1)The Union government on Wednesday ruled out an immediate reduction in petrol and diesel prices following a softening of global crude prices. It said the domestic rates were still pegged at roughly half the current international prices.
2)The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council on Wednesday said India’s economic growth could moderate to 7.5-8% this fiscal and saw no change in RBI’s tight monetary stance till inflation cools down. “There are certain factors, both domestic and external, which may add to the slowdown of growth rate, but we still think that the growth rate could be 7.5 to 8%,” PMAC chairman C Rangarajan said. The panel would release its economic outlook in a week’s time.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)As part of its initiative into the non-auto component business, Pune-based forgings maker Bharat Forge Ltd(BFL) plans to step into the manufacture of ultra heavy forgings catering to the power sector, including nuclear plants.
4)Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Energy (JSWEL) will soon foray into power distribution business, as part of its plan to become an integrated power company on the lines of Tata Power and Anil Ambani- promoted Reliance Infrastructure, both own power generation plants and also distribute to retail and commercial customers.
5)Hindustan Construction Company(HCC) has bagged an irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh worth Rs 629.33 crore, the company said. The total worth of the order is Rs 1,398.50 and HCC is in a joint venture for this with another engineering firm and a Czech firm CKD Blansko Engineering.
MONEY & BANKING
6)The rupee appreciated by 17 paise against the dollar on Wednesday and even went below the level of 42 briefly, due to dollar selling by big corporate houses. The currency opened higher at 42.05/06 and closed at 42.07/08, against the previous close of 42.24/25.
7)After a lull, another public sector bank has raised lending rates. With pressure on margins, Union Bank of India today increased its benchmark prime lending rate(PLR) by 75 basis points to 14 per cent, but spared existing home loan borrowers. There are indications that the country’s second largest private lender, HDFC Bank, will raise rates by the end of the week.
8)After months of deliberations, both the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of India, on Wednesday issued final guildelines for launching exchange traded currency futures. Stock exchanges can now start currency futures after obtaining approval from both the regulators. According to the guidelines, banks planning to enter trading in currency futures should have a minimum net worth Rs 500 crore and a capital adequacy of 10 per cent.
9)SENIOR citizens have good chances of getting a health cover even after they turn 65. The insurance regulator Irda, is vetting a proposal to make health cover affordable to all senior citizens. A final view will be taken on providing guaranteed access to health insurance for this segment by this year-end, said a top official of the regulatory body.
10)After lingering in the positive terrain for most of the trading session, key equity indices succumbed to profit-booking at the fag end of the trading session and ended the day with modest gains. The 30- share Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) gained 112.7 points or 0.75% before closing the day above 15K mark at 15,073.54 points. while broader S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) added 14.70 points or 0.33% and closed the day at 4517.55 points.
11)After being battered for sometime now, cement companies stocks in the BSE seem to have attracted investors’ fancy in the last one month. Expectations of a possible hike in cement prices post-monsoon and a marginal fall in prices of coal – one of the major raw material for cement production – have boosted investor sentiment.
12)The Gujarat-based Elecon Engineering Company rose 5.05 per cent to close at Rs 107.10 on bagging five new orders totalling Rs 524.20 crore. The company’s order book was Rs 1,800 crore as on July 31.
13)ICSA India (ICSA) was locked at 5 per cent upper circuit to close at Rs 377.40 after the technology solution provider signed a deal with ECE Industries to buy the latter’s machineries and equipment situated at the Hyderabad plant, along with available drawings, designs and data.
14)The government has decided to go ahead with the IPO of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd(BSNL), Communications & IT minister A Raja is scheduled to meet the BSNL unions on Thursday to convince them that the move would not jeopardise either their jobs or the growth of state-owned company.
15)The partial disinvestment of government stakes in public sector undertakings (PSUs) by way of offers for sale in the capital market seems to have resumed, with the state-run NHPC Ltd, the hydroelectric power major, filing its revised draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) for an initial public offer(IPO) with the Sebi on Wednesday.
16)Cleartrip, an online travel facilitating company, is likely to come out with an initial public offering in 2009. The company, which received three rounds of investments totalling $31 million, hopes to break even this financial year.
17)Looking to expand its reach among the rural population, the mutual fund industry may get readymade access to millions of rural consumers bought into the formal banking system. This is due to the new norms for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act that helped 20 million workers under the scheme to open saving accounts with post offices or banks.
18)Mirae Asset Global Investment Management on Wednesday announced the launch of its new fund – Mirae Asset Interval Fund – Quarterly plan. The new fund, a debt-oriented interval scheme, will seek to generate returns with low volatility through a portfolio of debt and money market instruments with a provision to offer liquidity at periodic intervals. The fund will have a tenure period of 90 days and will be open for subscriptions from August 7-12.
19)Soyabean futures moved up marginally on Wednesday on NCDEX counter owing to profit booking and firm global market. At 1230 hrs, the most-active September contract rose by 0.53% at Rs 2,370 per quintal. October contract was up by 0.75 per cent at Rs 2,152 per quintal and November contract by 0.88% at Rs 2,132 per quintal. Future prices are slightly up as investors are booking profit on the recent fall, an analyst with Karvy Comtrade said. Soyabean futures hit the lower level of 3% on Tuesday on the NCDEX counter. A slight recovery in the global prices of soyabean and soya oil at Chicago Board of Trade is also affecting domestic market, he said.
20)Gold rose 1 per cent in Europe on Wednesday as investors took advantage of a three-day fall in prices to buy below the key $900 an ounce support level. Gold rose to $883.80/884.80 an ounce at 1014 GMT from $876.35/877.95 late in New York on Tuesday.
21)Gold prices fell further by Rs 55 today after a Rs 335 fall on Tuesday. Standard gold fell to Rs 12,080 per 10 gm from Rs 12,135 while pure gold fell to Rs 12,150 from Rs 12,200 per 10 gm. Silver fine also fell from Rs 24,100 a kg to Rs 23,990.
22)Pepper futures market continued to witness high volatility with the prices moving up and down on Wednesday and closing marginally above the Monday prices. August contract moved up by Rs 66 to close at Rs 14,185 a quintal, while the increase in other contracts was from Rs 3 to Rs 72 a quintal on NCDEX.
23)Real estate prices in West Bengal will rise by 5-20 per cent from September, said Mr Pradeep Sureka, President, Bengal Chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developer’s Association of India (CREDAI), on Wednesday. The price hike comes in the wake of 43 per cent rise in construction costs over the last two years, he said. While construction costs account for 10-15 per cent of the total cost of real estate projects in places such as Mumbai and Gurgaon, in West Bengal it accounts for nearly 80 per cent.
24)IN A move that is set to further increase competition in the world’s fastest growing mobile market, telecom regulator Trai on Wednesday asked the government to allow mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), whose business model involves buying airtime from existing operators and then selling it under their own brand, to launch services in India. This will enable firms to allow to offer mobile services without owing cellular networks(radio frequencies).
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
25)The economic slowdown in the US will prompt Indian BPO (business process outsourcing) firms to scout for opportunities to acquire companies in that country at lower valuations. Both large and medium companies will try to explore opportunities, say analysts. However, it’s the larger companies which will be taking a much more aggresive stance as they are likely to have stronger cash and strategic re- sources.
26)Geometric Ltd has received an IT deal from Ford Motor Company for providing the auto major with production support and software maintenance services. The Mumbai-based company will also provide application management services for Fords engineering application suite.
27)SOFTWARE service provider Cybage Software is planning to lower its dependence on the US market to avert possible risks from an impending slow-down. It expects the US market to 75% of its revenues as against the current 90% by mid-2009. The company’s revenues stood at Rs 210 crore in FY08.
28)World oil prices rebounded somewhat on Wednesday as traders awaited a weekly US crude stockpiles report that could shed fresh light on the strength of global energy demand. Brent North Sea crude for September delivery added 65 cents to $118.35 per barrel in electronic trading. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for Sep- tember gained 45 cents to $119.62.
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Economic Times www.economictimes.com
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