Headlines (20 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)On his nightly stroll, G Madhavan Nair, chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO), used to gaze at the moon for its luminous beauty. Now, whenever he hears the word ‘moon’, which he does hundreds of times a day, he thinks of the 1,304-kg space craft carrying the 29-kg moon impact probe that will crash land on the lunar surface, just days after PSLV-C11 takes off at 6.20 am on October 22.

TOI

ECONOMY

2)Inflation figures of the government agencies are in for a big dose of downward correction as commodity prices come off their highs. First off the block will be the Planning Commission. The commission has projected a 6% rate of wholesale price index-based inflation by March 2009, incidentally just about the time the elections to the Lok Sabha are scheduled.

FE

3)Economists feel a repo rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) next week would complement its recent liquidity-boosting measures and go a long way in spurring economic growth, which of late, has been sluggish. A bold decision to cut the repo rate by 0.50% would send positive signals to the economy and perk-up the tempo of growth, both in this fiscal and in the next (FY 2010), they said.

ET

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

4)AT A time when companies are reeling under the burden of ongoing financial turmoil, National Mineral Development Corporation(NMDC), India’s nodal agency for iron ore, has increased domestic iron ore long-term contract prices by up to 46%. Globally, prices of Iron ore and steel are plunging on the back of softening demand. The move is likely hit steelmarkets such as Ispat, Essar, JSW and RINL which have long term contracts with NMDC.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

5)Bankers have said they would wait till the reviewed monetary policy is declared to take a call on lending rate cuts despite the RBI announcing a hefty 2.5% reduction in cash reserve ratio(CRR), injecting Rs 1,00,000 crore into the banking system. Though leading public sector lender, Punjab National Bank(PNB), announced a 0.5% cut in its home, auto and education loan after the CRR cut, several other banks said they wait till the October 24 monetary policy review before taking any decision.

FE

6)Chennai-based, state-run Indian Bank has reported a 14.27 per cent increase in net profit during the second quarter ended September 2008 at Rs 282.93 crore compared with Rs 247.59 crore for the same period last year.

BS

7)State Bank of Travancore(SBT) has recorded 70.37 per cent rise in net profit during the second quarter ended September 2008, over the same period last year. The bank posted a net profit of Rs 113.83 crore as against as 66.81 crore during the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

BL

INSURANCE

8)RELIANCE Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) is looking to buy out the Asian insurance business of US-based financial services giant AIG. The proposed deal, which would exclude AIG’s Indian insurance joint ventures, would make R-ADAG the largest life insurance firm in South East Asia.

ET
 
MARKETS

9)LIKE a dying man clutching at straws, investors have not given up hope altogether. After the benchmark Sensex fell below the 10000 mark on Friday, hopes are pinned on the Nifty’s much-talked about technical support of 3000, which is expected to trigger a rebound driven by short-covering. Investors will also keenly watch the midterm credit policy review on October 24, as the liquidity in the system continues to be tight despite the central bank’s monetary measures. In the past couple of weeks, RBI has cut the cash reserve ratio(CRR) – the amount of money that banks have to maintain with the central bank – by 250 points and relaxed the statutory liquidity ratio(SLR) requirements. Market watchers expect RBI to announce a cut in the repo rate – the rate at which it lends to banks – on the policy day. This is one move that will signal easing interest rates. Even reputed corporates have been borrowing short-term money at ex- orbitant rates. The high interest rates are forcing many of them to scale down their expansion plans. On Friday, the Nifty ended at 3074.35, down 195.95 points, or 6%, over the previous close. In the US too, markets ended weak on Friday, but the losses were limited compared with the previous sessions, sparking hopes of a bounceback early next week.

ET

IPO

10)Initial public offerings(IPOs) of the public sector units(PSUs) could revive investor confidence, which has taken a beating in wake of the global financial crisis, chief financial officers of Indian companies said in a survey. Majority of the 300 chief financial officers (CFOs), who participated in an Assocham survey said they had confidence in the Indian PSU equities.

BS

MUTUAL FUNDS

11)DESPITE mounting pessimism among investors, there is fresh money flowing into equity mutual fund schemes. Barring August, there have been fresh inflows into equity funds this year, an indicator that retail investors have chosen to stay on so far. However, fund managers are apprehensive that October could be a month of high outflows. According to AMFI data, open-ended equity schemes recorded fresh inflow worth Rs 658 crore in September. This genre of fund schemes also witnessed positive inflows between January and July. There was an outflow worth Rs 95 crore in August. Investors are not very keen on closed-ended equity funds, as most schemes of this type have logged outflows in all months after March. Though there have been a few equity New Fund Offerings(NFOs) hitting the market between March and August, very little money flowed in through these offerings. Counting out ICICI Prudential Focused Equity and AIG World Gold(both funds closed in May), almost all schemes launched during the considered period had to prune their mobilisation targests. “Over 40% of fresh money flowing into equity funds is through SIPs. Though there has been some redemption, there is an overwhelming majority who has started investing into SIPs. We are selling equity mutual fund products in these markets as well,” said Tata Mutual Fund managing director Ved Prakash Chaturvedi.

ET

COMMODITIES

12)The host of problems in the global economy, like the subprime meltdown, the financial crisis downturn in the equity markets, along with commodity prices still remaining at high levels, are all forcing investors to rediscover the lustre in gold. According to a recent report by team of analysts headed by Kevin Norrish from Barclays Capital, investing in gold will be seen as a way out of the global economic turmoil. A study made by Merrill Lynch & Co Inc under the team leader Francisco Blanch shows gold prices can shoot up to $1,500 an ounce in the near future.

FE

13)The National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange(NCDEX) has reduced the number of jeera contracts to seven from current nine per year, an exchange release said. NCDEX has dropped the contracts for April and October in 2009, taking the total available contracts to seven in the current calendar. Globally, farm commodities do not have futures contract for the period when spot trade remains subdued due to reasons like harvest, monsoon etc., the official said.

BS

REAL ESTATE

14)Makaan.com, a property portal, is hosting a two-day property show in Hyderabad bringing together more than 20 leading developers and showcasing models of over 100 plus projects. The Business Head of Makaam.com, Mr Aditya Verma, said this is the second such show in Hyderabad and 10th nationwide in a series of such events which help potential buyers get to know what is available in the market place. Property seekers get to choose from options of plots, villas and apartments with price ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5 crore.

BL

COMMUNICATIONS

15)A leading European telecom giant is set to acquire a little over 43 per cent stake in Unitech’s telecom venture for $1.4 billion. According to highly-placed sources close to the deal, the legal documentation is likely to be completed shortly and announcement to this effect is expected by the weekened or early next week.

BS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
 
16)ASIA Pacific’s IT spending is expected to grow about 10-16% till 2010, beating developed markets, according to a study by consulting firm Zinnov. India and China, in particular, represent large untapped markets in the region. While India’s IT spending is likely to grow between 17.6-24% by 2010, China would grow 10-13%, according to the study. This is in comparison to the 3.3-6.5% increase expected in global IT spending. Expenditure on hardware, software and IT-BPO services comes under IT spending.

ET

17)INFOSYS Technologies has bagged an order from the Union Bank of California, US for its core banking solution(CBS) – Finacle – beating its bigger rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Sources said Infosys and TCS were the two short-listed vendors which comes as a surprise given the presence of banking products companies in the US like Temenos, Fiserve and Metavante, among others.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

18)PRESIDENT Bush, looking for answers to an global economic emergency with just three months left in office, will host an international summit to discuss ways to fix the world financial system but warned on Saturday against reforms that threaten capitalism. “We will work to strengthen and modernise our nations’ fianancial systems so we can help ensure that this crisis doesn’t happen again,” Bush said at the Camp David president retreat. Bush, meeting with French president Nicolas Sarkozy and European commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, did not announce a date or site for the summit. But Sarkozy suggested it be held in the shadow of Wall Street before the end of November.

ET

19)DUTCH financial group ING is in talks with the Dutch government about a state-backed cash injection estimated to be worth up to 9 billion euros($12.12 billion), the Sunday Times reported. The Netherlands’ biggest listed bank, which said on Friday that it was about to announce its first-ever quarterly loss, is expected to announce a deal in the next 24 hours, the paper reported.
 
 ET

 
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Headlines (17 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)With India searching worldwide for partners in its ambitious future combat soldier programme, New Delhi and Washington on Thursday agreed to cooperate in the project to enhance the capabilities of the modern system.The agreement was reached here during the meeting of Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor and his US counterpart General George W Casey, who arrived in New Delhi on Thursday for a three day visit. The two agreed to cooperate in exchange of military and related – technologies for development of enhanced capabilities for India’s future infantry soldier as a system (F-INSAS) programme.

Indian Express
 
ECONOMY

2)Driven by the steepest week-on-week decline (0.5%) in the wholesale price index (WPI) since April 2000, inflation for the week ended October 4 dropped to 11.44% from 11.8% for the week before. Year-on-year inflation was at 3.22% for the corresponding week last year. While overall inflation continues to trend down, prices of primary articles has inched up in recent weeks. According to economists; the southward journey of inflation numbers is emerging as a convincing trend. They pointed out that the fall in commodity prices along with the tight liquidity scenario will bring down inflaion further in months to come. Saumitra Chaudhary, member Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, even expects inflation to move in to single digits by December.

ET

3)The government has sought data from the Reserve Bank of India to consider a proposal to enhance the investment limit for bank exposure to equity markets as part of several measures to boost domestic institutional participation at a time when foreign institutional investors (FIIs) are exiting. At present, a bank can invest up to 20 per cent of net worth in a single company and up to 40 per cent of net worth in a group. Most banks are well below the present stipulation. The limit may be enhanced only for those banks that have sound risk management practices.

BS

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

4)Ashok Leyland, the 53-year old brand synonymous with commercial and public transport in the country, will soon see a name change, reflecting its ownership by the Hinduja Group. The Hindujas, who took over Ashok Leyland in 1987, is planning to rename the company Hindja Leyland, in sync with the Group’s strategy to give a common brand identity to various companies within the group, spanning auto- motive to media.

FE

5)Kolkata-based Emami, today, acquired management control of Zandu Pharmaceutical Works after it bought an 18.5 per cent stake from the Parikh family, through an out-of-court settlement, ending months of uncertainty over a hostile takeover bid.

BS

MONEY & BANKING

6)The rupee ended down against the dollar as banks bought the greenback noting persistent outflows from foreign funds on a sharp fall in local share indices. However, dollar sales from the Reserve Bank of India through government-owned banks helped the rupee trim some intraday losses, dealers said. The Indian unit closed at 48.82 to a dollar, weaker by around 30 paise from 48.52 on Wednesday. It moved in 48.63-49.08 range intraday.

BS

7)Rising advances and increasing margins helped HDFC Bank report a 43.3% rise in net profit in the second quarter(Q2) ended September 30. The net profit was at Rs 528 crore against Rs 368 crore in the previous fiscal. Results for the quarter include that of the erstwhile Centurion Bank of Punjab(CBoP) which was amalgamated with the bank with effect from April 1.

ET

8)INDUSIND Bank posted a 51% rise in net profit for the quarter ended September 30,2008, thanks to higher income from fee and interest. During the quarter, the bank registered a net profit of Rs 33.6 cr compared with Rs 22.3 in the corresponding quarter last financial year.

ET

MARKETS

9)The Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) bellwether, Sensex, plunged 790 points during trade today on fears of an imminent recession in the US, but softening inflation numbers at home and signs of recovery in overseas markets helped it trim losses to 228 points at close. The Sensex started the day with a sharp fall, showing that investors discounted the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) move to inject more liquidity into the system through a further cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio(CRR). However, the benchmark index came off lows, taking cues from European bourses and indications that US index futures would open higher on Wall Street. The 30-share Sensex ended at 10,581.49 as against yesterday’s close of 10,809.12, a loss of 227.63 points, or 2.11 per cent. The 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also fell by 69.10 points, or 2.07 per cent, to close at 3,269.30.

BS

10)TRADERS in equity futures and options segment are getting to know the taste of a liquidity squeeze. A day after Sebi hiked exposure margins for positions, many brokers are not taking any chances. They have enforced the rule with immediate effect, though the Sebi circular says the revised margins will become effective only from October 21.

ET

11)With FIIs pulling out of stock market, Sebi on Thursday removed the conditions limiting FII’s allocation of funds between debt and equity, a decision that will provide greater flexibility and investment options to overseas investors. “It has been decided to do away with the conditions provided in…FII regulations pertain-ing to restrictions of 70:30 ratio of investment in equity and debt, respectively, with immediate effect,” the market regulator said in a circular.

ET

RIGHTS ISSUE

12)Chettinad Cement Corporation Ltd has approved and revived an earlier proposal for a rights issue to its shareholders to raise Rs 250 crore, according to information provided by the company to the stock exchange. The company plans to issue one new equity share on rights basis for every six held by a shareholder for a total value not exceeding Rs 250 crore.

BL

COMMODITIES

13)Most spices today were back in positive territory to trade a shade higher on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange on speculators buying, triggered by lower arrivals in the physical markets. Jeera, the most-active October contract traded Rs 70, or 0.5 percent higher at Rs 10,640 a quintal at the NCDEX on expectations of pick-up in export demand, following lower output in other major producing countries – Syria and Turkey.

BS

14)The pepper futures market, which was on a downward trend in the morning, recovered in the afternoon and closed above Wednesday’s price. Good quantity of pepper is said to have been traded at discount price. Investors were buying back their sales. Domestic buyers as well as exporters were actively buying to meet their commitments at prices below the spot prices.

BL

REAL ESTATE

15)Mid-sized real estate companies have started feeling the heat of the global meltdown. Delhi-based Omaxe Construction and Infrastructure is planning to offload 26% stake to investors and private equity (PE) players and is said to be in talks with sovereign wealth funds from Bahrain, Singapore, Kuwait, and Dubai, apart from Temasak of Singapore.

FE

COMMUNICATION

16)Bharti Airtel, the country’s leading private telecom service provider, is keen to acquire a telecom player similar in size to South African gaint MTN in the emerging markets to become a global brand, said Akhil Gupta, deputy group CEO and managing director of Bharti Enterprises.

BS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

17)The gloomy global economic outlook and reduced demand for technology services in the US and Europe are likely to result in an increased pace o consolidation among small and mid-tier IT services companies in India, analysts say. Export-oriented small and midtier IT companies were able to weather the storm of rapid appreciation in the rupee against the US dollar in 2007 and early 2008, but now they are faced with the stark reality of dwindling orders. Sudin Apte of Forrester Research says that consolidation in the Indian IT industry was on the way anyway but the pace may pick up in the next 18 months.

ET

18)HCL Technologies – the sole bidder left in fray after Infosys pulled out of the race for Axon – has purchased 10.43 per cent stake in the UK-based SAP consulting firm, at 631 pence a share. “We have purchased an additional over 10 per cent of Axon shares for a net value of 631 pence per share through market purchases. It is a smart move and we will reveal our strategy in the coming days,” the HCL Technologies CEO, Mr Vineet Nayar, said.

BL

19)Cisco Systems, the global networking giant has announced the launch of its global talent acceleration programme (GTAP) in India, which will see them, for the first time, providing training directly to fresh gradu-ates as well as experienced professionals. India is the third country where the GTAP has been launched after Jordan and South Africa. The first batch in India will comprise 150 students.

ET

20)Moser Baer on Thursday said it plans to invest over $800 million in capex for its various businesses including optical media and photovoltaics, over the next 18 months. “For FY09, our capex plans stands at $550 million in capex across the Group.”

BL

INTERNATIONAL

21)THE global financial crisis shifted gears on Thursday with fears of recession battering financial markets even as governments sought yet more action to pull the world economy from the brink of collapse. European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels, were to call for action to combat economic decline, including support for industry. Switzerland’s two largest banks – UBS and Credit Suisse – became the latest to say they were receiving emergency funding as the country’s government and other investorss moved to shore them up.

ET

22)JP Morgan Chase has become the largest US bank by assets, surpassing long-time leader Citigroup. Citigroup on Thursday said it ended September with $2.05 trillion of assest, while a day earlier JP Morgan said it ended the month with $2.25 trillion.

ET

23)OIL prices slumped further on Thursday, with Brent crude briefly sliding close to $67 a barrel and the lowest level for more than 15 months, as slowing energy demand took its toll, traders said. Crude oil futures were down more than 50% from record highs of above 147 dollars reached in July, when prices had rocketed on fears of supply disruptions.

ET

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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

Headlines (16 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)The 10-day final phase of the Indo-US Malabar naval wargames kicked off on Wednesday, with an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, a nuclear submarine and five other warships undertaking combat manoeuvres with seven Indian warships and a diesel-electric submarine in the Arabian Sea.

TOI

ECONOMY

2)The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think tank, has scaled down India’s growth rate forecast to 8.7 per cent in 2008-09, as against an earlier projection of 9.4 percent. Interestingly, the CMIE said the revised estimate was ‘not entirely’ due to turmoil in the financial markets, but because of a slowdown in the real estate sector and delays in implementation of investment projects.

BS

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)POWER equipment major Bharat Heavy Electricals(BHEL) has joined the race for Czech power utility company Skoda Power. Skoda Power, a subsidiary of Skoda Holdings, is a leading European manufacturer and supplier of technological equipment and customer services in the field of power generation. The bidding will be held online and BHEL will be competing against 15 other global firms.

ET

4)Indu Projects along with Srinivasa Construction, Kirloskar Brothers and WEG Electric has bagged the Rs 1,447 crore project related to the Pranahita-Chevella lift irrigation scheme. The share of Indu Projects in this contract is expected to be Rs 588 crore.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee fell against the dollar on Wednesday as it tracked the equities market and on month-end dollar demand. “There are no positive signs for the rupee and it will continue to remain under pressure for some time. There was overall dollar buying with a private bank. The rupee opened on a weak note at 48.34/36 and closed at 48.52/54, against the previous close of 48.10.

BL

6)The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) today cut by a further percentage point the cash reserve ratio(CRR) or the amount of mandatory cash that banks need to park with it. The move is with retrospective effect from October 11 and is expected to unlock Rs 40,000 crore into the financial system and pave the way for lower lending rates. This is the third time the central bank has cut the CRR in two weeks, bringing the combined cut to 2.5 percentage points, releasing a total of Rs 100,000 crore into the cash-starved banking sector to allow it to resume normal lending operations.

BS

7)DENA Bank, Andhra Bank, Vijaya Bank and UCO will benefit the most, with the government decision to infuse capital into commercial banks to improve their capital adequacy ratio(CAR). On Wednesday, the government announced that it would provide banks access to finance to raise their capital adequacy ratio(CAR) up to 12%. CAR is the amount of capital that banks need to set aside as a prudential practice based on the risk associated with various assets. Among government-owned banks, Dena Bank, Andhra Bank and UCO Bank have a CAR of less than 12% and its shareholding in these banks has nearly touched 51% – a level below which the government can not reduce its stake if it wants to raise fresh equity.

ET

8)Punjab National Bank(PNB) on Tuesday decided to reduce the interest rates by 50 basis points on housing and car loans, becoming the first lender to announce a rate cut amid series of liquidity injection measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government. The interest rate has been reduced on housing, educational and car loans with effect from Thursday, PNB chairman and MD KC Chakrabarty said.

ET

INSURANCE

9)Private life insurer Max New York Life today launched a new policy aimed at low income group in the rural and urban areas. Max Vijay is a noval insurance and savings product primarily targetted at people in the income bracket of Rs 30,000-3 lakh per annum. The product would be made available to the customers by a wide spread distribution network, including the neighbourhood retail outlets and even NGOs. There is minimum formality in buying the policy and the premiums can be paid easily just like topping up or recharging a mobile phone.

BS

MARKETS

10)The BSE Sensex under performed major global indices today as the Indian benchmark fell 5.87 per cent, or 674 points, to close at 10,809. The broader index, S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), fell 5.12 per cent, or 180 points, to end the day at 3,338. Heavy selling by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) snapped the two-day rally in domestic stocks.

BS

11)SEBI on Wednesday increased the margin requirement for exchange traded equity derivatives, a step to protect the interest of investors, amid huge volatility being witnessed on bourses in the past few days. “With a view to ensure market safety and safeguard the interest of investors, it has now been decided that the expo- sure margin shall be higher of 10 per cent or 1.5 times the stand- ard deviation,” Sebi said in a circular.

BL

12)IN another move to boost investor sentiment, the government has decided to double foreign investment limits in corporate debt to $6 billion. This is the second time that the investment limits for FIIs in debt has been increased this year. Market participants have welcomed the move in the anticipation that foreign money will flow in to the cash-strapped markets. With the current investment limit of $3 billion fully utilised, bankers are bullish about further foreign investment coming in through this route.

ET

MUTUAL FUNDS

13)AT A time when investing in realty and real estate-related instruments is considered a taboo, a few fund houses – having debt port- folios – are seen holding on to their investments in debt securities issued by real estate companies. Fund houses like LIC Mutual Fund, Canara Robeco Mutual, Reliance Mutual and DSP ML reveal substantial holdings in the real estate sector at the end of September. As per mutual fund tracker MFI Explorer, the liquid and liquid-plus funds of LIC Mutual Fund hold 19% and 65%, respectively, on each portfolios in real estate debt papers. LIC’s floater fund holds nearly 71% investments in papers issued by real estate companies. The Canara Robeco floater has nearly 46% in real estate debt securities.

ET

14)Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund will Thursday launch ‘Plan D’ under Templeton Fixed Horizon Fund Series-XI, a fund house notice said today. Subscription to the 367-day income plan will close Oct 22. The close-ended scheme will invest its entire corpus in fixed-income securities with a maturity profile similar to that of the plan.

BS

15)HDFC Mutual Fund will launch a 90-day fixed term plan on Friday that will close for subscription on Tuesday. HDFC FMP 90D will be under HDFC Fixed Maturity Plans-Series IX.

BS

CORPORATE SCORE

16)Despite a pressure on profitability in some segments like its electricals business, Larsen & Toubro Ltd(L&T) has posted a net profit of Rs 460 crore for the quarter ended September 30,2008, registering an increase of 32% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

FE

COMMODITIES

17)Gold prices jumped by Rs 130 to close at Rs 13,330 per 10 gram in the bullion market in New Delhi on buying by stockists and investors as melting stock market boosted the demand for the precious metal as a safe haven.

BS

REAL ESTATE

18)DLF Home Developers Ltd plans to invest Rs 4000 crore in Kerala for the next years for the construction of hotels, shopping malls and office complexes along with the residential apartments. DLF lauched the mega residential project in Kochi on Wednesday which would have 1500 apartments setting new benchmarks for the industry in Kerala.

Indian Express

19)RELIANCE Infrastructure, a unit of Anil Ambani’s ADAG group, would go slow in its real estate projects, where the company has to spend about Rs 5,000 crore over the next five years. The move is because of the general tightening in liquidity conditions.

ET

20)Undeterred by the ongoing global financial meltdown, private equity(PE) firm Red Fort Capital plans to invest Rs 3,200 crore by the next year to cash in on the liquidity crunch in the real estate sector. “Since the financial crisis started last month, the number of proposals to us has increased by over 50 per cent; some of them are well-established, big developers,” Red Fort Capital Director Kuldip Chawlla said.

BS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)If you deliver top class products or services, you can weather the current global down turn – because in the information technology business, quality sells, in good times and bad: that was the message industry leaders heard at the National Association of Software and Service Companies'(Nasscom) annual quality summit which opened in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Hindu

22)The current liquidity crunch in India seems to be creating a problem for IT companies when it comes to collection of dues. Several mid-tier IT firms have said that some of their domestic clients have delayed payments by six months to a year.

BL

23)HCL Technologies on Wednesday reported a 15.5% year-on-year and 152.5% quarter-on-quarter increase in consolidated net profit for the first quarter ended September 2008 at Rs 356.2 crore. Consolidated revenue grew 38.6% y-o-y and 9.2% sequentially to Rs 2,369.2 crore, driven by growth in verticals such as life sciences, hi-tech and telecom. HCL declared a 150% interim dividend for the first quarter of its financial year.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

24)European leaders pressed on Wednesday for an overhaul of global financial structures, as signs of global recession mounted. The United States reported its biggest monthly decline in retail sales in more than three years in September, sending stock index futures lower before Wall Street markets opened.

FE

25)Oil prices fell on Wednesday to their lowest in 13 months, dragged down by expectations that economic weakness will cut further into demand for crude. US crude was down $2.70 a barrel at $75.93 by 1335 GMT. It touched a session low of $74.97, its lowest since September last year.

BS

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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

Headlines (15 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)The Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Delhi will be held between November 14 and December 4, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday. No decision has been taken on holding the polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)Even as airlines struggle with dwindling passenger numbers, the aviation industry awaits the four-day spectacular show in Hyderabad, beginning Wednesday. The India Aviation-2008, an aviation conference and expo, promises to the stakeholders a peep into the shape of things to come.

BL

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)RELIANCE Industries (RIL) has chalked out an elaborate plan to venture into the power business. The plan includes an integrated project comprising coal mining, a coal-to liquid (CTL) plant, a 1,000-mw power plant based on coal rejects and a fly-ash utilisation unit. The firm has entered into an agreement with the US-based energy majors Exxon-Mobil, Headwaters and the German engineering firm Uhde GmbH. The 1,000-mw plant in Angul (Orissa) is proposed to be put in partnership with Torrent Power.

ET

4)TATA Motors has acquired a 50.3% holding in Norway-based electric vehicle major Miljo Grenland/Innovasjon for Rs 9.4 crore(Kroner 12 million) through its UK subsidiary, Tata Motors European Technical Centre. The existing shareholders will retain the remaining stake in the company.

ET

MONEY & BANKING
 
5)The rupee erased most gains against dollar as banks bought the green back to meet demand from oil companies and other importers, dealers said. The Indian unit closed at 48.07 to a dollar compared with 48.25 on Monday. It had risen to an intraday high of 47.57 today.

BS

6)As the festive season nears, banks are not only offering higher deposit rates but also reducing rates for their retail loans. This is despite a tight monetary policy. Two major state-owned banks Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India – have decided to slash rates by 25 basis points on their home loan rates. They are keen to continue with the lower rates even after the festive season if the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) announces cuts in repo rate and the statutory liquidity rate(SLR) in its forth coming credit policy on October 24.

FE

7)The South Indian Bank (SIB) recorded a rise of 44.80 per cent in net profit to Rs 51.68 crore for the second quarter of the current financial year as against Rs 35.69 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

BS

MARKETS

8)Profit-booking in blue-chip companies in the second-half of the session on Tuesday trimmed gains in shares, which ended near the day’s low. The benchmark Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-stock index ended up 174.31 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 11,483.40, helped by gains in technology counters. It had gained as much as 5 per cent to 11,870.22 in initial trade due to a sharp overnight rally in the US. On the rival National Stock Exchange, the 50-stock S&P CNX Nifty rose 27.95 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 3,518.65. It had risen to 3,648.25 in early trade.

BL

9)THE market may not be out of the woods yet, but going by anecdotal evidence, this may be a good time to start bottom fishing in frontline stocks. Reason: attractive valuations apart, there is too much pessimism among market participants. Brokers feel that when the recovery starts, it would be the frontline stocks leading the rally. Though most foreign equity analysts view the recent rebound in equities as unstable recovery, a section of market watchers back home, feel Indian market is very near to bottoming out. “It is possible that the market may have bottomed out,” said Karvy Stock Broking vice-president Ambareesh Baliga. According to Mr Baliga, the ‘pain’ (referring to the bearish phase) will last for a long time. Though valuations are compelling, most investors are not convinced that now is the time to start lapping up shares, he added. “We’re advising investors to start buying once the market attains some stability, even if it means key stocks appreciating 10% from current levels. For sure, this is the time to buy large-cap stocks; the rally will begin with large-cap stocks,” Mr Baliga said.

ET

10)THE government and the stock market regulator Sebi are keeping a close watch on short-selling in the Indian stock market. The finance ministry is understood to have sought data on short-selling from Sebi. While there is no immediate move to ban short-selling, both the regulator and the government are examining if there was a need to further improve disclosure norms.

ET

IPO

11)Public sector Oil India Ltd (OIL) is unfazed by the financial market turbulence and intends to proceed with its planned initial public offering (IPO) after receiving Government Clearance.

BL
 
BUYBACK

12)India’s largest real estate developer DLF has rescheduled the proposed buyback of its equity shares to October 17 in order to comply with some regulatory requirements. The buyback offer was earlier scheduled to open on October 15.

ET

MUTUAL FUNDS

13)In a bid to help the domestic mutual fund industry, which is reeling under a severe liquidity crisis, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has decided to allow them to raise funds against certificates of deposits (CDs). The central bank will also conduct a special 14-day repo auction, at which it would infuse Rs 20,000 crore to meet the liquidity requirements of MFs.

FE

14)Lotus India Mutual Fund has filed offer document for an equity scheme that will invest in shares of companies featuring in the S&P CNX Nifty Index, as per information on the Securities and Exchange Board of India website.

BS

15)Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund today launched Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan – Series BH, a 370-day income plan that will close subscription on October 20, an official with the fund house said. The plan will invest in debt and money market instruments with a similar maturity profile.

BS

16)IDFC Mutual Fund will Wednesday launch IDFC Fixed Maturity Plan Yearly Series-27, which will close its initial subscription Oct 23, an official from the fund house said today. The close-ended income scheme will invest in debt and money market instruments with a similar maturity profile.

BS

17)Lotus India Mutual Fund today launched Lotus India Quarterly Interval Fund – Plan J, which will remain open for subscription till Wednesday. The open-ended quarterly plan will invest its assets in debt and money market instruments maturing in line with the duration of the plan.

BS

COMMODITIES

18)Losing nearly Rs 800 in three straight sessions gold prices on Tuesday closed at Rs 13,200 per 10 gm falling sharply by Rs 210 on the bullion market in New Delhi in line with weak global cues and shifting investor focus from funds to the surging bourses.

BS

19)GOLD is expected to lose some of its shine this Diwali. Yellow metal prices have surged almost 30% in the last one month, spoiling the festive spirit of buyers. This in turn is likely to affect sales for the jewellery makers who had witnessed upsurge of up to 200% in sales during August this year when prices had softened.

ET

20)Chilli futures continued to gain strength hitting the upper circuit for the second consecutive day. Strong demand in the Guntur spot market on Tuesday pushed up chilli futures by three per cent to Rs 5,673 a quintal. Maize hit the upper circuit of 2.98 per cent at Rs 846 a quintal on good buying interest at lower levels besides rise in spot prices amidst thin arrivals. Tumeric rose 1.98 per cent to Rs 3,562 a quintal on the back of short covering after recent down side movement. Soybean rose 1.06 per cent to Rs 1,667 a quintal on short covering.

BL

REAL ESTATE

21)While launching its Rs 700 crore real estate project named Rajgagh Estates in Ludhiana, Bhasin Infrastructures & Developers Private Ltd revealed its expansion plan and announced that the company would invest Rs 3,000 crore in the real estate projects in the state during next five years.

FE

22)OAKWOOD Asia Pacific, a unit of Los Angeles-based Oakwood Worldwide, plans to expand its portfolio of serviced residences in India and operate 10 properties by 2010 in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and New Delhi. “India and China are our focus markets due to their economic growth,” said Praveen Nair, country manager – India, Oakwood Asia Pacific.

ET

KNOWLEDGE PROCESS OUTSOURCING

23)SPECIALISATION can sometimes be a double-edged sword. India’s Knowledge processing outsourcing (KPO) sector, pegged at a size of $1.5 billion and predominantly servicing the financial services market, may see some serious rationalisation, re-definition of core business, diversification, slowdown in client additions and M&A play in the next six to 12 months, analysts reckon. Most KPOs have nearly 70% exposure to the US geography, which is reeling under history’s worst-ever economic crisis.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

24)Research firm Gartner Inc said global economic problems could impact next year’s IT budgets while lowering growth forecast by more than half from its earlier estimates. However, it said the budget cuts would not be as dramatic as one saw during the dotcom bust.

BL

INTERNATIONAL

25)US President George W Bush on Tuesday outlined steps to purchase equity stakes in US banks and temporarily expand government guarantees on new debt to review credit markets and restore confidence in the financial system. “This is an essential short-term measure to ensure the viability of the US banking system,” Bush said at the White House after meeting with his Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes treasury secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben S Bernanke. The US will invest about $125 billion in nine of the nation’s biggest financial institutions, including Citigroup Inc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, as part of a $250-billion effort to shore up the banking system. The othercompanies are Wells Fargo & Co, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Merrill Lynch & Co, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp and Bank of New York Mellon Corp, said people briefed on the plan.

FE

26)Crude futures traded lower on doubts that the US government’s plan to buy shares in large banks will prevent further declines in global oil demand. Light, sweet crude for November delivery traded 61 cents or 0.78 per cent, lower at $80.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BL
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.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

Headlines (14 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)On November 10 or 11, the national flag will be hoisted on the moon. When the moon impact probe, bearing the Tricolour, ejects from the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and crashlands on the lunar surface, it will mark India’s leap into the club of countries aiming for the moon.

TOI

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)IT IS a clear sign of desperate times. Two of the fiercest rivals for control of Indian skies, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, embarked on an extraordinary move to work out an operational alliance in a bid to rein in runaway losses.

ET

3)THREE of India’s leading generic drug makers, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Wockhardt, are in the race for Germany’s largest health insurer Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse(AOK)’s $3.5-billion drug supply contract as the world’s second largest drug market looks for ways to curb rising healthcare costs.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

4)After crossing the 49-mark last week, the rupee recovered against the dollar on Monday, though the intra-day movement was range-bound. The Sensex surged by over 780 points following comments by the Finance Minister that the Government would take further steps, if necessary, to improve the tight liquidity situation. The positive sentiment in the equities and the 150 basis points cut in CRR, which came into effect on Saturday, helped the rupee gain, said dealers. The rupee opened at 48.35 and closed at 48.25, against Friday’s close of 48.46.

BL

5)AXIS Bank reported a 76.8% rise in net profit for the second quarter ended September 30, 2008 due to strong growth in advances and fees, accompanied by a rise in low-cost deposits. The bank registered a net profit of Rs 403 crore in the quarter against Rs 227.8 crore during the corresponding period last year. For the half year ended September 30, the net profit rose 82% from Rs 403 crore to Rs 733.1 crore.

ET

MARKETS
 
6)Domestic stocks bounced back on Monday aided by heavy short covering as governments worldwide stepped up measures to increase liquidity in the world economy. Reassurance from the Finance Minister on the country’s financial stability, and his statement that the Government would take measures to improve liquidity initiated the ‘bounce back rally’ today, according to marketmen. However, the rally was on the back of thin volumes; and despite the world markets trading in the green, FIIs continued to be net sellers in Indian equity. On Monday net equity sales by them amounted to Rs 1,060 crore. Domestic institutions were net buyers for Rs 582 crore. The Sensex surged 7.42 percent from its previous close, gaining 781 points to end the day at 11,309. The Nifty gained 6.42 per cent, closing at 3,490.70.

BL

7)Indian equity indices staged on impressive comeback on Monday, snapping a five-day losing streak. The domestic markets rebounded on the back of short-covering and strong cues from the Asian and European markets. Indian markets started the day on a positive gap. Banking stocks, which were till last week hammered, out-performed the benchmark index on Monday. Bankex, the banking index of BSE, gained 654.34 points, or 12.30%, and closed the day at 5,973.84 points. All the BSE sectoral indices that had seen their 52-week lows last week, ended on the positive terrain on Monday.

FE

MUTUAL FUNDS

8)Mutual fund investors in equity schemes are not yet rushing to redeem their units but inflows have dried up substantially, said mutual fund distributors. Analysts said the fall in market has been so steep and sudden that there’s inertia; nobody wants to exit at a loss. But there could be some redemptions when the market starts picking up. K Sridhar, vice president at Karvy said there’s not much redemption but inflows into equity schemes have dried up by 71 per cent this year, according to the data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India(AMFI). However, last month saw net inflows of Rs 604 crore in equity schemes against redemptions of Rs 232 crore in August 2008.

BS

9)JM Financial Mutual Fund will launch JM Fixed Maturity Fund-Series XIII-Quarterly Plan 2 on Tuesday. Subscription to the scheme will re- main open until Wednesday, a notice from the fund house said today. The quarterly income plan will deploy its entire corpus in short-term debt and money market instruments with a similar maturity profile.

BS

10)HDFC MF will Tuesday launch a 90-day fixed term plan, while it will float 181 and 370-day debt plans on Thursday, the second largest Indian mutual fund said in a notice today. HDFC FMP 90D October 2008(1) will close for subscription on Wednesday, while initial offers of HDFC FMP 370D October 2008(1) and HDFC FMP 181D October 2008(1) will end Oct 20 and Oct 23 respectively.

BS

COMMODITIES

11)Notwithstanding the government’s ban on futures trading on eight commodities and the turmoil in stock markets, Indian commodity exchanges continued their dazzling run. The turnover of 22 commodities exchanges across the country recorded a robust growth of more than 47% during the first half of 2008-09 and is on track to reach the targeted 57 lakh crore by the end of 2008-09.

FE

12)India’s mentha oil futures may rise this week on expectations of higher demand for the medicinal commodity as winter approaches, analysts said on Monday. Bargain buying, after a slump that dragged the far-month contract to a record low on concerns of slowing ex- port demand amid a global slowdown, will also support prices, analysts added.

FE

13)Gold prices in the domestic market fell by Rs 75 to Rs 13,345 for 10 gm on Monday even as it gained $4.30 an ounce on the London Metal Exchange. Pure gold was down by Rs 80 to Rs 13,405. Gold prices, which scaled to a life-time high last week, may tumble further with the rupee expected to strengthen making the dollar-priced gold cheaper, said an analyst.

BL

REAL ESTATE

14)While banks do not anticipate an immediate decrease in lending rates after the 150 basis-point cut in Cash Reserve Ratio by the Reserve Bank of India, real estate developers expect the measures to soften home loan rates for its consumers. Demand for real estate property has decreased by nearly 25-30 per cent in the country over the last 18 months, when home loan rates soared from an average of 7 per cent to as high as 12-13 per cent.

BL

COMMUNICATIONS
 
15)IF you bought a low-cost Chinese mobile phone recently, the investment might just turn out to be expensive. Because most of the Chinese mobile phones and locally-assembled handsets do not carry the International Mobile Equipment Identity or IMEI number, a 14-digit number used to identify valid devices. There are about 1.6 crore China-made and other locally-assembled handsets at present that don’t have an IMEI number. Calls from such phones may be barred and users will have to buy new handsets with genuine IMEI numbers, according to a recent note by the department of telecom(DoT). All mobile phones that have all zeroes or no zeroes in their IMEI codes will also be barred.

ET

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

16)The next 12 to 18 months could see large Indian IT service providers making bids for captive business process outsourcing centres, the prelude to which was the recent acquisition of Citigroup Global Services Ltd by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. Industry experts believe one of the principal motivations for such buys is the large business contracts that come with it. Also, it would help the IT services providers, who were late entrants into the BPO space, to scale up their BPO operations.

BL

17)Even as IT majors are hiring in fewer numbers this financial year on the back of a slowing global economy and trauma in the banking, finance and insurance services(BFSI) sector, Indian business process outsourcing(BPO) firms – captive and pure play – appear bullish. They are increasing headcount in the country, attributing their optimism to business ramp-ups over the last couple of months and an increased acceptability of offshore work.

BS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

18)Getting a passport would soon become easier with lower processing time and online filing. Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) on Monday signed a Rs 1,000-crore, six-year deal with the ministry of external affairs to implement the ‘passport seva project’ that envisages issuance of new passports within three working days and a ‘tatkal’ scheme to issue passports on the same day, after police verification.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

19)STOCK markets rejoiced after governments worldwide launched multi-billion dollar bailouts on Monday to shore up banks, and Britain called for a new Bretton Woods agreement to reshape the world financial system. Major Wall Street indexes were up more than 5% in early trade, clawing back some of the major losses last week, when the Dow fell 18%. The MSCI world equity index was up 5% after tumbling 20% last week to a five-year low. Britain, Germany, France, Italy and other European governments announced rescue packages totalling hundreds of billions of dollars that were designed to combat the global financial crisis, in which the credit markets have seized up at a time when major economies appear headed toward recession.

ET

20)Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HBOS Plc, and Lloyds TSB Group Plc will get an unprecedented 37 billion pounds($64 billion) bail-out from the UK as governments across Europe act to avert a banking collapse.

BS

21)MITSUBISHI UFJ Financial Group(MUFG) completed its purchase of a stake in Morgan Stanley on Monday with US government support, helping close a deal that investors feared would fall apart. Morgan Stanley shares soared as much as 65% after Japan’s largest bank bought the stake – a day earlier than expected – after a week in which the New York bank’s stock plunging by more than half on fears Morgan Stanley might not survive.

ET

22)Crude rose, rebounding from last week’s 17 per cent plunge, as Governments in the US and Europe acted to stem the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. Crude followed stock market higher after the UK provided $64 billion of capital to its banks and the Federal Reserve said it will lend unlimited dollar funds to financial institutions. Crude oil for November delivery rose as much as $4.10, or 5.3 per cent, to $81.80 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BL

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.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

Headline (13 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)Vowing to work together to overcome the financial turmoil, India and other G-20 countries have said they will use all “economic and financial tools” to ensure the stability of markets as they emphasised the need for international cooperation in the wake of the implications of the crisis.

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)Economists see inflation dipping below the psychological 10% level by end-December and falling further to 7-8% by March next year. How- ever, notwithstanding the declining trend being witnessed presently, they warn that inflation pressures still exist in the economy and the Reserve Bank would continue targeting inflation in the medium term.

ET

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)DUPONT, a science-based products and services company, is set to strengthen its research in India to provide tailor-made crop protection solutions for farmers here. As part of the initiative, the company proposes to unveil a granular formulation of Coragen, a crop protection product, in the Indian market in 2009.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

4)The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said its inspection of ICICI Bank and its UK subsidiary has not revealed anything to cause alarm. “During our inspection we did not find much difference between what we would have assessed and what they have said…We inspected ICICI Bank’s UK subsidiary as well and there is nothing to worry about,” RBI Deputy Governor V Leeladhar told Business Standard.

BS

5)After slashing the requirement for banks to keep cash with the central bank, the cash reserve ratio(CRR), by 150 basis points, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) may now go for a reduction in short-term lending rate (repo) by 25-50 basis points to infuse further liquidity into the system, bankers said.

BS

MARKETS

6)IT’S going to be a big week for the Indian economy. All eyes will be on Asian stock markets on Monday morning to see if any recovery is in the offing. India’s stock markets, currently traumatised, are likely to take the cue from Asia. Over the weekend in Washington, finance ministers of the world’s richest countries – the G-7 promised co-ordinated action to unclog the arteries of the world’s money and credit markets. There were no specifics, but increasingly the consensus seems to be veering towards direct injection of capital by governments into stricken banks. The G-20, which includes emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil, later issued a similar statement promising to work together.

ET

7)There was hectic dollar hedging on the stock exchanges last week when the rupee-dollar exchange rate fluctuation was high. On Friday, when the rupee weakened to more than 49 to the dollar, the number of currency futures contracts traded on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) too soared to nearly two lakh contracts. This is the highest number of contracts recorded on any single day on the exchange, since currency futures commenced on August 29.

BL

8)INDIA’S insider trading norms are set to be tightened soon. Capital market regulator Sebi will soon amend its regulations to make frequent buy and sell transactions within a period of six months by an insider illegal, according to sources close to the development. What this implies is that an insider cannot enter into an opposing transaction within a period of six months. In other words, if a company insider has acquired or been allotted shares of his own company, he cannot sell shares of that company for the next six months from the time of purchase or allotment.

ET

IPO

9)Amid allegations of over-pricing of initial public offers, the government is planning to set up an ICAI-like body to make it mandatory for companies to get their shares priced by authorised valuers before hitting the capital markets. “Rather than imposing direct or indirect conditions(on IPO pricing), we are working on professional valuation. It will be a new law on Valuation Professionals. We are working on it to get a system where valuation is done,” minister of corporate affairs Prem Chand Gupta said.

FE

10)Alkali Metals Ltd has decided to extend the last date for its initial public offering to October 15 and also cut the price band to Rs 86-103 due to adverse market conditions.

BL

MUTUAL FUNDS

11)Rapidly tumbling stock prices and high volatility have prompted quite a few equity fund managers to stay on the sidelines of the market and hold sizeable cash positions in recent months. A rough cal culation suggests that equity funds put together held a total cash position of Rs 28,000 crore as of end-September.

BL

COMMODITIES

12)The crude oil and copper futures on the national commodity exchanges on the week ended on Friday slumped by nearly 10-12%, on concern that the deepening financial crisis will push the global economy into a recession, while gold futures prices rose in the last week, after global financial markets collapsed amid growing widening credit crisis. Local prices are heading towards Rs 15,000-mark(per 10 gram) on strong physical demand.

FE

13)Indian black pepper is likely to be in the driver’s seat in the coming days being the cheapest in the world market on decline in prices on the futures market coupled with steep appreciation of the dollar against the rupee.

BL

14)Gold prices, which touched an all time high last week, could witness some correction by November end, an industry official said. “Gold may witness some correction amid high volatility. Gold prices may hover around Rs 12,000-13,000 per 10 grams by November-end,” Bhargav Vaidya, industry expert, said.

ET

REAL ESTATE

15)With the global economic meltdown taking its toll on the Indian real estate sector, renowned international property consultants are taking a cautious approach here and many are going slow on their ex- pansion plans. Although there is a strong buzz that many players will see their business come under pressure on the property management side as demand slows, they have still put on a brave front and are expecting the dust to settle down soon.

FE

16)HAFEEZ Contractor, involved with several landmark real estate developments, is looking at offloading a majority stake in his eponymous and India’s largest architectural design firm, sources said. The Mumbai-based architect is discussing the possibility of divesting upto 74% stake with private equity funds at an enterprise valuation topping $150-million. The earliest foreign investor in the domestic real estate sector, India Real Estate Opportunities(IREO) fund, is among the potential suitors that have had discussions with the architectural design firm, sources added.

ET

COMMUNICATIONS

17)DESPITE countless efforts and new offers by state-owned BSNL to ramp up wireline penetration in India, fixedlines in India have hit a new low. According to the latest figures from telecom regulator Trai, the fixedline segment has fallen by about five lakh users during the last three months. This comes even as private telecom operators like Airtel, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications have been recording positve growth and jointly adding tens of thousands of fixedline subscribers. Over the last 12 months, the fixedline subscribers have declined by close to 12 lakh.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

18)DESPITE the grim environment, both Infosys Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) have opted for strategies that anticipate a recovery after about two quarters. While TCS will add nearly 12,500 employees of Citigroup Global Services(CGS), Infosys said it would hire about 25,000 people in FY09 and honour all the commitments made at campuses. While 11,000 employees have already joined Infosys this year, another 18,700 are expected to join before the fiscal end, officials said following the announcement of quarterly results on Friday.

ET

19)THE current financial crisis and a bleak outlook for IT spending does not seem to bother HCL Technologies. The country’s fifth-largest IT services player has already raised 400-million pounds loan for UK-based consultancy Axon’s acquisition at a competitive interest rate of 6.5%. Despite analysts saying that HCL’s bid is expensive in face of the current slowdown, the company sees Axon as ‘a lot more strategic now than at any other point.’

ET

20)Cyber-security experts foresee nearly 20 per cent spike in spam messages in the run-up to Diwali, as spammers attempt to cash-in on the festival season to clutter inboxes with spams embedded with trojans, Keyloggers and other malware(malicious software).

BL

INTERNATIONAL

21)EUROPEAN leaders raced against the clock on Sunday to clinch a rescue strategy for banks battered by the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, under intense pressure to throw them a lifeline before world markets reopen. At a summit in Paris, the focus fixed firmly on how much state money government could mobilise to buy into banks if needed, and if they would also underwrite lending between banks, paralysed for now by fear and distrust.

ET

22)The UK will launch the biggest rescue plan on Monday to cover Britain’s top banks – RBS, HBOs, Lloyds TSB and Barclays – when these four financial giants ask for a combined 35 billion pound lifeline, says a media report.

FE
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
 www.khojhyderabad.com
 www.indiacorporateadvisor.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

Headlines (10 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)Addressing India’s concerns over certain provisions in the United States Congressional legislation on the nuclear deal, President George W.Bush assured New Delhi that the new law made no changes in fuel supply commitments or the terms of the 123 agreement. Signing the bill into law at a ceremony in the White House, Mr. Bush said, “the bill I Sign today(on Wednesday) approves the 123 Agreement I submitted to Congress and establishes the legal framework for that agreement to come into effect.”

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)In almost identical statements by various chambers, industry has suggested that the Government should inject Rs 1,00,000 crore as fresh funds by way of reduction in the CRR(cash reserve ratio) and the repo rate to infuse adequate liquidity in the economy and there- by ensure India’s insulation from the global financial meltdown.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)Elecon Engineering Company Ltd, a major manufacturer of material handling equipments, industrial gears and transmission products, has secured three orders worth Rs 51.74 crore from Techpro Systems, Chennai and SAIL-Durgapur Steel Plant, Durgapur.

BL

4)With an order book of e7.5 billion(Rs 48,750 cr) that would keep it busy up to and through most of 2010, the multinational Wartsila Corporation expects to come through the international financial turmoil relatively unscathed though it is keeping a close watch on developments, according to the company’s President and CEO, Mr Ole Johnson.

BL

5)Engineering goods manufacturer Siemens Ltd has set up a new, wholly owned subsidiary company to tap the potential in the Indian rail transportation sector. The move comes in the wake of Siemens acquiring land at Aurangabad to establish a facility to manufacture rolling stock, including coaches for trains and metros.

BL

MONEY & BANKING

6)The Reserve Bank of India is likely to take further measures to ease the current liquidity problem, say analysts and bankers. The recent cut in CRR, which will come into effect from October 11, may not have much impact as RBI continues to sell dollars to support the rupee and the foreign institutional investors continue to sell in the equity market, they said. Bankers are looking for another cut in CRR or a decrease in the statutory liquidity ratio, which is now at 25 per cent. As RBI’s primary aim is inflation control, a repo rate cut may not happen in the near term.

BL

7)Banks have begun pushing up deposit rates anticipating a further tightening of liquidity, despite the Reserve Bank’s 50 basis points cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio(CRR). The latest bank to hike deposit rates is the public sector Canara Bank. It hiked deposit rates close to 10.5 per cent for maturities above 500 days. Deposit rate hike come even as the CRR cut was expected to release at least Rs 20,000 crore into the banking system from October 11. Bankers said that the rate hikes were in view of the tightening of liquidity, with the beginning of the peak season.

BL

MARKETS

8)Worried investors in Indian equity markets hoping for a turn of sentiment in the global markets following coordinated rescue efforts by governments across the globe had little to cheer them on Thursday. They were looking for some stability back home when the ex- changes open for trading on Friday.

BL

9)Trusts may soon be allowed to park their funds in listed shares or private sector debt instruments that have investment grade rating from credit rating agencies. The Union Cabinet has given its nod for the introduction of a Bill in the coming session of Parliament to enable funds owned by trusts to be invested in securities(or class of securities) to be specified by the Central Government.

BL

10)The Bombay Stock Exchange will start trading in normal timings from tomorrow, as the sun outage ended yesterday.The re-scheduled trading timings was effective till October 8. Today being a holiday on account of Dussehra, normal trading session wil resume from Friday.

BL

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

11)DESPITE the global meltdown, India Inc has successfully finalised overseas mergers and acquisitions(M&As) worth $26 billion till the end of September 2008. In an assessment report released on Thursday, Indus View Advisors, which advises multinational corporations on business opportunities in India noted, “Cash-rich Indian companies are doing much better than their global counterparts in M&As. As against acquisitions worth $8 billion in India by oveseas investors, India Inc made acquisitions worth $14 billion. The consultancy said Infrastructure sector dominated the deal street with transactions worth $12 billion, followed by power, oil and gas that saw M&As worth $5 billion.

Indian Express

COMMODITIES
 
12)Commodities market regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) is keen on options trading in commodities, a top official said. “Presently, forward markets regulations do not permit options trading. (However) those kinds of contracts are not only beneficial to corporates, but also to producers and farmers,” the FMC Chairman, Mr B.C. Khatua, told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on Thursday.

BL

13)Gold slipped on Thursday as investors cashed in gains that took the metal to a nine-day high in the previous session, with a recovery in equity markets attracting investment back to stocks. Spot gold was quoted at $887.60/890.10 at 1329 GMT, down from $906.50 in late New York trade on Wednesday. Earlier it touched a session low of $877.65.

BL

14)Breaking previous records gold on Thursday surged to an all-time high of Rs 13,850 per 10 grams in the bullion market in New Delhi as investors scrambled to hedge risks from the equities market. Besides a rush of investors moving away from the stock markets buying for festival navratras and marriage season too pushed up demand for the precious metal which rose by Rs 450 per 10 grams to close at this record level. The previous high of Rs 13,650 per 10 gram was recorded on July 15.

Indian Express

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

15)Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) and Citigroup(Citi) have reached an agreement for TCS to acquire all of Citi’s interest in Citigroup Global Services Ltd. (CGSL), the India-based captive business processing outsourcing (BPO) arm of Citi, for all cash deal of about $505 million.

Hindu

16)Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) will not only retain each of the more than 12,400 employees currently working with Citigroup Global Services Ltd(CGSL), but also scale up hiring for its BPO operations, a top company official said.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

17)THE global financial crisis triggered by fall by financial institutions in the United States is expected to cash its shadow over Indian software firms in the coming months. Whether the crisis will short circuit the desi IT circle severely, is doubtful even though some short-term effects are likely to impact a few firms. Acknowledging that the current global crisis may crimp demands, National Association of Software and Services Companies(NASSCOM) President Som Mittal noted: “There will be short to medium-term impact, which we define as three to four quarters. I won’t be surprised if the numbers are tempered down.” In July the association had forecast revenue growth between 21 per cent and 24 per cent to about $50 billion in the year to March 2009. But Nasscom warns that industry could miss its revenue target of $60 Billion target in 2009-10.
 
Indian Express

INTERNATIONAL

18)THE Bank Japan (BOJ) pumped a record 4 trillion yen into the Tokyo money market on Thursday for the 17th consecutive day of emergency operations to facilitate interbank borrowing. The BOJ conducted its biggest ever single-day liquidity provision in the money market as credit conditions remained tight amid concerns over the course of the market despite coordinated interest rate cuts by six central banks in North America and Europe on Wednesday.

Indian Express
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE BROWSE THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES.
Karvy Consultants Ltd www.karvy.com
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 www.indiacorporateadvisor.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