HEADLINES (10 SEPTEMBER 2008)

GENERAL

1)The U.S. has said its quarterbacking of the civilian nuclear deal has enhanced trust and would enable both countries to build a closer relationship. The “accomplishment” over the NSG waiver made the India-U.S. political relationship easier and cemented the relationship in a number of important ways, U.S. Ambassador to India David Mul- ford said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)Bharat Heavy Electricals has won a Rs 2,200 crore order from ONGC Tripura Power for setting up a 726.6 MW power plant at Pallatana in Tripura on turnkey basis, a Bhel release said. The order involves supplying and commissioning of two gas turbines.

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3)Engineering, procurement and construction firm Punj Lloyd said on Tuesday that it has bagged a contract worth 54 million Singapore dollars(about Rs 167 crore) from a Singapore-based joint venture firm. The company’s Singapore subsidiary, Punj Lloyd, has received the contract to carry out select utilities mechanical works in Jurong Island in that country, Punj Lloyd said in a filing to the BSE.

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MONEY & BANKING

4)The rupee closed lower after touching levels not seen in last two years due to lack of dollar inflows coupled with strong dollar demand. The rupee opened at 44.70 and touched a low of 44.90, a level last seen two years ago. The rupee ended trade at 44.84, against the previous close of 44.60.

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5)The new boss at Mind Road, D Subbarao, stuck a buoyant note on India’s growth story, saying RBI is keenly aware of the need for financial sector reforms, including a review of opening up the banking sector to foreign competition. Addressing his maiden press conference after taking over as the central bank governor from YV Reddy, he also described the present downturn as a cyclical correction.

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INSURANCE

6)Relaince Life Insurance aims to garner around Rs 6,000 crore of new premium income and intends to invest Rs 1,000 crore this year for funding expansion plans. The investment will be in addition to the Rs 300-crore equity already pumped in during 2008-09. The company, which has an equity base of Rs 2,000 crore is aiming to break even by 2010-11.

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MARKETS

7)Benchmark indices drifted lower on Tuesday as investors chose to take some money off the table, rather than double their bets. The exuberance seen on the previous day was missing, and while the market rebounded from the day’s lows, bulls clearly lacked conviction. Brokers expect the Sensex to oscillate in a 1,000-point range on either side, near term, till there are fresh triggers. The weakness in the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar, and the relatively attractive valuations of Chinese equities, could keep FIIs wary of Indian shares near term, feel brokers. Select index heavyweights pulled down the 30-share Sensex by 44.21 points to 14,900.76. The broader S&P CNX Nifty slipped 13.60 points to close at 4468.70.

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8)SOME good news for traders as well as brokers in the equity derivatives segment, who have been grappling with lacklustre volumes since the crash in the market in January this year. Sebi has recently extended the calendar spread benefit while computing margins, till the expiry of the near-month contract. So far, this benefit was not applicable in the last three trading days, prior to expiry.

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9)The National Stock Exchange(Nse) hopes to launch currency futures in certain currencies other than the US dollar in the coming days, a top official of the exchange said in New Delhi on Tuesday. Last month, exchange traded currency futures were launched in the US dollar at the NSE. The currency future contracts are traded and settled in Indian rupees.

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RIGHTS ISSUE

10)Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) has decided to cut short the time duration for coming out with rights issue from the current 109 days to 60 days to enable more and more corporates to raise capital, said CB Bhave, Chairman, SEBI. “The number of days to come out with a rights issue can be still brought down further by sprucing up the number of processes at a greater speed,” Bhave told the reporters in Chennai on Tuesday.

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MUTUAL FUNDS

11)All equity funds, barring tax planners and fast-moving consumer goods schemes, registered positive average weekly return in week ended Friday. Banking sector-dedicated funds that offered 1.53 per cent average return topped the chart compared with all other categories of funds, while CNX Bank Index rose 3.06 per cent during the period.

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12)The Indian fund unit of Goldman Sachs, which received regulatory approval to launch mutual funds last week, filed initial papers with the Securities and Exchange Board of India on Monday to offer its first equity fund.

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13)Mirae Asset announced the launch of two debt funds – Mirae Asset Interval Fund-Quarterly Plan-Series II and Mirae Asset Interval Fund- Monthly Plan-Series I. The investment objectives of both funds is to seek to generate returns with low volatility through a portfolio of debt and money market instruments with a provision to offer liquidity at period interval. Mirae Asset Interval Fund, Quarterly Plan- Series II will be launched from September 9-11, where as Mirae Asset Interval Fund, Monthly Plan – Series I is proposed to be launched with a 30-day tenure.

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14)Lotus India AMC, a joint venture between Fullerton Fund Management Group and Sabre Capital worldwide, announced the launch of its closed-ended debt scheme; Lotus India fixed maturity plan – 375 days- series XVII on Monday. The objective of the scheme is to generate income by investing in a portfolio of debt and money market instruments normally maturing in line with the duration of the scheme.

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15)Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund will Wednesday launch ‘Plan C’ under Templeton Fixed Horizon Fund Series-X, a three-month debt plan, a fund house notice said today. Subscription to the income plan will remain open until Thursday.

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16)ING Mutual Fund today launched ING Quarterly FMP 90-Series A, a 90-day scheme, which will remain open for subscription until Thursday, an official from the fund house said. Retail plan under the scheme offers an indicative yield of 10.25 per cent, while the institutional plan offers 11.25 per cent. The scheme will invest in debt and money market instruments.

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COMMODITIES

17)Leading agri-commodity bourse National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange(NCDEX) will launch futures trading in thermal coal. “The first set of contracts in thermal coal would be launched on September 10,” NCDEX said in a statement.

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18)Pepper futures market bounced back on Tuesday following positive reports from the US market and lack selling pressure on the spot. Good domestic demand is directly met from the primary markets. September contract moved up by Rs 106 a quintal to close at Rs 13,175. October and November also went up by Rs 112 and Rs 115 a quintal to Rs 13,440 and Rs 13,690 respectively on Tuesday on the NCDEX.

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19)Gold and silver declined on the bullion market in Mumbai on Tuesday thanks to stockists offering, coupled with lower global advices. Gold fell as low as one per cent to $794 an ounce. In the domestic market, standard gold (99.5 purity) fell by Rs 65 per 10 gm to Rs 11,680 from Monday’s closing level of Rs 11,745. Pure gold(99.9 purity) also declined by Rs 55 per 10 gm to Rs 11,755 from Rs 11,810. Silver ready(.999 fineness) also fell by Rs 240 a kg to Rs 19,780 on Monday’s closing of Rs 20,020.

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REAL ESTATE

20)Property developer and fund manager Tishman Speyer plans to raise up to $1 billion in a private fund in 8-10 months for Indian realty projects, the managing director for its India unit said on Tuesday. “We still have some money left over from a previous one and we are already talking to investors for our next fund, though we haven’t started roadshows yet,” Revathy Ashok told reporters on the sidelines of a capital markets conference.

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LEGAL PROCESS OUTSOURCING

21)THE business process outsouring(BPO) unit of Infosys Technologies will set up an alternative centre for its legal process outsourcing (LPO) business currently based soley in Pune. “We need to set up a second centre as an alternative to our Pune centre, where we now have 150 lawyers. The centres will look at are Chennai, Hyderabad or Bangalore,” said Infosys’ member of the board and director, HR TV Mohandas Pai.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

22)THE export-driven Indian IT services industry is unlikely to be severely hit by the ongoing economic slowdown in the US and Europe because outsourcing and offshoring may remain steady despite a cut in overall IT budgets this year, a report by research outfit For- rester says.

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23)India’s fifth largest IT services firm HCL Technologies is in talks with banks to raise close to $1 billion for its future acquisitions. The company is in talks with a few private banks and has signed on Citibank as one of the bankers to raise these funds, said sources.

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24)With major IT players focusing on the western markets, mid-size IT company 3i Infotech is tapping the domestic IT market. It recently bagged large contracts with various state governments to set up 12,000 kiosks across the country.

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INTERNATIONAL

25)Oil prices fell to a new five-month low on Tuesday, pressured by a rise in the dollar and expectations that Opec will not cut output when it meets later in the day. US crude for October delivery was down $1.39 a barrel at $104.95 by 0931 GMT, after briefly falling more than $2 to touch a new five-month low of $104.23 a barrel. London Brent crude was $1.41 down at $102.03 a barrel.

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Economic Times www.economictimes.com
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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