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Infosys net zooms 70 pc
Expects $4 billion revenue in the next fiscal
Bangalore, April 13
Software giant Infosys today reported a net profit of Rs 1,124 crore for the quarter ended March 31, a jump of nearly 70 per cent in the fourth quarter.
In video: (56k)

Stake Sale
BSE finalises investors; awaits nod
Mumbai, April 13
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has agreed to sell 41 per cent stake to a clutch of domestic and foreign investors for about $385 million, subject to regulatory approvals.

Videocon to invest Rs 1,000 cr
Kolkata, April 13
Reversing its decision to set up the country's first thin-film transistor chip facility in Hyderabad, Videocon Industries Limited today said it would set it up near the West Bengal capital.

Now, watch TV on mobile
New Delhi, April 13
Watching your favourite television programme or listening to your loved radio programme on your mobile would soon be a reality.

Taj eyes Jalandhar
Jalandhar, April 13
In a move which will enhance the status of the city and lead to a zoom in the real estate, the Taj Group of Hotels is considering to build a five-star hotel, their first in the state, here.

AT&T starts operations in India
New Delhi, April 13
Communications solutions provider AT&T Global Network Services India today announced the launch of its commercial business in the country to tap the corporate enterprise market.

NBFCs under lens in Bihar
Patna, April 13
At a time when cash-strapped Nitish government struggles to explore new avenues of resources for development, the Patna High Court has responded to a PIL asking the RBI and the registrar of companies to issue necessary guidelines to all nationalised as well as private banks to freeze the accounts of 918 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in Bihar.

RBI measures to slow down growth: Assocham
New Delhi, April 13
About 86 per cent of India’s top CEOs and CFOs feel that the RBI has started over-reacting to the inflationary expectations without realising that increasing cost of money beyond a point would slow down economic growth, according to a survey done by Assocham business barometer.


A model presents a creation of Indian designer Shurabhi Kalsi at 'The Bride Show' in Dubai.
A model presents a creation of Indian designer Shurabhi Kalsi at 'The Bride Show' in Dubai late on Thursday. — AFP

EARLIER STORIES

 
Around 60 Ferrari cars are parked in front of the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the firm, in Paris.
Around 60 Ferrari cars are parked in front of the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the firm, in Paris on Friday. — AFP

Aviva to boost reach in region
Chandigarh, April 13
After docking in the country some five years ago, Aviva - UK ’s largest insurance group that insured Titanic - plans to anchor itself more firmly in this part of the region by increasing the number of offices from five to 11. For, Aviva’s managing director Bert Paterson feels people here have still not woken up to the need for getting themselves insured.

Dubai losing to India in BPO sector
Dubai, April 12
Dubai is seeking to attract business process outsourcing (BPO) trade in the region in direct competition from India, but higher costs in setting up these centres is acting as a dampener.

FDI inflows up 176 pc
New Delhi, April 13
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country will cross the target of $12 billion this fiscal with inflows of $11.89 billion recorded till February.

 

 

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Infosys net zooms 70 pc
Expects $4 billion revenue in the next fiscal
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Nilekani is co-chairman

In a major top level shake up, Infosys today announced that it’s CEO and managing director Nandan M Nilekani was resigning from both his posts to take on the mantle of co-chairman of the company. Company COO S Gopalakrishnan will take on the responsibility of steering the company as its CEO and MD from June 22.

The company's founder director S.D. Shibulal has been made the new COO. Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy will continue to be non-executive chairman of the company. Commenting on the changes, Murhty said Nilekani had decided to retire voluntarily after leading the company for five years. 

Bangalore, April 13
Software giant Infosys today reported a net profit of Rs 1,124 crore for the quarter ended March 31, a jump of nearly 70 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The company posted revenue of Rs 3,555 crore during the quarter, an increase of 42.60 per cent as compared to revenue recorded during the same period in the last fiscal. The earnings per share increased to Rs 20.30 from Rs 12.23 in the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

The consolidated results for the year ended March 31, 2007, witnessed an income of Rs 13,893 crore for the company which represents a 45.9 per cent year-on-year growth. The net profit after tax was Rs 3,850 crore for the year. The earnings per share for the year were Rs 69.11 from Rs 45.03 in the previous year, recording a year-on-year growth of 53.5 per cent.

The company, while giving its outlook (consolidated) for the quarter ending June 30, 2007, said its income is expected to be in the range of Rs 3,896 crore and Rs 3,913 crore and earnings per share before exceptional item is expected to be Rs 17.84. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, income is expected to be in the range of Rs 17,038 crore and Rs 17,308 crore with a growth of 22.6 per cent to 24.6 per cent. 
The board of directors of the company have recommended a final dividend of Rs 6.50 per share (130 per cent). It also added 34 new clients during the quarter, besides a gross addition of 5,992 employees. This addition was partly lost due to high attrition levels, hovering at around 40 per cent to ensure a net increase of only 2,809 employees. “Our revenues are expected to grow to $4 billion next fiscal”, said S Gopalakrishnan, chief operating officer (COO) of the company. “Our continuous investments in brand, infrastructure, technology, people, intellectual capital and services offerings have positioned us well to take full advantage of the continued globalisation of services”, he added.

Company’s chief financial officer S Balakrishnan said the organisation continued to have a strong liquidity position despite appreciation of the rupee against all major currencies during the quarter. He said cash and cash equivalents; including investments in liquid mutual funds as on March 31, 2007, was Rs 6,073 crore.

Summing up the results, Infosys CEO and managing director Nandan M Nilekani said revenues had grown by $1 billion in a year. He said the company’s continued focus on large clients had yielded results with the largest client alone giving a business of $200 million.

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Stake Sale
BSE finalises investors; awaits nod

Mumbai, April 13
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has agreed to sell 41 per cent stake to a clutch of domestic and foreign investors for about $385 million, subject to regulatory approvals.

Asia's oldest stock exchange has finalised the investors, but the names could not be disclosed due to pending approvals from SEBI, FIPB, RBI and other processes currently underway.

"We are waiting for regulatory approval and other operations to get completed, then we will announce the names of the other investors," BSE's managing director and CEO Rajnikant Patel told reporters after the listing ceremony of ICRA Ltd on the exchange here.

Asked whether the fate of the potential investors had been sealed from the BSE side, Patel said: "Yes".

The BSE has received interest from over 20 leading domestic financial institutions, foreign funds, domestic corporate houses and reputable high net worth individuals which was substantially more than required for the demutualisation of the exchange.

The exchange would sell 25 per cent stake to domestic investors and 16 per cent to foreign investors at a price of Rs 5,200 per share, aggregating to about Rs 1,655 crore.

"We will be announcing the names of the investors by middle of May," Patel said.

BSE has to meet the deadline of May 19 to bring down member brokers' stake to 49 per cent as part of the demutualisation process. — PTI

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Videocon to invest Rs 1,000 cr

Kolkata, April 13
Reversing its decision to set up the country's first thin-film transistor chip facility in Hyderabad, Videocon Industries Limited today said it would set it up near the West Bengal capital.

"Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee proposed that we set up the facility in West Bengal and his government is ready to provide whatever is required. I could have gone to Hyderabad, but I am not going," VIL chairman Venugopal Dhoot told reporters after a meeting with the Chief Minister.

Spread over 100 acres, the facility will have an initial investment of Rs 1,000 crore. Dhoot said, "More funds would be pumped in later and the investment can go up to anything." According to Bhattacharjee, the facility will have units for microchip manufacturing, design and research and development in one place.

The company will also set up a 200-acre IT and biotech SEZ at Dabgram in north Bengal, he said. — PTI

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Now, watch TV on mobile
R. Suryamurthy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 13
Watching your favourite television programme or listening to your loved radio programme on your mobile would soon be a reality. Not just programmes beamed by Indian television or radio stations, but you can watch live streaming of soaps, movies and sport action anywhere across the globe.

“We would be launching the service in two months in India. While the customers can listen to audio content for a sum of Rs 100 per month, video service would be around Rs 150 per month, said Sanjay Sinha, CEO, Airchord Televenture Limited.

AirChord, one of the world’s leading providers of interactive mobile multimedia system, today unveiled ‘next generation’ streaming technology to a select group of newspersons here.

Sinha said the company is in talks with almost all the telecom service providers.

AirChord is among the first to offer a single service that covers the audio, video, TV and user defined channels to be streamed from anywhere to anywhere over mobile data channels.

It will also enable content providers to offer multimedia services to the consumers on various handsets that support Window CE, Java, and Symbian OS, Brew and Palm OS.

Users can access multiple audio/video files either through their mobile devices, or through web interface.

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Taj eyes Jalandhar
Varinder Singh & Vishal Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 13
In a move which will enhance the status of the city and lead to a zoom in the real estate, the Taj Group of Hotels is considering to build a five-star hotel, their first in the state, here.

Talks were on between the group and a local industrialist, Sarabdeep Singh Lally, regarding the proposed venture and the final decision was expected soon.

The hotel, in all likelihood, was poised to come up on the outskirts of the city, somewhere on the Phagwara-Jalandhar GT road, they added.

The hotel would consist of 150 rooms and would be constructed on the land spanning six acres. It would boast of state-of-the-art facilities like lush green open spaces, ultra-modern parking lots, world-class restaurants, swimming pools and round-the-clock coffee shop.

Given the ever-burgeoning NRI population of the region, the hotel would especially aim at providing adequate space, including jazzy rooftops, for hosting private parties.

The sources disclosed that the process of laying out the design of the proposed hotel was on and would be given final touches in the coming few days.

But preferring to keep a shroud of mystery over the venture, Sarabdeep Singh Lally told The Tribune that "the project was under an active consideration of the parties involved and final outcome was still awaited. Many important issues were still to be sorted out".

Incidentally, no Taj official was willing to come on record regarding the proposed project.

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AT&T starts operations in India

New Delhi, April 13
Communications solutions provider AT&T Global Network Services India today announced the launch of its commercial business in the country to tap the corporate enterprise market.

"India is a high-priority market for just about every global MNC, and the increasingly competitive telecom landscape will be a major factor in helping attract further MNC investment and expansion into India," V S Gopi Gopinath, vice- president of AT&T Asia Pacific, said.

Gopinath said AT&T is strongly positioned to meet Indian companies' telecommunication needs. The company is investing $750 million in 2007 to support global customers. This would help AT&T provide consistent services to customers worldwide, he said.

AT&T, a joint venture between AT&T Inc and Mahindra Telecommunications Investment Private Ltd, has secured NLD and ILD licenses from the government.

In November 2006, AT&T became the first foreign telecom operator to secure new licences under the government's revised policy on foreign direct investment which allows up to 74 per cent foreign ownership. — PTI

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NBFCs under lens in Bihar
Tribune News Service

Patna, April 13
At a time when cash-strapped Nitish government struggles to explore new avenues of resources for development, the Patna High Court has responded to a PIL asking the RBI and the registrar of companies to issue necessary guidelines to all nationalised as well as private banks to freeze the accounts of 918 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in Bihar.

The directive came in the wake of the report that over Rs 12,000 crore deposits, mostly by small depositors, were swindled by these defaulting NBFCs in the state over the years.

This shocking revelation prompted a division bench of Chief Justice J N Bhatt and justice Shailesh Kumar Sinha to direct the registrar of companies to initiate prosecution against all defaulting firms.

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RBI measures to slow down growth: Assocham
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 13
About 86 per cent of India’s top CEOs and CFOs feel that the RBI has started over-reacting to the inflationary expectations without realising that increasing cost of money beyond a point would slow down economic growth, according to a survey done by Assocham business barometer.

An overwhelming 71 per cent of the 250 CEOs, MDs and CFOs felt that the present inflation is more of a supply driven phenomenon and the answer lies in improving the productivity of agriculture. Besides, investment in the key sectors of manufacturing like cement, steel should be stepped up and incentivised.

The chamber chief said corporate heads are increasingly worried about the impact of rising interest rates on their bottomline and demand slowdown. The industry had not even absorbed the previous increment in CRR by 50 basis points to 6 per cent on February 14, 2007 completely, that another hike took it by surprise on March 30, 2007.

The Reserve Bank of India raised the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 50 basis points to 6.5 per cent and the repo rate by 0.25 per cent to 7.75 per cent on March 30, 2007. The hike in CRR will be implemented in two phases of 0.25 per cent each on April 14 and April 28, 2007. The RBI will also reduce the interest on CRR balances from 1 per cent to 0.5 per cent. 

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Aviva to boost reach in region
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 13
After docking in the country some five years ago, Aviva - UK ’s largest insurance group that insured Titanic - plans to anchor itself more firmly in this part of the region by increasing the number of offices from five to 11. For, Aviva’s managing director Bert Paterson feels people here have still not woken up to the need for getting themselves insured.

At the company’s Chandigarh office during his visit, Paterson said people here are keeping their savings away in the banks, or in lockers at homes. Some are even stacking away their money in form of gold. But few are going in for insurance covers.

A substantial number of those opting for it are largely doing so for the tax benefits, even though insurance cover is an extension of the social security system where people get not just opportunities to ensure quality education for their children, but can also think in terms of their dream holidays.

Now for the purpose of removing misconceptions and generating awareness among the masses about the benefits of insurance cover and the role of private organisations in the sector, the company is organising road shows and street plays involving the local leaders.

In one to one with The Tribune, Paterson says so far the company has held the shows in places like Fatehgarh Sahib, Phagwara, Faridkot and even Karnal. The company is also addressing the issues faced by the masses at the regional level in the local dialect.

Giving details of the expansion plans, Paterson said the company has offices in Chandigarh , Ludhiana , Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar and it has identified sites for opening offices in Phagwara, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Ambala, Pathankot and Mohali. In all, the company plans to increase the number of branches to 192 by the end of this year from 113 in December last.

He adds gradually the private companies are finding more than a foothold in the insurance sector. So far, it has been Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) all the way with approximately 70 per cent share not only due to its ability to respond to the challenges posed by the private organisations, but also because it has been in the country for a very long time now.

But after a few years from now the situation is likely to change with more and more people trusting the private companies and their abilities to settle legitimate claims expeditiously and liberally.

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Dubai losing to India in BPO sector

Dubai, April 12
Dubai is seeking to attract business process outsourcing (BPO) trade in the region in direct competition from India, but higher costs in setting up these centres is acting as a dampener.

The world economic forum, which has adjudged the UAE economy as the most competitive one, has also noted its lack of educational reforms and reliance on migrant workers.

Of late, higher costs from rising rents and spiraling inflation has proved to be a setback for businesses in the UAE, especially in Dubai.

But officials of the Dubai outsourcing zone (DOZ) have been targeting major corporates to reposition their call centres to the DOZ.

Analysts believe that India still has an edge over Dubai in attracting call centres, which requires basic communication skills of individuals and is available at a cheaper price. — PTI

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FDI inflows up 176 pc

New Delhi, April 13
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country will cross the target of $12 billion this fiscal with inflows of $11.89 billion recorded till February.

"From April to February, $11.89 billion have come in equity, compared to $4.31 billion during the 11- months of the previous year. This marks a growth of 176 per cent in dollar terms," a release said here.

FDI inflows in February 2007 amounted to $698 million, compared to only $127 million in the same month of previous fiscal, showing a growth of 450 per cent.

The manufacturing sector has also shown robust growth of 12.1 per cent in April-February. This is the first time that industrial growth has crossed the 11 per cent mark in the last decade, the release said. — PTI

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BRIEFLY


People walk past ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo, one of 13 hotels owned by Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), in downtown Tokyo.
People walk past ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo, one of 13 hotels owned by Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA), in downtown Tokyo on Friday. Morgan Stanley, the biggest property investor among Wall Street firms, will buy in a single transaction ANA's 13 domestic hotels in June for a record $2.4 billion. — AFP

Inflation falls to 5.74 pc
New Delhi, April 13
Inflation fell below 6 per cent after more than two months and stood at 5.74 per cent during the last week of 2006-07 against 6.39 per cent a week ago despite rise in prices of major food products as well as some fuel and manufactured items. This resulted in average inflation standing at 5.18 per cent for 2006-07, within RBI’s projection of 5-5.5 per cent. Inflation had averaged 4.46 per cent during 2005-06. — TNS

Rupee stronger
Mumbai, April 13
The rupee today gained 36 paise to end at more than eight-year high of 42.51/52 against the US currency following heavy dollar selling by a leading corporate house as well as a sharp surge in equity markets. The rupee also drew support from the dollar's weakness against Asian currencies and fairly good capital inflow into the equity markets. In active trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market, the local currency rallied sharply after resuming firm at 42.77/78 per dollar in the absence of any intervention of by the central bank. — PTI

Oil prices
London, April 13
The price of Brent North Sea crude struck a seven-month high of $69.59 a barrel in early London trading today. It later stood at $69.20 per barrel in London electronic trading, up 48 cents from yesterday’s close. Crude futures had swung higher on Wednesday after the US department of energy said that gasoline reserves slumped last week by much more than expected. — AFP

Forex reserves
Mumbai, April 13
India's forex reserves increased by $1.141 billion to $200.325 billion during the week ended April 6 as against $199.179 billion in the previous week. Foreign currency assets rose by $1.151 billion to $193.075 billion during the week ended April 6, according to figures released by the RBI here today. — PTI

Spice Systems
Mumbai, April 13
Spice Ltd has sold its 48.22 per cent stake in Spice Systems Ltd (SSL) to B K Modi controlled MCorpGlobal. The move would give MCorpGlobal 96.27 per cent control in SSL. It had acquired 81.50 lakh shares of Spice Systems through ‘inter-se transfer’ on March 31, a regulatory filing on the BSE shows. — PTI

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