|Tuesday, March 28, 2000,
DaimlerChrysler buys 34 pc stake
Trade fair on Net for
STUTTGART, March 27 (UNI) DaimlerChrysler AG today agreed to acquire a 34 per cent controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) for $ 2.1 billion, becoming the worlds third largest car maker and gaining a key foothold in Asia.
The deal does not include Mitsubishis prized truck division, and DaimlerChrysler said it would either pursue expansion on its own in this sector or enter a partnership with another producer in the region.
With this alliance, Daimler-Chrysler will strengthen its presence in Japan and the Asian region, Company Chairman Jorgen E. Schrempp said. Mitsubishi is the ideal partner for us to strengthen our presence in all areas of Asia. This agreement is a milestone in our Asian strategy, Mr Schrempp said in a statement.
The stake purchase by the German-U.S. Auto giant will give it the power to veto board decisions under the Japanese law. It will be paying 450 yen per share, below Mondays close at 470 yen, which was up 51 yen or 12.2 per cent from Friday.
Both the companies are yet to announce composition of the board and the extent to which Daimler- Chrysler will get involved in Mitsubishi.
AP adds: Mitsubishi has a crippling $ 16.4 billion debt, and the highest debt-to-equity ratio in the Japanese car industry.
Japans auto industry has been one of the hardest hit by the countrys prolonged economic downturn, and several carmakers have sought foreign partners. In the biggest deal, Renault SA of France bought a 36.8 per cent stake in Japans debt-ridden Nissan Motor Co. in May 1999.
And DaimlerChrysler itself is a creation of the trend in the global auto industry toward consolidation. The Stuttgart-based Daimler-Benz bought out American automaker Chrysler Corp. In 1998. But the company has been relatively late in the race to Asia.
Ford bought a controlling stake in Japanese automaker Mazda in 1996. General Motors owns stakes in Isuzu Motors Ltd., Suzuki Motor Corp. and has plans to take a 20 per cent chunk of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru cars.
Despite its crumbling finances, Mitsubishi is an attractive catch for several reasons.
One is its strength in smaller cars. The Germany newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that DaimlerChrysler planned to use Mitsubishi Motor Corp.s Dutch plant to expand its struggling mini-car line.
NEW DELHI, March 27 (PTI) The Government today revised foreign equity investment in non-banking financial companies granting permission to holding NBFCs to set up 100 per cent downstream subsidiaries with a minimum capital of $ 5 million (Rs 22 crore).
The holding NBFC with minimum capital of $ 50 million (Rs 220 crore), will however have to disinvest its equity to minimum extent of 25 per cent through a public offering, within a period of three years, an official statement here said.
This has been done after reviewing the policy in this regard based upon experience in the working of NBFCs, the difficulties being faced in setting up operation of these companies due to hurdles in locating credible Indian partners in a short time.
The existing guidelines
for foreign equity investment in NBFCs provide for a 100
per cent foreign equity in a NBFC where such company has
to act only as a holding company and specific activities
to be undertaken by step down subsidiaries.
NEW DELHI, March 27 (PTI) The export growth for 2000-01 is likely to be pegged at 15 per cent in the face of improved export performance in the second half of this financial year, a top Commerce Ministry official said today.
This target will be announced along with the new exim policy which will be unveiled on March 31, the official told PTI.
Due to improved export performance since October last, the Ministry is confident of exceeding the export growth target of 11.3 per cent in the current financial year and one would not be surprised if it touched 14 per cent, the official said.
Barring January this year when exports were affected due to port strike, exports have been registering a double digit growth since October last even though the year started with a negative monthly export growth in April last.
The exim policy, which is likely to drastically simplify procedures, is expected to dismantle Special Import Licence Scheme in the face of phased withdrawal of quantitative restrictions.
All 685 items now imported under SIL are expected to be put under the OGL (open general licence) scheme.
As per the Indo-US pact, QR should be dismantled on 714 items by April 1 this year and the remaining 715 items by April 1 next year.
CII has asked the Government to set up a task force for restructuring Duty Exemption Pass Book (DEPB) scheme in line with WTO norms and urged for concerted efforts to phase out quantitative restrictions.
introduced in the Budget to cut down documentation in
excise was a welcome development and similar deregulation
could be carried out in the export sector
also, Commerce and Industry Minister Murasoli
Maran had told the reconstituted Board of Trade meeting
MUMBAI, March 27 (PTI) Australian media baron Kerry Packer today announced a venture capital fund worth $ 250 million (over Rs 1,100 crore) to invest in high technology areas like IT, software, e-commerce, telecom, media, entertainment and biotechnology in India.
Packer is launching the fund, KVP Ventures, in association with Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) chairman Vinay Maloo and ace stock broker Ketan Parekh, all taking equal stake in the fund in individual capacity, Packer told newspersons here.
His stake of over Rs 360 crore would be brought into the country only after April 1, so that full advantage of the benefits dished out to VC funds in the recent Budget could be reaped, Packer, owner of Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd, said.
on Net for farm exporters
NEW DELHI, March 27 The Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr Omar Abdullah, today urged the agricultural industry to capitalise on the countrys inherent strength of a large production base and aim at achieving at least 5 per cent share in the international trade of agricultural products.
Presenting the ninth annual APEDA Export awards here, the Minister complimented the APEDA (Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) for achieving record exports of Rs 9,674 crore during the year 1998-99. He, however, pointed out that the exporters had failed to convert the enormous natural endowments such as abundant land, water and sunlight into a competitive strength.
Mr Abdullah also inaugurated the first Virtual Trade Fair from India on the Internet for agricultural exporters.
He said agricultural exports, which had gone up from Rs 2,851 crore ($ 909 million) to Rs 9,674 crore ($ 2303 million) in the last five years should not be seen only as a means of earning foreign exchange. Instead, they are an effective means to achieve the ultimate goal of increasing productivity in agriculture through technology upgradation.
sugar mill to be ready by November
CHANDIGARH, March 27 Markfeds first sugar mill being set up at Malout will be commissioned by November this year ahead of schedule in 10 months against the proposed 18 months.
Announcing this in a statement here today, Mr P.J. Singh, Chief Manager, said early commissioning of the mill will increase its viability and help sugarcane growers. Construction work of the mill having 1750 TCD capacity is going on a war-footing.
The mill is being set up in consultation with PAU, Ludhiana. Farmers were supplied quality seed by the Sugarcane Research Farm at Jalandhar.
During the last four years cotton crop had failed in the Malout area and farmers are turning to sugarcane which is a comparatively profitable crop.
Markfed has tied up with PAU for cultivation of better quality of sugarcane in the catchment area of the sugar mill to ensure that the mill runs at 100 per cent capacity from the second year onwards. The area under sugarcane is expected to grow from 7,000 acres to 17,000 acres by the October sowing season. This overwhelming response may force Markfed to expand the mill capacity during the second year of operations, he added.
The cost of the project
has been brought down from Rs 50 crore to Rs 30 crore.
The utilisation of assets of Coop. Spinning Mill at
Malout and deployment of surplus Markfed staff will
further bring down the project cost.
CHANDIGARH, March 27 Mr Harbhajan Singh, CMD, Allahabad Bank, today inaugurated its new regional office at Jalandhar. Mr Jatinder Mohan, ex-Director of the bank presided over the function.
Mr Singh highlighted various schemes launched by the bank for the benefit of customers. The bank has launched a website for sanctioning education loans and car finance on the Internet.
HDFC, Mahindras launch portal
MUMBAI, March 27 (PTI) HDFC and the Mahindra group have jointly launched propertymartindia.com, an interactive real estate portal. HDFC and the Mahindras have taken a stake of 65 per cent and 29 per cent respectively in the portal set up with a paid-up capital of Rs 10 crore, while the remaining 6 per cent offered to employees under the stock option scheme.
M & M declares 55 pc
MUMBAI, March 27 (PTI) Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd today declared an interim dividend of 55 per cent for the financial year ending March 31, 2000. Record date for the interim dividend is April 19, 2000, according to a company statement here.
Godrej Soaps declares 27 pc
MUMBAI, March 27 (PTI) Godrej Soaps Ltd (GSL) today declared an interim dividend of 27 per cent for the year ending March 2000. Book closure for the dividend will be from May 10 to May 15, 2000. GSL reported a net profit of Rs 57.7 crore for the nine months period ending December 1999.
Whirlpool eyes 1,200 crore turnover
NEW DELHI, March 27 (UNI) With todays launch of new models of direct cool refrigerators, planned foray into the AC segment and expansion of the frost-free range of refrigerators, Whirlpool of India Limited expects to record over 20 per cent increase in its turnover at Rs 1,200 crore this calendar year. The company has set aside Rs 10 crore advertising budget for new direct cool refrigerators, branded ice magic, for 90 days.
Subex Systems declares 35 pc
NEW DELHI, March 27 (PTI) Subex Systems Ltd today announced 35 per cent interim dividend for the current fiscal, a 5 percentage point increase over the 30 per cent dividend announced last year. The company had registered a quantum rise in net profit for the first nine months of the current fiscal at Rs 2.86 crore, up from Rs 1.02 crore for the whole of the previous year.
Morgan Stanley to pay 7.5 pc
NEW DELHI, March 27 (PTI) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Investment Management today proposed a 7.5 per cent dividend for Morgan Stanley Growth Fund, taking the total dividend paid for the current fiscal to 15 per cent. The dividend, which works out to 75 paise per unit, requires approval of the Board of Trustees and completion of certain procedural and regulatory requirements.
Novartis announces 150 pc
MUMBAI, March 27 (UNI) The Board of Directors of Novartis India Limited at a meeting held here today approved the payment of an interim dividend of Rs 15 per share in view of higher profits due to improved business performance as well as exceptional non-operational income. The record date will be announced later.
Himatsingka to liquidate arm
New Delhi, March 27 (PTI) Himatsingka Seide Ltd (HSL) will liquidate its financial subsidiary Credit Himatsingka Ltd in the fiscal year 2000-01 without incurring any significant loss. Vice-President A.K Himatsingka told PTI SL had appointed management consultant SB Billimoria & Company to find suitable buyers for the company, but there were no buyers.
CBI gets time in Reliance case
NEW DELHI, March 27
(PTI) The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED)
were today given more time by Delhi High Court to place
before it their replies in a petition seeking probe into
a series of alleged offences committed by Reliance
Industries Ltd (RIL).
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