1)INDIA’S moon mission is getting a foreign touch with a 50-member team of scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Adminis- tration(NASA) and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company(EADS) arriving in the country to provide technical support to the moon mission, Chandrayan-I.
2)There is some respite from rapidly rising prices, finally. Annual inflation declined marginally to 12.40% for the week ended August 16,2008, from 12.63% a week ago. It’s not just the change in the price level as compared to a year ago that has come down. The absolute level of the wholesale price index(WPI), too, declined marginally, after rising for 27 weeks, suggesting some moderation in prices. However, economists have cautioned that it may be too early to say that a declining trend has set in.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)PRAMOD Mittal and Vinod Mittal-promoted Ispat Industries has taken steps to start iron ore mining in Brazil. It has floated a separate company – Erebus – to spearhead the Brazil venture. Ispat Industries and group company Global Steel Holdings have picked up 40% and 30% stakes respectively in Erebus. The remaining 30% will be held by a local Brazilian firm.
4)MRF Ltd on Thursday announced that it has become the first domestic company to introduce tyres for helicopters and aircraft targeted particularly at the defence sector. The defence ministry has been importing these tyres so far, said KM Mammen, chairman, MRF. The tyre-maker seeks to garner a sizeable chunk of the Union defence ministry’s expenditure on tyres for helicopters and aircraft.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee was range-bound against the dollar on Thursday and closed marginally lower from the previous close. Most traders were cautious, after having burnt their fingers in the earlier sessions which saw volatile movement. There was genuine buying interest on Thursday, said a forex dealer with a private bank. The rupee opened at 43.68/70 and touched a high of 43.65 before closing at 43.78/79, marginally lower from the previous close of 43.76.
6)LIFE protection has become far more affordable. The cost of life insurance has come down by up to 40% with the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority(Irda) reducing the capital that insurance companies need to sell term policies. For the second time since liberalisation of the insurance industry in 2000, there has been a dramatic reduction in term insurance rates, which has made life protection a great deal cheaper.
7)Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance (Kotak Life Insurance), the life insurance arm of Kotak Mahindra Bank, has announced a reduction in its term plan rates up to 40%. The rate reduction is partly as a result of the reduced solvency margin requirements laid down by Irda.
8)As the derivatives contract for August expired on Thursday, key equity indices continued to remain volatile as selling pressure intensified in the last hour of the trading session. The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) after opening in the positive terrain, slipped in the negative on fears of high inflation and increased crude prices to end at 14,048.34 points posting a loss of 248.45 points or 1.74%. The wider S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange(NSE) closed at 4,214 points down 78.10 points or 1.82%.
9)Great Offshore surged 4.79 per cent to close at RS 480 after the company announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Great Offshore International has taken delivery of a high-end modern anchor handling tug-cum-supply vessel.
10)The Chennai-based retail broking company, Apollo Sindhoori Capital Investments (ASCIL) jumped 9.55 per cent to close at Rs 57.95 after Aditya Birla Nuvo said that its board has approved the acquisition of 56 per cent stake in the company for Rs 198.8 crore.
11)More than 300 members will be eligible to participate in currency futures trading on the NSE on Friday, when the facility gets flagged off by the Union Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, said a top NSE official. In order to encourage active participation in the Currency Derivative segment, the NSE has decided that no transaction charges will be levied on the trades done in this segment on the exchange from August 29 till September 30.
12)Close on the heels of currency futures, exchange-traded interest rate derivatives may soon make their debut. A committee comprising the market and banking regulators is working on the final guidelines, which is expected to be unveiled by the end of January 2009.
13)Three banks – Corporation bank, Union Bank of India and HDFC Bank have received SEBI nod for offering the new payment facility for IPOs under SEBI’s new scheme where investor application money will not be blocked with the IPO issuer till allotment. It also does away with the refund process. These three banks can now be part of the Applications Supported by Blocked Amount(ASBA) process.
14)Delhi-based Great Eastern Energy Corporation(GEEC) is planning a public issue, part of which will be “sponsored”, meaning foreign shareholders will also tender their shares for sale, a first for the Indian markets. GEEC, a coal bed methane exploration and development company promoted by Yogendra Kumar Modi, is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market(AIM). The issue, which is awaiting approval from the Sebi, is unique in that such sponsored issues by Indian companies(like Infosys) have so far been restricted to overseas share sales by Indian companies.
15)IDFC Mutual Fund has launched an open-ended scheme IDFC Strategic Sector(50-50) Equity Fund on Thursday. The fund will invest up to 50 per cent of its assets in a chosen sector that is positioned for high returns, while the balance amount may be invested in companies across market capitalisations and across sectors, a news release from the company said. This scheme may also invest in debt and money market instruments. This fund will be benchmarked against the Nifty. The fund will close for subscription on September 18.
16)SBI Mutual Fund will launch a 90-day fixed maturity plan on Friday, the fund house said in a notice. SBI Debt Fund Series- 90 Days Fund-29 will close for subscription on Monday.
17)Leading paper manufacturer Ballapur Industries Ltd (Bilt) on Thursday reported a 5.13% rise in its net profit at Rs 73.07 crore for the fourth quarter ended June 30 as compared to Rs 69.50 crore during the same period last year. The company’s revenue for the quarter went up by 16.60% at Rs 793.20 crore as against Rs 680.26 crore during the corresponding quarter last year.
18)Gold prices climbed in Europe on Thursday, tracking oil higher and supported by a recovery in the euro against the dollar. Strong physical demand after gold’s recent sharp price fall also helped keep prices over $830 an ounce, although the precious metal is struggling to overcome technical resistance to break much higher. Gold firmed to $832.30/833.30 an ounce at 0953 GMT from $826.05/827.45 an ounce late in New York on Wednesday, having hit an intraday high of $836.40 an ounce.
19)Continuing its bullish trend, turmeric futures in NCDEX on Thursday gained 3.39 per cent to Rs 3,840 a quintal on positive signals from the spot market in Nizamabad. Barley was up 2.38 per cent at Rs 1,200 a quintal on firm prices in the Jaipur spot market coupled with fresh buying at lower levels. Maize jumped 2.64 per cent at Rs 990 a quintal on higher minimum support price proposed by the Government. Sugar rose 0.68 per cent at Rs 1,766 a quintal on increased buying interest.
20)Gold and silver prices continued to rule firm for the second straight day on the bullion market on Thursday on persistent demand from stockists in view of fast approaching festival season coupled with positive global advices. Standard gold(99.5 purity) firmed up by Rs 40 per ten gm to Rs 11,935 from Rs 11,895 and pure gold(99.9 purity) also looked up by Rs 30 per ten gm to Rs 12,000 from Rs 11,970. Silver ready (.999 fineness) was also quoted higher at Rs 21,280 against Rs 21,160 a rise of Rs 120 per kg.
21)REAL ESTATE firm Shriram Properties, part of the Chennai-based Shriram Group, proposes to float a separate division to develop malls for which it plans to spend over Rs 3,500 crore over 4 years. The company has identified Kolkata, Chennai and Visakhapatnam – where it has ongoing mixed-use projects – for mall development in the first phase.
22)Indian software firm, Tech Mahindra on Thursday said that it would acquire a stake of 17.28% in European systems integrator, Servista for an undisclosed amount and would be the latter’s delivery arm for a period of three years. Private equity firms HarbourVest Partners and Arts Alliance hold major stake of the privately held company, Servista.
23)Wipro Ltd, India’s third-largest computer-services provider, may buy a German competitor that advises companies running business software made by SAP AG. The company will have sales of about $100 million to $200 million, Azim Premji, chairman, Wipro said.
24)Bracing up to counter the US slowdown effect, Cognizant Technology Solutions is further expanding its presence in India. The company, which is targeting around 10-15 per cent of its revenue to come from outside the US and European markets in the next two to three years, will invest approximately $46 million(Rs 201 crore) to further expand its infrastructure in Kolkata.
25)OIL rose towards $120 a barrel on Thursday, its fourth day of gains, boosted by the threat of damage to US oil installations from tropical storm Gustav. The storm is forecast to regain hurricane status as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico, home to a quarter of US crude oil pro- duction and 15% of its natural gas output.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
KARVY Global Services Ltd www.KARVYGlobal.com
KARVY Realty (India) Limited www.karvyrealty.com
Economic Times www.economictimes.com
The Financial Express www.financialexpress.com
Business Line www.businessline.in
Business Standard www.business-standard.com
The Times of India www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express www.newindpress.com