Headlines (14 Oct 2009)

Date: 14 October 2009

Thought for the day

“One of the reasons many people don’t have what they want is neglect.”

 -—Jim Rohn


1)An average 66 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in the Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh held on Tuesday. While Arunachal Pradesh recorded a tentative 72 per cent, it was 66 in Haryana and 60 in Maharashtra.


 2)The European Union is hopeful of entering into a “deep and proper” free trade agreement (FTA) with India in 2010. The upcoming India-EU summit on November 6 will add impulsion to the FTA talks, a top European Commission(EC) official said.



3)The automobile sector is poised to break its boom year sales re- cord of 10 million units this financial year, thanks to the stimulus packages, new launches and festive discounts. Bolstered by a 21% rise in passenger car sales in September, preceded by five consecutive months of growth, industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers(Siam) on Tuesday projected double-digit growth for the sector this year. The projection earlier was at 4-5%.



 4)In a paradigm shift for Indian banks, RBI may permit each of them to decide their own lending rates without reference to the bench- mark prime lending rate (BPLR), the common reference rate for all banks. An announcement could come in the central bank’s half- yearly review of credit & monetary policy scheduled for October 27.


 5)United Bank of India’s (UBI) maiden public issue proposal is understood to have been cleared and forwarded by RBI to the finance ministry for its final approval. The Kolkata-based bank is hopeful of getting clearance from the finance ministry too.


6)Punjab & Sind Bank, one of the two unlisted public sector banks in the country, is aiming to dilute government holding by 20-25% through initial public offer in the first half of the next fiscal.



 7)COMPETITION is set to intensify in India’s insurance sector, with new entrants waiting to launch life, non-life and standalone health insurance firms. Insurance regulator Irda, on Wednesday gave its penultimate approval to State Bank of India(SBI) for its proposed non-life joint venture with IAG of Australia and Bank of Baroda for a life insurance venture with UK insurer Legal & General and Andhra Bank, said J Hari Narayan, chairman, Irda.



 8)Manipal Universal Learning(MUL), the corporate entity of Manipal Education Group – India’s largest private player in the higher education space – is mulling an initial public offering (IPO).



 9)The Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited(MCX) has recorded the highest delivery of 5,000 kg in MCX gold Oct 09 expired contracts, an exchange official said. India’s rising appetite in gold as an investment and strong demand for gold jewellery in the festive season of Diwali has strongly coincided with record deliveries of proximately 5,000.19 kg observed in the MCX gold October expiry contract which witnessed the highest deliveries ever made on the echange platform in gold.


10)TRACKING overseas gold, whose price has been catapulted by dollar weakness and fears of inflation, the precious metal in local markets shattered previous records on Tuesday. The prices jumped by Rs 130 to touch a historic high of Rs 16,385 per 10 gm in Kolkata, while Delhi saw a gain of Rs 25 to Rs 16,120, the metal rose by Rs 150 before ending the business at Rs 16,070 per 10 gm in Chennai. Mumbai, the largest market for gold in India, however, stayed away from the party as the market remained closed for the Maharashtra assembly elections. In European market, gold scaled a new peak of $1,068.30 an ounce on Tuesday as the dollar’s tumble to 13-month lows against the euro fuelled buying of the precious metals.


11)Copper prices rose on Tuesday, with overall sentiment capped by concerns that prices had run ahead of weak demand, as a weaker dollar supported. By 1025 GMT, copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange was at $6,300 a tonne from $6,275 at the close on Monday and compared with a session high at $6,303.



 12)UNITECH, India’s second biggest real estate player by revenue, reported on Tuesday that it has booked sales worth Rs 3,913 crore in the first six months of the fiscal 2010, selling 10.11 million sq ft, which is almost the same space sold by it in each of fiscal 2007 and 2008 – the boom years for real estate.



 13)FOR India’s cellular operators, Sri Lanka appears to be the next destination. Companies see a large potential in the island nation with 12 million mobile users out of a population of 20 million. Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile company, has been operating in Sri Lanka starting this year and has a subscriber base of over one million.



 14)THE Essar group is considering merger of Essar Information Technology Holdings(EITH), which provides common services operations across the group with its BPO firm Aegis. The diversified Essar group formed EITH three years ago to consolidate common functions such as finance and accounting(F&A), human resources(HR), and payroll to its business arms in steel, oil, shipping, power, telecom and retail. The merger will help Aegis diversify into areas such F&A, HR and payroll, as well as bring industry-specific knowledge within the company. It will also help Aegis get a higher valuation when it goes public.



 15)Indian companies and Internet Service Providers could soon get their IP addresses from a local body. The Government, along with the Internet Service Providers Association of India, has approached the Australia-based Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) seeking powers to issue IP addresses in India through a National Internet Registry(NIR). Currently, anybody wanting to get their own IP addresses in the country has to apply directly to APNIC. Globally, IP addresses are controlled by the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The process of applying for an IP address through APNIC is often time consuming and expensive. Therefore, most entities in India do not own their own IP addresses and simply take whatever their bandwidth provider allocates. If the Indian efforts to set up a local National Internet Registry(NIR) are accepted by APNIC member-countries, then it will enable local entities to get IP addresses faster and at a fraction of the cost.


16)MphasiS Ltd, the India listed subsidiary of computer maker Hewlett Packard, plans to step up its focus in the domestic IT market where it is eyeing business from verticals such as health- care, government, telecom and banking and financial services.


17)Virtusa, the Nasdaq-listed software company, is joining a list of US-based companies with offshore centres in India to tap business opportunities in the domestic market for providing information technology services.



 18)The UK is now the world’s leading international financial centre, according to the World Economic Forum’s Financial Development Report released this week. The report, which ranks 55 of the world’s leading financial systems and capital markets, found the UK was stronger than Australia(second position) and the US (third) because of the “relative strength of its banking and non-banking financial activities”.


19)American International Group has struck a deal to sell its Taiwan life insurance unit for $2.15 billion, marking its largest disposal of a unit since a government bailout saved it from collapse last year.


20)World demand for Opec’s oil will be stronger than expected next year, the producer group said on Tuesday, adding to signs that an improving economic outlook will boost oil consumption. Demand for Opec crude will average 28.39 million barrels per day(bpd) in 2010, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report. That is up 300,000 bpd from its previous forecast.



Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.karvycomtrade.com (Commodities)
KARVY Global Services Ltd www.KARVYGlobal.com
KARVY Realty (India) Limited www.karvyrealty.com
Economic Times www.economictimes.com
The Financial Express www.financialexpress.com
Business Line www.businessline.in
Business Standard www.business-standard.com
The Times of India www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express www.newindpress.com

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