1)With less than 24 hours to go before the Nuclear Suppliers Group formally sits down to discuss granting India a waiver from its stringent export guidelines, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon held a series of meetings in Vienna on Wednesday with diplomats from member countries to press for the speedy adoption of the draft proposal without any changes.
2)IT IS celebration for special economic zones(SEZs). The government has decided to extend service tax exemption to developers and SEZ units for authorised services rendered not just within the zones but outside as well. Right now, the finance ministry provides tax exemptions only for services availed inside SEZs.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)Reliance Petroleum, a subsidiary of India’s largest private company Reliance Industries(RIL), will begin producing petroleum products from its new refinery in Gujarat early next month, sources said. The Mukesh Ambani-owned company has started testing in the world’s sixth largest refinery, they said.
4)INDIA’S fast growing automotive component industry is venturing into new areas like aviation and defence to de-risk their core business of supplying to vehicle makers. Component companies are trying to insulate themselves from the cyclical nature of the automobile industry and are tapping the high value aviation business and looking at the hugely unexplored defence sector. The Rs 2,500-crore JBM Group, which is a major supplier to Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Tata Motors, is gradually moving to aviation and has begun supplies to the white goods sector to keep its bottomline intact.
5)Bosch Ltd(Erstwhile MICO), Rs 4,279 crore Indian subsidiary of a global leader in automotive and industrial technology Robert Bosch Gmbh, will invest Rs 450 crore for capacity enhancement and introduction of new technology at its Nashik facility by the calendar year 2010.
MONEY & BANKING
6)The rupee depreciated further against the greenback on dollar demand from oil companies. The domestic currency was volatile during the day. It opened at 43.70/72 and touched an intra-day low of 43.86 and ended the day at 43.70/72, against the previous close at 43.59/60.
7)STATE Bank of Mysore(SBM) has announced a special 300-day fixed deposit paying an attractive 10.5% per annuam. Senior citizens would be eligible to get a 0.5% higher rate of interest. Net of tax, SBM’s 300-day deposit would bring in a depositor 6.93% as interest. SBM’s latest deposit product pegs it a notch higher in payouts than its parent SBI and its other associate peers.
8)State Bank of India is all set to enter into general insurance through foreign collaboration and is expected to finalise the terms for joint venture with Insurance Australia Group(IAG) by next month. An agreement was signed in May this year to form a new insurance company.
9)EQUITY benchmark snapped a five-session losing streak on Wednesday, shrugging off global concerns like rising inflation in the US and signs of renewed strength in crude oil prices. Yet, market watchers are not hopeful of a sustainable rally anytime soon as the engines of the economy appear to be under strain. The 30-share Sensex rose 134 points to close at 14,678, up 0.9% over the previous close. The broader S&P CNX Nifty closed at 4,415, up 1% its previous close. But the real action was in mid-cap stocks, with the representative BSE Midcap gaining over 1% to close at 5,826. “There is a lot of promoter buying in mid-cap stocks, which indicates that the companies see value at these levels,” Religare Securities president Amitabh Chakraborty. This is the time to invest in selective stocks instead of taking a view on the sector as a whole, he added.
10)ABG Shipyard(ABG) surged 6.07 per cent to close at Rs 395.20 on reports that the company is planning to set up a greenfield shipyard in southern Gujarat at an investment of Rs 1,200 crore. The new shipyard will be set up over 300 acres and will be larger than the company’s two existing shipyards at Surat and Dahej in Gujarat.
11)Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers (RCF) rose 5.06 per cent to Rs 68.34 as it was a beneficiary of the fertiliser ministry’s decision to set aside Rs 22,000 crore in cash as a fertiliser subsidy. The government will pay a total subsidy of Rs 54,000 crore in the next three months, thereby reducing cash-flow problems for the fertiliser companies.
12)The National Stock Exchange(NSE) has announced the launch of trading in currency futures from 29 August. For the first time in India, it would be now possible to trade on the currency futures on a stock exchange platform.
13)SHARES of top brokerages firms rose on Wednesday as the introduction of currency futures from August 29 is expected to open up a new source of revenue for these entities. Market participants said most of the top brokers are expected to apply for this new business.
14)The Initial public Offering (IPO) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is expected to take precedence over the capital raising proposals of the public sector general insurance companies. Sources said that the Government was not opposed to the capital raising plans of the four general insurance companies – New India Assurance Company Ltd, National Insurance Company Ltd, Oriental Insurance Company Ltd and United India Insurance Company Ltd. The plans are now awaiting amendments to the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act of 1972 and the Insurance Act of 1938. But clearance for the capital raising efforts is likely only after completion of the Rs 42,000-crore BSNL’s mega IPO.
15)Gold steadied in Europe on Wednesday as strong demand for physical stocks of the precious metal supported prices after a recent dip. The metal climbed to a one-week high in Asia, pulling other precious metals in its wake, but softened a touch in Europe as the dollar firmed against the euro and oil prices slipped from highs. Gold was at $810.10/ 811.10 an ounce at 0908 GMT against $810.70/811.90 an ounce late in New York on Tuesday, well above the nine month low it touched on Fri- day.
16)The ban on trading in certain commodity futures may be revoked by October if the government accepts the recommendations of the Forward Markets Commission. Last year, the government had delisted tur, urad, wheat and rice. The regulator suspended trading in rubber, potato, chana and soya oil in May this year.
17)Pepper futures market on Wednesday shot up on bullish reports. August contract moved up by Rs 243 a quintal to Rs 14,300, but Rs 200 below the spot price for MG 1. September and October also moved up by Rs 184 and Rs 196 a quintal respectively. Other contracts went up by Rs 158 to Rs 210 a quintal.
18)Gold prices on Wednesday surged by Rs 360 to close at Rs 11,920 per 10 gram on the bullion market on heavy buying by stockists to meet the current marriage season demand. Silver shot up by Rs 390 to Rs 20,890 per kg. Retail customers, who were on the sidelines on expectations that the market might go further down, indulged in buying as demand for the precious metals is rising due to current marriage season, marketmen said.
19)Two real estate firms – Ansal API and Raheja Developers Ltd – on Wednesday announced plans to develop specialised SEZs, with investments totalling Rs 8,100 crore.While Ansal is pumping Rs 3,600 crore into developing four IT/ITeS SEZs and two IT parks to streng- then its presence in the office space, Raheja is investing Rs 4,500 crore to create an engineering SEZ spread over 255 acre. It will be the first engineering SEZ in northern India.
20)Bangalore-based real estate major Salarpuria Group along with Sattva Group announced the launch of Rs 1,000 crore mega residential project in Bangalore. The project, christened ‘Greenage’, will comprise 10 towers with 1,672 flats covering 21 acres of land in the prime location near Electronic city, the IT corridor of Bangalore.
21)INFOSYS Technologies has not seen any price cuts in its IT contracts and there have been no demands from clients for price reductions, CEO S Gopalakrishnan said on Wednesday. This view was ex- pressed by the head of the country’s second largest software exporter even as Indian IT firms face pressure securing contracts as customers delay projects in a tough economic environment.
22)Bangalore based Suksh Technologies Pvt Ltd announced that it’s venturing into the online realty space. The company plans to launch their first B2C portal in the last quarter of 2008. Earlier this year Suksh Technology received an angel funding round close to $2 million by a HNI from the Kolkata Realty space. The company’s major focus will be on various technology and web solutions primarily focusing on Indian PC and Internet users, starting with realty vertical.
23)Oil prices edged up to above $115 a barrel on Wednesday, as a lower dollar rekindled buying in oil and other commodities. US crude rose half a per cent or 56 cents to $115.09 a barrel, while London Brent crude climbed 45 cents to $113.70 a barrel at 0323 GMT.
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