Friday, March 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






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Chinese models parade during a fashion show titled "Living For You" in Beijing on Wednesday. More than 200 models paraded in the show, which was part of a week-long international fashion festival in the Chinese capital.
Chinese models parade during a fashion show titled "Living For You" in Beijing on Wednesday. More than 200 models paraded in the show, which was part of a week-long international fashion festival in the Chinese capital. — AP/PTI

Advanced battery plant for SAS Nagar soon
NEW DELHI, March 30 — India will soon start production of advanced rechargeable lithium cells for laptops, cell phones and camcorders using technology transferred by a US company.

Ford: Hyundai ad in bad taste
NEW DELHI, March 30 — Ford India Limited is considering approaching the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission against Hyundai Motor and its advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, for making disparaging comments on its mid-size car Ikon in an advertisement.

Auto exports decline
NEW DELHI, March 30 — Acceptance of Indian vehicles in the global market showed a declining trend as Maruti, Mercedes-Benz India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj and LML posted negative exports growth during the first 11 months of the current fiscal.

IT task force by India & Singapore
NEW DELHI, March 30 — India today signed an MoU with Singapore for setting up a joint task force and institutionalising a framework for bilateral cooperation in the information technology sector.




EARLIER STORIES
 




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Advanced battery plant for SAS Nagar soon

NEW DELHI, March 30 (PTI) — India will soon start production of advanced rechargeable lithium cells for laptops, cell phones and camcorders using technology transferred by a US company. The technology was transferred by Telcordia Inc. to a SAS Nagar-based start-up company Twenty First Century Battery Ltd which will start production by 2002.

The Rs 26.5 crore venture capital project is being funded by the Technology Development Board (TDB), a unit under the Department of Science and Technology, the National Research and Development Corporation (NRDC), IDBI, ICICI and UTI.

“We will start prototype production of the batteries within the next 18-24 months,” Chandra Mohan, Managing Director of Twenty First Century said at the technology transfer function here yesterday. The technology transfer fee is $2.5 million.

The new batteries can withstand temperature ranging from 30 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius and are 100 per cent efficient in charging and discharging.

A 12 million watt-hour capacity plant will be set up at SAS Nagar which will achieve full capacity in five years, Mohan said adding that it will manufacture batteries tailor-made for different applications.

Out of the total amount of Rs 26.5 crore to be invested in the project, Rs 13.25 crore will be the equity participation, of which the TDB with Rs 5.9 crore would have 44.5 per cent stake.

“This is the TDB’s first equity stake venture in four years of its existence,” DST Secretary V S Ramamurthy, said.

IDBI and UTI, who have invested Rs 3 crore each in the project will hold 22.64 per cent equity while the NRDC would have 3.77 per cent equity. Top



 

Ford: Hyundai ad in bad taste

NEW DELHI, March 30 (PTI) — Ford India Limited is considering approaching the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MTRPC) against Hyundai Motor and its advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, for making disparaging comments on its mid-size car Ikon in an advertisement. Ford is consulting legal experts to take necessary action in this regard like approaching the MTRPC, company sources said.

The company is also planning to complain to the Advertising Council of India and write protest letters to Hyundai and Saatchi and Saatchi for publishing the advertisement in leading dailies.

When contacted, Ford India General Manager (Marketing) V. Sivaramakrishnan said the company had taken a serious note of the advertisement as “it was in bad taste and published only to confuse the consumers”.

“Hyundai has misrepresented facts about the `Ford Ikon 1.3’ car in the advertisement which concern us,” he said.

The Indian arm of the Korean company Hyundai had recently issued full-page ads in major newspapers which compared its small car “Santro GLS II” with the “Ikon 1.3”. Top



 

Auto exports decline

NEW DELHI, March 30 (PTI) Acceptance of Indian vehicles in the global market showed a declining trend as Maruti, Mercedes-Benz India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj and LML posted negative exports growth during the first 11 months of the current fiscal.

Exports of Maruti cars dipped by 11.7 per cent to 17,077 units in April-February of 1999-2000 despite a 22 per cent growth in sales during the same period on the home turf.

Mercedes Benz India Ltd also performed on the same lines by registering a 40.9 per cent fall in exports to just 292 units in the period of the current fiscal, according to data compiled by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Sales of Telco cars in the world market declined sharply by 72.4 per cent to 401 units in the first 11 months of 1999-2000 against 1,451 units sold in the corresponding period of 1998-99.

In the multi-utility vehicles (MUV) segment, Mahindra & Mahindra’s exports slipped by 62.7 per cent to 329 units from 881 vehicles sold in the same period last year.

However, Telco’s exports jumped up by 87.3 per cent as the company exported 3,466 MUVs over 895 units sold in the same period of last fiscal.

Exports of Bajaj Auto fell by 18.9 per cent from 5,630 scooters to 6,935 units during the period, while Kinetic Motor Company witnessed its exports drop by 9.6 per cent from 6,872 units to 7,604 units in the period.

Only TVS-Suzuki experienced exports growth of 31.5 per cent to 978 units from 744 units as LML Ltd also performed poorly in the overseas market with a drop of 49.2 per cent to 5,244 units as against 10,332 units in April-February, 1998-99.

Hero Honda’s exports dipped by 21.9 per cent to 8,583 units from 10,989 units last year while TVS-Suzuki and Royal Enfield motors clocked exports growth of 47.6 per cent and 70.2 per cent, respectively.Top





 

IT task force by India & Singapore

NEW DELHI, March 30 (PTI) — India today signed an MoU with Singapore for setting up a joint task force and institutionalising a framework for bilateral cooperation in the information technology (IT) sector.

The MoU was signed in Singapore by visiting Indian Minister for IT Pramod Mahajan and Minister for Communications and IT of Singapore Yeo Cheow, an official statement here said.

The MoU will also enable exchange programmes for skill development. 

Mahajan is on a five-day visit to Singapore, accompanied by a high-powered IT delegation, including NIIT Chairman R.S. Pawar , Satyam Computers’ Chairman Ramalinga Raju and Nasscom President Dewang Mehta.Top



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NSE FORECAST

No silver lining in sight yet

WITH the markets desperately looking for a silver lining which does not seem in sight, at least not as yet, it does seem that the movement in the prices of pivotals will continue to remain horizontal rather than vertical.

However, an upward breakout could materialise sooner rather than later and the trigger for the same could well be the Q4 results which should start flowing in a couple of weeks.

An interesting phenomenon being witnessed in the market at the moment is that ICE stocks are being treated just like other sectors, that is, profits are being booked at higher levels.

Having said that, ICE stocks still remain the most potent and traders continue to make a beeline at these counters. Traders with a bullish temperament can consider an exposure at counter of Television 18 at Rs 1316 (square up at Rs 1401), DSQ Software at Rs 1903 (square up at Rs 1999) and Hindustan Lever at Rs 2488 (sqaure up at Rs 2559), while those with a bearish temperament can consider exposure at the counters of MTNL at Rs 249 (cover up at Rs 216) and Sri Adhikari Bros at Rs 766 (cover up at Rs 721).

The dark horse bet of this week is Carrier Aircon while long-term investors looking for a portfolio pick can keep an eye on the counter of Rhone-Poulenc and pouch this fundamentally solid scrip at successive declines.Top



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CORPORATE NEWS

FIs oppose Shaw Wallace accounts

CALCUTTA, March 30 (PTI) — LIC, GIC and its subsidiaries, and UTI, today opposed the two resolutions relating to the adoption of annual accounts of Shaw Wallace & Company and the other one seeking non-retiring status of Chairman M.R. Chhabria on the board at the company’s 53rd AGM held here. Executive Director of SWC, P.L. Narasimhan, who was presiding the AGM in the absence of Chhabria, ordered that the two resolutions be put to vote. With Chhabria’s Jumbo Group holding the majority stake, these would be carried out. The results will be announced on Saturday.

MMTC targets 21 pc growth

NEW DELHI, March 30 — (TNS): MMTC has set a target of Rs 5849 crore for this fiscal, a growth of about 21 per cent over the 1999-2000. MMTC signed an MoU with the Ministry of Commerce today. The targets have been based on parameters negotiated by the four-member task force. The strategy revolves around MMTC’s core competencies and capturing new opportunities created by global trends.

Reliance to pay 40 pc dividend

The Board of Directors of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) at its meeting today, recommended an interim dividend of 40 per cent (US $ 0.09) for the financial year 1999-2000. This will result in a dividend outgo of Rs 427 crore.

Hindustan Sanitaryware & Industries Ltd has declared an interim dividend of 45 per cent for the financial year ending March 31, 2000. The Board of Directors of HSIL has decided to pay an interim dividend of Rs 4.50 per equity share to its shareholders at the board meeting held at New Delhi.

Jindal Drilling has declared an interim dividend of 25 per cent based on good financial results for the year ending March 2000.Top



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BIZ BRIEFS

Bullion
Gold Std. Rs 4380
Gold 22-Ct Rs 4230
Silver Ready Rs 7700
Silver delivery Rs 7670

Forex
US $ Rs 43.60/61
Stg Rs 69.28/33
Euro Rs 41.74/77
Yen (100) Rs 41.50/58

Escotel
CHANDIGARH, March 30 (TNS) — Escotel today announced that its customer base has now crossed the 25,000 mark in Haryana.

Aptech
NEW DELHI, March 30 (TNS) — Aptech’s education portal www.on linevarsity.com has tied up with jobstreeet.com, which would enable students to have access to global placement opportunities, a company release said today.

Insulin device
NEW DELHI, March 30 (TNS) — Eli Lilly Ranbaxy has introduced HumaPen, a new ergonomically designed, reusable insulin deliver device.

Gillette
NEW DELHI, March 30 (TNS) — Indian Shaving Products Limited has launched Pacific Light series in the country. The products include shave preparations, an after-shave splash and a deodorant body spray.

LIC cheques
CHANDIGARH, March 30 (TNS) — Mr G. Krishnamurthy, Chairman, LIC handed over cheques worth Rs 267.95 crore to Mr Yashwant Sinha, Finance Minister in New Delhi today.

Godrej kitchen
CHANDIGARH, March 30 (TNS) — Godrej & Boyce today opened a Franchisee showroom in Sector 17-E, here. The Franchisee, Chadha Home Appliances, put on display wooden and steel flexible kitchen cabinets.Top



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