Thursday, October 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

WTO draft declaration short of expectations
New Delhi, October 17
The Draft Ministerial Declaration prepared for the coming WTO Ministerial conference falls short of India’s expectations and is heavily biased in favour of developed nations, Mr Murasoli Maran said here today.

Bush strong but economy worries
Washington, October 17
US President George W. Bush heads to this week’s APEC forum today enjoying near-record public support and backed by mostly united lawmakers, but a reeling US economy threatens his political future. 

HDFC net rises by 14.3 per cent 
Mumbai, October 17
HDFC has posted a 14.3 per cent rise in the net profit at Rs 138.49 crore for second quarter ended September 30, 2001, compared to Rs 121.16 crore in same period previous year.

Get a shave & a Net connection
The next time a visit to a barber’s shop could be a different experience. You might come back home with a crew-cut, a hair conditioner and well, maybe an Internet connection.

Maruti sales fall, Telco up
New Delhi, October 17
Domestic car sales fell for the second successive month clocking a 22.3 per cent drop in September as major manufacturers like Maruti Udyog, Hyundai, Ford and Hindustan Motors recorded a decline in sales.



EARLIER STORIES
 

Hero Honda to pay 150 pc
New Delhi, October 17
Hero Honda Motors said today that its second quarter net profit has increased by 63.1 per cent at Rs 98.34 crore over Rs 60.27 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

Californian grapes
New Delhi, October 17
After apples, oranges, plums and bananas from abroad, it is the turn of Californian grapes to adorn upmarket retail shelves in the country. The California Table Grapes Commission, the largest producer of grapes in the United States, has set up office in Gurgaon to cater to the Indian market.

Electronics Dept, Compaq sign pact
Shimla, October 17
H.P. State Electronics Development Corporation and Compaq today entered into an arrangement for sale of Compaq computers from the corporation showroom on the Mall here.

ROUND-UP

Wheat exports likely to be below target
New Delhi, October 17
If the current market trends are any indication, Indian wheat exports are unlikely to be more than 2.5 million tonne, way below the target of five million tonne for the current fiscal.

  • Hughes Escorts launches ASP

  • WLL rental cut to Rs 550


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WTO draft declaration short of expectations
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
The Draft Ministerial Declaration prepared for the coming WTO Ministerial conference falls short of India’s expectations and is heavily biased in favour of developed nations, Mr Murasoli Maran said here today.

Mr Maran told the Economic Editors Conference here the draft declaration provided only very limited satisfaction in areas such as anti-dumping, subsidies and textile agreements and India had sought certain amendments.

Charging the 142-member body with being “power-oriented” rather than being rule-oriented, Mr Maran said it was still a necessary evil as without it countries would have to sign thousands of bilateral agreements.

Mr Maran also expressed doubts over the Doha meeting taking place on schedule saying he was not sure about the venue. The meeting would be definitely held, but whether it would be at Doha was uncertain.

The Minister said many developing countries had backed India in its efforts to get the implementation issues resolved first before adding new agenda to the negotiations.

On the domestic trade scenario, the Minister said a high-level committee was being set up for the next Five Year Exim Policy that would be coterminus with the 10th Plan period of 2002-07.

The committee would review the policy instruments and package of export promotion schemes and procedures for exports and suggest steps to rationalise and channelise the schemes, he said.

The committee would be headed by former Commerce Secretary, Mr P.P. Prabhu.

On boosting foreign direct investments in the country, the Minister said the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance would contact foreign investors to ascertain progress of FIPB approvals.

He said Indian embassies were being involved to monitor FDI cases. The Indian Mission have been authorised to accept FDI application, he added.

He, however, cautioned against complacence in the wake of FDI inflows saying China, Argentina and Brazil still remained the favourite destinations for FDI.

Mr Maran said India would continue to follow a policy of gradualism while opening its doors and said the export policies would be employment-oriented.

He said the lack of financial sector reforms, specially in the banking sector, was a major reason for the incomplete liberalisation.

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Bush strong but economy worries

Washington, October 17
US President George W. Bush heads to this week’s APEC forum today enjoying near-record public support and backed by mostly united lawmakers, but a reeling US economy threatens his political future.

“How strong is he? On a scale of one to 10, he’s at 9.8. I don’t see how he could be in a stronger position,” according to Allan Lichtman, a political historian at American University here.

Bush will seek to enlist leaders of the 21-economy Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the global war on terrorism during the group’s October 20-21 summit in Shanghai.

September 11 terror strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have dramatically transformed bush’s nine-month old presidency and sent approval ratings from the mid-50 per cent range to near 90, according to recent polls.

But the US economy, already struggling before the onslaught, saw disruptions in sales, air travel, and production, while also affecting the attitudes and expectations of consumers and businesses, making recovery hard to forecast.

“If the extent of the economic damage inflicted by the attacks is unknown at this point, so too is the length of time before aggregate economic growth picks up,” US Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson said yesterday.

Reviving the ailing economy is the US public’s second priority, behind combating terrorism, according to a recent poll by the Gallup organisation. AFP

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HDFC net rises by 14.3 per cent 

Mumbai, October 17
HDFC has posted a 14.3 per cent rise in the net profit at Rs 138.49 crore for second quarter ended September 30, 2001, compared to Rs 121.16 crore in same period previous year.

Income from operations rose by 14.53 per cent at Rs 671.49 crore in Q2 as against Rs 586.30 crore in corresponding period of last year, HDFC Managing Director Keki Mistry told newspersons here today.

The company Board also approved an increase in the maximum permissible limit of holding of equity shares of HDFC by FIIs to 74 per cent from the current 49 per cent.

At present, the FIIs holding stands at 44 per cent.

Mistry said for the six months ended September, the net profit rose by 17 per cent at Rs 252.55 crore (Rs 216.80 crore) while income from operations stood at Rs 1,304.56 crore (Rs 1,138.62 crore).

During the first half, the loan approvals amounted to Rs 4,083.59 crore (Rs 3,165.04 crore), a rise of 29 per cent. Disbursals grew at the same rate at Rs 3,207.57 per cent (Rs 2,484.67 crore), he said.

The gross non-performing assets aggregated 1.13 per cent (1.18 per cent) of the housing loan portfolio, he said adding that, HDFC received Rs 1,760 crore by way of repayment of loans through monthly instalments and prepayments in H1.PTI

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Get a shave & a Net connection
Peeyush Agnihotri

The next time a visit to a barber’s shop could be a different experience. You might come back home with a crew-cut, a hair conditioner and well, maybe an Internet connection.

Though an after-shave lotion and a Net connectivity package are as different as a chalk and a cheese, yet they have found a common platform — the hairdresser’s shop that is, going by the latest marketing gimmick launched by Dishnet DSL.

So shampoo your hair and surf the Net. An upmarket swank hairdresser’s shop on the geri route in Sector 11, Chandigarh, has been chosen by this ISP to promote their company. The shop is dotted with the company’s promotional posters and the shop-owner, who charges as much as Rs 70 for a men’s hair-cut has been asked to sell the product on a commission basis.

The connections have been priced between Rs 149 and Rs 3,000 for varying time periods. “Till now, I have not sold any connection but have received enquiries from curious customers who visit my shop for a hair-cut. The company approached me just two days ago and I have been promised a 15 per cent commission on every connection sold,” Rashid Khan, the hairdresser reveals.

Company officials said they chose a hairdresser’s shop to tap the customer at the grassroots level. “It would initially be about creating awareness through concept selling and grabbing some market share,” a marketing manager with the ISP says. “More such tie-ups may be in the offing,” he adds

Chandigarh at present is a home to 10 odd ISPs. With fallen tariffs, falling hardware prices and an intense competition in the domestic market, the ISPs have been left with no option but to lure the customers through innovative sales strategy and have a cut in the market share. A cut in the market share? Well, shaving it off would be more precise, as the latest trend goes.

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Maruti sales fall, Telco up

New Delhi, October 17
Domestic car sales fell for the second successive month clocking a 22.3 per cent drop in September as major manufacturers like Maruti Udyog, Hyundai, Ford and Hindustan Motors recorded a decline in sales.

Total sales stood at 46,080 cars against 59,372 cars in the same month last year, data compiled by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed today.

However, Telco, Fiat and Honda Siel posted growth, while troubled Daewoo Motors did not disclose its sales figures for the review month.

Sales during the first half of this fiscal (April-September 2001-02) went down by 6.1 per cent to 2.77 lakh cars against 2.95 lakh cars in the year-ago period.

Commercial vehicles sales, a key indicator of economic growth, dropped 3.8 per cent to 11,842 units from 12,319 units in the year-ago month. This was due to a 22.7 per cent drop in light commercial vehicles (LCV) sales even as the medium and heavy vehicles segment recorded a 10.2 per cent growth.

Multi-utility-vehicle (MUV) sales fell 5.8 per cent at 10,003 units (10,620 units in September 2000).

Car sales of Hyundai Motor fell 26.4 per cent at 6,061 units in September this year (8,242 cars a year ago).

Ford India, also witnessed a 36.6 per cent drop at 1,151 cars (1,817 cars) while the Indian arm of US auto giant General Motors posted a 30.7 per cent drop at 800 cars (1,156 cars)

Sales of Telco increased by 50.1 per cent at 5,408 cars (3,602 cars) but Hindustan Motors recorded a 43.1 per cent decline at 1,630 cars (2,865 cars).

Sales of Honda Siel cars and Fiat India increased 4.3 per cent and 53.3 per cent at 1,149 cars and 1,382 cars respectively during September this year.

Sales of Mercedes Benz dipped 6.3 per cent at 103 cars during the review month.

Telco recorded a 33.5 per cent rise in M&H vehicle sales at 5,355 units but posted a 32.7 per cent decline in LCV sales at 2,107 units. PTI

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Hero Honda to pay 150 pc

New Delhi, October 17
Hero Honda Motors said today that its second quarter net profit has increased by 63.1 per cent at Rs 98.34 crore over Rs 60.27 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

The company also announced a special dividend of 150 per cent (Rs 5 per equity share of Rs 2 each) for this fiscal, besides hiking FIIs limit to 40 per cent from the present 24 per cent.

Net sales have increased by 28.8 per cent at Rs 1038.47 crore during July-September, 2001-02 over Rs 739.36 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Talking to PTI after the Board meeting here, Hero Honda Director, Finance, Ravi Sud said the special dividend would result in a cash outflow of Rs 110 crore, including taxes. PTI

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Californian grapes
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 17
After apples, oranges, plums and bananas from abroad, it is the turn of Californian grapes to adorn upmarket retail shelves in the country. The California Table Grapes Commission, the largest producer of grapes in the United States, has set up office in Gurgaon to cater to the Indian market.

The Commission plans to market more than 50 grape varieties grown in California. Each variety has its own season texture and flavour. They come in three different colours-green, red and black-blue.

Mr Sumit Saran, India representative of the US firm, said California holds tremendous potential in the Indian market especially since the product if totally counter seasonal to the domestic produce. The consumers would not only have grapes all round the year but also get more varieties to choose from. 
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IBM profit drops 

New York, October 17
Slogging ahead through the swampy global economy, IBM Corp reported a 19 per cent drop in its third quarter earnings, but still managed to turn a profit.

The company yesterday reported net income of $ 1.6 billion or 90 cents per share, compared with $ 2 billion, or $ 1.08 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call predicted earnings of 89 cents per share. AP
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Electronics Dept, Compaq sign pact
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 17
H.P. State Electronics Development Corporation and Compaq today entered into an arrangement for sale of Compaq computers from the corporation showroom on the Mall here.

The main thrust of the arrangement will be to make available genuine Compaq PCs to customers at competitive prices, Mr T.C. Janartha, Managing Director of the HPSEDC, told reporters.

Compaq will also provide the customers with a interest-free financing facility through banks on the pattern of the existing schemes.

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Titan showroom opens in Ambala
Tribune News Service

Ambala, October 17
The first “World of Titan” showroom in Haryana was inaugurated at Ambala Cantt today.

Talking to mediapersons, Deputy Managing Director of Titan Industries Bhaskar Bhat said plans were afoot to extending the Titan brand to other products. “We are planning to have our brand on products like small leather goods, writing instruments and snuglasses,” he said.

Mr Bhat after inaugurating the Titan showroom said it is 125th Titan showroom in the country. The 125 Titan showrooms are spread across 78 towns in the country.

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LML launches bikes in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
LML has launched their 110-cc bikes Energy FX and Adreno FX in Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal today. A big rally was flagged off by Mr Rakesh Kerwell, Regional Manager from Sector 17, here.

LML’s new bikes come fitted with 110cc, 9bhp, 3-valve engines.


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ROUND-UP

Wheat exports likely to be below target

New Delhi, October 17
If the current market trends are any indication, Indian wheat exports are unlikely to be more than 2.5 million tonne, way below the target of five million tonne for the current fiscal.

Market sources attributed this to the increasing competition from the USA, Canada and East Europe, stoppage of exports to Iraq and the short-term pricing policy.

“In the remaining months of 2001-02, exports will be of only a lakh tonne or so, on account of sluggish demand and the only possibility of shipments picking up is on the resumption of wheat trade with Iraq,” Cosmos International’s Managing Director, Anil Agarwal, said.

Adani Exports’ Vice-President, Atul Chaturvedi said though small cargoes were going to South-East and West Asia and 1.6 million tonne was shipped in April-September, nothing by way of big orders had been contracted in the recent past. PTI

Hughes Escorts launches ASP

New Delhi
 Hughes Escorts Communications (HECL), a joint venture of Hughes Network Systems and Escorts today launched its application service provider (ASP) services targetd at enterprise customers.

HECL has also announced new ASP tie-ups in area of travel and expense management with Solix Inc and HR recruiting with Jobsahead.com. These augment its earlier tie-ups with Intelligroup for e-distribution, commerce one for e-procurement and Auctions, and Talisma for ecrm. PTI

WLL rental cut to Rs 550

New Delhi
 Within a week after relaunching its limited mobility services using wireless in local loop (WLL), MTNL today reduced the rental to Rs 550 per month from Rs 600.

“We have already sent the proposal to TRAI for its approval. Rental has been reduced in the wake of increase in the number of WLL connections,” K.H. Khan, Chief General Manager, MTNL (Delhi) told PTI.

TRAI had earlier notified monthly rental for WLL phone as part of basic telecom services in the range of Rs 450 to 600. PTI

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BIZ BRIEFS

Kanbay
Chandigarh, October 17
|Kanbay , e- enterprise integrator inaugurated its new technology centre in Pune with an investment to the tune of Rs 20 crore. The facility will provide workspace for additional 500 associates. TNS

Lamcon Fin
Chandigarh, October 17
Lamcon Finance and Management Services has introduced training videos on financial matters . The training programme has eight modules including topics like concept of profit, making of a balance sheet and good finance management. TNS

Siemens
Chandigarh , October 17
Siemens Information Systems today announced the implementation of mySAP CRM in the country. The implementation has been done for Sudarshan Chemical Industries. The scope of the CRM implementation will include Internet Sales B2B scenario, integration of different systems in the workplace with single user login and activity management in CRM online.TNS

Gillette
Chandigarh, October 17
Gillette India Ltd announced the lucky winner of the exciting promotional offer, 10 lakhs for Rs 10 on the Wilkinson Sword brand at a special award ceremony organised by Gillette Company today. The winner of the mega first prize of Rs 10 lakh is Mr Richpal Singh Lather of Panipat.

Mr G.P.S. Sahi, a senior retired IAS officer of Punjab Cadre, who has been nominated as Chairman of Punjab Financial Corporation by SIDBI. TNS

Shree Cement
Chandigarh, October 17
Shree Cement, an ISO 9002 company and a part Bangar Group launched its product Shree Cement here. The product is specially suited for Indian condition and manufactured at Beawar in Rajasthan. The plant has an installed capacity of 2 million tonnes per annum. TNS

HDFC Bank
Chandigarh, October 17
HDFC Bank installed its 16th ATM yesterday at 3BRD, Air Force Station, here. Air Marshal S.S. Gupta,, AOC-in-C, Headquarters Maintenance Command, inaugurated it. HDFC Bank also has five branches in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. TNS

Sanitiser
Chandigarh, October 17
Gojo, a USA based company, introduces new products Purell and Spa bath first time in India, distributed by Metco Enterprises India. Purell kills 99.99 per cent of common germs. Spa bath body and shampoo is the ideal all-purpose lotion soap. TNS

Madura Garments
Chandigarh, October 17
Madura Garments, a division of Indian Rayons Industry, a Bangalore-based readymade garments company, manufacturing shirts and trousers has come up with a unique scheme for its brand, Peter England. The company has given to the consumers a scheme worth about Rs 1.50 crore with a guaranteed prize for every purchaser. A customer can win a prize worth ranging from Rs 175 to Rs 2.5 lakh.TNS

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