Tuesday, November 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India






National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

BSNL makes inroads into South Africa
New Delhi, November 26
Indian telecom major, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, has made inroads into South Africa with that country seeking its expertise to develop rural telecommunications.

CELLULAR SUBSCRIBERS

Exempt pension from tax: IRDA
New Delhi, November 26
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has asked the government to exempt pension schemes from tax completely for encouraging the sector to grow over seven-fold to Rs 4,06,400 crore in 25 years.

Maruti market borrowings double
New Delhi, November 26

Market borrowings of country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Udyog Ltd, which posted its first ever loss of Rs 269.6 crore in 2000-01, have doubled to over Rs 1112 crore.

Canadian team visits Markfed
Chandigarh, November 26
To explore the possibilities of setting up of bulk grain handling facilities in India, a high-level team led by Mr William Bill Mcknight visited Markfed today . The team discussed various business models with Markfed, said a press release.

Subhash Chandra to acquire ProCall
New Delhi, November 26

Subhash Chandra promoted ASC Enterprises is expected to acquire Delhi-based mobile radio trunking company ProCall shortly for an undisclosed amount, in line with plans to expand its radio trunking business.

JourneyMart, Yahoo! in pact
New Delhi, November 26
JourneyMart.com, an online travel services company, on Monday said it had tied up with Yahoo! India, the local arm of the U.S.-based Internet firm Yahoo!, to provide online travel related services.




The India International Trade Fair is not just all about trade...it also showcases the country's rich and diverse culture.
(28k, 56k)


EARLIER STORIES

 

Shaw Wallace ties up with Kyndal Intl
Mumbai, November 26
Shaw Wallace today inked a pact with Glasgow-based Kyndal International Ltd to launch major liquor brands in India, and said it would set up a special team to handle the premium segments brands in the country.

ANALYST'S DIARY

Glenmark, Elder Pharma yet to prove worth
T
he Indian pharma sector is the only consistent market outperformer, it seems, at the Indian bourses over the past six to none months. While the stories of Cipla, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Ranbaxy are only too well known, it interested me to look through a couple of “stock-scan’s’ as our research team calls it one two upcoming pharma companies. 

ROUND-UP

L&T eyes West Asian market
Dubai, November 26

Larsen & Toubro is eyeing the power sector in the West Asia region which it says has potential for lucrative new businesses. “To date we have had very little penetration in the West Asia market. 

  • Drawback rates revised

  • Oil prices declineTop







 

BSNL makes inroads into South Africa
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
Indian telecom major, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, has made inroads into South Africa with that country seeking its expertise to develop rural telecommunications.

Mr B.R. Khurana, Director, Commercial and New Services, told newspersons here that BSNL has received enthusiastic business interests especially in the area of developing rural telecommunications.

The BSNL, which recently participated in ITU Telecom Africa 2001 exhibition at Johannesburg, also received queries on International VoIP tie-ups in the wake of the Indian Government’s decision to open international long distance dialling by April 2002.

BSNL has a 29 million telephone base with equipped capacity of 36 million lines. With a mammoth network of 240 thousand-route kilometre of optical fibre cable spanning across the country, the company is in a position to offer domestic bandwidth on demand, Mr Khurana said.

A plan to augment the domestic bandwith is underway with 20 Gbps and 80 Gbps DWDM network. ISDN service, a boon for faster, economical business communications has already been made available in more than 360 cities in India. WLL service is also operational in 15 cities, Mr Khurana said.
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Exempt pension from tax: IRDA

New Delhi, November 26
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has asked the government to exempt pension schemes from tax completely for encouraging the sector to grow over seven-fold to Rs 4,06,400 crore in 25 years.

“We have recommended tax exemption on pension schemes for the informal sector at all the three stages — contribution, accretion and maturity,” IRDA Chairman N.Rangachary told PTI.

IRDA, which submitted its report on social security to Yashwant Sinha recently, said that a “tax haven” and other reform measures would ensure pension contributions to go up to Rs 4,06,400 crore by 2025 as against a meagre Rs 56,100 crore now.

Without reform measures, IRDA estimates the sector to grow only three-fold to Rs 1,80,000 crore by 2025.

Although taxing pension only at the time of maturity is a worldwide practice, Rangachary said “this system is not suitable for India.”

The pension reforms are intended towards economically weaker sections, who are not within tax-net now and would remain so when their pension schemes mature, he said justifying the tax exemptions for ensuring social security.

The tax exemptions, however, should be denied to affluent and rich who already receive benefits at the maximum rate of tax, the IRDA chief said, adding that “there should be no hike in overall limit of tax rebate now at Rs 16,000.”

In case of weaker sections, he said exempting annuities would also have a “positive psychological effect” on mindset of senior citizens, who may otherwise resent their life savings being taxed at a stage when they have no ability to earn a substantial income. PTI
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Maruti market borrowings double

New Delhi, November 26
Market borrowings of country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Udyog Ltd (MUL), which posted its first ever loss of Rs 269.6 crore in 2000-01, have doubled to over Rs 1112 crore.

Mul’s total borrowings stood at Rs 1112.1 crore in the past year to March as opposed to Rs 546.1 crore borrowings in 1999-2000, according to company’s annual report.

During 2000-01, MUL raised Rs 300 crore through issue of non-convertible debentures, in two tranches, which were secured by mortgage on specific buildings and plant and machinery.

The NCDs are payable between December 2005 and December 2007. The company also raised Rs 139.9 crore as foreign currency loans from banks during the year under review, the report said. The two together made up for Rs 439.9 crore long term borrowings of the company, the first time resorted to in three years.

Short term borrowings increased from Rs 546.1 crore in 1999-2000 to Rs 672.2 crore in 2000-01. Most of the short term borrowing was to meet working capital requirements. PTI
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Canadian team visits Markfed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26
To explore the possibilities of setting up of bulk grain handling facilities in India, a high-level team led by Mr William Bill Mcknight visited Markfed today . The team discussed various business models with Markfed, said a press release.

This was the third visit by this group and its associates to discuss the adoption of Canadian technology in bulk grain handling and Markfed is in the process of evaluating it through a consortium formulation here.

Bulk storage will be helpful in post harvest losses and minimise spoilage and the new technology will modernise the foodgrains collection and distribution system, thereby improving the efficiency, said Markfed.

Markfed and the Canadian consortium are willing to invest in the structural cost and processing. The interests include exporting viable downstream projects like wheat flour milling, barley malting and feed manufacture. Markfed has already tied up with Campbell Agri Business to jointly explore mutually beneficial proposals for the setting up bulk grain handling facilities. The team members who visited today included Mr John Thalamder, Mr Lucio B Saccheth and Mr Kalyan Ghosh. 
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Subhash Chandra to acquire ProCall

New Delhi, November 26
Subhash Chandra promoted ASC Enterprises is expected to acquire Delhi-based mobile radio trunking company ProCall shortly for an undisclosed amount, in line with plans to expand its radio trunking business. ProCall is a 51:49 joint venture between Punwire and Motorola, and has been facing severe resource crunch since Punwire went into liquidation last year. This acquisition follows close on the heels of ASC taking over Mumbai-based QuickCalls, a Motorola-Bhilwara JV.

A spokesperson for ASC Enterprises told PTI over phone from Mumbai, “We understand that a Chandigarh court has cleared the decks for this acquisition but we have not received any official communication from the court as yet” but declined to divulge details of the proposed acquisition.

Market sources, however, said that ProCall, which posted Rs 10 crore sale turnover last fiscal and has a paid-up capital of Rs 11 crore, will help ASC consolidate its market position in radio trunking. PTI
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JourneyMart, Yahoo! in pact

New Delhi, November 26
JourneyMart.com, an online travel services company, on Monday said it had tied up with Yahoo! India, the local arm of the U.S.-based Internet firm Yahoo!, to provide online travel related services.

As part of the alliance, Yahoo! India users will have a link to JourneyMart.com that would provide access to the travel portal's global travel and destination information and a bank of travel providers, a joint press statement said here.

"We are delighted to associate with JourneyMart.com as our key client in the area of travel," said Deepak Chandnani, country head of Yahoo! India.

"It will help our users to access a host of information and services for their travel needs."

Gautam Chadha, Chief Executive Officer of JourneyMart.com, said: "Travel information and service is a premier need of Internet users and we plan to meet the rising demand with a comprehensive online travel resource portal."

"This association will provide us access to 17 million user registrations on Yahoo! India. It will help to broaden our user base," he added. IANS
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Shaw Wallace ties up with Kyndal Intl

Mumbai, November 26
Shaw Wallace (SW) today inked a pact with Glasgow-based Kyndal International Ltd to launch major liquor brands in India, and said it would set up a special team to handle the premium segments brands in the country.

“This tie-up will provide Shaw Wallace access to Kyndal’s manufacturing facilities for producing and dustributing SW brands in global market,” M.R. Chhabria, Chairman of Shaw Wallace group of companies told reporters here after signing the memorandum of understanding.

Kyndal would also assist SW in reviewing manufacturing and blending as well as training personnel for improving overall quality, he said, adding this move was a step towards becoming a truly global company.

SW has brands like Antiquity, Royal Challenge, Director’s Special, and John Exshaw Brandy. PTI

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ANALYST'S DIARY

Glenmark, Elder Pharma yet to prove worth
Ashok Kumar

The Indian pharma sector is the only consistent market outperformer, it seems, at the Indian bourses over the past six to none months. While the stories of Cipla, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Ranbaxy are only too well known, it interested me to look through a couple of “stock-scan’s’ as our research team calls it one two upcoming pharma companies. After all, there is more cream to be whipped when a winner is yet to be identified. The companies in question are Elder Pharma and Glenmark Pharma.

Elder Pharma made its IPO in February, 2000, at a price of 110 per share. Post listing, its share-price has fluctuated between a high of Rs 88 and a low of Rs 24. Elder Pharma has launched several products and is now concentrating its energy to expand the reach of these products. In fact this is how the company has managed to record good growth in turnover. Elder Pharma is better known for its OTC products such as Tiger Balm, which has a presence both in the OTC and prescription markets. In the prescription segment, it has products like Shelcal (calcium supplement), Chymoral and Elder Vit. EPL has tied up with Paul Hartman to introduce products of incontinence and would care.

Glenmark Pharma which was incorporated in 1977 made its IPO just before the turn of the millennium in December, 1999. Its IPO was priced at Rs 200 and post-listing its share price has fluctuated between a listing high of Rs 578 and a low of Rs 92. The company entered the anti-fungal market, where competition was less due to the relatively smaller market size. After establishing Candid in the dermatological segment, the company launched Candid V-6 tablets to penetrate the Gynaeco Anti Infective segment. Thereafter, the company launched Altacef, a second-generation cephalosorin antibiotic.

Glenmark Pharma set up a manufacturing unit at Satpur, Nasik (Maharashtra) and subsequently, one at Kundaim in Goa, which would focus on the manufacture of tablets and also avail of the backward area benefits. Recognising the importance of R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, the company started a Research Development Department at its Nasik factory in 1987. The focus of the R&D efforts has been towards development of formulations marketed by the company. To prepare for the post GATT scenario, the company proposes a R&D facility focusing on basic research and novel drug delivery systems at Thane, Mumbai. This stock is currently traded at Rs 174 which translates into P/E multiple of over nine.

Can these potential dark horses become tomorrows Ciplas and Ranbaxys at the bourses? Time alone will tell. But, if I had to place a punt............Well!
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ROUND-UP

L&T eyes West Asian market

Dubai, November 26
Larsen & Toubro is eyeing the power sector in the West Asia region which it says has potential for lucrative new businesses.

“To date we have had very little penetration in the West Asia market. We now feel it is time to expand our boundaries and explore opportunities in the region,” said L&T’s Assistant General Manager S.A. Khan who said it would introduce new products range for the West Asia market. L&T is participating at the West Asia Electricity, 2002, which is scheduled from February 3-6 2002 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. UNI

Drawback rates revised

New Delhi
In a bid to boost exports, government today revised upwards duty drawback rates for 29 categories of items including cotton fabrics, perfumed agarbattis, carpets and silk garments.

An official release said new duty drawback rates on cotton fabrics ranged from 5.5 per cent to 13.5 per cent.

Duty drawback is an export incentive in which exporters are reimbursed the customs and excise duties paid on raw materials and intermediaries to provide competitive edge.

A few entries have been created in the drawback table for leather manufactured out of duty free finished leather to facilitate their exports. The revised drawback rates for leather ranged from four to 10 per cent.

The release said a single broad-banded entry has been formulated for writing instrument industry to give a fillip to their exports. Writing instruments like fountain pen will now get a duty drawback of 18 per cent. PTI

Oil prices decline

Singapore
Oil prices tracked lower disappointed by Russia’s lukewarm response to calls from OPEC producers’ cartel for a cut in world supplies next year.

US crude futures, which were closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, fell 37 cents in Asia to $18.59 a barrel.

London’s Brent crude futures went on a rollercoaster late last week amid different signals from non-OPEC producers over supply cuts aimed at boosting prices. Reuters

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BIZ BRIEFS

IRS project
New Delhi, November 26
Barely two months after market research major NFO MBL bagged the prestigious and widely used Indian Readership Survey, the field work for IRS 2002 has been started. The IRS project involves continuous data collection almost throughout the year covering the length and breadth of rural and urban population. Over 30 advertising agencies and nearly 50 media organisations (representing over 300 publications and channels) use the data, making IRS the most widely used research of its kind. TNS

M.J. Enterprises
Chandigarh, November 26
Mr Rajiv Bhatnagar, CEO of M.J. Enterprises, a packaging and printing unit of Baddi, was awarded the “Udyog Patra” award at the sixteenth Economic Development Conference held at FICCI Golden Jubilee Auditorium, New Delhi yesterday. Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Minister for HRD gave the award. TNS

SBP branch
Chandigarh, November 26
Mr K.L. Kalra, AGM, State Bank of Patiala inaugurated the computerised services of the Bagha Purana branch. Mr Kalra said the bank has taken various steps in upgrading technology by raising the number of totally computerised branches to 335 from 260 in March, 2001. TNS

Gold Card scheme
Chandigarh, November 26
Mr D.L. Manwani, General Manager (D&PB), State Bank of India today launched the new Kisan gold card scheme at Rohtak branch of the bank. Eleven gold cards worth Rs 13 lakh were issued to farmers. Mr Manwani described it as the most flexible and user-friendly scheme, which takes care of farming and domestic needs of the farmers. TNS

Company Act
New Delhi, November 26
Minister for Law, Justice and Company Affairs Arun Jaitley today defended the October 23 Ordinance amending the Companies Act saying it would give a boost to the share market which is showing a downward trend in recent times. Moving a Bill to replace the ordinance, the Minister said the government’s intention was to help the small share holders and investors. UNI

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