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Govt to buy RBI stake in SBI, Nabard 
Rs 723-cr revival package for HMT okayed
New Delhi, February 1
The government today decided to acquire the RBI stake in SBI, Nabard and National Housing Bank (NHB) in a cashless transaction to separate ownership and regulatory functions of the banking regulator.

Day after: Tatas buy 21.1 pc stake in Corus for $2.4 b
Within a day of its victory in the auction to acquire Corus Group Plc, corporate giant Tata Steel has acquired 21.1 per cent stake in the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker for about $2.4 billion at 608 pence a share.

CSN failure to fetch it $520 m
Brazilian steelmaker CSN might have lost the bidding war for Corus to India's Tata Steel, but still stands to gain over $520 million on the virtue of its failure only.

New pricing scheme for urea units
New Delhi, February 1
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the New Pricing Scheme (NPS) Stage-III for urea units in to be effective from October 1, 2006, to March 31, 2010.

Maruti, Hyundai hikes prices
New Delhi, February 1
Car market leaders Maruti Udyog and Hyundai Motor India today increased prices on select models with immediate effect, which would make their products costlier by up to Rs 12,000 and Rs 3,500, respectively.

 

A sales clerk at Japanese accessory shop Q-pot shows off a tiara made of assorted chocolate-like jewellery priced at 71,400 yen ($595) at Takashimaya department store's large chocolate event "Amour du Chocolat" for the upcoming St. Valentine's Day in Tokyo on Thursday.
A sales clerk at Japanese accessory shop Q-pot shows off a tiara made of assorted chocolate-like jewellery priced at 71,400 yen ($595) at Takashimaya department store's large chocolate event "Amour du Chocolat" for the upcoming St. Valentine's Day in Tokyo on Thursday. — AFP

EARLIER STORIES

 
A model poses in a 1960 Chrysler Imperial Crown car at the Dream Car exhibition in Budapest on Thursday. The exhibition, showcasing 60 cars, is organised by Hungarian collector Farkasdi Karoly.
A model poses in a 1960 Chrysler Imperial Crown car at the Dream Car exhibition in Budapest on Thursday. The exhibition, showcasing 60 cars, is organised by Hungarian collector Farkasdi Karoly. — Reuters

Volvo cars in India by mid-2007 
Chennai, February 1
Swedish automobile major Volvo would be launching its cars in the country in the middle of 2007, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson said.

IBM largest MNC employer in India
Bangalore, February 1
Information Technology giant IBM today announced it had become the largest multinational employer in India with a head count of 53,000 personnel.

Corporate Results
ACC net up, to pay 150 pc dividend

Mumbai, February 1
Cement major ACC today posted a net profit of Rs 358.46 crore for the quarter ended December 31 against Rs 173.45 crore in the year-ago period.

Dabur sells non-oncology biz to Alembic for Rs 159 cr
New Delhi, February 1
Dabur Pharma said today it was exiting the non-oncology business by selling it off to Alembic for Rs 159 crore.

Strides Arcolab buys Norwegian Co
Mumbai, February 1
Strides Arcolab Ltd today entered into a share-purchase agreement with Plus Farma ehf to acquire 100 per cent stake of Norwegian Farma Plus for an undisclosed amount.

NHPC inks pact with BHEL for HP project
New Delhi, February 1
The NHPC has signed an agreement for electrical and mechanical works package of the 520-MW Parbati hydroelectric project, stage-III, in Kulu District of Himachal Pradesh with BHEL at a cost of Rs. 402 crore.

 

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Govt to buy RBI stake in SBI, Nabard 
Rs 723-cr revival package for HMT okayed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The government today decided to acquire the RBI stake in SBI, Nabard and National Housing Bank (NHB) in a cashless transaction to separate ownership and regulatory functions of the banking regulator.

The Congress-led UPA Government’s decision to take over the SBI comes despite criticism from some quarters over transfer of ownership from one regulator (RBI) to an even bigger regulator (government).

Following the Narsimhan Committee report, the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of transfer of the RBI stake in SBI, Nabard and NHB to the government in a cashless transaction, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told newspersons after the Cabinet meeting

The government will acquire a 59.73 per cent stake of the RBI in the country's largest bank SBI by June, 2007, estimated at Rs 40,000 crore based on the market price of Rs 1,300 share price. However, as the RBI is also a government institution, it will pay back whatever it gets for the transfer of its stake in three institutions.

“It will be a book entry transaction, as whatever I pay to the RBI, I will get back,” Mr Chidambaram said. However, he did not specify whether the transaction would be completed before SBI’s proposed IPO to raise funds from the market this year.

PTI adds: The government today decided to pump in Rs 723 crore to revive HMT Ltd through a joint venture route, enabling the company to revamp its balance sheet and fund the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

Of the total amount being pumped in by the government, Rs 443 crore will be in the form of preferential share capital, Rs 180 crore by fresh equity capital and Rs 100 crore through special non-plan loan for the VRS scheme.

"With the restructuring of the company, its balance sheet, including the debt-equity ratio will improve," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which cleared the restructuring package.

However, the Finance Minister said the details of the joint venture are yet to be worked out.

He said the issue of negative net worth of the company would be addressed through repayment of long-term loans and discharge of old liabilities.

As a result of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme, the wage bill of the company would be reduced and profit margins improved.

The restructuring will also result into reduction of the accumulated losses while critical manufacturing facilities will be upgraded. — PTI 

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Day after: Tatas buy 21.1 pc stake in Corus for $2.4 b

Mumbai, February 1
Within a day of its victory in the auction to acquire Corus Group Plc, corporate giant Tata Steel has acquired 21.1 per cent stake in the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker for about $2.4 billion at 608 pence a share.

Tata Steel said today it has acquired 199,955,952 (199 million) shares at its final offer price of 608 pence a share.

The shares were purchased yesterday by its wholly-owned subsidiary Tata Steel UK Ltd, the acquisition vehicle for the Corus deal, Tata Steel informed the BSE.

Yesterday, after winning the nine-round auction for Corus, the company had said it intended to acquire shares from the market at a price of up to 608 pence in cash.

Standard Life exits Corus

London: Leading global investment firm Standard Life Investments (SLI), the biggest shareholder in London-based Corus PLC yesterday sold its entire 7.5 per cent stake in the firm. — PTI

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Tata Steel under pressure

After yesterday's pause, the bulls returned to the bourses with Sensex gaining 176 points close at 14,267. In the broader markets, Nifty firmed up 1.3 per cent or 54 points to end the day at 4,137.

However, with several analysts recommending sell on Tata Steel, the scrip continued to fall slipping 1.3 per cent to close at Rs 457.

With several FIIs buying up shares, the market was buoyant. The SBI at Rs 1,203 was the biggest gainer, gaining 5.7 per cent or Rs 65.

Apart from Tata Steel, the other losers included BHEL, HLL, Grasim Industries and Bajaj Auto. — TNS

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Tatas pick up 6 pc in Spicejet

Mumbai, February 1
Low-cost carrier Spicejet said today it has allotted a total of 2.70 crore equity shares to Tata Group company Ewart Investment and BNP Paribas Arbitrage Fund out of the proposed preferential issue of 7.20 crore equity shares, raising Rs 143 crore.

Ewart Investments was allotted 1.4 crore shares, 6 per cent stake in the carrier, while BNP Paribas Arbitrage Fund received about 1.30 crore shares. — PTI

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CSN failure to fetch it $520 m

London, February 1
Brazilian steelmaker CSN might have lost the bidding war for Corus to India's Tata Steel, but still stands to gain over $520 million on the virtue of its failure only.

The Latin-American firm would pocket over $400 million by selling over 34 million shares of Corus in its possession, while it is also entitled to receive about $120 million from the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker on the basis of its offer having being once approved by the target company's Board.

While, CSN has accepted its defeat in the bidding war it still holds a 3.8 per cent stake in Corus, that it had accumulated before making a formal bid for the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker in November last year.— PTI

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New pricing scheme for urea units
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the New Pricing Scheme (NPS) Stage-III for urea units in to be effective from October 1, 2006, to March 31, 2010.

The policy seeks to encourage urea production from indigenous urea units beyond 100 per cent of their installed capacity by introducing a system of incentives for additional urea production. The present provision of prior government permission for additional urea production has been dispensed with.

The NPS Stage-III aims at greater efficiency in urea production and its distribution in the country. It seeks to promote the usage of natural gas, the most efficient and comparatively cheaper feedstock, for production of urea. A definite time schedule has been provided for conversion of all non-gas based urea units to gas within next three years.

The policy also encourages setting up of joint venture projects abroad where gas is readily available at reasonable prices.

The policy aims to establish a more efficient urea movement and distribution network with the objective of ensuring availability of urea in all parts of the country. The government will continue to regulate movement of urea up to 50 per cent of the production depending upon the exigency of the situation. 

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Maruti, Hyundai hikes prices

New Delhi, February 1
Car market leaders Maruti Udyog and Hyundai Motor India today increased prices on select models with immediate effect, which would make their products costlier by up to Rs 12,000 and Rs 3,500, respectively.

Post price hike, newly launched Zen Estillo and new WagonR will be costlier by Rs 3,500, a Maruti statement said.

The increase in Maruti 800, Omni, Alto, Swift (Petrol)Vxi and Esteem is Rs 2,000, it said, adding the highest hike was on Baleno and Gypsy King at Rs 12,000.

A major portion of this increase will go toward the dealers' margins to help them provide better services to the customers, Maruti said.

Hyundai, however, restricted the price hike to its flagship model Santro, which will now be dearer by Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,500.

Post price hike, the base model of Santro will cost about Rs 2.7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while the top end will be tagged at about Rs 4.18 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).— PTI

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Volvo cars in India by mid-2007 

Chennai, February 1
Swedish automobile major Volvo would be launching its cars in the country in the middle of 2007, Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson said.

The company would roll out its cars initially in the metros of Delhi and Mumbai and a third city that is yet to be decided, she told reporters after the 'Sweden India Business Forum' organised by the CII.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran, who was also present, said the third city could be Bangalore.

Volvo was also investing Rs 70 crore for a bus-body building unit in Bangalore, which would create 700 jobs, she said. — PTI

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IBM largest MNC employer in India
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, February 1
Information Technology giant IBM today announced it had become the largest multinational employer in India with a head count of 53,000 personnel.

IBM India/South-Asia General Manager Shanker Annaswamy disclosed here that India had become the company's fastest-growing country globally with growth in the past four years being above 30 per cent. He said in comparison to this, the industry average was only 14-15 per cent.

Mr Annaswamy said the head count had increased exponentially from 3,000 in 2002 to 53,000 in 2006 and that the company's presence in the country was likely to be further augmented with the announcement of a $6 billion investment in the next three years.

He also announced that India had become IBM's largest global delivery location with the addition of 10 new global delivery centres in the country in 2006.

He said the company would focus on education in 2007 in India. The company will extend the Kidsmart programme and university relations initiatives across India. He said the company had imparted training on open standards-based technologies to more than 80,000 students in over 745 colleges in India during 2006.

The company also disclosed that it was deploying 625 young explorer units across Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Chennai and Jaipur. 

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Corporate Results
ACC net up, to pay 150 pc dividend

Mumbai, February 1
Cement major ACC today posted a net profit of Rs 358.46 crore for the quarter ended December 31 against Rs 173.45 crore in the year-ago period.

Total income (net of excise) of the company stood at Rs 1677.94 crore for the last quarter in the current fiscal while the same was Rs 1100.51 crore in the corresponding period of 2005, ACC said.

The audited results for the year ended December 31,2006, show that ACC posted a net profit of Rs 1231.84 crore for the year whereas the same stood at Rs 709.70 crore in the corresponding 12 months the pervious year.

The Board of Directors has declared a 150 per cent dividend at the rate of Rs 15 per share on a face value of Rs 10 each, payable on and from April 11, 2007.

Nahar Enterprises

Integrated textile company Nahar Industrial Enterprises Ltd has reported a 30.53 per cent rise in its net profit at Rs 23.83 crore for the quarter ended December 31 as against Rs 18.26 crore in the year-ago period.

The revenues from operations rose 45.14 per cent at Rs 243.95 crore for the third quarter of fiscal 2006-07 from Rs 168.08 crore in the corresponding period of fiscal 2005-06, Nahar Industrial (NIEL) said.

The results are inclusive of the financials of NIEL's wholly owned subsidiary, Nahar Retail Ltd, which carries out the companies retailing and garmenting business, NIEL Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Kamal Oswal said.

ITC Q3 net up 33.6 pc

The net profit of ITC Limited has increased 33.6 per cent at Rs 536.83 crore during the current third quarter as compared to Rs 717.40 crore in the same period previous fiscal.

The net sales during the period stood at Rs 3165.57 crore, reflecting a rise of 23.8 per cent over the previous third quarter.

For the first nine months in 2006-07, the net sales increased 27 per cent at Rs 8902.96 crore over Rs 7006.07 crore in the previous period.

The net profit during the April to December, 2006, period increased 22.8 per cent at Rs 2049.26 crore as against Rs 1667.46 crore in the corresponding period previous year.

GAIL net up

GAIL (India) Limited registered a turnover (net of excise duty) of Rs 4,378 crore in the third quarter of FY 2006-07, a 12 per cent increase over the turnover in the corresponding previous period.

The net profit during the third quarter of FY 2006-07 was Rs 665 crore against Rs 643 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Indo Asian Fusegear

IAFL has recorded a 38.14 per cent growth in turnover during the third quarter of the 2006-07 financial year.

Its turnover for the third quarter increased to Rs 53.93 crore as against Rs 39.04 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal. The net profit for the third quarter is at Rs 4.45 crore, up from Rs 4.20 crore in the same period last year.

Gillette India Ltd

The company has recorded healthy double-digit sales growth at Rs. 131.2 crore in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2006, up 13 per cent over Rs.116 crores in the corresponding quarter. The net profit after tax (PAT) is up 85 per cent at 27.71 crore as compared to Rs 14.95 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

The company has announced a 100 per cent interim dividend .

Blue Star Limited

The company has reported a total income of Rs.370.55 crore and net profit ( up 66)of Rs11.50 crore in the quarter ended December 31, 2006. The EPS (face value of share : Rs.2) for the quarter stood at Rs.1.28 . — Agencies, TNS

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Dabur sells non-oncology biz to Alembic for Rs 159 cr

New Delhi, February 1
Dabur Pharma said today it was exiting the non-oncology business by selling it off to Alembic for Rs 159 crore.

"The reason to exit from the non-oncology business is mainly on account of our decision to focus on the cancer segment, which is a growing business for us," Dabur Pharma Chief Operating Officer Ajay K. Vij said.

The company, despite achieving healthy growth in the non-oncology segment, had decided to focus on cancer treatment.

Over and above the consideration of Rs 159 crore the transaction would involve an additional networking capital of Rs 5-8 crore.

Alembic would now acquire more than 20 brands in Dabur Pharma's non-oncology segment, including those in gynaecology and cardiovascular segments.

"We will now intensify our approach to grow the oncology segment and will actively pursue acquisitions in the growth markets, even including the US," Mr Vij said. — PTI 

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Strides Arcolab buys Norwegian Co

Mumbai, February 1
Strides Arcolab Ltd today entered into a share-purchase agreement with Plus Farma ehf to acquire 100 per cent stake of Norwegian Farma Plus for an undisclosed amount.

Plus Farma ehf is a 50:50 joint venture of Invent Farma Group.

"The signing of the share-purchase agreement with the shareholders of Farma Plus is a strategic initiative for both partners and will help to achieve significant critical mass in the Scandinavian market," Strides Arcolab Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Arun Kumar said.

The tie-up will help both Strides Arcolab and Invent Farma to tap the significant opportunities in the Scandinavian market, Strides Arcolab informed the BSE.— PTI

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NHPC inks pact with BHEL for HP project
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
The NHPC has signed an agreement for electrical and mechanical works package of the 520-MW Parbati hydroelectric project, stage-III, in Kulu District of Himachal Pradesh with BHEL at a cost of Rs. 402 crore.

The works to be executed under this package includes design, manufacture, supply, transportation to site, handling erection, testing & commissioning of Turbines, Generators, associated accessories and auxiliaries, auxiliary electrical equipment, mechanical equipment, transformer, GIS, 400 KV XLPE cable etc.

Parbati Hydroelectric Project (Stage-III) is being executed by the NHPC as a Central Sector Project at a cost of Rs. 2304.56 crore with a debt-equity ratio of 70 : 30.

The Project is scheduled to be completed in five years will generate 1963.29 million units of power annually. 

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BRIEFLY

BHEL bags B’desh project
New Delhi, February 1
BHEL has outbid Chinese power equipment major, Harbin Power Engineering, to secure its second turnkey power project worth Rs 505 crore in Bangladesh. The order would be funded by the Asian Development Bank and would involve two 100-120-MW gas turbine power plant at Sidhirganj, BHEL said. BHEL was awarded the contract by the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB), a subsidiary of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). — PTI

New HMT chief
Bangalore, February 1
Mr A.V. Kamat has assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing Director of HMT Limited. He succeeds Mr M.S. Zahed, who retired on January 31, an HMT statement said. ,He was serving as the Managing Director of the company's subsidiary HMT Machine Tools Ltd, prior to this post. — PTI

PNB scheme
Kozhikode, February 1
The Punjab National Bank has announced 'PNB Maha Bachat,' a scheme, offering high yield interest rate for clientele opting for fixed deposits. Effective today, for a period of three months, the new scheme has three options — 8.5, 8.75 and 9 per cent interest for a period of one, two and three years, respectively, on a minimum deposit of Rs 1 lakh, Zonal Manager S.P. Singh said. The scheme also offers an additional 0.25 per cent extra interest to senior citizens. — UNI

US Airways
Chicago, February 1
US Airways Group Inc. yesterday withdrew a hostile offer for bankrupt Delta Airlines Inc. after Delta creditors rejected the bid, taking immediate pressure off rivals to merge. US Airways, the No. 7 US airline, pulled its $9.8 billion offer after Delta's official creditor committee, which plays a decisive role in determining its future, said it will support Delta's plan to exit Chapter 11 as a stand-alone company. — Reuters

Tata Chemicals
Mumbai, February 1
Tata Chemicals today agreed to float a joint venture with Europe's largest fresh produce firm Total Produce Plc to set up distribution facilities of fresh fruit and vegetables across India. The 50:50 joint venture company would create state-of-the-art distribution facilities across India by leveraging the individual strengths of both joint venture partners, it said.— PTI

TCS awarded
Kolkata, February 1|
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today announced that it has been awarded the top position in the 10 Best Performing IT Services Providers category this year by Global Services 100. Global Services 100 is an annual compilation of the world's most-innovative service providers selected on the basis of a research conducted by Global Services and NeoIT, an outsourcing advisory firm. — UNI

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