Date: 28 August 2009
Thought for the day
“In the absence of willpower the most complete collection of virtues and talents is wholly worthless.”
1)In a bid to boost exports and save jobs in export-oriented industries, the new Foreign Trade Policy, unveiled on Thursday, seeks to give incentives, including extended tax holiday and duty refund to exporters. It also allows duty-free capital goods import to insulate them from global recession. Unveiling the five-year policy, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma promised to re- visit it after two years keeping in mind the current economic un- certainty. The Minister has set an ambitious target of $200 bil- lion worth exports for the next fiscal, a feat the country failed to achieve in 2008-09 due to a slump in global demand.
2)THE Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has held on to its 6% growth target despite a weak monsoon on the grounds that the economic impact of the drought would not be as bad as expected. However, the poor rains would push up food prices in the short-term and add to inflationary pressures.
3)Decline in factory production has been by and large arrested, as industry output grew 7% in July, the same as during the corresponding month last year. “The index of industrial production(IIP) for July has shown a growth rate of 7% and the core sectors have also demonstrated an upward trend,” commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said while unveiling the Foreign Trade Policy on Thursday.
4)The government today approved a bulk order for power equipment, envisaging an investment of Rs 40,000 crore, for the upcoming thermal power plants of NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation, a move that will help overcome power shortage in the country.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
5)THE Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW group, is in advanced talks to acquire a coal mine in Swaziland, Africa, at an estimated cost of about $350 million(about Rs 1,680 crore). The move is part of the group’s efforts to secure coal supplies for its forthcoming power projects and is also in line with recent steps by the Indian government to allow domestic companies to buy mines overseas, said people familiar with the development.
6)Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has won a turnkey contract for setting up an energy efficient and environment friendly gas turbine-based captive power plant in Assam. Oil India Ltd has placed an order worth around Rs 190 crore, for a 20-mw gas turbine-based captive power plant.
7)BGR Energy Systems Ltd, the power projects EPC company, has bagged a Rs 1,633.71 crore order from the Chhattisgarh State Power Generation Company, according to a company press release.
MONEY & BANKING
8)The rupee recovered from an early fall to 1-1/2-month lows past 49 per dollar, helped by gains in the yen against other major currencies on Thursday. The ended at 48.91/92 a dollar marginally stronger than its previous close of 48.93/94. It fell to 49.05 in early trade, its weakest since July 13.
9)Key indices continued their grinding ascent on Thursday, closing marginally higher in volatile trade. Dealers said low liquidity discouraged many players from rolling over their derivative positions to the next series. BSE’s 30-share Sensex ended the day at 15,781.07, up 11.22 points over the previous close. NSE’s 50- share Nifty inched up 8 points to close at 4688.20.
10)THE SME(small and mid-cap enterprises) space is buzzing with action even as their large-cap counterparts appear to have lost steam amid the downtrend in Asian markets over economic concerns. Investors have apparently shifted focus to second-rung stocks to take advantage of cheaper valuations vis-a-vis front-rung stocks. This is also reflected in sharp gains in the mid-cap and small-cap indices in the past few weeks. Many SME stocks, in fact, have been scaling new peaks in the current market, which according to brokers, could be an indication of some revival of interest among retail players.
11)Several mutual fund officials said there is currently a pickup in fresh systematic investment plan (SIP) accounts. “Eight to ten per cent of SIP accounts have been closed over a longer period of time and not over a few months, but now there is reversal in trend, fresh SIP account applications have started coming,” said Mr Sudipto Roy, Business Head, Principal PNB Asset Management Company Private Ltd.
12)Mutual fund companies will closely watch in coming months the impact of the introduction of cash management bills(CMB) on the yield cycle before deciding on further investments in government securities, according to industry experts.
13)Silver prices fell Rs 300 a kg in the bullion market today on emergence of selling by stockists following weak global cues, while gold ruled steady at Rs 15,250 per 10 gram. Marketmen said selling by stockists, sparked by a weakening Asian trend, where silver slid 0.6 per cent to $14.25 an ounce, mainly pulled down silver prices. Silver ready fell by Rs 300 to Rs 23,500 a kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs 160 to Rs 23,330 a kg.
14)Bullish operations pushed up the prices in the pepper futures market today. The market witnessed “buy depth” on the exchanges with buyers for 700 tonnes as against sellers for 250 tonnes. There were no spot sellers.
15)Real estate company Nitesh Estates is now shifting focus from the luxury residential segment to affordable housing. The company is now looking to set up apartments priced between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 40 lakh, keeping in line with the changing real estate market scenario.
16)NRI businessman C Sivasankaran is learnt to have put his 1.2 lakh square feet bungalow in Chennai on the block. A potential sale of this property located in the city’s upmarket Cenotaph Road could raise as much as Rs 200 crore, according to real estate developers familiar with the development.
17)THE deadlock over the reserve price for third generation radio frequency auction, vital for services such as video calling and high-speed internet access on mobile phones, was finally broken on Thursday when the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee fixed it at Rs 3,500 crore. This means, any telecom company bidding for a pan-India 3G spectrum will have to pay a minimum of Rs 3,500 crore as the auctions will begin at this price.
18)Keen to seal the $23-billion deal with South African telecom major MTN, Bharti Airtel has reportedly agreed to a small sweetener in its offer to MTN. As per reports, it has agreed to offer MTN share- holders roughly $13.1 billion in cash, while the remaining amount would be in the form of shares. Earlier, Bharti was offering $13 billion in cash.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
19)MAHINDRA Satyam BPO has bagged a deal to support the back office functions of Tata Docomo, Tata Teleservices’ GSM business in partnership with Japanese telecom major NTT Docomo. Around 400 employees of Mahindra Satyam BPO will work on this project, said a source. This is among the first wins by the BPO after Satyam Computer Services was taken over by Pune-based Tech Mahindra.
20)THE world’s biggest oil company, ExxonMobil, is in discussions with India’s top technology firms and multinationals vendors for outsourcing of several IT contracts worth up to $1 billion. A day after British Petroleum (BP) formally awarded over $1.5 billion worth of outsourcing contracts to TCS, Infosys and Wipro along with IBM and Accenture, top Indian offshore vendors including L&T Infotech and HCL Technologies apart from the MNC vendors have locked horns with each other for almost $1-billion outsourcing deal being fleshed out by ExxonMobil.
21)WIPRO, India’s third biggest software exporter, has won two new outsourcing contracts estimated to be worth around $100 million each from Australia’s biggest brewer Foster’s and Lavasa Corp, a unit of Hindustan Construction Company(HCC).
22)Crude oil declined for a third day after a report showed that inventories unexpectedly rose last week in the US, the world’s largest energy user. Oil traded below $72 a barrel after the Energy Department said on Wednesday that crude stockpiles rose 128,000 barrels last week, compared with forecast for a 1.15 million-barrel reduction.
23)Fewer Americans filed claims for jobless benefits last week, another sign the economy is pulling out of the worst recession since the 1930s. Applications fell by 10,000 to 570,000, a higher level than forecast, in the week ended August 22 from a revised 580,000 the week before, Labor Department data showed today in Washington. The total number of people collecting unemployment insurance fell to the lowest level since April.
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The Hindu www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express www.newindpress.com