Date: 16 November 2009
Thought for the day
“Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.”
–George Bernard Shaw
1)CANADIAN Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s three-day visit to India from Sunday will be dominated by talks over a nuclear deal and new trade pacts in a bid warm a relationship that turned frosty when Ottawa cut off atomic trade after New Delhi’s 1974 nuclear test.
2)India and the US have agreed to collaborate in encouraging investments and research and development in the solar energy space. Both countries will tap into the large potential of solar energy in India, which is starting the ambitious solar development plan.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)CAIRN India has successfully drilled and completed its first horizontal oil well at Rajasthan’s Barmer field that will add 11,000 barrels of oil per day(bopd) to the earlier reported production volume of 5991 bopd. The field continues to ramp up production.
4)INDIA Inc is still far off the mark when it comes to innovations and R&D spending. Barely four Indian companies made it to a list of top 1,000 publicly-traded companies in the world which were the biggest spenders on research and development, two fewer than last year. The list, prepared by global management consulting firm Booz & Co., has Tata Motors, BHEL, Dr Reddy’s Lab and Sun Pharma this year. Those from last year’s list which did not make it this time are Ranbaxy Laboratories and Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd.
5)L&T Heavy Engineering is set to inaugurate a high tech manufacturing facility in Sohar, Oman. The new unit in the SIPC area, Sohar, will augment the existing modular fabrication facility, making it one of the largest integrated manufacturing complexes in the region, catering to the hydrocarbon and power sectors, a company release said.
6)THE Aditya Birla group on Sunday approved a proposal to merge a newly-created cement unit with its existing cement subsidiary UltraTech, thereby consolidating the group’s cement business that currently accounts for a fifth of the Indian cement market. The boards of UltraTech Cement and Samruddhi Cement(a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grasim Industries), unanimously approved the merger of the two companies which would ultimately create an entity with a net worth of Rs 8,404 crore.
MONEY & BANKING
7)The Oriental Bank of Commerce plans to expand its network by opening around 200 new branches each annually in the next three fiscals. Mr T Y Prabhu, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, on Sun- day said the bank had sought a capital support of Rs 1,000 crore from the government to implement its expansion plan.
8)With rampant unhealthy practices plaguing the domestic insurance industry, particularly general insurance, sector regulator Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority(Irda) has now turned the heat on some foreign insurance brokers operating in India.
9)Indian equity indices, which ended last week with huge gains, are likely to remain volatile in the coming days. With no major cues from the domestic markets, local markets will be looking for global cues and foreign inflows for some triggers in the next week.
10)Foreign institutional investors(FIIs) may have continued to pour money into the Indian markets in recent months, but they weren’t uniformly bullish on all stocks or sectors. FIIs have actually trimmed their stakes in half of the BSE Sensex companies in the quarter from June to September 2009. Big names as Bharti Airtel, ONGC, BHEL and ICICI Bank saw a dip in FII ownership over the past quarter. Over 180 companies in the BSE 500 basket also saw a fall in their FII holdings in this period.
11)Public sector hydropower producer Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam(SJVN) said on Sunday its proposed initial public offer was likely to come in the next fiscal and the company was in the process of appointing independent directors, a prerequisite for firms planning to hit the market.
12)Lilliput Kidswear plans to raise over Rs 150 crore through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) in the next six months, a top company executive said. Kids apparel maker said it would use the funds to expand its retail network.
13)The Securities & Exchange Board of India(Sebi) may tighten mutual fund(MF) regulations to make these funds more retail investor-friendly. The regulator, which recently announced that recognised stock brokers would be allowed to trade in MF units, is now planning to bolster the 20-25 Rule by taking it to the ‘plans(series) level’. The 20-25 Rule requires each mutual fund scheme to have at least 20 investors, while no single investor can hold more than 25% of assets. Since it is applicable only up to the scheme level at present, many funds are able to skirt the Rule.
14)Religare Mutual Fund said its PSU Equity Fund has received good investor response with the scheme garnering Rs 229 crore, from new fund offer. “The fund has collected over Rs 229 crore, with close to 37,000 applications coming in from over 170 cities and towns across the country,” the Religare Mutual Fund Chief Executive Officer, Mr Saurabh Nanavati, said.
15)While gold continues to touch new highs, silver seems to be tired of tagging along with precious yellow metal. After outperforming gold in the initial six months of 2009, silver has taken a back-seat now. Gains in silver have been capped due to movement in base metals and stalled ETF interest. However, a recovery in economic activity is expected to fuel industrial activities, which, in turn, might support silver prices in the coming days, feel analysts. As per data provided by Kotak Commodity, silver(silver fix) has rallied 60% so far this year as against the 27% rally in gold. Copper, on the other hand, has jumped 112% so far this year.
16)The firm/steady trend in all the pepper origins gives the impression that there is likely to be a tight supply position if the prevailing steady prices in all the producing countries are any indication. In the international market prices of all the origins were holding steady to firm. Buyers were on a wait and watch mode. Indian parity on Saturday was at $3,350 a tonne (c&f) and almost competitive with other origins, market sources told Business Line.
17)Maize prices were stable during last week at Rs 9,300 per tonne against the week-ago period as traders waited for the market to take direction, and also on concerns over quality, according to US Grains Council.
18)THE process for auctioning third generation(3G) radio frequencies or spectrum that is vital for telecom companies to offer high-end services such as ultra fast internet and data services on the mobile kicks off in Delhi on Monday(November 16), with the pre-bid conference.
19)INDIAN IT majors may see a 10-15% fall in billing rates from their European customers as offshore outsourcing is likely to be- come costlier by 25% following an European Union move to impose value-added tax (VAT) for services delivered from non-EU locations. British Petroleum and ABN Amro will have to bring down billing rates for Indian tech firms including TCS, Infosys and Wipro by at least 10-15%, according to experts.
20)Information technology services firm 3i Infotech plans to offshore some of its work as well as implement a four-day work week for its US employees, in order to cut costs, a top company official has said.
21)HCL Security, subsidiary of HCL Infosystems, is a fairly new entrant in the homeland security market, dominated by the likes of Accenture, IBM, SAB, Lockheed Martin, Bosch and Honeywell. But it is confident on making a mark.
22)Hitachi Ltd, Japan’s biggest electronics firm by revenues, plans to raise up to 400 billion yen($4.5 billion) by issuing new shares and convertible bonds to shore up its battered capital base, two sources familiar with the matter said. The sources, who asked not to be identified ahead of an official announcement anticipated as early as Monday, said Hitachi plans to sell about 300 billion yen worth of shares and another 100 billion yen in convertible bonds. The public share offering would be its first in 27 years.
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Economic Times www.economictimes.com
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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