Headlines (07 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)Leading specialists from India will attend an international conference being organised in London by the British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce to promote India as a hub for global investment.  The “World Hi-Tech Forum 2008: Focus India,” to be held on  October 7 and 8, will explore issues relating to technological and  business partnerships in the global age.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)GUJARAT is emerging as the favourite to replace Singur as the location for the mother plant of the Nano.  The state faces tough  competition from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, but sources in the state government indicate that industrial-friendly Gujarat is  likely to bag the coveted project.

ET

3)The Baldota Group is setting up a new Rs 4,700-crore steel plant,  which will mostly manufacture products for passenger cars as well  as auto parts producers based out of southern and western India.

BL

MONEY & BANKING
 
4)To reverse the tight liquidity situation in the domestic markets  brought on by the global financial turmoil, the Reserve Bank of India on Monday reduced the cash reserve ratio(CRR) – the amount  of reserves banks keep with RBI-by 50 basis points, the first time  in five years.  It also made it clear that liquidity concerns, not inflation, will get priority now.  The new CRR of 8.5% in place of 9%  will come into effect form October 11.

FE

5)MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) has launched Currency Futures segment on Monday in Mumbai. The currency futures segment was launched by SEBI Chairman, C B Bhave, at the function.  Live trading at MCX-SX platform will commence from 9 am on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008.  The currency futures on MCX-SX will be initially be an USD-INR basis  and each contract will be valid for 12 months from its launch on the  exchange.

FE

6)The Indian rupee continued its free fall against the dollar, depreciating by around 73 paise on Monday. Currency dealers said the crash in  the domestic equity market and sustained demand for the greenback pulled down the rupee. The domestic currency opened weaker at 47.38/40  and plunged into an intraday low of 47.86.  It recovered marginally  to close at 47.81/82 against the previous close of 47.08/10.

BL

INSURANCE

7)Tata AIG Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIG Life) on Monday announced the launch of Tata AIG Life InvestAssure Health its first ever unit-linked health product.  Customers of Tata AIG Life InvestAssure Health can avail of a lump sum benefit that will  be paid for each day of stay in hospital arising out of an accident  or sickness provided there is an overnight stay in the hospital.

FE

MARKETS

8)The exodus of foreign funds sent the country’s stock market crashing  725 points, even as the global financial crisis continued to eat away  confidence in the markets.The 30-share stocks barometer Sensex, which  had lost 529.35 points in the previous session, plunged another 724.62  or 5.78 per cent to close at a two-year low of 11,801.70.  Funds indulged  in all-round selling in heavy-weight stocks of consumer durables, metals,  capital goods and realty sectors.  The Sensex touched the  day’s low  of 11,732.97 and a high of 12,284.49 points.  The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped by 215.95 points, or 5.66 per  cent at 3,602.35 after dipping to a low of 3,581.60 during the session.

BS

9)The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) today lifted curbs  on foreign institutional investors(FIIs) imposed a year ago. The move  is aimed at stemming huge sales by FIIs that have triggered a 42 per cent slide in the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index this  year.

BS

BUYBACK

10)DLF, the country’s largest property developer, will start buying  back its shares from October 15, the company said in a statement to  the BSE on Monday.  The buyback will go on till July 9, 2009, which is 12 months after the board resolution, the company said.
 
BS

OPEN OFFER

11)Cambridge Solutions has announced an open offer following the  proposed acquisition of its majority stake by Xchanging of UK. The open offer is being made to the shareholders to acquire 2,25,90,415  fully paid up equity shares of the face value of Rs 10 at a price of  Rs 81.11.  The offer will open on November 27,2008 and close on  December 16,2008.

ET

MUTUAL FUNDS

12)Mutual funds are attempting to minimise outflows from their equity  funds in the current difficult market scenario via increasing the  exit loads on their SIP plans.  In the various equity fund schemes  of mutual funds, nearly 80-85% of the total equity fund corpus of  Rs 1.44-lakh crore is contributed by retail investors, sources said.  Canara Robeco Mutual Fund has imposed an exit load of 2% compared with 1% earlier for withdrawals made by SIP holders in its  equity funds within one year of investment.  However, this fund house,  has removed the entry load related to several of its equity schemes.  Says Canara Robeco Asset Management director (sales and marketing) Sanjay Santhanam: “We are trying to send a strong signal  to investors that SIP investments should be made from the point of view of longterm investments.”

ET

13)ABN Amro Mutual Fund has sought regulatory approval to change  its name to Fortis Mutual Fund, according to information on the fund  house’s web site.  Consequent to the global restructuring of ABN  Amro Bank, ABN Amro Asset Management is now a part of Fortis  Investment Management.

BS

14)Religare AEGON Mutual Fund today sought Sebi approval to launch its  maiden debt plan, Religare AEGON Liquid Fund, according to information on the regulator’s web site.

BS

15)Reliance Mutual Fund will Tuesday launch Reliance Fixed Horizon Fund  XII-Series 13, an official from the fund house said today.  Subscriptions  to the scheme will close on Wednesday, the official said.  The 91-day  scheme will invest its corpus in fixed income securities having similar  maturity profile.

BS

COMMODITIES

16)GOLD prices rallied by Rs 300 per 10 grams to Rs 13,130 on the bullion market in Mumbai on Monday on heavy stockists buying in view of  festival season coupled with higher global advises and weak equity markets. The ongoing auspicious fortnight of navratris and the approaching Diwali lifted prices of gold, a dealer said.  Weak equity markets also boosted the market sentiment as some investors shifted their funds in gold as a safe-haven investment, they added.  Standard gold  (99.9 purity) shot up by Rs 300 per 10 gram to Rs 13,130 from last  weekend’s level of Rs 12,830.  Pure gold(99.9 purity) also rose by a  similar margin to Rs 13,190 from Rs 12,890 previously.  Silver ready  (.999 fineness) recovered by Rs 50 per kilo to Rs 19,535 from Rs  19,485.

ET

17)Pepper exporters in Kochi are worried about getting delivery after  October contract expiry due to limited stocks of the spice at ware-  houses of commodity exchanges, dealers said today.

BS

REAL ESTATE

18)The current global financial crisis might have cast a shadow on the  Indian property market, but the country’s real estate sector witnessed  an inflow of about $6 billion(Rs 26,900 crore) from global private equity players during the last one year.  According to a report by global  realty consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), PE funds struck 79  deals in the country during August 2007-August 2008 amounting to  $6 billion, a rise of 100% over the same period a year ago.

FE

19)Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry(MCHI) said that it will  organise a four-day real estate exhibition at Bandra-Kurla Complex  in Mumbai.  The exhibition will be held between October 9 and 12.  This exhibition is expected to draw more buyers because the overheated real estate market has seen a correction.

FE

20)Real estate company Uppal Group is eyeing an opportunity outside  north India and plans to kick off residential projects in Mumbai,Pune  and Hyderabad.  The company-which recently announced a partnership with Marriott International to operate two five-star luxury hotels and also  outlined plans to build 10-12 hotels in the next few years – is now mulling a strategy for budget hotels.

BL

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)WAGE inflation and rupee appreciation are no longer the pet peeves  they used to be for the Indian IT services industry, which is now  evaluating the business impact of the tumbling financial markets in  the US. Analysts tracking the sector say the industry will suffer  margin pressure and see a softening in billing rates while rupee de-  preciation comes out as the only redeeming factor in an overall gloomy  scenario.  Although the IT industry had predicted that it would come  out of the slowdown in the second half of 2009, it now looks highly  unlikely.  Observers are waiting for Infosys’ announcement of its  second quarter results on October 10 to see how it gauges the current macro-environment.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

22)Finance leaders from the world’s rich nations may need to offer more  than just words this week as they struggle to avert a global recession.  Speculation is growing that Group of Seven countries may consider co-  ordinated interest rate cuts to dull the credit crunch pain.  A meeting  in Washington on Friday on the eve of the International Monetary Fund’s  fall meeting would provide a perfect opportunity to talk it over.

FE

23)THE German government has decided to guarantee all private  German bank accounts worth e568 billion($776 billion) to prevent  panic withdrawal as fears over the worldwide financial crisis spread  to Europe’s largest economy, media reports say.

ET

24)French banking major BNP Paribas on Monday said it will acquire  beleaguered Fortis’ Belgium and Luxembourg operations as well as  the international franchises for an estimated 14.5 billion euro.

FE

25)Japan’s top broker Nomura Holdings said on Monday it would buy  Lehman Brothers’ IT support hub in India, taking on another 3,000  workers as it picks up the pieces from the Wall Street giant’s  collapse.

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26)Crude oil fell below $90 a barrel in New York for the first time since February as the credit crisis deepened in Europe, adding to  concerns that global economic growth will slow and reduce demand for fuels.

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