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    Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

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    Abhishek

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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Thu May 05, 2011 6:14 pm

    Two new premium offerings from Mercedes-Benz

    Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday launched two of its premium vehicles — SL 350 and GL 500 — to strengthen its portfolio in the highly competitive Indian luxury car market. The German carmaker is also planning to introduce its A and B Class cars into India within the next three to four years and assemble them locally to make them price competitive.

    While the sports car SL 350 has been priced at Rs.98.50 lakh, sports utility vehicle GL 500 comes with a price tag of Rs.80.90-lakh.“Both the premium products are the most popular offerings in our portfolio. The SL-Class with its styling, performance and handling abilities has won hearts globally…On the other hand the GL 500 being one of the most powerful SUV's in the world, is ideal to suit the tastes of the growing number of off-roading aficionados in India,”

    Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Peter Honegg said the company had started assembling the engines and transmissions of C and E Class luxury sedans at its Chakan facility in Maharashtra to escape the higher 30 per cent customs duty following the new norms on completely knocked down (CKD) units in the 2011-12 budget, complying with the 10 per cent customs duty norm.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Thu May 05, 2011 6:14 pm

    Dabur acquires Ajanta Pharma's 30-Plus brand

    Dabur on Tuesday said it has acquired Mumbai-based Ajanta Pharma's energising capsule brand 30-Plus.

    “The acquisition of 30-Plus is part of an aggressive strategy to build capability on the over-the-counter (OTC) health care business and I am confident that this transaction will help us in our endeavour to further strengthen our portfolio in this category,” Dabur India Group Director P. Narang said in a statement.

    “Launched in 1990 as an herbal energiser capsule, 30-Plus was a key brand for Ajanta Pharmaceuticals…it was positioned as an energising capsule for 30-plus males and was an instant hit among consumers in India,” a Dabur statement said.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:17 pm

    Asian economies need to be carefully steered: FM

    India on Wednesday cautioned that Asian economies, which were the lynchpin of global recovery, would need to be carefully steered.

    Asian economies are not on the autopilot mode, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said at a Governors' Seminar on ‘ASIA 2050' at the annual meeting of the ADB here.

    Agreeing with the ADB's report ‘Asia 2050 — realising the Asian century', he said “...despite its blistering pace of growth, Asia is not on the autopilot mode and in fact would require careful steering to realise the goal of a prosperous Asia which will not only make lives of Asians better but augur well for world economic growth.''

    Emphasising on “regional cooperation and integration through transport and energy connectivity,” Mr. Mukherjee said it could pave the way for the emergence of a vibrant regional market.

    “Strengthening cross-border infrastructure linkages in transport, communications and energy sectors would help in addressing bottlenecks that are impeding growth,” he said.

    The Indian Finance Minister said if Asia had to reach the level of an affluent region, achieving broad-based, inclusive and sustained growth would be a paramount necessary.

    About one billion people, the majority of them Asians, live below the poverty line and face chronic undernourishment.

    Mr. Mukherjee also said Asian countries should aim to transform their economies into knowledge and skill based economies over the next 40 years to ensure high sustained growth.

    He, however, said that the countries within Asia should strive for better governance and transparency in policy making.

    “For the growth story of Asia to unfold, an enabling environment and appropriate institutional structure is a pre-requisite...When we talk about governance, it is not just corruption but also accountability and predictability. All countries need to work towards improving governance, transforming their institutions into high quality, modern institutions and apply transparency and accountability filters to domestic policy making and implementation,” he said.

    The ADB study has predicted that Asia's gross domestic product (GDP) would soar to $148 trillion and account for 51 per cent of global output in 2050.

    It said that an additional three billion Asians could enjoy higher living standards, but only if Asia sustains its present growth momentum and addresses daunting multigenerational challenges and risks.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:17 pm

    DEPB scheme likely to be phased out

    The popular Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme for exporters is likely to face the axe after it ends on June 30 as the Finance Ministry has pitched against its continuation.

    The DEPB, under which exporters get sops to the extent of 8-9 per cent of the value of shipments, has been extended year after year by the Finance Ministry on the recommendation of the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

    Officials said indications that the scheme will face the axe had been coming for the last few months when during discussions the Finance Ministry officials had given strong hints that the scheme would not be continued beyond the June 30 deadline. Although, the Commerce Ministry has advocated continuation of the scheme and come out in support of exporters, the Finance Ministry has shown no inclination for continuing with the scheme.

    However, exporters are not giving up hope and will lobby hard in the coming weeks for continuation of the benefit, which makes their exports competitive in the global market. According to the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the DEPB scheme should continue for at least five more years in light of tough conditions in the international market.

    “If the government is committed to a stable policy environment, the DEPB scheme should be extended immediately so that exporters can negotiate with the buyers for better costing,” FIEO President Ramu Deora said.

    He said the withdrawal of the scheme would mainly hurt exports of automotive components and engineering. The Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee had indicated during his budget speech that the popular DEPB scheme would be phased out.
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    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:18 pm

    PNB posts 14 % rise in net profit at Rs.4,433 crore

    The net profit of Punjab National Bank has risen by 13.5 per cent to Rs.4,433 crore during the year ended March 31, 2011, from Rs.3,905 crore a year ago. The bank hiked the lending rates by 50 basis points making all kinds of loans expensive.

    In the fourth quarter ended March 2011, it posted a 5.8 per cent increase in net profit at Rs.1,201 crore against Rs.1,135 crore in the year-ago period. The modest increase in profit was the result of higher provisioning against bad debts and wages related issue, Chairman and Managing Director K. R. Kamath said at a press conference here.

    Total income during the fourth quarter, however, grew by 31.2 per cent to Rs.8,586 crore from Rs.6,460.70 crore.

    Total income during the year rose by 22.1 per cent to Rs.30,599 crore from Rs.24,834 crore in the previous fiscal. Net interest income grew by 39.3 per cent to Rs.11,807 crore. The bank recommended a dividend of Rs.22 a share for the year, Mr. Kamath said.

    Total business crossed Rs.5.50-lakh crore during the year, about 27.3 per cent higher as compared to the previous fiscal. Mr. Kamath said the bank expected a credit growth of 22 per cent during the current fiscal. Deposits should increase between 18 per cent and 20 per cent in 2011-12.

    Capital adequacy of the bank as at the end of March 2011 as per Basel-II norms was 12.42 per cent against 14.16 per cent in 2009-10.

    Mr. Kamath said the bank had decided to increase the base rate and BPLR by 50 basis points effective Thursday. With this increase, the base rate or the minimum lending rate will be 10 per cent and the BPLR 13.50 per cent. New and existing housing, auto and other loans will become costlier by at least 50 basis points. On hiking deposit rates, Mr. Kamath said the bank would review deposit rates later, depending on how credit growth picked up in the coming months.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:19 pm

    BPCL plans to raise Bina capacity

    Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) on Wednesday announced its intention to enhance the capacity of the just commissioned Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh to nine million tonnes.

    The six-million tonne a year unit was commissioned in January and will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on May 20, BPCL Chairman and Managing Director R. K. Singh told reporters here.

    The project is being built by Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd. (BORL), a joint venture between BPCL and Oman Oil Co (OOC), at a cost of Rs.11,397 crore. “We are looking at expanding the capacity to nine million tonnes in the first phase. Under this, capacity of existing equipment will be raised, a process that may take up to three years and may cost about Rs.2,000 crore. When we take a maintenance turnaround in three years, we plan to hook-up the expanded equipment,'' he said.

    Mr. Singh said in the second phase, the Bina refinery capacity would be taken up to 15 million tonnes.

    BORL Managing Director U. N. Joshi said the company planned to come out with an initial public offering (IPO) when the market conditions were right. Post-IPO, BPCL would hold 49 per cent stake in BORL, while OCC would have 26 per cent.

    Mr. Singh said Bina would initially process crude oil imported from Saudi Arabia. “The refinery is designed to process Saudi crude and we have tied up 2.5-3 million tonnes of crude from Saudi,'' he added.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:19 pm

    Star Union introduces two new products

    Star Union Dai-ichi Life (SUD Life) on Wednesday introduced two new product offerings, one in the unit-linked insurance product (ULIP) segment, Dhan Suraksha Express, and another in the traditional category, Defined Growth Endowment Plan. It also announced that it has accumulated over Rs.1,329 crore of new business premium in just over two years of its operations.

    “We procured Rs.758 crore new business premium during 2010-11, registering a growth of 46 per cent over the previous year. Total premium income (including renewal premium) of the company was Rs.933 crore, which was 76 per cent up over the previous year.

    “We have sold 97,730 individual policies and covered over 3.5-lakh lives under group schemes. We have also exceeded our mandatory commitments under social and rural business obligations prescribed by the regulator,” SUD Life Managing Director and CEO Kamalji Sahay told journalists here.

    He said the company started business with just Rs.250 crore of capital contributed by the three promoters, Bank of India, Union Bank of India and Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance. However, the company has not required fresh capital infusion in spite of being one of the fastest growing companies.

    Innovative offerings

    “With our increasing success we have also continued to add value to our customers by providing them a bouquet of innovative product offerings.

    “For SUD Life, customer satisfaction and product innovation are the two key drivers and our results for the year are reflection of our commitments to our goals,” Mr. Sahay added.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:20 pm

    Hero Honda net declines

    Hero Honda Motors Ltd (HHML) on Wednesday reported 13.62 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs.1,927.90 crore for 2010-11, but its total income from operations during the fiscal increased by 22.32 per cent to Rs.19,401.15 crore.

    The decline in profit was mainly due to higher expenses on raw materials and payment of license fee to erstwhile promoter Honda. HHML paid a total dividend of Rs.105, including an interim dividend of Rs.70 on the face value of Rs.2.

    Its total unit sales in the last fiscal stood at over 54-lakh two-wheelers, a growth of 17.44 per cent. “Our performance all through 2010-11 has been satisfying. As we turn a new leaf in our journey, 2011-12 will be a defining year for us, giving shape to our vision of being truly a world leader in the two-wheeler space,” said HHML Chairman Brijmohan Lall.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:21 pm

    AKAI launches smallest LED TV

    AKAI India has launched 48 cm (19 inch) HD LED television, the smallest LED available in India, priced at Rs.11,000. “The size and dimensions of the LED is perfect for the smaller rooms of the house or a smaller residence. It operates on digital and analogue TV signals and can be easily connected to a PC with the VGA Port (D-sub 15 Pin),” said AKAI India Managing Director Pranay Dhabhai.

    “The launch of smallest LED TV is aimed to provide value for money. It comes equipped with the latest features to deliver stunning viewing experiences that bring life-like depth to TV. It also has an SD card slot, which also supports movies, pictures and music formats,” Mr. Dhabhai said.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Fri May 06, 2011 6:21 pm

    IndusInd Bank in pact with HDFC

    IndusInd Bank (IBL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with HDFC. Under the tie-up, IndusInd Bank's branches will source HDFC home loans for purchase, construction, extension, renovation of dwelling units to individuals. According to a relese, for all home loans sourced by IndusInd Bank, the processing, disbursement and servicing functions will rest with HDFC.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:20 am

    Kaushik Basu hints at GDP growth scale-down

    Even as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday scaled down India's GDP (gross domestic product) growth projection from 9 per cent to 8 per cent for the current fiscal — in line with the Reserve Bank's estimate in its annual credit policy — his Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu here indicated an official downward revision in the growth forecast for 2011-12.

    According to reports, in his interaction with the media on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank being held in Hanoi, Mr. Mukherjee said: “If oil prices continue to rise, it would be difficult to achieve higher GDP. [India's] GDP [growth] may come down to 8 per cent from [the projected] nine per cent”.

    Explaining the reason for the lower growth forecast, Mr. Mukherjee said that India's primary concern now is to contain headline inflation while sustaining high growth. “Our projection is 7.5-8 per cent inflation during the year,” he said, as hardening of global commodity prices, particularly oil, has accelerated inflation. Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a media launch of ESCAP's ‘Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific – 2011' Dr. Basu reasoned that the ‘unacceptable' level of inflation has necessitated revision in the growth estimate which was projected in the budget at 9 per cent for the current fiscal. “All over the world, there has been revision [in GDP growth prospects] ... So we might go in for a revision. Obviously, it is not going to be upwards,” he said.

    Dr. Basu pointed out that as the government takes a mid-year stock of the economy during the course of the year as a normal practice, the Finance Ministry would begin reviewing the targets by the end of this month.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:20 am

    Bharti Airtel net dips

    Bharti Airtel on Thursday reported over 32 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs.6,047 crore in 2010-11 against Rs.8,977 crore in 2009-10, while its consolidated revenues went up to Rs.59,467 crore, a growth of over 42 per cent. The company announced an investment of $1.50 billion in India and South Asia businesses, besides another $1.20 billion in the African region.

    Net income declined due to increase in net interest outgo (Rs.1,480 crore), foreign exchange restatement losses (Rs.683 crore), re-branding expenses (Rs.340 crore) and increase in spectrum charges in India (Rs.265 crore).

    Interestingly, the growth in revenues was lifted by the African operations, while India and South Asia revenues also grew in an intensely competitive market.

    In the January-March quarter of 2010-11, Bharti Airtel reported 31 per cent decline in its consolidated net profit at Rs.1,400.70 crore compared to the same period last fiscal, while its total revenues went up by 51 per cent to Rs.16,265.4 crore. “The new Airtel brand has been a tremendous success in all our 19 countries. In India, we have been focussing on building a robust 3G network to meet the increasing data needs of a young population. In Africa, we are rapidly expanding our network coverage, improving distribution width and increasing our efficiency and productivity standards,” Bharti Airtel Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Mittal said in a statement.

    According to Airtel Africa CEO and Joint Managing Director Manoj Kohli, “we are expecting the African arm to post a much better performance this year. Africa is a competitive market and it's been only nine months since we have acquired Zain's African operations. Costs are high in that region, but now we have a good presence there.”
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:21 am

    Bharti Walmart on expansion mode

    Bharti Walmart Pvt. Ltd. on Thursday said it would open up to 12 new wholesale stores across the country by the end of 2011, company spokesperson said. The company — a 50:50 joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and U.S.-based retail giant Walmart Stores — is likely to invest around Rs.380 crore for its expansion plans. “One store requires an investment of about $7 million (around Rs.32 crore),” the spokesperson said. The company has so far invested over $40 million in the country on opening stores.

    Bharti Walmart has now five stores and it opened a new one at Ludhiana in Punjab on Thursday, taking its investments in the State to over $30 million. It also has a store each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, while it has around one lakh total registered members.

    In a statement, Bharti Walmart Chairman Rajan Bharti Mittal said the company would expand its presence in the South and Central India. It mainly caters to the needs of restaurant owners, hoteliers, caterers, fruit and vegetable re-sellers, kirana store owners, offices and institutions.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:22 am

    IBM prepares to celebrate centennial

    Multinational technology and consulting major IBM, which first established its presence in India in 1951, on Thursday announced that it was preparing to celebrate its centenary across the world on June 16.

    IBM India Pvt. Ltd. Managing Director Shanker Annaswamy said the company was present in India ‘in full strength'. “We have grown rapidly in every segment of the IT-enabled services (ITeS) business, particularly since the mid-1990s. IBM in India plays a major role in the company's global operations,” Mr. Annaswamy said.

    Observing that technologies in the banking and telecom industries would play an important role in the future, Mr. Annaswamy said his company had been a significant actor in both spaces. “Our landmark deal with Bharti Airtel in 2004, which was subsequently replicated and then scaled up with other telecom companies and our association with large and small banks in India, has enabled us to take advantage of opportunities arising out of synergies in the two sectors,” he said.

    Infrastructure

    IBM's role as an integrator of IT infrastructure for clients such as the Indian Railways and the Central Board of Direct Taxes, among many others, had enabled the company to build similar infrastructure for airlines, airport operators, airline companies and many others, Mr. Annaswamy said.

    Cloud computing

    Mr. Annaswamy said the company would be seeking ‘to expand into smaller cities' while addressing the needs of small and medium businesses. “We will offer specific, tailor-made for smaller companies,” Mr. Annaswamy added.

    Analytics and cloud computing were the major areas for the company in the future, Mr. Annaswamy said.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:22 am

    Food inflation eases to 8.53 %


    Reversing the fortnight-long upward trend, food inflation eased to 8.53 per cent during the week ended April 23 from 8.76 per cent in the previous week even as prices of all edible items, barring pulses, ruled at higher levels on a year-on-year basis.

    The WPI (Wholesale Price Index) data on primary articles released here on Thursday reveals that the downward movement in food inflation may largely be owing to the effect of a high base as it was pegged at 20.91 per cent during the like week last year.

    Economic analysts point out that the slight moderation, as per the latest data, should not be any cause for cheer, considering that global commodity prices, especially crude oil, remain at high levels and a hike in the domestic prices petrol and diesel is imminent — likely to be announced after the Assembly polls — which is sure to have a cascading effect on food and overall inflation.

    In the event, the Reserve Bank of India may be forced to go in for another round of key policy rate hike later during the year.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:39 am

    Car makers to feel the pinch of RBI's rate hike

    RBI's rate hike could not have come at a worst time for the car industry that is already witnessing a slip in demand as expensive financing and costlier fuel turn people away from showrooms. Companies and analysts said demand could see a severe dent from the 30%-plus highs of last fiscal as banks further jack up interest rates and EMIs become fatter.

    This is the ninth successive hike for interest rates since March last year, and interest rates have slowly and steadily been inching up, hovering around the 13% mark now. "This is one of the highest levels in recent times. In fact, retail interest rates have never been so high in the last six to seven years," Arvind Saxena, marketing and sales director of Hyundai India, told TOI.

    Saxena said the situation was getting difficult. "Already enquiries (at dealerships) have reduced and the conversion rate too has slowed down. Any further increase will make things worse."

    While car sales grew by 30%-plus in 2010-11, the outlook for this fiscal was pegged at nearly half of this. Market players say even this looks difficult now as not only are interest rates rising but so is the price of fuel as well as that of vehicles, which are becoming dearer on higher inputs.


    Jnaneswar Sen, sales and marketing head at Honda Siel Cars, said sentiment was getting bad. "The effect is now being felt on retail. As the situation worsens, people may postpone buying decisions, especially those who are going in for a replacement or an additional car," Sen said.


    "The market is already under pressure and this will certainly have an adverse impact," said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer of Maruti Suzuki India.


    Sandeep Singh, deputy MD (sales and marketing) at Toyota Kirloskar said, walk-ins at showrooms were going down. "Footfalls have been impacted and customers may think twice before paying higher EMIs."
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    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 12:40 am

    Govt plans to divest its stake in Scooters India

    The iconic Scooters India (SIL) could be up for revival with the government looking to divest its stake fully to a player who can infuse technology and funds. The move, if implemented fast and successfully, could see Congress challenge the Mayawati regime on the industrialization plank ahead of the 2012 elections.

    Scooters India was a leading manufacturing unit in Lucknow which produced the fashionable Vijay scooters before slipping into the red. Today, it manufactures three-wheelers and has a market share of 2.7%, employing 1,255 people. Though owned by the central government, it has become a symbol of general decline of Uttar Pradesh.

    According to sources, the Centre would shed its 95% equity in the company to a strategic partner who would bring in money and technology to restore the cutting edge to the one-time giant. The Centre would identify the investor and decide the terms. The government feels the company, which lost its sheen after it stopped making two-wheelers 15 years ago, can hope for revival in long-term if money and technology are injected. Under the new owner, the company would offer a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to 900 workers to attract joint venture partners. The VRS would cost Rs 78 crore, while other employee benefits would be borne by SIL.

    It is expected that the symbolic value of SIL's revival among voters can paint broader agenda of Congress for the state, while taking a dig at the local government. The Rail Coach Factory, which made news for facing resistance from UP, would roll out its first wagon soon, and Congress is eager to make political capital over BSP ahead of the 2012 assembly polls.

    Industrialization and employment are votecatchers which go with the Congress campaign that development in UP has slipped under regional outfits. Industrialisation had triggered a major political tussle between Congress and BSP when CM Mayawati resented that the Congress first family was setting up units on its turf of Sultanpur-Rae Bareli-Amethi. UP blocked land acquisition for the rail factory in Rae Bareli and it led to a showdown when Sonia Gandhi threatened to court arrest in protest. The state then gave in.

    A revival of Scooters India can appeal outside the limited Gandhi family turf to highlight the Congress agenda for the state, party observers said. The Lucknow-based unit attempted to reinvent itself in 1997 when it went for manufacturing three-wheelers. But an attempt at forging a JV later found no response.

    It is now a sick company with 83% machines older than 1970 and 43% workers aged above 55 years and set to retire in three years, sources said.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:40 pm

    Piramal Healthcare to enter financial services

    Ajay Piramal-controlled Piramal Healthcare Ltd. (PHL) on Friday said it had earmarked Rs.1,000-crore investment for making foray into the financial services sector. It planned to start non-banking finance subsidiaries (NBFCs).

    The company also announced the acquisition of Indiareit Fund Advisors and Indiareit Investment Management Company for Rs.225 crore.

    “In view of strong growth opportunities, we plan to invest Rs.1,000 crore in the financial service sector. We have plans to enter into the financial services business, including lending and fund management for real estate and infrastructure sectors,” Piramal Group Chairman Ajay Piramal told reporters here.

    Mr. Piramal said Rs.24,000 crore was available to be invested in the business pool.

    Last year, Piramal Healthcare's domestic formulations business was sold to Abbott Laboratories for $3.72 billion.

    It also sold its diagnostic services business to Super Religare Laboratories, owned by Malvinder and Shivinder Singh who control Fortis Healthcare (India), for Rs.600 crore.

    Towards building a strong financial services business, PHL planned to acquire Indiareit Fund Advisors, a real estate private equity fund focussed on the Indian market for Rs.110 crore, Mr. Piramal said. It would also acquire Indiareit Investment Management Company for Rs.115 crore. The total funds under management were now about Rs.3,800 crore, Mr. Piramal said.

    To begin with, PHL would be setting up two NBFCs for lending to infrastructure and other sectors. It will also get into fund management for real estate and infrastructure sectors, Mr. Piramal said, adding that the company was looking at inorganic growth opportunities through acquisitions in the financial sector.

    Meanwhile, the board of Piramal Healthcare on Friday approved the spin-off of New Chemical Entity (NCE) from Piramal Life Sciences (PLSL).

    NCE, a research unit of Piramal Life, would be demerged into PHL with effect from April 1.

    The shareholders of PLSL will get one fully paid equity share of Rs.2 of PHL for every four equity shares of Rs.10 each held in PLSL.

    All assets and liabilities of the NCE division would be transferred to PHL at the book value.

    This demerger was expected to be completed in six months, Mr. Piramal said.

    Piramal Healthcare would continue to seek acquisition opportunities in the main pharma business, even as the company was looking to diversify into non-pharma businesses, Mr. Piramal said adding that the company planned to invest Rs.200 crore for expanding capacity in its pharma solutions business.

    Meanwhile, the company reported a consolidated net profit of Rs.201.85 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2011, against Rs.154.32 crore in the same period previous fiscal.

    Total operating income for the quarter was up by 62 per cent at Rs.689.10 crore, which included Rs.130 crore towards income from investments.

    The company's total operating income for 2010-11 was up by 27 per cent at Rs.2,009.20 crore. The net profit for the year was Rs.12,735 crore and EPS Rs.567.1 crore, a company statement said.

    The board of directors has recommended a regular dividend of Rs. 6 and special one time dividend consequent to sale of domestic formulation business of Rs.6 of the face value of Rs.2 for 2010-11.
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    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:41 pm

    Public debate on negative list for tax on services initiated

    The Finance Ministry on Friday sought to initiate a public debate on the issue of evolving a small negative list for tax on services, as was announced by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the course of his speech while presenting the budget for the current fiscal.

    The net impact of a negative list would mean that barring those services contained in the list after detailed deliberation, all other services would come under the tax net and thereby broaden the service tax base when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is rolled out as a combined levy in lieu of indirect taxes imposed by the Centre and the States.

    In its announcement to set in motion the public debate initiative, a Finance Ministry statement said: “The main issues that are sought to be deliberated in the debate are advantages and disadvantages of a negative vis-a-vis a positive list; the right approach for India; the international experience of taxation of services based on negative list; important issues arising by moving towards the taxation of services based on negative list; definition of the term ‘service' and possible list of services that merit to be included in the negative list”.

    Revenue implication

    The statement noted that areas that would need to be exempted separately even after moving towards the proposed negative list and the revenue implication of moving towards negative list are also to be deliberated upon.

    All comments and suggestions in this regard have been requested by June 15.
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    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:41 pm

    Essar bags Mazagaon Dock order

    Essar Steel's plate products manufactured at its plate mill have been approved by the Indian Navy and the company has received a prestigious order from Mazagaon Dock (MDL) to supply 13,000 tonnes of heavy plates to build state-of-the-art ships for defence.

    The plate mill became the first primer plate producer in the country to be recognised for indigenous development of steel for building ships for the Indian Navy. A stringent mill audit of Essar Steel's recently commissioned wide-plate mill was conducted by teams from the Directorate of Naval Architecture (DNA), Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) and the Director General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) of the Ministry of Defence. This is the first time that MDL has placed an order for such a large consignment of steel plates from a domestic steel mill. Set up at a cost of around Rs.2,000 crore, the plate mill has an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes. Equipped with latest equipment and controls, the mill is capable of producing 5-metre wide plates conforming to global standards.

    The mill is capable of producing plates of thickness ranging from 5 mm to 150 mm, width from 900 mm to 4,900 mm and length 3m to 25m — all of which are import-substitution products.

    The plates find applications in diverse segments, including defence, oil and gas, boilers and pressure vessels, heavy duty earth-moving machines, wind towers, mine protective vehicles and construction. The plate mill has approvals from some of the world's leading ship-building, boilers, and yellow goods manufactures and according to a company spokesman, the export market is attractive.
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    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:42 pm

    Cognizant figures in Fortune 500 list

    Cognizant, a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, has joined the Fortune 500, ranked by Fortune Magazine. Cognizant is ranked at number 484, with $4.59 billion in annual revenue for 2010, the company said in a statement.

    “Since our inception 17 years ago, we have built a new business model for consulting, IT and business process outsourcing services — combining our high-touch approach to client engagement and a depth of industry expertise with high-quality solutions and global footprint — to deliver a distinctly superior experience to our clients,” said Francisco D'Souza, President and CEO. “With major structural forces impacting every industry we service, we believe our robust business model will continue to help us provide innovative, next-generation solutions and services to our clients — many of whom are among the Fortune 500 as well —and help them achieve new levels of business performance, more collaborative and virtual ways of working, and deeper connections with their customers.”

    As of March 31, 2011, Cognizant employs 1.11 lakh people worldwide serving over 700 clients, the release added.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sat May 07, 2011 6:43 pm

    Indian Bank raises BPLR rates

    Indian Bank has raised the base rate and benchmark prime lending rates (BPLR) by 50 basis points, taking the base rate to 10 per cent and BPLR to 14.25 per cent with effect from May 5.

    CUB opens 250th branch in New Delhi


    City Union Bank has opened its 250 {+t} {+h} branch at Chandni Chowk, New Delhi. The bank now has 188 onsite ATMs and 62 office ATMs, according to a release.
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:17 pm

    Despite 2.24 lakh new jobs, unemployment creeps up in U.S.

    Presenting a mixed picture of the U.S. economy the April jobs figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) suggested that 2.44 lakh new jobs were added and yet the overall unemployment rate climbed to 9 per cent from 8.8 per cent a month earlier.

    While the results suggest an improvement from March's addition of 2.21 lakh jobs they also indicated possible sources of stagnation within state and local government employment. Across the U.S. states have come under increasing pressure from burgeoning budget deficits.

    The BLS monthly survey reported, “Employment in both state government and local government continued to trend down, with April losses concentrated in the non-educational components”.

    However, the private sector showed a stronger, positive trend with employment in retail trade rising by 57,000. Professional and business services were reported to continue their expansionary trend in April, with an increase of 51,000. Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to increase in April, the BLS said, adding 46,000 jobs in April and 1.51 lakh jobs over the past three months.

    Commenting on the results, the Chairman of the White House' Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, sought to strike a positive note saying, “Today's employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 2.68 lakh in April, the strongest monthly growth in five years.” He added that the economy had created 2.1 million private sector jobs over 14 consecutive months, including more than 8 lakh jobs since the beginning of 2011.

    Identifying Japanese earthquake and political turmoil in the Middle East as factors affecting crude oil prices, now above $4 a gallon in the U.S., Mr. Goolsbee said, “Despite headwinds from high energy prices and disruptions from the disaster in Japan, the last three months of private job gains have been the strongest in five years.”

    While arguing that the “solid” pace of employment growth in recent months was “encouraging,” he conceded that faster growth was needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn.

    Mr. Goolsbee further spoke of the domestic debate on deficit reduction, a subject that President Barack Obama addressed in a recent speech, saying, “We will continue to work with Congress to find ways to reduce spending, so that we can live within our means without neglecting the investments in education, infrastructure, and clean energy that will strengthen our economy”.

    Yet, he cautioned, while the overall trajectory of the economy had improved dramatically over the past two years, “There will surely be bumps in the road ahead.”
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    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:18 pm

    Aanjaneya Lifecare fixes price band at Rs. 228-240

    Aanjaneya Lifecare, a vertically integrated pharmaceutical company, is entering the capital market with its initial public offer of 5 million equity shares of Rs. 10 each for cash at a price band of Rs. 228-240. According to a release, the issue will be through a 100 per cent book building process which will constitute 39.76 per cent of the fully diluted post-issue paid-up capital of the company.

    Not more than 50 per cent of the issue shall be allocated on a proportionate basis to qualified institutional buyers, not less than 15 per cent to non-institutional bidders and not less than 35 per cent of the issue shall be available to retail individual bidders.

    The company would use the proceeds of the issue for setting up anti-cancer API facility, cGMP block for API, intermediate API block at Mahad Maharashtra.It will also be expanding its existing research and development centre at Mahad and Pune, Maharashtra, the release added.
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    Re: Business , Economy , Banking News - MAY

    Post  Abhishek on Sun May 08, 2011 7:21 pm

    Nissan's plans on course

    A rising interest rate regime in an inflationary situation is bound to generate further heat in the highly competitive Indian car market, feels Kiminobu Tokuyama, Managing Director of Nissan India.

    In an interaction with this correspondent here on Friday, Mr. Tokuyama said that Nissan was in an advantageous position to ward off competitive threats. In a situation like this, makers of truly high quality cars alone will survive, he said.

    He said the Chinese market where Nissan emerged successful though the Japanese company did not go to that country early.

    The Managing Director felt that Nissan's entry into India was just in time.

    He said that “India is a big market and an important one for us (Nissan).” Though the growth rate had decelerated, the Indian market was still growing, he said.

    The increasing hiatus between diesel and petrol prices has seen people move more towards diesel vehicles. Since the introduction of diesel version in December last, there has been an increase in demand for diesel Micra cars. To a question, he said Nissan had at the moment no plan to bring electric cars to India.

    Mr. Tokuyama said the catastrophe in Japan would have no negative impact on the Indian operations. The local content in Micra, a car produced from its plant at Oragadam near here, is around 85 per cent.

    He said Nissan's plan for India was going along as planned. He said the proposal to launch a sedan on the Micra platform was going according to schedule. He expected the company to launch the sedan in the current fiscal.

    Nissan also was planning to launch a multi-utility vehicle in 2012. Since its launch in July last year, the company sold 14,000 Micra cars in India and exported 56,000 units.

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