Date: 19 August 2009
Thought for the day
“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”
1)Nepalese PM Madhav Nepal arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday for his first visit after taking over as head of the government of the Himalayan country. During his visit, India will openly demonstrate support for the Nepal government, the peace process and a constitution that’s still on the drafting table.
2)THE slow monsoon will not have any significant impact on gross domestic product(GDP) as agriculture production constitutes less than 20% of the economy, planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Tuesday. But, the deficient monsoon across the country will adversely impact farm production, he added.
3)The government cleared 10 foreign direct investment(FDI) proposals which will bring in Rs 1,123 crore. The largest FDI of Rs 750 crore will be brought in by Essel Group-promoted DTH service provider, Dish TV India.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
4)Cairn India is about to commence oil production from its Rajasthan fields. “There are few days left to start the production,” said Cairn India managing director and CEO, Rahul Dhir in Mumbai on Tues- day after company’s third annual general meeting(AGM).
5)THE cement industry that saw rural demand driving its impressive 12% growth last fiscal, does not foresee any significant impact of a weak monsoon on demand. They believe a higher government infrastructure spend and an improving housing market in metros may offset any fall in rural demand because of a weak monsoon. Analysts though believe a weak rural demand coupled with new cement capacities may put pressure on prices.
6)Auto components manufacturer Bharat Forge has said it will raise $150 million(nearly Rs 731.3 crore) by issue of equity or equity linked securities to meet long-term financing requirements. The proposal is subject to necessary shareholders approval, the company said in a filing to the BSE.
7)Ahmedabad-based Kiri Dyes & Chemicals (KDCL) is all set for a big ticket acquisition, either in the US or Europe, and plans to spend Rs 400 crore for a global footprint. The acquisition would be funded through a 50:50 mix of debt and equity and the acquisition would be concluded in the next 7-10 days.
MONEY & BANKING
8)The rupee gained by around 15 paise against the dollar on Tuesday, after it gave up most of its intra-day gains. The domestic currency opened at 48.87 and strengthened to touch an intra-day high of 48.55. It weakened to close at 48.80, as against the previous close of 48.95.
9)INSURANCE regulator Irda will make it mandatory for all insurers to disclose their financial statements to the public even if they are not planning to get listed on the stock exchanges.
10)Acceding to insurers’ request, sectoral regulator Irda on Tuesday extended the deadline for collection of PAN of every customer paying an annual premium of over Rs 1 lakh by one month to September 1, 2009. “Many insurers have expressed difficulty in meeting with the deadline of August 1, 2009… and requested for an extension. Taking the representation of the insurers into consideration, the deadline for complying with the circular is now extended to September 1, 2009,” Irda said in a circular to all insurers.
11)BENCHMARK indices recouped some of the losses of the previous session on Monday, with brokers attributing the rebound mainly to short covering of positions by traders. With India’s economy in a much better shape than most others, the general feeling is the downside could be limited. The BSE’s 30-share Sensex ended the day at 15,035.26, up 250.34 points or 1.7% over the previous close. NSE’s 50-share Nifty closed at 4458.90, up 70 points or 1.6% over the previous close.
12)INDIAN companies listed on the London stock exchange and its junior exchange AIMS have consistently outperformed the FTSE and AIMS 100, according to Grant Thornton’s India Index. For the quarter ended June 2009, the index, which tracks the performance of Indian stocks on Aims and the main market in London, rose 76% from the start of the year, and 72% from the beginning of April. This compares with a decline of 4% of the FTSE 100 for the year, and rise of 7% since the beginning of April. The AIM 100 has risen 34% from the beginning of this year, and 28% from the beginning of April. It does not mean that Indian stocks have not seen severe drops in their share prices from since the beginning of the recession. “Relative to the market, they have performed less badly than the others in this period. Indian stocks have always been outperforming the main indices,” says Anuj Chande, head of South Asia group at Grant Thornton.
13)The National Stock Exchange(NSE) is likely to launch interest rate futures after receiving regulatory approval, a top exchange official said. “We are working towards the launch of interest rate futures in a few weeks,” NSE managing director and chief executive officer Ravi Narain said.
14)The Government has lined up plans to divest stake in at least 6-7 public sector undertakings in the next 10 months, the Finance Secretary, Mr Ashok Chawla, told reporters in New Delhi today.While refusing to name the PSUs, Mr Chawla said that the 6-7 proposed divestment candidates are in addition to the “existing two” for which the initial public offering(IPO) process has already been completed (NHPC) or is scheduled in the next few weeks (Oil India).
MERGER & ACQUISITIONS
15)Soon companies entering into small mergers and acquisitions(M&As) without any competition issues – such as abuse of dominant position and creation of a monopoly – or shareholder dissent, may not have to go through the tedious process of approval from the High Courts. The Government is mulling establishing an independent authority that would act as a single-window clearance mechanism and replace the High courts for such M&As.
16)The commodity exchanges in the country clocked a total turnover Rs 21,23,637 crore in the first four months of the current fiscal, a rise of 28.35% over the same period last year. According to the fortnightly data released by commodity market regulator Forward Markets Commission(FMC), the total value of trading between April and July last year was about Rs 16,54,443 crore.
17)Gold firmed in Europe on Tuesday as the dollar slipped against a basket of six major currencies and the oil market rebounded after the previous session’s losses, boosting the metal’s appeal as an inflation hedge. Spot gold was bid at $936.10 an ounce at 1124 GMT, against $932.80 an ounce late in New York on Mon- day.
18)Industrial metals rallied on Tuesday, recovering from a sharp sell-off in the previous session, as a stronger euro, higher equity markets and investors betting on renewed metals demand boosted prices. Copper for three months delivery on the London Metal Exchange was at $6,165 a tonne by 0958 GMT, versus Monday’s close of $6,050 a tonne while aluminium climbed to $2,038 a tonne from $1,960. Copper gained nearly 40 per cent since early July as funds poured money into industrial metals.
19)DLF, India’s largest real estate developer, has emerged as the sole bidder for the 350.71-acre land parcel in Gurgaon put up for auction by a Haryana state corporation body. With a reserve price of Rs 1,700 crore, the land deal would be the biggest since March 2008, when BPTP outbid DLF to win Rs 5,000 crore-worth land in Noida near New Delhi, but finally called it off.
20)WITH the real estate sector story looking up in large parts of the country, Bangalore-based realty companies are now exploring options to enter new markets. Among the interested players are Puravankara Developers, Sobha Developers and Nitesh Estates, three of Bangalore’s large real estate companies. It is learnt that these players are drawing up plans to invest in cities like Mumbai, Goa and Pune.
21)THE INDIAN arm of Norwegian telecom group Telenor has raised Rs 5,000 crore as a bridge loan from State Bank of India to fund the roll-out of its operations in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market.
22)SUNIL Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises Limited, was conferred the 17th Amalgamations – MMA Business Leadership Award for 2008-09 for his outstanding contribution to telecom industry which had changed the profile of knowledge- driven India perceptibly.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
23)IT major Cognizant on Tuesday announced operational expansion of its Phoenix delivery centre and that it has added BPO services to an existing portfolio of application development, application maintenance, testing, and related services. Cognizant’s Phoenix BPO centre will initially provide claim processing services for one of the largest healthcare plans in the US, it said in a statement.
24)It might no longer be a cake walk for multinationals such as IBM in the Indian IT market. With the Indian IT services providers increasing their focus on the domestic market, vendors such as IBM who have dominated the local market for long, are now facing increased competition.
25)With business from large clients still uncertain, Mahindra Satyam, formerly Satyam Computer Services, is working on a blueprint to get the firm back on track. One option is to seek alternative business areas within existing clients to boost growth, while simultaneously striving hard to develop new clients with smaller contract size.
26)Crude oil fell for a third day after reports showed that US housing starts dropped and wholesale prices declined in July, bolstering scepticism that fuel demand will rebound this year. Prices climbed earlier on speculation that a government report will show that US crude-oil stockpiles climbed for a fourth week. Crude oil for September delivery declined 54 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $66.21 a barrel at 9:01 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have risen 48 per cent this year.
27)Australia and China struck their biggest trade deal ever on Tuesday as the world’s two most valuable listed oil companies, Exxon Mobil and PetroChina, agreed a $41 billion liquefied natural gas deal.
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