Date: 17 March 2011

Thought for the day

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour. ”
– James Allen


1)IN the backdrop of nuclear mishap in Japan due to tsunami, India’s top atomic scientists on Wednesday briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on safety of nuclear installations in the country.
Indian Express


2)The government is set to pave the way for introduction of interest rate futures in the corporate bond market. This is to support the initiatives proposed in the budget for boosting corporate fund raising for the infrastructure sector through this route.


3)Mumbai-based Jyothy Laboratories has acquired a 14.9% stake in Henkel India from Tamil Nadu Petro Products (TNPL) for Rs 60.73 crore in an all-cash deal. The deal makes Jyothy the largest Indian shareholder in the struggling Indian arm of Germany’s Henkel AG.

4)IVRCL Infrastructure & Projects Ltd (IVRCL) has announced that it has bagged several orders valued at Rs 564.62 crore, which includes two orders from Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, worth Rs 359.61 crore. According to a statement filed with the stock exchanges, the orders include residential project in Nagpur and from a pellet plant in Karanatka from NMDC Ltd.


5)The rupee gained for the second day this week as stock exchange data showed overseas investors increased holdings of the equities
this month for the first time since December. The local currency appreciated 0.3% to 45.1175 per dollar in Wednesday’s trade.

6)With inflation for February coming in at a shocking 8.3% compared with a consensus estimate of 7.8%, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has virtually no option but to raise key policy rates, by at least 25 basis points each, at its monetary policy review meeting on Thursday.

7)Non-banking financial companies(NBFCs) are well-positioned to establish a stronger presence in the retail finance space and match the nonmortgage retail lending portfolio of banks by March 2013, according to CRISIL. In March 2010 NBFCs had a share, in retail finance, of close to 38%, up from 26% three years ago. That implies that banks have been losing share in the space.

8)India’s largest mortgage lender, Housing Development Finance Corporation(HDFC), has been included by New York’s Ethisphere Institute in its list of the world’s most ethical companies. HDFC is the only Indian company in the list.


9)With medical insurance portability becoming a reality from July 1, customers will be rejoicing as they can switch their insurance company. However, insurers are unsure if the transition will be smooth.


10)The benchmark stock index rebounded from its biggest drop in more than two weeks as Asian shares climbed for the first time since Japan’s record earthquake triggered a nuclear accident. Tata Power Co rose 1.3 per cent. SBI advanced the most in a month. Reliance Infra surged 5.2 per cent to its highest level in three weeks. The BSE Sensex gained 191.05, or 1.1 per cent, to 18,358.69 at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai. The S&P CNX Nifty Index on the National Stock Exchange added 1.1 per cent to 5,511.15, while its March futures settled at 5,529.15. The BSE 200 Index rose 1.2 per cent to 2,257.69.


11)The government is all set to begin its disinvestment programme for the next fiscal with Power Finance Corporation, which may file its regulatory papers with market regulator Sebi for the 20% follow-on public offer (FPO) later this week.


12)The rights issue of EIH seems to have sailed through with the majority of shareholders subscribing to the issue, as expected. Major shareholders such as Reliance Investments and Holdings Pvt Ltd and Mr Analjit Singh, Chairman of Max India, appeared to have picked up their share of the
rights issue.


13)Goldman Sachs Asset Management on Wednesday said it agreed to buy Benchmark Asset Management Company, making an entry into India’s crowded and fiercely competitive mutual fund (MF) space. The deal value, which was not disclosed officially, could be about Rs 120-130 crore, persons familiar with the matter said. This values Benchmark Asset Management Company at about four per cent of its assets under management of about Rs 2,935 crore as of December 31,2010. The transaction was expected to close later in the year, subject to regulatory approvals, Goldman Sachs said.


14)Oil rose as protests in Bahrain added to Middle-East tensions, leading gains in commodities, and stocks rebounded in Japan. European shares and US index futures fluctuated and the euro weakened. Brent crude rallied above $111 a barrel in London, gaining for the first time in five days, and copper increased.

15)Gold gained in London as some investors bought the metal after its drop to the lowest level in almost a month and as violence in Bahrain and the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake spurred demand for a protection of wealth. Immediate-delivery bullion rose $6.13, or 0.4 per cent, to $1,401.82 an ounce at 11:40 a.m. in London.

16)Copper rose to a one-week high in New York on speculation that industrial metals’ demand will increase. Copper for May delivery added to $4,248 a pound at 8:55 a.m. on the COMEX. Copper for three-month delivery climbed to $9,334 a tonne on the LME.


17)Even as the market is hotting up with reports of large Indian IT companies showing interest in Nasdaq-listed BPO firm EXL Service for a stake buyout, its 60-year-old founder and chairman Vikram Talwar says he is in no mood to sell, and pure play BPO services are going to be the focus of the business.


18)Amid concerns over radiation threat in tsunami-hit Japan, HCL Technologies said on Wednesday that its senior officials would travel to Japan “over the next few days”, to extend on-ground support to employees.


19)Japan’s nuclear crisis appeared to be spinning out of control on Wednesday after workers withdrew briefly from a stricken power plant because of surging radiation levels and a helicopter failed to drop water on the most troubled reactor.

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