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China gets dedicated country index
India misses Nasdaq bus

New Delhi, April 6
India has lost out to China in the arena of one of the world's most- respected stock exchange, Nasdaq, which has decided to launch a dedicated index of Chinese companies listed in the US.

IBM bets big on India
Mumbai, April 6
Betting big on the booming Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry, software major IBM said today it was mulling "huge investment" in the sector.

Rising interest rates may lower housing prices
New Delhi, April 6
After a sharp jump of over 100 per cent in past two-three years, housing prices may soon cool down on concerns related to rising interest rate and a possible over supply in the market, industry players believe.

Coal India may hike prices
New Delhi, April 6
State-run Coal India Limited has said it was considering a revision in coal prices to sustain profitability in the long run as the prices have not been revised for the past 33 months."We are contemplating a price hike. Thirty-three months is a long period to stay without a hike, but we have not yet taken a decision," Coal India chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya said.


 

EARLIER STORIES

 
A Matsushita Electric employee displays the new high-definition DVD camcorder "HDS-DX3", equipped with three 560,000-pixel CCD, which enables to record and play full high-definition quality, 1,920 x 1,080-pixel images, on a 8-cm diameter DVD disk, in Tokyo on Thursday.
A Matsushita Electric employee displays the new high-definition DVD camcorder "HDS-DX3", equipped with three 560,000-pixel CCD, which enables to record and play full high-definition quality, 1,920 x 1,080-pixel images, on a 8-cm diameter DVD disk, in Tokyo on Thursday. Matsushita will put it on the market on April 25 with an estimated price of 140,000 yen. — AFP

Cycling against retailers
Dehra Dun, April 6
To oppose the entry of big companies and multinationals into the retail sector, environmentalist Anil P. Joshi and 40 others will undertake a cycle tour from Jammu and Kashmir to Uttarakhand from Saturday.

Now, an IT SEZ in Tamil Nadu
Chennai, April 6
Tamil Nadu today signed an MoU with Nuziveedu Seeds, a company from Andhra Pradesh to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) for IT and ITES companies.

M&A deals in co-op banks on the rise
Mumbai, April 6
Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deals, common among corporates today, are also making inroads in the urban cooperative banking sector.

 

 

 

 

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China gets dedicated country index
India misses Nasdaq bus

New Delhi, April 6
India has lost out to China in the arena of one of the world's most- respected stock exchange, Nasdaq, which has decided to launch a dedicated index of Chinese companies listed in the US.

The development comes amid the growing global appetite of India Inc to expand its overseas footprint with a number of cross-border acquisitions, joint ventures and setting up of foreign business units.

However, the number of Indian companies listed on the US stock exchanges has remained somewhat stagnant over the past few months, despite over 100 firms estimated to be mulling a listing either on the Nasdaq or NYSE.

Nasdaq Stock Market's planned China index would initially comprise of 30 Chinese companies listed on any US exchange.

The major impediment for India missing out to China for a dedicated country index is the lesser number of companies listed in the US as an index needs at least 30 companies, the market observers said.

Out of a total of around 120 Indian companies listed overseas, there are just seven Indian companies listed on Nasdaq with a market cap of around $32 billion — including Infosys, Sify and Rediff, while there are 10 Indian firms listed on another US exchange, NYSE.

Nasdaq CEO Robert Greifeld was in China earlier this week to persuade more Chinese companies to list on Nasdaq.

Incidentally, Greifeld had also visited India last year as part of the exchange's efforts to attract more Indian companies to list on Nasdaq.

However, in the last few months no new Indian company has listed on the Nasdaq, while as many as six Chinese companies were listed on Nasdaq in the first three months of 2007.

Currently, there are 38 companies from China listed on Nasdaq with a market value of about $30 billion.

Besides, there are 31 Chinese companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a combined market cap of a huge over $800 billion.

Nasdaq president and CEO had told PTI in August last year: "We are currently in talks with several Indian companies drawn from various sectors and are confident that we will see more Indian companies listing on Nasdaq in the future."

The China index, which would include the world's largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers China Mobile, and Chinese search engine giant Baidu.com, follows the introduction of an Israel benchmark index by Nasdaq in November last year.

The index, planned to be rolled out in the current quarter, would include companies with headquarters in China or Hong Kong with a minimum worldwide market value of $200 million, a minimum average daily US trading volume of 100,000 shares, and a minimum price of $3 per share.

While most of the Indian companies fulfil the criteria for a dedicated country index, the only impediment is the insufficient number of firms listed in the US for creation of an index, market observers believe.

However, they are optimistic about an India index in the near future, as there had been a sharp surge in the number of Indian companies vying to list their shares on foreign exchanges, particularly in the US, after the successful listing of BPO major WNS on the NYSE and continuing expansion by domestic companies into the overseas markets. — PTI

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IBM bets big on India

Mumbai, April 6
Betting big on the booming Indian media and entertainment (M&E) industry, software major IBM said today it was mulling "huge investment" in the sector.

"We are unparallelled in India in the telecom space. We want to replicate the same in the M&E sector, since it offers similar kind of opportunity," company's general manager (M&E) Dick Anderson said.

IBM has formed a core group in its Bangalore facility to cater to demand-specific needs of the M&E industry in line with its existing one in the telecom space.

Notwithstanding the Bangalore facility, which outsources jobs for many big companies in the world like Sony Pictures and Reuters, the company was not "averse to acquisition" in the space in India.

"We aim to grow at a higher pace in India and to fuel that speed, we are not averse to acquisition. But it is at a very nascent stage," he said, adding that the company would make huge investment in the sector.

Indian M&E firms are on a spending spree on the technology front in order to effectively deliver content. According to a report prepared by Springboard Research, IT spending by the M&E industry was expected to grow to $300 million by 2010.

IBM has "some of the largest names in the M&E space as customers", Anderson said but declined to name them.

"We are aware of the potentail of the Indian market as the economy booms and the increasingly young and urban population spend more on entertainment," he said, adding that India has all the attributes to be a world-leader in this field. — PTI 

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Rising interest rates may lower housing prices

New Delhi, April 6
After a sharp jump of over 100 per cent in past two-three years, housing prices may soon cool down on concerns related to rising interest rate and a possible over supply in the market, industry players believe.

According to an official at a leading real estate developer, prices would certainly come down in middle income segment.

“Rise in interest rate will put major strain on middle income buyers, where prices vary between Rs 10-30 lakh per housing unit. They are really squeezed up as the EMI has gone up by almost 50 per cent in last 3 years,” he added.

The country’s largest home finance firm HDFC’s managing director Keki Mistry told analysts at a conference organised by brokerage firm Enam Securities that there could be a drop in housing prices over the next one year.

“There could be a drop in real estate prices in the next 12 months as developers might not be able to sustain higher prices any longer due to low financial support from the banks,” Mistry said.

Real estate developers had also witnessed a slowdown in sales in May-September period last year. While they were able to sustain the prices with sufficient bank lending, the scenario has changed this time around, he added. — PTI 

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Coal India may hike prices
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 6
State-run Coal India Limited has said it was considering a revision in coal prices to sustain profitability in the long run as the prices have not been revised for the past 33 months.

"We are contemplating a price hike. Thirty-three months is a long period to stay without a hike, but we have not yet taken a decision," Coal India chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya said.

He said non-revision of coal prices with inflationary impact on costs and a stay by the Supreme Court on e-auctioning, had affected the pre-tax profit of the company, which declined over 5 per cent during 2006-07.

The company reported a pre-tax profit of Rs 8,212.69 crore during 2006-07, as compared to Rs 8,676.72 crore in 2005-06, a decrease of Rs 464 crore year-on-year.

CIL produced 1,624.96 million tonnes of coal in the 10th five-year Plan period, up 3.04 per cent from its plan target of 1,577 million tonnes.

It posted coal production of 360.94 million tonnes in 2006-07, a 3.1 per cent increase from its target of 350 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, India and China have decided to expand their cooperation in the coal sector. The two countries reviewed their growing cooperation in this field at the 11th session of the Indo-China joint working group on coal, which concluded here today, an official release said.

Both sides agreed to pursue cooperation/dialogue in the areas of exchange on coal mining technology, equipment and coal mines safety; certification/authentication of mining equipment between the two sides; coal mines safety inspection framework; cooperation in capacity building; cooperation in coal-bed methane (CBM) development, underground and over ground coal gasification and coal liquefaction; and promotion of investment opportunities.

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Cycling against retailers

Dehra Dun, April 6
To oppose the entry of big companies and multinationals into the retail sector, environmentalist Anil P. Joshi and 40 others will undertake a cycle tour from Jammu and Kashmir to Uttarakhand from Saturday.

The 1,000 km trip, will start from Parthal village of Jammu region and will pass through 500 villages in six states before culminating at Dehra Dun on April 22, Joshi told reporters here today.

He expressed fear that “economic gains of companies like Walmart and Reliance in the agriculture sector would not reach marginalized farmers, who are being involved in contract farming now”.

“The villagers are deprived of any control over their own natural resources and livelihood. More than the 80 per cent of the profit coming from natural resources of rural India are shared by middlemen, industrialists and the marketing companies with only 20 per cent going back to rural India,” he said.

During the tour, Joshi said he would hold talks and take feedback from small farmers, hawkers and other small shopkeepers, whose fate hinges on the entry of big retail stores.

Citing the examples of Nandigram, Singur in West Bengal and Pantnagar in Uttarakhand, where agriculture land is being acquired for SEZs, Joshi called for an agriculture land policy that makes it mandatory for state governments to fix a certain percentage of land for agriculture purposes. “The new policy should be such that fertile land cannot be acquired for industrial or special economic zone purposes,” he said. — PTI

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Now, an IT SEZ in Tamil Nadu
Tribune News Service

Chennai, April 6
Tamil Nadu today signed an MoU with Nuziveedu Seeds, a company from Andhra Pradesh to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) for IT and ITES companies.

The Rs 1,500-crore SEZ will provide direct and indirect employment to 25,000 persons. It will be a joint venture between the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) and Nuziveedu Seeds and is expected to attract both domestic and foreign investments.

According to the state government sources, the SEZ would be built on 66 acres of land and provide a built-up area of 73 lakh square feet meant for IT and ITES companies, staff quarters, a supermarket and a hotel with 150 rooms.

The commerce and industry ministry has given necessary clearance for the project.

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M&A deals in co-op banks on the rise

Mumbai, April 6
Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deals, common among corporates today, are also making inroads in the urban cooperative banking sector.

As per figures available with the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks (NFCUB), 19 co-op banks have already merged with stronger banks while nine more are in the pipeline.

According to D Krishna, secretary, NFCUB, the M&A activity in the sector could increase as the apex bank has already given NOCs for some more mergers.

The majority of M&A deals have taken place in Gujarat and Maharashtra which have the largest concentration of co-operative banks.

As per the policy announced by RBI in Feburary 2005, urban co-op banks which are not viable need to exit the banking business either through mergers with strong banks or through voluntary conversion into a co-operative society and withdrawal from the payment system. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Fortis plan
New Delhi, April 6
Fortis Healthcare Ltd, a leading private healthcare company, will pump in $250 million in setting up four healthcare centres to be located at Mumbai, Jaipur, Gujarat and New Delhi. They will be partly funded through its upcoming initial public offer (IPO) and internal sources. Fortis Healthcare Ltd is entering capital market with an IPO of 45,99,66,439 equity shares of Rs 10 each in a price band of Rs 92 - Rs 110. — UNI

UBI at Nathu La
Gangtok, April 6
The Union Bank of India (UBI) today opened country’s and probably the world’s highest ATM at Kupup area near Nathu la Pass at an altitude of 14,300 ft. UBI chairman and managing director M V Nair inaugurated the ATM and withdrew a sum of Rs 1000 using his card to officially launch the ATM counter at the famous tourism site. — UNI

Future Group
Noida, April 6
Home Solutions India Ltd, a part of Future Group, today launched a home improvement retail format “Home Town”. It will invest over Rs 180 crore for setting up nine such stores in next 15 months. The company expects revenues of over Rs 200 crore from each store, aggregating to about Rs 1,800 crore in financial year 2007-08. On a poser to the spiralling interest rates, Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani said, “Depending on the products, rate of interest will be decided.” — UNI

HLL move
Mumbai, April 6
Hindustan Unilever Ltd is selling off its home delivery retail business, Sangam Direct, to Wadhawan Food Retail Pvt. Ltd. Sangam, was formed as a direct-to-consumer channel in Mumbai. “Although Project Sangam has met many of its business milestones successfully, HLL believes that it is not in its strategic interest to continue to be present in this format of organised retail,” the company said. — TNS

Markets closed
Mumbai, April 6
Trading in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), National Stock Exchange (NSE), Forex, call money and spot cotton remained closed today on account of Good Friday, traders said. — UNI

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