1)A partial lunar eclipse will be seen around midnight of Saturday when the moon comes in the shadow of the earth. The partial eclipse will begin at 1.06(IST) on August 17. The night sky will host an 81 per cent murky red moon at 02.40(IST) when the eclipse will be at its maximum middle. The phenomenon will end at 04.15(IST).
2)Foreign investment in India’s industrial and other firms has surged to nearly $22 billion during the first six months of this year wit the momentum of flows continuing in the first quarter of FY08-09. After record flows of over $11 billion during the last quarter of 2007-08, FDI in April-June this fiscal topped $10 billion.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)Challenged on its turf by the Chinese manufacturers of power equipment, BHEL Ltd appeared to be on the backfoot. But now BHEL is now holding its forte. The public sector engineering major has been winning orders against the Chinese, beating them on price.
4)Tata Steel has kicked off fresh talks to sell the aluminium smelting business of its subsidiary, Corus Group which it bought last year for $12.9 bn. The company, India’s largest steel maker, may get over Rs 3,000 crore from the proposed sale of these smelters.
5)HINDUSTAN Sanitaryware & Industries (HSIL), which sells its products under Hindware brand, is eyeing acquisitions in Europe. The glass and sanitaryware maker is learnt to be in talks to acquire two firms with revenues ranging between Rs 150 crore and Rs 350 crore.
MONEY & BANKING
6)Tamilnad Mercantile Bank(TMB) has set a medium term target of Rs 20,000 crore business by March 2010 as against Rs 13,000 crore for the fiscal ended March 31,2008. The bank is looking at a total business of Rs 15,000 crore by the end of current fiscal (March 31,2009), said G Narayana Moorthy, managing director, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank.
7)India’s Insurance sector may touch a level of Rs 2 lakh crore in the next two years in view of aggressive marketing techniques adopted by private insurance companies, industry body Assocham said in its report ‘Insurance Sector Futuristic Growth’. Private insurance business would grow at the rate of 140% in view of aggressive marketing technique adopted by them against 35-40% of state-owned insurance companies growth rate.
8)THE Indian stock market may be one of the worst performers in Asia for a better part of this year, but it has, infact, outshone its regional peers, at least in terms of raising funds through rights issues. India has mobilised the highest amount of funds through rights offerings among countries in Asia-Pacific, according to Thomson Reuters. Indian companies raised $4,811.5 million in the current calendar year so far (till August 11), accounting for 20.3% of the total rights mobilisation in the region. The figure is substantilly higher than the previous full year’s tally of $3,545.5 million.
9)The Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) is planning to out source the servicing required for the raw or streamed lined data and info-vending products that the exchange provides to the various websites, research outfits and media houses. Currently, the job is handled by in-house technicians and the exchange is planning to wind up the process in the next few months.
10)Government-run Cochin Shipyard(CSL) is planning to raise around Rs 800 crore through an initial public offering(IPO) to fund its expansion plan and for captial restructuring.
11)NYMEX Holdings Inc, the parent company of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the world’s largest physical commodities futures and options exchange, announced that average daily volume was 1.883 million contracts for July 2008, a 30% increase from 1.446 million contracts per day in July 2007.
12)Gold fell nearly 5 per cent to almost a nine-month low in Europe on Friday, as a strengthening dollar and fears over slower growth prompted investors to sell off commodities. Losses across precious metals were led by silver, which slipped 12 per cent or $1.76 an ounce in Asian trade, pulling down gold, platinum and palladium in its wake. Spot gold hit an intraday low of $773.90, its weakest since Nov.20, before recovering to trade at $785.90/786.90 at 0925 GMT, down from $811.25/812.65 late in New York on Thursday.
13)US-based Russell Investments plans to pump in more funds to the Asian property markets and a large share of these will be targeted at India and China, a top official said. Russell would significantly grow its investments in the Asia region.
14)Post inflation, the investor community, including high net worth individuals (HNWIs), have started concentrating on markets such as Kolkata, Burdwan, Durgapur, Siliguri and Haldia in order to buy high rise apartments. As a result, real estate majors are looking at converting factories and bungalows into high-rise apartments based in Kolkata, Haldia and other parts of West Bengal. Besides this, Gurgaon, NCR Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Chandigarh are considered growing markets for investors in high-rise apartments.
15)REAL estate firm DivyaShree, among the top-rung office-space developers in the South, will soon start work on a project to build luxury vilas in Bangalore, its first premium residential venture in the city. Comprising 95 villas, the gated community will be set up in the upmarket Koramangala area, the project’s marketing consultant said.
16)The downturn in the real estate sector may well turn out to be an opportunity for large developers to cherry-pick some great deals from the market. Cash-strapped smaller builders are now approaching established players to sell their land and projects at attractive rates or, in some cases, even in distress sales.
17)TELECOM monolith Bharat Sanchar Nigam(BSNL) is fine-tuning its business strategy to become an information and communication technology (ICT) services provider. In one of the biggest-ever expansion of service offerings, the PSU is looking at providing managed network services (MNS) to boost revenues and leverage its vast wireline network spread across every nook and corner of the country.
18)BSNL has invited global CDMA handset makers for tie-ups as it readies plans to launch full-fledged mobile services on this technology platform across the country. The telco, which is currently investing about Rs 2,000 crore on a CDMA network rollout, will offer bundled handsets.
19)Software companies, which are some of the country’s largest exporters, expect the rupee to be volatile for the next two quarters. Two of the largest software companies, Infosys Technologies and Wipro, as well as a few mid-size firms said they were sticking with their existing hedging policies, despite talk of the rupee gaining before the impending elections or the rupee’s sharp fall on Thursday.
20)What is the biggest hassle faced by PC or laptop owners who use software harnessing the Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) technology to make long distance telephone calls from their machines? It having to leave the PC ‘on’ all day – or miss incoming calls of the Skpe or Google Talk type. That may no longer be necessary. A new chip set announced by Intel on Friday, enables a ‘sleeping’ PC to walk to life when it receives an incoming call – and then wake you up to take it.
21)SIGNS of anaemic growth of the world’s largest economies and a strengthening dollar drove oil prices below $114 a barrel on Friday. Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell $1.60 to $113.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in Europe. The contract fell 99 cents overnight to settle at $115.01 a barrel.
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