1)The Bush administration will push for a vote on the US-India civilian nuclear deal in the Congress on or around September when it returns for its fall session after lawmakers on both sides would have finished with their respective party conventions the previous week.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)The slowdown in the global economy has turned into an opportunity for the country’s auto sector, especially the components segment, to go for big-ticket buyouts. While exact figures are hard to come by, industry experts confirmed that leading Indian manufacturers are developing war chests for overseas acquisitions.
3)SINGAPORE’s Temasek Holdings has shortlisted Tata Power to bid for the city state’s power generating company, Senoko Power. This would enable the Tata company to enter the second round of a global bidding. The successful bidder may need to fork out $3 billion to bag Senoko.
4)State-owned generation major NTPC Ltd has joined hands with the Manila-based Asian Development Bank(ADB), GE Energy Financial Services, Kyushu Electric Power Co and Brookfield Renewable Power to form a joint venture firm to undertake renewable power generation.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee appreciated by 24 paise against the dollar on Tuesday due to gains in the stock market and oil prices falling below $120 per barrel. The currency opened higher at 42.36/38 and closed at 42.24/25, stronger than the previous close of 42.48/49.
6)HAVING regained its position as one of the top five life insurance companies, Birla Sun Life Insurance has lined up Rs 1,300 crore of investment into the company. The company has been the fastest growing life insurer in the current fiscal, with a 187% growth in new business during the first quarter. Speaking to ET, Birla Sun Life Insu- rance president and CEO Vikram Mehmi said that the company would start publishing its valuation numbers from next year which would give an idea how much the company is worth. The company has set for itself a target of being among the top three by 2010, by which time it is also expected to break-even. “We are already among the top three if you see the premium in terms of individual business,” said Mr Mehmi.
7)Leading private insurance company Max New York Life has launched an insurance policy for the financial under-privileged people in the country. The company is planning to sell the new policy called Max Vijay to one crore people, accounting for 10 per cent of the current market. The new policy differs with the conventional policies as people can buy a policy for as low as Rs 1,000 with an assured sum, equal to five times the premium. The policy can be purchased over the counter and will not lapse even if a premium is not paid on time that can be paid as Rs 10 per day.
8)The pension reforms bill to set up a regulator and give more freedom to subscribers for investing their retirement money is likely to be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament. “Amendments are ready. Hopefully, it would be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament,” finance ministry sources said on Tuesday.
9)The BSE Sensex rose to its highest in six weeks, led by fresh buying in banking and real estate stocks, as crude oil prices fell to $118 a barrel in futures trading, easing concerns over inflation. The30- share Sensex added 383.20 points, or 2.6%, to 14,961.07, its highest since June 19, on optimism that falling energy prices would narrow the fiscal deficit and ease pressure on the RBI to raise rates. The NSE’s S&P CNX Nifty climbed 107.50 points, or 2.5%, to 4,520.85. The Sensex has risen almost 19% from its 15-month low on July 16.
10)With global commodity prices declining over the past two weeks, top stock brokers and market operators are once again turning their attention towards the domestic equity markets. Deven Choksey, managing director of K R Choksey Shares and Securities, said the mood seems to be turning positive and this may continue for some time. Those predicting a grim scenario for the stock markets till last week are now looking at stocks,” he said.
11)Sugar stocks surged on Tuesday as the Government fixed the quota for free sale of sugar for August at a level lower than market expectations. “This move would reduce the supply of sugar in the market, which will in turn drive up the prices of sugar, ahead of the festival demand,” said a commdities research analyst at a stock broking firm.
12)MARKET regulator Sebi on Tuesday said an alternative payment system for public issues – by which retail investors will be spared from depositing money upfront while applying for shares – will be launched as a pilot project by August-end.
13)State-run NHPC on Tuesday said it will file revised draft prospectus for its initial public offer to raise Rs 1,670 crore with market regulator SEBI in two days.
14)Ranbaxy Laboratories on Tuesday said that the open offer by the Japanese Sankyo for acquiring an additional 20 per cent stake in the Indian drug company will commence on August 16 and close on September 4. The announcement comes after the Sebi gave its nod for the open offer on Monday.
15)For mutual fund investors, here’s some good news. Almost all arbitrage funds have outperformed their benchmark indices in the last six months. With volatility still plaguing the market and the debt market taking a hit due to consecutive rate hikes, arbitrage funds have bucked the downward trend by clocking positive returns. Arbitrage funds, as a category, have yielded 3.03 per cent returns in the last six months, when all other funds except pharma were mostly in the red. Pharma funds gave returns of 6.86 per cent.
16)Gold is likely to decline below the support level of $870 before this weekend reducing demand for the metal as a hedge against the agricultural commodities prices. However, the fall would depend on the announcement of Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC) today. If the FOMC revises the benchmark interest rate downwards, then gold would see a turnaround. In case the rate is either raised or un- changed, the yellow metal would see a further correction of up to 3 per cent this week. This would translate into the price falling to Rs 12,120 per 10 gm in India.
17)Tracking weak global cues, precious metals tumbled on the local bullion market on Tuesday on fresh offerings from stockists. Standard gold(99.5 purity) ended sharply lower by Rs 335 per ten gm to one-and-half month low at Rs 12,135 from Rs 12,470. Pure gold (99.9 purity) finished weak at Rs 12,200 from overnight close of Rs 12,535. Silver ready (.999 fineness) dropped sharply by Rs 740 per kg to Rs 24,100 from Rs 24,800.
18)The suspension of the futures trade in potato has taken away from the farmers, an opportunity to hedge their price risks, leaving them at the mercy of the local traders, market participants said. Futures on the MCX and NCDEX acted as an indicator of price trends for farmers on the basis of far-month contracts, traders said.
19)It has traditionally been a preferred residential area of Thiruvananthapuram, and the realty boom that has brought a clutch of residential apartment buildings and shopping centres is giving a fresh makeover for Sasthamangalam in the Kerala capital. The chief attractions for Sasthamangalam have remained the same for several decades-its proximity to the elite Kowdiar area, being within short distance of the city centre, and easy access to different parts of the town.
20)THE impact of the US economic slowdown has been felt most in the Bangalore real estate market, where the IT industry has traditionally been the largest absorbers of office space. The demand for office space in Bangalore saw 61% drop on a quarter-on-quarter(QoQ) basis, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. During the April-June period of 2008, the supply of office space was 3.11 million sq ft while the total absorption was 1.97 million sq ft. This is in sharp contrast to the January-March period of 2008 where the office space supply was 5.65 million sq ft with total absorption being 5.15 million sq ft. Absorption of office space also includes pre-commitments. On a country-wide basis, the demand for office space across major metros has declined by 33% on QoQ basis, the report said.
21)HIRING in the IT industry is showing early signs of revival, driven mainly by transnational companies. The market had remained de- pressed for the last five to six months with recruitment taking place only in specific cases and most technology firms putting off proactive hiring plans. While Indian firms are still cautious about their hiring plans MNCs are belived to be a little more robust in increasing their staff strength.
22)POLARIS Software Lab said on Tuesday that it has signed a professional services agreement with AIG Global Services(AIGGS), through which it will provide IT services to insurance major American International Group(AIG) and its member companies globally.
23)After a series of large tranformational and infrastructure deals in the telecom sector such as Bharti and Vodafone, it is the turn of the banking sector to witness similar long-term deals, according to a senior IBM official. With the telecom infrastructure becoming robust, the banking sector is looking at the next stage of growth.
24)OIL prices slid further on Tuesday, dropping to as low as $118 a barrel on widening expectations that the slumping US economy will keep eroding consumer demand for gasoline and other petroleum products. The US dollar’s gains against the euro also contributed to oil’s decline. Light, sweet crude for September delivery was down $1.51 at $119.90 a barrel in pre-market trading on the New York Mercantile exchange. Earlier, it dropped to $118, before regaining some ground.
25)Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke, likely to leave interest rates unchanged today, may need to sound tougher on inflation to avert the sharpest public disagreement among policy makers in more than a decade.
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