Headlines (04 September 2008)

GENERAL

1)ON the threshold of a digital boom, India has decided to open a new bandwidth of communication that will hasten the delivery of direct to home services, internet and other infotainment channels. The new ‘Ka-band’ will offer a quality of transmission and speed superior to the existing band widths of ‘C’ and ‘Ku’ that are nearing saturation, given the extensive use of Indian transponders following the heavy demand posed by new age users. The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has undertaken this challenge of increasing the country’s digital capacity.

Indian Express

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)General Motors India, a subsidiary of General Motors Corporation on Wednesday announced a top-up of $500-million investment to the $1 billion it has already committed to invest in New Delhi. The company timing is significant as it comes a day after Tata Motors suspended work on its Nano car project in Singur over land woes. GM India’s new investment plans conform to automaker’s optimism about investments in India, disregarding the current industrial slowdown.

FE

3)The verdict on the factual schedule of first oil and gas production from the country’s biggest oil and gas discovery in the Krishna Godavari basin – D6 block(KG-DWN-98/3) of Reliance industries Limited- is finally out. A detailed project report submitted by the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons(DGH) to the petroleum ministry makes it clear that gas production from the two gas finds – D1 and D3 should commence by November, in the best possible scenario and may even slip by two months to January 2009, if last mile project work gets delayed due to bad weather.

FE

4)What could be the first of its kind in the Indian automobile industry; Tata Motors’ on Wednesday unveiled the prototype of the electric version of Indica that would be first launched in Norway in collaboration with the company’s partner there. Though, Reva Electric already has an electric vehicle in India but Indica is expected to be a bigger and high powered vehicle than Reva givent the fact that it’s a four door vehicle driven by lithium-ion batteries. “Norway has strict stringent norms as well as adequate infrastructure for electric cars. Hence, we will launch the electric Indica in Norway in 2009,” says Ravi Kant, managing director, Tata Motors.

FE

5)Faced with difficulty in pushing sales, the automobile industry could have a major rethink in expanding capacity and executing some of the committed investments, SIAM said on Wednesday. “The auto industry finds itself in difficult times and Iam sure that everybody would be looking at these things as to what can be postponed and what can be cancelled,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers President Ravi Kant said on the sidelines of ACMA annual convention.

Indian Express

6)AUTO ancillary major Sona Koyo Steering Systems is looking to lower its dependence on the shaky automotive sector, which, at present, is plagued by rising input costs, and is planning to diversify into newer verticals, like aerospace and windmill technology. This is expected to give the companies a back-up, as auto sales in Indian hit a new low.

FC

MONEY & BANKING

7)Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited launched its co-branded credit card with ICICI Bank Limited. Speaking on the occasion, B Lahiri, Director (Operations) said that the credit card will go a long way in adding value and variety to the product portfolio under Peerless Smart Money. Jayata Roy, Director(Corporate Planning and Strategy) said the card will be distributed from 76 branches across the country.

Indian Express

INSURANCE

8)LIFE Insurance Corporation said that more than 2.21 crore persons were covered during 2007-08 under various social security schemes managed by it. The company completed 375.90 lakh new policies with first premium income of Rs 43,812.86 crore in the same period, the LIC said in a press release issue in Mumbai. The total number of in-force policies of LIC crossed the 23-crore mark in individual insurance.

FC

MARKETS

9)The exchange-traded currency futures(ETCF) market in India, launched on Friday in Mumbai, has already begum attracting corporate attention. The level of open interest increased by 103% to 27,707 contracts on Tuesday from 13,641 contracts on Friday. Open interest is the total number of outstanding contracts that are held by market participants at the end of the day. While market makers are driving up volumes, analysts also expect small & medium enterprises to join in over time.

FE

10)The equity shares of Austral Coke & Projects are listed and admitted to dealings on the BSE in the list of ‘B’ Group Securities effective from September 4, 2008.

FC

MUTUAL FUNDS

11)The government and the regulators are considering providing mutual funds with tax benefits similar to those given to the unit linked insurance plans(Ulips). While no tax is currently levied on Ulips, many MF products such as the systematic investment plans, debt mutual funds attract both capital gains tax as well as securities transaction tax(STT).

FE

12)LOTUS India Asset Management, part owned by Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte, plans to triple its assets to $6 billion in two years, outpacing growth in the industry, said chief executive officer Ajay Bagga. Lotus India will offer new funds including those investing in real estate to tap rising incomes in the world’s second-fastest growing major economy.

FC

COMMODITIES

13)GOLD fell more than 2 per cent on Wednesday, dropping back beneath $800 an ounce as strength in the dollar and a drop in oil prices continued to weigh on investor sentiment. With the dollar soaring to an 11-month high and oil prices continuing to decline, the metal’s appeal as an alternative to the US currency and as a hedge against fuel-led inflation has been diminished. Gold was trading at $795.55/ 796.55 an ounce as of 0957 GMT, down from $804.90/806.25 an ounce late in New York on Tuesday.

FC

REAL ESTATE

14)At a time when the real estate sector is going through a sluggish phase, a Ficci-Ernst & Young survey has underlined that the sector would embark on a high growth trajectory in the long run. The report, highlights of which were released on Wednesday gave several pointers of the developments slated to happen in the sector. The full report would be released on September 10 at a real estate summit, which would have the presence all the stakeholders. The Ernst & Young Realty Pulse survey has indicated that 62% of the developers foresee growth in the long-term. Around 35% developers define capital value of “affordable housing” in the range of Rs 1 million to Rs 1.5 million. The areas with potential for significant growth potential in the Indian real estate sector include healthcare infra- structure, logistics and warehousing and affordable housing formats. The Ficci-Ersnt & Young Real Estate Report is based on the qualitative survey conducted by Ernst & Young across six prominent cities comprising Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

FE

15)Real Estate firm Suncity Projects is planning to raise up to Rs 500 crore through private equity for development of its IT SEZ project at Gurgaon. “We are in talks with various private equity firms to raise Rs 350-Rs 500 crore for our IT SEZ project,” Director Ashok Bansal said. The IT SEZ, spread over 167 acres, has been notified and construction would begin next month, he said.

Indian Express

COMMUNICATIONS

16)In yet another key telecom reform, the government would end the multiple licence regime and converge all permits under a single licence, christened unified service licence(USL). In the future, a USL would enable players to give all forms of telecom services such as long distance and Internet services as well as mobile and landline services. Currently, such services come under multiple licences. While mobile, landline and Internet services can be provided under a unified access service licence(UASL), a separate licence is required for long distance services. Stand-alone ISPs have a separate licence regime.

FE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

17)Not worried over the US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s remarks on outsourcing, industry body Nasscom is trying to build up confidence levels among the domestic players. After giving a gearup exercise to the industry, Nasscom is still bullish on the growth of software exports by the Indian companies which are having a global delivery model and is unlikely to be affected by the US decision.

FE

INTERNATIONAL

18)OIL prices extended their losses Wednesday, a day after plunging nearly $6 a barrel, as oil market traders shifted their attention from tropical weather to a stronger dollar and falling demand for petroleum products. Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell $1.07 to $108.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier dipping as low as $107.32. On Tuesday, crude plummeted in a dramatic sell-off after it became clear that Hurricane Gustav had left the US oil infrastructure without major damage.

FC

19)Oil’s sharp two-month decline is likely to end soon as producer cartel Opec will probably cut production once prices dip below $100 a barrel, the head of commodities research for Credit Suisse said on Wednesday. Production curbs should keep prices between $100 and $110 for the rest of this year, while grain markets should rally as traders look past positive short-term weather conditions towards the bigger longer-term risks to world food supplies, Mr Tobias Merath said.

DC

20)After making their way into the league of richest persons, India’s warring billionaire brothers – Mukesh and Anil Ambani – have been named together among the world’s 100 most influential and powerful people by British fashion magazine Vanity Fair. Ambani brothers are ranked at the 67th place in the 100 list which is topped by Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin while media baron Rupert Murdoch is in the second spot.

FE
 
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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
Financial Chronicle www.mydigitalfc.com
The New Indian Express www.newindpress.com

Headlines (02 September 2008)

GENERAL

1)As members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group slowly digest the revised American proposal to grant India a waiver from the cartel’s export guidelines, Indian officials say this week’s scheduled NSG meeting will be decisive in sealing the fate of the nuclear deal with the United States one way or another.

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)The 22nd governor of the Reserve Bank of India(RBI), Dr Duvvuri Subbarao, steps into Mumbai’s Mint Street on September 5 with the task of bringing the Indian financial sector at par with the pace at which the Indian economy has matured. His first order of business is to bring inflation to below 5% and then set about implementing financial sector reforms, including an overhaul of RBI itself, to make India a hub of global financial services.

FE

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)Karvy Comtrade Ltd, a commodity brokerage company, on Monday announced that it has bagged the account of the Delhi-based low cost airline, SpiceJet, for advising it on strategies to hedge its aviation turbine fuel requirement on MCX platform. The move is likely to see the airline offer lower fares to its passengers.

BL

4)ICICI Venture-controlled Ranbaxy Fine Chemicals(RFCL) has succeeded in its bid to acquire the US-based speciality chemicals major Mallinckrodt Baker in a deal estimated at $340 million, sources close to the development said.Once the transaction is concluded, RFCL will be acquiring a company that is over three times its size.

ET

5)Suzlon Energy Limited, the world’s fifth largest wind turbine maker, will aquire the 22.48 per cent stake held by Portugal’s real estate group Martifer SGPS SA in Suzlon subsidiary REpower Systems AG of Germany for Euro 270 million (Rs 1,744 crore), at a price of Euro 131 per share.

BS

MONEY & BANKING

6)The rupee depreciated by around 25 paise against the greenback on heavy dollar demand from foreign banks and importers. The domestic currency breached the psychological 44 level and opened weak at 44.08/10. It dropped to 44.24/25 during the day but finally ended at 44.18/19, against the previous close at 43.93/94.

BL

7)Union Bank of India is planning to raise Rs 1,000 crore by October. Out of this, Rs 200 crore will be raised through a perpetual bond issue, Rs 300 crore through an upper Tier-I bond issue and Rs 500 crore through a Tier-bond issue, said Mr M V Nair, Chairman and Managing Director.

BL

INSURANCE

8)Almost two years after the UPA government referred the Insurance Amendment Bill aimed at raising the foreign direct investment cap in the sector from 26% to 49% to a Group of Ministers(GoM), the panel finally paved the way for the Bill to be introduced in Parliament after a meeting on Monday afternoon.

FE

PENSION

9)INDIA’S pension regulator PFRDA will now signal further reforms with the unveiling of liberal investment norms for subscribers and induction of private fund managers for the New Pension Scheme(NPS). Over the next few months, the regulator is planning to formulate a new investment norm, completely different from the one now in vogue for non-government provident funds. The new rules are expected to give more leeway to subscribers of the NPS in terms of equity exposure and options. Of the five schemes to be offered to both government employees and individuals, one will provide an option to take an exposure of up to 25% to 30% in equities while another will enable a subscriber – an younger one – to take an exposure as high as 50%.

ET

MARKETS

10)INDIAN equities closed marginally lower on Monday, erasing losses earlier in the session, as a fall in global crude oil prices sparked some late buying related to short-covering. Analysts maintain oil prices will be key to direction of equities globally in the near future and that a further fall in black gold could avert any sharp falls, even as the undertone is cautious. The 30-share Sensex ended 66 points or 0.45% lower at 14,498.51, after recovering 217 points from the day’s low. The broader 50-share Nifty ended the session with a 11-point-drop at 4348.65.

ET

11)ONCE seen as a product meant only for the more refined investors, options are becoming more popular than futures, which are more of mass market products. Data reveal that in August, options trading outpaced futures for the first time ever since derivatives were introduced in India eight years ago. Market participants attribute this trend to the growing number of players, including institutions, that are finding options much more profitable, especially in the current range-bound market. Besides, the tax effectiveness of options over futures after a change in rules this year has made it more appealing to day traders and professional jobbers.

ET

12)TTK Prestige Ltd on Monday informed the stock exchanges that the promoter of the company TT Krishnamachari & Co is desirous of delisting the equity shares from Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in accordance with SEBI (Delisting Guidelines 2003).

BL

13)The Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday said trading timings at the exchange will change from September 24 till October 8, as VSAT services might get disrupted during this period due to heavy solar activity. Trading in bse will start as usual at 9.55 am and close at 4.15 pm, a circular issued by the exchange said. There will be no trading from 11.25 am to 12.10 pm as there will be signal problems during this time, it added.

ET

14)More than 300 members have shown expressions of interest in MCX Stock Exchange Limited(MCX-SE), subsidiary of Multi Commodity Ex- change of India Limited(MCX), within three days from the launch date. They include banks, commodity brokers, exporters, importers, stock brokers, foreign exchange dealers registered through FEDAI. MCX-SE will commence mock trading from September 2.

FE

IPO

15)Promoters of the Rajasthan Royals cricket team, champions of the inaugural Indian Premier League(IPL), are considering a private placement and a subsequent public issue to raise funds and capitalise on their success in acquiring a winning team at the cheapest valuation among all bidders.

BS

16)20 Microns, a company into the business of micronised minerals and a manufacturer of ultra-fine minerals for paint and plastic industries, on Monday announced that it would be entering the capital market with an IPO on September 8.

BL

BUYBACK

17)The board of directors of Rain Commodities Ltd has approved buy-back of its fully paid-up equity shares from the open market. The company would purchase equity shares of Rs 10 each for an amount not exceeding Rs 26 crore at prevailing market price on the stock exchanges.

BL

MUTUAL FUNDS

18)IN a move that could revolutionise sale and purchase of mutual fund units by investors across the country, the Association of Mutual Funds in India(Amfi) is working towards setting up an electronic platform. This would not only benefit unitholders, but also distributors and fund houses. The electronic platform will bring paperwork to a bare minimum, improve operational efficiency, provide transaction convenience and reduce cost. The proposed electronic platform will help investors trade even in open ended-mutual fund scheme units, like in the case of shares, switch between schemes of different fund houses, and also enable mutual fund investors to view their entire portfolio on a single portal. The modalities of the platform are being worked upon by a Amfi-appointed committee.

ET

19)Goldman Sachs said it has regulatory approval to launch mutual funds in India, Asia’s third-largest economy, joining the likes of AIG, JPMorgan and South Korea’s Mirae Asset which have started operations in the past 18 months. Adam Broder will be the CEO of Goldman Sachs AMC(India) and Prashant Khemka will be CIO, the firm said on Monday.

ET

20)Reliance Mutual Fund registered a growth of 4.79% in the month of August in their Asset under Management(AUM) compared to July’s AUM,according to data provided by the Association of Mutual Funds in India(Amfi). In the month of August, Reliance Mutual Fund’s asset saw the increase of Rs 4,052.55 crores and which stood at Rs 88,616.46 crores compared to 84,563.91 crores in the month of July.

FE

21)Edelweiss Asset Management, the investment manager to Edelweiss Mutual Fund, announced the launch of its maiden funds, Edelweiss Liquid Fund & Edelweiss Liquid Plus Fund. The New Fund Offers open on September 1 and closes on September 8.

BS

COMMODITIES

22)Gold eked out gains on Monday, supported by rising oil prices ahead of hurricane Gustav, but a strong dollar capped bullion’s rise. Platinum tumbled almost 4 per cent as poor car sales and a slowing US economy weighed on the metal, which has tumbled nearly 40 percent since hitting a lifetime high of $2,290 an ounce, in March. Sister metal palladium also dropped, while silver tracked gold higher. Gold rose to $832/834.70 an ounce by 0938 GMT from $830.35/832.35 an ounce late in New York on Friday, when it slipped more than $1 on profit taking.

BL

COMMUNICATIONS

23)HIDDEN charges in recharge coupons will soon become history. Telecom regulator Trai on Monday announced a series of measures, largely for pre-paid customers, including waiving off processing charges on recharge cards to ‘improving transparency in tariffs and protecting the interests of consumers’. Besides, subscribers will no longer be charged any fee for moving from pre-paid to a post-paid connection.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

24)Indian IT vendors may see a decline in new client additions in the US, their largest market, ahead of the presidential elections, as potential customers delay their plans even as the anti-outsourcing rhetoric starts building up. Analysts say the prevailing uncertainty due to the credit crisis and economic slowdown would intensify ahead of November elections as clients continue to postpone their spending plans, but large IT vendors such as Infosys Technologies Ltd and Wipro Ltd said such a delay would not have any material impact on them.

BL

INTERNATIONAL

25)Crude oil futures dropped nearly $5 a barrel on Monday as Hurricane Gustav weakened to Category 2 status as it neared the energy-rich US Gulf Coast. Light, sweet crude for October delivery was down $4.72, or 4.1%, at $110.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dipping as low as $110.60.

BL

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd http://www.karvy.com
http://www.khojhyderabad.com
http://www.indiacorporateadvisor.com
http://www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
KARVY Global Services Ltd http://www.KARVYGlobal.com
KARVY Realty (India) Limited http://www.karvyrealty.com
Economic Times http://www.economictimes.com
The Financial Express http://www.financialexpress.com
Business Line http://www.businessline.in
Business Standard http://www.business-standard.com
The Times of India http://www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu http://www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle http://www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express http://www.newindpress.com