22 August 2008

GENERAL

1)The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the policy guidelines for the commercial rollout of Internet Protocol TV services, a new cable TV delivery system that would benefit both telecom players and consumers.

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)COSTLIER food items such as fruits, vegetables and milk pushed the wholesale price-based annual inflation to 12.63% for the week ended August 9 from 12.44% in the previous week. The annual rate of inflation stood at 4.24% in the corresponding week year ago.

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CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)Mumbai-based drug major Lupin Ltd has acquired over 30 per cent stake in Generic Health Pty Ltd of Australia, one of the top ten generics or off-patent drug suppliers in the Australian market, for an undisclosed amount. The Melbourne-headquartered Generic Health markets generic prescription and over-the-counter(OTC) products in the Australian market, in a partnership model with established global generic drug markers.

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MONEY & BANKING
 
4)On Thursday, the rupee strengthened, snapping a six session slide, as it got a boost from some broad weakness in the dollar, but a 3% drop in the local stock market and higher global oil prices contained gains. It ended at 43.51/52 per dollar, 0.4% stronger than Wednes- day’s close of 43.70/72. It had hit a 17-month low of 43.87 on Wednesday.

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5)For the first time in the Indian financial services sector, a voice-based banking facility has been introduced by Yes Bank in partnership with Cisco Systems. The new facility will enable YES Bank customers to transact round-the-clock banking through their mobile handsets from anywhere in the world, by merely saying ‘voice commands’ stead of keying-in various menu options, when their calls gets connected to the bank’s contact centre based in Gurgaon. The customers will have to key in their customer identification numbers on their mobile hand- sets while availing this facility.

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MARKETS

6)Even as Indian markets showed signs of consolidating, news of rising crude and spiking inflation continued to weigh on the bourses on Thursday. Fears of another monetary measure by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to tame inflation overshadowed the overnight gains by US markets. Key equity indices continued to slide after opening in the negative for the entire trading session. The 30-share Sensex of the BSE ended the day with a loss of 434.50 points or 2.96% to settle at 14,243.73 points while the broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange(NSE) closed the day at 4,283.85 points posting a loss of 131.90 points or 2.99%.

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7)EIH, the flagship company of the Oberoi group, led the group A gainers on the BSE, rising 7.26 per cent to close at Rs 139.60. The share price spurted after 5.80 lakh shares(0.14 per cent of the company’s equity) changed hands in a block deal at Rs 140. Recently, the company announced plans to invest nearly Rs 650 crore to set up hotels in Bangalore and Goa.

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8)Hindustan Zinc, India’s largest zinc producer by volumes, gained 1.91 per cent to close at Rs 566.70 after the company increased the price of zinc by Rs 2,900 a tonne at Rs 84,000, while leaving the lead prices unchanged at Rs 90,400 a tonne.

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9)Mock trade in currency futures, which started on Thursday on the National Stock Exchange, will continue for five days until August 26, including Saturday, the exchange said. “The exchange is also conducting a mock trading session on Saturday. All the trading members of the existing futures and options segment will be able to participate in the mock trading session,” a circular said.

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IPO

10)Registrar and share transfer agents(RTAs) across the country are getting ready to usher in the Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA), an alternative mode of payment for initial public offers(IPOs). The new mechanism, proposed by the Sebi, will shorten the time taken to complete a public issue. Karvy Computershare(KCL) and Intime Spectrum, two of India’s biggest RTAs, have put in place systems that give self-certified syndicate banks(SCSBs) a special access to the RTAs’ network through the website. KCL will give a user identity and a pass- word to each of the banks participating in the ASBA process.

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11)The state-run NHPC’s initial public offering of 167 crore equity shares, the largest in Indian history, is likely to open on October 13. According to the draft schedule drawn for the IPO that may raise around Rs 1,670 crore, the company would list on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange on November 6. The IPO would be closed on October 17.

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MUTUAL FUNDS

12)ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company has launched the ICICI Prudential S.M.A.R.T(Structured Methodology Aiming at Returns over Tenure) Fund. The new fund offer opened on August 18 and will close on September 19. The close ended fund will aim at providing the investors the opportunity to earn equity market-linked returns.

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COMMODITIES

13)After grabbing a lead position in the futures trading of metals, bullions and energy, commodity exchange MCX is eyeing a major chunk of the agri market with the launch of three more farm products within a month. “We will be launching futures trading in red arecanut, garlic and jute sacking within a month. We have already got permission from the regulator Forward Markets Commission,” Multi-Commodity Exchange of India senior VP Sanjit Prasad said.

ET

14)Gold prices were almost flat at Rs 11,910 per 10 gram, lower by Rs 10 on the bullion market on Thursday on restricted purchases by retail investors. However, silver fell down by Rs 640 to Rs 20,650 per kg on reduced offtake by industrial units and retail customers.

DC

REAL ESTATE

15)Property companies are expediting projects, or cutting down on the time required to complete a project, by nearly 20 per cent in an attempt to lower overhead charges and realise value quickly to overcome a liquidity crunch. Housing project that used to take 36 months earlier are now being finished in around 30 months by boosting efficiencies and using modern technology. Commercial project developers are going one step ahead and completing them in 17 months instead of 24 months earlier.

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16)German real estate fund MPC Synergy has picked up equity in various special purpose vehicles (SPVs) floated by real estate developer Phoenix Mills for Rs 1,300 crore. The deal is the second largest foreign direct investment(FDI) in the Indian real estate market. The transaction is taking place at a time when many real estate and private equity funds have either put their plans on hold in the Indian market or are trying to sell the investments. MPC Synergy is a joint venture between German-based MPC Capital and Synergy Asset Management based in Switzerland.

ET

17)PBEL India, a consortium of property developers, is planning to invest around Rs 1,500 crore in Chennai to develop residential and commercial space. The project will take off in December. The consortium, a joint venture between Israel-based Property and Building Corporation(PBC), Electra Real Estate(ERE) and Indian developer INCOR, has also launched the first phase of its flagship project – PBEL City – in Hyderabad. The entire project will require an investment of Rs 1,000 crore and will be ready in three years.

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18)A 995-sq ft apartment in Bangalore for Rs 19 lakh! This is the price at which Golden Gate Properties is offering two-bedroom apartments at ‘The Commune’, its affordable residential project in Bangalore. “The project aims to fill the need-gap that has risen in the market owing to spiralling real estate costs,” said Mr K Pratap, Managing Director, Golden Gate Properties.

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19)Capital Land Assets(CLA), a group company of the Rs 5,000-crore Alliance Group, announced the launch of twin residential projects in Mysore on Thursday. The projects, Palm Springs and Palm Country, would be high-end villa and plotted ones respectively spread over 45 acres. The company, which has invested about Rs 55 crore so far, expects revenues of Rs 200 crore from these projects.

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BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

20)THE ripples of the subprime fiasco are being felt in many ways. The business process outsourcing arm of Countrywide Financial in India, CFC India Services, is merging with Bank of America’s non-banking subsidiary, Continuum Solutions, as part of BankAm’s $2.5-billion global takeover of the loss-making Countrywide.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)Hyderabad-based technology solutions provider Infotech Enterprises Limited (IEL) has launched its engineering services in Japan. The company is also exploring the possibilities of launching its other services in the Japanese market.

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INTERNATIONAL

22)Oil prices jumped back above $120 on Thursday as traders tracked geopolitical tensions between the US and Russia, a weak dollar and a large drop in US motor fuel reserves. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, hit a two-week high of $120.89 per barrel.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.

Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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

21 August 2008

GENERAL

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.

Hindu

ECONOMY

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.

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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.

BS

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.

ET

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.

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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.

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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.

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INSURANCE
 
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.

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MARKETS
 
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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IPO

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.

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COMMODITIES

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

DC

REAL ESTATE

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.

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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.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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.

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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.

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INTERNATIONAL
 
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.

BS
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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

20 August 2008

GENERAL

1)With both India and Japan keen to build the strategic focus in their “global partnership”, the two nations are steadily stepping up their military ties, especially in the maritime domain. Even as Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta left for Japan on Tuesday to discuss ways to bolster bilateral defence relationship, three Japanese warships are headed for India’s western coast for a visit to Mumbai port as well as “passex” exercise.

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CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) may soon be allowed to sell diesel to the state-owned oil marketing companies. Faced with unprecedented growth in demand for diesel, the government is mulling easing norms to allow RILs export oriented refineries to the feed domestic market.

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3)THE race to acquire mineral assets in foreign locations is still on. Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power(JSPL), an OP Jindal Group company, is close to acquiring a state-owned coal mine in Mozambique (Africa) for Rs 200-250 crore. The coal mine is learnt to have re- serves of roughly 150-200 million tonnes per annum. If the deal goes through, the company may look at setting up a power plant at the same location. Mozambique is primarily a destination for thermal coal assets.

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4)VIJAY Kirloskar is set to unveil a German acquisition for his flagship Kirloskar Electric Co. Sources said KEC has clinched the bid for Lloyd Dynamowerke GmBH & Co(LDW) which manufacturers motors, machines and drive systems for Siemens, Alstom, ThyssenKrupp and  Gottwald in a deal estimated at around e50 million($70 million).

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5)Larsen & Toubro Ltd is close to buying equity stake in coal mines in Australia and Indonesia. “We are in the process of completing the due diligence,” says Mr K Venkataramanan, member of the Board and President – Engineering & Construction.

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6)The joint venture between the Star Group, the leader in the broadcast space in India and Balaji Telefilms, which is the custodian of some of longest running shows on Indian television, has finally come to an end. In an official communique on Tuesday, Balaji Telefilms informed the Bombay Stock Exchange, “The agreements entered into between Balaji and Star in April 2007 relating to the regional languages joint venture will also be termined.”

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MONEY & BANKING

7)The Reserve Bank of India would undertake a “wholesome review regarding the road map” to liberalise norms for foreign banks in the country, its Deputy Governor, Mr V Leeladhar, has said today. He said the first phase of the roadmap for entry of foreign banks was coming to an end in March next year.

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8)Bank of India has increased the interest rate on demestic rupee term deposits for various maturity buckets, between 15 and 50 basis points. The revised rates will be applicable only on fresh deposits and on renewal of maturing deposits with effect from August 20, the  bank said in a press release issued today.

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MARKETS
 
9)MARKET drifted lower on Tuesday due to lack of triggers, either locally or globally. Activity was subdued as investors remain wary of a turmoil in world markets, led by further losses arising out of US subprime loan segment. “We don’t see any major upside coming from  these levels though the index on Tuesday recovered almost 50% of its initial losses in the last one hour,” said Anagram Broking head of re- search VK Sharma. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended the day at  14,543, down 101 points over the previous close. The broader S&P CNX Nifty ended at 4368, a loss of 25 points over the previous  close.

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10)Berger Paints India, the second largest producer of paint in the country, rose 4.49 per cent to close at Rs 41.85 after it acquired Bolix from Advent International, a global private equity group. The company made the announcement after market hours on August 18 (Monday). Bolix is a leading provider of external insulation finishing systems(in the business-to-business segment) in Poland, with an annual turnover of $45.5 million in 2007.

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11)Telecom integration provider, Spanco Telesystems & Solutions gained 2.88 per cent to close at Rs 98.15, after the company announced on  Monday evening that it had bagged a contract worth Rs 70 crore from the government of Orissa for rolling out a statewide area network to connect over 300 districts/talukas.

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12)The BSE-listed Adhunik Metaliks Ltd has plans to raise Rs 250-300 crore by listing its subsidiary Orissa Manganese and Minerals Ltd (OMM) by end of the year. Mr Manoj Kr. Agarwal, Manging Director, Adhunik Metaliks Ltd, said, “We have finalised two merchant bankers and expect to complete the draft red herring prospectus in 60 days.”

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MUTUAL FUNDS

13)All equity and debt mutual funds posted positive returns in July except gilt funds amid a bounce-back in the market, credit rating agency Crisil says. There were six diversified equity-oriented schemes which gave over 10 per cent returns during the month ended July 31. Of these, the top four schemes belonged to LIC Mutual Fund.

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14)Mutual funds seem to be playing safe with their cash as they continue to sit on piles of it even as the equity markets exhibited a marked improvement in July on the back of softening crude prices. The bench- mark Sensex rose by more than six per cent in July. At the end of July, mutual funds were sitting on Rs 22,131 crore of cash that is  waiting to be deployed in the market.

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COMMODITIES

15)Guar seed futures prices on the National Commodity & Derivative Exchange Ltd(NCDEX) on Tuesday hit lower circuits on reports of good crop propects in Rajasthan and Haryana. Guar seed September 2008 contracts breached Rs 1,700-level mainly on short coverings amid some offerings. The September 2008 contracts declined by 3% settled at Rs 1,681 per quintal on reports of clear weather across Rajasthan and Haryana that will now benefit the standing crop. Initial estimates suggests that Guarseed output may exceed 100 crore bags in this year. “Guarseed prices are likely to trade sideways with positive bias on continued short covering, however, some fresh selling may emerge at higher levels due to higher crop estimates,” an analyst with Karvy Comtrade said. The September contract had fallen more than 19% after hitting a new high of Rs 2,172 per quintal on July 22.

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16)Pepper futures market dropped on Tuesday on bearish activities. August contract dropped by Rs 156 to Rs 14,010, below the spot prices for MG 1. The fall in other contracts was from Rs 123 to Rs 201 a quintal. Bulls were liquidating or switching over to next positions for a premium. There was selling pressure for August delivery. Those holding short positions were forcing delivery.

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17)Gold prices on Tuesday lost Rs 20 at Rs 11,560 per 10 gram in the bullion market in New Delhi on selling by stockists amidst weak global trends. Selling pressure picked up after the metal fell below $800 an ounce in Asia amid concerns that dollar may gain further eroding the appeal of gold.

DC

REAL ESTATE

18)The Mumbai-based Matheran Realty project could well be termed as a demand-supply match. The company has sold over 45,000 applications for booking of 3,000 units in a week and over 17,000 people have sought allotment of the flats. The units of 300-500 sq ft, at Rs 999 a sq ft in Karjat, are priced in the range of Rs 3-5 lakh each. Karjat is about 100 km away from Mumbai and over one hour and  forty-five minutes travel by train from the metropolis.

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COMMUNICATIONS

19)YOU’LL soon get to choose the cheapest STD and ISD tariffs, irrespective of your service provider. After recommending that internet telephony be opened up, telecom regulator Trai this week will mandate that telcos offer their subscribers the freedom to choose a carrier of their choice for making long distance calls, whether domestic(STD) or international (ISD). This will launch a new era of competition in long distance calls. Provided the government acts promptly to amend licence conditions to enable telcos to comply with the Trai directive.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

20)Software vendors in India are increasingly focusing on markets in EMEA(Europe, the middle-east and Asia) to counter impact of US slow- down on their revenues. US-based clients currently contribute around 60% of Indian IT majors’ revenue. Infosys recently said that it will cut dependency on the US market to 40% of its total revenue, while boosting revenues from Europe and other countries.

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21)ITC Infotech, the wholly-owned IT services subsidiary of FMCG giant ITC, has acquired US-based firm Pyxis Solutions for an enter- prise value of $25 million in an all-cash deal. This is the first acquisition by ITC Infotech and brings in around 100 people with  expertise in the area of quality assurance and testing services.

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22)Infotech Enterprises Ltd(IEL), a global technology solutions provider with US Geospatial Headquarters in Sterling VA, announced that it has signed a contract with IHS Inc. This contract marks Infotech’s first venture into the oil and gas industry. The contract is for an initial period of three years.

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INTERNATIONAL

23)OIL prices briefly dropped below $112 a barrel on Tuesday, extending the previous session’s decline as tropical storm Fay avoided oil-producing infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. By midday in Europe,light, sweet crude for September delivery was down 54 cents at $112.33 after falling as low as $111.78 barrel earlier in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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24)LEHMAN Brothers Holdings may post a third-quarter loss and suffer about $4 billion in write downs, according to an analyst at JP Morgan Securities, who also said a sale of the company’s Neuberger Berman business was unlikely. It will be another difficult quarter for Lehman, analyst Kenneth Worthington said. Lehman continues to have significant exposure to mortgages and asset-backed securities, totaling $61 billion, he noted.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.

Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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

19 August 2008

GENERAL

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.

Hindu

ECONOMY

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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INSURANCE

 
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.

FE

MARKETS

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.

ET

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.

BS

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.

BS

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.

BL

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).

BS
 
MUTUAL FUNDS

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.

ET

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.

BS

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.

BL
 
COMMODITIES
 
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.

BS

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.

BS

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.

DC

REAL ESTATE

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.

BS

COMMUNICATIONS

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.

ET

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.

BL

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.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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.

BL

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.

BS

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.

BL
 
INTERNATIONAL
 
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.

ET

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.

ET

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.

Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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

18 August 2008

GENERAL

1)In consonance with India’s ‘Look East’ policy, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major left for Malaysia on Saturday night to discuss bilateral defence cooperation, which recently received a big boost with IAF beginning to train Malaysian pilots to fly Russian-origin Sukhoi fighters.

TOI

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)ENGINEERING and construction major, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has set a goal of achieving a 25% revenue from its international business over the next few years from the present 16% in FY08, a top company official said. The company’s focus areas would contitute the Middle- East and China in view of the booming infrastructure market there.

ET

3)AUTO-Component maker Minda Industries(MIL) is bidding for Vimercati SpA, an Italian full-service switch products supplier, which supplies automotive switches to automobile majors like BMW, General Motors and Fiat in the European market. The transaction is being valued at around $50-55 million, sources said.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

4)Bank of Maharashtra has realigned its interest rates on domestic term deposits to suit the present interest rate environment. The  revised interest rates are applicable from August 18. Depositors will now get interest at 10 per cent per annum on deposits for a  year.

BL

5)Corporation Bank has launched a new term deposit for a period of 330 days. A press release said on Saturday that the bank has launched a new term deposit under ‘New Corp Gain’ scheme for a fixed period of 330 days with an interest rate of 10 per cent per annum (senior citizens 10.50 per cent).
 
BL

INSURANCE
 
6)VALUATION of insurance companies is back on the regulator’s radar. The insurance regulator Irda is on course to develop commonly-accepted benchmarks and disclosures to value insurance companies as this would be crucial when Indian partners dilute their shareholding from 74% to 26%. The present regulation requires Indian promoters with a majority shareholding to dilute their stakes through an initial public offering (IPO) at the end of the tenth year of operations.

ET

MARKETS

7)INVESTORS are likely to keep fresh purchases to the minimum and  book profits at every opportunity this week, as sentiment remains fra- gile on indications of further weakness in India’s economy. With in- flation rising to a 16-year high and expected to move up further, in- vestors fear the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may soon announce more measures to suck out more money from the banking system, which may push up interest rates. As a result, rate-sensitive sectors such as banks and real estate may remain under pressure on bourses this week too.

ET

8)The National Stock Exchange(NSE) will start holding mock trading in currency futures from later this week. The exchange was given an in-principal approval by the market regulator Sebi to set up a separate segment for currency futures on August 12. The NSE would hold mock trading for about a week.

ET

9)With crude oil prices softening, global investors are again gradually turning their attention towards emerging economies, including India, the only market among the three other Bric nations, to give  positive returns so far this month. According to an analysis of  MSCI Barra indices, a measure of returns from various stock markets across the world of foreign investors, Indian stocks are the only ones to give positive returns among the four Bric countries till August 15.

BS

MUTUAL FUNDS
 
10)A volatile equity market has compelled mutual funds to file applications with Sebi to introduce emerging market funds. Kotak MF and Templeton India plan to introduce Kotak Emerging Economies Fund and Templeton India Emerging Markets Fund. The fund houses can invest more than 65% of the corpus in the emerging markets to provide a better return to the investors.

FE

COMMODITIES
 
11)All the major base metals, energy and bullion futures on the national bourses continued to rule weak on the week ended on Thursday, as futures and spot markets were closed on Friday on account of In- dependence Day. In the overseas markets, gold plunged below $800  an ounce and quoted at $782.27, while silver dropped nearly 11% to  trade at $12.90 an ounce over the last week level of $15.41, prompting more investors to unwind their positions against the dollar, while prices on the Indian bourse remained down by 3% and copper declined as the dollar’s rebound reduced the appeal of commodities after a  six-year boom.

FE

12)Nickel futures prices may continue to rule weak over the next few days mainly on a higher inventory level and poor demand from stainless steel mills. MCX August 2008 contracts were down by 26% to  trade at Rs 789.30 per kg on Thursday over the past two months.

FE

13)Demand for pepper in the world market is expected to pick up from next month once the buyers come back from the summer holidays. Besides, the grinding industry will also start buying for the winter demand and the festival season is already around the corner. Hence the  domestic demand in the coming days is set to increase.

BL

14)IN LINE with the sharp fall in price in global markets, gold price in India is expected to fall below the Rs 11,000 mark per 10 gram by September, a top industry official said. “Gold prices have witnessed a steep fall in line with the global markets and are likely to drop further and may touch the Rs 10,400 to Rs 10,600 per 10g-mark by September-end,” said Bombay Bullion Association(BBA) president Suresh Hundia on Sunday.

ET

15)The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), has decided to accept Gold Exchange Traded Funds(ETF) units as collateral from August 18. NCDEX would accept the gold ETF of Benchmark Mutual Fund- Gold Benchmark Exchange Traded Scheme, UTI Mutual Fund – UTI Gold Exchange Traded Fund, Kotak Mutual Fund – Gold Exchange Traded Fund and Reliance Mutual Fund – Gold Exchange Traded Fund, an exchange circular said.

BL

16)Imposition of commodity transaction tax(CTT) may lower the volume of futures trading in the range of 18-59 per cent depending up on the commodity within a short span of seven days, a study by the confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said. The study said that gold volume will decline 59 per cent, crude may fall by 57 per cent, chana by 56 per cent, copper by 53 per cent, and refined soybean oil may decline by 18 per cent within the specified period of one week since levy.

BS

REAL ESTATE

17)The Transport Corporation of India(TCI), so far engaged in movement of cargo over land and sea, is planning to venture into the real  estate sector with pan-India presence. “We plan to get into the real estate sector as we have land bank all over the country,” its Executive Director, Mr Vineet Agarwal, told PTI.

BL

18)Real estate developer and promoter Dimple Chadha Group has announced an ultra-modern township, The canton Greens, with a project costing Rs 200 crore, in Amritsar. Talking to the media, the Vice-President of the company, Mr Sudhir Gulati, said Canton Greens is spread over 100 acres and represents the best township development capabilities. Talking about the project, he said the company has planned 350 residential plots, 52 commercial plots, five parks and one community club approved by the Government.

BL

COMMUNICATIONS

19)Bharti Airtel, India’s largest private telco, on Sunday said that its customer base had crossed the 75-million mark. The subscriber figure includes customers from all business units of the company- mobile services, telemedia services and enterprise services. With this, Bharti Airtel has further cemented in position as the fourth largest in-country mobile operator in the world behind China Mobile, China Unicom and AT&T, the company said in a statement.

ET
 
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
 
20)After making a recent strategic BPO acquisition in the UK, India’s fifth largest IT services company HCL Technologies is all set to tap the Asian market to service its US and European clients. The company is expected to set up a delivery centre for its BPO operations in Asia, either way of an acquisition or on its own, an official source close to the development told FE. In Asia, besides 11 delivery centres in India, HCL Technologies has only one delivery centre in Malaysia.

FE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)EUROPE has been heralded as the next big stop for the Indian IT outsourcing industry. However, there has been a visible slowdown from this continent for majority of the Indian IT services majors with incremental revenue steadily declining in the last four quarters.

ET
 
INTERNATIONAL
 
22)AS THE US economy appears more than ever linked to the health of  the housing market, analysts see no end to falling prices or recovery  in the sector before 2009. After several years of a sizzling boom, housing prices in the US have fallen for the past year-and-a-half, according to the closely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index. In May, prices fell a record 16% from a year ago.
 
ET

23)SWITZERLAND’S biggest bank UBS, which has lost billions in the US subprime crisis, would return to profitability next year, its chairman Peter Kurer said in remarks published on Sunday,” Kurer said in  an interview with Swiss Sunday newspaper. One of the worst-hit banks by the subprime crisis, UBS has written down some $42.5 billion on its subprime-related assets.

ET

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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

16 August 2008

GENERAL

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).

Indian Express
 
ECONOMY
 
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.
ET
 
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.
BL
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.
ET
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.
ET
 
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.
FE
 
INSURANCE
 
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.
ET
MARKETS
 
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.
ET
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.
FE
 
IPO
 
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.
BS
 
COMMODITIES
 
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.
FE
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.
BL
 
REAL ESTATE
 
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.
ET
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.
 
FE
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.
 
ET
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.
 
BL 
 
COMMUNICATIONS
 
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.
 
ET
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.
ET
 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
 
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.
 
ET
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.
 
BL
 
INTERNATIONAL
 
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.
 
ET
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd       www.karvy.com
                            www.khojhyderabad.com
                            www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
                            www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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

14 August 2008

GENERAL

1)Chakravarthi Rangarajan, noted economist and former RBI Governor, has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Rangarajan, 76, who resigned last week as the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister will be an independent member.

Indian Express
 
ECONOMY

2)THE Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council(EAC) has projected a growth rate of 7.7% for fiscal 2008-09. While this revised growth rate is slower than both its earlier estimate of 8.5% and the average of 8.9% over the last four years, it would still place India as the second fastest growing major economy in the world. However, prices are expected to rise further before moderating. EAC expects inflation to scale up to 13% before it starts tapering off.

ET
 
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)Vietnam Steel Corporation, the country’s largest steel company, Vietname Cement Industries Corporation(Vicem) and Tata Steel, the world’s sixth biggest steel-maker, signed a joint venture agreement today for the proposed $5 billion steel project in Vietnam today.

BS

4)COME September and major hotels across cities like New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad will hike tariffs by 10-50%. Thanks to a steady tourist inflow, most hotels have decided to go ahead with a rate revision next month when their financial year begins. According to government estimates, foreign tourist arrivals rose 7.4% in July over last year’s. With domestic tourism also generating good business, industry officials feel that major hotels are trying to cash in on the supply-demand mismatch in the sector.
 
 ET

MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee depreciated by 27 paise against the greenback on Wednesday due to sustained demand for dollars from corporates. The currency opened weaker at 42.56/58 and fell further to touch an intra-day low 42.77/78. It closed at 42.64/65, against the previous close of 42.37/38.

BL

6)With certificates of deposit (CD) headed to breach the 11- per cent mark on the back of tight liquidity, banks have started waiving penalties for loan prepayments. Prepayment penalties were mostly levied by the domestic private sector and foreign banks.

BL
 
MARKETS

7)India’s key equity indices ended the day in negative on the back of weak global cues and intense profit-booking. The 30-share Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) lost 119.01 points, or 0.78%, and closed at 15,093.12 points. The S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) shed 23.20 points, or 0.51%, before ending at 4,529.05 points. Investors were cautious ahead of a Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) meeting to review the regulatory framework government P-notes. Sebi said after market hours that no decision on P- notes was taken in the meet.

FE

8)Dish TV India today surged 10.26 per cent to close at Rs 39.75 after being included in NSE’s futures and options segment with effect from August 21. NSE announced this yesterday after the market hours. The stock opened 7.07 per cent higher at Rs 38.60 and touched an intraday high of Rs 40.45.

BS

9)Vishal Information Technologies zoomed 19.68 per cent to close at Rs 244.75 today after the firm announced the launch of its print-on- demand publishing vertical in a tie-up with Tutis Digital Publishing. The firm currently sells large print titles through 41 online stores such as Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.

BS

10)Sugar shares, which have risen over 10 per cent in August, will be buoyant in the near term as lower output boosts prices but concerns of government moves to cool the sweetener’s rally could spoil the party, analysts said.

BS

11)Lone Pine Capital and Traxis Partners are among 56 overseas funds that registered to buy shares in India in July, the most in six months, betting on a recovery in stocks. Helios Capital Management and Stonewater Capital also won approvals from the nation’s regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi), nine months after authorities forced hedge funds to register. India’s stock market recovered its $1 trillion(around Rs 42,00,000 crore) in market value last month, helped by the biggest drop in commodity prices in 28 years. The new funds may help reverse record sales of stocks by overseas investors that led to the biggest first-half slump in the Sensex since its 1979 creation.

BS

RIGHTS ISSUE

12)INDIAN corporates looking to raise money will now be able to reach out to their shareholders faster, with capital market regulator Sebi reducing the time line for approving a rights issue from 109 days to 43 days.

ET
 
COMMODITIES

13)The National Commodity and Derivative Exchange(NCDEX) will launch futures trading in coal from September. Also, on the anvil is a power exchange that will be launched in collaboration with the National Stock Exchange(NSE) by October 2009.

FE

14)Gold imports may revive, touching 150-200 tonne by Diwali, owing to anticipated traditional buying of gold over the next two months. One of the major reasons for increase in imports relates to the reduction in global gold prices. Gold prices fell to $808 per ounce on Tuesday, down by 21% from the year’s peak-price of $1023.50 recorded on March 17,2008.

FE

15)The pepper futures market on Wednesday moved up on bullish activies. August contract moved up by Rs 78 a quintal to close at Rs 14,000, still Rs 300 below the spot price for MG 1. The increase in other contracts was from Rs 75 to Rs 122 a quintal.

BL

16)Gold and silver bounced back on the bullion market on Wednesday on fresh local buying coupled with recovery in global markets. Standard gold(99.5 purity) recouped by Rs 130 for 10 gm to Rs 11,430 from Rs 11,300 and pure gold(99.9 purity) firmed up by Rs 125 for 10 gm to Rs 11,490 from Rs 11,365. Silver ready(.999 fineness) shot up by Rs 460 per kg to Rs 21,905 from Rs 21,445.

BL
 
REAL ESTATE
 
17)The real estate market across the country is not as robust now as it was a couple of years ago. The industry has seen a correction of 15-20 per cent across markets, and it would take over a year for it to recover, said Mr Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director, Tata Housing Developing Company Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd. He added that there would be a further correction of 10 per cent in the coming months. Big developers are holding on, he said, because they might have large developments. The company is not looking at getting listed, but the focus is on expediting existing projects and executing new ones, Mr Banerjee said. “We want to provide a truly differentiated consumer experience,” he added. This year, the company plans to develop about 10 million sq ft of space. Tata Housing announced its second residential project in Bangalore – Aquila Heights, which when completed will be the city’s tallest residential tower, on Wednesday. The tallest of the three towers planned would have 32 storeys and would stand at 105 metres above the ground and each tower would come with a helipad.

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18)Joining the likes of DLF and Unitech, Bangalore-based realty developer Puravankara Projects today announced its foray into the affordable housing segment in an effort to beat the property sector slump. Puravankara, which has a land bank of 125 million sq ft, said fully-owned subsidiary Provident Housing and Infrastructure will launch the projects.

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BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

19)ACCENTURE has teamed up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University(IGNOU) to roll out a BPO diploma programme to ready an army of professionals for entry-level jobs in the Industry. India’s BPO industry, which employs 7 lakh people and accounts for $11-billion revenue as on FY08, is projected to absorb 8 million professionals by 2018.
 
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20)A subsidiary of pure play BPO firm Firstsource Solutions has bagged a six-year engagement – which could go up to $30 million with British Telecom Global Services(BTGS). Pipal Research, Firstsource’s US based subsidiary, will provide knowledge process outsourcing services related to business research to BTGS; it would cover market, segment country and customer research, proposition support and other numerical analysis work, according to a company’s statement.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)TATA Consultancy Services(TCS), Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies will emerge as the next generation of IT services mega vendors challenging the incumbent giants IBM Global Services, Accenture and EDS, according to Gartner. TCS, Infosys and Wipro collectively referred as “India-3” by Gartner are increasingly being considered for strategic service deals and will augument, or in some cases, replace today’s acknowledged mega vendors by revenue – IBM Global Services, Accenture and EDS – in this space by 2011.

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INTERNATIONAL

22)Crude oil futures traded higher as a giant draw on gasoline inventories provided the market a “hiccup” to its month-long slide. Light, sweet crude for September delivery traded $1.80, or 1.6%, higher at $114.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
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 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
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