Date: 20 October 2009
Thought for the day
“No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
1)The Jharkhand assembly, which has been kept under suspended animation for the last eight months, is likely be dissolved next week. The Centre may take its decision over the recommendation of the state governor for dissolution of the Assembly.
2)THE government has announced the much-delayed recast of the whole- sale price index(WPI), the most widely watched measure of inflation, nearly a decade after the last revision in April 2000. The WPI will now be released on a monthly basis, will have a wider and updated basket of products and a more recent base year, making it more reliable, current and representative.
3)THE government on Monday approved a proposal to divest equity in two profit-making power companies – National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC) and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam(SJVN) – and allowed Norway’s telecom company Telenor to hike its stake in Unitech Wireless to up to 74%. At the current market capitalisation of about Rs 1,80,000 crore, the proposed disinvestment in NTPC, to be carried out through a follow on offer, would fetch about Rs 9,000 crore to the government at the Friday’s closing price of Rs 213 a share on the NSE. The government presently owns 89.50% in country’s largest power generation company.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
4)RELIANCE Industries(RIL), the country’s largest company by market capitalisation, has been ranked among the top 25 global companies which outperformed peers in the midst of the global economic slow- down this year, according to an A T Kearney study. RIL, which recently completed two world-class projects, a new refinery at Jamnagar and the gas project in the Krishna Godavari basin on the eastern coast, has occupied the eleventh position in among the the 25 in the AT Kearney Global Champions for 2009 list. It is the sole Indian company to appear in the list which is topped by Japanese firm Nintendo. US-based Google and Apple occupied the second and the third positions, respectively.
5)This has been a heady Diwali weekend for carmakers which could pave the way for good sales numbers this month. Market leader Maruti Suzuki sold 10,000-12,000 cars in three days from Dhanteras to Diwali, considered an auspicious period for buying.
6)LOSS-LADEN Indian airlines industry is likely to save as much as 10% on operational cost a month if the rupee manages to stay around its current level against the dollar, the possibility of which looks bright, analysts say. This possible saving may be a boon for the domestic carriers, which suffered a combined loss of Rs 10,000 crore last year.
7)VOITH, the e5-billion German manufacturer of paper machines, hydropower equipment and diesel locomotives, is in talks with the Tata Group to form a joint venture company intended to manufacture diesel engine in India for the German group’s locomotives.
MONEY & BANKING
8)IN what could be another sign of revival of confidence in the global financial system, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has slowly started moving back to foreign commercial banks to deploy the country’s foreign exchange reserves. According to the latest RBI figures, assets parked with foreign commercial banks rose gradually from $4,729 million in February to $5,092 million in July.
9)The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) is likely to keep its benchmark lending and borrowing rates unchanged in its monetary policy re- view next week, but may start hiking them from April 2010, according to Macquarie Research.
10)UCO Bank is likely to raise Rs 900-950 crore from follow-on- public offer after a strong rally in the stock market. “As per the current market conditions, getting a premium of Rs 60 will not be a problem. A premium of around Rs 50 a share was expected earlier,” Uco Bank chairman and managing director SK Goel said.
11)Powered by strong fund flows from foreign institutional investors, Samvat 2065 saw the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Ex- change rise 92 per cent. And the party looks set to continue in Samvat 2066, with most FIIs saying liquidity flows to emerging markets such as India will only improve in tandem with the strong economic recovery across the globe. The consensus among FIIs is valuation could be a concern going ahead, but that is still some way off.
12)Commodity exchanges NCDEX and NMCE on Monday said they will consider reducing transaction fees for their members, a move that comes after the country’s largest commodity bourse MCX decided to slash the charges.
13)Gold rose on Monday, building on the gains of the last two weeks, as the euro rose towards $1.50 and oil prices reached a new 12-month high near $80 a barrel. Spot gold was bid at $1,054.80 an ounce at 1057 GMT against $1,050.80 late in New York on Friday.
14)Copper rose in London as the dollar weakened and the Bank of Japan said the country’s economy, the world’s second-biggest, is rebounding. The Dollar Index, a six-currency measure of the greenback value, fell as much as 0.3 per cent after dropping 1.1 per cent last week. Copper for three-month delivery rose $70, or 1.1 per cent, to $6,300 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange at 11:44 a.m. local time.
15)The real estate sector saw a growth in demand of 15% in the second quarter of financial year 2009-10, after slowing down to 10% during the first quarter of 2009-10. The rise has, of course, been helped by the base effect of a negative growth in the cor- responding quarter of the previous year. This is still way off the 35% to 40% growth witnessed in January to March 2008 in metros. The figures are culled from a cross-sectional survey of the reports of chief real estate tracking firms.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
16)INDIA’S second biggest software exporter Infosys Technologies plans to cross-sell its back office services with the company’s core banking product Finacle to gain more revenues from financial sector customers and explore newer geographic markets.
17)IN WHAT could provide a leg up to West Bengal government’s strategy to spread the development of the IT industry in tier II towns, IBM Daksh has decided to set up a BPO facility in Kharagpur. The company plans to set up its unit over 50,000 sq ft and will initially recruit 500 people, which will be eventually ramped up.
18)AS India’s top tech firms TCS, Infosys and Wipro step up efforts to address the lucrative government outsourcing market(over $100 billion globally), project delays, frequent changes in leadership and increased public scrutiny are making it tough for them to exe- cute public sector projects.
19)Currency volatility is a concern for India’s largest information technology company, Tata Consultancy Services(TCS). So much so, that it has taken new hedging positions worth $135 million(around Rs 630 crore) for the quarter ending December 31.
20)Oil hit a year-high above $79 a barrel on Monday, driven by bullish sentiment across financial markets, but later slipped back as traders questioned whether ample fuel supplies justified current price levels.
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The Times of India www.timesofindia.com
The Hindu www.hindu.com
Deccan Chronicle www.deccan.com
The New Indian Express www.newindpress.com