Tuesday, January 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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B U S I N E S S

British trade plan for Punjab, Haryana
NEW DELHI, Jan 10 — Britain today unveiled a six-point plan that would begin operating among other States in Punjab and Haryana, to boost trade with India and set a new target of a 20 per cent increase in trade to over five billion pounds a year.

Fresh dialogue likely: Moore
NEW DELHI, Jan 10 — The WTO Director General, Mr Mike Moore, today said that a new round of trade negotiations will be launched in an attempt to bridge the differences between the member countries.

Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Mike Moore (centre) with Rahul Bajaj, President CII (centre) at the CII's partnership summit 2000 in New Delhi on Monday
Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Mike Moore (centre) with Rahul Bajaj, President CII (centre) at the CII's partnership summit 2000 in New Delhi on Monday — PTI photo

Time Warner to merge with America Online
NEW YORK, Jan 10 — In a merger of media giants, Time Warner is being acquired by America Online for about $ 140 billion in stock. The deal announced today will rank as the biggest corporate merger ever in the USA and raises the stakes in the consolidation scramble in the media industry.



EARLIER STORIES


  Is PC dead ? Not yet
WASHINGTON, Jan 10 — Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates wants to send you an e-mail to let you know when your laundry’s done — or, for that matter, when your stock is sold, your cat needs to see the vet again or your dishwasher needs repairs.

CPI lists defaulters
NEW DELHI, Jan 10 — The Communist Party of India (CPI) today released a list of 200 corporate defaulters with the “so called weak banks” who together own over Rs 11,000 crore to the banking sector.

Subex Systems net rises
Subex Systems Limited on Monday reported Rs 2.8 crore profit after tax for the third quarter compared to Rs 1.02 crore in the second quarter. The net profit for the nine month period was Rs 28.6 crore from Rs 10.2 crore for the whole of last year.


AUTO SCENE
  • Corsa to cost 5.35 lakh
  • LML to make bikes
  • Mahindra Quadro
  • Apollo cuts prices
  • Fiat Uno sales up


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British trade plan for Punjab, Haryana
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 10 — Britain today unveiled a six-point plan that would begin operating among other States in Punjab and Haryana, to boost trade with India and set a new target of a 20 per cent increase in trade to over five billion pounds a year.

The plan, announced by the visiting British Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Mr Stephen Byers, at the ongoing CII Partnership Summit here, includes the Global Enterprise Initiative (GEI), which is a unique integrated programme designed to help smaller firms in both the UK and India enter into new partnerships to achieve profitable expansion at the start of the new millennium.

The initiative will begin operation in Spring 2000 (March-April) and run for two years. Initially the programme would operate in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Other progressive States may be added at a later stage. The target is the creation of 200 new partnerships.

There are two components to the GEI—the UK package and the Indian package. Under the UK package, smaller sized UK firms will be helped to enter the Indian market, or where appropriate, to reassess existing activities.

Under the new measure, Indian students going to Britain can now work full-time during their holidays and for up to 20 hours a week during term time. On completion of their studies they can now stay in the UK for up to three years to follow a graduate training programme.

Maran on reforms

In the next couple of decades, India will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of having a population structure where the share of the working population will be the youngest and the largest and this demographic transition calls for launching the next wave of reforms immediately, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Murasoli Maran said here today.

Addressing the CII Partnership Summit here, Mr Maran said the next phase of reforms process has acquired an urgency as after the next couple of decades the process of ageing of the population would catch up.

The South African Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Alec Erwin, stressed the need to respect the reality of the fears entertained by many about globalisation and the WTO and said that streamlining and redressal of the system was imperative in order to ensure that benefits from it were real for all.

The Minister for Foreign Trade of The Netherlands, Mr Gerrit Ybema said dialogue and communication were vital for dispelling fears of several nations on the globalisation process.
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Fresh dialogue likely: Moore
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 10 — The WTO Director General, Mr Mike Moore, today said that a new round of trade negotiations will be launched in an attempt to bridge the differences between the member countries.

“We will launch a new round. The only question is when”?, Mr Moore said while speaking at the CII Partnership Summit here.

Issues were not ripe at Seattle and many countries wanted to write in detail too much in the Ministerial document, that were normally part of a formal negotiations, he said.

He said OECD reports suggest that India stands to gain much from balanced round.

Addressing the “CII Partnership Summitt” he stressed that the activities of WTO were necessarily decided by its 135-members.

Stating that he had some empathy for protesters in the streets of Seattle, Delhi or Auckland who wanted a “safer, cleaner and more healthy planet,” Moore, however, said it was wrong to blame the WTO for all the world’s problems.

“They are especially wrong when they say we are not a democratic house. We are owned by governments who represent hundreds of millions of voters”, he said.

Moore said the Seattle talks might have collapsed as “too many of us wanted to write in detail too much in the ministerial document, issues that were normally part of a formal negotiation.”
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Time Warner to merge with America Online

NEW YORK, Jan 10 (AP) — In a merger of media giants, Time Warner is being acquired by America Online for about $ 140 billion in stock.

The deal announced today will rank as the biggest corporate merger ever in the USA and raises the stakes in the consolidation scramble in the media industry.

It would greatly extend the ability of Time Warner, the world’s largest media and entertainment company, to deliver its impressive list of properties ranging from Time, People and Sports Illustrated magazines and CNN to Warner Bros. movies, TV shows and music.

America Online, the largest provider of Internet access, has some 20 million subscribers around the world and will wind up with 55 per cent of the combined company, which will be called AOL Time Warner Inc.

America Online’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Steve Case, would be Chairman of the merged company. Time Warner’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Gerald Levin, will be the chief executive.

“This is a historic moment in which new media has truly come of age,” Case said in a news release announcing the deal. The new media giant would have combined annual revenue of more than $ 30 billion.

The biggest US deal ever is the proposed $ 122 billion acquisition of Sprint by MCI Worldcom. Worldwide, the biggest pending deal is Vodafone’s hostile $ 150 billion bid for Mannesmann.
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Is PC dead ? Not yet

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (AP) — Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates wants to send you an e-mail to let you know when your laundry’s done — or, for that matter, when your stock is sold, your cat needs to see the vet again or your dishwasher needs repairs.

And he wants to send you that e-mail wherever you happen to be at the time, on whatever device is handy, whether that’s your personal computer, handheld organiser, cell phone or, less likely, your toaster oven.

This interconnected world is at the heart of a new strategy at Microsoft Corp — one that doesn’t rely on the PC software that made Microsoft the most valuable company on the planet.

“I wouldn’t say that the PC is dead,” said Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s senior vice-president in charge of consumer strategy. “People have been saying that for years. But I think it’s safe to say that people are going to start looking for new ways to access and keep their data in addition to, or in ways that complement, the PC.”

Microsoft’s new strategy, called “PC-plus” by company insiders, is just making its public debut, but actually it’s more than a year in the making.

It has three main areas: giving everyday device computing power, providing the software to allow those devices to communicate, and investing heavily to help build wireless and high-speed Internet access throughout the world to link it all together.
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CPI lists defaulters

NEW DELHI, Jan 10 (UNI) — The Communist Party of India (CPI) today released a list of 200 corporate defaulters with the “so called weak banks” who together own over Rs 11,000 crore to the banking sector. Releasing the list, party General Secretary A.B. Bardhan told newspersons here that some of the prominent industrialists figure again and again on the list as directors and proprietors of defaulting companies.

He said banking industry sources have estimated the piled up debts at about Rs 51,000 crore and including the private banks and financial institutions the figure will be much beyond Rs 58,000 crore. This is an underestimate, since it refers to the amount due on the respective dates. With interest added at compound rates, the amount would be double.
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Subex Systems net rises

Subex Systems Limited on Monday reported Rs 2.8 crore profit after tax for the third quarter compared to Rs 1.02 crore in the second quarter.

The net profit for the nine month period was Rs 28.6 crore from Rs 10.2 crore for the whole of last year.

Reliance Ind

Reliance Industries Ltd today became the third largest producer of Paraxylene (PX) in the world after BP-Amoco and Exxon-Mobil with the commissioning of the third line of its 1.4 million metric tonnes PX plant at its petrochemicals complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Crompton Greaves

The Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (AAIFR) has given its consent to Crompton Greaves to take legal recourse against sick industrial company Air Control and Chemical Engineering Co. Ltd for the recovery of its dues.

Tata Steel

Tata Steel , which has completed the first four phases of its modernisation plan, on Monday introduced the Total productive Maintenance programme at its ring plant here to achieve the lowest cost of rings in the country, Dr J.J. Irani, Managing Director of Tata Steel, said at Jamshedpur.

ABB bags order

ABB Limited has bagged a Rs 18 crore order from the ONGC for the renovation and upgradation of its liquid petroleum gas (LPG) crude stabilisation unit (CSU) plant at Uran, Maharashtra.

Melstar IPO

Software service provider Melstar Information Technologies is entering the primary market to raise over Rs 22 crore for the expansion of its software business globally.

The IPO is for fresh issue of 22.61 lakh equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 62 per share. — agencies
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AUTO SCENE

Corsa to cost 5.35 lakh

GM India Limited’s new offering for the Indian market, Corsa, will sport a price tag of Rs 5.35 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the base model.

The car will be introduced in three versions — 1.4 litre GL, 1.4 litre GLS and 1.6 litre GLS.

The 1.4 litre GLS will be priced at Rs 5.75 lakh (without stereo system) and Rs 5.85 lakh (with stereo system).

The 1.6 litre GLS version will cost Rs 6.39 lakh (without stereo) and Rs 6.49 lakh (with stereo).

LML to make bikes

LML Ltd will launch eight two-wheeler models and introduce upgraded versions of its all existing models by the end of the next fiscal with an investment of Rs 120 crore.

Managing Director Deepak Singhania told newspersons from Delhi that LML has tied up with Daelin, South Korea, for manufacturing motorcycles.

It will launch a 100cc four-stroke bike “TW-Sport” in March followed by “TW-Grand” and “TW-Original” in April-May.

Bikes which will be displayed at Auto Expo 2000 in Delhi will carry price tags between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000.

Mahindra Quadro

Mahindra & Mahindra has come out with Mahindra Quadro, a sporty, 4-wheel drive, limited edition vehicle which will be displayed at Auto Expo 2000 from January 12 to 18.

Targeted towards an up-market and young at heart clientele, Quadro will be the first custom-built vehicle sold on the Internet through www.mahindra-quadro.com. The cutomers will be able to configure a vehicle to their own specifications of accessories/equipment through the Internet. Quadro is fitted with a 72.5HP, 2.5 litre diesel engine and 5-speed transmission with overdrive. Quadro comes with large P235 radial tyres and skid plates below the transfer case.

Apollo cuts prices

Apollo Tyres Ltd today announced a 25 per cent cut in the prices of its new generation passenger radial tyres to bring it on a par with the cross-ply tyres.

The company said the move was likely to redefine the price-value equation in the Indian tyre industry and result in a major boost for passenger vehicle radialisation.

Apollo will also launch radial tyres for new categories of passenger vehicles as well as commercial vehicles, a company statement said in Delhi.

Fiat Uno sales up

Fiat Uno sales registered a 263.2 per cent growth in December over the same period last year with sales of 1,275 units. Fiat sold 330 units of mid-size Saloon, the Fiat Siena, too, logging a total sales of 1,605 vehicles this December and 357.3 per cent growth over the same period last year, when only sales were of the Uno (Siena sales commenced from August 1999). — agencies
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BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion
Gold Std. Rs 4400
Gold 22-Ct Rs 4250
Silver Ready Rs 7850
Silver delivery Rs 7880

Forex
US $ Rs 43.52/53
Stg Rs 71.31/33
Euro Rs 44.57/59
Yen (100) Rs 41.59/61

Elected
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — The following have been elected to the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries. President — Mr A.L. Aggarwal; Vice-President — Rakesh Rattan Aggarwal; Honorary Secretary — Naveen Manglani; Finance Secretary -— Sanjeev Singla and Joint Secretary— Anil Bhasin. While Inderjit Setta, Harinder Aggarwal, Pawan Aggarwal, Parveen Bindlish, Rajeev Garga, Sushil Singhal, Satish Gupta and Rakesh Goyal have been elected executive members.

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