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Bajaj Auto board approves demerger
Shareholders to get scrips of new entities
Mumbai, May 17
Auto giant Bajaj Auto's board today approved a demerger scheme, splitting group into three separate entities with the creation of two new companies.

Chairman of Bajaj Auto Rahul Bajaj addresses a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday. — AFP photo

Chairman of Bajaj Auto Rahul Bajaj addresses a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday

Split not for sons’ sake: Rahul
Bajaj Group chief Rahul Bajaj today said he will continue to head the boards of Bajaj Auto as well as two new entities created from the demerger of flagship company, while rebuffing suggestions that the move was to spilt the group.

Declares 400 pc dividend
Bajaj Auto today posted a 11.12 per cent decline in profit after adjustments at Rs 308.31 crore for the quarter ended March 31, compared to Rs 346.97 crore for the same period last year.

Barclays forays into Indian retail banking
New Delhi, May 17 Global financial services provider Barclays Plc on Thursday announced its foray into retail banking services in India with a range of credit cards, personal loans, business loans and investment services products.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Sony unveils the 10th anniversary model of the PC "Vaio VGN-TZ90", equipped with a Intel's Core2Duo or CeleronM processor and a 11.1-inch WXGA LCD display on its carbon fiber made slim body, weighing 1,220g, in Tokyo on Thursday. Sony will put it on the market on May 26 at a price of $1,415.
Sony unveils the 10th anniversary model of the PC "Vaio VGN-TZ90", equipped with a Intel's Core2Duo or CeleronM processor and a 11.1-inch WXGA LCD display on its carbon fiber made slim body, weighing 1,220g, in Tokyo on Thursday. Sony will put it on the market on May 26 at a price of $1,415. — AFP photo

Maruti’s ‘Dil Se’ offer a hit
New Delhi, May 17
Jaswinder Sodhi, working with a big financial institution in New York, wanted to gift something special to his father on his 60th birthday. But when he hit the website of the Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) created specially for the NRI section, all his troubles were solved.

Introduces anti-theft device in all models
Maruti Udyog Ltd today said all its models ranging from M800 to the latest sedan SX4 will cost more by up to Rs 4,300 on account of equipping the cars with a new anti-theft device.

GAIL inks pact with HPCL 
New Delhi, May 17  
GAIL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) today signed a joint venture agreement for city gas distribution projects in Rajasthan.

UB group takes Hafed plant on lease
Chandigarh, May 17
The United Breweries Ltd, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has entered into an agreement with the Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (Hafed) to run on lease a barley malt plant of Hafed at Jatusana in Rewari district. The plant, spread in six acres of land, was commissioned in 1989 with an installed capacity of 9,000 MT per annum. However, production was stopped in 2002 and since then it is being used as a warehouse.
Toyota Motors president Katsuaki Watanabe stands next to company's latest flagship luxury sedan, "Lexus LS 600h" during its press preview in Tokyo on Thursday. The new LS600h and LS600hL models feature the world's first hybrid system, combining a 5-liter V8 engine, a high-output motor and a full-time all-wheel drive system. Toyota will put it on the Japanese market from May 23 with prices between 9.7 million and 15.1 million yen and will be launched in 37 countries across Europe, US and Asia starting next month.
Toyota Motors president Katsuaki Watanabe stands next to company's latest flagship luxury sedan, "Lexus LS 600h" during its press preview in Tokyo on Thursday. The new LS600h and LS600hL models feature the world's first hybrid system, combining a 5-liter V8 engine, a high-output motor and a full-time all-wheel drive system. Toyota will put it on the Japanese market from May 23 with prices between 9.7 million and 15.1 million yen and will be launched in 37 countries across Europe, US and Asia starting next month. — AFP photo

Left takes umbrage to PFRDA notification 
New Delhi, May 17
The Left parties have asked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put on hold the notification issued by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) calling it “back-door” entry to foreign, private and national firms for managing the funds.

India can be hub for skilled manufacturing, says Ashwani Kumar
New Delhi, May 17
India can soon emerge as a global centre for skilled manufacturing provided that all the key stakeholders focus on the trinity of scale, quality and technology, minister of state for industry Ashwani Kumar stated at an interactive session on ‘Indian Economy : Prospects & Challenges and Role of Manufacturing Sector’ organised by PHDCCI here today.

Re rally hits export from region
Amritsar, May 17
Exports from the region from Rajasansi International Airport here have been hit as foreign currencies, especially the US dollar, slips.  Due to the unpredicted currency fluctuation, exporters operating from Amritsar, who had already settled rates are now hesitant to click the deals for the fear of suffering heavy losses. They have either put the deals on the backburner or are busy re-negotiating.

Indigo with common rail diesel engine launched
New Delhi, May 17
 Home-grown auto major Tata Motors today launched common rail diesel engine in the base model of its mid-size sedan Indigo priced at Rs 5.25 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).

Tata Steel Q4 net up at Rs 1,103 cr
Mumbai, May 17
World's sixth largest steel firm Tata Steel today posted 40.91 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,103.50 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, as compared to Rs 783.11 crore for the same period a year ago.

 

 

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Bajaj Auto board approves demerger
Shareholders to get scrips of new entities

Mumbai, May 17
Auto giant Bajaj Auto's board today approved a demerger scheme, splitting group into three separate entities with the creation of two new companies.

Under the proposed scheme, effective from March 31, Bajaj Auto Ltd's various businesses including auto manufacturing and other strategic businesses such as wind energy, insurance and financial services, would be demerged into two newly incorporated subsidiaries - Bajaj Holdings and Investment Ltd (BHIL) and Bajaj Finserv Ltd (BFL).

The manufacturing business would vest in BHIL and other strategic businesses would vest in BFL, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

After the demerger, for each share of Bajaj Auto, the shareholders would continue to hold one share of the company with face value of Rs 10 and would also be allotted one BHIL share of Rs 10 face value and one BFL share of Rs 5 face value.

As part of the restructuring, BHIL would be renamed "Bajaj Auto Ltd" and the existing Bajaj Auto Ltd would be renamed as "Bajaj Holdings and Investment Ltd".

The scheme, approved by the board, is subject to approvals as may be required including that of the stock exchanges, Bombay High Court, and shareholders of the company.

Considering the growth opportunities in the auto, wind-energy, insurance and finance sectors, the board has considered it timely and appropriate to demerge these activities into separate entities, each of which can focus on these core businesses and strengthen competencies, the company said.

All shareholders in existing BAL on the record date would become shareholders in each of the new companies and would be issued shares of the two new companies in the ratio 1:1.

After the issue of new shares, the existing shareholders of BAL would hold about 70 per cent shares in the new companies in the same ratio as their current holding, with the remaining about 30 per cent being held by Bajaj Holdings and Investment Ltd.

The transaction structure will also enable the new companies to tap into the cash pool of BHIL to support future growth initiatives even while enabling BHIL to participate in the growth of the auto business and the financial services business.

The provisions of the scheme will be applicable and come into operation from closing hours of March 31. The demerger process, which is subject to statutory and regulatory procedures, is expected to be completed by end of calendar year 2007.

The auto business of the company along with all assets and liabilities, including investments in PT Bajaj Auto Indonesia and in a few vendor companies, will be transferred to BHIL. In addition a total of Rs 1,500 crore in cash and cash equivalents would be transferred to BHIL. — PTI

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Split not for sons’ sake: Rahul

Bajaj Group chief Rahul Bajaj today said he will continue to head the boards of Bajaj Auto as well as two new entities created from the demerger of flagship company, while rebuffing suggestions that the move was to spilt the group.

"I will be the chairman of all three companies. It is not a split of Bajaj Auto," Bajaj told PTI from Mumbai over telephone.

He said his younger son Sanjiv will continue to be the Executive Director in Bajaj Auto, the manufacturing arm, virtually debunking reports that the demerger was to create separate entities for the next-generation Bajajs.

There have been reports that company was being divided to accommodate his two sons--Rajiv and Sanjiv.

He said the board structure of the existing entity Bajaj Auto Ltd would remain unaltered, while the boards of two new entities -- Bajaj Holdings and Investment Ltd and Bajaj Finserve Ltd -- would have Rajiv Bajaj, Sanjiv Bajaj and Madhur Bajaj as directors.

Besides, he himself, would serve as the Chairman of the two boards, Bajaj said.

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Declares 400 pc dividend

Bajaj Auto today posted a 11.12 per cent decline in profit after adjustments at Rs 308.31 crore for the quarter ended March 31, compared to Rs 346.97 crore for the same period last year.

The total income (net of excise) increased 8.91 per cent to Rs 2471.25 crore for the quarter, from Rs 2268.95 crore a year ago, Bajaj Auto informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The board of directors at its meeting today has declared a dividend of Rs 40 on shares of Rs 10 each (400 per cent) subject to approval by shareholders.

For the year ended March 31, the company recorded a profit after prior period adjustments of Rs 1237.10 crore for the year ended March 31, as compared to Rs 1123.27 crore for the year-ago period.

The total income (net of excise) increased to Rs 10,076.05 crore for the year from Rs 8106.35 crore previous year.

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Barclays forays into Indian retail banking

New Delhi, May 17
Global financial services provider Barclays Plc on Thursday announced its foray into retail banking services in India with a range of credit cards, personal loans, business loans and investment services products.

Initially, the bank will start its retail operations in Mumbai, Kanchipuram and Nelamangala near Bangalore. It also plans to set up its ATMs across the country.

“India is one of the world’s most exciting markets for retail financial services. The country offers significant potential across customer and market segments which Barclays is well placed to maximise,” Samir Bhatia, managing director, Barclays India, said in a statement here.

“Barclays will differentiate itself in the market through a compelling product offering backed by superb execution, which will resonate with the customer. Barclays has over 300 years of experience in providing financial services to a global customer base and operates in over 50 countries,” Bhatia noted.

Barclays has been operating in India since late 70s and more recently through Barclays Capital, one of the country’s leading investment banks. It is now growing its retail and commercial banking business with an initial capital commitment of $70 million. — IANS

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Maruti’s ‘Dil Se’ offer a hit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
Jaswinder Sodhi, working with a big financial institution in New York, wanted to gift something special to his father on his 60th birthday. But when he hit the website of the Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) created specially for the NRI section, all his troubles were solved.

Not only was he able to select the best suitable option for his father but was also able to deliver the car at their doorstep on his birthday. It was an experience which Jaswinder would remember all his life.

‘Dil Se’ programme of MUL is one of the highest revenue generators amongst the e-commerce business. The online portal which allows online retail of cars has done a business of Rs 20 crore in the last financial year.

The ‘Dil Se’ program, designed for Indians residing abroad, allows them to conveniently gift Maruti cars to friends and relatives back home at the click of a mouse. Launched in July last year, the portal has a hit rate of 2500 per day and till date around 10,000 customers have registered on this portal.

Under this program, an NRI can gift a car back home for as low as $99 a month for an Alto, paid over five years.The entire portal is designed to be convenient and transparent and it allows the user to monitor every stage of the transaction online, right from ordering of the vehicle to the delivery in India. The website provides all necessary information on Maruti models, variants, colours and on-road prices.

In addition, ‘Dil Se’ comes with many other benefits. These include a special discount, home delivery of car and, on priority, pick up and drop facility during car service for the first two years in addition to discounts on labour charges and car accessories. 

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Introduces anti-theft device in all models

Maruti Udyog Ltd today said all its models ranging from M800 to the latest sedan SX4 will cost more by up to Rs 4,300 on account of equipping the cars with a new anti-theft device.

The immobiliser device, branded as iCAT (intelligent computerised anti-theft system), will be factory-fitted. Cars fitted with this advanced device are currently reaching Maruti showrooms across the country, a company statement said. The price hike ranges between Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,300 (ex-showroom) for the various models, it added. — PTI 

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GAIL inks pact with HPCL 

New Delhi, May 17
GAIL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) today signed a joint venture agreement for city gas distribution projects in Rajasthan.

The JV company will take up projects in Rajasthan and enable use of compressed natural gas and piped natural gas in cities of Rajasthan for automotive and domestic use, a company release said. — TNS

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UB group takes Hafed plant on lease
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The United Breweries Ltd, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya, has entered into an agreement with the Haryana State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation (Hafed) to run on lease a barley malt plant of Hafed at Jatusana in Rewari district. The plant, spread in six acres of land, was commissioned in 1989 with an installed capacity of 9,000 MT per annum. However, production was stopped in 2002 and since then it is being used as a warehouse.

As per the agreement made by Hafed with the Patiala-based set up of United Breweries Limited (malt division), work of up-gradation of technology of the plant and its capacity expansion to 10,000 MT per annum shall be completed within a period of 12 to 18 months from the date of lease agreement.

The lease period initially will be for seven years and rental has been finalised at Rs 50 lakh per annum from the date of its commercial production.

Hafed will arrange licences, registrations and other permission required for the restoration of the plant’s operations. Prior consent of Hafed would be mandatory to make any addition or alteration in the machinery of the plant. For this purpose a technical committee would be constituted with members drawn from Hafed and United Breweries.

The agreement is also expected to give a boost to Hafed’s efforts to popularise contract farming in the state. 

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Left takes umbrage to PFRDA notification 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
The Left parties have asked the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put on hold the notification issued by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) calling it “back-door” entry to foreign, private and national firms for managing the funds.

“We have serious objection to the notification issue by the PFRDA. We will take it up with the Prime Minister,” CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said.

He said the Left parties have been discussing with the Manmohan Singh government on how to revamp the entire pension scheme, which was brought in by the earlier NDA regime.

The PFRDA has issued a notification asking private firms to submit application as pension fund managers.

The executive order by the government empowers the pension regulator to appoint pension fund managers with 26 per cent FDI to manage funds under the New Pension Scheme (NPS).

Karat said the Left parties have been opposing the NPS and they were “surprised” over the PFRDA’s decision as a Bill to overhaul the authority itself is yet to be tabled.

Under the NPS, employees have to contribute 10 per cent of their basic salary and dearness allowance, along with a matching contribution of their employer. The fund manager will offter alternative products to employees, including risk-free option under which funds would be invested in government securities and share market linked products with variable returns.

The finance ministry had held a meeting with state Chief Ministers last year along with the Left leaders on the NPS issue. The government claimed that 19 states except three Left-ruled states have already implemented the new pension scheme.

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India can be hub for skilled manufacturing, says Ashwani Kumar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 17
India can soon emerge as a global centre for skilled manufacturing provided that all the key stakeholders focus on the trinity of scale, quality and technology, minister of state for industry Ashwani Kumar stated at an interactive session on ‘Indian Economy : Prospects & Challenges and Role of Manufacturing Sector’ organised by PHDCCI here today.

While asserting that under the current macroeconomic parameters, a 9 to 9.5 per cent GDP growth was sustainable in the next four to five years, Kumar expressed concern for the emerging dichotomy between reaping demographic dividend and inadequate availability of skilled manpower in the country. “We need skills to apply scientific knowledge to production processes and to market the products, both domestically and internationally,” he said.

He, however, expressed happiness over India’s manufacturing sector adopting global standards, technology and indulging in innovation. But, he was concerned over the lack of domestic production facilities in electronic hardware and said electronic hardware would overtake petroleum as number one import item of India.

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Re rally hits export from region
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 17
Exports from the region from Rajasansi International Airport here have been hit as foreign currencies, especially the US dollar, slips. 
Due to the unpredicted currency fluctuation, exporters operating from Amritsar, who had already settled rates are now hesitant to click the deals for the fear of suffering heavy losses. They have either put the deals on the backburner or are busy re-negotiating.

Most airlines operating from Amritsar carry readymade garments, engineering goods, sports goods and perishables to the UK and USA.
According to information available with the local NRI branch of a nationalised bank, the US dollar, which started off at Rs 46 this year has come down to around Rs 40 as of now.

Talking to The Tribune, Rana Sangha, in charge of the Cargo Centre run by Central Warehousing Corporation at the Rajasansi Airport, said the unprecedented fall in rates of dollar had badly hit exports and airlines operating from Amritsar were carrying about one-fourth of the average cargo they usually carry.

“The trend which started about a month back is likely to continue for some time unless the government intervenes. There has been a steady fall in the rate of US dollar and pound over the last three months. Many of our exporters who had planned exports during this part of the year have put off their deals till the foreign currencies recover,” he said.

Requesting anonymity, a senior functionary of an international airline said they usually carry about 40 tonnes of cargo per month to the UK and some other European countries, besides USA. But this month, less than 10 tonnes of cargo had been exported so far due to the currency fluctuation. 

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Indigo with common rail diesel engine launched

New Delhi, May 17
Home-grown auto major Tata Motors today launched common rail diesel engine in the base model of its mid-size sedan Indigo priced at Rs 5.25 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).

The base model of Indigo, powered by 1.4-litre diesel engine, would come with an air-conditioner and power steering, the company said in a statement. The 1.4 litre common rail diesel engine was first offered on the company's recently launched upgraded top-end variant of Indigo, Indigo XL (at Rs 6.15 lakh ex-showroom Delhi).

The company has sold 1,50,000 units of Indigo since its launch in 2002.— PTI 

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Tata Steel Q4 net up at Rs 1,103 cr

Mumbai, May 17
World's sixth largest steel firm Tata Steel today posted 40.91 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,103.50 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, as compared to Rs 783.11 crore for the same period a year ago.

The total income (net of excise) grew 21.49 per cent to Rs 5,060.21 crore for the quarter from Rs 4,164.89 crore for the corresponding quarter a year ago, Tata Steel informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The board of directors at its meeting today declared a 130 per cent dividend of Rs 13 on shares of Rs 10 each for the financial year 2006-07 and a special dividend of 25 per cent on the centenary year of the company.

The company recorded a net profit of Rs 4,222.15 crore for the year ended March 31, as against Rs 3,506.38 crore in the year-ago period and the total income increased to Rs 17,985.69 crore from Rs 15,470.26 crore for the period under review. — PTI

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BRIEFLY

Airtel lifetime plan at Rs 495
Mumbai, May 17
Bharti Airtel today introduced a lifetime pre-paid scheme at a price point of Rs 495, which offers a user full talk time on all future recharges, using a minimum of Rs 200 every 180 days to continue enjoying lifetime validity benefits. The pre-paid plan will be available to all existing as well as new Airtel mobile users from tomorrow. — UNI

Tata AIG
New Delhi, May 17
Tata AIG has launched a new travel insurance package for the passengers of domestic private sector carrier SpiceJet. The new package, Domestic Travinsure, apart from accident and death cover, covers losses due to inconveniences faced by the consumers, Tata AIG said. — PTI

Idea-Nokia deal
Mumbai, May 17
Idea Cellular and Nokia Siemens today signed a $500 million GSM network expansion contract. As per the deal, Nokia Siemens will expand Idea Cellular’s network in Delhi, Haryana, eastern and western Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, the company said in a statement. — PTI

Oswal IPO
New Delhi, May 17
Oswal Woollen Mills today said it has obtained SEBI’s nod to come out with an IPO to expand its existing capacities.The initial public offering will be for an issue of up to 83,20,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each through a book building route. — UNI

HDFC Bank
Mumbai, May 17
HDFC Bank said on Thursday its board had approved raising additional share capital of $1 billion to meet growing demand for loans. To maintain the founding firm’s stake at around 23 percent, it would sell 13.6 million shares at 1,023.49 rupees to mortgage company HDFC. — Reuters

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