TODAY’S NEWS HEADLINES (MARCH 7, 2011)

Date: 07 March 2011

Thought for the day

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.” – Harold Wilson

GENERAL

1)India successfully flight-tested an indigenously built interceptor missile from Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast on Sunday, joining the US, Russia and Israel in an elite group of countries to have accomplished the mission. TOI

ECONOMY

2)Consumers might be spared an increase in diesel prices for the time being. The reason: An already high inflation makes such a move risky in view of the forth-coming state elections. The elections will be over in mid-May. BS

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

3)The private healthcare firm of billionaire brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, Fortis Global Healthcare, has acquired a 28.6% stake in Lanka Hospitals Corporation, a Colombo Stock Exchange-listed healthcare firm for Sri Lankan Rs 397 crore or about Rs 160 crore. ET

4)Infra major L&T, which is in the process of achieving financial closure for its recently bagged Hyderabad Metro-rail project, will be raising Rs 11,400 crore debt from a consortium of 10 banks led by State Bank of India, said sources close to the development. FE

5)Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), India’s most-profitable firm, will lose the coveted Navaratna status and the accompanying financial autonomy in its rush to the Rs 11,500 crore share sale scheduled for next month. BS

6)The world’s first facility to manufacture carbon foam batteries will be set up at Bavla near Ahmedabad. Firefly Energy India is planning to build a plant to produce carbon foam batteries at an investment of Rs 125 crore, the company’s chairman Mukesh Bhandari said. ET

7)Pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories aims to earn revenue of $1 billion per year from branded generics for the next three years, said K Anji Reddy, its founder-chairman. The second largest Indian drugmaker sold generics to the tune of 4600 million globally in nine months of this fiscal ended December 31. ET

MONEY & BANKING

8)New rules are underway for the estimated $1-trillion wealth management industry and banking regulator RBI and capital market watchdog Sebi may be made jointly responsible for implementing these regulations and keeping a watch for any violations. ET

9)The government will infuse Rs 4,376 crore as equity capital in PSU lenders Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India as part of a recapitalisation package to shore up their equity capital. ET

INSURANCE

10)Term insurance products are back in favour with insurers. The cost of term plans has come down by 40-50 per cent over the past year. A year before, a term plan insurance for a cover of Rs 50 lakh for a person aged 25-30 years attracted a premium of Rs 12,000. The average cost of such a plan is now Rs 6,500-7,000. A term insurance policy provides a stated benefit only upon the holder’s death, provided the death occurs within the policy period. There will be no stated benefits if the policy holder outlives the policy period. BS

MARKETS

11)After the handsome gains of the previous week, the stock market is unlikely to see much upside movement, as investors may book profits on worries over steaming global crude oil prices, say experts. The BSE benchmark Sensex had surged 785.54 points, or 4.43 per cent, to 18,486.45 during the last seven days, spurred by strong growth data for auto sales, exports, infrastructure industries and easing food inflation. “Not much of an upside in the stock market next week. Investors will remain cautious and more or less prefer staying on sidelines. The market will also see some correction,” Karvy Stock Broking VP Ambareesh Baliga said. BS

12)The combined market capitalisation (m-cap) of nine of the countries’ top 10 firms increased by Rs 69,054.86 crore in the past week, with state-owned coal entity Coal India (CIL) stealing the show. CIL, the biggest gainer among the top 10 firms, saw its valuation swelling by Rs 20,875.57 crore to Rs 2,05,250.12 crore last week. ET

13)Egyptian stocks listed overseas are trading at the lowest levels since before the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak as the Cairo exchange’s continued closure threatens to deepen losses for investors the bourse is under pressure to protect. BS

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

14)Corporate groups worried over the impending competition regulation on mergers and acquisitions (M&As) can breathe easy. Under the new norms notified by the corporate affairs ministry last week, if a corporate group has less than 50% voting rights in the target company, the group’s size as measured in terms of turnover or assets – won’t be reckoned to determine if the transaction requires approval of Competi tion Commission of India(CCI). Also, a group’s size won’t include that of companies in which it has less than 50% voting rights, when it comes to regulatory clearance. FE

COMMODITIES

15)Global commodity markets continue to be buffeted by escalating geopolitical tension with crude leading the way for metals and agriculture. Huge volatility is the result. The uncertainty is palpable as risks across markets heighten. External markets are choppy. To be sure, Libyan crude is not available at a time when market fundamentals have been continually tightening and demand growth is robust. WTI closed above $100 a barrel for the first time since September 2008. Brent, on the other hand, is around $115 a barrel. While gold scales new peaks silver is touching multi-decadal highs as investments flow into this well-known safe haven asset. BL

REAL ESTATE

16)The government plans to widen the definition of real estate in its foreign direct investment (FDI) policy to include consultants, advisers, valuers and brokers, a move experts say could restrict entry of foreign players in these specialized services. ET

17)Realty firm Raheja Developers is in advanced stages of negotiations with a Saudi Arab-based developer to form a joint venture for mainly constructing housing properties in the two nations. FE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

18)IT major Cognizant Technology Solutions is planning a major expansion programme in various cities at a budgeted $285 million on the back of a 40% growth rate over last year, a top official said on Sunday. The expansion programme would be in the form of real estate and upgrading and new technology, company president and managing director R Chandrasekaran said. FE

Headlines (26-10-2009)

Date: 26 October 2009

 Thought for the day

“Never promise more than you can perform.”

–Publilius Syrus

GENERAL

1)Seeking to put behind the recent irritants in bilateral ties, India and China have reaffirmed the need to maintain peace and tranquility on border and agreed to resolve all issues in the spirit of strategic and cooperative partnership.

TOI

ECONOMY

2)The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today said the global economy was not fully out of trouble and ruled out any premature withdrawal of stimulus packages announced by the Government to boost the industry.

BL

3)Adding shine to the momentum of economic recovery, the CII business confidence index(CII-BCI) has predicted a return to better business conditions than what was before the downturn. The index for the period between October 2009 and March 2010 surged by a robust 7.4 points to 66.1 points, against a mere 2.4 point increase during the first half of the fiscal.

 

BS

CORPORATE / INDUSTRY

4)THE Rs 3,866-crore pharma major Lupin will go in for overseas acquisitions within six to nine months. Company sources told ET: “Lupin is negotiating with a few companies in Gulf, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, as it intends to increase its footprint in newer markets. The acquisition would be of companies involved in pharma marketing or those who have a mix of marketing and manufacturing base.”

ET

5)AIR TRAVEL and hotel bookings for the year-end holiday season have picked up, providing further proof that economy is looking up. While international carriers have advance bookings for nearly half of their seats for the December-January period, hotels have seen 3-5% rise in occupancy in October in some key cities after many months of decline.

 

ET

MONEY & BANKING

 6)The Reserve Bank of India(RBI), which will unveil its mid-term re- view of the monetary policy on Tuesday, is expected to push banks for expanding credit. For, bank credit growth fell to a 12-year low of 10.8% as on October 9, from 29.5% in the same period last year, according to RBI’s latest weekly statistical supplement released on October 23.

FE

PENSION

 7)In a bid to expand the reach of the New Pension Scheme(NPS) for private citizens, which has only managed 2,300 subscribers since its launch five months ago, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority(PFRDA) has invited fresh applications from financial services providers for becoming the scheme’s Points of Presence(PoPs).

 FE

MARKETS

8)The country’s equity indices are set to take cues from two major events in the coming week – the Reserve Bank of India’s(RBI) monetary policy on October 27(Tuesday) and the expiry of futures & options(F&O) series for October also due in the coming week. However, domestic markets are likely to witness intense volatility in the coming days as it was seen last week, say dealers.

FE

9)With the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) allowing the extension of trading time by two-and-a-half hours, stock brokerage companies fear loss in productivity. However, they expect a rise in volumes simultaneously, at virtually no big rise in costs. At present, trading hours are from 9:55 am to 3:30 pm. Sebi has allowed exchanges to start trading by 9 am and continue up to 5 pm. Most of the brokers have welcomed Sebi’s move, as it may result in higher volumes.

 

BS

IPO

10)NEARLY half a dozen textile firms are lining up to raise money through initial public offerings at a time when the Indian textile industry is battling a slump in exports, cut-throat competition and currency volatility. Companies such as Ankita Knitwear, Sai Silks Kalamandir, Emmbi Polyarns, Cantabil Retail and Mandhana Industries have sought the approval of market regulator Sebi for launching initial public offerings(IPOs).

ET

11)Edible oil and poultry products maker Tara Health Foods has sought approval from the capital market regulator Sebi, for an initial public offer(IPO) of one crore shares.

 

ET

12)Lavasa Corporation, a subsidiary of Mumbai-based Hindustan Construction Company, plans to raise around Rs 2,000 crore through an initial public offering(IPO) during the second half of next year.

 

FE

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

13)HEMENDRA Kothari did the Raasi Cements deal, Nimesh Kampani did the Sesa Goa deal. Uday Kotak did the BSE deal. That’s the way mergers and acquisition deals used to be discussed in India till recently. But this is changing. Now it is institutions such as JP Morgan, Stanchart or Deutsche, to consider three banks active in the Indian market, which do deals.

ET

COMMODITIES

14)Turmeric prices in the spot markets have reached record levels in the last few days because of dwindling carryover stocks and increased speculative activities. Traders said prices have more than doubled in a span of just a year also owing to extensive damage to the standing crop. Spot prices at Erode market(the largest wholesale market for turmeric) have increased by Rs 10 per kg in three days after Diwali to touch Rs 95. Karvy Comtrade reports that the bullish trend in turmeric started with the down- fall in production, from 52 lakh bags in 2007-08 to 42 lakh bags this year. As India is the largest producer and exporter of the commodity across the globe, any shortfall here is enough to trigger the sentiments throughout the world, sources said.

 FE

15)The pepper market world over appears to be showing some buoyancy. Prices of all the origins were firmer and there were some buying interest emanating from the major consuming markets.

 

BL

REAL ESTATE

16)Realty firm TDI Infrastructure plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the next couple of years to develop affordable housing projects. “We have earmarked Rs 1,000 crore for affordable housing projects. We have already sold 800 independents floors at our township at Kundli(Sonepat) and more such projects are in pipeline,” TDI executive director Kunal Banerjee said.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

17)WITH Microsoft Corp commercially rolling out its latest bet – the much-awaited Windows 7 operating system – leading vendors feel this will trigger a huge revival of the PC market. Small wonder then that Hewlett-Packard(HP), HCL, Samsung, Dell and Acer are gearing up their act around this latest platform.

ET

18)AS India’s top tech firms prepare to bid for projects worth almost Rs 5,000 crore to set up the country’s unique citizen database, Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) plans to bid jointly for this opportunity along with CMC, a government-focussed subsidiary it acquired some eight years ago. The World’s biggest citizen database being set up by the Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI) will rely heavily on biometric and fingerprint information of the country’s 1.2 billion citizens, and would seek solution providers who can bring relevant expertise.

 

 ET

19)THE $500-million Indian language translation market is poised for a big growth as more and more multinational companies are setting up shops in the country expecting the sunrise industry to go miles in the next three years. The Asian language translation market revenue accounted for $1,312 million in 2008 and is projected to reach $1,410 million in 2009 and touch $1,516 million in 2010, according to research and consulting firm Common Services Advisory.

 

ET

INTERNATIONAL

20)The economy in the US probably grew in the third quarter at the fastest pace in two years as government stimulus helped bring an end to the worst recession since the 1930s, economists said before reports this week. The world’s largest economy grew at a 3.2 per cent pace from July through September after shrinking the previous four quarters, according to the median estimate of 65 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Other reports may show sales of new homes and orders for long-lasting goods increased.

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