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.

BL

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
 
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Headlines (08 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)Forced to move out of Singur in West Bengal, Tata Motors will locate its small car project at Sanand in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district.  An  agreement between the Gujarat government and the Tata group for the Rs 2,000-crore venture was signed in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, ending  speculation on the relocation of the project that had been marred by  controversy since work began two years ago.

Hindu

ECONOMY

2)Exuding confidence that India will be able to weather the global  financial storm, finance minister P Chidambaram has said economic  growth rate will bounce back to 9% in the next financial year from  a likely 8% in 2008-09.  Admitting that the “storm” in the global  economy will have an “indirect effect” on the Indian economy, he  said, “We can still end this year with a growth rate of 8%.  Iam  confident that in 2009-10, the growth rate will bounce back to 9%.”

FE

3)The Large domestic market will keep fuelling growth of the Indian economy, though at a lower pace, despite financial crisis leaving  the US and Europe reeling under recession, experts have said. While  the Reserve Bank and stock regulator Sebi have announced measures  to improve liquidity in the system, the equity market has suffered painful bruises in India in sync with the global bourses.  But economists  feel, the domestic market, which is much bigger than the exports, would save the day for the economy.

ET

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

4)Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd(CCCL), an integrated  construction service provider having projects in the industrial, commercial, residential, and infrastructure space, is mulling entering  into nuclear power projects area. The company will look at entering  this segment as and when it thrown open for private participation,  said R Sarabeswar, chairman and chief executive officer, CCCL.

FE

MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee retraced intraday losses as banks liquidated long dollar  positions in the last few minutes of trade amid talk that norms on foreign institutional investment may be relaxed further, dealers said.  The Indian unit ended at 47.88 to a dollar today after touching a new over five-year low of 48.14 to a dollar $1 intraday.  On  Monday, it had closed at 47.81.

BS

INSURANCE

6)CONCERNED over the recent downturn in the stock market, life insurance companies have started re-balancing their portfolios which are heavily tilted towards the unit-linked insurance plans(Ulips).  Even  companies which have not witnessed any marked change in investor  demand towards Ulips are trying to find ways to limit the exposure  of their investment products to the stock market.  Bharti AXA, for instance, has offered a new product which does not invest in the stock  market in the first year, but starts investing in the share market  from the second year onwards.

ET

7)Future Generali India Life Insurance has launched two pension products – a traditional product and a ULIP – to cater to both the risk  averse and risk loving customers.  The Future Pension Plan, a traditional product, will provide an option of additional premium contribution, whereas a Future Pension Advantage Plan, a ULIP, has  a wide band to select retirement age group in the industry.

BL

MARKETS

8)Indian equity indices witnessed huge volatility in intraday trade and  ended on a negative note.  The domestic market started the day on  a positive gap, but heavy selling pressure pushed markets into the  negative terrain.  The 30-share Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE)  lost 106.46 points, or 0.90%, and ended the day at 11,695.24 points.  The broader S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) ended with gain marginally at 3,606.60 points, adding 4.25 points, or 0.12%.  Dealers said that domestic markets bounced back from Monday’s  lows and opened significantly higher, backed by Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) strategic move of cash reserve ratio(CRR) cut, by 50  basis points.  However, the markets failed to hold the initial gains  and turned volatile to trade with negative bias as weak sentiments  were not over yet and investors seemed confused.

FE

9)IN A move that could step up capital flows, stemming the stock  market slide and arresting depreciation of the rupee, the government  may allow foreign companies to buy shares from the stock market.  As  of now, only FIIs are allowed to buy shares from the secondary market through stock exchange deals.  The department of industrial policy  and promotion(DIPP) and the finance ministry are now discussing a proposal to allow foreign investors – who usually operate through the FDI window – to access the Portfolio Investment Scheme(PIS)  which is now open only for FIIs.

ET

10)STOCK exchanges can now introduce stock futures and options  only six months after the listing of their underlying shares on bourses.  This decision was announced by Sebi on Monday in an ambiguously-  worded circular, which confused market participants.

ET

MUTUAL FUNDS
 
11)There is a dip in the assets under management (AUM) of the mutual  funds in the wake of the market meltdown in the domestic equity market has not deterred the fund houses from investing in equities since  the beginning of the current calendar year.  The MF industry has made  a net investment at lower levels of the equities to earn higher profits  in the long run when the market goes up. According to Sebi, the mutual  fund (MF) industry has made a net investment of Rs 8,590 crore in  equities between January 1,2008 to September 30,2008.  Giving reasons for the MFs pumping money in a bearish domestic equity market,  Debashish Mohanty, country head, retail channel, UTI Mutual Fund,  said that the fund houses are investing money at the lower level of  the equities market as they can book profits during the market rally  in the long run.

FE

COMMODITIES

12)The pepper futures market on Tuesday bounced back and hit the upper  circuit on good buying support from investors.  Recovery of the stock  market also influenced the pepper futures.  October contract shot up  by Rs 386 to Rs 12,980 a quintal, but still below the spot price for  MG 1 of Rs 13,500 a quintal.

BL

13)Higher global advices and weak equity markets pushed up gold prices  by Rs 340 per ten grams to Rs 13,470 on the bullion market in Mumbai  on Tuesday.  The ongoing auspicious fortnight of Navratras and the fast approaching Diwali festival also lifted the prices of gold, a  dealer said.

TOI

REAL ESTATE

14)The average size of private equity deals in real estate has come  down by an annual 60% to Rs 190 crore as the deteriorating market conditions have forced investors to take smaller exposures. The total PE in-vestments have reduced significantly, while the number  of deals has remained almost stagnant. “While there has been a dip  in the total amount committed in the sec-ond quarter of 2008, the  wait-and-watch strategy adopted by PE funds scouting for opportune  partners will force Indian developers to rework their valuations and  construction timelines and make them more reasonable,” says Cushman & Wakefield India joint MD Sanjay Dutt.  The PE investments in  real estate have been declining since the high of Rs 7,100 crore  registered in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2007.

ET

15)Liquidity crunch, global upheaval and market phenomenon are likely to drive up the real estate prices in the next couple of years, ac-  cording to Mr Lalit Kumar Jain, President, Promoters and Builders  Association of Pune(PBAP).  Talking to presspersons at the PBAP  exhibition, Mr Jain noted that liquidity is bothering developers as  most banks were not lending money to most developers even for construction.  He pointed out that this had severely affected cash flows  and the only source remaining was customers.

BL

COMMUNICATIONS

16)Come 2009, Bharti Airtel customers will no longer be confronted  with multiple bills.  Bharti Airtel, along with IBM and its other IT partners, is working on the concept of a single bill for customers  using its varied services such as mobile, fixedline, internet, DTH  and IPTV.

ET

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
 
17)Spice Televentures Ltd, part of the $1.5 billion Spice Group and  Spanco Telesystems and Solutions Ltd have merged their three domestic BPO entities to form the country’s largest domestic BPO  company in terms of employees.

FE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

18)As Indian software majors are set to announce second quarter results  for the current fiscal, market watchers said that they expected the  global economic slow down and the financial sector crisis to have  spelled a major revenue-impact for the sector.  Analysts have said  that topline growth for the sector would average at around 5% sequentially for the top tier vendors.  The tailwind enjoyed by the sector  in the quarter was the depreciation in the rupee against the dollar,  by over 5% during the July-September period.

FE

19)Despite the global financial meltdown, Hyderabad-based Infotech  Enterprises (IEL) is confident of posting a year-on-year growth rate  of more than 30 per cent.  It is expecting a revenue of Rs 900 crore  in the current financial year as against Rs 674 crore last year.

BS

INTERNATIONAL
  
20)THE Federal Reserve announced on Tuesday a radical plan to buy massive amounts of short-term debts in a dramatic effort to break through  a credit clog that is imperiling the economy. The Federal Reserve, invoking depression-era power under “unusual and exigent circumstances,”  will buy “commercial paper”, a short-term financing mechanism that many  companies rely on to finance their day-to-day operations, such as  purchasing supplies or making payrolls.

ET

21)AUSTRALIA stunned markets with its steepest interest rate cut in 16 years on Tuesday and investors expected that other central banks  would follow suit in a co-ordinated move to combat the global credit  crisis.  The 1% point reduction in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s  benchmark rate was twice as big as expected, underscoring the increasingly strong medicine needed to jolt the world’s financial markets back to health.

ET

22)Crude oil prices rebounded to near $90 a barrel in Asia on Tuesday  but dealers said the underlying trend is lower after deepening global  financial turmoil and falling stocks further raised fears of slowing  energy demand.

Indian Express

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Headlines (07 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)Leading specialists from India will attend an international conference being organised in London by the British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce to promote India as a hub for global investment.  The “World Hi-Tech Forum 2008: Focus India,” to be held on  October 7 and 8, will explore issues relating to technological and  business partnerships in the global age.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)GUJARAT is emerging as the favourite to replace Singur as the location for the mother plant of the Nano.  The state faces tough  competition from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, but sources in the state government indicate that industrial-friendly Gujarat is  likely to bag the coveted project.

ET

3)The Baldota Group is setting up a new Rs 4,700-crore steel plant,  which will mostly manufacture products for passenger cars as well  as auto parts producers based out of southern and western India.

BL

MONEY & BANKING
 
4)To reverse the tight liquidity situation in the domestic markets  brought on by the global financial turmoil, the Reserve Bank of India on Monday reduced the cash reserve ratio(CRR) – the amount  of reserves banks keep with RBI-by 50 basis points, the first time  in five years.  It also made it clear that liquidity concerns, not inflation, will get priority now.  The new CRR of 8.5% in place of 9%  will come into effect form October 11.

FE

5)MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) has launched Currency Futures segment on Monday in Mumbai. The currency futures segment was launched by SEBI Chairman, C B Bhave, at the function.  Live trading at MCX-SX platform will commence from 9 am on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008.  The currency futures on MCX-SX will be initially be an USD-INR basis  and each contract will be valid for 12 months from its launch on the  exchange.

FE

6)The Indian rupee continued its free fall against the dollar, depreciating by around 73 paise on Monday. Currency dealers said the crash in  the domestic equity market and sustained demand for the greenback pulled down the rupee. The domestic currency opened weaker at 47.38/40  and plunged into an intraday low of 47.86.  It recovered marginally  to close at 47.81/82 against the previous close of 47.08/10.

BL

INSURANCE

7)Tata AIG Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata AIG Life) on Monday announced the launch of Tata AIG Life InvestAssure Health its first ever unit-linked health product.  Customers of Tata AIG Life InvestAssure Health can avail of a lump sum benefit that will  be paid for each day of stay in hospital arising out of an accident  or sickness provided there is an overnight stay in the hospital.

FE

MARKETS

8)The exodus of foreign funds sent the country’s stock market crashing  725 points, even as the global financial crisis continued to eat away  confidence in the markets.The 30-share stocks barometer Sensex, which  had lost 529.35 points in the previous session, plunged another 724.62  or 5.78 per cent to close at a two-year low of 11,801.70.  Funds indulged  in all-round selling in heavy-weight stocks of consumer durables, metals,  capital goods and realty sectors.  The Sensex touched the  day’s low  of 11,732.97 and a high of 12,284.49 points.  The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty dropped by 215.95 points, or 5.66 per  cent at 3,602.35 after dipping to a low of 3,581.60 during the session.

BS

9)The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) today lifted curbs  on foreign institutional investors(FIIs) imposed a year ago. The move  is aimed at stemming huge sales by FIIs that have triggered a 42 per cent slide in the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index this  year.

BS

BUYBACK

10)DLF, the country’s largest property developer, will start buying  back its shares from October 15, the company said in a statement to  the BSE on Monday.  The buyback will go on till July 9, 2009, which is 12 months after the board resolution, the company said.
 
BS

OPEN OFFER

11)Cambridge Solutions has announced an open offer following the  proposed acquisition of its majority stake by Xchanging of UK. The open offer is being made to the shareholders to acquire 2,25,90,415  fully paid up equity shares of the face value of Rs 10 at a price of  Rs 81.11.  The offer will open on November 27,2008 and close on  December 16,2008.

ET

MUTUAL FUNDS

12)Mutual funds are attempting to minimise outflows from their equity  funds in the current difficult market scenario via increasing the  exit loads on their SIP plans.  In the various equity fund schemes  of mutual funds, nearly 80-85% of the total equity fund corpus of  Rs 1.44-lakh crore is contributed by retail investors, sources said.  Canara Robeco Mutual Fund has imposed an exit load of 2% compared with 1% earlier for withdrawals made by SIP holders in its  equity funds within one year of investment.  However, this fund house,  has removed the entry load related to several of its equity schemes.  Says Canara Robeco Asset Management director (sales and marketing) Sanjay Santhanam: “We are trying to send a strong signal  to investors that SIP investments should be made from the point of view of longterm investments.”

ET

13)ABN Amro Mutual Fund has sought regulatory approval to change  its name to Fortis Mutual Fund, according to information on the fund  house’s web site.  Consequent to the global restructuring of ABN  Amro Bank, ABN Amro Asset Management is now a part of Fortis  Investment Management.

BS

14)Religare AEGON Mutual Fund today sought Sebi approval to launch its  maiden debt plan, Religare AEGON Liquid Fund, according to information on the regulator’s web site.

BS

15)Reliance Mutual Fund will Tuesday launch Reliance Fixed Horizon Fund  XII-Series 13, an official from the fund house said today.  Subscriptions  to the scheme will close on Wednesday, the official said.  The 91-day  scheme will invest its corpus in fixed income securities having similar  maturity profile.

BS

COMMODITIES

16)GOLD prices rallied by Rs 300 per 10 grams to Rs 13,130 on the bullion market in Mumbai on Monday on heavy stockists buying in view of  festival season coupled with higher global advises and weak equity markets. The ongoing auspicious fortnight of navratris and the approaching Diwali lifted prices of gold, a dealer said.  Weak equity markets also boosted the market sentiment as some investors shifted their funds in gold as a safe-haven investment, they added.  Standard gold  (99.9 purity) shot up by Rs 300 per 10 gram to Rs 13,130 from last  weekend’s level of Rs 12,830.  Pure gold(99.9 purity) also rose by a  similar margin to Rs 13,190 from Rs 12,890 previously.  Silver ready  (.999 fineness) recovered by Rs 50 per kilo to Rs 19,535 from Rs  19,485.

ET

17)Pepper exporters in Kochi are worried about getting delivery after  October contract expiry due to limited stocks of the spice at ware-  houses of commodity exchanges, dealers said today.

BS

REAL ESTATE

18)The current global financial crisis might have cast a shadow on the  Indian property market, but the country’s real estate sector witnessed  an inflow of about $6 billion(Rs 26,900 crore) from global private equity players during the last one year.  According to a report by global  realty consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), PE funds struck 79  deals in the country during August 2007-August 2008 amounting to  $6 billion, a rise of 100% over the same period a year ago.

FE

19)Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry(MCHI) said that it will  organise a four-day real estate exhibition at Bandra-Kurla Complex  in Mumbai.  The exhibition will be held between October 9 and 12.  This exhibition is expected to draw more buyers because the overheated real estate market has seen a correction.

FE

20)Real estate company Uppal Group is eyeing an opportunity outside  north India and plans to kick off residential projects in Mumbai,Pune  and Hyderabad.  The company-which recently announced a partnership with Marriott International to operate two five-star luxury hotels and also  outlined plans to build 10-12 hotels in the next few years – is now mulling a strategy for budget hotels.

BL

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

21)WAGE inflation and rupee appreciation are no longer the pet peeves  they used to be for the Indian IT services industry, which is now  evaluating the business impact of the tumbling financial markets in  the US. Analysts tracking the sector say the industry will suffer  margin pressure and see a softening in billing rates while rupee de-  preciation comes out as the only redeeming factor in an overall gloomy  scenario.  Although the IT industry had predicted that it would come  out of the slowdown in the second half of 2009, it now looks highly  unlikely.  Observers are waiting for Infosys’ announcement of its  second quarter results on October 10 to see how it gauges the current macro-environment.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

22)Finance leaders from the world’s rich nations may need to offer more  than just words this week as they struggle to avert a global recession.  Speculation is growing that Group of Seven countries may consider co-  ordinated interest rate cuts to dull the credit crunch pain.  A meeting  in Washington on Friday on the eve of the International Monetary Fund’s  fall meeting would provide a perfect opportunity to talk it over.

FE

23)THE German government has decided to guarantee all private  German bank accounts worth e568 billion($776 billion) to prevent  panic withdrawal as fears over the worldwide financial crisis spread  to Europe’s largest economy, media reports say.

ET

24)French banking major BNP Paribas on Monday said it will acquire  beleaguered Fortis’ Belgium and Luxembourg operations as well as  the international franchises for an estimated 14.5 billion euro.

FE

25)Japan’s top broker Nomura Holdings said on Monday it would buy  Lehman Brothers’ IT support hub in India, taking on another 3,000  workers as it picks up the pieces from the Wall Street giant’s  collapse.

BL

26)Crude oil fell below $90 a barrel in New York for the first time since February as the credit crisis deepened in Europe, adding to  concerns that global economic growth will slow and reduce demand for fuels.

BL
 
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Business Line www.businessline.in
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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 (06 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)It’s all about an India focus at Air France’s headquarters in Paris.  The Indian welcome, “nasmaste,” newspapers, vegetarian food and  films on board its flights make up the current agenda.  More destinations in  India and more services to Chennai are in the list of long term objectives.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)Indian biotechnology sector is expected to become a $5 billion (around Rs 23,400 crore) industry by 2010, says a report.  “The Indian biotechnology sector has excellent potential and is expected  to touch $5 billion mark by 2010,”a report jointly prepared by industry chamber CII and consultancy firm KPMG said.  “India is ranked among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world and is the third  biggest in Asia-pacific in terms of the number of biotech companies,”  it added.

FE

MONEY & BANKING

3)INDIAN banks are moving their nostro accounts to banks they perceive  as ‘safe’. The turmoil in US banks like Wachovia and Washington Mutual (WaMu) is understood to have driven several local banks – state owned as well as private – to shift their nostro accounts.  Nostro is  an account, which an Indian bank opens with a bank abroad to carry  out foreign currency transactions.  Sources said most Indian banks  have minimised their transactions with banks which are reportedly in  trouble.  For instance, some large private banks have virtually stopped carrying out transactions with overseas banks, including Wachovia,  UBS, Fortis and WaMu.  Most transactions are now being carried out with either local banks or bigger banks like Citi, ABN Amro, Bank of  America and Barclays Bank.  On an average, a local bank will have  at least 10-15 nostro accounts.

ET

4)Mangalore-based Corporation Bank has decided to freeze its sub-PLR  lending to corporates until liquidity conditions improve and Reserve  Bank signals change in its policy stance. The move is primarily aimed  at protecting the margins in the wake of a high interest rate regime  and rising cost of funds.

ET
 
INSURANCE

5)The much-awaited comprehensive insurance bill, which seeks to raise  foreign direct investment cap in the sector to 49% from 26%, is likely  to be introduced in the forthcoming session of Parliament.  The draft  is being vetted by the law ministry and would be moved for Cabinet  approval once it is cleared, finance ministry sources said.

ET

MARKETS

6)EVENTS in the US financial markets and the outcome of July-September or second-quarter earnings of Indian companies are likely to determine the direction of domestic equities in a truncated trading week.  Earlier in the week, local shares may take directional cues from overseas markets, but as the week progresses, investor focus will shift  to the quarterly results of top companies, starting with Infosys Technologies on Friday.  Financial markets will remain closed on Thursday  on account of Dussera.  Last weekend, the US approved the $700-billion financial market rescue package, but investors seem unconvinced  about the effectiveness of the plan in rescuing the world’s largest economy from recession.

ET

7)Four firms on the list of 10 most valued companies in the country  have managed to add an aggregate of over Rs 5,000 crore to their market cap this week.  Although the country’s top 10 firms lost over Rs  15,000 crore in their market capitalisation last week, Bharti Airtel  and SBI, ONGC and BHEL added an aggregate of Rs 5,484 crore  to their valuations.

BL

8)THE government and financial regulators are set to ease some of the restrictions imposed on foreign portfolio investors last year, as  part of an effort to bolster capital inflows which have been slowing  down lately, according to sources.  Capital market regulator Sebi is likely to discuss a proposal to this effect at its board meeting  on Monday.

ET

IPO

9)Wilting under the global financial crisis, the Indian IPO market saw just one initial public offer(IPO) making the mark last month.  However, it was still a better performance than a complete drainout in the US.  This is the first time in the past six years when the  world’s largest economy and capital market did not see a single IPO  in September.  In the Indian primary market, white mineral manufacturer 20 Microns was the only company that dared to float is IPO in  September, even as the global crisis continued to take its toll on  the local bourses as well.  Interestingly, the issue, though small,  received good response from investors by getting subscribed over  four times.

BS

MUTUAL FUNDS
 
10)The current global crisis and the state of the equity markets has the domestic mutual funds in a tight spot.  The asset under management has dipped by 2.30% over the month in September and also over  the last six months and the beginning of the year.  And there are hardly any equity new fund offers(NFOs) available in the market today. The  month of September saw three NFOs hit the market and collect around  Rs 1,300 crore.

FE

COMMODITIES

11)MCX gold and crude oil futures fell sharply from the previous week’s level on Friday following weak overseas markets.  On the other hand, NCDEX guarseed and soyabean futures ruled mixed on Friday.  Crude  oil prices fell sharply in the last week, as stronger dollar against other  major currencies and concerns over weakening oil demand weighed  on oil prices.  Crude oil dropped below $94 per barrel and has declined 12% last week as higher borrowing costs and reports showing worsening economy spurred skepticism that the US government’s $700  billion bank-bailout plan will stimulate growth.

FE

12)Farmers are selling maize at below minimum support price(MSP) of  Rs 840 a quintal on account of high moisture content in the new crop.  Currently, the fresh stock is quoting in the range of Rs 750-840 a quintal levels in the physical market due to higher moisture of over  15 per cent.  “Maize prices are ruling low because of inferior quality of grains, which have high moisture content.  Prices are falling  rather in greater speed in physical market than futures market,”  Karvy Comtrade Analyst Amand Rajalaxmi said.

BS

13)The downtrend in turmeric futures in NCDEX is expected to continue  in the short term on weak sentiment in the spot market besides a slowdown in demand from overseas market.  Markets took a cue from dismal output predictions due to scanty rainfall in the initial crop season.  However, prices started falling mid-July after monsoon revived the  growing areas.

BL

REAL ESTATE

14)This festive season may be a good time to buy your dream home, for  property developers are showering discounts.  Most realtors are already advertising cash discounts of 5-10 per cent on upfront payment  and buyers can get up to 25 per cent discount if they book properties  and are willing to wait for two to three years until possession. According to consultants, developers may even give 15-20 per cent discount on the price as they are eager to clear inventories.

BS

COMMUNICATIONS

15)SOON your mobile signal will not fall when passing through certain  areas of the city that are located close to cantonments and other defence areas as airports. The Department of Telecom(DoT) has announced that telcos will now be able to set up infrastructure in areas  controlled by the defence forces.  At present, subscribers often experience sudden signal drops in certain areas of the cities and metros,  including in the capital Delhi because these zones come under the jurisdiction of defence services.  Since telcos were not being allowed  to set up towers and other related infrastructure in these zones this  had led to many cities and towns having coverage holes or dark spots which adversely affected the quality of service.

ET

16)THE much sought-after 3G iPhone and Blackberry may soon be  available in the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam(BSNL) network.  BSNL, the country’s largest telecom service provider, is in talks  with Apple and BlackBerry to launch the services in India in its  own network.

ET

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

17)India, home of six of the world’s top eight outsourcing hubs, continues to be a major global IT and BPO outsourcing destination amid  a determined bid by the neighbouring China to give it a tough com-  petition in the field, according to a new study.  Bangalore, Chennai,  Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune are the six Indian cities in  the list of top eight outsourcing cities of the world, according to a  study by Global Services, the media platform for global IT outsourcing and BPO industry and Tholons, a global investment advisory  firm.

FE

18)TATA Consultancy Services(TCS) is close to acquiring Citigroup’s captive BPO arm Citigroup Global Services(CGSL).  Sources close to  the development say that the deal is pegged at around $550 million  and it will be announced within a fortnight.  They said the deal would guarantee TCS to get business for CGSL from Citigroup for five  years.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

19)Information technology firms are expected to post revenue growth in the range of 5-9% in the second quarter this fiscal on account of weakness in rupee against the dollar, analysts say.  “The top line of  frontline IT companies is expected to grow in the range of 5.6-9.3%  quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter this fiscal driven by depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar, which is likely to boost  the top line growth by 4-4.5% on a sequential basis,” domestic brokerage Sharekhan said in its IT earnings preview report.

FE

INTERNATIONAL

20)Citigroup said it won a court order late on Saturday blocking Wells  Fargo & Co from buying hobbled US bank Wachovia Corp until the court  rules otherwise.  Citigroup, which planned to buy Wachovia’s banking  assets for $2.2 billion, said New York State Supreme Court Justice  Charles Ramos granted an injunction extending Wachovia’s agreement  to negotiate exclusively with Citigroup.

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 (03 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)The India-U.S. nuclear deal on Thursday secured the approval of  the US Senate which overwhelmingly voted a bill rejecting all the  killer amendments and paving the way for its implementation.  The  landmark civil nuclear cooperation agreement, entered into between  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S.President George W Bush  in 2005, secured 86 votes while 13 Senators voted against it.

Hindu

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

2)INDIAN pharma drug major, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) is set to  deepen its presence in the existing markets rather than spread its  wings to new geographies to bolster revenues.  The proposed move  is part of the company’s effort to re-structure its marketing strategies to improve profitability.  “The company will focus on launching products that would help scale up business faster,” said a top  company official.

ET

MONEY & BANKING

3)The Finance Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, and the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, have sought to allay  fears on the impact of the worldwide financial meltdown on India’s banks and the economy.  Their views are perhaps based on balance of payments (BoP) data for the first quarter of this fiscal year, put out recently  by the Reserve Bank of India.  The data indicate that Indian banks re-  trived $14 billion from world markets before the crisis started to un-  ravel.

BL

4)Even as the world financial markets have seen either the total disappearance or the loss of positions of top banks and financial insti-  tutions due to ongoing subprime crisis, it is now time for the Indian  state owned banks and financial institutions to scale heights in global markets.  State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank and  GIC Re, the sole official reinsurer, have improved their global rankings.  SBI with over Rs 7 lakh crore assets has improved its ranking  from 70th to 57th position, according to the latest annual top 1,000  bank list prepared by the UK based leading banking publication The  Banker.

FE

5)Credit rating agency Crisil, a subsidiary of Standard & Poor’s, has downgraded two state-owned banks-IDBI Bank and Corporation Bank.  The rating agency has revised its outlook on IDBI Bank’s long-term  debt to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’, while reaffirming the ratings at ‘AA+/  FAAA’.  The revision in outlook reflects the pressure on the bank’s earnings profile and its capitalisation levels in a scenario where the operating environment for the banking sector is expected to continue to be challenging, said Crisil on Thursday.

FE

MARKETS

6)The National Stock Exchange is planning to launch its web-based  application for brokers – called the National Exchange for Automated  Trading on Web (NOW) – that will provide single front-end platform for  trading members to access NSE cash, futures and options segments,  currency derivatives and NCDEX commodity derivatives on the same trading terminal.  Of 1,000 members, 500 have signed up for NOW.  The  exchange first introduced this application during the launch of currency derivatives in August and plans to introduce other products on  this application in the future.

BS

BUYBACK

7)IT major Satyam Computer’s founder and Chairman B Ramalinga Raju said that he will seriously think about increasing promoters’  holding or buying back of stock to enhance value of shareholders.

BS

COMMODITIES

8)The second power exchange-Power Exchange India promoted by National  Stock Exchange(NSE) and National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange  (NCDEX) will soon be a reality as the Central Electricity Regulatory  Commission(CERC) on October 1 has given all the necessary regulatory  clearances.  In a significant move, CERC has allowed Power Exchange  India to do trading of even 1 MW during its day ahead transactions.  This will pave way for tapping the untapped captive power capacity  of 5,000 Mw across the country.  Already Financial Technologies and  PTC India promoted Indian Energy Exchange is functioning since June 27.  Rupa Devi Singh, CEO told FE on Thursday that the exchange has  already begun its mock trading and after talking to its members is  expected to launch its operations within a week.

FE

9)Supported by lower arrivals in the physical markets, pepper futures  today continued its rising streak on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange.  Pick-up in demand for the spice in the spot markets in view of festive season also influenced the future in New Delhi.  Pepper for October contract climbed slightly by 0.4 per cent at Rs  13,989 a quintal on the NCDEX counter.

BS

10)Jeera futures today climbed on the National Commodity and Derivatives  Exchange on speculative buying by traders, driven by rising export demand and demand in the domestic spot markets.  The most-active October contract, which has gained two per cent yesterday, gathered another  0.70 per cent at Rs 11,147 a quintal on the NCDEX, with a business  turnover of 229 tonnes.

BS

11)Amid rising domestic demand in the spot markets on account of festive  season, turmeric prices today moved up 0.6 per cent in futures trading.  The most-active October contract traded 0.60 per cent higher at Rs  3,889 a quintal on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange  with a business volume of 350 tonnes, while the December contract was up 0.55 per cent at Rs 3,978 a quintal in a turnover of 440 tonnes.

BS

REAL ESTATE

12)LAST week, at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt, leading developers were closeted  in an hour-long meeting to discuss ways to counter the slump in home  sales that has persisted for an year now.  What emerged from the meeting revealed the limited options that an Indian developer has.  The builders unanimously agreed to allow the customer to have a greater say in  price negotiations, or in other words, they decided to cut home rates.  The developers agreed to give a 10% to 12% reduction to all consumers.  These discounts will be couched under schemes like interest  cost discount, flexible rates for parking and floor-rise pricing.

ET

13)DLF, the country’s largest real estate company by market capitalisation, is eyeing more funds from foreign investors including private  equity funds after its share buyback in the next 12 months. The company is going ahead with the buyback at up to Rs 600 for each share,  even though the current price is much lower.  On Wednesday, shares  of the company closed at Rs 345.30 on the NSE.

FE

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

14)HEALTHCARE BPO firm Omega Healthcare Management Services  plans to add 7,000 employees at its India facilities and anticipates that  its client base will double and revenues grow four-fold by 2012, CEO  Gopi Natarajan said.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

15)UK-BASED SAP consultancy Axon Group on Thursday said it will recommend HCL Technologies’ 441.1-million pounds buyout offer to its  shareholders, withdrawing its earlier recommendations of Infosys’ 407-million pounds offer.  HCL would now make a formal offer for the acquisition, after which the Axon board would issue its recommendation.

ET

16)Tata Consulting Services'(TCS) small and medium business (SMB)  unit is all set to tap the global market with its total outsourcing solutions developed in India. The company will market its solutions globally, starting with emerging markets like Latin America(LATA),  Middle East (ME) and Africa is the next 2-3 quarters.

FE

17)Loaded with huge amount of cash, Satyam Computer  said it has  accelerated the hunt for prospective companies that it could acquire globally even if the cost runs into billions of dollars.  Sensing opportunities arising out of the financial crisis trigered by fall of major banks and mortgage giants in the US, Satyam’s founder and Chairman B Ramalinga Raju said in an interview that it is possible  to raise $4-5 billion as war-chest for acquisitions that strategically fit India’s fourth largest IT entity.

FE

18)Technology solutions and engineering design services provider, Infotech Enterprises Limited (IEL), is all set to acquire a German auto engineering company.  “Due diligence of the target company is  on an we are expecting to close the transaction by this December,”  IEL chairman and managing director, BVR Mohan Reddy, told Business Standard.

BS

INTERNATIONAL

19)The US Senate passed a $700 billion financial-market rescue package loaded with inducements for the House of Representatives to approve the measure, following the House’s rejection of an earlier version.  The legislation, approved last night on a 74-25 vote, authorises the government to buy troubled assets from financial institutions rocked  by record home foreclosures.

BS

20)UBS will make a small quarterly profit after a year of losses, it said on Thursday, lifting its shares as it signalled it had started to turn  the corner even as the credit crisis engulfs many rivals. UBS’s reputation as an icon of Swiss banking stability was damaged after investments in toxic US assets forced it to make a $42 billion of write-  downs, more than any other bank in Europe, and to slash 7,000  jobs.

ET

21)The cost of borrowing in dollars in London for three months rose for a fourth day, signalling that banks haven’t started to lend after  the US Senate approved a $700-billion plan to rescue beleaguered financial institutions. The London interbank offered rate, or Libor,  that banks charge each other for such loans climbed 6 basis points to  4.21% on Thursday, the highest since January 11, the British Bankers’  Association said.  The corresponding rate for euros advanced 3 bps to  a record 5.32%.

FE

22)Mr Warren E Buffett is emerging as the banker of choice to the embattled blue-chip companies of American business.  Mr Buffett, the billionaire investor, has announced that he would invest $3 billion in General Electric, the industrial giant that is also America’s  largest non-banking financial company.  The move comes eight days after he said  he would invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs.

BL

23)Crude oil fell more than $3 a barrel as the dollar reached a one-year  high against the euro and US fuel demand dropped to the lowest since  the last recession. Oil has tumbled 11 per cent so far this week as  the euro dropped against the US currency amid signs that Europe’s  economy is slowing.  Fuel use over the past four weeks averaged 19  million barrels a day, the lowest since October 2001, an Energy De-  partment report showed yesterday.  Crude oil for November delivery  fell $3.80, or 3.9 per cent, to $94.73 a barrel at 11:11 a.m on the  New York Mercantile Exchange.
 
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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 (01 October 2008)

GENERAL

1)With the Indo-US nuclear deal still winding its way through the US Congress, India on Tuesday went ahead and signed a landmark  civil nuclear cooperation agreement with France, ending 34 years  of nuclear isolation.

Indian Express

ECONOMY

2)AS THE impact of the US financial turbulence spread across the  world, finance minister P Chidambaram and capital market regulator  Sebi sought to assure investors that the Indian market is “sound  and attractive” and promised action against violators.  Even as stock market indices stayed in the red in early trade and heads of  Asian states tried to convince investors of the soundness of their economies, Mr Chidambaram hurriedly called a press briefing to assure  investors that the authorities were keeping a close watch on the developments and that if any policy tweaking was needed, it would be  done.

ET

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)Reliance Industries (RIL), the country’s largest company by market  capitalisation, may add around $300 million or around Rs 1,400 crore,  to its turnover in the October-December quarter as it begins sale of  crude oil from its field in the Krishna-Godavari basin to Indian refiners.

BS

4)Ashok Leyland Ltd, India’s second-largest bus and truck maker, has  formed a 50:50 joint venture with John Deere for construction equipment, it said on Tuesday, to tap a growing focus on infrastructure.  The venture will start production in early 2010 and is scouting for  locations for a manufacturing plant, Ashok Leyland said in a statement that did not disclose financial details.

FE

5)State-run power equipment major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd(BHEL)  on Tuesday announced it has bagged a Rs 990-crore order to set up a  500 MW (2×250 MW) thermal power plant in Rajasthan. The order has been placed by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd for setting  up two units of 250 MW each as an expansion project of Chhabra Thermal Power Station, a company statement said.

BL

MONEY & BANKING

6)The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday clarified that ICICI Bank had sufficient liquidity, including in its current account with the  apex bank to meet the requirements of its depositors.”The Reserve  Bank of India is monitoring the developments and has arranged to provide adequate cash to ICICI Bank to meet the demands of its cus-  tomers at its branches and ATMs,” the RBI stated.  “ICICI Bank and  its subsidiary banks abroad are well capitalised,” the RBI added.

Hindu

7)INDIA’S largest private bank – ICICI Bank which has been battling  rumours over the past few days relating to its financial health says  that it will continue to put the brakes on its retail loan business  and slow down the pace of its global lending.

ET

INSURANCE

8)Life Insurance Council had decided to continue the offer of group  insurance cover on mutual fund products.  Earlier, the council, the  apex body of life insurance companies, had decided to discountinue the offer of group life insurance covers to unit-linked products sold  by mutual funds, from October 1.

BL

9)Fitch Ratings has affirmed ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s national Insurer Financial Strength rating at ‘AAA(ind)’ with stable  outlook.  The rating continues to reflect the ongoing operational and  capital support received from the shareholders, capitalisation, market position built by the firm in the last seven years and its strong  focus on introduction of best business practices, a release said.

BS

MARKETS

10)Domestic equities that opened sharply lower on Tuesday following  the failure of the US financial bailout package, bounced back on reassurance from the financial regulators.  Marketmen were quite resigned to a massive fall, but back-to-back statements from the Finance Minister, the Reserve Bank of India, and the SEBI Chairman  on the health of the domestic markets averted that.  Tracking the  overnight US markets, which fell 8 to 9 per cent, the Sensex fell  442 points to a low of 12,153 immediately upon opening.  However,  it ended the day with a gain of 2 per cent.  The Nifty closed 1.8  per cent higher.

BL

11)The Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE) Sensex today advanced, ending  a three-day, 8 per cent slump.  ICICI Bank led gains after some investors judged the recent decline excessive.  ICICI Bank, the nation’s  second-largest lender, gained 8.6 per cent, the most in more than a week. Tata Consultancy Services, the largest software developer,  rose 7.4 per cent, halting a six-day, 19 per cent drop.

BS

12)Amidst the rising volatility in exchange rates, exchange-traded  currency futures (ETCFs) are catching the eye of investors.  In the  one month since its launch on the National Stock Exchange, the open  interest in ETCFs have jumped by 566% to 90871 contracts as on Tuesday from 13,641 contracts on August 29.

FE

IPO

13)Mahanagar Gas (MGL) – a joint-venture between GAIL India, British  Gas and the Maharashtra government – is planning an initial public  offer(IPO), sources have revealed to FE.  At the sidelines of the company’s 13th annual general meeting in Mumbai, MGL sources said  that the issue will soon be taken up with all equityholders.

FE

BUYBACK

14)DLF, the country’s largest developer, is expected to start implementing its Rs 1,100-crore plan to buy back shares from next week onwards,  according to sources.  The DLF board today approved the company’s announcement on buyback of shares.

BS

COMMODITIES

15)Turnover at Indian commodity bourses rose 42.97% to Rs 23.05 lakh  crore during the April 1-September 15 period, from the year-ago period,  data from regulator Forward Markets Commission(FMC) showed.  The turnover rose 70.9% to Rs 2.21 lakh crore in the fortnight ending September 15, FMC data showed on Tuesday.

FE

16)Due to favourable weather conditions alongwith a wider application  of technology and weed management, the country’s soyabean production is expected to cross the 10-million tonne(MT) mark during 2008, a  crop suvey conducted by a trade bod on Tuesday revealed.  According  to Soyabean Processor Assocation of India(Sopa), major soybean-  growing states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra  Pradesh are expected to produce 10.8 million tonne of soyabean against  9.4 million tonne harvested during 2007, posting an increase of more  than 14%.

FE

17)Pepper futures on Tuesday moved up strongly on buying support and reports of tight supply position in all the origins.  October contract  shot up by Rs 330 a quintal to Rs 13,929 and for the first time after  several weeks, converged with the spot price.  November and December  contracts increased by Rs 313 and Rs 305 to Rs 14,140 and Rs 14,364  a quintal respectively on the NCDEX.

BL

18)Commodity markets in India, barring gold, opened sharply down Tuesday trailing the weakness in other markets as the US Congress’s rejection of the $770-billion bailout package that triggered fears of a general economic slowdown as poor liquidity could pull down prices.  Gold,  however, rose during the day as investors flocked to the previous yel- low metal because of its appeal as a safe haven investment and at one  time, MCX December gold traded at Rs 13,542 per 10 gm, not too far  from the highest level recorded at Rs 13,764 on July 15.

FE

REAL ESTATE

19)Parsvnath Developers Ltd(PDL) has launched a group housing project,  Parsvnath Pratishtha, at Pune.  “Presence of educational institutes,  universities, IT and major automobile companies has resulted in influx of population in Pune.  This increase in population has lead to  burgeoning demand for qualitative residential properties in close vicinity of their work places,” Pradeep Jain, chairman, Parsvnath  Developers.

FE

20)Sunil Mantri Realty, a Mumbai-based real estate developer, plans  to invest Rs 1,000 crore to take up residential projects in Karnataka.  Addressing a press conference, Sunil Mantri, chairman, Sunil Mantri  Realty, said. “The company will invest Rs 500 crore by 2009 and the  remaining by 2011.  In the first phase, Rs 400 crore will be spent  on Bangalore.”

BS

BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING

21)INDIA’S largest BPO provider, Genpact, is likely to take a hit from  the sale of Wachovia’s assets to Citigroup.  Genpact had a strong  relationship with Wachovia and was chosen by the US bank to set up a dedicated centre that would function as its back-office.

ET

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

22)When three big financial institutions from Europe sought government  support on Monday, it deepened the worries of Indian IT companies  which earlier hoped Europe would drive their growth when America  failed.  The main concern for IT firms is that Monday’s development  could be a symptom of an impending slowdown in Europe, which con-  tributes 20-30% of revenues of top six Indian IT companies.  In the past, these companies consciously tried to expand their European business to spread their risk.

ET

23)POLARIS Software Lab announced on Tuesday it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based insurance product and component  services company SEEC in an all-cash deal in the next three to five weeks.  This would help the Chennai-based company gain access to the  company’s IP products, business trademarks, brands and infrastructure facilities.

ET

INTERNATIONAL

24)Recession fears grew and investors raced for safe havens after US  lawmakers’ shock rejection of a $700 billion rescue plan for the financial industry, with Asian stocks skidding after Wall Street’s biggest fall since the crash of 1987.  Violent market reaction increased pressure on Washington to approve compromise bailout legislation  and fueled expectations that the Fed would cut interest rates on or  before its next meeting, which is scheduled for October 29.

FE

25)The US Senate will try to salvage a $700 billion financial-rescue  package after the measure was defeated in the House of Representatives. The lawmakers won’t have a lot of room to negotiate.  While  they need to tweak the legislation enough to win over reluctant Re-  publicans, they’ll risk losing votes from Democrats if they veer too  far from the delicate compromise that congressional leaders ham-  mered out with the US Treasury.

FE

26)Oil rose towards $98 a barrel on Tuesday, rebounding after a near  10 per cent drop in the previous session in response to the rejection  by US law makers of a financial sector rescue plan. 

BS

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 (30 September 2008)

GENERAL

1)A MUCH needed push was given by Defence Minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov to several military projects that had got stuck at various stages due to serious differences over how to carry them forward. Despite differences and irritants, New Delhi and Moscow have agreed to renew their defence partnership by another 10 years. The current inter-governmental arrangement of military and technical cooperation was due to expire in 2010.

Indian Express

ECONOMY & POLICY

2)India and the European Union(EU) today agreed to conclude a broad based Trade and Investment Agreement by 2009 and double their trade turnover to 100 billion Euros in the next five years, giving fresh impetus to their strategic partnership.

BS

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)ORCHID Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals and US pharmaceutical major Merck have entered into a strategic research collaboration and licence agreement that would focus on discovery, development and commerciali sation of new agents for the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections.

ET

4)The multi-crore Sahara Group, with varied interests in real estate, media and investment(chit fund) business, is now entering the thermal power sector. Sahara has given a Rs 5000-crore proposal to the Orissa government for setting up a 1200 mega watt(MW) thermal power plant in Dhenkanal district.

BS

MONEY & BANKING

5)The rupee has hit a five-year low of 47.115 against the greenback in intra-day trade, before recovering to close at 46.97, the lowest since July 19,2006. Apart from weak sentiments in the global equity markets, local factors also played a part.

BS

6)INDIAN banks that have extended lines of credit(L/C) to subsidiaries of US financial majors such as Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers are no longer willing to risk such exposure. Coming in the aftermath of the financial crisis in the US, the move may result in the cancellation of deals worth about Rs 2,000 crore.

ET

7)ICICI Bank, the country’s second largest commercial bank whose stock has seen severe hammering in recent times on various speculations, clarified that 18% of its UK subsidiary’s non-India investment book has got an exposure to the United States currently.

FE

INSURANCE

8)The nationalisation of parts of banking and insurance group, Fortis, is not going to impact its Indian insurance joint venture, a top official said on Monday. “The new situation is not going to have any impact on the Indian JV,” said, G V Nageswara Rao, managing director and chief executive officer, IDBI Fortis. He explained that the bailout happened only in the banking as well as the asset management ventures of the company, leaving the insurance venture unaffected by it.

FE

MARKETS

9)Amid a sharp decline in Asian and European bourses, domestic exchanges fell like a pack of cards with the benchmark Sensex losing over 500 points to a two-month low level on selling by funds even as the much-awaited $700 billion rescue package of the US inched closer to final approval. The BSE barometer closed the day lower by 506.43 points at 12,595.75, a level last seen on July 16. During the day, the key index touched a low of 12,402.84 points. The 30- share Sensex had cracked the crucial 13,000-point level in early trade. The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty also plunged by 135.20 points, or 3.39 per cent to 3850.05, after dipping to 3,777.30.

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IPO

10)Application Supported by Blocked Amount(Asba), the new mode of payment for retail investors, was first used in the public issue of 20 Microns. The issue opened on September 8 and closed on September 11. The issue size was Rs 23.93 crore and was oversubscribed four times, with the retail category getting 11.13-time oversubscription.

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11)Hyderabad-based Softline Software Services Private Limited is planning to raise about Rs 100 crore through an initial public offering (IPO) by June 2009 to part fund its expansion plan.

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MUTUAL FUNDS

12)HDFC Mutual Fund has extended the initial offer period of HDFC FMP 90D September 2008(4) plan until October 6, an official said today. Launched Friday, the 90-day income scheme under HDFC Fixed Maturity Plans – Series VIII, was to close Wednesday.

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13)Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund today floated Kotak FMP 19M Series 2. Subscription to this 19-month debt plan will close on October 13, an official from the fund house said. The close-ended scheme will invest its assets in fixed income securities.

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CORPORATE SCORE

14)Tata Sons, the holding company for the Tata Group, has reported a 13 per cent increase in profit after tax(PAT) at Rs 3,780 crore during the financial year ended March 2008, as dividend income from group firms seem to have increased its profit. At this level of profit, the 91-year-old firm, whose two-third is owned by charitable trusts, would be one of the top profit earners among unlisted companies. The data was obtained from the Tata Motors’ letter of offer submitted to the market regulator, Sebi.

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COMMODITIES

15)Most agri-commodities traded either down or sideways in the futures market on Monday due to lack of buying interest in the physical market, owing to the last day of Pitrupaksha Shraadh. The two weeks of Pitrupaksha Shraadh, which is a time to honour departed ancestors, ended on Monday.

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16)Pepper futures market moved up marginally on Monday on bullish sentiments. October contract went up by Rs 51 a quintal to Rs 13,604, while November and December contracts were up by Rs 53 and Rs 47 a quintal respectively.

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17)Both the precious metals, gold and silver, fell on the bullion market in New Delhi by Rs 30 per 10 gram and Rs 50 per kg respectively on fresh selling by stockists influenced by weak global trend amid lower demand due to off season in the domestic market. Standard gold fell to Rs 13,100 per 10 gram while silver ready declined to Rs 20,790 per kg.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

18)As the global market situation continues to remain unstable, Nasscom could revise software exports growth forecast downwards by few percentage points for 2008-09 after review in December. “However, the industry would be able to meet the $60 billion target for 2010,” said Som Mittal, president, Nasscom.

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19)INFOSYS Technologies on Monday kept up the suspense over its response to a rival 650 pence-a-share offer by HCL Technologies for the Axon Group even as it faces the prospect of a bidding war to gain control of the UK-based SAP consultancy. There was no official word from Infosys, but sources at top levels said they were considering options. Axon has been totally silent. Sources said it is likely that Infosys will soon make a counter-offer which may not be substantially higher than the price offered by HCL.

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20)Aztecsoft said that the board has approved the share swap ratio for the merger of the company with MindTree. The board has approved the swap ratio under which Aztechsoft’s shareholders would be entitled to two equity shares in MindTree for every 11 shares held.

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21)Subex Ltd, a provider of Operations and Business Support Systems, said on Monday that it has signed with British Telecom a three-year framework contract of about $50 million, to provide products and services related to revenue assurance, fraud detection, interonnect billing and event integrity.

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INTERNATIONAL

22)IN the latest by-product of the widening global financial crisis, Citigroup will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia in a deal facilitated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Citigroup will absorb up to $42 billion of losses from Wachovia’s $312 billion loan portfolio, with the FDIC covering any remaining losses, the government agency said Monday. Citigroup also will issue $12 billion in preferred stock and warrants to the FDIC.

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23)European governments stepped into rescue Fortis, Bradford & Bingley Plc, and Hypo Real Estate Holding AG as tremors from the US credit crisis reverberated around the world. The UK treasury seized Brad- ford & Bingley, Britain’s biggest lender to landlords, while governments in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg threw an 11.2-billion euro($16.3 billion) lifeline to Fortis. Germany guaranteed a loan to Hypo.

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24)OIL prices dropped nearly 8% to below $99 a barrel on Monday on signs the financial crisis was spreading beyond the United States to Europe. US crude fell $8.40 to $98.49 a barrel by 12:28 p.m EDT, after touching a session low of $97.95, while London Brent crude traded down $7.63 to $95.91 a barrel.

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