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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Bulls back in action
Sensex zooms 400 points

Mumbai, July 15
The BSE benchmark Sensex did an encore today, going up 400 points again on continuing good news on the economic front as evidenced by rising customs duty collections, better industrial growth, and good quarterly results posted by companies.

ATF prices cut by 5.7%
New Delhi, July 15
After increasing it four times in a row, the state-run oil firms today cut jet fuel prices by 5.7 per cent on easing international rates. Aviation Turbine Fuel rates in Delhi were lowered by Rs 2,221 per kilolitre to Rs 36,338 per kl, effective midnight tonight, an official of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said.

Only ‘partial funding’ of deficit via borrowings
New Delhi, July 15
The government has once again stated that the fiscal deficit, which is estimated to be around Rs 4,51,000 crore in the current fiscal, will not be fully funded from market borrowings.

Divestment roadmap soon: FinMin
New Delhi, July 15
The roadmap for disinvestment in public sector units will be out in the next three-four weeks but there will be no strategic sale, the Finance Ministry today said.



EARLIER STORIES




A billboard showing a Garuda Indonesia plane taking off hangs across a Jakarta main road on Wednesday. Indonesia, hoping for an upturn in European tourism, welcomed the EU's decision to remove four Indonesian airlines, including crash-blighted Garuda Airlines, from its aviation blacklist. Once reeling from a spate of deadly accidents, flag-carrier Garuda said it planned to resume flights to Europe as early as next year, and is also eyeing the lucrative US market.
A billboard showing a Garuda Indonesia plane taking off hangs across a Jakarta main road on Wednesday. Indonesia, hoping for an upturn in European tourism, welcomed the EU's decision to remove four Indonesian airlines, including crash-blighted Garuda Airlines, from its aviation blacklist. Once reeling from a spate of deadly accidents, flag-carrier Garuda said it planned to resume flights to Europe as early as next year, and is also eyeing the lucrative US market. — AFP 

IDBI Bank net up 76 pc
Mumbai, July 15
Public sector IDBI Bank today reported 75.56 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 171.83 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009. The bank had a net profit of Rs 159.76 crore in the first quarter of FY'09, IDBI Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Madras HC halts Daiichi’s open offer for Zenotech
Mumbai: Zenotech Laboratories on Wednesday said the Madras High Court has ordered Japanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo not to go ahead with the planned open offer for an additional 20 per cent stake in the pharma firm. 

Punjab exporters set to enter Denmark
Ludhiana, July 15
With the Economic Intelligence Unit listing Denmark as most-favoured destination for businessmen and investors, the exporters of Punjab have started exploring possibilities to expand their business in northern Europe.

Expressway authority soon, says Nath
New Delhi, July 15
The government is examining the possibility of setting up a separate authority for expressways that would not only expedite their development but would also oversee their smooth functioning, according to Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath. Speaking at a conclave on national highways, he said the authority could be in place in three months’ time.

Indian investors most optimistic in Asia: ING
New Delhi, July 15
Indian investors continue to be the most optimistic lot in Asia and as much as 84 per cent of those surveyed expect the stock market to rise in the third quarter of 2009, according to global financial services group ING.





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Bulls back in action
Sensex zooms 400 points

Mumbai, July 15
The BSE benchmark Sensex did an encore today, going up 400 points again on continuing good news on the economic front as evidenced by rising customs duty collections, better industrial growth, and good quarterly results posted by companies.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer settled the day at 14,253.24, netting a rise of 399.54 points or 2.88 per cent over its previous close.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the economy is showing early signs of recovery.

The Finance Ministry today said that customs duty collections at about Rs 18,000 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal and initial reports on the steel and cement sectors point to recovery in industry.

Encouraging quarterly results by domestic blue-chip companies led by HDFC Bank also remained a driving force behind the gains.

Asian indices ended stronger by about 1.4 per cent to 3.4 per cent while Japan's Nikkei held steady after Goldman Sachs and Intel posted record earnings and beat market projections.

European markets, too, were trading firm this afternoon with their indices up by about 1.5 per cent.

Twenty-nine stocks in the Sensex pack scored impressive gains. Similarly, the National Stock Exchange 50-share Nifty spurted further by 122.10 points or 2.97 per cent to close at 4,233.50 from its last close.

The smallcap and the midcap segments against outperformed the Sensex, ending higher by 4.56 per cent and 4.15 per cent, respectively.

The realty sector remained in the forefront with a gain of 7.98 per cent in its sectoral index.

DLF shot up by 7.18 per cent on reports that the company plans to raise Rs 1,900 crore in the current fiscal to reduce its debt through sale of hotel plots and the wind power business. — PTI

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ATF prices cut by 5.7%

New Delhi, July 15
After increasing it four times in a row, the state-run oil firms today cut jet fuel prices by 5.7 per cent on easing international rates. Aviation Turbine Fuel rates in Delhi were lowered by Rs 2,221 per kilolitre to Rs 36,338 per kl, effective midnight tonight, an official of Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said.

Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum had in the past two months raised ATF rates four times on firming international oil prices. Jet fuel rates were Rs 31,614.51 per kl on May 1 and in four instalments they were raised to Rs 38,557.56 per kl by July 1.

On July 1, jet fuel rates were increased by Rs 2,306 per kl in Delhi to Rs 38,557.56 per kl.

In Mumbai, home to the nation's busiest airport, the rate will come down from Rs 39,789.02 per kl to Rs 37,475 per kl. — PTI 

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Only ‘partial funding’ of deficit via borrowings
Bhagyashree Pande
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
The government has once again stated that the fiscal deficit, which is estimated to be around Rs 4,51,000 crore in the current fiscal, will not be fully funded from market borrowings.

While speaking at the post-Budget discussion organised by industry chamber CII, Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said the entire amount of funding the fiscal gap (deficit) will not come from borrowings, as the market does not have the appetite to fund such large borrowings.

There have been concerns in the industry that such large government borrowings will crowd out private borrowers.

The Finance Secretary also said the government would support the borrowing programme through open market operations, which will be carried out by RBI.

“There is enough liquidity in the market. The entire amount need not and will not come from complete market borrowings,” he clarified.

The government is likely to borrow nearly Rs 2,00,000 crore in the July-September quarter. This means that the borrowing will be Rs 15,000 crore every alternate week, mostly through shorter-tenor bonds.

The record borrowing is because of the government’s focus on social sector spending to help boost consumption and growth in an economy bruised by deep global financial turmoil.

However, the path to fiscal prudence would not be easy, said the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“I think everybody would agree that the weakness is really the fiscal deficit. Debt is high, although net debt, if you net our foreign exchange reserves, is not as bad as it seems,” he said. The government plans to prune the fiscal deficit by 3 per cent, of which 1.5 per cent will be cut in the current fiscal, and 1.5 per cent will be cut in next fiscal.

“We plan to cut expenditure and expect that buoyancy will come back in the economy,” the Finance Secretary said.

A series of stimulus measures through duty cuts and higher spending widened the deficit, forcing the government to borrow heavily since the last quarter of 2008 and that has pressured bond yields.

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Divestment roadmap soon: FinMin

New Delhi, July 15
The roadmap for disinvestment in public sector units will be out in the next three-four weeks but there will be no strategic sale, the Finance Ministry today said.

"We will have a clear roadmap in the next three or four weeks," Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla said at a Budget discussion organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The government's position is clear that there will be divestment of shareholding in listed and other public sector entities and that there will be no strategic sale, he said.

"The government will retain 51 per cent but the roadmap for disinvestment in terms of actual companies ... who will go when and what percentage is being worked out," he said.

Chawla added that some companies are already in the pipeline and the market is aware of that and for others "we are in discussion with the ministries concerned".

Later talking to reporters, Chawla said the Finance Ministry has already had talks with 8-10 ministries on the issue of disinvestment.

"The ministries have been consulted. They are going to look at what is feasible, what percentage is to go when. There is a certain process which takes time," he said.

He, however, declined to comment on the quantum of disinvestment which the government is looking at in the current fiscal.

It maybe noted that the Economic Survey suggested of targeting disinvestment of Rs 25,000 crore per annum.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had yesterday, in his reply to the debate on the Union Budget, said: "My ministry has initiated discussions with other ministries and departments for identifying the PSUs" for disinvestment.

Further, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha yesterday, he had said the government would divest its holding in NHPC Ltd and Oil India through initial public offer in the current financial year, but has deferred public issue of RITES Ltd.— PTI

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IDBI Bank net up 76 pc

Mumbai, July 15
Public sector IDBI Bank today reported 75.56 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 171.83 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009. The bank had a net profit of Rs 159.76 crore in the first quarter of FY'09, IDBI Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The total income increased 53 per cent to Rs 4,218.91 crore during the June quarter, from Rs 2,756.15 crore in the corresponding period a year-ago. — PTI

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Madras HC halts Daiichi’s open offer for Zenotech

Mumbai: Zenotech Laboratories on Wednesday said the Madras High Court has ordered Japanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo not to go ahead with the planned open offer for an additional 20 per cent stake in the pharma firm. 

"By its order, the Hon'ble Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has granted an interim injunction in connection with the offer (for an additional 20 per cent)," following complaints received from its minority stakeholders, Zenotech said. — PTI

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Punjab exporters set to enter Denmark
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
With the Economic Intelligence Unit listing Denmark as most-favoured destination for businessmen and investors, the exporters of Punjab have started exploring possibilities to expand their business in northern Europe.

The listing of EIU has provided a ray of hope to state exporters, bogged down by global economic slowdown. Several of them have already done a lot of homework to set up their units in Denmark.

Talking to The Tribune, SC Ralhan, regional chairman, northern region, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), said the announcement has come as a breather for the exporters in the region. Several of them had even started making queries about their industrial policies and land prices to set up units there.

“They had to suffer cancellation of bulk orders from countries like the USA and Canada. This is indeed a bright opportunity for those willing to export and expand their businesses", he said.

In order to help the exporters in getting information, several Denmark-based companies have even started holding interactive sessions with exporters in Punjab, he said. "Copenhagen Capacity in association with EEPC India will organise an interactive programme for Indian engineering companies keen to explore business opportunities in northern Europe on August 5, here. The exporters from all over Punjab have shown great interest in the programme. Exports may see good fortunes by expanding their business in Denmark, which is still not widely explored", said Ralhan.

A senior delegation led by Morten Deudahl, Business Development Director, Copenhagen Capacity will visit Ludhiana to explore all possibilities and would meet Indian Companies interested in doing business in Denmark.

The Copenhagen Capacity is the official investment agency of Greater Copenhagen — the capital region of Denmark — set up to promote Copenhagen to potentially assist Indian companies in establishing an organisation in Copenhagen for entering the northern Europe. They have offered to lend their services free of charge to the exporters and investors here. 

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Expressway authority soon, says Nath
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
The government is examining the possibility of setting up a separate authority for expressways that would not only expedite their development but would also oversee their smooth functioning, according to Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath. Speaking at a conclave on national highways, he said the authority could be in place in three months’ time.

"Expressways have to be looked at separately. So we are looking at setting up an expressways authority to provide an impetus to those areas where expressways are required. We’re also looking at ways to rope in the state governments as well as the private sector in this initiative," the minister said. "In the next three months we are going to have a paper (on setting up the authority), then take it through cabinet so that we can take it to Parliament".

If approved the authority would function on the lines of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), although finer details were still being worked out, officials said.

"There is already a highway authority- let there be an expressway authority as well," Nath said while observing road construction meant a lot more to the country than just ensuring connectivity. "We have to understand that, with the global economy in stress, road building is not just a connectivity activity but also an economic stimulus," he added.

The move comes days after the minister had stated that the government intended to invest Rs 100,000 crore on building 12,000 kilometres of national highways in fiscal 2009-10 and would opt for both the equity and debt routes to raise funds for the projects. The latest proposal appears to be part of his efforts to completely overhaul his ministry, especially organisations involved in the construction and maintenance of highways.

Nath also said so in as many words, pointing out there was a “need to make radical changes” in the way his ministry operated. "The ministry for road transport & highways needs a complete overhaul. We have to set strict timebound targets to achieve our goal of constructing 7,000 km of roads every year," he stated.

Other plans include setting up a road finance corporation this year, on the lines of the Power Finance Corp, to help in boosting public investment in road construction and make credit available to projects. "The proposed expressway authority along with the Road Finance Corp are part of this year's target plan that we are going to announce soon," Nath said.

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Indian investors most optimistic in Asia: ING

New Delhi, July 15
Indian investors continue to be the most optimistic lot in Asia and as much as 84 per cent of those surveyed expect the stock market to rise in the third quarter of 2009, according to global financial services group ING.

As per the Quarterly Investor Dashboard Sentiment survey by ING, investors in the surveyed Asian countries believed that economic situation has improved and 93 per cent Indians feel conditions would further improve in the third quarter.

"The Indian investor index jumped to a record high of 182 for second quarter of 2009 from 133 from first quarter of 2009 amidst anticipated strong GDP growth and stock market improvements," the ING report stated.

In the first quarter of this year as well, investor index had jumped 75 per cent to 133 from 76 in Q4 2008. Overall, there was a significant 81 per cent upswing in the investor sentiment in Asia for the first half of 2009 and a 55 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase for Q2 2009 from Q1 2009, the survey said.

Investors in India have emerged optimistic in almost all the key performance indicators including household financial situation, impact of US economy, property prices and stock marker recovery. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Re stronger by 33 paise
Mumbai
:
The Indian rupee strengthened further by 33 paise to 48.63/64 against the dollar on Wednesday on the back of an upbeat equity market, raising hopes of fresh capital inflows amid a weak US currency overseas. The Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market witnessed active trade as the domestic currency moved widely in a range of 48.63 and 48.87 during the day after resuming firm at 48.81/84 a dollar against its last close of 48.96/98 a dollar. — PTI

Tata Steel JV to start coal production in Mozambique
New Delhi
: Tata Steel and its Australia-based joint venture partner Riversdale will start production at the Benga coal project in Mozambique in 2011. "The first stage of production at the Benga coal project will begin in 2011. Production in the second stage of development is expected to start in 2014," a Tata Steel spokesperson said. — PTI

Barclays enhances online banking facility
Mumbai:
Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Bank (GRCB) India, part of British banking group Barclays, on Wednesday said it has enhanced its online banking service with National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) facility. Through this, Barclays account holders can conveniently transfer funds faster to any bank account in India over a secure platform. — PTI

3i Infotech in pact with Chinese partner to buy JV
Mumbai
: Software firm 3i Infotech on Wednesday said it has entered into an agreement with its Chinese joint venture partner Yucheng Technologies to acquire the firm's 49 per cent stake in Elegon Infotech. Under the agreement, 3i Infotech would acquire a 49 per cent stake from its JV partner Yucheng in order to make Elegon Infotech a wholly owned subsidiary of the company in China, it said in a filing to the BSE.— PTI

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