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Corus deal not to match Mittal: Ratan Tata
London, October 20
Refusing to be drawn into a comparison with global steel tycoon L.N. Mittal, Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata said today Corus’ acquisition was not driven by intention to match the world’s largest steelmaker.

OPEC to effect 1.2 m bpd output cut from November 1
Dubai, October 20
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) today decided to cut its oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), the first time it has curbed production since April, 2004, in a bid to check the falling global oil prices.

Tatas’ acquisition takes India Inc in top league
New Delhi, October 20
With the announcement of Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata today to acquire steel giant Corus, India Inc has taken a giant leap to join the global league of multinational companies.

3i Infotech buys UK’s Rhyme for £28 million 
Mumbai, October 20
3i Infotech has acquired British asset management solution provider, Rhyme Systems, for £28 million, marking its entry into UK’s banking and financial services space.

Media members look at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd's disaster assistance robot 'MHI MARS-G' at an unveiling in Tokyo on Friday. Media members look at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd's disaster assistance robot 'MHI MARS-G' at an unveiling in Tokyo on Friday. With increasing fears of terrorism attacks, the demand for the robots is also growing as these are able to carry devices to direct poisonous gas and radioactivity or find victims in crumbled buildings. — Reuters

Bajaj brothers fail to reach pact on splitting biz
New Delhi, October 20
Rahul Bajaj and his estranged brother, Shishir, have failed to reach an agreement on splitting the family business with counsel for both camps maintaining that negotiations were back to “square one”.





A model displays slender silhouetted evening dress designed by Jun Ashida for his 2007 spring/summer collection in Tokyo
A model displays slender silhouetted evening dress designed by Jun Ashida for his 2007 spring/summer collection in Tokyo on Friday. — AFP photo

EARLIER STORIES
 
Aston Martin introduces the Rapide concept vehicle, a four-door, high-performance coupe, during the media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on January 9, 2006. Billionaires Bernard Arnault of France and Belgium's Albert Frere are mulling a bid for luxury sports car-maker Aston Martin, owned by Ford Motor Co., the Financial Times said on Friday.
Aston Martin introduces the Rapide concept vehicle, a four-door, high-performance coupe, during the media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on January 9, 2006. Billionaires Bernard Arnault of France and Belgium's Albert Frere are mulling a bid for luxury sports car-maker Aston Martin, owned by Ford Motor Co., the Financial Times said on Friday. — Reuters

ONGC profit at Rs 4,173.98 crore
New Delhi, October 20
ONGC has reported an almost flat net profit at Rs 4,173.98 crore in the second quarter ended September 30 as compared to Rs 4,138.25 crore in the corresponding quarter last year mainly due to a 78 per cent jump in its subsidy payout.

Inflation static at 5.16 pc
New Delhi, October 20
Inflation remained unchanged at the previous week’s level of 5.16 per cent for the week ended October 7 despite an increase in the prices of basic essentials like pulses, atta, sooji, maida, edible oils and electricity. The wholesale price- based inflation was at 4.88 per cent in the corresponding week last year. — PTI

Indo-Pak trade may touch $2 b
Islamabad, October 20
The trade volume between Pakistan and India is expected to hit the $2 billion mark this fiscal following addition of 302 products in the positive list of items by Islamabad for imports.

Gold spurts on festival buying
New Delhi, October 20
Breaking a two-day fall, gold spurted on the bullion market today on emergence of buying for the festival season amid a firm overseas trend and closed higher by Rs 170 at Rs 8990 per 10 gm.

Corporate Results
Cipla Q2 profit up by 47 pc at Rs 180 cr

Mumbai, October 20
Cipla Ltd has posted an increase of 47 per cent in its net profit at Rs 180.28 crore for the quarter ended September 30 as compared to Rs 122.6 crore in the same period last year.

Wockhardt sets up liver transplant centre
Mumbai, October 20
The Wockhardt super-speciality hospital here has established a liver transplant centre that will be developed into a centre of excellence for various organ transplants, Wockhardt Hospitals CEO Vishal Bali said.

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Corus deal not to match Mittal: Ratan Tata

Major Tata Group buyouts

  • Tata Tea acquires 30% in US’ Glaceau (Energy Brands) in August, 2006, for $677 million
  • Tata Tea buys 33 per cent in South African tea company Joekels through its subsidiary Tetley Group
  • Tata Tea acquires US-based Eight’O clock coffee company for $220 million (Rs 1,050 cr) in June, 2006
  • Tata Chemicals picks 63.5% in UK’s Brunner Mond Group for Rs 508 crore in December, 2005
  • Tata Steel acquires Millennium Steel of Thailand in December 2005 for $404 million (Rs 1,800 crore)
  • TCS buys out Chilean BPO firm Comicorn for $23 million (Rs 107.02 crore) in November, 2005
  • Tata Technologies purchases INCAT International, UK, in October, 2005, for $91 million (Rs 411 crore)
  • Tata Tea acquires Good Earth Corp in October, 2005, for around $32 million Tata Auto Comp takes over German auto components maker Wundsch Weidinger
  • Tata Tea buys Tetley, UK in February, 2000, for Rs 1,870 crore
  • Tata Motors takes over Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Company of Korea in March, 2004, for Rs 459 crore.

London, October 20
Refusing to be drawn into a comparison with global steel tycoon L.N. Mittal, Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata said today Corus’ acquisition was not driven by intention to match the world’s largest steelmaker.

“I don’t think our sights are set to equal or better Lakshmi Niwas Mittal,” Mr Tata said at a press conference after announcing the agreement with the Corus Group.

Interestingly, when Mittal acquired Arcelor, Mr Tata had said that promoters’ stake would be increased in Tata Steel to ward off hostile takeover bids.

Asked how long Tata Steel will take to close in on Arcelor-Mittal following the acquisition of Corus, he said the company had no such targets.

“I think our sights are set on strategic fit,” he said, adding that Tata Steel would have went ahead with the acquisition of Corus even if it were a five million tonne company.

Mr Tata said the group would give priority to its strategic plans rather than going for size, as it goes for expansion inorganically.

“In future, should there be a strategic opportunity and if it meets our prudential norms, we would look at that. But it will not be just to gain tonnage number,” he said. — PTI

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OPEC to effect 1.2 m bpd output cut from
November 1

Dubai, October 20
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) today decided to cut its oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), the first time it has curbed production since April, 2004, in a bid to check the falling global oil prices.

The meeting of the OPEC ministers of decided to cut the group’s oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 26.3 million bpd from November 1.

The meeting, which ended in the early hours today, decided to review its decision in the group’s next meeting scheduled for December 14 in Nigeria.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of UAE Energy Minister Mohammed bin Dhaen Al Hameli.

Earlier, Qatar’s second Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah had said that pricing was not the OPEC’s immediate concern and a cut in the actual production level was on top of the agenda.

OPEC announced the move to help shore up flagging prices, with Saudi Arabia ready to shoulder a third of the reduction.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali bin Ibrahim Al Nuaimi said his country would cut output by 330,000 bpd. Saudi Arabia currently produces about one third, or 9.1 million bpd, of the OPEC’s actual oil output. The UAE Energy Minister said his state would be cutting 90,000 barrels from its current daily output of about 2.5 million barrels.

London: Crude oil futures stabilised today after OPEC cut production by more than expected as the cartel sought to reverse recent heavy price falls in an over-supplied market, dealers said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, added ten cents to $58.60 per barrel in electronic deals before the official opening of the US market.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery eased 12 cents to $60.75 per barrel in electronic trading. — Agencies

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Tatas’ acquisition takes India Inc in top league
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 20
With the announcement of Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata today to acquire steel giant Corus, India Inc has taken a giant leap to join the global league of multinational companies.

Welcoming the development, Assocham President Anil K. Agarwal said, “The takeover will enhance image and prestige of Indian corporates overseas, particularly the manner and grace with which the deal has been struck”.

He asserted that by 2010 India will be successfully creating over 250 multinational companies.

In fact, Indian companies, including Mahindra & Mahindra, Birla Group, software giants like TCS, Wipro are on acquisition spree, and India has emerged as the second largest investor in the UK. The out flow of investment to other countries is almost equal to FDI inflow of around $7 billion.

According to the company, Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons, will be at the helm of the merged entity called Tata Steel and Corus after the Board of the Anglo-Dutch company accepted the Indian steel major's takeover bid today. Mr Jim Leng of Corus will be its Deputy Chairman.

The merged company would be the fifth largest steel company in the world.

Industry captains are elated that a company born out of the merger of Tata Steel and Corus will mean that three of the top 10 steel producing companies in the world will be in Indian hands.

The industry chambers said corporate India, in due course of time, will emerge as a leading player in global takeover as some of its sectors like that of pharma had already created a brand image for India as far as takeover and mergers are concerned.

“In an age of vertical and horizontal expansion and takeover, India has made a name for itself and particularly at a time when global integration is getting intensified. Corporate houses like that of Tatas will bring in credible credit to India,” hoped Mr Agarwal.

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3i Infotech buys UK’s Rhyme for £28 million

Mumbai, October 20
3i Infotech has acquired British asset management solution provider, Rhyme Systems, for £28 million, marking its entry into UK’s banking and financial services space.

The company also announced a 73.61 per cent increase in quarterly profits at Rs 23.16 crore as it registered a healthy growth in products and services and improved its margins.

“The acquisition will give us direct entry into UK’s BFSI space and will enable us direct entry into UK’s lucrative asset management and brokerage businesses,” 3i Infotech CFO Amar Chintopanth said here.

Rhyme Systems, which has revenues of over £15 million, has eight of top 11 UK private wealth asset management companies as its clients, Brewin Dolphin, Coutts RBS, Jupiter, M&G, Barclays and LCH Clearet.

“The acquisition would be funded from the money that we raised through FCCBs recently,” Mr Chintopanth said adding Rhyme’s revenues would reflect on 3i’s balance sheet during this quarter.

Total revenue of the company stood at Rs 148.9 crore against Rs 98.4 crore in the previous year. Profit after tax but before minority interest grew to Rs 44.5 crore as against Rs 23.6 crore posted a year ago. — PTI

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Bajaj brothers fail to reach pact on splitting biz

New Delhi, October 20
Rahul Bajaj and his estranged brother, Shishir, have failed to reach an agreement on splitting the family business with counsel for both camps maintaining that negotiations were back to “square one”.

Lawyers appearing for the Bajaj brothers earlier this week informed the Company Law Board that the negotiations between them were “back to square one”.

Rahul and Shishir have filed counter-applications with Mr Ashok Desai, senior counsel for Rahul, seeking termination of a separation plan proposed by Mr D.S. Mehta. Shishir Bajaj, on the other hand, wanted the MoU proposed by Mr Mehta to be honoured.

CLB Chairman N. Balasubramian however, wanted the two sides to sort out their differences across the table.

Meanwhile, Mr Desai assured the Board that they would try again after Diwali.

Mr Mehta is believed to have suggested the formation of a mirror company to hold shares of the Bajaj family in different firms. These were then to be split between the two brothers, giving them direct control of separate companies.

Earlier in August, the CLB had asked both parties to try to implement the settlement package and report back to it. At that time, counsel for both sides had informed the CLB that the MoU regarding the split in the group was ready and differences on the share transfers would be sorted out soon.

Differences in the Bajaj family came to light after Shishir Bajaj sought to take full control of the companies managed by him — Bajaj Hindustan and Bajaj Sevashram. In return, he proposed to part with his stake in Bajaj Auto and other group companies. —PTI

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ONGC profit at Rs 4,173.98 crore

New Delhi, October 20
ONGC has reported an almost flat net profit at Rs 4,173.98 crore in the second quarter ended September 30 as compared to Rs 4,138.25 crore in the corresponding quarter last year mainly due to a 78 per cent jump in its subsidy payout.

It shelled out Rs 5,032 crore by way of discounts to refiners to compensate them for revenue loss on LPG and kerosene in July-September quarter. The subsidy payout was a massive 78 per cent jump over the payout in the same period last fiscal.

The company revenues stood at Rs 15,008.26 crore in July-September quarter as against a revenue of Rs 13,543.31 crore in the corresponding period previous year.

ACC profit Rs 225 cr

Cement major ACC Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 224.68 crore for the quarter ended September 30 from Rs 228.29 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

Total income of the company increased to Rs 1,395.2 crore during the third quarter this year from Rs 1036.76 crore in the year-ago period, it informed the BSE.

The figures for the third quarter and the nine months ended September 30 are not comparable to the same period in the corresponding period last year because of amalgamation of Bargarh Cement Ltd (BCL) and Damodhar Cement and Slag Ltd (DCSL) and divestment of refractory business, the company said.

i-flex net up 144 pc

Banking software provider i-flex Solutions Ltd has reported a 144 per cent increase in quarterly profits on a consolidated basis at Rs 94 crore as it won more deals and increased service business profitability.

The total revenue of the company stood at Rs 499 crore, up 43 per cent as against Rs 349.7 crore posted an year ago.

The company’s flagship banking solution, Felxcube won major deals in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

On a standalone basis, i-flex posted an increase of 90 per cent in net income at Rs 100.93 crore and revenues stood at Rs 396.8 crore up 45.46 per cent from Rs 272.78 crore for the corresponding period a year ago.

Gujarat Ambuja

Gujarat Ambuja Cements Ltd has reported over a three-fold rise in net profit at Rs 244.66 crore for the quarter ended September 30, as compared to Rs 75.28 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

Total income (net of excise) increased by 56 per cent to Rs 1009.94 crore for the July-September period this year from Rs 648.62 crore during the same period last year.

The Board approved the payment of a second interim dividend of Rs 1.50 per share of Rs 2 (75 per cent) for the 18 month period ending December.

The group posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 279.95 crore for the quarter ended September 30, as against Rs 108.06 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2005.

The consolidated total income (net of excise) of the group stood at Rs 1031.24 crore for the July-September quarter in 2006, compared to Rs 670.66 crore for the corresponding quarter in 2005.

Satyam Computer

IT major Satyam Computer Services Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 322.34 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, registering a 28.56 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.

The revenues of the company reached Rs 1,601.88 crore, registering an increase of 38.69 per cent over the corresponding period last fiscal and 11 per cent sequential growth.

The earnings per share (EPS) at Rs 4.89 reflected an year-on-year growth of 32.52 per cent.

The company's revenue guidance and the revenues for the year are expected to be in the range of Rs 6,452 crore to Rs 6,476 crore as against the earlier forecast of Rs 6,190 crore to Rs 6,290 crore.

A meeting of the Board of Directors of the company today recommended an interim dividend of Re 1 per equity share of Rs 2 for the financial year 2006-07. — Agencies, TNS

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Inflation static at 5.16 pc

New Delhi, October 20
Inflation remained unchanged at the previous week’s level of 5.16 per cent for the week ended October 7 despite an increase in the prices of basic essentials like pulses, atta, sooji, maida, edible oils and electricity. The wholesale price- based inflation was at 4.88 per cent in the corresponding week last year. — PTI

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Indo-Pak trade may touch $2 b

Islamabad, October 20
The trade volume between Pakistan and India is expected to hit the $2 billion mark this fiscal following addition of 302 products in the positive list of items by Islamabad for imports.

According to estimates, the addition of 302 more items by Pakistan for bilateral trade constituted $1.332 billion of its imports from global markets, a major part of which were expected to be diverted to Indian markets, a study here said.

Pakistan had recently increased the list of products from 773 to 1,075, constituting mostly industrial machinery, raw materials and its parts.

With the full utilisation of these importable products from India, which were currently imported from various countries, the volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and India would reach around $2 billion during the fiscal year 2006-07, Dawn daily quoted Pakistan officials as saying.

"If it happens India would then become Pakistan's sixth largest trading partner after the US, the EU, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The enhancement of the positive list will also increase the scope of SAFTA between Pakistan and India. — PTI

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Gold spurts on festival buying

New Delhi, October 20
Breaking a two-day fall, gold spurted on the bullion market today on emergence of buying for the festival season amid a firm overseas trend and closed higher by Rs 170 at Rs 8990 per 10 gm.

Silver also shot up on increased offtake by industrial users and silver coins manufacturers to meet the demand for Diwali tomorrow.

Maketmen said the fresh pickup in demand in view of Diwali and a firm trend in the international market mainly attributed to a rise in gold prices.

Standard gold and ornaments, which had lost Rs 130 in the last two tradings, recovered sharply by Rs170 each at Rs 8990 and Rs 8840 per 10 gm, respectively. Sovereign followed suit and gained Rs.50 at Rs.7550 per piece of 8 gm.

Silver also attracted brisk buying from stockists and jewellery manufacturers. Silver ready spurted by Rs.345 to Rs.18,425 and weekly-based delivery by Rs.330 a kilo.

Silver coins seen in festive demand and rose by Rs.200 at Rs.23,000 for buying and Rs.23,200 for selling of 100 coins. — PTI

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Corporate Results
Cipla Q2 profit up by 47 pc at Rs 180 cr

Mumbai, October 20
Cipla Ltd has posted an increase of 47 per cent in its net profit at Rs 180.28 crore for the quarter ended September 30 as compared to Rs 122.6 crore in the same period last year.

Total income of the company during the Q2 touched Rs 915.1 crore, up 35.92 per cent from Rs 673.23 crore during the same quarter in 2005-06, Cipla informed the BSE.

Merck net dips

Merck Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 18.97 crore in its third quarter ended September 30, while the same was Rs 22.53 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Total income of the company remained Rs 86.58 crore during the third quarter this year as compared to Rs 110.80 crore in the year-ago period.

Ingersoll Rand

Ingersoll Rand India Ltd has posted an almost three-fold increase in its Q2 net profit at Rs 14.74 crore as compared to Rs 5.34 crore in the same period last year.

Total income of the company increased to Rs 168.42 crore during the second quarter this year, up 54.78 per cent from Rs 108.81 crore in the year-ago period, it informed the BSE.

The company also announced a 30 per cent interim dividend at Rs 3 per share for the financial year ended March 31, 2007.

The company has fixed November 6 as the record date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend.

HCL Tech Q2 net up

Riding high on two multi-million dollar deals, India’s fifth largest software exporter HCL Technologies has posted a net profit of Rs 205.83 crore for the quarter ended September 30 as against Rs 89.39 crore in the year-ago period.

The company’s revenue increased by 42.1 per cent year-on-year at Rs 1,379 crore, HCL Technologies Chairman and CEO Shiv Nadar said here.

HCL had recently entered into a $70 million multi- service outsourcing deal with supplier of automatic test equipment Teradyne and another multi-million deal with global supplier of end-to-end solutions of wireless communications networks.

The net income stood at Rs 250 crore, up by 49.4 per cent year-on-year and the total income touched Rs 922.52 crore for the first quarter, whereas the same was Rs 455.86 crore in 2005, the company said.

The company also declared an interim dividend of 200 per cent, that is Rs 4 per share on shares of Rs 2 each.

Marico Q2 PAT up

FMCG major Marico Ltd has reported a 34 per cent increase in its profit after tax (PAT) at Rs 26.1 crore for the second quarter (Q2) ended September 30 against Rs 20 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

The company declared a second interim dividend of 15 per cent for this fiscal.

The turnover of the company showed a growth of 37 per cent in Q2 at Rs 378 crore against Rs 275 crore in Q2 of the last financial year.

Tech Mahindra

Tech Mahindra has clocked a 373 per cent jump in its net profit after tax at Rs 177.1 crore in Q2 FY 07.

The company’s revenue stood at Rs 697.7 crore, up by 183 per cent over Rs 246.9 crore in the previous corresponding period of the past fiscal.

On a sequential basis from Q1 FY 07 to Q2 FY 07, profit after tax grew by 66 per cent and revenues by 19 per cent, the company said.

Sun Pharma net up

Sun Pharma has posted a net profit of Rs 186.4 crore during second quarter this fiscal, showing an increase of 26 per cent as compared to corresponding quarter last year.During the same period, the company’s net sales increased by 29 per cent to Rs 536.2 crore from Rs 415.2 crore in Q2 in 2005-06. — Agencies, TNS

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Wockhardt sets up liver transplant centre

Mumbai, October 20
The Wockhardt super-speciality hospital here has established a liver transplant centre that will be developed into a centre of excellence for various organ transplants, Wockhardt Hospitals CEO Vishal Bali said.

“We have been working on developing expertise in this area since we received approval for conducting liver transplants in Mumbai,” he said.

“Our association with Harvard Medical International will help us benchmark our skills in this field with the world’s best hospitals,” he said.

Mr Ravindra Karanjekar, head of Wockhardt Hospitals in Mumbai, said: “We have created a multi-speciality team, a dedicated liver ICU and a team of specialised nurses and technicians to ensure a high success rate in liver transplant surgery.” — PTI

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