Date: 20 November 2009
Thought for the day
“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you are going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
–George Horace Loriman
1)Notwithstanding the continuing rise of crude oil prices in the international market that have touched the highest mark this year, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry on Thursday ruled out any immediate plans to raise petrol and diesel prices.
2)THE annual inflation for food items inched up to 14.6% for the week ended November 7 on account of dearer pulses, vegetables, cereals and diary products, a release by the commerce ministry on Thursday showed. Annual inflation for food items was at 10% in corresponding week last year. The government has shifted to a system of reporting the wholesale price index for only food and fuel categories. The entire WPI will now be released only once a month.
3)With a staggering wealth of $32 billion(about Rs 1.5 lakh crore), industrialist Mukesh Ambani is the richest Indian, followed by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and Anil Ambani, business magazine Forbes said on Thursday in its annual rich list for the country.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
4)RELIANCE Industries may be the biggest corporate brand in India, but Bharti Airtel is the strongest. The country’s largest mobile operator is the only corporate brand to be awarded the AAA rating, or “extremely strong”, in Brand Finance’s Brand Power Rating(BPR). BPR reflects a brand’s strength in the marketplace compared to its competitors and how effectively a company converts this into business results, while brand value is the proportion of a company’s overall value directly attributable to the use of its trademark. Airtel has managed to improve its brand strength in spite of increasing competition at the marketplace, from AA+.
5)SUZLON Energy, the world’s third-largest maker of wind turbines, said late Thursday that it has sold a 35% stake in subsidiary, Hansen Transmission, for $370 million(or Rs 1,720 crore at current exchange rates), as part of its efforts to reduce debt.
6)Pollution control equipment maker Thermax today said it has bagged an order worth Rs 477.77 crore from an Orissa-based company for construction of a captive power plant. According to the contract, the company would be providing various systems, including air pollution control, water treatment and effluent treatment units for the power plant, Thermax said in a filing to the BSE.
7)JSW Steel on Thursday announced a strategic alliance with Japan’s second-largest steelmaker JFE Steel Corporation, but the markets were disappointed that the pact does not immediately involve the acquisition of an equity stake in the Indian company.
8)McNally Bharat Engineering Company today said it has bagged an order worth Rs 306.45 crore for engineering related works at Rourkela Steel plant. The company received the order for various works including design and erection of ‘New Coal Handling Plant’ at Rourkela Steel Plant, McNally Bharat said in a filing to the BSE.
MONEY & BANKING
9)THE rupee weakened on Thursday tracking largely weaker Asian currencies, with a steady dollar against majors also hurting sentiment. The dollar hovered near the year’s lows against a basket of currencies on Thursday after slipping the previous day as economic indicators and a Fed official reinforced the view that US rate hikes are far away. The rupee ended at 46.69 against the dollar, weaker than its Wednesday’s close of 46.20.
10)A day after the Government asked state-owned banks to look at creating a few big banks through mergers and acquisitions, Canara Bank said on Thursday that it was scouting for domestic acquisition opportunities.
11)Even as the days of cheaper rates are numbered, banks are trying to woo their customers for used cars with lower interest rates. HDFC Bank on Thursday slashed its interest rates on used cars from 15 to 13.5%. The move is expected to induce other banks to revisit their rates in this segment.
12)The domestic equity bourses fell on concerns that the government might take steps to curb capital inflow if foreign investment surge prompts overseas investors to book profits. The 30 share Sensex of the BSE lost 213.13 points or 1.25% to end the day at 16,785.65 points. The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE ended the trading session at 4,989, losing 1.30% or 65.70.
13)The Power Finance Corp stock gained 3.2 per cent to Rs 253.80 after the company announced that it entered a joint venture agreement with NTPC, Power Grid Corporation of India and Rural Electrification Corporation for formation of a public limited company.
14)The Amrit Banaspati stock gained 20 per cent upper limit of circuit filter closed at an all-time high of Rs 92.85 on hopes that the government might re-impose custom duty on edible oils.
15)Agri-commodity exchange NCDEX on Thursday launched futures trading in platinum in an endeavour to widen its presence in the metal segment. A total of four contracts in platinum were offered for trading on Thursday, of which the first contract will expire next month, while the rest three in March.
16)Gold and silver retreated from record highs on the bullion market on Thursday on reduced off-take. Silver ready (.999 fineness) dropped by Rs 265 a kg to Rs 28,695. Standard gold(99.5 purity) dropped Rs 15 for 10 gm to Rs 17,190. Pure gold(99.9 purity) fell Rs 20 for 10 gm to Rs 17,280.
17)SOYABEAN prices have jumped up to 20% in major spot markets in a month as traders and farmers are not offloading the commodity anticipating a further rise in rates.
18)THE largest telecom operator in India Bharti Airtel has slipped to third positions in terms of monthly additions, according to figures released by Auspi and COAI. Bharti Airtel in October added about 2.7 million new users, lower than 2.9 million added by Vodafone Essar and over 3.8 million added by Tata Teleservices.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
19)Indian BPO firms are now looking beyond Mexico in Latin America to set up their near-shore delivery centres. Countries such as Costa Rica and Nicarague, among others, have emerged as new destinations for the Indian vendors to serve clients in North America.
20)FOR India’s top tech firms seeking to take the inorganic growth route in the US and European markets, successful acquisitions are becoming harder to come by as potential targets demand high valuations. Cultural barriers in several countries also act as a bottleneck.
21)Notwithstanding the speculation that continues over the stake sale of the Patni brothers(who hold 48.3 per cent) and General Atlantic (which holds 18 per cent) which its management consistently denies, Patni Computer Systems says it hopes to become the first company in the country to host all its information technology services on the cloud (a metaphor for the internet).
22)Oil traded near $80 a barrel in New York after rising yesterday as a government report showed US crude and fuel supplies dropped along with refinery production and imports. Oil reached a one- week high of $80.33 on Wednesday after the Energy Department said crude inventories declined 887,000 barrels to 336.8 million last week.
23)JP Morgan Chase & Co, the second-largest US bank, agreed to buy the half of Cazenove it didn’t already own for 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion), sealing the takeover of a 190-year-old British brokerage whose clients include the Queen of England.
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