|B U S I N E S S||
Monday, December 27, 1999
|Bajaj keeps crorepati winner a
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 Two-wheeler major Bajajs Crorepati scheme winner is a priest in Ludhiana who got the prize in the first week of the month-long offer, but the company held it a closely guarded secret apparently in a bid to keep the glitter of promotional scheme intact.
Controversy marked banking sector
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 The intensity of financial sector reforms was brought to the door steps of the Indian banking industry even as the CII and Verma report on weak banks created a lot of debate during 1999 when there were talks of reducing Government stake in public sector banks including the countrys largest bank State Bank of India.
finances hit SSI growth: CII
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (PTI) Two-wheeler major Bajajs Crorepati scheme winner is a priest in Ludhiana who got the prize in the first week of the month-long offer, but the company held it a closely guarded secret apparently in a bid to keep the glitter of promotional scheme intact.
The lucky winner of Rs 1 crore, Satbir Singh, a granthi in the Punjab town, bought a Bajaj scooter from a dealer in Ludhiana on December 6 with a dream to win the music system, little hoping that God would be so kind to the priest.
Bajaj officials said they knew about the winner of the Crorepati Hangama by December 9, adding verification took some more time.
However, they could not explain why the name of the winner of Rs 1 crore was not disclosed to the public even though the company advertised the winners of smaller prize of Rs 1 lakh while publicising the scheme that offered a total booty of Rs 10 crore.
When contacted, Vice President (Marketing), Bajaj Auto, R.L. Ravichandran, said there was nothing to hide in the scheme as it was designed to continue for a period of one month.
He said winners of smaller amount were at the regional level and could not be compared with the sole crorepati.
Towards the end of the scheme, Bajaj are holding a press conference next week to announce the lucky winner of the scheme which till yesterday sought to attract buyers to win the Rs 1 crore money.
Ravichandran said there were about 70,000 prizes in the scheme and the advertisements talked about all the prizes, including the Rs 1 crore prize.
The company was not expecting a whooping sale after announcement of the scheme, he said, adding the scheme was designed to give millennium gifts to its buyers.
Normally the company sells about 60,000 scooters in a month, Ravichandran said, adding during the scheme month, the figure could touch around 70,000.
When contacted in Ludhiana, Satbir Singh said I informed the Bajaj dealer about winning the Rs 1 crore prize on December 6, the day I purchased the vehicle. Later Bajaj officials came from Pune and said the prize will be given at a function during the month.
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (PTI) The intensity of financial sector reforms was brought to the door steps of the Indian banking industry even as the CII and Verma report on weak banks created a lot of debate during 1999 when there were talks of reducing Government stake in public sector banks including the countrys largest bank State Bank of India.
But the major issue was CII report on weak banks Indian Bank, UCO Bank and United Bank of India which had to be withdrawn after the banking sector hit back at the chamber alleging a number of member companies of CII including its President Rahul Bajaj had been defaulting in the loan repayment to these lossmaking banks.
This was only the beginning of the controversy between the banking sector and the industry as the banks stated that the large amount of non-performing assets of over Rs 50,000 crore was from the private sector.
For the workers, it was the bread and butter issue which saw a spate of strikes and demonstrations being organised in various parts of the country culminating in the wage accord for the bank officers. The accord with bank workmen is also expected to be reached soon.
At a time when talks of privatisation were ringing in at the board rooms of banks, North Block and RBI, the Indian banking sector was plagued with a series of problems in 1999 with reduced spreads along with decline in profitability.
To emerge as a global player the banking sector initiated restructuring exercise by shifting from its core business of fund-based activities to fee-based activities in line with the international norms, cost cutting measures and reduction in the Non-Performing Assets, which affected their bottomline during the year.
While the first phase of the banking sector reforms focussed on privatisation, the second report of Narasimham Committee, submitted this year, suggested dilution of the Government stake below 50 per cent.
The Y2K, which was of concern to the entire world, was also the on focal point for the banks as they all geared up to face the problem and by the middle of December, 73 out of 102 banks had become Y2K compliant.
Following on the privatisation agenda and build bigger and strong banks, talks of merging the State Bank of India with its seven subsidiaries were initiated.
While there were talks of consolidation of SBI and its subsidiaries, HDFC Bank announced to merge TimesBank with it, a step which surprised the entire banking industry.
The merger and acquisition was also witnessed among the foreign banks with Dutch Bank ABN Amro taking over the consumer banking business of Bank of America.
Close on the heels to dilute the Government stake, SBI announced to tap the overseas markets through Global Depository Receipts along with the domestic float to raise Rs 3,000-4,000 crore. This would reduce the Government stake in the bank but require amendment in the SBI Act.
On one hand when there were talks of consolidation, the industry was bogged down with huge losses and rising Non-Performing Assets. To cut the losses and revive the ailing banks, RBI appointed M.S. Verma panel on weak banks which came out heavily on the State owned banks as it highlighted the shortcomings of the majority of the public sector banks. The committee under the Chairmanship of the former SBI Chief came out critically saying that there were very few strong banks in the country.
Just as the heat of the
Verma Committee report was yet to be over, CII came out
with a similar report but suggested closure of UCO Bank,
Indian Bank and United Bank of India. But within a week
the chamber had to withdraw the report amidst high level
of controversy including a debate in the Parliament.
Inadequate finances hit SSI growth: CII
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (PTI) Inadequate financial sources and lack of adequate infrastructure coupled with obstacles in the existing Government policies and regulatory framework were hampering the growth of the small-scale industry, according to a study by a leading chamber.
Almost 61 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were facing problems of technological upgradation due to lack of adequate finances while about 44 per cent of these firms were bogged down by the existing policies and regulatory practices, CII said.
A study conducted by CII, which analysed 450 SMEs, revealed that 62 per cent of the respondents expressed interest in looking for an international partner for business cooperation in technology, while 46 per cent of them said they would seek business cooperation for marketing and buy-back arrangements.
The survey measures the Indian SMEs competitiveness based on a number of factors such a technology, quality, information technology and joint ventures and also identifies constraints faced by the SMEs in these areas, the chamber said.
It said 89 per cent of respondents, cited partner search as the most difficult stage of joint venture formation with 76 per cent of the firms saying that legal aspects were posing a problem for the SME to enter into joint ventures.
The chamber said one of the major issues hampering the prospects of the SMEs were lack of adequate infrastructure and unavailability of information of technology sources.
About 39 per cent of the respondents said they were unable to technologically upgrade due to inadequate infrastructure while another 39 per cent of them citing lack of information on technology sources as reasons for poor growth, the chamber said.
It said that 11 per cent of the SMEs allocated a 15 per cent of their operating expenses towards quality upgradation with a majority 63 per cent of them allocating only a meagre 5 per cent towards technology upgradation.
On the use of e-commerce, majority of the respondents said they did not use it due to lack of awareness of technology, lack of development infrastructure and costs involved.
Despite the low penetration of e-commerce, the study found that among the benefits of e-commerce, 63 per cent of the SMEs felt that e-commerce offered access to buyers, while 57 per cent felt it provided access to international markets.
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (PTI) Cellular service operator Escotel Mobile Communications Ltd is planning to invest Rs 100 crore next year upgrading its telecom network, including a fibre optics backbone in the three circles it operates in.
We are currently operating on a microwave backbone in Haryana, UP West and Kerala, but plan to move to a fibre optics network starting next year, Manoj Kohli, Chief Executive Officer of Escotel told PTI.
He said the company would lease out its fibre optics capability to internet service providers (ISPs) and paging companies besides utilising the network for its own needs.
With the country witnessing a spurt in the ISP segment, we see a tremendous business potential in the proposed network, he said.
Kohli said the investment of Rs 100 crore in the Indian market next year would be raised from the companys internal accruals, supplier credit and loan from various banks.
Lucent would provide supplier credit for the network expansion, while bankers including Chase Manhatten Asia and Hermes of Germany would extend loans.
Elaborating on the proposed network, he said We plan to use the fibre optics backbone for high-traffic areas in Haryana, UP West and Kerala. The low-traffic regions would be on the microwave backbone.
Kohli said that besides the fibre optics backbone, Escotel would also invest in erecting new towers and improving the current billing and customer care systems.
The company, which currently has 1800 km of microwave backbone in the country, is looking at increasing its fibre optics capacity to half of the companys total backbone in the next three years.
Although we plan to rely heavily on the fibre optics backbone for our operations, microwave would still support a significant part of the total network, Kohli said.
With the new plans in place, the company, which claims to have a subscriber base of 1.1 lakh in three circles, is looking at doubling its customers by 2000 end, he said.
Escotel is a joint venture between Escorts Ltd and first Pacific Limited of Hong Kong with equity stake of 51 and 49 per cent respectively.
CHANDIGARH, Dec 26 A core group on public sector reforms, headed by the Punjab Chief Secretary, has reviewed the performance and financial situation of the public units and apex cooperative institutions.
It has concluded that several of these units need to be either closed down or merged. The government must also disinvest in these bodies and save the exchequer from recurring losses.
Thought the core group had its first meeting in the first week earlier this month, its recommendations are yet to be placed before the political executive for approval and implementation. In fact some earlier decisions in respect of some of the PSUs identified for closure remain unimplemented.
Informed sources told TNS today that based on the review of the existing 39 PSUs and apex cooperative institutions, the core group was required to address itself to three basic questions: 1) whether any fresh investment in the form of loan and equity to be made in any of the PSUs; 2) whether any new PSU in strategic or core sector need to be formed; and 3) whether any fresh guarantee can be extended to PSUs; if yes what should be the priorities.
The core group had before it at least 11 PSUs which required to be closed down; namely, the Punjab Films and News Development Corporation, the Punjab Handloom and Textile Development Corporation; the Punjab Leather Development Corporation; the Punjab State Hosiery and Knitwear Development Corporation; the Punjab State Forest Development Corporation; the Punjab State Land Development and Reclamation Corporation; the Punjab Seeds Corporation; the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation; the Punjab Police Housing Corporation; the Punjab Financial Corporation; and the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
The ones which could be merged in view of similarities or overlapping in activities included (social sector); PUNWAC, the Punjab State Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation; the Punjab Ex-Servicemen Corporation; the Punjab State Backward Classes and Development and Finance Corporation; and privatisation of transport sector organisations like Pepsu transport, Punjab Roadways and bus management company. The opinion on the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, the Punjab State Civil Supplies Corporation and Conware was that more study should be done. But winding up of Land Reclamation and Punseed was agreed to.
The merger of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, the Punjab State Electronics Development and Production Corporation and the Punjab Small Industries Export Corporation was also discussed.
The core group noted with concern that any PSU or an institution involved in "subsidy" had earned a sort of notoriety. Subsidy was one particular issue for which every managing director bent backwards. In fact the Managing Director of the Punjab Agro-Industries Corporation has written to the government that all subsidies related to agriculture and allied fields be "routed" through his corporation. This one item, the subsidy, which never reached the targeted group, the farmers, but is invariably frittered away by politicians and bureaucrats who pocket it away. In fact a study by PAU, Ludhiana, had recommended the abolition of all subsidies.
Calculations showed that the net profitability of 39 PSUs and Apex Cooperative institutions was Rs 87.81 crore in 1997-98 against an investment of Rs 3393.26 crore, a mere 2.5 per cent. The PSEB, moreover puts transmission and other losses and inefficiencies in the subsidy account while reporting profitability. The losses are adjusted against repayment of principal and interest, amounting to Rs 1,200 crore per annum.
As against a huge payable amount of Rs 4,743.35 crore by the PSUs, the government could receive only Rs 47.22 crore in the current financial year from the PSIDC, PUDA, PSIEC and Markfed.
The entire financial liability lies on the state which has given guarantees amounting to Rs 7,838.37 crore in case of dafault by PSUs with two, Sugarfed and Spinfed, alone accounting for Rs 200 crore in default.
The factsheet shows that there are eight statutory corporations, 14 statutory boards and authorities, 19 corporations under the Companies Act, six public entities under the Societies Act, one is miscellaneous, 10 apex cooperative institutions and 18 subsidiaries of PSUs; total being 74.
In the 39 PSUs total government equity is Rs 3393.26 crore and amout of debt extended is Rs 4569.38 crore, as on March 31, 1999. The top eight loss-making undertakings (1997-98) log Rs 74.83 crore. These are Pepsu Roadways, PFC, Punseed, Punjab Agro, PWSSB, the Tubewell Corporation, Constofed, and the Poultry Corporation.
The core group wants "redeployment" of surplus manpower against legitimate vacant posts in some PSUs and government departments; creating a training framework for effective absorption in other wings of the government; and providing attractive compensation package to employees accepting voluntary retirement scheme and retrenchment benefits, or what is called the "Golden handshake" scheme.
DURGAPUR, (WB) Dec 26 (PTI) Birla Corporation Limited, the flagship company of M.P. Birla group, would invest around Rs 120 crore in the next financial year to fund its expansion plans, according to company sources here today.
The amount would be required to increase the capacity of the cement division by one million tonne per annum, thus taking the annual production capacity to five million tonnes. The companys cement manufacturing plants were located in Satna (Madhya Pradesh), Kota, Durgapur, Chittorgarh, and Rae Barelli.
The funding would be made through a mix of internal accruals and term loan, the sources said, adding the actual proportion of debt to equity would be decided later. The proceeds of Birla Corporations rights issue, made recently, would be partially used for funding the expansion plans, they said.
The Managing Director of
the company, K.C. Mittal, said the recent price cuts
initiated by a multinational firm had affected the
company to a large extent, and in some markets, the
company was being forced to sell cement bags at prices
much lower than variable costs.
CHENNAI, Dec 26 (PTI) The Planning Commission is examining the possibility of formulating a separate policy for the small scale and tiny sectors, as there was merit in the demand for such a policy from this sector, Union Minister of State for Small Scale Industries Vasundhara Raje said today.
Besides the Planning Commission, my Ministry is also looking into this demand. A decision will be taken after visiting all States and getting feedback from small-scale and tiny sector entrepreneurs, she said here after inaugurating a vision on Mission for Millennium Strategy for growth Budget 2000.
Raje said the SSI and tiny industries sector had now been extricated from the umbrella of large-scale industries. Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee had created a separate ministry for small scale units, as this sector contributed 35 per cent of Indias exports. Nearly 40 per cent of the work force in the country was from this sector.
A lot of sensitisation would have to be made among small-scale and tiny units on what the WTO regime meant. Teams would be sent out to each State where such programmes would be held. Now there is no understanding at the grassroots level about WTO, she said.
The sector should understand the WTO as a competitive force and it should not feel that they were insecured with the WTO regime.
Raje said she was now touring all States to ascertain the problems of small-scale and tiny industries. In the next six months, there will be a road map for this sector to be put in place for the next four-and-a-half years.
Pointing out that the
SSI sector was registering an annual growth rate of
nearly 10 per cent in the last five years, she said her
Ministry had now outlined a mission statement
to put the sector at the forefront of industrial
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (PTI) Corporate India appears to have come of age with a general improvement in most of the sectors. After a lot of introspection and reconciliation to a liberated market economy, the corporate sectors signs of rejuvenation was the most remarkable development in the past year.
And the crowning glory was when a few among them could get access to the capital of free market economy the stock exchange in the USA. Riding the crest wave of Information Technology boom, homegrown heroes like Infosys Technologies and Satyam Infoway were immediately accepted at the Nasdaq in the latter half of the year. Along with them was the financial major ICICI.
However, the upswing was not just confined to the IT or pharma companies, the manufacturing sector which was reeling under a three-year long demand slump, also finally showed signs of recovery.
As the craze in IT stocks continued unabated, it also placed several new icons in the pedestal of corporate heroes. Defying the conventional wisdom that corporate empires are built on manufacturing, entrepreneurs like N.R. Narayan Murthy, Naresh Goyal and Ramalinga Raju carved their own niche based on nothing more than ideas.
Back home in the manufacturing sector, the changes were best reflected by what was happening in one of the oldest business houses the Tatas.
Bombay House changed top to bottom from its corporate logo to business focus to break away from its image as a conservative and risk-weary industrial house to dynamic and aggressive market mover.
Tisco sold its cement division to French Lafarge for Rs 550 crore. India Cements after the heady takeover of Raasi Cements got deeper into the business by wresting control of Sri Vishnu Cements, a strong brand in Andhra Pradesh. The churning in the cement industry continued with Gujarat Ambuja cements agreeing to buy DLF cement.
The Tata group also sold its stake in Nerolac Paints, the second biggest paint company in the country, the Kanai Paints, Japan as part of its strategy to get out of unrelated business. On the acquisition side, Tata Tea was close to finalising the buy out of Tetley of United Kingdom, an acknowledged brand in tea business.
Reliance group, forced its way through all core areas of its activities. Reliance Petroleum, the downstream project became operational this year.
The fibre division of Reliance acquired Orissa Synthetics, a Singnania company to consolidate the market share in PSF and PFY segments.
Another company that
consolidated its position was Delhi-based SRF Ltd, when
it agreed to buy Du Ponts nylon 6,6 plant in Tamil
Nadu to increase its domination in the nylon tyre chord
market. This is its second major acquisition, after the
company took over RPG Enterprises Ceat Nylon Tyre
chord a couple of years back.
THE functions of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) continue to cause disappointment and anguish to passengers. The AAI does not believe in taking preventive measures. It defers decisions until tragedy strikes. This is exactly what happened at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) the other day when an eight-year old girl was crushed to death under the wheels of escalator, with several persons, including AAI officials, standing as mute spectators. The mother and other relatives saw the girl dying in their presence as their desperate cries for help fell on deaf ears.
The death was caused because of sheer callousness of officials present in the arrival concourse. Malfunctioning of the escalator apart, what was the cause for concern was that no one neither AAI official nor immigration official had any idea of bringing the escalator to a halt.
This was second instance taking place at the IGIA. The first was when an Indian Airlines engineer was sucked by aircraft engines functioning at full throttle in the Hangar. In between two Punjabi youths were involved in a stow away incident at the airport and one of them died when a British Airways aircraft was landing at the Heathrow Airport.
There have been several other ugly instances, including mid-air collision and planting of a bomb in the prestigious Air India 111 flight.
A senior functionary at the IGIA has been transferred while three others have been suspended. This is nothing but an white wash. The top functionary should have resigned from his office following the death of the girl. Did not Railways Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri resign when a train accident took place?
There is an urgent need to appoint a trouble-shooter who should oversee functions of all the agencies functioning at the airport. The word authority should be substituted with the word services. The Airports Services of India makes a much better reading than the AAI. The AAI should concentrate on providing service to users instead of hiking fees every third or sixth month. Service to passengers should be a guiding factor for the AAI instead of displaying a fat balance-sheet to please politicians.
are the gateways of a country. At the IGIA, toilets
stink. What is most shocking is that arriving or
departing passengers have to request for toilet
roll from a sweeper. Can there be more shameful
state of affairs than this?
THERE is a lot of action slated in the primary market for December. Two excellent manufacturing companies, namely Sree Rama Multi Tech and Glenmark Pharma are slated to enter the market.
I had recently been to Ahmedabad to the management of Sree Rama Multi Tech, besides making a plant visit. The companys plant at Mehsana is not only very state of the art, but more importantly, its machines are fairly versatile. Barring Colgate-Palmolive, the whos-who of corporate India figure on Sree Ramas client list. As for the companys management, they seem quite well focussed and confident about the prospects of their company. What struck me most was the fact that a genuine manufacturing company like Sree Rama is hesitant to charge an aggressive premium, having tentatively fixed the lower end of the price-band for its book-building offer at Rs 95 per share whose face value will be Rs 5. Contrast this with a finance company turned software company like VMC Software which priced its issue at Rs.100 plus and actually got away it.
Over the last weekend, I met Glenn Saldanha, Executive Director of Glenmark Pharma to evaluate the prospects of his company and to review the pricing of this issue. Given the fact that this company is doing exceptionally well in niche segment and that it recognises the changes that will take place in the post-GATT scenario, there seemed little reason to doubt that the pricing of this issue was quite fair.
Once again, the markets have begun booming and this time around the index heavyweight Hindustan Lever, whose share price had dipped sharply in recent times leads the rally. Hindustan Lever Ltd is a leading blue chip company with diversified interest. The company is backed by excellent credentials and a track record which sing the same tune. It commands large chunk of the soap market (66 per cent) and also 9 per cent of the global tea market. Apart from this the company function under various other categories such as personal and fabric wash, beverages, personal products, Ice creams and desserts, branded staples, dairy products and speciality chemicals. While the dairy products business has already been sold to Nutricia, the speciality chemicals business too is also expected to be hived off at a later date. On the financial front, the performance of the company was good. For the year that ended in December 1998, sales and net profit stood at Rs.9461.8 crore and Rs 805 crore respectively. The EPS therefrom worked out to Rs 34.5. For the three month period that ended in March 1999, sales and net profit stood at Rs 2240.9 crore and Rs 221.08 crore respectively. Coffee remains a small business for HLL and even though Unilever has plans to exit the segment. The company is likely to continue in its merry ways in the coming years. Discerning investors could consider adding this scrip to their portfolios for medium to long-term gains.
THE last fortnight was full of surprise. Whereas the stock market had been expected to decline, it rose. FIIs were expected to keep away from the market but they made sizeable investments. The second half of December is usually a quiet and lean time for the stock market but this year it has been bouncy. The Sensitive Index crossed the 5000 mark once again, though it came down later to close at 4974.7 points, which is only 86.2 points higher than its closing a fortnight back. Infosys Techs Rs 10 face value scrip touches Rs 12200. The software shares continue to be on the top.
The present buoyancy in the market is largely in anticipation of the expected boom in the stock market in January, 2000. For a wise long-term investor, it may be a good and useful exercise to spot those sectors of industry which are lying low but are expected to recover in six-months time. The speciality chemicals scrip are now quoting at attractively low market rates but are expected to recover their buoyancy in a year or so.
Colour-Chem is one such scrip. It has excellent fundamentals, sound and enterprising management but its Rs 100 face value scrip is quoting at around Rs 2,100. It belongs to the Clariant group of Industries. Clariant is a world leader in speciality chemicals, and it is on the cards that Colour-Chem would soon be merged with Clariant India. Already a common management structure has been set up and is effective from April 1,1999. The Colour-Chems equity capital stands at Rs 11.65 crore and its reserves (excluding revaluation reserves) stand at Rs 114.24 crore. Its book-value is more than Rs 1000 for a scrip of the face value of Rs 100. Its net profit for the first half (30-9-1999) is Rs 15.06 crore (as against Rs 14.03 crore for the corresponding period last year). It declared 60 per cent dividend last year.
Normally, the market price of Colour-Chem fluctuates between Rs 2500 and Rs 3000, and it appears to me that there is a definite scope for appreciation in this scrip. Vanavil Dyes is one of its subsidiaries and most of its products are sold to the Colour-Chem. Vanavil Dyes is also quoting around Rs 50 to Rs 52 at present. This is also an underpriced scrip. Its half-year results were, however, not so good, but the company is expected to maintain its dividend at 40 per cent. There is also some scope in this scrip too for appreciation. As the textile, leather and paper sectors of industry recover, these speciality chemical scrips would regain their buoyancy.
Another speciality chemicals scrip is Clariant India. After it issued a bonus in the ratio of 1 for 2 shares, the market price of this scrip has declined. The company is the leader of speciality chemicals in India and has the advantage of being closely linked to its parent company, Clariant International. For the supply of dyes, Clariant India serves as one of the three source-points in the global spread-out of the Clariant group. Its fundamentals are sound and its management is one of the best in the corporate sector. Its Rs 10 face value scrip is now quoting at Rs 220 to Rs 230. At this rate, it has wide scope for appreciation, a part from being a sound long-term investment.
Another speciality chemicals scrip languishing in the present market is BASF India. Its Rs 10 face value scrip is now quoting around Rs 130. It also declared a bonus issue in the ratio of 1 for 2 but, as the mother gets anaemic after a child birth, this scrip, too, has lost a part of its vitality and market appeal after the bonus issue. BASF India is a subsidiary of the BASF group which is a world leader in a number of industries. BASF India has excellent management and fundamentals and a long-term investment would surely prove rewarding.
Larsen and Toubro has made good gains in the market during the last fortnight but it has further scope for appreciation. Shortly, the Board of Directors of the company is meeting to consider restructuring proposals for the company and it is expected that the company might drop off its cement sector units and reorganise itself into a purely infrastructure and engineering company. This would attract higher market rating.
Sterlite Industries, quoting at present around Rs 385 is a good investment at this rate. I rate this scrip very highly and for a long-term investor it involves no risk at all.
NEW DELHI, Dec 26 (PTI) Inflation rate vaulted by 0.40 per- centage points to 2.84 per cent for the week ended December 11, temporarily reverting the declining trend witnessed during the past three weeks. The 0.44 percentage points rise in the annual rate of inflation to 2.84 per cent (provisional) from 2.44 per cent (provisional) a week ago is despite a marginal fall of 0.1 per cent in the overall price index for the current week. The inflation rate was higher at 6.53 per cent during the corresponding period last year.
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