SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Tata Steel to raise $2.3b for Corus
Mumbai, April 17
Tata Steel will raise close to Rs 10,000 crore ($2.3 billion) from domestic and overseas equity markets to part-finance its $12.9 billion takeover of Anglo-Dutch firm Corus Group Plc.

Halt Rupee rally: Apparel exporters
New Delhi, April 17
Fearing adverse impact of rupee surge on apparel exporters, due to lower unit value realisation, the Apparel Exports Promotion Council (AEPC) has sought government intervention to halt appreciation of the Indian currency against dollar.

Deora to scout for oil, gas avenues
New Delhi, April 17
Petroleum minister Murli Deora is leaving tomorrow on a seven-day visit to three oil and gas rich countries - Syria, Algeria and Egypt to expand the growing cooperation between India and these countries.

RIL to invest Rs 8,000 cr on pipeline
Kolkata, April 17
Reliance Industries Ltd plans to invest over Rs 8,000 crore to lay a gas pipeline from KG basin on the eastern coast to West Bengal by 2009-10.

General Motors unveils Spark
New Delhi, April 17
Intensifying price war in the small car segment, world’s biggest car maker General Motors today launched its hatchback Chevrolet Spark in India
Cameramen capture images of Chevrolet Spark at its launch in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Cameramen capture images of Chevrolet Spark at its launch in New Delhi on Tuesday. — AFP photo



EARLIER STORIES

 
A Pakistani model displays an outfit at a fashion and hair show in Islamabad on Tuesday. Some 50 Pakistani dress designers and beauticians competed in the show to promote the traditional culture.
A Pakistani model displays an outfit at a fashion and hair show in Islamabad on Tuesday. Some 50 Pakistani dress designers and beauticians competed in the show to promote the traditional culture. — AFP photo

MUL to introduce immobiliser system
New Delhi, April 17
Concerned at the increasing numbers of car thefts and low recovery rate by law enforcing agencies, the largest car manufacturer in the country Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) has decided to introduce another first in the industry which would go a long way in helping car owners secure their vehicle.

Sri Lanka for removal of non-tariff barriers
Kochi, April 17
Making a strong plea for removal of stringent non-tariff barriers, Sri Lankan minister of export development and international trade G L Peiris yesterday said restrictions can slow things down and undermine the confidence of the business community.

L&T in pact with Mitsubishi
Mumbai, April 17
Indian engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd said on Tuesday it had formed a joint venture with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to manufacture super-critical boilers in India.

An employee of Japan's electronics giant NEC shows off its new desktop computer "Valuestar N", which takes up less space than an A-4 sized laptop, at a press preview in Tokyo on Monday. The company put the new 15-inch PC series with a wireless keyboard and a mouse on the domestic market at expected prices from 225,000 yen to 180,000 yen.
An employee of Japan's electronics giant NEC shows off its new desktop computer "Valuestar N", which takes up less space than an A-4 sized laptop, at a press preview in Tokyo on Monday. The company put the new 15-inch PC series with a wireless keyboard and a mouse on the domestic market at expected prices from 225,000 yen to 180,000 yen. — AFP photo

Telecom subscribers swell to 189 m
New Delhi, April 17
Boom time for the communication sector continues, with India adding 20.08 million wireless subscribers in the quarter ended December 2006, taking gross telecom subscriber base to 189.92 million.

FTAs: Sensitive list should be ‘pruned’
New Delhi, April 17
Indian industry should be prepared for FTAs with other countries and should focus on the preparedness and readiness for it, though it is impossible to guarantee that all sectors in the economy stand to gain with FTAs in the short-run, a senior commerce and industry official said.

Gem, jewellery export up
Mumbai, April 17
The Indian gem and jewellery industry posted a 2.74 per cent growth for the financial year 2006-07 with total exports touching $17.1 b (Rs 77,180.28 crore) as against $16.6 b (Rs 73,342.44 crore) last year.

CFL buys 25 pc in Iffco
New Delhi, April 17
Coromandel Fertilisers Limited (CFL) has bought 25 per cent stake in Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (Iffco) at a price of Rs 150 per share pursuant to share purchase agreement during January 2007.

Radico eyes 15-20 pc market share in Punjab
Ludhiana, April 17
Bouyed by a robust growth in Punjab's liquor market, Diageo Radico Distilleries Pvt Ltd is eyeing a 15-20 per cent share in the state's IMFL (Indian made foreign liquor) segment within a year.


Video
India's Jet sees Air Sahara profitable in first year.
(56k)

 

 

Top



 

 

 

Tata Steel to raise $2.3b for Corus

Mumbai, April 17
Tata Steel will raise close to Rs 10,000 crore ($2.3 billion) from domestic and overseas equity markets to part-finance its $12.9 billion takeover of Anglo-Dutch firm Corus Group Plc.

The Indian giant would also arrange about Rs 25,800 crore ($6.14 billion) in debt from a consortium of banks for the deal which was completed earlier this month.

Tata Steel's board of directors today cleared a host of proposals such as a rights issue, a convertible preferential shares issue and an overseas equity-related issue to raise a total of $12.9 billion. The amount also includes working capital requirements for one year.

The company had early this year acquired Corus after outbidding Brazil's CSN with a bid of 608 pence a share, amounting to a total of $12 billion.

Addressing mediapersons here, company's managing director B Mutuhraman said Tata Steel would contribute $4.1 billion in all and raise $6.14 billion by way of long-term debt from a consortium of banks.

"The balance $2.66 billion has presently been raised in the form of bridge finance in Tata Steel Asia Singapore," he said, adding discussions were underway to arrange these funds on long-term basis through appropriate instruments.

Tata Steel will contribute $4.1 billion in equity capital to its subsidiary Tata Steel UK Ltd. Further, the $6.14 billion in debt would be arranged through non-recourse financing from banks directly at Tata Steel UK Ltd.

Tata Steel's acquisition of Corus is the largest overseas takeover by an Indian entity and the fund raising exercise is also the biggest ever by an Indian company. Significantly, this is first share sale by the company in over a decade.

Tata Steel's $4.1 billion contribution is more than half of its market value of $7.3 billion.

Under the rights issue, the shareholders would be offered shares in the ratio of 1:5 at a price of Rs 300 a share, amounting to a total of Rs 3,655 crore.

The board also approved a simultaneous but unlinked rights issue on preferential basis in the ratio of 1:7 at a price between Rs 500-600 a share. This would raise Rs 4,350 crore. — PTI

Top

 

Halt Rupee rally: Apparel exporters
S Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 17
Fearing adverse impact of rupee surge on apparel exporters, due to lower unit value realisation, the Apparel Exports Promotion Council (AEPC) has sought government intervention to halt appreciation of the Indian currency against dollar.

AEPC fears that unprecedented appreciation of rupee, which ended at nine-year high of 41.90 against US dollar yesterday, coupled with high interest rate of credit would make Indian apparel exports less competitive in the international market.

Expressing concern on the recent exports trends, AEPC chairperson Vijay Agarwal said: “The exports of clothing to major destinations like the US has slowed down in January 2007. Our concern is quite relevant as the US market accounts for 35 per cent of India’s textile and clothing export.”

“AEPC is of the view that the apparel industry needs continuous support of the government as stronger rupee vis-à-vis dollar, high interest rate of credit, non-reimbursement of local taxes and levies are making our exports less competitive in the international market,” he said appealing to the government for immediate intervention to halt further appreciation of the Indian currency.

The rupee has appreciated from Rs 45.61 in August 2006 to Rs 41.90 till yesterday.

AEPC feels that the strengthening of rupee is particularly detrimental to low import intensive and price sensitive industry, like clothing, as profit margins are rather lower than other commodities.

Competitive edge of Indian garment exporters is getting adversely affected and this would lead to decline in exports of textile and clothing. Consequently, this would lead to a shortfall in achieving export targets for the industry.

The ministry of textiles has revised the target of the readymade garment sector at $10,500 million for 2007-2008 against $9,500 million for 2006-07.

Rupee appreciation may also lead to shifting of export orders from India to neighbouring countries and impact the employment scenario in our industry, the AEPC said.

Top

 

Deora to scout for oil, gas avenues
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 17
Petroleum minister Murli Deora is leaving tomorrow on a seven-day visit to three oil and gas rich countries - Syria, Algeria and Egypt to expand the growing cooperation between India and these countries.

In Syria, the Indian companies would be looking at the possibility of utilising next round of bidding for exploration blocks in 2007.

Deora is accompanied by petroleum secretary M S Srinivasan, CMD ONGC R S Sharma, IOC chairman S Behuria, GAIL CMD U D Choubey and EIL CMD M Rohatagi.

They are also expected to hold discussions with the President of Republic of Syria besides meeting the deputy Prime Minister for economic affairs and his counterpart.

The visit to Algeria would be for creating positive atmosphere for Indian companies to pursue opportunities in the next round of bidding for blocks by the Algerian minister of energy & mines.

OVL proposes to jointly bid with the Algerian National Oil Company, Sonatrach for which OVL has an MoU. OIL and GAIL are also pursuing E&P opportunity in Algeria. In the down stream sector, possibilities of securing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplies for Petronet LNG, GAIL and IOC would be explored besides IOC’s interests in gas based petrochemical projects.

Indian Oil’s proposal for participation in crude pipeline project from Mediterranean to Red Sea coast would be discussed for encouraging oil flow to Asia by-passing Suez Canal. The company is also interested in petrochemical projects in Egypt. 

Top

 

RIL to invest Rs 8,000 cr on pipeline

Kolkata, April 17
Reliance Industries Ltd plans to invest over Rs 8,000 crore to lay a gas pipeline from KG basin on the eastern coast to West Bengal by 2009-10.

The investment would be finalised once the pipeline capacity was discussed with the West Bengal government, RIL president (LNG business) R.P. Sharma said here today on the sidelines of a summit.

"It will cost around Rs 8,000 crore for connecting the 1,100 km pipeline between KG basin and the state," he said.

Sharma said the company would ask the government about its projected demand of natural gas in the state before deciding on the capacity of the pipeline.

The pipeline would be built as a common carrier basis and the state government has issued notification for use of the pipeline.

"The timeframe for informing intention to use the pipeline by any party is one month. After that we will freeze the capacity of the pipeline," Sharma said. — PTI

Top

 

General Motors unveils Spark

New Delhi, April 17
Intensifying price war in the small car segment, world’s biggest car maker General Motors today launched its hatchback Chevrolet Spark in India with a starting price of Rs 3.09 lakh - nearly Rs 12,000 cheaper than its closest competitor Maruti Suzuki’s Zen Estilo.

Chevrolet Spark, equipped with a 1,000 petr-ec engine, would be available in four models and has been priced in a range of Rs 3.09-3.89 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi)

“We have not been represented in the small car market in India and we want to increase our presence in this segment, which is the fastest growing segment in the country,” General Motors Corp chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner told reporters here today.

He said the small car segment is critical for the company’s growth in India and introducing Spark, one of GM’s most successful models worldwide, was a part of the company’s growth strategy.

Chevrolet Spark would compete with Zen Estilo and Hyundai’s popular hatchback Santro. While Spark would be Rs 12,000 cheaper than the Zen, it would come at a premium of Rs 39,000 over the base model of Santro, which is being sold at Rs 2.7 lokh, (Ex-showroom Delhi).

The company is initially aiming at selling 2,000-3,000 units Spark in a month, which will be rolled out from its Halol facility in Gujarat.

“There will be initial capacity constraints and depending on the demand we will rearrange the product mix to effectively utilise our existing capacity,” GM India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaha said. — PTI

Top

 

MUL to introduce immobiliser system
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 17
Concerned at the increasing numbers of car thefts and low recovery rate by law enforcing agencies, the largest car manufacturer in the country Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) has decided to introduce another first in the industry which would go a long way in helping car owners secure their vehicle.

The MUL has now decided to make it mandatory for all its cars to be fitted with an anti-theft “immobiliser system”. Although the cost, which would be anywhere between Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000, would be passed onto the customers, it would go a long way in setting industry standards in the country and eventually forcing all car manufacturers to adopt the system compulsorily.

This all-new radical device is an advanced electronic system installed in the vehicle, which works on digitally encrypted codes and hence is tamper-proof. The MUL officials pointed out that there is a possibility of the present anti-theft devices installed in the cars to be made dysfunctional and then the car being stolen.

But car immobiliser, fitted in the engine and controlled through the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), would be tamper proof and would in no way allow the car to be stolen except for the time when the thief has the original car keys.

Cars fitted with an immobiliser would roll out from Maruti factories in the coming weeks and over the next few months it would become in a mandatory feature in all the models.

This does not come as a good news for the MUL customers as this device cannot be retrofitted and has to be fitted while the engine is being manufactured at the initial stage.

Top

 

Sri Lanka for removal of non-tariff barriers

Kochi, April 17
Making a strong plea for removal of stringent non-tariff barriers, Sri Lankan minister of export development and international trade G L Peiris yesterday said restrictions can slow things down and undermine the confidence of the business community.

The minister was here to participate in a business meet and awareness programme on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Talks between India and Sri Lanka on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was going on and the negotiations are expected to conclude by the middle of the year, he said, adding that review of the negative lists and the rules of origin was underway.

Review of the double taxation agreement has almost been finalised, he added. In 2000 Indo-Lanka trade was $670 million, while in 2006 it touched $2 billion. — PTI

Top

 

L&T in pact with Mitsubishi

Mumbai, April 17
Indian engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd said on Tuesday it had formed a joint venture with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to manufacture super-critical boilers in India.

The venture, which follows a technology agreement between the two companies, will have a capital outlay of about Rs 3 billion ($72 million), L&T said in a statement.

The facility will cater to plant capacities ranging between 500 MW and 1,000 MW and start production in the latter part of the fiscal year to 2009, L&T said.

The joint venture will have its engineering centre in New Delhi, but the site for the manufacturing facility would be announced later, the company said.

“We have two or three locations in mind. Hazira is one of the choices and another one is Chennai,” A.K. Chatwani, senior vice-president of power business at L&T, told Reuters.

In November, the companies signed a deal where Mitsubishi Heavy would grant a 20-year exclusive licence and supply technical know-how for making super-critical boilers, used in coal-fired power plants, to L&T power business unit.

L&T had been scouting for an equipment partner possessing advanced technologies while MHI has been seeking a foothold in power generation operations within India’s rapidly growing market.

L&T is currently engaged in ‘engineer-procure-construct’ contracts for power projects as well as manufacture of complete condensing and feed heating systems for power plants. — Reuters

Top

 

Telecom subscribers swell to 189 m

New Delhi, April 17
Boom time for the communication sector continues, with India adding 20.08 million wireless subscribers in the quarter ended December 2006, taking gross telecom subscriber base to 189.92 million.

Ironically, the growth has also brought in less average revenues for the operators with tariffs touching low levels.

The ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) per month for GSM services has declined by 6.2 per cent from Rs 337 in the previous quarter to Rs 316 in the December quarter.

The quality of service performance of the basic and cellular phones has improved as compared to previous quarter in several parameters.

The wireless market grew at 15.5 per cent in the quarter ending December 2006, adding 20.08 million subscribers.

The gross subscriber base of the wire-line and wireless services reached 189.92 million in the quarter ending December, 2006 from 170.02 million as on September 2006, showing an increase of 11.7 per cent, said the TRAI’s quarterly performance indicator.

The overall growth for the year (December 2005 to December 2006) was 52.2 per cent. The tele-density in the quarter has reached 17.16 as compared to 15.41 in the previous quarter and subscriber base for wireless services has increased from 129.54 million to 149.62 million but decreased in the fixed line service from 40.5 million to 40.3 million, it said.

Internet subscribers base reached 85.47 lakhs in the quarter by registering a growth of 5.9 per cent and broadband subscriber base reached 20.19 lakhs by registering a growth of 11.12 per cent. — PTI

Top

 

FTAs: Sensitive list should be ‘pruned’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 17
Indian industry should be prepared for FTAs with other countries and should focus on the preparedness and readiness for it, though it is impossible to guarantee that all sectors in the economy stand to gain with FTAs in the short-run, a senior commerce and industry official said.

Speaking at the India-Asean Round Table, organised by CII, joint secretary P.K. Dash said maximisation of the overall national welfare from the FTAs should be the primary objective.

He said the sensitive list of products which today stands at 550 will have to be cut to about 350 and the sectors, which need to accommodate these cuts, are textiles, chemicals and auto.

In the sensitive list the tariff lines were not brought to zero duty. But the 200 items that will be moved out of the sensitive list will have to be brought down to zero by 2018.

The 16 products in the agriculture list will, however, continue to be on the negative list.

Referring to the concerns of the textile sector, Dash assured that the product specific rules (PSR) have been agreed upon by both sides, to deal with the cheap imports from Asean countries, mainly Vietnam. 

Top

 

Gem, jewellery export up

Mumbai, April 17
The Indian gem and jewellery industry posted a 2.74 per cent growth for the financial year 2006-07 with total exports touching $17.1 b (Rs 77,180.28 crore) as against $16.6 b (Rs 73,342.44 crore) last year.

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), apex body of the gem and jewellery trade in India, announced the results here today.

However, the total cut and polished diamond exports witnessed a decline of 7.83 per cent for the year 2006-07. Diamond merchandise exports posted a growth of 3.37 per cent with exports touching $9.77 billion (Rs 44,106.95 crore) for the financial year 2006-07.

The maximum growth in the sector this year has been driven by the gold jewellery exports, which witnessed an increase of 34.55 per cent from $3.87 b (Rs 17,063.33 crore) to $5.21 b (2,315.84 crore).

Commenting on the industry’s performance GJEPC chairman Sanjay Kothari said: “The industry has been going through a topsy-turvy path in the diamond sector in the last quarter of the fiscal but still we have managed to grow at a healthy rate.” GJEPC has embarked on a three-pronged approach for driving industry growth, namely, marketing and product development, policy and sourcing material.

GJEPC has taken an initiative to capture a larger market share in regions such as Japan and East European nations. — UNI

Top

 

CFL buys 25 pc in Iffco
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 17
Coromandel Fertilisers Limited (CFL) has bought 25 per cent stake in Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (Iffco) at a price of Rs 150 per share pursuant to share purchase agreement during January 2007.

A CFL release said the total consideration for the transaction was Rs 120 crore.

The CFL had also made the statutory open offer to the shareholders of Godavari Fertilisers Chemicals Limited (GFCL) at the same price and acquired additional 4.85 per cent stake, taking their total shareholding in GFCL to 74.92 per cent.

The government had subsequently divested its stake in the company to CFL through a divestment process in July 2003, the release said, adding the company now transitioned completely into the folds of the CFL.

Top

 

Radico eyes 15-20 pc market share in Punjab

Ludhiana, April 17
Bouyed by a robust growth in Punjab's liquor market, Diageo Radico Distilleries Pvt Ltd is eyeing a 15-20 per cent share in the state's IMFL (Indian made foreign liquor) segment within a year.

"We are quite enthusiastic about Punjab as it is the fastest-growing market in the country. We would like to attain 15-20 per cent market share in Punjab's IMFL segment," Diageo Radico CEO Raju Vaziraney told reporters at the launch of Masterstroke whisky here.

According to company officials, Punjab has witnessed 49 per cent growth in IMFL market at 48.15 lakh cases in 2006-07 against 32.26 lakh cases in 2005-06.

Similarly in whisky segment, it registered 51 per cent growth at 44.25 lakh cases. In prestige segment, Punjab recorded a growth of 89 per cent, rising from 7.33 lakh cases in 2005-06 to 13.87 lakh cases in 2006-07. — PTI 

Top

 
BRIEFLY

PNB to launch online trading
Mumbai, April 17
In a bid to inculcate equity culture among the masses, PNB today tied up with Motilal Oswal to launch online trading facility for its customers. Motilal Oswal Securities, a subsidiary of the Motilal Oswal Finance Services Limited, will provide an online platform for the PNB customers. With this alliance, PNB customers will be able to trade in equity and derivatives online using the Motilal Oswal’s online trading platform — MyBroker. — UNI

Tata Indicom
Chandigarh, April 17
Tata Indicom today launched a business gold plan for its users in Haryana. This plan offers 500 minutes of free incoming calls each month, while on roaming. Under the plan, a monthly rental of Rs 349 will be charged and free monthly calling value of Rs100 on any network will be provided, besides outgoing local calls at 50 paise per minute. The company also launched Summer Hungama today, wherein on purchase of Tata Indicom’s India calling card worth Rs 1,000 and above, the customers will be given a scratch card with an assured gift. — TNS

UTI’s gold fund
Mumbai, April 17
UTI’s “Gold Share”, a gold exchange traded fund was listed on the NSE here today. The first quote received today was of Rs 950 for one unit of gold share and were alloted to the investor at the rate of Rs 944 per unit equivalent to the price of 1 gram of gold of 99.9 per cent purity in the international market. UTI gathered Rs 150 crore during the NFO period. — PTI

Gemini Comm
Mumbai, April 17
Gemini Communication Limited said on Tuesday it has got an order worth Rs 576 million from Punjab. The order is for supply, installation and maintenance of information technology infrastructure for an education project in the state. — Reuters

Plethico Pharma
Mumbai, April 17
Plethico Pharmaceuticals plans to acquire a German company engaged in herbal segment.This would help the company to focus on herbal products market in the advanced countries, Plethico informed the BSE. — PTI

Top

 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |