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Jet Airways slashes apex fares
New Delhi, July 22
The price war in the air fares further warmed up today with the leading private carrier Jet Airways also announcing a cut in its 30-day apex (advance purchase) air ticket prices by up to 27 per cent.

Union Bank becomes one-stop shop
Chandigarh, July 22
Union Bank of India has added six more products to its array of retail banking products in the bank’s quest to become a “one-stop shop” to meet the financial needs of the clientele.

RBI norm on insurance claims
Mumbai, July 22
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided that foreign exchange received by a resident individual by way of proceeds of life insurance policy claims, maturity, surrender values settled in foreign currency from an insurance company in India permitted to undertake life insurance business by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) may be credited to resident foreign currency (RFC) account or RFC (domestic) account of the beneficiary as the case may be.

Mr Charles E. Phillips, Jr., president of leading software giant Oracle Corporation, speaks during a news conference in Mumbai Mr Charles E. Phillips, Jr., president of leading software giant Oracle Corporation, speaks during a news conference in Mumbai on Thursday. The company is working with its associate partners in developing an integrated, consolidated and standardised technology architecture for the Indian small-and medium-scale entrepreneurs. — Reuters

ONGC, Reliance make it to Global 1000 list
Mumbai, July 22
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) have entered the top 500 companies in the world in BusinessWeek’s ‘Global 1000 list’ published in the latest edition dated July 26-August 2, 2004 in terms of market value.

Reliance Info offers broadband solution to media firms
New Delhi, July 22
Reliance Infocomm has unveiled a new broadband solution specifically addressed for the media firms that will facilitate real time broadcast of quality news video from a remote location to a TV studio directly.


A model displays the TAG Heuer Formula One sports watch at its launch in Bangalore on Thursday.
A model displays the TAG Heuer Formula One sports watch at its launch in Bangalore on Thursday. The new Formula One watch collection, extensively designed by TAG Heur brand ambassador Kimi Raikkonen, is fitted with a steel 200-m water resistant case, a scratch resistant sapphire crown crystal and a screw-in crown. It is priced between Rs 26,800 and Rs 33,900 — AFP

EARLIER STORIES

 
Video

Bevy of beauty queens set the ramp ablaze.
(28k, 56k)

Wide variation in porters’ earnings
New Delhi, July 22
Even though the railway coolies in the five metropolitan cities work for 84 hours on an average a week, the monthly income of a porter ranges from Rs 1,200 to Rs 18,500.

Exports, trade deficit rise
New Delhi, July 22
Propelled by recovery and a subsequent increase in demand in the US market, exports in June 2004 shot up by 34.32 per cent, but an increase of 43.02 per cent in imports pushed up the trade deficit to $ 2.267 billion from $1.328 billion in June 2003.

Corporate News

Steely growth, whopping profits for Tisco
Mumbai, July 22
Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd has posted a 179.14 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 745.49 crore in first quarter ended June 30, 2004, compared to Rs 267.07 crore in the Q1 of previous fiscal.

  • Nicholas Piramal

  • Gulf Oil

  • Godrej

  • Arvind Mills

  • Crompton

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Jet Airways slashes apex fares
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 22
The price war in the air fares further warmed up today with the leading private carrier Jet Airways also announcing a cut in its 30-day apex (advance purchase) air ticket prices by up to 27 per cent.

The airline also announced special point-to-point fares, return excursion fares and innovative promotional fares to Patna and Lucknow.

The move from Jet Airways comes two days after its rival Air Sahara also slashed its apex fares by around 30 per cent for metro cities, bringing them on a par with AC II tier railway fares.

A week ago, the Indian Airlines also announced an attractive package on non-metro fares.

In the point-to-point scheme, the airlines is also offering special packages to travellers from Chandigarh. A Chandigarh-Hyderabad ticket via Delhi is being put on offer for Rs 9,900 and similarly a Chandigarh-Chennai ticket via Delhi will be available for Rs 11,900. The Chandigarh-Kolkata journey via Delhi is being offered at Rs 9,400.

Under the new monsoon apex scheme of the Jet Airways, the Delhi-Mumbai one-way economy class ticket will be available for Rs 2,500 as against Rs 3,450 earlier. On the Delhi-Kolkata sector, the ticket can now be bought for Rs 3,000 as against Rs 3,450 earlier.

The Delhi-Hyderabad ticket will now be priced at Rs 3,000 (Rs 4,120 earlier) while the Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi-Chennai tickets are now available for Rs 3,500 each as against Rs 4,790 and Rs 3,835, respectively, earlier.

The new apex fares will be valid till September 15 and the entire journey against these fares must be completed on or before October 15. The airline also announced special innovative Rs 1,999 one-way promotional fare on the Delhi-Lucknow route.

In addition, the airline is also offering free tickets for a companion against a full fare return ticket to the economy class travellers on the Delhi-Patna route.

As an inaugural offer on its Delhi-Patna-Delhi flights, which will commence operations on August 16, passengers buying a return economy class ticket at Rs 11,110 for this sector will be allowed to take their companion free of charge.

Similarly, on the Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi sectors a special one-way economy class fare of Rs 1,999 has been introduced as against the existing normal economy class fare of Rs 3,790 with effect from July 26. Valid until October 15, passengers already holding normal economy class tickets may get these reissued for this special fare at no extra charge. 
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Union Bank becomes one-stop shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Union Bank of India has added six more products to its array of retail banking products in the bank’s quest to become a “one-stop shop” to meet the financial needs of the clientele.

The schemes launched by the bank in Mumbai include Union Insured Recurring Deposit scheme in association with the Life Insurance Corporation of India, education loans for students of ICFAI University, Hyderabad, for pursuing higher studies, loans for purchase of personal computers under tie-up with HCL Infosystems Limited and education loans for pursuing studies in Optometry under a tie-up with the Aditya Jyoti Institute of Optometry, Mumbai.

Mr V. Leeladhar, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank, also announced the launch of two new products — Union e-banking, Internet banking service and Union Mortgage, a loan scheme against mortgage of immovable property. 
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RBI norm on insurance claims

Mumbai, July 22
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided that foreign exchange received by a resident individual by way of proceeds of life insurance policy claims, maturity, surrender values settled in foreign currency from an insurance company in India permitted to undertake life insurance business by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) may be credited to resident foreign currency (RFC) account or RFC (domestic) account of the beneficiary as the case may be.

In terms of Regulations 5 and 5A of the FEMA notification, eligible entities in India may open, hold and maintain resident foreign currency (RFC) account and resident foreign currency (domestic) [RFC(D)] account with an authorised dealer out of foreign exchange received by them in respect of transactions specified therein. — UNI
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ONGC, Reliance make it to Global 1000 list

Mumbai, July 22
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) have entered the top 500 companies in the world in BusinessWeek’s ‘Global 1000 list’ published in the latest edition dated July 26-August 2, 2004 in terms of market value.

For the first time, eight Indian companies have entered the Global 1000 list. The 2004 rankings is a consolidated list of the Global 1000 and the top 200 emerging market companies, which were published separately in the past. Earlier, due to separate listing, most Asian companies did not find a place in the world ranking.

However, if one were to merge the Top 200 emerging markets companies list with the global 1000 list, then only three Indian companies would feature consistently over a 5 year period from 2000 onwards. These are Reliance Industries Ltd, Hindustan Lever Ltd and Wipro Ltd.

This year ONGC entered the BusinessWeek Global 1000 at the 260th rank (number 1 in India) while RIL was globally ranked at 402 (number 2 in India).

Among the eight Indian companies in the global 1000 list, three companies represent public sector undertaking while five companies represent the private sector. Reliance Industries Ltd leads the list of private sector companies while ONGC leads the public sector undertaking. — UNI
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Reliance Info offers broadband solution to media firms
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 22
Reliance Infocomm has unveiled a new broadband solution specifically addressed for the media firms that will facilitate real time broadcast of quality news video from a remote location to a TV studio directly.

The solution, called the Digital News Gathering Service (DENG), will reduce the cost substantially and enable the channels to provide real time coverage from virtually all over India.

The solution permits audio-video media companies to transfer live and streaming video from locations across the country to their central studios if they are connected to the Reliance Data Network (RDN) or the nearest Reliance Web World site from where it is converted into tapes for use by the news networks in their studios.

“The 101 Reliance Webworlds are equipped with special, state-of-the-art encoders, adaptors and other equipments and software for transferring the content directly to the studio, which will be connected to high-speed RDN”, a spokesperson of Reliance Infocomm said.

At present, news channels use leased lines, OB vans, FTP via Internet or courier or a combination of all these.

“Using DENG will reduce the cost substantially and enable the channels to provide real time coverage from virtually all over India. This is especially true during events such as elections when news-breaks happen simultaneously from all over the country on a regular basis”, the spokesperson said.

It is a new service soft launched only a few weeks ago. At present, 15 channels, including CNBC, India TV, Aaj Tak, Zee TV, ETV and Jaya TV, are using it to transfer part of their outstation content to their studios, he said.

“We have received enthusiastic response from most of the prominent news channels; many of them would soon start using the facility, especially in their coverage of elections and election results”, he said adding that on an average about 8.5 hours of footage is transmitted everyday and the average number of feeds is about 40 per day.

The spokesperson said that Reliance Web World’s play a very “pivotal role in the facilitation of this technology. They are by far the largest network of their kind anywhere in the world”.

They can serve as the distribution point for the broadcasters helping them transmit the footage real time.

They increase the reach and depth of TV channels substantially without adding to overheads. “The facilities offered in Web World Broadband centres, located on the fibre optic backbone of Reliance network, include VDO chat, multi-locatio video-conferencing, multi-player gaming, virtual office, digital storage, digital movie, digital customised music, e-learning and DENG service”, he said.

He projected that in the future, the percentage of broadcast content delivered through this medium would overtake all other media.
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Wide variation in porters’ earnings
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 22
Even though the railway coolies in the five metropolitan cities work for 84 hours on an average a week, the monthly income of a porter ranges from Rs 1,200 to Rs 18,500.

A survey, conducted by the Labour Bureau in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, found that the majority of railway porters remain available for work for more than 12 hours a day at the railway station.

The survey found wide inter and intra-centre variations in their earnings. The earnings of sample porters ranged between Rs 1,700 to Rs 18,500 at Delhi, Rs 1,800 to Rs 9,750 at Bangalore, Rs 2,400 to Rs 10,000 at Mumbai, Rs 1,650 to Rs 9,050 at Chennai and Rs 1,200 to Rs 9,600 at Kolkata.
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Exports, trade deficit rise

New Delhi, July 22
Propelled by recovery and a subsequent increase in demand in the US market, exports in June 2004 shot up by 34.32 per cent, but an increase of 43.02 per cent in imports pushed up the trade deficit to $ 2.267 billion from $1.328 billion in June 2003.

Exports during June 2004 grew by 34.32 per cent at $5.674 billion as against $4.224 billion in June 2003, while imports during the review month stood at $ 7.942 billion, showing an increase of 43.02 per cent. — PTI
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Corporate News

Steely growth, whopping profits for Tisco

Mumbai, July 22
Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd has posted a 179.14 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 745.49 crore in first quarter ended June 30, 2004, compared to Rs 267.07 crore in the Q1 of previous fiscal.

Income from operations during the period under review also increased to Rs 3,405.93 crore as against Rs 2,522.93 crore in the Q1 of FY-04, the company said in a release here today.

Steel production stood at 9,93,161 tonnes (9,64,614 tonnes in Q1 last fiscal) while sales were pegged at 8,82,750 tonnes (8,79,909 tonnes).

Export turnover during the period rose to Rs 423.45 crore — $ 92.53 million (Rs 362.38 crore — $ 77.69 m), it added.

The employee separation compensation was Rs 24.29 crore (Rs 71.1 crore).

Subject to shareholders’ consent, the board has approved August 12 as the record date for the issuance of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:2.

Nicholas Piramal

Nicholas Piramal India Ltd has posted a 85.1 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 48.74 crore in the first quarter ended June 2004 as against Rs 26.32 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal.

The net sales for the reporting quarter rose to Rs 340 crore from Rs 300 crore April-June 2004, the company said in a release here today.

The domestic formulation business grew by 14.6 per cent as against the industry average of 7.8 per cent. The exports stood at Rs 37.79 crore in April-June 2004, company Chairman Ajay Piramal said.

The results for the reporting quarter are not strictly comparable with that of same quarter in 2003-04 due to merger of the corporate in FY-04.

Gulf Oil

Gulf Oil Corporation’s net profit after tax for the quarter-ended June 30, 2004, has gone up by 12.3 per cent to Rs 6.34-crore as compared to Rs 5.65-crore for the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

Total revenue for the quarter-ended June 30, 2004 had gone up to Rs 97.47-crore from Rs75.81-crore in the corresponding quarter for the previous year, a release said.

Godrej

Godrej Consumer Products Ltd has posted a higher net profit of Rs 17.3 crore for the first quarter ended June 2004 as against Rs 13.8 crore in Q1 of 2003-04.

The board has declared an interim dividend of Rs 2 per share for the current financial year ending March 31, 2005.

The total income for the reporting quarter rose to Rs 136.69 crore from Rs 119.18 crore in April-June 2004, the company informed BSE, Mumbai, today.

Arvind Mills

Domestic textiles major Arvind Mills Ltd’s net profit in the fiscal first quarter fell 35 per cent to Rs 18.16 crore from Rs 28.08 crore a year earlier.

Arvind Mills said its total revenue in the quarter ended June 30 rose to Rs 395 crore against Rs 375 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Crompton

Crompton Greaves Ltd has posted a higher net profit of Rs 17.53 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, 2004 as against Rs 2.73 crore in Q1 of 2003-04.

The total income for the reporting quarter rose to Rs 428.82 crore from Rs 376.04 crore in April-June 2003, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange today.

Gautam Thapar has been appointed as the Chairman while K K Nohria has resigned from the board of directors, it said. — Agencies
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BRIEFLY

PNB meeting
New Delhi, July 22
Punjab National Bank has convened its board meeting on July 28 to approve its financial results for quarter ended June 30. The meeting, to the held in Delhi, has been convened to approve, adopt, and review the financial results, PNB said in a release. — PTI

HDFC rating
New Delhi, July 22
Credit rating agency ICRA has assigned an LAAA (L triple A) rating to the Rs 6300 crore long-term debt programme of Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC), indicating highest safety. ICRA has retained the LAAA ratings assigned to its outstanding Non-Convertible Debenture and Bonds programme. — UNI

Centre’s grant
Srinagar, July 22
The Central Government is likely to sanction Rs 30.60 crore under a centrally-sponsored scheme envisaging revamping of the ITI sector in the Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesman said. He said under the scheme 102 new job-oriented traders are being introduced while 31 obsolete trades will be deleted. — UNI

Coop societies
Abohar, July 22
Mr Sikhdev Singh, Assistant Registrar Cooperative Societies (ARCs), advised the cooperative societies to reinvest Rs 5 lakh distributed to them on account of 22 per cent dividend by the Indian Farmers Fertilisers Cooperative Ltd. (IFFCO). Mr M.P. Sharma, Agriculture Development Officer, cautioned the farmers against growing paddy in a less-fertile land where the groundwater has more salt contents. — OC

Tools-down stir
Korba, July 22
Four trade unions of BALCO today went on a day-long ‘tools-down’ strike at its aluminium plant here protesting against the total privatisation by the Centre. “The strike is continuing peacefully and non untoward incident has been reported,” Korba District Collector Gourav Dwivedi said. — PTI

NRI City Centre
Chandigarh, July 22
Omaxe, the real-estate majors, today announced the launch of the ‘NRI City Centre’ in Greater Noida. The Rs 50-crore Mall located on the Greater Noida Expressway is going to be a must visit for the movers & shakers of the Capital & NCR region. — TNS

IDBI Bank
New Delhi, July 22
IDBI Bank today reported 64.2 per cent in net profit to Rs 36.7 crore during the April-June quarter of 2004-05 from 22.35 crore during the same period of the last fiscal. The rise in net profit was driven through an increase in income to Rs 139.7 crore from Rs 109.4 crore in Q1 of 2004. — UNI
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