1)The United States has circulated the draft amendment to the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) ahead of its meeting on August 21 and 22 to consider India’s case, senior officials in New Delhi have confirmed. The draft was finalised in consultation with India and first handed over on Thursday to Germany, which heads the NSG.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)State-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals on Friday said that it has won a Rs 400 crore contract for setting up a hydro power project in African country Rwanda. The company has received the order for setting up 2×14 MW nyaborongo hydro electric power project from the Republic of Rwanda government, the company said in a statement.
3)Post the recent demerger, the Bajaj group is in a consolidation mode. The promoters have raised their holdings in Bajaj Holdings and Investment(BHIL), the group’s investment company, by 2.5% through creeping acquisition of shares last week. With this acquisition,the group now holds a 31.4% stake in BHIL.
MONEY & BANKING
4)The rupee was flat against the dollar on Friday, recovering almost all of its initial losses. The currency opened lower at 42.18/20 and weakened further to touch an intra-day low of 42.27/28. It re- covered to close 42.05/06, against the previous close of 42.07/08.
5)The state-run Bank of Baroda, whose board met in New Delhi on Friday, has hiked its BPLR to 75 basis points to 14% with effect from 11 august, 2008. However, the bank CMD Mallya told FE that the bank did not touch home loan borrowers up to Rs 30 lakh. Beyond Rs 30 lakh, the interest rate has been increased by 50 basis points.
6)IN A rising rate interest rate scenario, automobile financiers have hit upon new strategies to woo all those aspiring to buy cars. Two of the largest players in the car financing segment have decided to slash interest rates by 2% in an effort to keep consumer interest going. This is being done by slashing the commission that banks pay to dealers, thus retaining the rates at a level which makes it afford- able to buyers. Both HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra, who figure among the top three financiers of four wheelers, will reduce their rack rates by 2% or 200 basis points.
7)If you are a frequent user of credit card, you better think twice before swiping it. As in the case of home loans or auto loans, the interest rates on credit card are also set for a hike. While some banks have already decided on the increase in interest rates, many others are in the process of doing so, thanks to the macro economic scenario.
8)Bargain-hunting in some blue chips in the last hour of the session helped shares end slightly higher on Friday, after having been in negative territory for most of the session on profit-taking and worries about inflation. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-stock Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 50.57 points, or 0.3 per cent, to end at 15,167.82 in a volatile session marked by buying at low valuations and quick profit-taking. The index has gained nearly 4 per cent in the last three sessions. It opened lower in line with Wall Street’s overnight fall, taking the markets down to 14,888.12 before value buying took it to an intraday high of 15,228.82. “The markets are likely to pick up from Monday again, but we are going to see today’s pattern of trade repeated even next week. The good thing is that people now do not mind buying at lows.” said Mr Gopi Doshi, a dealer with Khandwala Securities. Participants expect the Sensex to trade between 15,000 and 15,350 through the next week. On the National Stock Exchange, the 50-stock S&P CNX Nifty closed flat at 4,529.50.
9)Tata Chemicals surged 6.49 per cent to Rs 346.85 on reports that the government has approved an investment policy for urea, linking the cost of production to the import parity. The scrip opened at Rs 325.05 and went on to achieve a high of Rs 350 and a low of Rs 325 during intra-day trading.
10)Shanti Gears surged 9.42 per cent to Rs 73.75 on media reports that Suzlon Energy, through its Belgium-based unit, Hansen Trans- missions, is planning to buy a substantial stake in the company.
11)Much to the advantage of the investors using calendar spread as a tool to hedge their investments, the capital market regulator, Sebi on Friday decided to extend calendar spread treatment till expiry of the near-month contract. A calendar spread is a derivatives strategy, where an investor takes a long and a short position in the same underlying but in two different delivery months.
12)STOCK brokers will have to alert the government on customer transactions where the deal size is not in line with a client’s declared in- come. The proposed rule, spelt out by the ministry of finance to some of the top brokers at a meeting last month, will be a key aspect of the anti-money laundering policy for market intermediaries.
13)The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the equity restructuring of Punjab & Sind Bank(P&SB) and Punjab National Bank (PNB), enabling them to go for an initial public offer or private placement of shares.
14)The National Multi-Commodity Exchange(NMCE) has launched new series for futures contract in Guar seed and Turmeric with effect from Monday, August 11,2008. The new series in Guar seed and Turmeric- called December-2008 contracts-will expire on December 20, while the delivery period for both the commodities will begin three days prior to that on December 17,2008. At present, NMCE is running futures contracts in about 90 series in 25 commodities, notably pepper, castor seed, mustard/rape seed, jute sacking, isabgol seed (psyllium), copra and non-ferrous base metals.
15)Gold slipped 1 per cent to its weakest point in eight weeks on Friday as the dollar firmed to a five-month high against the euro, denting the precious metal’s appeal as a currency hedge, and as oil prices fell. Gold was at $861.40/862.40 an ounce at 0957 GMT, down from $871.05/872.45 late in New York.
16)Gold lost some of its shine as an attractive investment option in the bullion market in New Delhi on Friday with prices falling by a sharp Rs 250 to Rs 12,000 per 10 gram as the metal melted in the global markets on speculation that dollar gains might spur sales. With today’s fall gold in tune with the weak global trends has taken a hit of Rs 750 in last four trading sessions.
17)PRIVATE investment company Berggruen Holdings(BH) has forayed into the realty space in India, lining up a slew of commercial and resi- dential projects. It plans to take advantage of the sluggish market scenario to make investments. “The real estate market is going to be difficult for a couple of years. It will be bad because the projects will be slower. But it will be a better opportunity for people willing to invest. But the valuations are more reasonable now,” says Berggruen Holdings founder Nicolas Berggruen.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
18)AS IT companies continue to defer the date of joining for their new campus recruits, BPOs are coming to the rescue of these engineering graduates. They are offering quick jobs to these engineers who are awaiting their appointment letters from IT companies like Wipro, CTS, Satyam and TCS among others.
19)INDIA is all set to become a leader in the software testing market with an increasing number of software development companies outsourcing their software testing work here. Indusry analyst firm Gartner has pegged the world-wide software testing market at $13 billion and the global market for outsourced testing services to be around $6.1 billion, of which India is expected to corner a 70% share.
20)Crude prices slumped below $116 a barrel on Friday as the market shrugged off confirmation that separatist Kurdish rebels were behind a blast that has cut a strategic oil pipeline in Turkey. Brent north sea crude for September delivery shed $1.19 to 115.90 per barrel in electronic deals.
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