Date: 07 September 2009
Thought for the day
“There is nothing so elastic as the human mind. The more we are obliged to do, the more we are able to accomplish.”
1)TOP European and American space scientists will join their Indian counterparts in Bangalore on Monday to review the performance of India’s maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-1 that was aborted pre- maturely last week, a senior space agency official said on Sunday.
2)The confidence level of India Inc is on the rise, as the impact of fiscal stimulus measures have begun to show on the economic actvity. Eighty per cent of the companies believe that the Indian economy is on the road to recovery and expect improvements in growth performance in the months to come. A survey to gauge business confidence sentiment, carried out by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(Ficci), for the month of September, also said 60 per cent of the companies reported improved industry performance at present, compared to the last six months.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)ENGINEERING and construction major Larsen and Toubro(L&T) has initiated talks to buy out a thermal coal asset of an unnamed Australian mining firm, said a person with knowledge of the development. The mine, at Queensland in north-eastern Australia, has estimated coal reserves of 250 million tonne and could cost the Indian company $250-300 million. Thermal coal is used for generating power a sector in which L&T does not have a significant presence.
4)Hyderabad-based Shantha Biotechnics has bagged a $340-million (around Rs 1,650 crore) order from Unicef to supply its Shan5, a combination of five vaccines. Shantha Biotechnics, recently acquired by European pharma giant Sanofi Aventis, will supply the vaccines for the period between 2010 and 2012 through its vaccine division Sanofi Pasteur.
5)Thermax Limited a energy and environment solutions company, has seen a boom in its water treatment business with municipal bodies upgrading and expanding infrastructure. The JNNURM mission, which is funding many urban renewal projects, has been attributed to the surge in demand for water and waster-management solutions.
6)Infrastructure construction major, Patel Engineering, is planning a major foray into power by setting up power projects in Arunachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu over the next three-years, a top company official said.
MONEY / BANKING
7)Agricultural sector lending by Indian Overseas Bank and Indian Bank has not been impacted by the drought and the banks do not see a build-up of bad debts. Both the banks have significant expo- sure to agricultural lending in Tamil Nadu and to a small extent in the neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
8)FINANCE ministry may allow insurance companies to tap capital markets after seven years of operation as against the current stipulated minimum ten years. With the ministry proposing to shorten the qualification period instead of giving case-by-case waivers, several insurance sector players are expected to tap the capital market in coming months, said a senior finance ministry official.
9)The general insurance industry grew at 14 per cent in the month of July, riding mainly on sales of motor insurance policies. In July, passenger vehicle sales grew at 29.1 per cent and commercial vehicle sales grew at 9.6 per cent. Hence, sales of motor insurance policies increased in sync.
10)THE focus will most likely be on technical levels this week, as traders eagerly await key indices to make a decisive move on either sides. Stock experts say that much of the domestic positive news has already been factored and that the market would continue to look to its international counterparts for cues. Any weakness in China shares, would weigh on global sentiment, feel market watchers.
11)With small investors once gain returning to the market, the small- cap index was the best performer in August even outperforming the benchmark index Sensex, gaining around 13 per cent. According to an analysis of the returns given by small capitalisation firms last month to investors, the BSE small cap index gave a positive return of 12.74 per cent, as it gained 791.2 points at 6,997.03 points during August, on the BSE.
12)The initial public offering of Oil India Ltd, the second state-run firm to hit the market this fiscal, will open on Monday for subscription. The price band for the issue has been fixed between Rs 950 and Rs 1,050 per equity share and the issue closes September 10.
13)ONGC Petro-additions Ltd(OPaL) is planning an Initial Public Offer (IPO) by 2011. The company also said it had lined up debt of around Rs 8,700 crore and plans to dilute 25 per cent of equity for an over- seas partner, to be chosen by the end of this month.
14)Axis Asset Management Company (Axis AMC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axis Bank, today announced that it has received the final regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to launch its mutual fund business in the country.
15)GOLD prices are likely to hit a new high of Rs 17,000 per 10 grams in the next 2-3 weeks due to rising demand from investors and a weak US dollar, analysts said. The price of the precious metal reached a seven-month high of Rs 15,780 per 10 grams in the domestic markets on September 3. On the same day, it also touched an almost seven-month high of $999.5 an ounce(28.34 grams) in the global markets.
16)HDFC Property Ventures and Temasek are in talks to invest about Rs 625 crore($130 million) in the Bangalore-based Prestige Group, as cash-hungry real estate companies continue to tap private equity funds to meet critical funding needs.
17)The government is likely to list telecom major BSNL on bourses by issuing nominal fresh shares and may shelve plans to directly divest its equity for the time being.
18)US bank Morgan Stanley, one of the recipients of the US government bailout funds, is looking at exiting its back office operations in India. The bank is exploring options including a part or full sale of its back office unit that does IT development as well as finance and accounting-related work for the parent, said three people familiar with the development. It also involves part of the KPO work like equity research, complex financial modelling and portfolio analysis.
19)WIPRO, the country’s third largest software exporter, will soon start offering complete IT solutions to mining and natural resources companies, as part of a startegy to focus on niche segments to power long-term growth. The Bangalore-based company is looking to build domain expertise in areas such as green technology, healthcare, defence, homeland security and cloud computing.
20)The world’s largest technology company Hewlett-Packard (HP) is betting big on the India data centre story. HP Critical Facilities Services, that caters to the data centres, says that it is increa- singly witnessing data centre upgradation and augmentation projects from the Indian market, despite global economic downturn. The firm says the growth is coming from the banking financial services and insurance(BFSI), telecom and manufacturing space.
21)G-20 finance leaders on Saturday took aim at excessive bank pay and risk-taking at the root of the financial crisis and insisted trillions of dollars of emergency economic supports would be needed for sometime. Although the global economy looks brighter than when the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers met in April, their closing statement said they would not remove economic stimulus until the recovery was well entrenched.
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