1)President Pervez Musharraf on Monday rang down the curtain on his turbulent eight-year rule over Pakistan, announcing his re- signation ahead of a threatened impeachment by the ruling coalition.
2)Amidst projections of lower economic growth, CMIE on Monday said the country will grow at a robust rate of over 9% in the current fiscal. “We had predicted a growth of 9.1% in our first forecast in February 2008, which was revised up to 9.5% in June 2008. We now believe that the country’s economy will grow by 9.4% in FY 09,” the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.
3)The growth in Industrial production in 2008-09 would jump to 9.6% as against 8.3% last year, a leading economic think-tank has said in its latest report. “The industrial production in the current financial year would grow by 9.6%, higher than the 8.3% recorded during 2007- 08,” the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy(CMIE) said in its re- port.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
4)Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Ltd is inching closer to becoming the largest tractor manufacturer globally, overtaking John Deere of the US. Talking to the media on the occasion of announcing a joint ven- ture(JV) with China’s third largest tractor maker Jiangsu Yueda Yan- cheng Tractor Manufacturing Company Ltd, Anand Mahindra vice chairman and managing director, Mahindra Group, said, “For a long time, the Mahindra Group has been aspiring to become number one in the world. And with this, we will be able to achieve that in a much better fashion.”
5)PVP Ventures Ltd is set for major investments in the power sector with the proposed merger of Malaxmi Energy Ventures with itself. According to information provided by the company to the stock exchange, the PVP Ventures’ board will consider and accept the valuation report for the merger by PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd on Wednesday.
MONEY & BANKING
6)The rupee lost nearly 60 paise against the greenback on Monday following heavy dollar-buying by oil companies and other corporates. Though volumes were low, spot prices saw one way downward movement that led the rupee to the level seen more than a year ago. The rupee which opened lower at 43.28 traded at an average level of 43.30 for the major part of the day. Towards the end of the trading session,heavy dollar- buying pulled it down to close at 43.59/60, against Thursday’s close of 43.01. The rupee is 1.33 per cent lower than Thursday’s close.
7)The 80th AGM of South Indian Bank has approved the recommendations of the board of directors to effect bonus issue, employee stock option scheme and 30 per cent dividend to the existing share- holders.
8)The private sector life insurer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, has launched a new product, ‘Fortune Plus’, which comes with a unique investment ‘Asset Allocation Fund’, where one doesn’t have to worry about switching funds in case the market condition changes. Rather, the company’s fund managers will monitor the mix of assets in the fund and will manage the mix in such situations to maximise one’s returns. Also the product promises more than 100% allocation on completion of 10 years of association with the company.
9)MAJOR indices drifted lower on Monday as bears were emboldened by the sluggish trend in world markets and a host of domestic concerns. The rupee continued to weaken against the dollar, inflation is at a 16-year high and crude oil prices are showing renewed signs of vigour. “The downside in the market on Monday was not surprising,” says Amar Ambani, head of research at India Infoline, who feels that the market may have peaked out for the time being. “We expect the market to re- main rangebound between 14,000 and 15,800 levels; crude, commodity prices and the trend in world markets will be the deciding factors,”he added. Amid weak market breadth, the 30-share Sensex slipped 79 points to close at 14,645. The broader 50-share Nifty shed 37 points to close at 4393.
10)ROLTA India was the biggest gainer in the Group-A pack on the BSE, rising 5.10 per cent to close at Rs 325.80. The company and its 50:50 joint venture partner Stone & Webster, expect to bag engineering and design orders worth $2 billion(Rs 8,500 crore) for nuclear energy in seven years after India signs the civil nuclear accord with the US.
11)Transport Corporation of India rose 3.36 per cent to Rs 83.00 on reports that the company was planning to venture into real estate and have a pan-India presence in the sector. The company has 200 properties across the country, which can be utilised for residential and commercial projects.
12)IN a falling market, broking firms appear to be taking a higher exposure in the Futures and Options(F&O) Segment as proprietary traders. An analysis of NSE data for the past one year indicates that proprietary trade(done on broker’s account) as a percentage of total turnover in the F&O segment has gone up to 31.69 per cent in July 2008 as compared to around 23 per cent in December and January, a time when the equity market touched an all-time high.
13)In a move that will streamline the process of corpoate bond issues, the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) has put out a draft listing agreement for the issuance of debt securities, prepared in consultation with the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) and National Stock Exchange(NSE).
14)WITH concerns over the credit quality of Indian companies on the rise, most domestic mutual funds are taking no chances and are trimming exposure to company debt papers with lower investment ratings. In the last six months, debt fund managers, handling liquid, liquid plus schemes and fixed maturity plans(FMPs), have cut holdings in such corporate papers, with credit ratings at BBB and below, in favour of the ones with higher ratings.
15)Despite a moderation in industrial growth in the last four months, equity fund managers are optimistic about all the sectors involved in infrastructure development. Though there are concerns over timely execution of projects and cost pressures due to surging commodity prices, rising inflation and interest rates, they believe the sector is poised to make a comeback in six months. By then, fund managers feels, inflation and interest rates will ease.
16)JP Morgan Asset Management India Private Ltd plans to launch two feeder funds – JP Morgan Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa Equity Off-shore Fund and J P Morgan JF Greater China Equity Off- Shore Fund – for which the fund house has filed the draft offer documents with Sebi on Monday.
17)Aluminium prices today firmed up on the domestic futures market on fresh buying by traders, sparked by higher overseas advices. Aluminium for most active-month August contract was up by 2.20 per cent at Rs 120.80 a kg, in a trading volume of 23 lots on the MCX at 1245 hrs, while far-month September contract rose by 2.43 per cent at Rs 122 a kg.
18)Jeera prices were up by nearly one per cent in the domestic futures market due to lower arrivals in the physical markets from growing regions. Jeera for the most-active September contract shot up to Rs 11,875 a quintal after rising to Rs 11,981 a quintal on the NCDEX counter at 1415 hrs.
19)Riding on the back of strong global cues, gold prices on Monday surged by Rs 280 to Rs 11,580 per 10 gram in the bullion market in New Delhi, partly recovering from the hefty fall of Rs 550 in the previous day’s trading. However, silver met with heavy selling pressure and prices plummeted by over Rs 1,300 per kg.
20)In a significant move towards tapping funds for cash-starved Indian realty market, Saffron Asset Advisors, a Mumbai-based realty fund manager, is planning to raise a $200-million (nearly Rs 840 crore), Shariah-compliant and India-specific property fund from international markets in the next 6 to 9 months.
21)CONSUMERS will soon be able to make STD calls as cheap as 10-40 paise and possibly make free local calls from their computers. Telecom regulator Trai on Monday removed all restrictions on internet telephony in the country, allowing internet service providers(ISPs) to terminate Internet telephony calls on phones, including mobile phones. Till now, a call from a computer could legally be made only to another computer within the country and not to a phone.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
22)The telecom regulator’s proposal to allow unrestricted Internet telephony comes as a huge relief for Internet service providers and the business process outsourcing industries. Both these segments have been demanding for this for more than four years.
23)CITIGROUP’S attempt to sell its captive BPO arm Citigroup Global Services (CGSL) is gathering momentum. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is close to acquiring CGSL (formerly e-Serve) racing past IBM, which was leading the race till recently. The deal size is expected to be pegged at $500-$550 million. An announcement to this effect is likely to be within three weeks.
24)The market capitalisation of Indian technology majors TCS, Infosys and Wipro is significantly higher than that of EDS and almost on par with Accenture even though the latter are much larger in terms of revenues.
25)Chennai-headquartered Take Solutions and Hyderabad-based Four Soft are expected to take a final decision on their proposed merger in next fortnight after a delay of four months. The merger plans have been delayed because of differences over valuations and the share-swap ratio.
26)Smart card and barcode solutions provider Bartonics India Ltd has been awarded a pan-India Rs 400-crore smart card project under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. This project seeks to cover those accessing healthcare facilities at the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s hospital network.
27)WORLD oil prices rose on Monday as traders fretted about the potentail impact of Tropical Storm Fay on energy facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery, added 35 cents to $114.12 a barrel after bouncing above $115 in electronic deals.
28)THE world’s biggest miner BHP Billiton on Monday announced record annual net profits of $15.39 billion, driven by soaring commodity prices and strong Asian demand. The Anglo-Australian resources giant, which was particularly boosted by higher earnings from petroleum and iron ore, beat last year’s net profit of $13.42 billion by 14.7% to set an Australian corporate record.
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