HEADLINES (09 September 2008)

GENERAL

1)India on Monday sought regional cooperation in overcoming the challenges posed by poverty and diseases, which are likely to aggravate owing to climate change. The appeal was made External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee while inaugurating the 26th meeting of the Ministers of Health and the 61st session of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for South East Asia in New Delhi.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)CLOSE to 40 Indian companies, including Venugopal Dhoot-led Videocon and Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel, have started negotiations with their overseas counterparts to set up nuclear power plants envisaging investments worth Rs 2 lakh crore. “This is a huge business opportunity for India as power is one of the booming sectors that would require maximum investments in near future. We have asked the government to amend the legislations to facilitate entry of private sector firms in generation of nuclear power,” said Videocon Group chairman and Assocham immediate past president Venugopal Dhoot at the conference organised by industry body Assocham on Mon- day.

ET

3)As the Hinduja group’s flagship Ashok Leyland celebrates its diamond jubilee, the group today announced plans to acquire related businesses in Europe and West Asia. Group Chairman S P Hinduja said their objective was to make Ashok Leyland as one of the five top commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world within the next 10 years.

BS

MONEY & BANKING

4)The rupee closed flat against the dollar after opening stronger on Monday, due to strong dollar buying. While the gains made by the stock market led to the rupee appreciating in the earlier session,the dollar demand by oil companies and foreign banks pared the rupee’s gains, said forex dealers. The rupee opened at 44.35 and touched a high of 44.15, before closing at 44.60, against Friday’s close of Rs 44.73.

BL

INSURANCE

5)HDFC Standard Life Insurance has announced that its total assets under management have crossed the Rs 10,000-crore mark. Over 55 per cent of the total assets under management deal with equity.

BS

MARKETS

6)Powered by probable nuclear deal beneficiaries, benchmark indices on Monday surged intra-day, before giving up a part of those gains to end below their psychological levels. The clearance for the Indo- US nuclear deal set the tone for the rally, and the federal bailout of US financial institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, further boosted sentiment. Banking, capital goods and power stocks were the star performers of the day as the 30-share Sensex gained 461.14 points to close at 14,944.97, up 3.2%. The index had touched an in- traday high of 15107. The 50-share Nifty added 130 points to end the day at 4482.30, a gain of almost 3%.

ET

7)Sugar company stocks hogged the limelight on the bourses on the back of the Supreme Court interim order directing Uttar Pradesh sugar companies to pay Rs 110 a quintal against the State advised price of Rs 125 a quintal for the sugarcane procured in the season ending September 30.

BL

8)The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) is looking forward to use the extensible business reporting language(XBRL) technology in the near future where listed companies filing their financial statements with the board will be required to do so in XBRL compatible format. The XBRL is a way of electronic communication of business and financial data and is of immense utility to the capital markets and the investing community.

FE

IPO

9)State-run Oil India (OIL) on Monday said it expects to receive Sebi clearance for its maiden public offering within this week or the next, a top official said in Mumbai.

FE

10)Chemcel Biotech Ltd(CBL) is entering the capital market with an initial public offer of 1,54,00,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each for cash at a premium of Rs 6 per share. The fixed priced issue will open on September 9 and close on September 12.

FE

RIGHTS ISSUE

11)INDIAN firms may soon be on track to raise funds through rights offerings, swiftly with a shorter time-line for the process than the initial public offerings(IPOs). Capital market regulator, Sebi is working on a proposal to make the rights issue process short and simple just like IPOs. Sebi has told its Primary Markets Advisory Committee(PMAC) to examine the proposal to cut down on the time taken for raising funds through this route, according to sources.

ET

BUYBACK

12)DLF, the country’s largest listed realty company, today received a clearance from the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) to go ahead with the buyback of its equity shares, the announcement for which was made in July.

BS

13)Technology firms Valiant Communications and R Systems on Monday said their respective company boards have approved the buy-back of shares from the capital markets. Officials of both companies told Business Line that the current stock prices do not reflect firms’ fundamentals and hence they decided to increase their holdings through a buyback.

BL

OPEN OFFER

14)The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approved The Walt Disney Company’s deal to increase stake in Ronnie Screwvala-promoted UTV Software Communications beyond 15 per cent, six months after the deal was initially signed. Sebi, the market regulator, has also okayed the US-based company to launch an open offer.

BS

MUTUAL FUNDS

15)Goldman Sachs Mutual Fund, the US-based financial services major, has sought the Sebi approval for its maiden offering, Goldman sachs India Equity Fund, according to information on the capital market regulator’s website today. The open-ended scheme will invest at least 65 per cent of its assets in shares and the balance in debt and money market instruments.

BS

COMMODITIES

16)The National Multi-Commodity Exchange(NMCE) is all set to relaunch futures trading in coffee, especially of the robusta variety, from Tuesday. “We are relaunching futures trading in coffee on September 9,” NMCE managing director Kailash Gupta told PTI.

FE

17)The pepper futures market fell sharply on Monday on reports that other origins have eased considerably. Besides, there has been a propaganda that Vietnam is holding a stock of 35,000 tonnes of black pepper.

BL

REAL ESTATE

18)HYDERABAD-BASED realty firm Suchir India is set to invest around Rs 2,000 crore on overseas and domestic projects in the next two years. Featuring in the list of projects are a resort, golf course and a coal mine in Indonesia, besides an iron ore mine, bio-diesel plantation and a biotech park in India.

ET

COMMUNICATIONS

19)In a move that could halve SMS charges, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(Trai) has asked mobile operators to slash tariffs voluntarily. Unlike the voice traffic, the cost component in SMS is negligible-around 2 paise. Still, SMS tariffs are either higher than voice rates or at best comparable.

FE

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

20)Rural business process outsourcing(BPO) is catching the fancy of many Indian biggies, with the companies eyeing it more as a business proposition rather than a corporate social responsibility(CSR). With the telecom industry aiming to increase its rural subscriber base and the central bank asking banks and financial firms to cater to the rural sector, businesses will have to find ways of servicing customers, say analysts. Rural BPOs have operations in rural areas and cater to customers in rural and other areas. Mostly, rural BPOs have a seating capacity of below 100 per centre, as they are situated in remote areas.

BS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)INDIA Inc’s biggest overseas acquisition in the software space might just grow bigger as HCL Technologies is learnt to be offering 15% over and above Infosys’ bid for the UK-based SAP consultant Axon. The Bangalore-based HCL Technologies is all set to counter Infosys’ offer to 600 pence per share announced late last month, people involved in the discussions told ET. According to them, an offer in the range of 690 pence per share would be made by HCL in the next fortnight, inside the deadline for making a counter- bid.

ET

22)INFOTECH Enterprises America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Infotech enterprises(IEL) will acquire California-based Time to Market (TTM) for about $7.5 million in an all-cash deal. IEL is also zeroing in on four other companies for possible acquisitions this fiscal to strengthen its hi-tech, automotive and geographic information system(GIS) verticals. TTM is engaged in Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) design services and the acquisition will help Infotech enter chip and chip-related services in the hi-tech space. The acquisition will be completed by next month.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

23)Opec ministers on Monday gathered in Vienna ahead of a meeting to review output policy, but were widely expected to leave formal targets unchanged, especially as a powerful hurricane could lift oil prices. The oil market touched a five-month low just above $105 on Friday, under pressure from economic weakness and lower fuel consumption. It recovered to above $107 a barrel on Monday as traders weighed the risk Hurricane could crash into energy installations in the Gulf of Mexico after sweeping through Cuba.

FE

24)The US government seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after the biggest surge in mortgage defaults in at least three decades threatened to topple the companies making up almost half the US home-loan market. “Our economy and our markets will not recover until the bulk of this housing correction is behind us,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who engineered the takeover along with Federal Housing Finance Agency Director James Lockhart, said in Washinton on Sunday.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are critical to turning the cornor.”

FE

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Economic Times www.economictimes.com
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The Times of India www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu www.hindu.com
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