Headlines (25 September 2008)

GENERAL

1)Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiaobao expressed “satisfaction” at the progress made recently by  their respective designated special representatives on the boundary  question.  Acknowledging that the boundary dispute was a “complicated” issue, the two prime ministers reportedly encouraged the special  representatives to continue their labours.

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ECONOMY

2)India has retained its position as the second most-preferred global  location for foreign investment in 2008 and will continue to do so  till 2010, lagging only behind China, the United Nations Conference  on Trade and Development(Unctad) has said in World Investment  Report 2008.

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3)A leading economic think tank has said that industrial activity in  the country would not slow down despite the monthly Index of In-  dustrial Production(IIP) for manufacturing slipping to 5.6 per cent.  “We believe that industrial growth is not appropriately captured by  the IIP numbers and there is no real slowdown in industrial activity,”  the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy(CMIE) said in its latest  report.

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CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

4)Tata Sons Ltd, the Indian holding company with investments ranging  from automakers to hotels, said the credit crisis presents it with op-  portunities to make acquisitions in the US and Europe.  As access  to capital tightens, competition for assets from competitors will dissipate and prices may fall, Alan Rosling, executive director of Mumbai-based Tata Sons, said on Tuesday in New York.

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5)Bajaj Electricals Ltd’s engineering and projects business, special  projects receives an order from NESCL under Rajiv Gandhi Grameen  Viyutikaran Yojana.  It has been awarded two prestigious rural electrification orders by National Electric Supply Company Ltd(NESCL).  The first order is the single largest order by NESCL under the Rajiv  Gandhi Grameen Viyutikaran Yojana.  The second order is worth  Rs 72 crore.

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MONEY & BANKING
 
6)The rupee on Wednesday was volatile in a market that saw thin volumes  on account of the strike by nationalised banks.  The demand for dollars  in the spot market, by participants who took advantage of the arbitrage  in the overseas non-deliverable forwards(NDF) market, pulled the rupee down to the day’s low of 46.10, said dealers.  The rupee opened at  45.75/77 and closed at 45.95/96, down 50 paise from the previous  close of 45.44/45.

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7)Toeing the line of peers like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra  Bank, State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank, Andhra Bank is  also planning to make a foray into gold retailing business.  It has approached the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to obtain necessary clearances.

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8)The board of directors of South Indian Bank(SIB) has fixed October  17 as the record date for the purpose of issue of bonus shares.  The  80th AGM held on August 18,2008 had already approved the Board’s  recommendation to pay a dividend of 30% for the previous fiscal and effect issue of bonus shares for every 4 equity share held on the record date.

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INSURANCE

9)The credit ratings of Indian insurance companies – both life and  non-life – are unlikely to be affected in the near future despite the global financial crisis affecting the foreign stakeholders of these companies.  But if the foreign partners are unable to bring  in additional capital in the long term due to the global slowdown,  it could mean a change of ownership for Indian insurance companies, said analysts.

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MARKETS

10)Benchmark indices snapped a two-day losing streak to close the day with respectable gains, but off their intra-day highs.  Brokers attribute the volatility to squaring of positions in the derivatives segment ahead of the current contracts expiry on Thursday.  News flow  from the global front was mixed.  While the Damocles sword continued  to hang over the proposed $700-billion federal bailout for financial firms  in the US, the Indo-US nuclear deal was ratified by a key Senate Committee with an over-whelming majority.  The Senate Foreign Relations  Committee voted to approve the bill by 19-2.  Led by metal stocks, the  30-share Sensex closed at 13,692.52, up 122.21 points.  The broader  50-share Nifty touched the intra-day high of 4207.95 to end at 4161.25,  a gain of 34.35 points over its previous close.

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11)STERLITE Industries India jumped 8.36 per cent to Rs 487.5 on Wednesday after the Vedanta board dropped the proposed restructuring  scheme, announced earlier this month, due to opposition from some  shareholders.

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12)Sun Pharmaceuticals rose by around 2 per cent to touch Rs 1,500  on Wednesday after the firm received nod from the US Food and Drug Administration for is abbreviated new drug application to market  the generic version of the carboplatin injection.

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RIGHTS ISSUE

13)Tata Motors’ Rs 4,150-crore rights issue will open Monday and close  on October 30, according to the company’s draft document posted on  Sebi website on Wednesday.  Record date for the rights issue is September 16.  The passenger car and commercial vehicle major will use  the rights issue proceeds to prepay a part of the short-term loan availed for financing acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover brands that  it bought for $3 billion(Rs 13,300 crore).

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MUTUAL FUNDS

14)With the equity markets on a downslide, mutual funds have been aggressively launching fixed maturity plans(FMPs) to attract customers.  The lure: good returns and tax benefits.  Returns have been increasing steadily because of tighter liquidity conditions.  Just a year  ago, in September 2007, three-month FMPs’ indicative rates(mutual  funds can only indicate and not guarantee returns) were around 8-8.3  per cent, and for over 12 months, they were hovering around 9-9.50  per cent. The FMPs launched this month are offering 11 per cent for  both the short and long term.

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15)DSP Merrill Lynch Mutual Fund launched DSP Merrill Lynch FMP-3M-Series-15.  The new fund offer of the three-month plan will close on  Thursday, a fund house notice said.  The close-ended income scheme  will deploy its entire assets in fixed income securities having a maturity profile similar to its own.

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16)HDFC Mutual Fund will launch HDFC FMP 90D September 2008 (4) plan under HDFC Fixed Maturity Plans – Series VIII Friday, a fund house  official said today.  The close-ended 90-day income scheme will remain  open for subscription until Oct 1.  The plan will deploy at least 60 per  cent of its corpus in debt and money market instruments, and up to  40 per cent will be invested in government securities that mature  in 3 months.

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COMMODITIES

17)Gold futures are back on the upswing on Wednesday amid the ongoing  uncertainty facing the US financial system along with concerns about  potential inflation, especially if a proposed rescue package passes,  analysts said.  Around 9:41 a.m. EDT (1341 GMT), December gold was  up $8 to $899.20 an ounce and had been as muscular as $907.80 on  the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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18)Lack of substantial export enquiries pulled down chilli futures in  NCDEX by 2.36 per cent to Rs 5,248 a quintal.  Jeera fell nearly  2 per cent to Rs 10,557 a quintal on low demand coupled with stockists unwinding their inventory in anticipation of a good crop  in the coming season.

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REAL ESTATE

19)EXPECTING a huge value erosion in the Indian real estate space, corporate and real estate funds have started to float new funds to  acquire assets in the domestic property market.  Corporates such as  the Aditya Birla group, GMR Infrastructure, Akruti City, Bangalore-  based Nitest group and saffron Advisors have either floated or are  in the process of floating funds with corpus ranging between Rs 500  crore and Rs 1,000 crore.

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20)With falling real estate values in the US and the downturn in Indian property market making local valuations more attractive, real  estate fund Millennium Spire – part of the UK-based Millennium Group – is looking to invest $300 million into realty projects in  India in the next 12-18 months.

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21)REAL estate developer QVC Realty plans to raise up to Rs 600 crore  in 2009 through a mix of equity and debt primarily to buy large tracts  of land in the South, especially closer to the new airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad. 

COMMUNICATIONS

22)AFTER offloading a 45% stake to UAE’s Etisalat for $900 million,  Swan Telecom is set to acquire the mobile licences held by Allianz  Infratech.  The deal, which may run into a couple of hundred crores,  is likely to be announced within a fortnight, according to sources  close to the development.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
 
23)Cognizant Technology Solutions, which provides IT, consulting and  BPO services, on Wednesday said it plans expansion into new markets  such as Japan, Australia and Singapore against the backdrop of the financial turmoil in the US market.  “There is uncertainty about the  US market and this contagion seems to be spreading to other parts of  the world. So even as we put in more trust on the US market, we will  continue to explore newer markets,” Vice-Chairman of the Nasdaq-  listed firm, Lakshmi Narayanan, said.

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INTERNATIONAL

24)American International Group Inc said late on Tuesday it signed a “definitive” agreement for up to $85 billion in borrowings from the  US Federal Reserve, the main part of a rescue by the central bank that will see it take a 79.9% stake in the giant insurer.

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25)Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who tells investors to be “greedy  when others are fearful”, put up $5 billion for Goldman Sachs Group  Inc after the firm lost 40 per cent of its market value in the past year.  Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc is buying a stake in Goldman after  three of the investment bank’s biggest competitors went bankruptcy or  were forced into emergency sales.

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26)Crude oil futures surrendered some gains on Wednesday after traders  looked past weekly US oil data showing sizable drawdowns in petroleum  inventories.  Light, sweet crude for November delivery was recently up  $1.08 at $107.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down  more than $1 from its level before the data release.

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