13 August 2008

GENERAL

1)India and Britain on Tuesday agreed to undertake a joint study on ways to remove non-tariff barriers in bilateral trade following talks between Finance Minister P.Chidambaram and the Chancellor of  the Exchequer, Alistair Darling in London as part of the ministerial- level India-U.K. Economic and Financial Dialogue.

Hindu
 
ECONOMY

2)INDUSTRIAL production grew 5.4% in June 2008, higher than 4.1% (revised) growth in May 2008, but well below the 8.9% growth in June, 2007. Industry’s slower pace has intensified apprehensions that the economy’s growth rate could slip below 8% in the current fiscal, and raises the importance of a good monsoon this year.

ET
 
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
 
3)German pharmaceutical major Fresenius Kabi, which had recently acquired Dabur Pharma, is planning to invest up to e30 million in  the next 2-3 years in the Indian company. The investments will go primarily into doubling production capacity of Dabur Pharma’s active pharmaceutical ingredients(API) manufacturing facility in Kolkata.

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4)Larsen and Toubro-led consortium has bagged orders totalling Rs 3,816 crore from customers in the metal industry. L&T in association with Outotec, GmbH of Germany, and Paul Wurth bagged orders  totalling Rs 2,545 crore from Tata Steel for a 6 million tpa(tonnes per annum) pellet plant and a blast furnace at Jamshedpur.

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MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee depreciated by about 20 paise on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened against other major currencies in the global markets. The currency opened at 42.18/20 and weakened to touch an intra-day low 42.44/45. It partially recovered to close at 42.37/38, against the previous close of 42.16/17.

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6)Union Bank of India, the fifth largest public sector bank, on Tuesday launched two services. These services, which are expected to enable faster transfer of funds, are Online National Electronic Fund Transfer(NEFT) and Quick Collection of Cheques(QCC).

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7)ABN Amro, India which will be soon rechristened as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is actively considering an acquisition in India in  a bid to expand its footprint in the country. Meera Sanyal, country executive, ABN Amro India said, “We have decided to acquire a bank in India only after March 2009 and are waiting for the regulatory re- gime to become more conducive to do so. Altough we have not yet identified a potential bank for the proposed takeover, such a buyout is very much on our agenda.”

FE
 
INSURANCE
 
8)AEGON Religare Life Insurance began its operations in Mumbai on Tuesday with the launch of four products and two riders. They are level term plan, protect gain plan, star child plan and premium gain plan. The company CEO, Rajiv Jamkhedhar, told the media on the occasion that his company will be having an initial capital of Rs 370 crore and all the branches of his company were looking at break-even in three years.

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MARKETS

9)Even though the Index of Industrial Production(IIP) numbers were in line with expectation, key Indian equity indices succumbed to profit- booking and snapped its five-day winning streak on Tuesday. Tracking positive cues from the global markets, Indian markets opened in higher but profit booking coupled with weak cues from the European markets dragged the indices into the red. The 30-share Sensex of BSE, after opening with a slight positive bias, traded in the negative for the  entire trading session to end at 15,212.13 points, posting a loss of 291.79 points, or 1.88% on Tuesday. The wider S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) closed at 4,552.25 points, losing 68.15 points, or 1.47%.

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10)TRENT, the Tata Group’s retail arm, jumped 10 per cent today to close at Rs 545.85 after Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket chain, chose its subsidiary, Trent Hypermarket,as its exclusive partner for a chain of wholesale stores in India.

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11)Biotech major BIOCON today surged 5.18 per cent to close at Rs 403.05 after the company fixed September 12 as the record date for issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1. After opening the day flat of Rs 382, the stock touched an intraday high of Rs 405.50 and  a low of Rs 379.05.

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12)NSE will add 39 stocks to its existing list of futures and options contracts from August 21. Stocks added to the list are Akruti City, ABG Shipyard, Asian Paints, Balaji Telefilms, Container Corporation, Core Projects, Deccan Chronicle, Dish TV, Everonn Systems, First source Solutions, GSPL, GTL Infra, GVK Power & Infra, HCL Infosystems, Indiabulls Real Estate, KLG Systel, KS Oil, MIC Electronics, Mindtree, Mercator Lines, Monnet Ispat, MRF, Nava Bharat Ventures, Noida Toll Bridge, Opto Circuits, Orbit Corporation, Prism Cement, PTC India, Reliance Infrastructure, Sintex Industries, Srei Infra, Thermax, Tor- rent Power, TV-18 India, UCO, UTV Soft, Voltamp Transformers  and Walchandnagar Industries.
 
ET

13)National stock Exchange(NSE) has received in principle approval  from the regulators for starting trading in the Exchange Traded Currency Futures, according to informed sources in the markets. The NSE performed road shows in major metros and received good response from both banks and the broking community, they added.

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IPO

14)Avesthagen’s initial public offering plan, of at least two years, appears to be on track. The biotechnology company has said it proposes to file a draft red herring prospectus with the Sebi – and that it likely in the near future.

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MUTUAL FUNDS

15)After a breather, domestic mutual funds are back in market to tap investors’ appetite by floating new equity fund offers with various portfolio strategies. Persistent weakness in share market led to a  slowdown in new equity plan offers since April. However, with signs of some positive trend in July, these schemes have made a gradual comeback. Five fund houses – JP Morgan Mutual, JM Financial Mutual, ICICI Prudential Mutual, Sahara Mutual and Escorts Mutual – have  floated equity-oriented funds.

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16)In one of the most innovative product launches globally, domestic fund houses are gearing up to roll out funds that will invest in  frontier markets. Distressed by the falling spree of Indian equities, fund managers are looking at various avenues of diversification. At a time when emerging markets, including India, are vulnerable to global cues and are more coupled, frontier markets show less or almost no correlation. Franklin Templeton was the first to spot an opportunity and has already filed for a MENA fund(Middle East North Africa Fund), which will invest in some of the frontier markets. Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund is also firming up plans for a  fund based on frontier markets. Frontier markets includes countries such as United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and  Morocco among others. They are described as smallest, less developed less liquid countries that make up a chunk of emerging markets. According to a Merrill Lynch report on Frontier markets. “Frontier mar-kets appear to be less volatile than other equity markets. They have strong external balances and economic growth, particularly in Asia and the Gulf.”
 
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COMMODITIES

17)Gold prices plummeted to 8-month low on Tuesday as the dollar’s rally triggered a massive sell-off, hitting oil and industrial metals as well. Spot gold touched $801.90 an ounce, its lowest level since late December, and was at $810.60/811.60 at 1016 GMT compared with $819.25/820.85 late in New York on Monday. The precious metal is down more than 20 per cent since hitting a record high of $1,030.80 on March 17.

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18)Pepper futures market on Tuesday moved up on speculative activities by the bulls. August contract increased by Rs 89 a quintal while the rise in other contracts was from Rs 43 to Rs 102 a quintal from the closing price of Monday.

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19)Gold and silver prices plunged further on panic-selling by stockists owing to distinctly weak global cues. The yellow metal ended at a 3- month low and the white metal at a 7-month low. Standard gold(99.5 purity) crashed by Rs 515 per ten gm to end at Rs 11,300, the level not seen since May 2, 2008, from Rs 11,815. Pure gold (99.9 purity) also collapsed by same margins to Rs 11,365 from Rs 11,880. Silver ready(.999 fineness) too, plummeted by Rs 995 per kg to Rs 21,445, the level not seen since February 8,2008, from Rs 22,440.

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REAL ESTATE
 
20)Kachiguda is one of the oldest localities in twin cities. Being a middle-class area, the locality is dotted with lanes that houses small residential complexes. The area houses Kachiguda Railway Station and it is also near to one of the main bus stations in the Hyderabad city. The area is also known for Badi Chowdi, an old shopping destination for clothes, jewellery and vegetables. Besides, Kachiguda may soon witness the opening of a multiplex with one of the best-known theatres Maheshwari-Parameshwari getting a makeover. It is also home to many music schools and Badruka College of Commerce is located there. Estimates by Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj(JLLM) suggest that the capital value of commercial property including retail and office in the region ranges from Rs 4,200-7,500 per sq ft depending on the floor. While the second to fourth floor space is quoted at Rs 4,200 first floor space is quoted at Rs 6,000 and ground floor is around Rs 7,500. The rental value of commercial space also ranges from Rs 36-65 per squre feet. The capital value for residential property in the area is around Rs 2,800-3,000 per sq ft.

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COMMUNICATIONS

21)The country’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel is set to become the country’s largest telecom operator (both fixed line and mobile), beating the state-owned BSNL in a month’s time. BSNL, which is today the largest telecom operator, has a total subscriber base of 73 million in June compared to Bharti’s 71.7 million. Given the average growth of the previous months, Bharti should be well ahead of BSNL by a margin of one million subscribers within a month’s time.

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BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
 
22)The Hinduja Group-promoted business process outsourcing (BPO) firm HTMT Global Solutions has set aside Rs 400 crore to close two acquisition deals in the US by the end of this year. Both US companies, with a headcount of 4,000 plus each, offer services in the finance and accounting(F&A) and remote infrastructure management (RIM)  space in US and Canada.

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23)GREATER Pacific Capital (GPC), a London-based strategic investment firm, will acquire 38% stake in Ahmedabad-based BPO Azure Knowledge Corporation for a consideration of $32.5 million, the company said on Tuesday. GPC will instantly subscribe to around 26.4% share-holding for $10 million in the first phase, while the balance will be invested in fiscal 2010 based on Azure’s performance evaluation.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

24)BANKING software major i-flex has bagged a deal valued at $90 million from National Australia Bank(NAB), one of its largest wins ever and a first for its main banking solution in the Antipodean nation. The five-year contract is part of a larger deal awarded to Oracle, which owns a majority stake in i-flex.

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INTERNATIONAL

25)CRUDE prices slid further on Tuesday, even as Russia attacked a key strategic oil pipeline in its battle with Georgia and the International Energy Agency forecast a steep drop in energy demand. The  IEA, publishing its monthly report, painted a global picture of  sharply falling demand for oil because of high prices and economic slowdown, and a cutin the use of cars and increased crude production. Oil prices fell as the dollar hit a six-month peak against the euro, traders said. A stronger dollar tends to dampen demand for dollar- denominated commodities as they become more expensive for buyers  holding weaker currencies. London’s Brent North Sea crude for September delivery lost $1.56 to $111.11 per barrel on Tuesday. New York’s  main contract, light sweet crude for September delivery sank $1.35 to $113.10.

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

12 August 2008

GENERAL

1)Abhinav Bindra won the Olympic gold medal for the 10-metre air rifle event in Beijing on Monday, bagging for independent India its first individual Olympic gold and sending the nation into raptures. The gold was an improvement on the silver won by another shooter, double trap marksman Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, in the Athens Olympics.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)SPICEJET, the country’s second biggest low-cost carrier, on Monday announced that it has signed an agreement with Goldman’s Sachs and W L Ross & Co to receive an investment of $100 million in the company. W L Ross & Co, owned by the US billionaire Wilbar Ross, would invest $80 million while Goldman would chip in $20 million.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

3)The rupee slightly depreciated against the greenback on Monday on dollar demand. The currency opened at 42.04 and strengthened to 41.90 during the day. It then dropped to an intra-day low of 42.23 and ended the day at 42.16/17, against the previous close at 42.05/ 06.
 
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4)THE country’s largest bank, State Bank of India, has spared borrowers taking home, auto and education loans while raising its prime lending rate(PLR) by 100 basis points to 13.75% from 12.75%. The new rates will come into effect from Tuesday (August 12). Simultaneously, SBI has announced a hike in deposits rates by 25 to 75 bais points.
 
ET

5)The battle for raising deposits has kicked off with banks aggressively quoting higher rates to attract bulk deposits. The competitive spirit to woo investors is reflected in the reported move by Delhi-based Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer 11% on one year deposits to oil exploration major – Oil and National Gas Corporation.]
 
ET

6)The government may allow non-government provident funds to invest up to 10 per cent incremental flows in the stock market, a senior finance ministry official said. The new norms for non-government provident funds are likely to be notified in two to three days.
 
BS
 
INSURANCE
 
7)Aviva Life Insurance, on Monday announced the launch of two innovative unit linked insurance plans(ULIPs), which meet distinct requirements of different customer segments. Aviva Sachin Century Plan and Aviva LifeLine are designed to provide multiple benefits through life insurance and investment to two different customer segments. While Aviva LifeLine targets urban customers in the middle to high income bracket, Aviva Sachin Century Plan is specifically designed for middle income customers.
 
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MARKETS

8)AMIDST dissenting macro-economic conditions and acute investor pessimism, equity benchmarks extended their winning streak to the fifth consecutive session on Monday. While analysts attribute the change in market wave to cooling-off of crude prices, correction in commodity prices and strengthening of monsoon across the country, there are fears that the ongoing upswing may have run its course for now. Led by interest-sensitive sectors – realty and banking – the 30-share Sen- sex ended 336 points or 2.2% higher at 15,503.92 on Monday. The 50-share Nifty closed 90 points or 2% higher at 4,620.4, holding on to gains made earlier in the day.
 
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9)Foreign institutional investors on Monday bought equities worth Rs 280.61 crore in the stock market, amid the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark gaining over 300 points. FIIs invested in shares worth Rs 2,930.77 crore and shed equities worth Rs 2,650.16 crore, resulting in the net investment of Rs 280.61 crore, as per provisional data available on BSE.

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10)IT has been a good run for mid-cap and small-cap stocks over the last few weeks. The stocks that were beaten down the most since the meltdown started in January, have incidentally been among the best performers. But market watchers caution that a broad-based upswing of the past is unlikely to be repeated. Instead, investors will have to be careful about what they are buying this time around, given the change macro-economic situation.
 
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11)Participatory Notes are once again on the agenda of the capital market regulator, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) set to begin a review of the entire “regulatory framework” governing these instruments at its board meeting on August 13.

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IPO
 
12)The National Stock Exchange (NSE) today conducted the first round of mock electronic bidding process for implementing application sup- ported by blocked amount(ASBA), an alternative mode of payment for initial public offerings(IPOs), proposed by capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi).
 
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13)The government is likely to list four or five more of state-owned companies, which include Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, Manganese Ore India Ltd and Cochin Shipyard by March next year. A senior government official said the government plans to dilute up to 10 per cent in these companies.

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14)The Oil India Ltd IPO is likely to open in October. The tentative decision on IPO timing follows the recent approval by the Centre for appointing six new independent directors on board and conform to clause 49 of the listing agreement.

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MUTUAL FUNDS
 
15)UTI Mutual Fund on Monday launched UTI Short Term Maturity Plan Series-I-V(140 days), an official at the fund house said. The new fund offer will close its subscription on August 18. The close-ended income scheme will invest its corpus in debt and money market instruments having similar maturity profile.
 
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16)Principal Mutual Fund will on Tuesday launch Principal PNB Fixed Maturity plan 385 days – Series Ix. Subscription to the offer will close on Wednesday, an official from the fund house said on Monday. The 385-day debt scheme will deploy its entire corpus in debt and money market securities maturing in line with the scheme’s tenure.
 
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17)IDFC Mutual Fund on Monday launched IDFC Fixed Maturity Plan Quarterly Series-38, which will close for subscription on Wednesday, an official at the fund house said. The three-month close-ended income scheme’s corpus will be invested in debt and money market instruments that have a maturity profile similar to the plan’s own.
 
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COMMODITIES

18)With less than a month left before the suspension of futures in four farm commodities comes up for review, and despite faint indications that the government might extend the suspension, the turnover in In- dia’s commodity exchanges showed no signs of slowing down. Ac- cording to the latest data from the Forward Market Commission (FMC), commodity exchanges recorded a 40.23% jump in their turnover at Rs 16,54,442 crore till July 2008-09, against Rs 11,79,765 crore during the corresponding period in 2007-08.
 
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19)Commodities market regulator, the Forward Markets Commission, on Monday, said that the government might lift the ban on futures trading in four commodities in September. In May, the government, under pressure from its allies to control soaring inflation, suspended futures trading in soyaoil, potato, rubber and chickpea for four months.
 
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20)Gold ended its five-day long losing streak in the domestic markets on Monday as investors return to market after a marginal rise in crude prices. However, gains were limited due to stronger dollar but higher oil prices prompted investors fresh appetite for gold,one analyst said. In Mumbai, prices of standard and pure gold rose by Rs 70 each to Rs 11,815 and Rs 11,880 per 10 gm respectively.
 
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21)Notwithstanding the record rise in coriander prices, NCDEX on Monday launched trading in coriander futures. Coriander prices have touched a high of Rs 100 a kg due to unseasonal rain in the growing areas. About 70 per cent of India’s production comes from Rajasthan, while Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu contribute the rest.
 
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22)Commodity market regulator Forward markets Commission has directed national exchanges – MCX, NCDEX and NMCE – not to give multiple trading exposure to a single client from January 2009.

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REAL ESTATE
 
23)The Scottish game of ‘golf’ is the latest addition to the realtors’ marketing arsenal. In an attempt to stem the ingress of recession into the real estate market and to tap newer avenues, developers in Gujarat are going all guns blazing. From organising golf tourneys in the US and UK to conducting road shows and investors’ meet, realtors are courting the nouveau riche and status-conscious NRIs to return back to their ‘roots’ and invest in some of the niche projects in the state. Ahmedabad-based Savvy Infrastructures has taken an unusual step by trying to market his real estate project by organising golf tournaments for the NRIs in the US and UK.

ET

24)Matheran Realty Private Ltd has announced the commencement of sale of Tanaji Malusare City(TMC) located in Karjat, near Mumbai. According to Pravin Banavalikar, CEO-Matheran Realty, “TMC is India’s first and largest township dedicated to social housing which will offer quality homes at minimum of Rs 3 lakh at Rs 999 per sq ft. It will have integrated facilities such as hospitals, schools, theatres and retail outlets.

FE
 
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
 
25)THE bugbear of the Indian BPO industry – attrition – seems to have stabilised at a broad level. From the highs of over 50% a couple of years ago, attrition is hovering closer to 30% for most well-run BPO companies in India. Infosys BPO CEO Amitabh Chaudhry says, “It (the attrition rate) has stabilised or come down and one is definitely seeing that across the industry.” The Indian BPO industry employs around seven lakh people and accounts for a revenue of $12.5 billion for FY08, according to Nasscom estimates. The reasons for the drop in attrition are manifold. The BPO sector was once losing people to “hot sectors” such as aviation, retail and real estate. However, a tepid expansion in these sectors has somewhat reversed the trend.

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26)BPO firm Genpact’s operation centres in India have received the ISO 14001-2004 and OHSAS 18001-2007 certifications from the British Standard Institute (BSI), a globally renowed independent certifiying authority.

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INTERNATIONAL

27)CRUDE prices rose on Monday, nearing $117 a barrel, after oil exports normally carried out via Georgian ports were halted over the weekend owing to an escalation in fighting between Georgia and Russia. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for September deli- very agained $1.50 to $116.70 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

11 August 2008

GENERAL

1)The Indian Railway has embarked on one of its ambitious projects so far by trying to get people to book their long-distance tickets through their cellphones.  The railways has so far managed to have platform tickets vended through mobile phones – like in Bengaluru. They have also successfully charted out ways to book suburban train tickets on mobiles – as proposed in Mumbai – but officials agree that long-distance tickets are a different proposition altogether. Sources said a top-level technical team from the Centre for the  Railway Information Systems(CRIS) is at work on it.

DC

ECONOMY

2)Its not just economic reforms that the Manmohan Singh government is keen to push ahead.  A slew of reforms in other areas including ushering in competition and private sector play in sectors, which are hitherto to a monopoly of state-run organisations, are on the cards. Top on the agenda of the government is to introduce competition in areas to reduce monopoly of a few players including the state-run organisations.  This would mean that there will be more private participation in areas where only state agencies have been operating.

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3)Production output from India’s factories in June is likely to improve with annual growth seen at 5-7 per cent as against 8.1 percent in the same month last year, according to economists.  The  June data for the Index of Industrial Production(IIP) is to be re- leased on Tuesday.  In May this year, the IIP grew 3.8 per cent due to dismal performance by the manufacturing sector.

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CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

4)After exiting the coffee retail business in December 2004, Tata Coffee is now considering a re-entry into the business by setting up a cafe chain across the country.  The company, which sold its  34.3 per cent equity in Barista to NRI investor C Sivasankaran, is waiting for the non-compete contract it signed with Barista  to expire.

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5)For the first time its listing three years ago, Fortis Healthcare has registered profits from its hospital chain business.  The quarter ended June 30,2008, saw Fortis make a net profit of Rs 94 lakh as against a net loss of Rs 23.5 crore in the corresponding period last year.  Fortis results, experts say, are not just about the performance of its hospitals, but an indication of the revenue generating potential of Indian healthcare segment.

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MONEY & BANKING
 
6)THE government is expected to formally announce the merger of State Bank of Saurashtra(SBS) with the State Bank of India(SBI) this week. The merger had received the approval of the Union Cabinet earlier this month.  SBS is a fully-owned subsidiary of SBI.

ET

7)Futures trading in Indian currencies is set to be a reality soon. The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) is expected to  clear the applications of the National Stock Exchange(NSE), the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) and the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), the largest commodity exchange of the country for starting currency futures at its board meeting on August 13.

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8)Eyeing a bigger share in the domestic market, private sector lender Bank of Rajasthan will ramp up operations and is planning to raise Rs 250 crore by way of private equity placements for funding expansion.  The bank plans to scale up its presence in the domestic mar-ket and has sought the approval of the Reserve Bank of India to open 30-35 branches in FY09, taking its total branch strength to around  500 from the current 463, the bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr P L Ahuja, said.

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MARKETS

9)The early impact of the fall in oil prices has been showing on the Indian equity market.  As the sentiment improved, the short covering boosted the valuations.  The trend is likely to continue this week. Dalal Street may draw support from weakening crude oil price.

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10)Foreign companies looking to list on Indian stock exchanges may find it easier to do so soon. The government is set to relax the rules for floating Indian Depository Receipts(IDRs), making it easier for foreign companies to raise equity capital from India.  Companies issuing IDRs will now be able to redeem them into underlying shares soon after the float.  The corporate affairs ministry, which is expected to unveil the liberalised norms by September, is planning to drop the one year lock-in for such conversion of the IDRs into underlying shares.
 
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MUTUAL FUNDS
 
11)The association of Mutual Funds in India(Amfi) has proposed to introduce a common application form and a common online platform for mutual fund transactions under the aegis of Amfi or an independent agency appointed by it to make mutual funds more investor-savvy. “We are working on a common application form as there is no need  for a separate form for mutual funds of different firms,” said Amfi Chairman A P Kurian.

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MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

12)Companies going for large mergers and acquisitions would have to notify the Competition Commission of India within 30 days of signing the Shareholders Agreement or Asset Purchase Agreement, according to a top official of the commission.

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COMMODITIES

13)Energy, base metals and bullion futures prices on the national bourses continued to remain weak on the week ended on Friday, mainly on a weak overseas markets, amid lack of fresh buying interest by local players.  Among the major commodities, crude oil prices have lost  more than 20% or $30 from their all time high levels.  In the bullion segment, silver futures registered a biggest fall of 8.6% over the last week following the weakness in yellow metal.  Gold futures remained weak last week in the absence of fresh buying support from investors, as the dollar rebounded against the euro and comments by European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet.

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14)Guarseed sowing has significantly progressed following rainfall in the major growing region of Rajasthan.  Though the crop has already been delayed by around three weeks, traders said that within 3-4 days, sowing will be completed.  The prices of the commodity slipped substantially in the last one week on rains, resulting in good demand from the overseas market.

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REAL ESTATE

15)It may become mandatory for developers to design and construct buildings, which consume more than 500 kw, according to Energy Conservation Building Code.  Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the statutory body under the power ministry, may make it must for developers to adhere to energy-efficiency norms.  ECBC sets minimum energy performance standards only for commercial buildings or complexes with a  load of 500 kw or more.

ET

16)Hurt by subprime crisis in the United States and Europe and global slowdown, most of the property funds have increased their internal rate of return(IRR) expectations from realty developers from 20-22 per cent to 27-30 per cent, to provide cushion in case of any major crash in realty market in the coming months.

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17)Real estate firm Suncity Projects plans to invest about Rs 6,000  crore over the next four years to construct various properties, including SEZ and townships, across the country.  The company has  acquired 4,000 acres in different cities where it will develop more than 10 projects in the housing, commercial, shopping mall, hotel, SEZ and township segments.

BS

18)Jain Housing and Construction Limited on Saturday forayed into the Hyderabad marketby launching its residential project – Carlton Creek. The company, whose portfolio comprises over 150 residential projects including 4.5 million sft of completed projects and over 10 million sft of ongoing projects, will create 1,120 two and three-bedroom  apartments at Khajaguda near Gachibowli in Hyderabad.

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BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

19)The business process outsourcing(BPO) companies are concerned about security issues and investment demands from infrastructure and technology upgradation follwing the move by the Department of Telecommunication(DoT) to allow employees to work from home.  Clients in the present environment are very strict about data confidentiality and privacy, BPO companies told Business Standard.

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20)Outsourcing firms such as WNS, ExlService and Genpact have warned that rising salaries could eat into their profit margins. They are also worried that fattening pay packets in India could prevent them from sustaining their competive advantage.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)The Indian information technology(IT) industry, dominated by software services and BPO segments, is rapidly seeing the emergence of product companies and a latest study has projected that India could account for roughly 2%, or $11 billion, of global product business in 2015. 

ET

22)INFOSYS Technologies is investing Rs 1,250 crore to set up a new campus in Hyderabad that would be the company’s largest facility in the world, said NR Narayana Murthy, chairman of the board and chief mentor of Infosys.  The 447-acre campus will be housed in its special economic zone(SEZ), a virtual tax-free zone aimed at promoting exports. The company, which is the second larget exporter in the country, has a campus in Hyderabad, employing around 11,000 people.

ET

23)Pune-based IT company Zensar Technologies is planning to set up an IT special economic zone(SEZ) with an investment of over Rs 25 crore in the country next year.  Besides, it would also hire 700 people this year.  “We have not yet decided about the location for our proposed SEZ, which will be cover 5-10 acres.  It will come up early 2009,” Zensar Technologies global CEO Ganesh Natarajan said.

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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

09 August 2008

GENERAL

1)The United States has circulated the draft amendment to the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) ahead of its meeting on August 21 and 22 to consider India’s case, senior officials in New Delhi have confirmed.  The draft was finalised in consultation with India and first handed over on Thursday to Germany, which heads the NSG.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)State-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals on Friday said that it has won a Rs 400 crore contract for setting up a hydro power project in African country Rwanda.  The company has received the order for setting up 2×14 MW nyaborongo hydro electric power  project from the Republic of Rwanda government, the company said  in a statement.

FE

3)Post the recent demerger, the Bajaj group is in a consolidation mode. The promoters have raised their holdings in Bajaj Holdings and Investment(BHIL), the group’s investment company, by 2.5% through  creeping acquisition of shares last week.  With this acquisition,the group now holds a 31.4% stake in BHIL.

ET
 
MONEY & BANKING

4)The rupee was flat against the dollar on Friday, recovering almost all of its initial losses. The currency opened lower at 42.18/20 and weakened further to touch an intra-day low of 42.27/28.  It re- covered to close 42.05/06, against the previous close of 42.07/08.

BL

5)The state-run Bank of Baroda, whose board met in New Delhi on Friday, has hiked its BPLR to 75 basis points to 14% with effect from 11 august, 2008. However, the bank CMD Mallya told FE that the bank did not touch home loan borrowers up to Rs 30 lakh.  Beyond Rs 30 lakh, the interest rate has been increased by 50 basis points.

FE

6)IN A rising rate interest rate scenario, automobile financiers have hit upon new strategies to woo all those aspiring to buy cars.  Two of the largest players in the car financing segment have decided to slash interest rates by 2% in an effort to keep consumer interest going.  This is being done by slashing the commission that banks pay to dealers, thus retaining the rates at a level which makes it afford-   able to buyers.  Both HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra, who figure among the top three financiers of four wheelers, will reduce their  rack rates by 2% or 200 basis points.

ET

7)If you are a frequent user of credit card, you better think twice before swiping it.  As in the case of home loans or auto loans, the interest rates on credit card are also set for a hike.  While some banks have already decided on the increase in interest rates, many others are in the process of doing so, thanks to the macro economic scenario.

BL
 
MARKETS
 
8)Bargain-hunting in some blue chips in the last hour of the session helped shares end slightly higher on Friday, after having been in negative territory for most of the session on profit-taking and worries about inflation.  The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-stock Sensitive Index, or Sensex, rose 50.57 points, or 0.3 per cent, to end at  15,167.82 in a volatile session marked by buying at low valuations and quick profit-taking. The index has gained nearly 4 per cent in the last three sessions.  It opened lower in line with Wall Street’s overnight fall, taking the markets down to 14,888.12 before value  buying took it to an intraday high of 15,228.82.  “The markets are likely to pick up from Monday again, but we are going to see today’s pattern of trade repeated even next week.  The good thing is that people now do not mind buying at lows.” said Mr Gopi Doshi, a dealer with Khandwala Securities.  Participants expect the Sensex to trade between 15,000 and 15,350 through the next week.  On the National Stock Exchange, the 50-stock S&P CNX Nifty closed flat at 4,529.50.

BL

9)Tata Chemicals surged 6.49 per cent to Rs 346.85 on reports that the government has approved an investment policy for urea, linking the cost of production to the import parity. The scrip opened at  Rs 325.05 and went on to achieve a high of Rs 350 and a low of Rs 325 during intra-day trading.

BS

10)Shanti Gears surged 9.42 per cent to Rs 73.75 on media reports that Suzlon Energy, through its Belgium-based unit, Hansen Trans- missions, is planning to buy a substantial stake in the company.

BS

11)Much to the advantage of the investors using calendar spread as a tool to hedge their investments, the capital market regulator, Sebi on Friday decided to extend calendar spread treatment till expiry of the near-month contract.  A calendar spread is a derivatives strategy, where an investor takes a long and a short position in the same underlying but in two different delivery months.

FE

12)STOCK brokers will have to alert the government on customer transactions where the deal size is not in line with a client’s declared in- come.  The proposed rule, spelt out by the ministry of finance to some of the top brokers at a meeting last month, will be a key aspect of the anti-money laundering policy for market intermediaries.

ET
 
IPO

13)The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the equity restructuring of Punjab & Sind Bank(P&SB) and Punjab National Bank (PNB), enabling them to go for an initial public offer or private placement of shares.

BS

COMMODITIES
 
14)The National Multi-Commodity Exchange(NMCE) has launched new series for futures contract in Guar seed and Turmeric with effect from Monday, August 11,2008.  The new series in Guar seed and Turmeric- called December-2008 contracts-will expire on December 20, while the delivery period for both the commodities will begin three days prior to that on December 17,2008.  At present, NMCE is running  futures contracts in about 90 series in 25 commodities, notably  pepper, castor seed, mustard/rape seed, jute sacking, isabgol seed (psyllium), copra and non-ferrous base metals.

FE

15)Gold slipped 1 per cent to its weakest point in eight weeks on Friday as the dollar firmed to a five-month high against the euro, denting the precious metal’s appeal as a currency hedge, and as oil prices fell.   Gold was at $861.40/862.40 an ounce at 0957 GMT, down from $871.05/872.45 late in New York.

BL

16)Gold lost some of its shine as an attractive investment option in  the bullion market in New Delhi on Friday with prices falling by a sharp Rs 250 to Rs 12,000 per 10 gram as the metal melted in the  global markets on speculation that dollar gains might spur sales.  With today’s fall gold in tune with the weak global trends has taken a hit of Rs 750 in last four trading sessions.

ET

REAL ESTATE

17)PRIVATE investment company Berggruen Holdings(BH) has forayed into the realty space in India, lining up a slew of commercial and resi- dential projects.  It plans to take advantage of the sluggish market scenario to make investments.  “The real estate market is going to be difficult for a couple of years.  It will be bad because the projects will be slower.  But it will be a better opportunity for people willing to invest.  But the valuations are more reasonable now,” says Berggruen Holdings founder Nicolas Berggruen.

ET

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

18)AS IT companies continue to defer the date of joining for their new campus recruits, BPOs are coming to the rescue of these engineering graduates.  They are offering quick jobs to these engineers who are awaiting their appointment letters from IT companies like Wipro, CTS, Satyam and TCS among others.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

19)INDIA is all set to become a leader in the software testing market with an increasing number of software development companies outsourcing their software testing work here.  Indusry analyst firm Gartner has pegged the world-wide software testing market at $13 billion and the global market for outsourced testing services to be around $6.1 billion, of which India is expected to corner a 70% share.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

20)Crude prices slumped below $116 a barrel on Friday as the market shrugged off confirmation that separatist Kurdish rebels were behind a blast that has cut a strategic oil pipeline in Turkey. Brent north sea crude for September delivery shed $1.19 to 115.90 per barrel in electronic deals.

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

08 August 2008

GENERAL

1)China is set to host what could turn out to be the most memorable Olympic Games ever. The Games that will open at the auspicious  Chinese time of 8:08.08 on Friday evening should showcase China’s organisational skills and sporting prowess, apart from projecting a vibrant image of the country.

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)Inflation accelerated to the fastest pace in more than 13 years, making more difficult the central bank’s job of containing prices amid slowing growth.  Wholesale prices rose 12.01 per cent in the week to July 26, after gaining 11.98 per cent in the previous week, the com- merce ministry said in New Delhi today.

BS

3)EVEN as India’s inflation soared to 12.01% on Thursday, a top government official said it would come back to single-digit levels of 5– 6% in the next 12 months.”The uncertain oil prices make it difficult to make short-term predictions, but in the next 12 months the inflation rate would return to normal levels of 5-6%,” said ministry of finance chief ecnomic advisor Arvind Virmani.

ET

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
 
4)Public sector oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) on Wednesday announced its foray into solar power generation by deciding to set up its first solar photovoltaic power project of 1 MW capacity in Punjab.

BL

5)Hindustan Construction Company-led joint venture has bagged a Rs 1,398.50-crore order for construction of three rows of 38.75  km pipelines from an existing intake on the Godavari river at Ganga- ram village to Bheemghnapur tank in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh. The pipeline will be of three metre diameter.

BL

MONEY & BANKING

6)The rupee was flat against the dollar on Thursday in a highly volatile market.  The currency opened higher at 41.98 and closed at 42.07/ 08, the same as the previous day’s close.  During the day, the rupee touched an intraday high of 41.86/88.

BL

7)Even as the country’s largest bank State Bank of India(SBI) is yet to hike rates, two other state-run banks, including Canara Bank Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, and Andhra Bank raised their BPLR on Thursday. Bank of India, Canara Bank, Dena Bank, and Andhra Bank have revised their BPLR by 75 basis points.  BoI’s BPLR would be 14% with effect from August 10.

FE
 
INSURANCE

8)THE government, which is pushing the legislation to hike the cap in foreign direct investment in insurance from 26% to 49%, is also set to usher in reforms in India’s largest financial institution, Life Insurance Corporation.  It is vetting a proposal to bring about changes in the LIC Act to enhance the capital base of the corporation from Rs 5 crore to Rs 100 crore.

ET

9)The private sector life insurer, Max New York Life Insurance, has clocked Rs 2,100 crore in collected premium for the period Jan-July 2008, recording a growth of 81% over the same period last year.  Of this, first year premiums contributed Rs 1,195 crore, while earnings from renewal premium stood at Rs 905 crore.  The company has acquired around 27 lakh policies since inception and is ranked number 3 amongst private life insurers in terms of number of policies sold(YTD June). The assets under management have also increased to over Rs 4,138  crore on July 31,2008 from Rs 2,271 crore a year ago.

FE

10)Bharti AXA General Insurance Company, a joint venture between Bharti Group and AXA Group of Europe, is expected to see its capital base increase by Rs 645 crore over the next five years, as against an initial capital of Rs 130 crore.  The company launched its operations today.  The company, which will be headquartered in Bangalore, will sell property, project and engineering, cargo, motor, health, personal accident and travel insurance products.  Chief Executive Officer Milind Chalisgaonkar said the general insurer will use the agency force of Bharti Axa Life Insurance to sell its retail products such as health and motor.

BS

MARKETS

11)Alternate bouts of buying and selling put key equity indices on high volatility mode on Thursday.  Due to lack of any clear trigger and ahead of announcement of the crucial inflation figures due later in the day, indices ended flat with the 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex closing at 15,117.25 points, up 43.71 points or 0.29%, while the broader Nifty of the National Stock Exchange(NSE) closed the day at 4,523.85 points gaining 6.30 points or 0.14%.  Heaving buying in the Consumer Durable(CD) stocks led its sectoral index at the BSE to be the highest gainer surging by 2.86% while some selling pressure was witnessed in the stocks of the Capital Goods(CG), Power, Oil & Gas and PSUs leading their respective sectoral indices to end slightly in the negative zone.

FE

12)Value buying over the last month has lifted the BSE Auto index 12.97 percent during the period.  Declining crude prices also gave the index a boost, helping it beat the BSE Sensex, which went up 11.8 per cent.  The scrips in the auto index have gone up by between 12 percent and 26 per cent during this period.

BL

13)Petron Engineering Construction was up 6.34 per cent to Rs 256.50 after getting an order worth Rs 100.23 crore from HPCL-Mittal Energy for the Guru Gobind Singh refinery project.  A total of 53,315 shares were traded on the BSE counter as against the average daily volumes of 1,651 shares in the past one quarter.

BS

14)Shiv Vani Oil & Gas Exploration Services moved up 5.07 percent to Rs 575.50 after the company secured a contract worth Rs 1,610 crore from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation to deploy eight onshore deep drilling rigs.  On the BSE,  215,000 shares of Shiv Vani were traded, against the average daily volumes of 41,727 shares in the last quarter.

BS
 
IPO

15)THE Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA) is likely to consider the equity restructuring proposal of Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB) on Friday, paving the way for the proposed initial public offer (IPO) of the Delhi-based bank.

ET

16)Despite opposition from the company’s employees union, the Government seems to be moving ahead on its plans to list State-owned tele- com company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.  The Communications Minister,  Mr A.Raja, on Thursday said that BSNL may be listed on the bourses in the price range of Rs 300-400 a share.  While BNSL’s management said that the listing could happen within the next six months, all efforts are now being made to garner the union’s support.

BL

17)The Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd(Maha-Transco) proposes to enter the capital market with an IPO to raise around Rs 1,500 crore.  This will be the first of the three State government power companies going for a public issue.

BL
                                                          
MUTUAL FUNDS
 
18)The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) is likely to clear the long pending application of Taurus Parsoli Ethical Fund  to launch a shariah fund by the end of this month.  A go-ahead to Taurus would pave the way for other mutual fund houses to launch similar funds.

BS

19)Lotus India Mutual Fund on Thursday launched Lotus India Fixed Maturity Plan – 375 Days – Series XV, subscription to which will close on August 20. The close-ended scheme’s corpus will be invested in fixed-income securities maturing in line with its tenure.

BS

20)Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund will on Friday launch Plan E under Templeton Fixed Horizon Fund Series-IX, a fund house executive said.  Subscription to the 18-month income plan will close on August 20. The close-ended scheme will invest its entire corpus in fixed-income  securities having a maturity profile similar to the tenure of the  plan.

BS

21)LIC Mutual Fund will on Monday launch LIC Fixed Maturity Plan-Series  44, which will remain open until August 25, an executive said on Thursday.  The 13-month, close-ended scheme’s corpus will be invested in  fixed-income securities maturing in line with duration of the plan.

BS

COMMODITIES
 
22)Multi Commodity Exchange, the country’s top commodity exchange, has been approved as an affiliate member of the International Organisation of Securities Commission(IOSCO), the prestigious association  of world’s regulatory bodies and exchanges.  MCX is the first commodity exchange in India to have gained membership of IOSCO.                                            

FE

23)Weak trend continued on the bullion market in Mumbai on Thursday due to persistent offerings from stockists inspite of marginal rise  in the overseas markets. Standard gold (99.9 purity) dropped further  by Rs 20 per 10 gram to end at Rs 12,060 from 12,080 on Wednesday  and pure gold (99.9 purity) moved down by Rs 25 per 10 gram to Rs 12,125 from Rs 12,150.  Silver ready(.999 fineness) slipped by yet  another Rs 50 per kilo to Rs 23,940 from Rs 23,990.  Gold prices in  London edged up to $882.20/883.20 an ounce from $878.70/879.90 late in New York as the dollar softened against the euro.

ET

REAL ESTATE

24)Property developers, consultants and brokers see enquiries from  home buyers have gone down by 40 per cent over the last three months. Investors say that while developers are not advertising price cuts,  most of them are ready to reduce prices once negotiations start. However, some are expecting prices to revive during the Diwali season. With home-buyers postponing their purchases owing to higher interes  rates and increase in equated monthly installments, the slowdown in the real estate market is getting deeper.

BS

25)ETA Star Property Developers Ltd, an offshoot of the Dubai-based $6 billion ETA Star conglomerate, is planning to set a mega integrated township in a sprawling 400 acres of land at Sriperumbudur nea  Chennai with an estimated cost of nearly Rs 7,500 crore, said P H M Syed Ismail, managing director, ETA Star Property.

FE

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

26)BPO agents can now work from home, fulfilling a long-standing in dustry demand for lowering operating costs and bringing more people,  including women and the physically challenged, into the workforce.  The government has given a go-ahead to agents working at call cen tres, among other service providers, to work from home.

ET
 
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
 
27)MAJORITY of the sub-$1 billion IT services companies in India will  be forced to alter their business models to focus on specialisation  in the changed competitive environment, according to technology re search provider Forrester.  In its report. “Surviving The Offshor  Vendor Polarization Puzzle”, Forrester said that sub-scale, non-specialist IT services providers are struggling to grow their businesss and this is likely to see many of them shedding up to 30%  of their non-strategic clients to pursue a more specialised strategy and rebuild competitiveness.

ET

INTERNATIONAL
 
28)Crude recovered from three-month lows to rise by more than $2 on Thursday as supply concerns returned to centre stage in a market   that has come under pressure from growing evidence of slower fuel  demand.  US crude rose $2.18 to $120.76 a barrel by 1134 GMT,  after the contract recovered from a three-month-low hit in the previous session.

BL

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

07 August 2008

GENERAL

1)The Union government on Wednesday ruled out an immediate reduction in petrol and diesel prices following a softening of global crude prices. It said the domestic rates were still pegged at roughly half the current international prices.

Hindu
 
ECONOMY
 
2)The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council on Wednesday said India’s economic growth could moderate to 7.5-8% this fiscal and saw no change in RBI’s tight monetary stance till inflation cools down. “There are certain factors, both domestic and external, which may add to the slowdown of growth rate, but we still think that the growth rate could be 7.5 to 8%,” PMAC chairman C Rangarajan said.  The panel would release its economic outlook in a week’s  time.

FE

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)As part of its initiative into the non-auto component business, Pune-based forgings maker Bharat Forge Ltd(BFL) plans to step into the manufacture of ultra heavy forgings catering to the power  sector, including nuclear plants.

BL

4)Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Energy (JSWEL) will soon foray into power distribution business, as part of its plan to become an integrated power company on the lines of Tata Power and Anil Ambani- promoted Reliance Infrastructure, both own power generation plants and also distribute to retail and commercial customers.

BS

5)Hindustan Construction Company(HCC) has bagged an irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh worth Rs 629.33 crore, the company said.  The total worth of the order is Rs 1,398.50 and HCC is in a joint venture for this with another engineering firm and a Czech firm CKD Blansko Engineering.

BS

MONEY & BANKING

6)The rupee appreciated by 17 paise against the dollar on Wednesday and even went below the level of 42 briefly, due to dollar selling by big corporate houses.  The currency opened higher at 42.05/06  and closed at 42.07/08, against the previous close of 42.24/25.

BL

7)After a lull, another public sector bank has raised lending rates. With pressure on margins, Union Bank of India today increased its benchmark prime lending rate(PLR) by 75 basis points to 14 per cent, but spared existing home loan borrowers.  There are indications that the country’s second largest private lender, HDFC Bank, will raise rates by the end of the week.

BS

8)After months of deliberations, both the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of India, on Wednesday issued final guildelines for launching exchange traded currency futures. Stock exchanges can now start currency futures after obtaining approval from both the regulators.  According to the guidelines, banks planning to enter trading in currency futures should have a minimum net worth Rs 500 crore and a capital adequacy of 10 per cent.

BL

INSURANCE

9)SENIOR citizens have good chances of getting a health cover even after they turn 65. The insurance regulator Irda, is vetting a proposal to make health cover affordable to all senior citizens.  A final view will be taken on providing guaranteed access to health insurance for this segment by this year-end, said a top official of the regulatory body.

ET

MARKETS

10)After lingering in the positive terrain for most of the trading session, key equity indices succumbed to profit-booking at the fag end of the trading session and ended the day with modest gains.  The 30- share Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) gained 112.7 points  or 0.75% before closing the day above 15K mark at 15,073.54 points. while broader S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) added 14.70 points or 0.33% and closed the day at 4517.55 points.

FE

11)After being battered for sometime now, cement companies stocks in the BSE seem to have attracted investors’ fancy in the last one month. Expectations of a possible hike in cement prices post-monsoon and a marginal fall in prices of coal – one of the major raw material for cement production – have boosted  investor sentiment.

BL

12)The Gujarat-based Elecon Engineering Company rose 5.05 per cent to close at Rs 107.10 on bagging five new orders totalling Rs 524.20 crore.  The company’s order book was Rs 1,800 crore as on July 31.

BS

13)ICSA India (ICSA) was locked at 5 per cent upper circuit to close at Rs 377.40 after the technology solution provider signed a deal with ECE Industries to buy the latter’s machineries and equipment situated at the Hyderabad plant, along with available drawings, designs and data.

BS

IPO

14)The government has decided to go ahead with the IPO of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd(BSNL), Communications & IT minister A Raja is scheduled to meet the BSNL unions on Thursday to convince them that the move would not jeopardise either their jobs or the growth of state-owned company.

FE

15)The partial disinvestment of government stakes in public sector undertakings (PSUs) by way of offers for sale in the capital market  seems to have resumed, with the state-run NHPC Ltd, the hydroelectric power major, filing its revised draft red herring prospectus  (DRHP) for an initial public offer(IPO) with the Sebi on Wednesday.

FE

16)Cleartrip, an online travel facilitating company, is likely to come out with an initial public offering in 2009.  The company, which received three rounds of investments totalling $31 million, hopes to break even this financial year.

BL

MUTUAL FUNDS

17)Looking to expand its reach among the rural population, the mutual fund industry may get readymade access to millions of rural consumers bought into the formal banking system.  This is due to the new norms for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act that helped 20 million workers under the scheme to open saving accounts with post offices or banks.

FE

18)Mirae Asset Global Investment Management on Wednesday announced the launch of its new fund – Mirae Asset Interval Fund – Quarterly plan.  The new fund, a debt-oriented interval scheme, will seek to generate returns with low volatility through a portfolio  of debt and money market instruments with a provision to offer liquidity at periodic intervals.  The fund will have a tenure period of 90 days and will be open for subscriptions from August 7-12.

ET

COMMODITIES

19)Soyabean futures moved up marginally on Wednesday on NCDEX counter owing to profit booking and firm global market.  At 1230 hrs, the most-active September contract rose by 0.53% at Rs 2,370 per quintal. October contract was up by 0.75 per cent at Rs 2,152 per quintal and November contract by 0.88% at Rs 2,132 per quintal. Future prices are slightly up as investors are booking profit on the recent fall, an analyst with Karvy Comtrade said.  Soyabean futures hit the lower level of 3% on Tuesday on the NCDEX counter.  A slight recovery in the global prices of soyabean and soya oil at Chicago Board of Trade is also affecting domestic market, he said.

FE

20)Gold rose 1 per cent in Europe on Wednesday as investors took advantage of a three-day fall in prices to buy below the key $900 an ounce support level.  Gold rose to $883.80/884.80 an ounce at 1014 GMT from $876.35/877.95 late in New York on Tuesday.

BL

21)Gold prices fell further by Rs 55 today after a Rs 335 fall on Tuesday. Standard gold fell to Rs 12,080 per 10 gm from Rs 12,135 while pure gold fell to Rs 12,150 from  Rs 12,200 per 10 gm. Silver fine  also fell from Rs 24,100 a kg to Rs 23,990.

BS

22)Pepper futures market continued to witness high volatility with the prices moving up and down on Wednesday and closing marginally above the Monday prices.  August contract moved up by Rs 66 to close at Rs 14,185 a quintal, while the increase in other contracts was from Rs 3 to Rs 72 a quintal on NCDEX.

BL

REAL ESTATE

23)Real estate prices in West Bengal will rise by 5-20 per cent from September, said Mr Pradeep Sureka, President, Bengal Chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developer’s Association of India (CREDAI), on Wednesday.  The price hike comes in the wake of 43 per cent rise in construction costs over the last two years, he  said. While construction costs account for 10-15 per cent of the total cost of real estate projects in places such as Mumbai and Gurgaon, in West Bengal it accounts for nearly 80 per cent.

BL

COMMUNICATIONS

24)IN A move that is set to further increase competition in the world’s fastest growing mobile market, telecom regulator Trai on Wednesday asked the government to allow mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), whose business model involves buying airtime from existing operators and then selling it under their own brand, to launch services in India.  This will enable firms to allow to offer mobile services without owing cellular networks(radio frequencies).

ET

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

25)The economic slowdown in the US will prompt Indian BPO (business process outsourcing) firms to scout for opportunities to acquire companies in that country at lower valuations.  Both large and medium companies will try to explore opportunities, say analysts. However, it’s the larger companies which will be taking a much more aggresive stance as they are likely to have stronger cash and strategic re- sources.

FE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

26)Geometric Ltd has received an IT deal from Ford Motor Company for providing the auto major with production support and software maintenance services.  The Mumbai-based company will also provide application management services for Fords engineering application suite.

BL

27)SOFTWARE service provider Cybage Software is planning to lower its dependence on the US market to avert possible risks from an impending slow-down.  It expects the US market to 75% of its revenues as against the current 90% by mid-2009.  The company’s revenues stood at Rs 210 crore in FY08.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

28)World oil prices rebounded somewhat on Wednesday as traders awaited a weekly US crude stockpiles report that could shed fresh light on the strength of global energy demand. Brent North Sea crude for September delivery added 65 cents to $118.35 per barrel in electronic trading.  New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for Sep- tember gained 45 cents to $119.62.

FE
 

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

06 August 2008

GENERAL

1)The Bush administration will push for a vote on the US-India civilian nuclear deal in the Congress on or around September when it returns for its fall session after lawmakers on both sides would have finished with their respective party conventions the previous week.

TOI

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
 
2)The slowdown in the global economy has turned into an opportunity for the country’s auto sector, especially the components segment, to go for big-ticket buyouts. While exact figures are hard to come by, industry experts confirmed that leading Indian manufacturers  are developing war chests for overseas acquisitions.

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3)SINGAPORE’s Temasek Holdings has shortlisted Tata Power to bid for the city state’s power generating company, Senoko Power.  This would enable the Tata company to enter the second round of a global bidding. The successful bidder may need to fork out $3 billion to bag Senoko.

ET

4)State-owned generation major NTPC Ltd has joined hands with the Manila-based Asian Development Bank(ADB), GE Energy Financial Services, Kyushu Electric Power Co and Brookfield Renewable Power to form a joint venture firm to undertake renewable power generation.

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MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee appreciated by 24 paise against the dollar on Tuesday due to gains in the stock market and oil prices falling below $120  per barrel. The currency opened higher at 42.36/38 and closed at 42.24/25, stronger than the previous close of 42.48/49.

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INSURANCE

6)HAVING regained its position as one of the top five life insurance companies, Birla Sun Life Insurance has lined up Rs 1,300 crore of investment into the company. The company has been the fastest growing life insurer in the current fiscal, with a 187% growth in new business during the first quarter.  Speaking to ET, Birla Sun Life Insu- rance president and CEO Vikram Mehmi said that the company would start publishing its valuation numbers from next year which would give an idea how much the company is worth.  The company has set for itself a target of being among the top three by 2010, by which time it is also expected to break-even.  “We are already among the top three if you see the premium in terms of individual business,” said Mr Mehmi.

ET

7)Leading private insurance company Max New York Life has launched an insurance policy for the financial under-privileged people in the country.  The company is planning to sell the new policy called Max Vijay to one crore people, accounting for 10 per cent of the current market.  The new policy differs with the conventional policies as  people can buy a policy for as low as Rs 1,000 with an assured sum, equal to five times the premium. The policy can be purchased over the counter and will not lapse even if a premium is not paid on time that can be paid as Rs 10 per day.

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PENSION

8)The pension reforms bill to set up a regulator and give more freedom to subscribers for investing their retirement money is likely to be tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament.  “Amendments are ready. Hopefully, it would be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session of  Parliament,” finance ministry sources said on Tuesday.

ET

MARKETS

9)The BSE Sensex rose to its highest in six weeks, led by fresh buying in banking and real estate stocks, as crude oil prices fell to $118  a barrel in futures trading, easing concerns over inflation.  The30- share Sensex added 383.20 points, or 2.6%, to 14,961.07, its highest since June 19, on optimism that falling energy prices would narrow the fiscal deficit and ease pressure on the RBI to raise rates.  The NSE’s S&P CNX Nifty climbed 107.50 points, or 2.5%, to 4,520.85. The Sensex has risen almost 19% from its 15-month low on July 16.

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10)With global commodity prices declining over the past two weeks, top stock brokers and market operators are once again turning their attention towards the domestic equity markets.  Deven Choksey, managing director of K R Choksey Shares and Securities, said the mood seems to be turning positive and this may continue for some time.  Those predicting a grim scenario for the stock markets till last week are now looking at stocks,” he said.

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11)Sugar stocks surged on Tuesday as the Government fixed the quota for free sale of sugar for August at a level lower than market expectations. “This move would reduce the supply of sugar in the market, which will in turn drive up the prices of sugar, ahead of the festival demand,” said a commdities research analyst at a stock broking firm.

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IPO

12)MARKET regulator Sebi on Tuesday said an alternative payment system for public issues – by which retail investors will be spared from depositing money upfront while applying for shares – will be launched as a pilot project by August-end.

ET

13)State-run NHPC on Tuesday said it will file revised draft prospectus for its initial public offer to raise Rs 1,670 crore with market regulator SEBI in two days.

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OPEN OFFER

14)Ranbaxy Laboratories on Tuesday said that the open offer by the  Japanese Sankyo for acquiring an additional 20 per cent stake in the Indian drug company will commence on August 16 and close on September 4.  The announcement comes after the Sebi gave its nod for the open offer on Monday.

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MUTUAL FUNDS

15)For mutual fund investors, here’s some good news.  Almost all arbitrage funds have outperformed their benchmark indices in the last  six months.  With volatility still plaguing the market and the debt market taking a hit due to consecutive rate hikes, arbitrage funds  have bucked the downward trend by clocking positive returns.  Arbitrage funds, as a category, have yielded 3.03 per cent returns in the last six months, when all other funds except pharma were mostly in the red.  Pharma funds gave returns of 6.86 per cent.

BS
 
COMMODITIES

16)Gold is likely to decline below the support level of $870 before this weekend reducing demand for the metal as a hedge against the  agricultural commodities prices.  However, the fall would depend on the announcement of Federal Open Market Committee(FOMC) today. If the FOMC revises the benchmark interest rate downwards, then gold would see a turnaround.  In case the rate is either raised or un- changed, the yellow metal would see a further correction of up to 3 per cent this week.  This would translate into the price falling to Rs 12,120 per 10 gm in India.

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17)Tracking weak global cues, precious metals tumbled on the local bullion market on Tuesday on fresh offerings from stockists. Standard gold(99.5 purity) ended sharply lower by Rs 335 per ten gm to one-and-half month low at Rs 12,135 from Rs 12,470.  Pure gold (99.9 purity) finished weak at Rs 12,200 from overnight close of Rs 12,535. Silver ready (.999 fineness) dropped sharply by Rs 740 per kg to Rs 24,100 from Rs 24,800.

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18)The suspension of the futures trade in potato has taken away from the farmers, an opportunity to hedge their price risks, leaving them at the mercy of the local traders, market participants said.  Futures on the MCX and NCDEX acted as an indicator of price trends for farmers on the basis of far-month contracts, traders said.

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REAL ESTATE

19)It has traditionally been a preferred residential area of Thiruvananthapuram, and the realty boom that has brought a clutch of residential apartment buildings and shopping centres is giving a fresh makeover  for Sasthamangalam in the Kerala capital.  The chief attractions for Sasthamangalam have remained the same for several decades-its proximity to the elite Kowdiar area, being within short distance of the city centre, and easy access to different parts of the town.

ET

20)THE impact of the US economic slowdown has been felt most in the Bangalore real estate market, where the IT industry has traditionally been the largest absorbers of office space.  The demand for office space in Bangalore saw 61% drop on a quarter-on-quarter(QoQ) basis, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report.  During the April-June period of 2008, the supply of office space was 3.11 million sq ft while the total absorption was 1.97 million sq ft.  This is in sharp contrast to the January-March period of 2008 where the office space supply was 5.65 million sq ft with total absorption being 5.15 million sq ft.  Absorption of office space also includes pre-commitments. On a country-wide basis, the demand for office space across major metros has declined by 33% on QoQ basis, the report said.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)HIRING in the IT industry is showing early signs of revival, driven mainly by transnational companies.  The market had remained de- pressed for the last five to six months with recruitment taking place only in specific cases and most technology firms putting off proactive hiring plans.  While Indian firms are still cautious about their hiring plans MNCs are belived to be a little more robust in increasing their staff strength.

ET

22)POLARIS Software Lab said on Tuesday that it has signed a professional services agreement with AIG Global Services(AIGGS), through which it will provide IT services to insurance major American International Group(AIG) and its member companies globally.

ET

23)After a series of large tranformational and infrastructure deals in the telecom sector such as Bharti and Vodafone, it is the turn of the banking sector to witness similar long-term deals, according to a  senior IBM official.  With the telecom infrastructure becoming robust, the banking sector is looking at the next stage of growth.

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INTERNATIONAL
 

24)OIL prices slid further on Tuesday, dropping to as low as $118 a barrel on widening expectations that the slumping US economy will keep eroding consumer demand for gasoline and other petroleum products.  The US dollar’s gains against the euro also contributed to oil’s decline.  Light, sweet crude for September delivery was down $1.51 at $119.90 a barrel in pre-market trading on the New York Mercantile exchange.  Earlier, it dropped to $118, before regaining some ground.

ET

25)Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke, likely to leave interest rates unchanged today, may need to sound tougher on inflation to avert the sharpest public disagreement among policy makers in more than a decade.

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