1)Abhinav Bindra won the Olympic gold medal for the 10-metre air rifle event in Beijing on Monday, bagging for independent India its first individual Olympic gold and sending the nation into raptures. The gold was an improvement on the silver won by another shooter, double trap marksman Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, in the Athens Olympics.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
2)SPICEJET, the country’s second biggest low-cost carrier, on Monday announced that it has signed an agreement with Goldman’s Sachs and W L Ross & Co to receive an investment of $100 million in the company. W L Ross & Co, owned by the US billionaire Wilbar Ross, would invest $80 million while Goldman would chip in $20 million.
MONEY & BANKING
3)The rupee slightly depreciated against the greenback on Monday on dollar demand. The currency opened at 42.04 and strengthened to 41.90 during the day. It then dropped to an intra-day low of 42.23 and ended the day at 42.16/17, against the previous close at 42.05/ 06.
4)THE country’s largest bank, State Bank of India, has spared borrowers taking home, auto and education loans while raising its prime lending rate(PLR) by 100 basis points to 13.75% from 12.75%. The new rates will come into effect from Tuesday (August 12). Simultaneously, SBI has announced a hike in deposits rates by 25 to 75 bais points.
5)The battle for raising deposits has kicked off with banks aggressively quoting higher rates to attract bulk deposits. The competitive spirit to woo investors is reflected in the reported move by Delhi-based Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer 11% on one year deposits to oil exploration major – Oil and National Gas Corporation.]
6)The government may allow non-government provident funds to invest up to 10 per cent incremental flows in the stock market, a senior finance ministry official said. The new norms for non-government provident funds are likely to be notified in two to three days.
7)Aviva Life Insurance, on Monday announced the launch of two innovative unit linked insurance plans(ULIPs), which meet distinct requirements of different customer segments. Aviva Sachin Century Plan and Aviva LifeLine are designed to provide multiple benefits through life insurance and investment to two different customer segments. While Aviva LifeLine targets urban customers in the middle to high income bracket, Aviva Sachin Century Plan is specifically designed for middle income customers.
8)AMIDST dissenting macro-economic conditions and acute investor pessimism, equity benchmarks extended their winning streak to the fifth consecutive session on Monday. While analysts attribute the change in market wave to cooling-off of crude prices, correction in commodity prices and strengthening of monsoon across the country, there are fears that the ongoing upswing may have run its course for now. Led by interest-sensitive sectors – realty and banking – the 30-share Sen- sex ended 336 points or 2.2% higher at 15,503.92 on Monday. The 50-share Nifty closed 90 points or 2% higher at 4,620.4, holding on to gains made earlier in the day.
9)Foreign institutional investors on Monday bought equities worth Rs 280.61 crore in the stock market, amid the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark gaining over 300 points. FIIs invested in shares worth Rs 2,930.77 crore and shed equities worth Rs 2,650.16 crore, resulting in the net investment of Rs 280.61 crore, as per provisional data available on BSE.
10)IT has been a good run for mid-cap and small-cap stocks over the last few weeks. The stocks that were beaten down the most since the meltdown started in January, have incidentally been among the best performers. But market watchers caution that a broad-based upswing of the past is unlikely to be repeated. Instead, investors will have to be careful about what they are buying this time around, given the change macro-economic situation.
11)Participatory Notes are once again on the agenda of the capital market regulator, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) set to begin a review of the entire “regulatory framework” governing these instruments at its board meeting on August 13.
12)The National Stock Exchange (NSE) today conducted the first round of mock electronic bidding process for implementing application sup- ported by blocked amount(ASBA), an alternative mode of payment for initial public offerings(IPOs), proposed by capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi).
13)The government is likely to list four or five more of state-owned companies, which include Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, Manganese Ore India Ltd and Cochin Shipyard by March next year. A senior government official said the government plans to dilute up to 10 per cent in these companies.
14)The Oil India Ltd IPO is likely to open in October. The tentative decision on IPO timing follows the recent approval by the Centre for appointing six new independent directors on board and conform to clause 49 of the listing agreement.
15)UTI Mutual Fund on Monday launched UTI Short Term Maturity Plan Series-I-V(140 days), an official at the fund house said. The new fund offer will close its subscription on August 18. The close-ended income scheme will invest its corpus in debt and money market instruments having similar maturity profile.
16)Principal Mutual Fund will on Tuesday launch Principal PNB Fixed Maturity plan 385 days – Series Ix. Subscription to the offer will close on Wednesday, an official from the fund house said on Monday. The 385-day debt scheme will deploy its entire corpus in debt and money market securities maturing in line with the scheme’s tenure.
17)IDFC Mutual Fund on Monday launched IDFC Fixed Maturity Plan Quarterly Series-38, which will close for subscription on Wednesday, an official at the fund house said. The three-month close-ended income scheme’s corpus will be invested in debt and money market instruments that have a maturity profile similar to the plan’s own.
18)With less than a month left before the suspension of futures in four farm commodities comes up for review, and despite faint indications that the government might extend the suspension, the turnover in In- dia’s commodity exchanges showed no signs of slowing down. Ac- cording to the latest data from the Forward Market Commission (FMC), commodity exchanges recorded a 40.23% jump in their turnover at Rs 16,54,442 crore till July 2008-09, against Rs 11,79,765 crore during the corresponding period in 2007-08.
19)Commodities market regulator, the Forward Markets Commission, on Monday, said that the government might lift the ban on futures trading in four commodities in September. In May, the government, under pressure from its allies to control soaring inflation, suspended futures trading in soyaoil, potato, rubber and chickpea for four months.
20)Gold ended its five-day long losing streak in the domestic markets on Monday as investors return to market after a marginal rise in crude prices. However, gains were limited due to stronger dollar but higher oil prices prompted investors fresh appetite for gold,one analyst said. In Mumbai, prices of standard and pure gold rose by Rs 70 each to Rs 11,815 and Rs 11,880 per 10 gm respectively.
21)Notwithstanding the record rise in coriander prices, NCDEX on Monday launched trading in coriander futures. Coriander prices have touched a high of Rs 100 a kg due to unseasonal rain in the growing areas. About 70 per cent of India’s production comes from Rajasthan, while Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu contribute the rest.
22)Commodity market regulator Forward markets Commission has directed national exchanges – MCX, NCDEX and NMCE – not to give multiple trading exposure to a single client from January 2009.
23)The Scottish game of ‘golf’ is the latest addition to the realtors’ marketing arsenal. In an attempt to stem the ingress of recession into the real estate market and to tap newer avenues, developers in Gujarat are going all guns blazing. From organising golf tourneys in the US and UK to conducting road shows and investors’ meet, realtors are courting the nouveau riche and status-conscious NRIs to return back to their ‘roots’ and invest in some of the niche projects in the state. Ahmedabad-based Savvy Infrastructures has taken an unusual step by trying to market his real estate project by organising golf tournaments for the NRIs in the US and UK.
24)Matheran Realty Private Ltd has announced the commencement of sale of Tanaji Malusare City(TMC) located in Karjat, near Mumbai. According to Pravin Banavalikar, CEO-Matheran Realty, “TMC is India’s first and largest township dedicated to social housing which will offer quality homes at minimum of Rs 3 lakh at Rs 999 per sq ft. It will have integrated facilities such as hospitals, schools, theatres and retail outlets.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
25)THE bugbear of the Indian BPO industry – attrition – seems to have stabilised at a broad level. From the highs of over 50% a couple of years ago, attrition is hovering closer to 30% for most well-run BPO companies in India. Infosys BPO CEO Amitabh Chaudhry says, “It (the attrition rate) has stabilised or come down and one is definitely seeing that across the industry.” The Indian BPO industry employs around seven lakh people and accounts for a revenue of $12.5 billion for FY08, according to Nasscom estimates. The reasons for the drop in attrition are manifold. The BPO sector was once losing people to “hot sectors” such as aviation, retail and real estate. However, a tepid expansion in these sectors has somewhat reversed the trend.
26)BPO firm Genpact’s operation centres in India have received the ISO 14001-2004 and OHSAS 18001-2007 certifications from the British Standard Institute (BSI), a globally renowed independent certifiying authority.
27)CRUDE prices rose on Monday, nearing $117 a barrel, after oil exports normally carried out via Georgian ports were halted over the weekend owing to an escalation in fighting between Georgia and Russia. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September deli- very agained $1.50 to $116.70 a barrel.
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