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DGH moots stiff penalties on ONGC, Reliance
New Delhi, September 18
The Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has recommended stiff penalties on the ONGC and Reliance Industries Ltd for default on commitments made by them on oil and gas exploration blocks awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).

BSNL gets more spectrum for voice telephony
Ties up with Nokia, Motorola for handsets
New Delhi, September 18
Five months after the government announced additional spectrum allocation criteria, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has allocated spectrum to BSNL and private operators in circles outside Delhi and Mumbai metros to support additional pressure because of soaring number of subscribers.

Accelerate growth rate to end poverty, says WB
New Delhi, September 18
If economic reforms in the South Asian regions gain momentum and the growth accelerates to 8 per cent, poverty in this region can be eradicated within a generation, said the latest World Bank report.

Videocon group bets big on SEZs
Mumbai, September 18
Indian consumer durables major Videocon group is planning a major foray into the special economic zones space for which it has earmarked an initial investment of Rs 2,000 crore.

Wockhardt mulls Rs 600-cr SEZ
Aurangabad, September 18
Pharmaceutical and biotech major Wockhardt today announced that the company would invest Rs 600 crore in the special economic zone (SEZ) at the Shendra industrial area as it intends to build a global manufacturing hub for the company here.


A model displays an outfit created by designer Antonio Pernas at the Spring/Summer 2006-07 Pasarela Cibeles fashion show in Madrid on Monday
A model displays an outfit created by designer Antonio Pernas at the Spring/Summer 2006-07 Pasarela Cibeles fashion show in Madrid on Monday. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES
 
Actor Shah Rukh Khan unveils a giant-sized replica of a bottle of cancer drug BIOMAb-EGFR developed by biotechnology company Biocon Limited at a press conference in Bangalore on Sunday
Actor Shah Rukh Khan unveils a giant-sized replica of a bottle of cancer drug BIOMAb-EGFR developed by biotechnology company Biocon Limited at a press conference in Bangalore on Sunday. — AFP
In video (56k)

Trucks parked outside the Scania plant in Sodertalje on Monday
Trucks parked outside the Scania plant in Sodertalje (Stockholm) on Monday. German industrial group MAN AG made a $12.2 billion cash-and-share offer for Scania AB, which the Swedish truck maker and a key shareholder immediately rejected. — Reuters

Rs 1,190-cr order for Suzlon
New Delhi, September 18
Suzlon Energy Ltd, one of India’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, said today it was investing Rs 1,500 crore to expand its manufacturing facilities, aiming to achieve over 40 per cent revenue growth this year.

Credit to farm sector up in HP
Shimla, September 18
Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal today reviewed the progress made by major banks in the state in the area of deposit mobilisation, credit expansion and credit to priority sectors like education.

Industrialists seek conflict insurance in J&K
Srinagar, September 18
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the authorities to introduce a conflict insurance scheme to safeguard the present and future investments in the strife-torn state.

Nalwa Sons’ shareholders sore
New Delhi, September 18
Minority shareholders of Nalwa Sons, a part of the O.P. Jindal group, today requested the Company Law Board to strike down the proposed employees stock option programme (ESOP) of the company, alleging it was “against SEBI norms and amounts to fraud”.

Hyundai to invest Rs 3,220 cr in TN
Chennai, September 18
Conveying the Hyundai group’s plan to invest an additional Rs 3,220 crore in Tamil Nadu, global auto major Hyundai Motors Chairman and CEO Chung Mong Koo today met Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and sought all possible help from the state government in this regard, including an exclusive port for car exports.

Nod to FDI proposals worth Rs 992.84 cr
New Delhi, September 18
As many as 26 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals have been cleared by the government, which would bring Rs 992.84 crore, including Rs 342 crore by Japan-based Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation, into the country.

McDonald’s to open 25 outlets in North
Kasauli, September 18
Stepping up its drive to accelerate growth in the non-metro two-tier cities, McDonald's India will soon open as many as 25 restaurants in the next two years. Backed by an investment of Rs 400 crore, new outlets will be opened in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu and Kashmir.

HPL to set up two plants in Himachal
New Delhi, September 18
Industrial electrical equipment manufacturer HPL Group, which is in the midst of a Rs 45 crore - expansion programme, is eyeing a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the next three years with plans to foray into new product categories like CFL lamps.

NIC partners with IBM
New Delhi, September 18
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) today announced partnership with IBM to power the national portal of India (india.gov.in) enabling anytime, anywhere delivery of government services to the citizens.

Gold, silver gain ground
Mumbai, September 18
Silver and gold rose due to anincrease in fresh demand and bullish global advice, traders at the Bombay Bullion Association said today. Silver .999 fineness variety opened high at Rs 17,825 per kg and closed at Rs 17,805 per kg with a huge gain of Rs 125 from its Saturday’s closing.

Venus Remedies’ drug
Mumbai, September 18
Venus Remedies Ltd has launched new formulation ‘Fejet-od’ this month, which helps in building haemoglobin in pregnant and anaemic patients. This formulation has been developed in-house and launched under the biocard division of the company for the first time in India, Venus Remedies said.

 

 

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DGH moots stiff penalties on ONGC, Reliance

New Delhi, September 18
The Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has recommended stiff penalties on the ONGC and Reliance Industries Ltd for default on commitments made by them on oil and gas exploration blocks awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).

The DGH has recommended a total penalty of $107.391 million on the ONGC and $26.535 million on RIL for failing to fulfil the work programme committed on the blocks awarded to them under the NELP, DGH sources said.

The penalty amount was recommended to the Petroleum Ministry for approval.

The DGH levied a penalty of $7.275 million on RIL for failing to do a 3D seismic survey and drill two exploratory well on block KG-OSN-97/3 and $2.645 million for unfinished 2D and 3D seismic survey and one undrilled exploratory well on block KG-OSN-97/4.

It also recommended $2.903 million cost recovery from RIL for failure to drill one exploratory well committed for block GK-OSN-97/1 and two wells on block MB-OSN-97/3. The sources said the ONGC was fined for not meeting the minimum work commitment in six blocks.

The regulator recommended the recovery of $6.351 million for failure to drill two exploratory wells on block MB-OSN-2000/1, $19.615 million for three undrilled wells on block MB-DWN-2000/1 and $22.807 million for not drilling two wells on MB-DWN-2000/2.

The ONGC was also levied $6.450 million for failing to drill one committed exploratory well on block GS-DWN-2000/1, $28.293 million for two undrilled wells on block GS-DWN-2000/2 and $23.872 million for one unfinished well on block KK-DWN-2000/4, they said.

While recommending the penalties the DGH told the Petroleum Ministry that “in some of the blocks, the ONGC as a contractor did not agree to the conditions of extension and, therefore, as per the order, the contractor has to pay money equivalent to the unfinished work programme.”

“Whereas Reliance Industries Ltd could not complete the work programme even after getting extension of 18 months i.e .the maximum stipulated period. The money equivalent to the unfinished work programme is to be recovered from them,” the DGH letter dated August 31 said.— PTI 

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BSNL gets more spectrum for voice telephony
Ties up with Nokia, Motorola for handsets

New Delhi, September 18
Five months after the government announced additional spectrum allocation criteria, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has allocated spectrum to BSNL and private operators in circles outside Delhi and Mumbai metros to support additional pressure because of soaring number of subscribers.

We have given additional spectrum to BSNL and private operators outside Delhi and Mumbai. MTNL had also applied but there is no spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai to give, a senior DoT official said.

Without disclosing the quantity or the name of the private operators, the official said it was a small amount.

Industry sources said the minimum spectrum that could be given was to the tune of 1.8 Mhz for GSM mobile telephony.

Meanwhile, BSNL has joined hands with two handset manufacturers, Nokia and Mototrola, to provide handsets with new connections. BSNL CMD A.K. Sinha said, “We are evaluating the option given by companies for sub Rs 1,000 handsets. First we shall ensure the quality and then these would be supplied to subscribers”.

BSNL, which recently reached a landmark by crossing two crore mobile subscribers in the country, is targeting smaller town with population base of 2,000 or 2,500.

Mr Sinha also said BSNL and MTNL would jointly invest Rs 1,800 crore to lay an undersea cable between India-Singapore with a strict time schedule and have commissioned a consultant for preparing a blue print for it.

The cable would be laid by Millennium Telecom Limited, a subsidiary of MTNL, in which BSNL has recently acquired 49 per cent stake for this project for about Rs 10 crore, he added. — PTI

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Accelerate growth rate to end poverty, says WB
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
If economic reforms in the South Asian regions gain momentum and the growth accelerates to 8 per cent, poverty in this region can be eradicated within a generation, said the latest World Bank report.

Since 1996, GDP growth in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka has exceeded 5 per cent a year on average; Pakistan has been growing at this pace since 2000. In the past two years, India and Pakistan have been averaging GDP growth of nearly 7 per cent.

“In some countries, growth is also generating resources to address economic and social problems — not just adding new money, but also the will to make existing public expenditures more effective,” said Mr Shantayanan Devarajan, co-author of the report "Can South Asia end poverty in a generation?" and World Bank Chief Economist for the South Asian region.

“In order to use this growth to eliminate poverty in a generation, South Asian countries will need to accelerate and sustain their economic growth rates from 6 per cent to 8-10 per cent a year,”said Mr Shekhar Shah, co-author of the report and Economic Adviser in the World Bank’s South Asian region. “They also need to make growth more inclusive, boost human development and address governance issues.”

The report says there is already evidence that current growth has made it possible for countries to pursue “second-generation” reforms, such as privatisation of public enterprises, deregulation of industries and financial sector reforms.

In order to assess South Asia’s potential to accelerate current growth rates, the report uses the East Asian experience as a benchmark and finds that the difficulties relative to East Asia are threefold: South Asia has lower saving and investment rates and, in particular, huge infrastructure deficits; distortions in labour markets; and lower total factor productivity levels and growth rates.

Perhaps the most vivid demonstration of South Asia’s lower investment rate is the massive infrastructure “deficit” that plagues all countries in the region. For instance, to catch up to China’s present levels of infrastructure per capita, India will have to invest 12.5 percent of GDP per year until 2015, approximately four times its current investment.

“If South Asians do not seize this opportunity, there is a chance that growth will not be sustained,” said Mr Devarajan. 

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Videocon group bets big on SEZs

Mumbai, September 18
Indian consumer durables major Videocon group is planning a major foray into the special economic zones space for which it has earmarked an initial investment of Rs 2,000 crore.

The group, whose plans include setting up SEZs at Pune and Aurangabad, is set to sign an agreement with the Maharashtra government later today for the same.

Besides, it has applied for setting up five other SEZs in West Bengal, secured land in Gujarat and plans to enter the segment in South India.

“The initial investment by the Videocon group through group company Videocon Realty Infrastructure Ltd (VRIL) will be to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore,” its Chairman and Managing Director Venugopal Dhoot said.

The group is also looking for a foreign equity partner in VRIL, he said, while ruling out listing of the company.

The two SEZs in Maharashtra are expected to attract an investment of Rs 25,000 crore in the days ahead and create 50,000 jobs in Pune and 75,000 in Aurangabad. Both SEZs would have captive power plants.

While the 3,000-acre Pune SEZ would be a multi-product zone, the 6,600-acre Aurangabad facility would be partially developed for floriculture and horticulture, including large-scale orchid farms for export to Europe and the US.

Videocon Industries Ltd, the group’s flagship entity, will initially invest Rs 50 crore in the SEZs and have the right to purchase the entire equity at par in a span of five years.— PTI 

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Wockhardt mulls Rs 600-cr SEZ

Aurangabad, September 18
Pharmaceutical and biotech major Wockhardt today announced that the company would invest Rs 600 crore in the special economic zone (SEZ) at the Shendra industrial area as it intends to build a global manufacturing hub for the company here.

Addressing a news conference after signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Wockhardt's Executive Director Huzaifa Khorakiwala said the proposed SEZ would be spread over 107 hectares of land leased by MIDC and was expected to create at least 2,000 jobs in the Marathwada region of Central Maharashtra, where the company would establish a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical and bipharmaceutical manufacturing and research facility.

The SEZ will house manufacturing facilities for active pharmaceutical ingredients, biopharmaceuticals, research and development centre, effluent treatment plant, a corporate office, a warehouse and a residential and recreational complex.

Mr Khorakiwala complimented the state government for its support and fast clearance of the first major pharmaceutical and biotechnology SEZ in the state.— UNI

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Rs 1,190-cr order for Suzlon

New Delhi, September 18
Suzlon Energy Ltd, one of India’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, said today it was investing Rs 1,500 crore to expand its manufacturing facilities, aiming to achieve over 40 per cent revenue growth this year.

The Pune-based company also announced bagging a Rs 1,190-crore order from US-based John Deere Wind Energy to supply 247 MW of wind turbine capacity, taking the total order book in hand to about Rs 5,777 crore.

“We are investing about Rs 750 crore at our Baroda and Coimbatore forging and foundry plants and another Rs 750 crore at Udupi to set up a greenfield turbine-manufacturing facility,” Suzlon Chairman Tulsi Tanti said here.

He said the company would borrow about Rs 1,000 crore from domestic and international markets over the next 18 months to meet the funding requirements of the two projects, while the balance Rs 500 crore would be raised through internal accruals.

The Udupi plant would have a production capacity of 1,500 MW, he said, adding that this would take the company’s total production capacity to 4,200 MW. The company currently has a capacity of 2,700 MW, including 600 MW each in China and the USA where the facilities have been commissioned.

Asked what kind of growth the company was expecting this fiscal, Mr Tanti said: “The global market is growing at 25 per cent. But the markets where we operate such as India, China, US and eastern Europe are growing at 40 per cent and we hope to grow faster than that in topline.”

Mr Tanti said the Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation, the Chicago-based subsidiary of Suzlon’s Danish arm, received the order to supply 247 MW of wind turbine equipment. The order would be executed over the next one year, he said.

Mr Tanti said the company was also expecting more orders from the US, besides other countries like Brazil, France and Greece.

The company’s current consolidated order book position stands at Rs 5,777 crore, with Rs 4,977 crore in international orders and Rs 800 crore in domestic orders. In terms of capacity, Suzlon’s order book stands at 1,230 MW, including 207 MW in India and 727 MW in the US.— PTI 

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Credit to farm sector up in HP
Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 18
Union Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal today reviewed the progress made by major banks in the state in the area of deposit mobilisation, credit expansion and credit to priority sectors like education.

“The banking fraternity in Himachal should work towards making the state the first in the country to declare seven of its 12 districts for 100 per cent financial inclusion in one year,” Mr Bansal said at the inaugural function of the 105th HP State Level Banker’s Committee meeting here today.

He reviewed the progress made by the banks in doubling the flow of credit to the agriculture sector, small and medium enterprise sector along with development in the area of micro finance and financial inclusion.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr V. Sridar, Chairman and Managing Director, UCO Bank, informed that banks in the state had doubled the flow of credit in the agriculture sector within two years though it was to be doubled in three years. “The banks have disbursed Rs 161.13 crore in the agriculture sector during the first quarter while disbursement in the small-scale industry sector was Rs 45.40 crore and in the services sector Rs 274.48 crore,” he informed.

Mr Sridar said the total business of the banks had increased by 16.49 per cent on year-to-year basis and touched the figure of Rs 27,167. 72 crore. He said Sirmour district had been identified for 100 per cent financial inclusion.

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Industrialists seek conflict insurance in J&K

Srinagar, September 18
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the authorities to introduce a conflict insurance scheme to safeguard the present and future investments in the strife-torn state.

In a statement here, the KCCI said its high-level delegation recently met Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni, Special Secretary, Banking, Vinod Rai and Development Commissioner, Handicrafts, Sanjay Agarwal in New Delhi in this regard.

The delegation was asked to make a comprehensive proposal in this regard. “If agreed, it would be the best confidence building measure for the business community in Kashmir,” the delegation said.

About settlements and increase in credit deposit ratio of public sector banks, Mr Rai said the chamber should have a representation in the state-level banking committee and also in specific advisory council.

The chamber handed over a plan for organising exhibitions during the next five years to Mr Agarwal who assured necessary support and funding from the Centre for the creation of handicraft parks in all districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

About 90 per cent subsidy for new carpet looms, the delegation was told that the decision would be taken by next month and assured of complete support regarding the inclusion of 50 per cent of hotels in the Prime Minister’s package.

On her part, Ms Soni agreed to send a KCCI delegation for road shows in South East Asia, Japan and West Asia. She said Rs 5 crore had been kept for the publicity of Kashmir. — UNI

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Nalwa Sons’ shareholders sore

New Delhi, September 18
Minority shareholders of Nalwa Sons, a part of the O.P. Jindal group, today requested the Company Law Board to strike down the proposed employees stock option programme (ESOP) of the company, alleging it was “against SEBI norms and amounts to fraud”.

“The company had tampered (with) the original resolution in which ESOP was approved,” the petitioners, led by minority shareholder Ricky Kriplani, said, arguing that under the law only minor changes could be made to the proposal, “but the substance of the resolution cannot be changed”.

Mr Kriplani’s counsel also alleged that under ESOP, shares were allotted only to employees who had joined the company after the resolution was passed. — PTI

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Hyundai to invest Rs 3,220 cr in TN

Chennai, September 18
Conveying the Hyundai group’s plan to invest an additional Rs 3,220 crore in Tamil Nadu, global auto major Hyundai Motors Chairman and CEO Chung Mong Koo today met Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and sought all possible help from the state government in this regard, including an exclusive port for car exports.

Mr Karunanidhi assured of all possible help to the new investment, an official press release said here.

Hyundai Motors has a car manufacturing plant at Sriperumpudur near here and is setting up a second unit.

Mr Koo sought the state’s support in improving infrastructure such as roads, railways and setting up a new port facility exclusively for car exports.

Earlier, at the Sriperumpudur plant, Mr Koo emphasised on the timely completion of the second plant, which was currently under construction to ensure the timely roll out of a new car in addition to Santro, a company release said.

He hoped that the plant, which was expected to be completed by October 2007, would help increase the export volume up to 3,00,000 units per annum. — PTI

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Nod to FDI proposals worth Rs 992.84 cr

New Delhi, September 18
As many as 26 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals have been cleared by the government, which would bring Rs 992.84 crore, including Rs 342 crore by Japan-based Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation, into the country.

The proposals, approved by Finance Minister P Chidambaram on the recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, also included three plans by British Gas Energy Holding Ltd aggregating to Rs 405 crore to supply natural gas for domestic and commercial usage in three states of the country.

A proposal from Hutchison Telecom for indirect foreign equity participation in six of its operating companies in India was also okayed. — PTI

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McDonald’s to open 25 outlets in North
Our Correspondent

Kasauli, September 18
Stepping up its drive to accelerate growth in the non-metro two-tier cities, McDonald's India will soon open as many as 25 restaurants in the next two years. Backed by an investment of Rs 400 crore, new outlets will be opened in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Jammu and Kashmir.

Disclosing this at a seminar here, McDonald's Managing Director, Mr Vikram Bakshi, said in Punjab, Amritsar had been chosen for expansion while Jaipur and Lucknow would also have new outlets. The group has also decided to venture into the North-East and South. He said the number of outlets in the National Capital Region was slated to go up by 100 in the next five years. 

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HPL to set up two plants in Himachal

New Delhi, September 18
Industrial electrical equipment manufacturer HPL Group, which is in the midst of a Rs 45 crore - expansion programme, is eyeing a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the next three years with plans to foray into new product categories like CFL lamps.

“Currently, three new production units are being set up, two in Himachal Pradesh and one at Sonepat (Haryana) at a total investment of Rs 45 crore, which will help us increase our volumes of electric meters, switchgears and foray into new products like CFL lamps,” HPL India Managing Director Lalit Seth said.

He said the two units in Himachal Pradesh set up at an investment of Rs 25 crore would be functional this year. The Rs 20- crore Sonepat plant was expected to be commissioned by February-March next year.

The two units in Himachal were expected to have a capacity of 10,000 electric meters and 65,000-70,000 switch gears per day, he said, adding that the Sonepat plant would have an installed capacity of 40,000 CFL lamps a day.

The company, which has technology tie-ups with French company Socomec and Austrian firm Moeller in different joint ventures, is also looking to expand its exports. — PTI 

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NIC partners with IBM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 18
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) today announced partnership with IBM to power the national portal of India (india.gov.in) enabling anytime, anywhere delivery of government services to the citizens.

The enhanced portal, based on open standards and service-oriented architecture from IBM, will provide a single-point entry to government information and services resulting in greater transparency and responsiveness.

“The national portal is driven by the objective of bringing transparency and trust to the aspects of good governance. The portal will provide the global community a single sign-on facility for Indian government services and information on India, while at the same time offering a single window access to over 5,000 websites.,” NIC Director-General Dr Vijayaditya said.

NIC and IBM will also work towards ensuring universal accessibility of the portal for the physically challenged and those using handheld devices.

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Gold, silver gain ground

Mumbai, September 18
Silver and gold rose due to anincrease in fresh demand and bullish global advice, traders at the Bombay Bullion Association said today.
Silver .999 fineness variety opened high at Rs 17,825 per kg and closed at Rs 17,805 per kg with a huge gain of Rs 125 from its Saturday’s closing.

Similarly, standard gold (99.5) and pure gold (99.9) also opened high at Rs 8,790 and Rs 8,840 per 10 gm, respectively.

The yellow metal closed at Rs 8,760 and Rs 8,810 per 10 gm, respectively, with a gain of Rs 25 for standard gold and Rs 20 for pure gold from its last closings. — UNI

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Venus Remedies’ drug

Mumbai, September 18
Venus Remedies Ltd has launched new formulation ‘Fejet-od’ this month, which helps in building haemoglobin in pregnant and anaemic patients.
This formulation has been developed in-house and launched under the biocard division of the company for the first time in India, Venus Remedies said.

It is targeted for use by gynaecologists and senior surgeons and comes without any of the side-effects associated with existing iron preparations.—PTI

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BRIEFLY


A file picture of the Molikpaq offshore oil platform, Sakhalin island, Far Eastern Russia. The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources said on Monday it had revoked environmental permits allowing a Shell-led energy consortium to develop Sakhalin-2, a Russian oil and gas field, which is the world’s biggest privately funded energy project
A file picture of the Molikpaq offshore oil platform, Sakhalin island, Far Eastern Russia. The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources said on Monday it had revoked environmental permits allowing a Shell-led energy consortium to develop Sakhalin-2, a Russian oil and gas field, which is the world’s biggest privately funded energy project. — AFP

Sundaram Finance
Chennai, September 18
Sundaram Finance Limited has increased the interest rates of fixed deposits (FDs) by 0.5 per cent. The revised interest rates of 8 per cent for the first two years and 8.5 per cent for FDs up to three years would be effective from September 1. Sundaram Finance Managing Director T.T. Srinivasaraghavan said the upward revision in interest rates was in line with market trends. — UNI

Malwa Ind IPO
Ludhiana, September 18
Punjab-based Malwa Industries Limited is likely to launch its initial public offer (IPO) in October to raise over Rs 200 crore for its expansion plans, President Tarun Chawla said here. The company, the biggest denim facility in South Asia, will launch a book-building issue whereby 2 crore equity shares would be offered to raise over Rs 200 crore for funding expansion, working capital requirements and paying debts. After the launch of IPO, the promoters’ share in the company would come down to 60 per cent.—PTI

3i Infotech
Mumbai, September 18
3i Infotech today launched Premia insurance broking exchange (IBX), which is claimed to be the first of its kind subscription-based Internet solution for the insurance industry. The service is available on a pay-per-use basis. The customer has to log on to the website of Premia IBX and choose the insurance broker of his choice. Upon the broker’s advice, he can finalise the most suitable insurance cover. Initially, the facility has been made available only for non-life insurance products and soon it would be launched for the life insurance products too.—UNI

Awards for IDBI
Mumbai, September 18
The IDBI has bagged two special awards in the ‘best Internet bank for corporate customers’ and ‘IT Team of the year’ categories for the year 2005-06 from the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology in recognition of its customer-centric IT initiatives.The bank was selected for the awards from a shortlist of five banks out of 30 banks. — UNI

Harvel forms JV
New Delhi, September 18
Harvel India, engaged in irrigation engineering, has entered into a joint venture with Spanish irrigation and filtration systems company Azud. The 50:50 techno-commercial JV is named as Harvel Agua India Pvt Ltd, a company statement said here. The JV would soon set up micro irrigation equipment manufacturing facilities in North India, it added. — PTI

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