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Saturday, September 25, 1999
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Star TV to merge channels into Zee Telefilms
HONG KONG, Sept 24 — Star TV announced today an agreement to merge its joint-venture assets Zee TV, Zee News, Zee Cinema and Siticable into publicly listed Zee Telefilms Limited (ZTL). Star has agreed to transfer these assets for a total consideration of approximately $ 300 million. Half of the payment will be made in cash and the balance in ZTL shares.
 
Money traders gesture during the morning trading under a flashing board to show exchange update at a Tokyo money brokerage on Friday
TOKYO : Money traders gesture during the morning trading under a flashing board to show exchange update at a Tokyo money brokerage on Friday. The dollar was lower against yen slightly in the morning, buying 104.78-81 yen. Interbank traders and U.S. funds bought the dollar on short covering ahead of the G-7 Finance Ministers meeting. — AP/PTI
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Driving institute for Rajpura
New Delhi, Sept 24 — The Punjab government today signed a memorandum of understanding with Ashok Leyland to set up a driver training institute at Rajpura.

Kashmir bares assets to tempt Enron
SRINAGAR, Sept 24 — US multinational Enron Corporation has evinced keen interest in the promotion of tourism in Kashmir, State Tourism Commissioner Parvez Dewan told PTI here today.

Electro 99 opens
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 — A three-day exhibition on electrical implements , Electro 99, began at the Parade Ground here this evening with Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Punjab Minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training, performing the inauguration ceremony.

Reliance Petro eyes 22,000 cr turnover
AHMEDABAD, Sept 24 — Equity investors in Reliance Petroleum Limited can expect a good return as RPL’s refinery in Jamnagar, which has commenced operation, is likely to generate a turnover of Rs 22,000 crore during the first year of operations.

GAIL to sell ONGC gas
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 — Gas Authority of India Ltd today said it would soon sign its maiden agreement for marketing the entire gas production of ONGC while outlining a Rs 10,000 crore investment plan for the next five years to become a global entity.

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Star TV to merge channels into Zee Telefilms

HONG KONG, Sept 24 (UNI) — Star TV announced today an agreement to merge its joint-venture assets Zee TV, Zee News, Zee Cinema and Siticable into publicly listed Zee Telefilms Limited (ZTL).

Star has agreed to transfer these assets for a total consideration of approximately $ 300 million. Half of the payment will be made in cash and the balance in ZTL shares.

In 1994, Star TV acquired 50 per cent of Asia Today Limited (ATL) and Patco, the companies which operate the Zee Television Network. Shortly thereafter, Star TV acquired a 50 per cent stake in Siticable, India’s largest cable system operator.

ZTL and its lead promoter, Mr Subhash Chandra, are the other joint venture partner. Today’s announcement follows Mr Chandra’s own move to merge all of his holdings into the publicly listed vehicle.

A Star TV spokesman said: “We have enjoyed a very profitable relationship with Mr Chandra and ZTL. In effecting this restructuring, we expect to achieve even greater returns as the new merged entity will now be best positioned to maximise the value of these assets. We will continue to ride the growth in value creation though our continued investment in ZTL.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the ZTL shareholders and regulatory authorities, including the RBI. As part of the transaction, Star TV and the Zee group also confirmed that all outstanding legal matters between the parties would be settled.

Star TV is a subsidiary of the News Corporation Limited. The Star TV network offers both subscription and free-to-air television services, reaching more than 30 crore viewers across Asia, India and West Asia. Star TV uses Asiasat 38 and Palapa C2 as its satellite platforms. Star TV’s services are available through DTH platforms on Astro and Orbit and are also extensively redistributed by cable operators.

Services carried on the Star TV network include Star Chinese channel, Phoenix Chinese channel, Star Plus, Star World, Channel (V), ESPN, Star Sports, Star Movies, Phoenix Movies, Viva Cinema, Star News, Zee News, Zee Cinema, Zee TV, For News, Sky News and National Geographic Channel.
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Driving institute for Rajpura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Sept 24 — The Punjab government today signed a memorandum of understanding with Ashok Leyland to set up a driver training institute at Rajpura.

The MoU was signed here by Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Director, State Transport, Punjab government and Mr Amol J. Sandil, Executive Director, Marketing, Ashok Leyland.

The Union Minister of State for Industry, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, said there will be a demand for five lakh drivers by the year 2002 and the new institute will be able to train around 6,000 persons in driving and maintenance by then.

The institute will be located at a 25-acre site, 60 km from Chandigarh on a land given by the Punjab government on a long lease.

Mr B.C. Gupta, Secretary, Transport, Punjab government, said: “We visited Ashok Leyland’s driver training school at Namakkal and saw first- hand how modern infrastructure and scientific training together can create a good driver”.

The Namakkal school trains people with all conceivable road configurations like junctions, bends, humps and dips with different gradients. The curriculum goes beyond the essential knowledge and skills for obtaining a driving licence and aims at creating drivers committed to safe driving and safe living habits.

“We would like to replicate our Namakkal experience in Punjab”, Mr Sandil, said, adding that the proposed institute would benefit the entire northern region.

The company will also start courses for automobile mechanics and for the purpose set up a workshop at the campus, Sandil said.

Total investment for the first phase will be about Rs 3.5 crore which will be spent by the company.

The proposed courses include three months heavy vehicles driver training programme, one-week refresher course for experienced drivers and three-day programme-training for transportation of hazardous goods.
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Kashmir bares assets to tempt Enron

SRINAGAR, Sept 24 (PTI) — US multinational Enron Corporation has evinced keen interest in the promotion of tourism in Kashmir, State Tourism Commissioner Parvez Dewan told PTI here today.

The Tourism Department has invited Enron to sponsor traffic signs at important tourist destinations and overhead road signs along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and expects royalty in return, Dewan said.

“Considering the resources of the State Government are limited and the task of reviving tourism in Kashmir extremely important for the economy, the Government has no hesitation from accepting sponsorship from corporate houses, including multinational companies”, he said.

Besides sponsoring traffic signs, the Tourism Department was negotiating with Enron maintenance of famous Mughal Gardens and Anchar Lake.

“By maintaining gardens, including Nishat, Shalimar Cheshma Shahi and Anchar Lake, Enron would win same media publicity at the national level as the restoration of Angkor Vat or the Sistine Chapel did at the international level,” Dewan said.

Dewan said Enron could consider constructing a single ceremonial tower at Trespone in Kargil.

“People of Trespon in Kargil have been demanding a ceremonial tower made of local materials, including ibex horns which Enron could consider constructing there,” he added.
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Electro 99 opens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 — A three-day exhibition on electrical implements , Electro 99, began at the Parade Ground here this evening with Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Punjab Minister for Technical Education and Industrial Training, performing the inauguration ceremony.

Organised by the Innovative Group, which had earlier held similar trade fairs at Ludhiana for three years, Electro 99 is open to the public from 3 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. without any entry fee.

The Minister went round various stalls displaying products of electrical equipment manufacturing companies.

The organisers propose to offer special display awards based on the selections of a panel of judges.

Among the companies participating in Electro 99 are Crompton Geaves, Havell’s India Ltd, Mitsubishi and Greaves Ltd.
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Reliance Petro eyes 22,000 cr turnover

AHMEDABAD, Sept 24 (PTI) — Equity investors in Reliance Petroleum Limited can expect a good return as RPL’s refinery in Jamnagar, which has commenced operation, is likely to generate a turnover of Rs 22,000 crore during the first year of operations.

Addressing the eighth Annual General Meeting of RPL in Jamnagar today, its Chairman Dhirubhai Ambani said “RPL’s current investment grade credit ratings and overall credit quality are expected to improve significantly as the project starts generating revenues and cash flows” and added that it could even benefit debt investors.

Ambani said RPL had achieved a current market capitalisation of about Rs 15,000 crore even before the project’s commissioning. Wealth creation and distribution of such magnitude by a capital intensive grassroots project was unique in the Indian context.
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GAIL to sell ONGC gas

NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (PTI) — Gas Authority of India Ltd today said it would soon sign its maiden agreement for marketing the entire gas production of ONGC while outlining a Rs 10,000 crore investment plan for the next five years to become a global entity.

Announcing a net profit of Rs 1060 crore for 1998-99 against Rs 1020 crore in previous year, after the AGM here, GAIL Chairman and Managing Director C.R. Prasad said the two corporations had already held several rounds of discussion at Director levels.

The 15 year agreement will be for ONGC’s present daily production of 70 million cubic metre.

“We are planning to invest about Rs 10,000 crore in the next five to six years on various schemes including a Rs 800 crore pipeline from Hazira to Uran (Middle East),” Prasad said.

The corporation had declared a dividend of Rs 295.98 crore during the last fiscal, he said.
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US $ Rs 43.56/57
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Maharishi Fin
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, Sept 24 — Maharishi Housing Development Finance Corporation has reduced the interest rates payable on deposits made by and housing loans extended to individuals.

MMTC net up
NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (PTI) — MMTC Ltd today announced a 4 per cent increase in the net profit for 1998-99 at Rs 18.07 crore on a reduced turnover due to slowdown in global trading and currency crisis in South Asia.
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