Tuesday, April 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

CII President Rahul Bajaj with Chief Ministers Prem Kumar Dhumal and Om Prakash Chautala during a conference on attracting investment in Northern India, in New Delhi on Monday.
CMs bare assets to tempt industry
NEW DELHI, April 3 — Faced with fiscal stress, the Chief Ministers of North Indian States today competed with one another in rolling out a red carpet for the industry to invest in their States.
IT centre MoU

New-look Matiz at old price soon
SURAJPUR, April 3 — Daewoo Motors India Limited today said it was all set to introduce a high performance model, the year 2000 Matiz, at the existing price range.

Telco to roll out 2 Indica models
NEW DELHI, April 3 — Tata Engineering will roll out two more petrol versions of its small car Indica this month to meet the stringent Euro-II emission norms which came into force in the National Capital Region from April 1.

First Internet company breaks into Fortune 500
NEW YORK, April 3 — Despite the startling rise in high-tech firms, just one purely Internet company — America Online Inc. — broke into the ranks of the Old Economy stalwarts this year, and only at No. 337 in the annual Fortune 500.

Indian Information and Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan inaugurating NIITs new software software centre at Singapore on Sunday
Indian Information and Technology Minister Pramod Mahajan inaugurating NIITs new software software centre at Singapore on Sunday. — PTI photo



EARLIER STORIES
 

SBI & IFCI slash PLR
MUMBAI, April 3 — State Bank of India yesterday slashed its prime lending rates for short and medium term loans by 0.75 per cent and 0.5 per cent to 11.25 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively, effective from April 1.

12 companies plan listing on Nasdaq
NEW DELHI, April 3 — At least a dozen Indian companies have plans to list their shares on Nasdaq stock exchange of the USA, its President Alfred R. Barkeley said today.Top




CMs bare assets to tempt industry
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, April 3 — Faced with fiscal stress, the Chief Ministers of North Indian States today competed with one another in rolling out a red carpet for the industry to invest in their States.

While they outlined the competitive advantages of investing in their respective States, the potential areas of investments and the single window policy and its strict monitoring, there was lack of any consensus among them how to jointly evolve a strategy to woo the industry to the region.

The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, said: “We have the potential to harness about 25,000 Mega Watts of hydel power. If the neighbouring States agree to invest in the power projects of the States, then the power crisis in the region can be overcome.

Mr Dhumal said his government was planning to invite established tea companies to set up tea gardens in the state.

Contract farming would be allowed in agriculture, horticulture and herb cultivation by handing over land to companies.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said he had inherited the State in a bad financial mess and there was a need to balance industrial and agricultural sectors to achieve fiscal health.

Stating that the recently announced industrial policy had evoked a good response, Mr Chautala said the State Government would soon announce an IT policy and an agricultural policy.

The Punjab Minister of Local Government, Labour and Employment, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, said the Government would facilitate investment by meeting the entire power require ments of entrepreneurs investing in the State.

“The government has attempted to implement user charges in transport, education, health, electricity and also for infrastructure augmentation,” he said.

Earlier, addressing the gathering, a Planning Commission member, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia said each State should prepare a vision 2020 document specifying growth targets and ways and means to achieve them.

Dr Rakesh Mohan, Director General of NCAER, said agriculture and services should be brought under the tax net along with initiatives like user charges. Top


IT centre MoU

To set up an IT centre for excellence in Chandigarh, an MoU was signed today between Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, the outgoing Chairman of the CII, (NR) and Mr Arvind Thakur, Director of NIIT.Top





 

New-look Matiz at old price soon

SURAJPUR, April 3 (UNI) — Daewoo Motors India Limited today said it was all set to introduce a high performance model, the year 2000 Matiz, at the existing price range.

A company release said the features of the M-Tec (magic and maximum power technology) will make the car more responsive, have better acceleration, improved power and performance in city driving conditions as well as better fuel economy.

The company claimed that with the new model, the car’s fuel economy will improve by 15 per cent in city driving and 5-6 per cent in highway driving conditions.

However, despite the modifications in the engine and changes in the features, the company has decided not to increase the price of the car.

The overall changes to all variants include new fabric design, adding new life to the interior, improved engine performance, improvement in body and chassis resulting in a reinforced tail gate and better suspension, stainless steel muffler for preventing rusting of exhaust pipe.

In the SE model, a fabric insert door panel will be provided while in the SP model, metal grain instrumental panel will be fitted.

There has been a change in the vehicle acceleration that has improved by 10.8 per cent in 0-50 km/h and 5.8 per cent in 0-90 km/h. It also gives a better feel of power/torque at part throttle in the range of 8 per cent to 22 per cent and enables better pick up.Top



 

Telco to roll out 2 Indica models

NEW DELHI, April 3 (PTI) — Tata Engineering will roll out two more petrol versions of its small car Indica this month to meet the stringent Euro-II emission norms which came into force in the National Capital Region (NCR) from April 1.

The company will launch a petrol variant “Lei” fitted with a multi-point-fuel-injection (MPFI) system and another fully loaded petrol version “LXi” to meet the demand in the NCR as only Euro-II compliant passenger cars would now be registered in the region.

Tata Engineering will continue production of its petrol version “PL” with the carburettor-based engine which complies to Euro-I norms. It has, however, stopped supply of this version in the NCR.

The company is selling only Euro-II diesel Indica which is costlier by Rs 14,000-15,000.

The Euro-II compliant diesel version ‘DL’ carries a price tag of Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) against Rs 2.85 lakh for its Euro-I variant.

Similarly, other two Euro-II versions “DLE” and “DLX” are available at higher prices of Rs 3.22 lakh and Rs 4.02 lakh respectively against Rs 3.07 lakh and Rs 3.87 lakh for their Euro-I versions.Top


 

First Internet company breaks into Fortune 500

NEW YORK, April 3 (AP) — Despite the startling rise in high-tech firms, just one purely Internet company — America Online Inc. — broke into the ranks of the Old Economy stalwarts this year, and only at No. 337 in the annual Fortune 500.

Other technology companies benefiting from the Internet boom climbed in the magazine’s rankings, but there was little evidence of the Internet start-ups that have turned 20-somethings into millionaries because the list is based on the 1999 revenue, not the companies’ stock values.

MCI Worldcom Inc., one of the world’s largest carriers of Internet traffic, hit No. 25, up from No. 80, in the list released yesterday and appearing in the magazine’s April 17 issue. Dell Computer Co., the largest seller of computers in the country, went to 56 form 78.

Microsoft Corp., the company with the highest market value, rose to 84 form 109, and Cisco Systems Inc., which makes equipment for the Internet, advanced to 146 from 192.

AOL wasn’t the only history-maker. Among Inc. became the first biotechnology company, landing at 463. And Hewlett-Packard Co., No. 13, was the highest-ranking Fortune 500 company with a female chief executive, Carleton Fiorina.

General Motors Corp. remained No. 1 for the 12th consecutive year, with revenues of $ 189 billion, but Ford Motor Co. dropped form the second to fourth place, displaced by fast-growing retail Wal-Mart Stores Inc., previously third.

GM’s lead over Wal-Mart, which had $ 166 billion in revenue, may look sizable, but Wal-Mart has had annual growth in the double digits for more than a decade, while GM’s revenue dropped in 1998.

In third place was oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp., following the merger of Exxon Corp., previously No. 4, and Mobil corp., ranked No. 6 in 1998.

General Electric Co. remained fifth in revenue, but led in profits, stuffing its coffers with $ 10.7 billion. The grandfather of computer companies, International Business Machines Corp. stayed in sixth place, followed by Citigroup Inc., also unchanged from last year.

AT-and T Corp. climbed form 10th to eighth, pushing down Philip Morris Cos. Inc. to ninth. Boeing Co. fell from ninth to 10th.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group, which went public last year, is the highest-ranked newcomer, at No. 54.

Total profits for the 500 corporations grew 28.7 per cent, thanks to a roaring economy and a recovery from the Asian financial crisis, which pulled earnings down by 1.8 per cent in 1998.

Revenues grew by 10.2 per cent, also an improvement on the 1998 growth of 4 per cent.Top



 

SBI & IFCI slash PLR

MUMBAI, April 3 (PTI) — State Bank of India (SBI) yesterday slashed its prime lending rates (PLR) for short and medium term loans by 0.75 per cent and 0.5 per cent to 11.25 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively, effective from April 1.

Earlier, both State Bank advance rate (short-term rate), applicable to loans and advances repayable on demand or one year, and medium-term (above one year) lending rate were at 12 per cent, SBI said in a press release here today.

NEW DELHI (TNS): IFCI Ltd today reduced its prime lending rate (PLR) by one per cent to 12.5 per cent in the wake of cut in bank rate by RBI.

PLR includes assistance under equipment finance scheme and the new interest rate band (exclusive of interest tax) will be 12.5 per cent to 16 per cent, IFCI statement said.Top



 

12 companies plan listing on Nasdaq

NEW DELHI, April 3 (PTI) — At least a dozen Indian companies have plans to list their shares on Nasdaq stock exchange of the USA, its President Alfred R. Barkeley said today.

Addressing a press conference here, Barkeley also announced plans to set-up a representative office of Nasdaq in India before the year-end to lure more companies into Nasdaq.

“We are talking to a dozen Indian companies for a possible listing on Nasdaq and expect one third of them getting listed this year itself,” he said.

Rediff Communications, Silverline Industries, Wipro, Morepen Laboratories, Zee Telefilms, Indiatimes.Com, Indiainfoline, Pentamedia Graphics are some of the companies which have announced a Nasdaq listing.Top



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CORPORATE NEWS

Max to invest Rs 400 cr in healthcare

NEW DELHI, April 3 (PTI) —Max India will invest Rs 400 crore to open country-wide clinics and hospitals in partnership with US company Harvard Medical International (HMI), as part of its healthcare foray.

Digital India to enter Scandinavian market

BANGALORE, April 3 (PTI) — Digital India, a software development and services company, today announced plans to enter the Scandinavian market. A company press release here said that International Benchmarking Solutions (IBS), a Danish IT consultancy firm, had been appointed as its channel partner in Denmark.

BHEL profits fall by 3.7 pc

NEW DELHI, April 3 (PTI) —Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) today announced a 3.67 per cent fall in its net profit at Rs 525 crore during 1999-2000 as against Rs 545 crore last year mainly on account of continued economic slowdown and project delays.

Nestle declares 80 pc interim

Nestle India has declared an interim dividend for 2000 of Rs 8 per equity share. The interim dividend includes Rs 4.50 per equity share out of undistributed profits of previous financial years.

Excel Industries Ltd has declared 75 per cent interim dividend on its equity share capital for the year 1999-2000, as against 75 per cent final dividend for the previous year.

NRB Bearings has declared an interim dividend of 45 per cent for the year ending March 2000, against 40 per cent annual dividend paid by the company during the previous year.

Omax Autos Limited has declared an interim in dividend of 35 per cent for the year 1999-2000.Top



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Forex
US $ Rs 43.61/62
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Jap yen (100) Rs 41.58/60

Spice Telecom
CHANDIGARH, April 3 (TNS) — Spice Telecom today launched free incoming Spice to Spice calls for all subscribers. The offer comes as a part of the Baisakhi celebrations by the company. All new subscribers between April 1 and 30 will be eligible for a lucky draw. The prize at stake is a free return air ticket to Kathmandu everyday.Top



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