|Thursday, May 11, 2000,
India, Israel to boost cooperation
Gujarat-born man is US
chief finance officer
Microsoft to respond to
Bangladesh for duty-free import of
Ernst & Young awards
Mannesmann sells stake in Sachs
Recovery of debts
Forex markets not volatile, says
Wheat gains, pulses slip
TEL AVIV, May 10 (PTI) India and Israel are set to boost economic cooperation in high-tech sectors, especially in software, telecommunications and IT sectors, following the success of Indias first-ever trade fair in the Jewish state, officials and industrialists here say.Both sides have agreed to increase cooperation in the it software and services sector and a high-level delegation is due in Israel from India next month to sign agreement on information technology, Harsh Shringhla, Indias economic counsellor here told PTI after a business seminar held during the trade fair.
We require an investment of nearly $ 80 to 90 million to increase our telecom subscribers from $ 26 million to $ 175 million, Shyamal Ghosh, Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, told the seminar while highlighting market opportunities in India.
India is one of the largest markets for Israeli companies having high-tech capabilities particularly in the telecom sector.
Captains of 34 leading Israeli companies, including Gilat Satellite Networks and ECI Telecom who are already active in India, shared with their Indian counterparts the objectives of promoting their products through joint ventures.
The potential is tremendous... software, it and telecommunications are the fastest growing areas of cooperation and knowledge-intensive industries are the best bet for both countries, Indian Ambassador Ranjan Mathai said.
Our brains are our best resources, and our scientists and our engineers will be in the forefront of our nations economic development, Mathai said in his inaugural address.
Highlighting the potential for new Indo-Israeli business links, Director General of the Israels Ministry of Communication Daniel Rosenne noted that many Israeli and Indian companies were in the forefront of technology and we have a lot to do together, a lot to offer each other.
India is the 12th largest telecommunications market in the world, but it needs to expand, and India has shown a strong desire to work with Israel in this area, Rosenne told the seminar, organised by the Israel Export Institute, Israels Ministry of Communications and Embassy of India.
Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry S.B. Mohapatra spoke about the status of Indian economy and prospects of trade with India.
A number of Israeli companies in the telecom sectors are world leaders with cutting edge technology and access to ventures capital. Gilat Satellite has linked the national stock exchange in Mumbai by VSAT to 3,000 sites around the world making it the largest financial network in the region.
BM Tandan, General
Manager of the India Trade Promotion Organisation which
organised the India trade fair with Embassy of India,
said about 114 Indian companies had successfully
projected India as potential partner of Israel during the
WASHINGTON, May 10 The financial health of the United States capital will henceforth be the responsibility of Gujarat-born Natwar Gandhi, who will oversee the District of Columbias $5 billion budget and a staff of over 700 employees. With the resignation of D.C. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Valerie Holt, which ended a three-month controversy over her management that began immediately after she missed the deadline for the districts annual audit, Washington Mayor Anthony Williams named Gandhi, Holts deputy for tax and revenue, as acting CFO.
I would like to say that only in America, a first generation immigrant can rise to become the Chief Financial Officer of the nations capital, Gandhi told IANS. It shows the generosity of the American people, and I am deeply grateful for this opportunity.
Williams, a Democrat, said he intends to recommend Gandhi to the D.C. Council and the Financial Control Board for permanent appointment. Several Council members applauded Gandhis appointment as interim CFO and indicated that his confirmation would be a unanimous.
The CFO is one of the four most important positions in the district. There are two appointed positions Chairman of the Control Board and the CFO. The two most important elected positions are mayor and the chairman of the City Council.
The CFO is an instrument of Congress in the Control Board to keep a watchful eye over the billions of dollars the district takes in annually. Incidentally, Williams had used the CFOs position as a platform for his election as mayor.
Gandhi, who was handpicked by Williams when he was CFO to be his deputy, said he realised the importance of his new job to the districts political future. We want to be absolutely sure that there is an annual financial report on time by February 1 a clean opinion and a balanced budget because that is a critical requirement for transition to home rule and a normal government, he said. For years, D.C. has been trying to gain statehood but has been thwarted by Congress.
An alumnus of the University of Bombay where he received a B.Com degree in accounting and a law degree, Gandhi also holds a masters in business administration from Atlanta University and a doctorate in accounting from Louisiana University.
Before joining the D.C.
government in 1997 as Williams deputy, Gandhi was
Associate Director of Tax Policy and Administration for
the U.S. General Accounting Office, the watchdog agency
for the U.S. Congress. IANS
NEW DELHI, May 10 (PTI) Bangladesh today asked India to allow duty-free import on 25 categories of goods, including jute, to reduce the trade gap of over Rs 4,000 crore.
"Our country is pursuing the issue of greater market access in India. We have got assurance that duty-free import facility will be granted in some product categories," Bangladesh Commerce Secretary Ghulam Rahman said at a function organised by FICCI.
"We have asked the Indian Government to allow duty-free import on items of 25 categories, including jute products, newsprint, dry cells batteries and ceramics," he said.
The plea has been placed by Bangladesh in the wake of growing trade deficit with India.
Apart from the duty-free import facility, Bangladesh officials also discussed ways to remove bottlenecks in the cross-border trade through Benapol and Tetrapol.
Customs officials of the two countries have decided to integrate the inspection procedures by juxtaposing the Customs offices to make trade hassle-free.
WASHINGTON, May 10 (AP) Microsoft is about to get its chance to rebut a Governments proposal to rip the company in two.
Microsoft will today respond to the proposal made last month by the Justice Department and 17 state attorneys to split it into one company that sells the dominant Windows operating system and another selling virtually everything else.
The plan was submitted to US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who on April 3 found Microsoft to be a monopoly with business practices in wide violation of antitrust law. The company said it will appeal the ruling.
The Justice Department official who championed the break-up vigorously defended the plan yesterday, the eve of the companys deadline to respond, as the most effective and efficient means of protecting and preserving competition.
Joel Klein, who heads the departments antitrust division dismissed criticism against the break-up proposal, saying similar arguments were made more than two decades ago in the break-up AT-and-Ts national phone system.
We now know, of course, that the divestiture in the AT-and-T case, far from making things worse, has unleashed unprecedented competition, innovation and consumer benefit," Klein said, referring to an explosive growth in wireless BD communications, broadband services and fibre optics.
Gates urges use of smart cards
LAS VEGAS: Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates urged other technology companies to forge ahead in adopting "smart cards" instead of passwords as a way of ensuring security on the Internet.
"The weakest link in security is the fact that passwords are used," Gates said during his keynote speech yesterday at the NetWorld+Interop 2000 conference in Las Vegas, a six-day computer networking event attended by about 60,000 people.
Customers who want to buy products, do banking or pay bills online usually have to choose a password when they register with the site. But Gates said the system is not secure because thieves can call online companies and pose as customers who forgot their passwords.
Last year, the US Federal Trade Commission received nearly 18,000 complaints of Internet consumer fraud, including allegations about online auctions and sales of computer hardware and software.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission gets 200 to 300 complaints a day about possible securities fraud on the Internet.
Gates said the Internet needs to move away from passwords and into the use of smart cards, which are embedded with a silicon chip that stores value and keeps track of how much money is spent. They can also store personal information and computer files.
& Young awards
NEW DELHI, May 10 Keeping in view the phenomenal changes in the Indian business scene, leading professional services firm, Ernst and Young, today announced that it has decided to broad base its awards for first generation entrepreneurs.
Chairman of Ernst and Young, Mr K.N. Memani, told newspersons here that the Entrepreneur of the Year Award programme, which was confined to four categories last year, has been extended to cover Information Technology, Communications and Entertainment (ICE), Health Care and Life Sciences, Start up, Family Entrepreneur and Manager Entrepreneur.
The entrepreneurial award instituted in 1986 in the USA is now operational in 20 countries world-wide and India became part of this programme in 1999. The programme is an annual honour awarded to individuals in several categories.
The winners would be
selected from amongst all eligible nominations received
by the deadline July 10, 2000 by a distinguished panel of
independent judges following an independent process of
nomination and selection. The winners would be invited to
a glittering awards ceremony and an exclusive banquet in
the capital in September and later invited to represent
India at the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year
International Conference at Palm Springs, California
between November 9-12 this year.
sells stake in Sachs India
PARWANOO, May 10 As part of its global strategy, the Mannesmann group of Germany has decided to exit from its shock absorber making subsidiary Sachs India here.
Under an agreement the entire shareholding of Mannesmann Sachs has been sold to Ashish DasGupta, who has taken over as the Managing Director of the company. All nominees of Mannesmann Sachs have resigned from the Board of Directors of Sachs India.
DasGupta has secured the resignations of all Directors of Mannesmann, joined the board and appointed two new Directors Kirnesh Jung, a leading farmer and mine-owner of Himachal Pradesh, and Chinubhai R. Shah, a management adviser to Cadila Pharmaceuticals and former Managing Director of Ahmedabad Electricity Corporation.
The company has also got a nod from the Registrar of Companies to change the name of Sachs India to Auto Comps India. It is the third time the companys name has been changed.
NEW DELHI, May 10 (PTI) An expert panel on legal reforms in the banking sector today suggested steps for more efficient recovery of debts due to financial institutions and banks, and structural reforms in various laws, particularly the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) Act.
The committee, headed by T.R.Andhyarujina, a senior Supreme Court advocate, in its detailed report submitted to Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, also recommended that powers should be given to the financial institutions and the banks to have recourse to securities without going to the courts.
NEW DELHI, May 10 (PTI) Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha today reacted to the fall in rupee value saying the forex markets were not volatile.
Asked by reporters whether the fall in rupee was a cause of concern to the Government, Sinha said I am not commenting on the rupee. But the markets are not volatile.
Volatility of the market is judged by the spread between the buying and selling price (of rupee). That is very narrow, Sinha said.
The rupee ended at an all-time low of 43.6775/6825 yesterday to the dollar, weaker by three paise from its previous close.
Stating that the rupee was the domain of RBI, Sinha said that any comments from his side would send the wrong signal to the market.
NEW DELHI, May 10 (PTI)
The city-based Internet company Inqube Web today
launched a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) portal that allows
consumers to post feedback on various products and
services in the form of actual user evaluations.
NEW DELHI, May 10 (UNI) Wheat dara firmed up while pulses suffered a setback at the local grains and pulses market today.
Wheat dara gained Rs five to Rs six per quintal on tight supplies. As a result, the prices of atta also went up by Rs 13 to Rs 14 per 90 kg bag. Maida, however, subdued by Rs 10 at the lower and Rs five per quintal at the higher level on lack of support from buyers.
In pulses, gram slipped by Rs five, urad declined by Rs 25 and moong by Rs 50 per quintal at the higher levels only on increased offerings coupled with lack of matching demand.
Rice and coarse grains remained unchanged at the previous level.
The rates (per quintal)
Wheat: Desi 800-1050 dara 640-642 atta (90 kg bag) 615-617 suji 675-677 maida 660-670 chokar 480.
Rice: Basmati 2500-3200 parmal 925-1125 parmal sela 900-1100 IR eight 850-875.
Coarse grains: Bajra 600-650 maize 600-650 barley 600-650 jowar 550-1300.
Pulses: Gram 1350-1410
gram dal 1500-1900 kabligram 2000-2800 urad 1700-2500 dal
urad 2600-3000 urad dhova 3000-3600 moong 1900-2100 dal
moong 2200-2500 moong dhova 2500-2850 masoor 1650-1850
dal masoor 1750-2300 arhar 1650-1850 dal arhar 2000-2500.
by Ashok Kumar
Tata Telecom a dark horse bet
THE nervousness among investors, including those of the institutional variety even at lower levels which manifests itself in sales being pressed even on the flimsiest of rumours suggests that there could be one more correction round the corner before someone musters the courage to bell the cat and trigger an uninterrupted upswing. Till then though volatility can be expected to be the order of the day and every sharp upswing can be expected to be followed by an equally sharp downswing of the variety witnessed on Monday. Traders, however, can try and ride the volatility to make quick killings by being on the right side of the tide.
Punters with a bullish temperament can consider exposure at the counters of DSO Software at Rs. 748 (square up at Rs. 792) and VSNL at Rs. 1067 (square up at Rs. 1122). Short positions can be considered at the counters of Zee Telefilms at Rs. 734 (cover up at Rs. 701) and Wipro at Rs. 3047 (cover up at Rs. 2963).
The dark horse bet of
the week is Tata Telecom while discerning long term
investors can consider packing the shares of HCL
Technologies into their portfolios as the current
valuation offers fair scope for gains over the next
eighteen months. In the meanwhile, keep taking profits
when you see one as the market can be expected to be
volatile in the forseeable future.
GM-Daewoo to make low-cost car
SEOUL, May 10 (AFP) General Motors Corp. (GM) said it would make Daewoo Motor Co. A production base for low-cost car platforms if it is successful in taking over the troubled South Korean company.
Our intent is to use Daewoo to develop low-cost platforms primarily for the Asia and Pacific, GM Chairman Jack Smith told a news conference.
Smith, on a visit to South Korea for a motor show, said that the US auto-giant is the natural partner for the ailing auto firm compared to the other four potential bidders.
The top GM official, however, refused to disclose specific plans for the proposed low-cost platforms, saying the auction for Daewoo is still to be completed.
Smith stressed if his firm wins the bid, Daewoo Motor would become an integral part of the global GM network. It would be a key part of (GMs) development in the Asia-Pacific and the world, he added.
In an apparent bid to allay public concerns that any acquisition of Daewoo Motor by a foreign firm could lead to a job losses or a partial closure, Smith said the Daewoo operations would remain intact.
NEW DELHI, (UNI): In a bid to increase presence across the country, Ford India Limited (FIL) is hiking its dealership and service outlet network by 50 per cent from 40 to 60 by the end of 2000 calendar year.
In addition, the company is also planning to despatch the Ikoncept, the 1.6 GT concept car based on Ikon designed by Automobile Redesigner Dilip Chabbria, to its dealerships for gathering customer perception, senior company officials said.
Regarding Fords plan to hike the number of dealerships, the officials said, besides setting up new dealerships, the company is also looking at setting up new service outlets with the existing dealers in a hub and spoke arrangement.
Under this, an existing dealer in a city would be allowed to set up an additional sales and service outlet in another part of the same city.
BANGALORE (UNI): Production of multipurpose vehicle Qualis has been doubled by the Toyata Kirloskar Motar from this month to meet the growing demand.
Launched on January 11
during the Auto Exposition 2000 in New Delhi, Qualis had
received an overwhelming response despite sluggish demand
for multi utility vehicles in the Indian market. Within
three months of its introduction the company had received
orders for 12,500 vehicles and 5000 vehicles had already
been despatched from the plant in Bidadi, near here, the
company said in a release here today.
Hafed turnover may touch Rs 1,306 crore
CHANDIGARH, May 10 (PTI) The turnover of Hafed for 1999-2000 is expected to touch Rs 1,306 crore which is the highest since its inception. The turnover for 1998-99 was only Rs 783.96 crore, Haryana Cooperation Minister, Kartar Singh Badhana said here today. During the last financial year Hafed delivered 10.59 lakh metric tonnes of wheat of the FCI which was ever highest as against only 5.66 lakh MT in the corresponding period last year.
Brushman posts net profit of Rs 12.23 lakh
NEW DELHI, May 10 (TNS) Paint brush company Brushman India today reported coming out of red with a net profit of Rs 12.23 lakh during the 1999-2000 as against a loss of Rs 3.21 lakh during the previous year. The company sales grew 36 per cent to Rs 4.35 crore as compared to Rs 3.19 crore sales in 1998-99, a company statement said here.
SEBI receives 7 draft offer documents
MUMBAI, May 10 (UNI) SEBI has received seven draft offer documents amounting to Rs 62.26 crore during the week ended April 28, 2000. The SEBI has communicated observations for nine public issues amounting to Rs 145.19 crore and three rights issues amounting to Rs 127.01 crore during the same period, a SEBI release said here today.
DCM Shriram net grows 57.5 pc
NEW DELHI, May 10 (TNS) DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited (DSCL) has recorded a 57.5 per cent growth in the net profit in 1999-2000 at Rs 34.02 crore from Rs 21.6 crore a year ago. The total sales turnover at Rs 876.28 crore has registered a growth of over 38 per cent during the year.The Board of Directors of the company at a meeting today has decided that two interim dividends totalling to 40 per cent already given, may be treated total dividend for the year.
HEG net falls 16 pc
NEW DELHI, May 10 (PTI) HEG Ltd today reported a 16 per cent fall in the net profit at Rs 30.39 crore in 1999-2000 as against Rs 36.16 crore in the previous fiscal. The turnover of the company increased to Rs 472.21 crore in 1999-2000 as against 441.51 crore in the previous fiscal. However, the net profit for 1999-2000 would have been higher compared to Rs 26.63 crore in 1998-99 after excluding the income from sale of its oil rig last year.
Sundaram declares 30 pc dividend
NEW DELHI, May 10 (UNI) Sundaram Mutual Fund has announced dividend 30 per cent to investors of Sundaram Growth Fund, a dividend of 20 per cent was declared on September 29, 1999. The NAV of Rs 18.18 on May 5, 2000 works out to an annualised return of 29.23 per cent at its inception on April 24, 1997. On a cumulative basis, the fund has generated a return of 91 per cent. The record date has been fixed for May 15, 2000.
UTI, HDFC pick up stake in MCS Software
MUMBAI, May 10 (PTI)
UTI, HDFC and Tata Finance Ltd (TFL) have picked
up a 12 per cent stake in the Bangalore-based MCS
Software Solutions Ltd (MSSL) for Rs 12 crore, setting
the companys valuation at Rs 100 crore. UTI and
HDFC acquired 5 per cent stake each, while TFL has taken
2 per cent stake as part of first round of funding the
software company, Suresh Ram, Chairman and CEO of
US-based Object Resources Inc, MSSLs parent
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