Date: 18 August 2009
Thought for the day
“Fear does not have any special power unless you empower it by submitting to it.”
1)Congress president Sonia Gandhi has convened a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Wednesday to discuss drought that has affected 177 districts in the country. All the Congress Chief Ministers have been invited for the meeting; the second one to be convened after the party was voted back to power at the Centre three months ago.
2)AFTER successfully concluding a free-trade agreement on goods with Asean, India is now leaning on the 10-member South-East Asian bloc for an early conclusion of the negotiations on liberalising services and investment, which would allow smoother movement of professionals and enhance flow of investments.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)HYDERABAD-based drug maker Aurobindo Pharma, founded by PV Ram Prasad Reddy, is set to buy Trident Life Sciences for Rs 135 crore in an all cash-deal. Trident Life Sciences(TISL) is run by Ram Prasad Reddy’s son Sarat Chandra Reddy who is also the son-in-law of Nityananda Reddy, managing director, Aurobindo Pharma.
4)TVS Motor Company expects to sustain the robust performance it posted in the first quarter of this fiscal with improved sales of two wheelers and three wheelers. The company also plans to go alone without any partner while floating a captive finance company.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee weakened sharply tracking other Asian currencies and the domestic equity markets. The domestic currency opened at 48.55 and moved in a one-way downward direction to end at 48.95, 71 paise lower from Friday’s close of 48.24. During the day it touched a low of 48, a level last seen a month ago.
6)Allahabad Bank cut interest rates on retail loans by 100 basis points with effect from Saturday. Under the Festival Bonanza Scheme, the bank will offer the revised rates on housing loans, car loans, personal loans and loans against rent receivables until Dec 31, 2009. The bank will also offer a discount of 50% on processing fees for such loans.
7)SBI Life Insurance has become the first Indian life insurer to top the list of companies whose agents have qualified for the Million Dollar Round Table – a club of insurance agents worldwide that have generated life premiums of over $1 million(Rs 4.9 crore) in a year.
8)Larsen & Toubro Ltd is likely to start general insurance business operations in six months without roping in a partner,Chief Financial Officer YM Deosthalee has said.
9)There was bloodbath on Dalal Street on Monday as the benchmark indices closed with the biggest fall since July 6. Weak cues from global markets, coupled with huge sell-off across the board and anxiety over poor monsoon, led the domestic markets to close with the third biggest fall this calendar year. The 30-share Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) lost 626.71 points, or 4.07%, to close below the 15K mark at 14,784.92 points. The broader S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) was down by 192.15 points, or 4.20%, to end at 4,387.90 points.
10)The stocks of sugar companies on Monday were hit by an indication that the Government may offer cash incentive over the statutory minimum price(SMP) for encouraging farmers to grow more sugar cane next season.
11)THE government plans to fix the price band of Oil India’s proposed initial public offer at Rs 1,200-1,450 per share, substantially higher than the market expectations, as it looks to replicate the success of the NHPC issue that was oversubscribed 24 times.
12)Market regulator Sebi has clarified that fund houses while charging exit load must ensure parity among all classes of unit-holders at the portfolio level. This means that a scheme which has different plans such as retail plan and institutional plan, among others, will have to charge exit load uniformly if the investments is made in same securities. The regulator has asked mutual funds to comply with these guidelines on or before August 24, 2009.
13)Surplus liquidity in the system, coupled with higher yields, seems to be boosting demand for ultra-short-term funds with a maturity of three-to-18 months, according to fund managers in asset management companies(AMCs). Banks, which were typically investing in liquid funds, have been moving to such funds due to higher returns.
14)Religare Mutual Fund on Monday said it has launched a fund scheme which would invest primarily in debt securities and money market instruments. Religare Credit Opportunities Fund, an open-ended income scheme, aims to beat its benchmark by investing in instruments that offer superior yield and would invest in short-term corporate bonds.
15)Gold slipped to its lowest since late July in Europe on Monday as the dollar firmed against a basket of currencies and as a 2 per cent decline in crude prices dented the precious metal’s appeal as an inflation hedge. Silver tumbled nearly 4 per cent after hitting a two-month high on Friday, meanwhile, as a slide in global equity markets prompted a rise in risk aversion, boosting the dollar versus the euro but knocking prices of industrial commodities. Spot gold hit a low of $934.40 an ounce and was bid at $934.80 at 1117 GMT, against $945.85 late on Friday.
16)Copper eased on Monday as concerns over the economic recovery caused industrial metals to pull back, with investors still uncertain over the demand outlook against a backdrop of weak fundamentals. By 0929 GMT, copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange fell to $6,024 a tonne from $6,240 at the close on Friday and compared with a session low at $6,000.
17)The pepper futures market witnessed high volatility and moved up at the close on Monday on reports that enquiries started floating from overseas buyers following emergence of tight supply position in other origins and a consequent rise in prices.
18)Gold futures prices declined by 0.11% on the MCX on Monday as speculators indulged in reducing their positions in tandem with weak overseas trend. Gold for October month contract fell by 0.11% to Rs 14,878 per ten gram, clocking an open interest of 14,170 lots.
19)WITH the civil war now over in island nation Sri Lanka, Bangalore- based developer Puravankara Projects – which picked up some land parcels three years ago in Colombo “for a song” – is ready to try its fortunes in the neighbouring country that is now presenting a huge demand for property.
20)BHARTI Airtel has received bids from more than a dozen overseas banks keen to fund its merger with top South African mobile company MTN, raising hopes that the nearly $23-billion biggest cross-border M&A deal ever by an Indian company was inching towards a successful outcome.
21)Telecom major Bharti Airtel said it has made an investment of over $500 million spread over two years, to enhance the connectivity of its newly unveiled global wholesale services portfolio, that will enable telecom operators across 50 countries to access its services.
22)The Maharashtra government and TCS are close to finalising a joint venture for an ambitious project that will provide citizens online access to government services through a portal.
23)HCL Infosystems has identified three board areas to invest the Rs 825 crore that it plans to raise. The sum was recently approved by the company’s board. The areas for investment include getting into new businesses, expanding existing ones, infrastructure development and possible acquisitions in India and abroad.
24)CRUDE oil fell to the lowest in more than two weeks as reduced demand and rising stockpiles in the US will ensure adequate supplies during the North Atlantic hurricane season. Oil traded below $67 a barrel for the first time this month after an unexpected decline in US consumer confidence and reports showed gasoline demand in the nation at the lowest in more than 12 weeks.
25)Manufacturing in the New York region grew in August for the first time in more than a year, reinforcing signs the worst recession since the 1930s is nearing an end. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index climbed to 12.1, higher than forecast and the first expansion since April 2008, the bank said on Monday.
26)Japan’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter, ending its longest recession since World War II. Growth in the world’s No.2 economy is likely to continue in coming quarters as companies restock inventories due to exports and government stimulus spending around the world, providing further evidence that the worst of the damage wrought by a global financial crisis may be over.
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