05 August 2008

GENERAL

1)BUOYED by its success in placing eight nano-satellites in prescribed orbits, the Indian Speace Research Organisation (ISRO) is hoping to stage another feat by launching 100 nano-sats at one go. Scientists at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, are preparing elaborate drawings to make this event happen some two years from now. The ISRO has already intimated universities world wide about the project and has extended an open invite to any varsity to take part in the historic venture.

Indian Express
 
ECONOMY
 
2)Inflation can drop below 8 per cent if confluence of factors like fall in global crude oil followed by a good monsoon work, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said. “You can get a much lower rate(below 8 per cent) of inflation, if there is confluence of favourable factors such as moderation in  oil prices and so on,”Rangarajan said.

BS

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd(BHEL) on Monday announced it has bagged an order worth Rs 200 crore for a hydro-electric power project in Vietnam.  The contract, which marks the equipment manufacturer’s entry into the Vietnamese market, was awarded by State-owned Nam Chien Hydropower, BHEL said in a press release.

BL

4)INDIA’S biggest power utility firm National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC) is readying a war chest of $3 billion for global buyout. The company is learnt to be in negotiations to buy at least one coal mine in Indonesia and is taking long lease of another.

ET

5)AMP Capital Finance Mauritius has picked up 29% stake in Gayatri Infra Ventures(GIVL) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gayatri Projects – for Rs 100 crore.  AMP will also look at a further equity injection of  Rs 100 crore in future.  This is the first investment from AMP’s new fund, Asia Grand Infrastructure Fund, that focuses on Indian and China.

ET

6)INDIA’S top aluminium producer Hindalco Industries is learnt to be considering downsizing its Rs 5,000 crore rights issue by 15% to 20% because of the uncertain state of the capital markets.  Instead the company will generate more funds internally, said a banker with direct knowledge of the rights issue.

ET
 
MONEY & BANKING

7)The rupee closed about 13 paise lower against the dollar on Monday due to dollar buying by oil companies and news of Iran going ahead with its nuclear programme. The rupee opened at 42.45/46 and touched a high of 42.34.  However, following this, the rupee moved down continuously and closed at 42.48/49, lower from the previous close of  42.35/36.

BL

INSURANCE

8)STATE-OWNED non-life insurance companies have lost further market share in the first quarter of 2007-08, as the industry slowly adjusts to a free-pricing market.  The slower growth among state-own-ed companies has resulted in ICICI Lombard displacing public sector Oriental Insurance to become the fourth-largest insurer in India.

ET

9)HDFC Standard Life has launched its unit-linked wealth maximiser plus, a single-premium investment-cum-protection plan with a minimum premium of Rs 1 lakh. It offers flexibility of investing in five funds money plus, bond opportunities, large-cap, mid-cap and manager’s fund.  The fund’s key features include a one-time investment at the start and cover till the age of 99 years, a release stated.

ET

10)Aviva Life Insurance has launched traditional pension plan and money back plan with periodical lumpsum benefits.  Secure pension plan has been designed with the objective to encourage regular savings for policyholders and ensure pension during the retired life.  The money back plan is the only product in the market with policy term options of 12,15,18 and 21 years.  Both policies are endowment with profit plans.

ET

MARKETS

11)After opening on a weak note in view of uncertain crude oil prices and weak cues from the US and Asian markets, key equity indices ended the day almost on a flat note with negative bias. The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) Sensex lost 78.82 points or 0.54% before closing at 14,577.87 points.  The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slid 18.20 points or 0.41% before ending at 4,395.35 points.

FE

12)Brokers are readying themselves to enter the exchange-traded currency futures segment in September, even as the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) is in the process of putting together operational guidelines to kickstart the process.  Several big brokerage houses, including Religare, Motilal Oswal and Karvy, have expressed their intention to offer currency futures broking to the National Stock Exchange(NSE).

BS

13)The BSE mid-cap index has marginally outperformed the Sensex in the past month as investors went bargain hunting.  During this period, the index rose 9 per cent, while the Sensex gained 8.35 per cent. On Monday when the Sensex was down 0.54 per cent, the mid-cap index ended the day up 1.77 per cent from its previous close.

BL

14)THE restrictions imposed on investments in Indian equities through participatory notes(PNs) last year has those foreign investors, who prefer to stay away from the regulator glare to tap other routes for investment in the local market.  In the last few months, these investors, including global hedge funds, have been increasingly using the equity swap – an unregulated over-the-counter(OTC) derivative contract – to take exposure to the Indian market.

ET

IPO

15)State-run NHPC has convened a board meeting on Tuesday to approve the IPO and with 5 per cent disinvestment of government stake and may become the first public sector unit to go public after Left parties withdrew support from the UPA government.

BS

MUTUAL FUNDS

16)Choppy markets and a dent on assets under management (AUM) have forced the mutual fund (MF) industry to look beyond the metro cities. They are now on the prowl to grab a share of the semi-urban and rural markets across the country.  In a bid to expand its reach in the country, UTI Mutual Fund(UTI MF) is going to set up over 650 outlets in the next 6-8 months.  Of these 650 outlets, 200 will be UTI Financial Centres(UTIFCs) and the other 450 will be UTI franchise offices in all major districts of the country.  Also joining the fray are Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund(BSLMF) and Reliance Mutual Fund (RMF)  which are set to open 100 outlets by March 2009 to promote their mutual fund schemes.

FE

17)Banking funds were amongst the best performing funds in July after a long run of reporting declining NAVs.  Banking stocks rose when the UPA Government won the trust vote without the support of the  Left parties, which pushed up expectations of reforms in the financial sector.

BL

COMMODITIES

18)Commodity exchanges, regulators and analysts have expressed fears that the imposition of the commodity Transaction Tax(CTT) would boost the parallel illegal market known as dabba trade.  They opine that the CTT would make transactions at the commodity exchanges expensive  and force traders to use illegal routes.  Dabba trading is done outside the purview of commodity exchanges by brokers who route their clients sales or buy orders.  All the transactions are made in cash.  The brokers match and execute orders, thereby saving official transaction costs.  Dabba trading in equity and commodities have been banned in the country.  “It would make the transaction on the commodity exchanges expensive, BC Khatua, chairman, Forward Markets Commission, told FE. “CTT may put enormous pressure on the viability of the commodity exchanges,” Ashok Mittal, CEO, Karvy Commodities, said.

FE

19)The Centre may not extend the ban on the futures trading of four agricultural commodities beyond September.  For controlling climbing inflation, the government had suspended futures trading in soyoil, potato, rubber and chickpea for a duration of four months in May. “There is no plan to extend the ban on futures trading of agricultural commodities,” B C Khatua, Chairman, Forward Markets Commission told FE.

FE

20)Snapping out its four-day losing spell, gold prices today recovered Rs 75 to Rs 12,750 per 10 gm in New Delhi on emergence of buying o stockists and retailers.  Standard gold and ornaments met with fresh demand and rose by Rs 75 each to Rs 12,750 and Rs 12,600 per 10 gm. Sovereign followed suit and gained Rs 25 at Rs 10,600 per piece of eight gram.

BS
 
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

21)IN ITS largest acquisition to date, the Essar Group-owned Aegis Communications has bought Philippines-based BPO PeopleSupport for $250 million.  This is the BPO firm’s eleventh acquisition in the last three years.  Aegis has signed a definitive agreement to buy
the Nasdaq-listed firm, the company’s CEO and MD Aparup Sengupta told reporters on a conference call.  Following the acquisition, PeopleSupport will delist and the Essar group will own 100% of the entity.

ET
 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

22)Wipro Infotech, the India and Middle-East IT business of Wipro, on Monday said it has bagged an outsourcing contract to provide IT infrastructure support for all the stores, distribution centres, regional and zonal offices of Spencer’s Retail.  The five-year deal also covers future store-roll-outs, a Wipro Infotech statement said, but it did not provide the value of the contract.

ET
 
INTERNATIONAL

23)Crude oil fell on speculation that Tropical Storm Edouard won’t cause significant disruption to offshore oil facilities as it approaches the coast of Texas.  Crude oil for September delivery fell $1.10, or 0.9 per cent, to $124 a barrel at 9:07 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BL

24)The US Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady on Tuesday, acknowledging financial conditions remain strained, but making clear it is still worried about inflation despite a recent pullback in energy prices.

BS
 
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