further erosion of oil demand in the world’s top energy consumer. US light crude for September delivery fell 92 cents to $123.16 a barrel by 1117 GMT, off lows of $122.10 and on top of a $2.69 fall in the previous session.
22)General Motors reported a second-quarter loss of $15.5 billion, the third biggest in its 100-year history, because of plunging US sales and the declining value of truck leases. The shares fell as much as 11 per cent.
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