1)With the Indo-US nuclear deal still winding its way through the US Congress, India on Tuesday went ahead and signed a landmark civil nuclear cooperation agreement with France, ending 34 years of nuclear isolation.
2)AS THE impact of the US financial turbulence spread across the world, finance minister P Chidambaram and capital market regulator Sebi sought to assure investors that the Indian market is “sound and attractive” and promised action against violators. Even as stock market indices stayed in the red in early trade and heads of Asian states tried to convince investors of the soundness of their economies, Mr Chidambaram hurriedly called a press briefing to assure investors that the authorities were keeping a close watch on the developments and that if any policy tweaking was needed, it would be done.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)Reliance Industries (RIL), the country’s largest company by market capitalisation, may add around $300 million or around Rs 1,400 crore, to its turnover in the October-December quarter as it begins sale of crude oil from its field in the Krishna-Godavari basin to Indian refiners.
4)Ashok Leyland Ltd, India’s second-largest bus and truck maker, has formed a 50:50 joint venture with John Deere for construction equipment, it said on Tuesday, to tap a growing focus on infrastructure. The venture will start production in early 2010 and is scouting for locations for a manufacturing plant, Ashok Leyland said in a statement that did not disclose financial details.
5)State-run power equipment major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd(BHEL) on Tuesday announced it has bagged a Rs 990-crore order to set up a 500 MW (2×250 MW) thermal power plant in Rajasthan. The order has been placed by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd for setting up two units of 250 MW each as an expansion project of Chhabra Thermal Power Station, a company statement said.
MONEY & BANKING
6)The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday clarified that ICICI Bank had sufficient liquidity, including in its current account with the apex bank to meet the requirements of its depositors.”The Reserve Bank of India is monitoring the developments and has arranged to provide adequate cash to ICICI Bank to meet the demands of its cus- tomers at its branches and ATMs,” the RBI stated. “ICICI Bank and its subsidiary banks abroad are well capitalised,” the RBI added.
7)INDIA’S largest private bank – ICICI Bank which has been battling rumours over the past few days relating to its financial health says that it will continue to put the brakes on its retail loan business and slow down the pace of its global lending.
8)Life Insurance Council had decided to continue the offer of group insurance cover on mutual fund products. Earlier, the council, the apex body of life insurance companies, had decided to discountinue the offer of group life insurance covers to unit-linked products sold by mutual funds, from October 1.
9)Fitch Ratings has affirmed ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s national Insurer Financial Strength rating at ‘AAA(ind)’ with stable outlook. The rating continues to reflect the ongoing operational and capital support received from the shareholders, capitalisation, market position built by the firm in the last seven years and its strong focus on introduction of best business practices, a release said.
10)Domestic equities that opened sharply lower on Tuesday following the failure of the US financial bailout package, bounced back on reassurance from the financial regulators. Marketmen were quite resigned to a massive fall, but back-to-back statements from the Finance Minister, the Reserve Bank of India, and the SEBI Chairman on the health of the domestic markets averted that. Tracking the overnight US markets, which fell 8 to 9 per cent, the Sensex fell 442 points to a low of 12,153 immediately upon opening. However, it ended the day with a gain of 2 per cent. The Nifty closed 1.8 per cent higher.
11)The Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) Sensex today advanced, ending a three-day, 8 per cent slump. ICICI Bank led gains after some investors judged the recent decline excessive. ICICI Bank, the nation’s second-largest lender, gained 8.6 per cent, the most in more than a week. Tata Consultancy Services, the largest software developer, rose 7.4 per cent, halting a six-day, 19 per cent drop.
12)Amidst the rising volatility in exchange rates, exchange-traded currency futures (ETCFs) are catching the eye of investors. In the one month since its launch on the National Stock Exchange, the open interest in ETCFs have jumped by 566% to 90871 contracts as on Tuesday from 13,641 contracts on August 29.
13)Mahanagar Gas (MGL) – a joint-venture between GAIL India, British Gas and the Maharashtra government – is planning an initial public offer(IPO), sources have revealed to FE. At the sidelines of the company’s 13th annual general meeting in Mumbai, MGL sources said that the issue will soon be taken up with all equityholders.
14)DLF, the country’s largest developer, is expected to start implementing its Rs 1,100-crore plan to buy back shares from next week onwards, according to sources. The DLF board today approved the company’s announcement on buyback of shares.
15)Turnover at Indian commodity bourses rose 42.97% to Rs 23.05 lakh crore during the April 1-September 15 period, from the year-ago period, data from regulator Forward Markets Commission(FMC) showed. The turnover rose 70.9% to Rs 2.21 lakh crore in the fortnight ending September 15, FMC data showed on Tuesday.
16)Due to favourable weather conditions alongwith a wider application of technology and weed management, the country’s soyabean production is expected to cross the 10-million tonne(MT) mark during 2008, a crop suvey conducted by a trade bod on Tuesday revealed. According to Soyabean Processor Assocation of India(Sopa), major soybean- growing states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are expected to produce 10.8 million tonne of soyabean against 9.4 million tonne harvested during 2007, posting an increase of more than 14%.
17)Pepper futures on Tuesday moved up strongly on buying support and reports of tight supply position in all the origins. October contract shot up by Rs 330 a quintal to Rs 13,929 and for the first time after several weeks, converged with the spot price. November and December contracts increased by Rs 313 and Rs 305 to Rs 14,140 and Rs 14,364 a quintal respectively on the NCDEX.
18)Commodity markets in India, barring gold, opened sharply down Tuesday trailing the weakness in other markets as the US Congress’s rejection of the $770-billion bailout package that triggered fears of a general economic slowdown as poor liquidity could pull down prices. Gold, however, rose during the day as investors flocked to the previous yel- low metal because of its appeal as a safe haven investment and at one time, MCX December gold traded at Rs 13,542 per 10 gm, not too far from the highest level recorded at Rs 13,764 on July 15.
19)Parsvnath Developers Ltd(PDL) has launched a group housing project, Parsvnath Pratishtha, at Pune. “Presence of educational institutes, universities, IT and major automobile companies has resulted in influx of population in Pune. This increase in population has lead to burgeoning demand for qualitative residential properties in close vicinity of their work places,” Pradeep Jain, chairman, Parsvnath Developers.
20)Sunil Mantri Realty, a Mumbai-based real estate developer, plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore to take up residential projects in Karnataka. Addressing a press conference, Sunil Mantri, chairman, Sunil Mantri Realty, said. “The company will invest Rs 500 crore by 2009 and the remaining by 2011. In the first phase, Rs 400 crore will be spent on Bangalore.”
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
21)INDIA’S largest BPO provider, Genpact, is likely to take a hit from the sale of Wachovia’s assets to Citigroup. Genpact had a strong relationship with Wachovia and was chosen by the US bank to set up a dedicated centre that would function as its back-office.
22)When three big financial institutions from Europe sought government support on Monday, it deepened the worries of Indian IT companies which earlier hoped Europe would drive their growth when America failed. The main concern for IT firms is that Monday’s development could be a symptom of an impending slowdown in Europe, which con- tributes 20-30% of revenues of top six Indian IT companies. In the past, these companies consciously tried to expand their European business to spread their risk.
23)POLARIS Software Lab announced on Tuesday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based insurance product and component services company SEEC in an all-cash deal in the next three to five weeks. This would help the Chennai-based company gain access to the company’s IP products, business trademarks, brands and infrastructure facilities.
24)Recession fears grew and investors raced for safe havens after US lawmakers’ shock rejection of a $700 billion rescue plan for the financial industry, with Asian stocks skidding after Wall Street’s biggest fall since the crash of 1987. Violent market reaction increased pressure on Washington to approve compromise bailout legislation and fueled expectations that the Fed would cut interest rates on or before its next meeting, which is scheduled for October 29.
25)The US Senate will try to salvage a $700 billion financial-rescue package after the measure was defeated in the House of Representatives. The lawmakers won’t have a lot of room to negotiate. While they need to tweak the legislation enough to win over reluctant Re- publicans, they’ll risk losing votes from Democrats if they veer too far from the delicate compromise that congressional leaders ham- mered out with the US Treasury.
26)Oil rose towards $98 a barrel on Tuesday, rebounding after a near 10 per cent drop in the previous session in response to the rejection by US law makers of a financial sector rescue plan.
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