Date: 03 November 2009
Thought for the day
“The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible.”
–Mary Baker Eddy
1)ARMY Chief General Deepak Kapoor is preparing to leave for Israel next week on a four-day trip that will see the two sides expanding their military cooperation and a new framework of cooperation on counter-terrorism is on the cards.
2)India’s economic growth rate is expected to accelerate to 8% in the next fiscal from 6.3% projected for the current financial year, the Planning Commission has said. The commission in its recent assessment of the economy also expects economic growth to go up to 9% in 2011-12, and further to 10% in 2014-15. These assumptions were made by the Planning Commission while projecting the state of government finances before the Eleventh Finance Com- mission recently.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)Sales of cars and utility vehicles showed an upward trend again in October as the festive frenzy continued to drive consumers to showrooms, pushing retail sales and clearing the inventory stock pile of vehicles swiftly. Market leader Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors, which led the growth charts during October, stated that sales during the traditionally auspicious days around Diwali were the best ever in their history.
4)CONSUMERS buying pure-life insurance products will have to continue paying commission to sellers of these policies, but those investing in Unit Linked Insurance Plans(ULIPs) are set to be spared of this burden after April 2011. The move will help improve returns to investors in ULIPs, curb mis-selling and help raise insurance penetration by having a modest commission on pure insurance products, creating incentives for sellers.
5)You can pay lower premium by buying two health insurance policies instead of one, for the same sum assured. General insurance companies are offering top-ups to the existing health insurance policies. Top- ups are useful when a customer wants to get a high sum insured which is not easily available in the market.
6)Icra has reconfirmed its iAAA rating to United India Insurance (UIIC) this year too, indicating highest claim paying ability as- signed. This rating indicates fundamentally strong position of the company and that its prospect of meeting policy holder obligations is the best. The rating takes into account the company’s established market position in the domestic general insurance industry, sovereign ownership, strong financial position supported by healthy capitalisation levels and strong investment portfolio, said release from UIIC.
7)National Aluminium Company(Nalco) Ltd has become the first public sector unit to move its employees’ retirement funds to the New Pension Scheme(NPS). The Board of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority(PFRDA) has cleared the modalities for Nalco to contribute 6% of workers’ basic pay into the NPS, starting this month.
8)The recent rally in the stock markets has made the government richer by Rs 5 lakh crore(84.6%) on its holdings in 49 listed public sector undertakings(excluding banks and finance companies), all in a space of one year. This has happened on the back of growing market confidence in PSU stocks and the prospects of a global financial recovery.
9)INDIAN Hotels has beaten the Sensex by a fair margin in the past six months. The company’s stock has given around 37% returns in the period, while the Sensex has managed around 30%. Even on a three-month basis, the company has beaten the Sensex. It posted returns of close to 11% while the Sensex managed returns of just 8%. The hospitality industry appears to be on a revival course with the impact of the global slowdown and terrorists attacks in Mumbai now fading.
10)SOON, investors will be able to vote on corporate proposals through the click of a mouse without having to worry whether their response has reached the company or not. An electronic voting platform, set to be unveiled this month by one of the two depositories in the country, will replace the practice of seeking shareholder consent through the postal ballot. However, an official familiar with the depository’s plans on this requested that neither he nor his firm be named. The two depositories in India are National Securities Depository(NSDL) and Central Depository Services(CDSL). The proposed online voting system is aimed at enhancing corporate governance and increasing shareholder participation in listed companies, and is a common feature in advanced countries like the US, Japan and South Korea. Investors, who hold shares in physical as well as in the demat form, will be able to exercise their franchise through this platform.
11)The country’s two prime bourses, the National Stock Exchange(NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE), are likely to extend the trading time by two and half hours from next month and a formal notification to this effect is expected shortly.
12)DIAGNOSTIC chain Super Religare Laboratories(formerly SRL Ranbaxy) is reviving plans to dilute 15-20% stake to raise Rs 200 crore through an initial public offer(IPO). It is now back in talks with several potential investors for a pre-IPO deal.
13)Gulf Oil Corporation Limited (GOCL), a Hinduja Group company, is planning to come out with a 3:1 (three shares for every share held) rights issue in December, this year, to raise Rs 80 crore to support its working capital requirement.
14)PEPPER prices have remained buoyant in the past few days with better support from the domestic market. Despite a slight correction, prices have seen a 7% increase in the last 10 days of October. Buoyant trends are likely to continue in the coming weeks as the market expects to get more orders from the importing countries. The prices, which stood at Rs 137 per kg on October 20, rose to Rs 147 per kg on October 29.
15)Gold is expected to touch Rs 17,000 per 10 gram in December 2009 according to gold experts primarily because of weakening dollar, making it more costly for the Indian gold buyers.
16)The second quarter earnings of companies in the telecom sector mirrored the impact of the intensive tariff war. Both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications repoorted profits below expectations. Bharti Airtel reported a decline of 7.8% in net profit at Rs 2,321 crore, against Rs 2,517 crore on a quarter-on quarter(QoQ) basis and up 13% from Rs 2,046 crore on a year-on-year(y-o-y) basis, as per US GAAP. Total revenues slipped 0.97% to Rs 9,845 crore versus Rs 9,941.6 crore QoQ. The second largest domestic telecom company, RComm, followed suit with a 51.7% drop in net profit to Rs 740 crore from Rs 1,531 crore y-o-y. Besides the tariff war, the telcos witnessed an impact of network expansion costs, derivative losses and low- paying users. The mobile industry in India, the world’s fastest- growing market, started witnessing increased competition during the quarter as players started cutting rates to attract subscribers before four new operators – Unitech Wireless, Etisalat DB, Datacom and S-Tel – roll out their operations this year.
17)INDIA’S second biggest phone firm, Reliance Communications (RCOM), said the company is evaluating if it should join rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar in offering ‘per second billing’ tariff option to its customers. Last month, RCom joined the ongoing tariff war by announcing its 50 paise-a-minute ‘Simply Reliance’ plan.
18)India has become the top offshore destination for European enter- prises traditionally thought to be shy of sending work to the country, a recent report by Forrester Research said. Forrester’s survey of 300 European enterprises shows that more than 60 per cent of firms intend to spend their work to India. This count is more than any other obvious single country or grouping of countries – for example the CIS region or Central Europe, the report said.
19)INDIA’S top enterprises, set to spend over $10 billion on tech-nology services this year, are better than global peers when it comes to using technology to drive innovation and launch disruptive business models, according to an IBM study of over 2,500 companies across the globe. The chief information officers(CIO) at companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Shoppers’ Stop, Reliance Life Insurance, Asian Paints and many others plan to use technology solutions for lowering their operational costs, and also explore newer ways of doing business.
20)WITH larger rivals chasing the lucrative domestic market, mid-tier tech firms such as Patni Computer Systems and Hexaware are attempting to enter the market by bidding jointly with experienced players. India’s government departments and other state-owned firms that are set to spend around $2 billion on IT during next 12 months, Hexaware, Mindtree and Patni are among many mid tier Indian tech firms seeking to explore new business with an experienced partner.
21)Factory activity in the euro zone expanded for the first time in 17 months in October and also picked up in Britain and China, suggesting global economic recovery is underway, surveys showed on Monday.
22)CIT Group Inc, a lender to hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, as the global financial crisis left it unable to fund itself and the recession clobbered its loans.
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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