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ICICI Bank Q1 net up 21 per cent
Mumbai, July 25
ICICI Bank posted a 21 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 878 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal and said it would continue with its strategy of slowing down its unsecured lending in the quarters ahead. The bank had clocked a Rs 728 crore net profit in the year-ago period.

Fishermen repair their nets at Visakhapatnam harbour, some 800 km from Hyderabad
Fishermen repair their nets at Visakhapatnam harbour, some 800 km from Hyderabad. The Home Ministry has proposed to shift the harbour away from the city's naval dockyard on security grounds. India's first nuclear-powered submarine will be launched by the Prime Minister on Sunday. — AFP

Centre to the rescue of Air India
New Delhi, July 25
Once again coming to the help of cash-strapped Air India, the Centre has asked the Finance Ministry to “critically examine the extent of assistance” to be given to the beleaguered national carrier and the Petroleum Ministry to extend the credit limit initially for three months.

Aviation Notes
Foreign carriers can’t take Indians for granted
On April 21, former President APJ Abdul Kalam was “insulted” by the Continental Airline officials at Delhi airport. Ignoring Central Industrial Security Force inspector's vehement protests, an American security officer saw former President being subjected to frisking, including removal of shoes and search of his wallet.



EARLIER STORIES



Investor Guidance
NRIs need to transfer inheritance proceeds to NRO account
Q I am a US citizen by birth living in the US. I held an Indian passport until the age of 16 prior to claiming my US citizenship (by birth). My parents are Indian citizens living in India. I also have one sibling, who is an Indian citizen and resides in India.

Corporate Results
Tata Comm net down 68 pc
Mumbai, July 25
Telecom firm Tata Communications has reported a 67.56 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs 31.94 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, over the same period last year.





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ICICI Bank Q1 net up 21 per cent

Mumbai, July 25
ICICI Bank posted a 21 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 878 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal and said it would continue with its strategy of slowing down its unsecured lending in the quarters ahead.

The bank had clocked a Rs 728 crore net profit in the year-ago period.

The bank saw a slide in revenue in most segments except in treasury during the quarter. Its revenues from wholesale and retail banking and fee-based businesses declined in comparison to the year-ago period, which its chief attributed to a conscious attempt to slow down its balance-sheet growth.

Going forward, the country's second-largest lender would focus on expanding its corporate and home-loans portfolios while continuing to downsize its unsecured lendings, ICICI Bank's managing director and CEO Chanda Kochhar told reporters here today.

"We allowed the unsecured loans to go down (in recent months)...we will continue to grow our corporate, housing portfolios," Kochhar said.

The lender expects a pick-up in its business in the second-half of this financial year and did not expect any major increase in NPAs, she added The bank would also focus on growing its low-cost deposit base. Current and savings accounts deposits, during the quarter grew to 30.4 per cent from 27.6 per cent in the same period in last year, Kochhar said.

ICICI Bank's net interest income fell to Rs 1,985-crore compared to Rs 2,090-crore, which the bank attributed to a 11.6 per cent decrease in advances, ICICI Bank said.

Total revenue during the quarter stood at Rs 9,223 crore against Rs 9,430 crore in the year-ago period. Net interest margin, the spread between interest earned and interest expended, was maintained at 2.4 per cent.

Consolidated net profit of the bank rose by 68 per cent to Rs 1,035 crore in Q1 FY 10 compared to Rs 617 crore in the same period in last year. — PTI

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Centre to the rescue of Air India
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 25
Once again coming to the help of cash-strapped Air India, the Centre has asked the Finance Ministry to “critically examine the extent of assistance” to be given to the beleaguered national carrier and the Petroleum Ministry to extend the credit limit initially for three months.

The decision was taken by a high-level committee headed by Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar set up to monitor Air India's cost cutting measures. The committee met for the first time today and vetted the cash-strapped carrier's plans to cut costs and generate revenue.

Official sources said Air India's parent company, National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL), has been asked to appoint a cost auditor to monitor costs.

The CoS decided that a cost auditor be appointed by NACIL to monitor, review and ensure the cost reduction and operational efficiencies are effected on a day-to-day basis. A presentation was made to the CoS by the Civil Aviation Ministry and SBI Caps regarding cost reduction, operational efficiencies, revenue generation and need for financial restructuring.

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Aviation Notes
Foreign carriers can’t take Indians for granted
by K.R. Wadhwaney

On April 21, former President APJ Abdul Kalam was “insulted” by the Continental Airline officials at Delhi airport.

Ignoring Central Industrial Security Force inspector's vehement protests, an American security officer saw former President being subjected to frisking, including removal of shoes and search of his wallet. Throughout this ordeal, Kalam, thorough gentleman as he is, behaved as if he was a commoner and showed no signs of concern.

A day later, the inspector duly submitted a detailed report to the authorities concerned - the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Home Affairs. For some unexplained reasons, both ministries kept the report locked.

On July 21, the media took the lid off the behaviour of the American airline's functioning. As questions rocked the Rajya Sabha, Aviation Minister Praful Patel announced: "I will walk to the President and tender my apologies". Though highly belated, it is nevertheless a grand gesture.

This is not the first time when foreign airline officials have indulged in acts of highhandedness. Air France officials continue to indulge in racial discrimination, while some American carriers have been guilty of violating customs and security rules.

Following spate of questions against the staff, a show-cause notice has been issued to the airline. No foreign airline has a licence to over-step country's protocol rules.

The aviation analysts maintain that Continental Airline has over-stepped in its functioning and behaviour. It needs to be dealt with so that similar incidents do not reoccur. They also ask as to why the two ministries did not act when the official report was lodged on April 22?

Continental has apologised to Kalam for the inconvenience caused but insists that it has done no wrong. The airline's statement says there is lack of compatibility in rules of Transport Security Administration (TSA) and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. This argument is untenable. In the US, TSA rule is supreme but in other countries, including India, national protocol rules are all-pervading.

In the meantime, Patel has gone on record as saying show-cause notice to the airline was issued on July 9 and not July 21. Be that as it may be, the question is why his ministry sat tight on the inspector's complaint for more than two-and-half-a-months?

In the latest report, the US authority has gone on record as saying Continental has followed the stipulated TSA rule. The TSA has yet to have the sanction of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). In the absence of the ICAO concurrence, it cannot bypass the host country's protocol requirements.

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Investor Guidance
NRIs need to transfer inheritance proceeds to NRO account
by A.N. Shanbhag

Q I am a US citizen by birth living in the US. I held an Indian passport until the age of 16 prior to claiming my US citizenship (by birth). My parents are Indian citizens living in India. I also have one sibling, who is an Indian citizen and resides in India.

My parents would like to will their movable and immovable property in India to me. Would it be possible to have the movable property (funds) transferred to an account, such as an NRE account and then repatriated to the US? If this is not possible, is there another way to repatriate the movable property to me in the US?

— Rathore

A: Essentially, your question is whether inheritance proceeds may be transferred/remitted to the US. In this regard, note that under the Indian laws, up to $1 million per financial year (April-March) may be remitted out of India. However, the funds representing inheritance proceeds need to be transferred to your NRO account and not the NRE account. You will require a certificate from an Indian chartered accountant (CA) certifying the fact that tax, if any, due on such money has been paid. Since India does not impose any estate tax, there would be no tax payable by you on such amount. However, the CA would need supporting documents proving that the funds are indeed inheritance proceeds in order to issue the certificate.

Wealth tax

Q What are the changes in the Budget with respect to advance tax and wealth tax?

— Bhadha

A: Advance tax needs to be paid if the tax payable for any financial year is Rs 5,000 or more. This limit has being doubled to Rs 10,000. On the wealth tax front, currently wealth tax is charged at the rate of 1% in the net wealth exceeds Rs 15 lakh. This limit too is being doubled to Rs 30 lakh.

The authors may be contacted at wonderlandconsultants@yahoo.com

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Corporate Results
Tata Comm net down 68 pc

Mumbai, July 25
Telecom firm Tata Communications has reported a 67.56 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs 31.94 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, over the same period last year. The company had a net profit of Rs 98.47 crore in the same period last year, Tata Communications said. Revenues from telecommunications services declined to Rs 842.89 crore in the latest quarter, against Rs 870.88 crore in the same period previous fiscal.

S Kumars

Textile company S Kumars Nationwide has reported a 7-per cent decline in its net profit at Rs 51.20 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, over the same period last year. The company had a net profit of Rs 55.09 crore in the same period last year, it said.

Gail India

Gail India has reported a 26.87 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs 655.84 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009, over the same period last year. The company had a net profit of Rs 896.87 crore in the same period last year, Gail India said. — PTI

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