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Infosys’ profit up 35 pc
To recruit 26,000 personnel this fiscal
Bangalore, July 11
IT major Infosys Technologies today announced a 35 per cent rise in quarterly profit helped by tax gains even as the company said rising rupee was affecting margins.
Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan announces the financial results in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan announces the financial results in Bangalore on Wednesday. — AFP

RIL, Andhra lock horns over gas pricing
Hyderabad, July 11
The Andhra Pradesh government is set to intensify its ongoing battle with Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) over pricing of gas.

ABC Paper unfolds expansion plans
Chandigarh, July 11
Amrit Banaspati Company Ltd has been restructured and the paper business has been demerged into a separate company, ABC Paper Ltd, while edible oils and FMCG commodities business has been transferred and consolidated with Amrit Enterprises Ltd.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Managing director of Sony India Masaru Tamagawa poses with the newly unveiled OLED TV in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Managing director of Sony India Masaru Tamagawa poses with the newly unveiled OLED TV in New Delhi on Tuesday. Tamagawa launched the new 11-inch OLED (organic light emitting diode) television and also announced the company’s quarterly results for 2007, reporting a 26 per cent increase in the sales revenue. — AFP

Now, decide your own airfare
New Delhi, July 11
If you are planning to travel by air, you have the option to decide the airfare. It might sound strange, at a time when low-cost airlines are facing trouble to stay afloat, but that’s what is claimed by a portal.

BoA to take up 41 SEZ proposals today
New Delhi, July 11
Even as a Parliamentary Standing Committee has sought freeze on approvals to fresh SEZ proposals, the Board of Approval (BoA) will meet here tomorrow to consider 41cases.

Punjab targets 100 pc financial inclusion
Chandigarh, July 11

Gurdaspur and Mansa districts of Punjab have witnessed 100 per cent financial inclusion. All rural households of these districts have been linked with a bank either through deposit account or by credit facility. 41,255 ‘no frill’ accounts have been opened and 711 beneficiaries have been issued credit facility under the General Credit Card (GCC) scheme.

HSIIDC earns Rs 40.89-cr profit
Chandigarh, July 11
The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) has registered a whopping jump of 186 per cent in its net profit after tax and dividend during the financial year closing on March 31, 2007.

President Dell Asia Pacific South Paul Henri Ferrand (centre), vice-president and general manager Dell India Rajan Anandan (left) and vice-president of worldwide business client marketing and strategy Vivek Mohindra pose with newly launched notebooks and desktop, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
President Dell Asia Pacific South Paul Henri Ferrand (centre), vice-president and general manager Dell India Rajan Anandan (left) and vice-president of worldwide business client marketing and strategy Vivek Mohindra pose with newly launched notebooks and desktop, in New Delhi on Wednesday. The systems include three notebooks Vostro 1000, 1400 and 1500 with screens ranging from 14 to 17 inches, and starting prices at Rs 31,000. Two desktop version Vostro 200 mini-tower and Vostro 200 slim tower will be available at starting price of Rs 22,900. — Tribune photo by Manas Ranjan

Orange bags GTL’s IT biz
Mumbai, July 11
France-based communication solution provider Orange Business Services, a key brand of major French telecom player, today announced the acquisition of IT services business of India’s GTL Ltd.

Oberoi Group to spend Rs 600 cr on new hotels
New Delhi, July 11
Country’s leading hospitality chain, the Oberoi Group, today said that it would invest about Rs 600 crore within the next four years to build three more luxury hotels in India.

Ceat to set up two new plants
Mumbai, July 11
Ceat Tyres, an RPG Group company, will set up two new plants at an investment of Rs 700 crore. One of them will be for manufacturing all types of radial tyres.

PM, industry condole Bharat Ram’s demise
New Delhi, July 11
Describing Bharat Ram as one of the doyens of Indian industry, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the institutions he helped establish and develop have set standards of excellence, which are benchmarks for the future.

 

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Infosys’ profit up 35 pc
To recruit 26,000 personnel this fiscal
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, July 11
IT major Infosys Technologies today announced a 35 per cent rise in quarterly profit helped by tax gains even as the company said rising rupee was affecting margins.

The company reported an income of Rs 3,773 crore for the first quarter ended June 30 even as the net profit after tax for the same period was Rs 1,079 crore. The net profit includes a reversal of tax provisions amounting to Rs 51 crore. If this factor is taken into consideration while calculating the earnings per share for this period, they come to Rs 18. If this sum is not deducted from the net profit, the earnings per share come to Rs 18.89. The earnings per share were Rs 14.36 in the same period last year.

"The sharp appreciation of the rupee against all major currencies impacted our operating margins during the quarter," said chief financial officer V Balakrishnan. Compared with the March quarter, earnings were weighed down by a strong rupee and fell by 5.7 per cent. Balakrishnan said the company’s flexible financial model allowed it to absorb the impact of appreciating currency, higher wages and visa costs. He said the company’s liquidity had been further strengthened with cash and cash equivalents reaching $1.6 billion.

According to sources, every 1 per cent increase in the value of the rupee vis-à-vis the dollar shaved 30-50 basis points from operating margins of Indian software services exporters.

The company was successful in adding 35 new clients in this quarter and there was a net addition of 3,730 employees. As many as 7,004 employees were recruited in the quarter but the company continued to face attrition with around 3,300 employees leaving the company. Employee strength in Infosys as of June 30 is 75,971. It plans to hire 26,000 personnel in this fiscal which is up from the 23,000 new employees projected for this fiscal in April this year.

Company CEO S. Gopalakrishnan, while giving the outlook for the quarter ending September 30, said income was expected to be in the range of Rs 3,952 crore and Rs 3,993 crore, which would mean an year-on-year growth of 14.5 to 15.7 per cent. He said earnings per share were expected to be Rs 18.88, translating into an year-on-year growth of 12.7 per cent. The company has projected an income range of Rs 16,238 crore and Rs 16,433 crore for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008.

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RIL, Andhra lock horns over gas pricing
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 11
The Andhra Pradesh government is set to intensify its ongoing battle with Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) over pricing of gas.

The government has decided to raise the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visits the city on July 31.

RIL, which has struck huge gas reserves in the Krishna-Godavari basin off Andhra coast, has proposed a price of $4.79 per million British thermal unit (MBtu), while the government is insisting on central government’s intervention to ensure a substantially lower price.

The state is insisting on a price below $2.97 per mBtu for power generation, $6.52 per mBtu for domestic gas and $8.33 per mBtu for CNG within the state.

“A personal request will be made to the Prime Minister to consider setting up an independent regulatory body to fix the gas price,” officials said and pointed out that the state government’s stand had found support from Planning Commission and union ministries of fertilisers and power.

As the gas supply from KG basin is expected to commence in July 2008, the Rajasekhar Reddy government has started mounting pressure on the centre to put in place an administered price mechanism for gas in the interests of the state’s industrial development.

It has also made a common cause with Anil Ambani, who is already locked in a legal battle with his estranged elder brother over gas supplies from RIL’s KG basin gas block.

Acting on a complaint from Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) over previous contractual obligations, the Bombay High Court had recently issued an interim order restricting RIL from selling KG gas to any company other than RNRL and NTPC.

Rejecting the demand for supply of gas at administered prices, the RIL said it was neither economically feasible nor could it be permitted by the centre as it was not a condition in the new exploration and licensing policy.

In the absence of an agreement on pricing, the RIL’s ambitious plans to set up a 1,950 km-long pipelines for supply of gas could be in jeopardy.

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ABC Paper unfolds expansion plans
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Amrit Banaspati Company Ltd has been restructured and the paper business has been demerged into a separate company, ABC Paper Ltd, while edible oils and FMCG commodities business has been transferred and consolidated with Amrit Enterprises Ltd.

Disclosing this, Pavan Khaitan, managing director, ABC Paper Ltd, informed that the holding company i.e. Amrit Corp. Ltd will comprise of real estate, dairy and services businesses besides retaining the flagship ‘Gagan’ brand. It is also a majority shareholder in both paper and edible oil companies.

“All three companies emanating from the restructuring scheme are in the process of allotment of shares to the shareholders in the swap ratio provided in the scheme and the shares will separately be listed by the three companies in the stock exchanges,” he stated.

Meanwhile, ABC paper Ltd had its first-ever board meeting yesterday. The company plans to undertake expansion plans at their existing plant at Saila Khurd (Hoshiarpur) and raise the production capacity from the existing 48,000 tonnes per annum to 1lakh tonnes per annum.

The company will also be installing a chemical recovery plant and a 10 MW captive co-generation power plant and other capital expenditure initiatives at an outlay of Rs 160 crore.

ABC Paper has also started preliminary work on a greenfield paper unit to produce 1 lakh tonne of specialty paper involving an investment of about Rs 600 crore in Madhya Pradesh or Mahrashtra. After setting up the project, the company will roll out 2 lakh tonnes of paper.

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Now, decide your own airfare
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
If you are planning to travel by air, you have the option to decide the airfare. It might sound strange, at a time when low-cost airlines are facing trouble to stay afloat, but that’s what is claimed by a portal.

“Managing travel plans within limited budgets is a big problem with Indian people especially among displaced students and professionals. With this new tool, Zoomtra.com users can now define the prices they would like to pay and never miss an opportunity to avail of such a deal when it comes. Various airlines are offering amazing deals that everyone is aware of, but more often than not, people tend to miss them,” CP Singh, CTO and co-founder of the portal said in a release.

Zoomtra.com has introduced a feature for travellers, who are not rigid about their travel dates, to decide the prices they want to pay for their trips. This is done through a personalised ‘fare alert’ feature where in users can specify their departure and destination city, travel dates and the maximum price they are willing to pay. As soon as the defined fare is available in the market, an automatic notification is sent to the user so that an instant booking can be made.

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BoA to take up 41 SEZ proposals today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Even as a Parliamentary Standing Committee has sought freeze on approvals to fresh SEZ proposals, the Board of Approval (BoA) will meet here tomorrow to consider 41cases.

Interestingly, one of the 41 proposals to be taken up by BoA include a multi-product SEZ in Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, home constituency of commerce minister Kamal Nath.

Several other prominent SEZ proposals, including that of Unitech, Parasvnath and Videocon would also be considered.

The Navi Mumbai SEZ, the clearance of which was deferred twice earlier, would also be before the Board.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee relating to the commerce ministry, headed by former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi, had in its report sought freezing of notification of fresh SEZs till the SEZ Act and rules are amended to address concerns relating to acquisition of lands.

The total number of cleared SEZs would be above 500, if the BoA clears the 41 SEZ proposals listed for tomorrow.

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Punjab targets 100 pc financial inclusion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
Gurdaspur and Mansa districts of Punjab have witnessed 100 per cent financial inclusion. All rural households of these districts have been linked with a bank either through deposit account or by credit facility. 41,255 ‘no frill’ accounts have been opened and 711 beneficiaries have been issued credit facility under the General Credit Card (GCC) scheme.

“A 100 per cent financial inclusion has two aspects of ‘social inclusion’, which the banks can obtain by opening deposit accounts and providing credit facility to the under-served sections of the society,” stated KC Chakrabarty, chairman and managing director, Punjab National Bank at the 100th meeting of the state level bankers’committee.

In Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Sangrur and Tarn Taran, process of 100 per cent financial inclusion is on and should be over by September 30.

Chakrabarty told the bankers to evince their personal interest to accelerate the pace of bringing more and more uncovered household to banks fold so as to complete the process of 100 per cent financial inclusion of these districts latest by September.

Meanwhile, in Punjab 1,63,577 ‘no frill’ accounts have been opened and 9,570 beneficiaries have been provided financial assistance under the GCC scheme in the last three months. Also, 144 new branches of commercial banks have been opened in the state, raising the network to 2,899.

Aggregate deposits of the banks registered a growth of 18.2 per cent. Meanwhile, deposits have increased by Rs 13, 276 crore from Rs 73,083 crore to Rs 86,359 crore during the previous quarter.

It was also disclosed that the banks in Punjab provided assistance to 81,721 small and medium enterprises (SME) units amounting to Rs 11,120 crore up to March, 2007. They have disbursed loans to the tune of Rs 28,824 crore against a target of Rs 26,367 crore, thus registering a 109 per cent achievement.

For the year 2006-07, as against the target of Rs 17,840 crore, banks have disbursed loans under agriculture to the tune of Rs 19,182 crore, thus surpassing the targets by 107 per cent.

Chakrabarty also informed that the priority sector advances in the state in March was Rs 30,858 crore, showing a growth of 25.6 per cent as against 18.7 per cent last year.

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HSIIDC earns Rs 40.89-cr profit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 11
The Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) has registered a whopping jump of 186 per cent in its net profit after tax and dividend during the financial year closing on March 31, 2007.

Stating this here today, principal secretary to Chief Minister M.L. Tayal, who is also the chairman of the corporation, said the HSIIDC had maintained its high growth trajectory by earning a gross profit of Rs 40.89 crore this year against the earlier record of Rs 29.43 crore during the previous year.

Tayal, who was talking to newsmen after presiding over a meeting of the board of directors, said the corporation had declared a dividend of Rs 5 crore to the state government, an all-time high dividend by the corporation so far.

In a significant decision, the board also approved the reintroduction of the compromise policy to settle chronic non-performing assets (NPAs) of the corporation. The cut-off date to recover the NPAs will be March 31, 2004, in place of March 31, 2002, in the old policy. The new scheme would be valid till December 31, 2007.

He said the corporation had an ambitious plan for setting up new industrial estates and infrastructure projects, for which a land bank of about 17,000 acres was being created. The investment outlay on providing infrastructure for these projects would come to Rs 12,000 crore. Prominent projects included the KMP Expressway, industrial model townships at Rohtak, Faridabad and Jagadhri and the expansion of IMT Manesar, Bawal, Barhi, Rai, Karnal and Saha industrial estates. Dedicated theme parks were also being developed, including the food parks at Rai and Saha, apparel park at Barhi, footwear park at Bahadurgarh, textile cluster at Panipat, auto parts cluster at Gurgaon, light engineering goods cluster at Faridabad, agricultural implements at Karnal and technology parks under campus development norms at Rai & Manesar. The corporation would also explore the possibilities of setting up an industrial estate each at Sohna and Daruhera, besides setting up industry-cum-service centres in the backward districts.

Tayal said the term loan activity of the corporation also grew significantly duing the year. It sanctioned term loans to the tune of Rs 100.52 crore this year. The disbursement and recovery stood at Rs 45.71 crore and Rs 84.33 crore, respectively during the period.

Managing director of the corporation Rajeev Arora said the corporation had spent Rs 940.42 crore on the development of industrial infrastructure in the state, which is significantly higher than Rs 841.63 crore spent during the previous year. Recovery from allottees during the current year was also much higher at Rs 752.86 crore as against Rs 252.98 crore during the previous year.

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Orange bags GTL’s IT biz

Mumbai, July 11
France-based communication solution provider Orange Business Services, a key brand of major French telecom player, today announced the acquisition of IT services business of India’s GTL Ltd.

Following the acqusition, GTL Ltd has entered into an all cash deal of around Rs 150 crore with Orange for providing its enterprise network and managed services business, including blue chip customer base, sales force, skilled professionals and relationships with the leading technology providers to address enterprise networks space in India.

Speaking to the mediapersons here today, GTL CMD Manoj Tirodkar said: “The hiving of enterprise business is part of our efforts to focus on network services for telecom carriers. Orange Business Services will add value to the business and would take care of our employees as well.” — UNI

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Oberoi Group to spend Rs 600 cr on new hotels
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Country’s leading hospitality chain, the Oberoi Group, today said that it would invest about Rs 600 crore within the next four years to build three more luxury hotels in India.

“We have several projects in the pipeline that would come up both in India and abroad. In India, we would be building hotels in Mumbai, Goa and Rajgarh for which we would be investing about Rs 500-600 crore,” PRS Oberoi, chairman, Oberoi Group told a press conference here.

“These hotels should be up and running by mid 2008-2011, which together would make available about 1,200-1,500 rooms,” he added.

The group is also developing luxury hotels near airports that are scheduled to come up at Bangalore and Hyderabad.

As part of its overseas plans, it is building two hotels in Abu Dhabi, one each in Dubai, Cambodia and Maldives, which would be mostly built through management contracts.

The group currently runs 32 hotels and luxury cruisers in five countries under the brand names of ‘Oberoi Hotels and Resorts’ and ‘Trident Hilton’ for the mid-market segment.

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Ceat to set up two new plants

Mumbai, July 11
Ceat Tyres, an RPG Group company, will set up two new plants at an investment of Rs 700 crore. One of them will be for manufacturing all types of radial tyres.

“We plan to set up two plants, one of them in Maharashtra, while we have yet to decide on the location of the second,” RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka said here today.

“Once we zero in on the location, work will proceed rapidly. I expect work to begin on both plants by this year-end,” Goenka said.

Investment in the radial plant will be about Rs 500 crore and in the other around Rs 200 crore, he said. — PTI

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PM, industry condole Bharat Ram’s demise
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Describing Bharat Ram as one of the doyens of Indian industry, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the institutions he helped establish and develop have set standards of excellence, which are benchmarks for the future.

Bharat Ram (93), chairman emeritus of DCM Ltd and SRF, died here last night after a brief illness.

General S S Mehta, director-general of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said: “It is an irreparable loss. We have lost a doyen of Indian Industry, noted for his business acumen and simplicity of lifestyle. He was the voice and conscience-keeper of Indian business and was respected by compatriots. He had brought prestige not only to himself but to India’s business community as a whole.”

Ficci president Habil Khorakiwala described him as “an entrepreneur with rare foresight and vision and one who constantly raised his voice against the fetters that throttled Indian industry during the licence-quota raj.”

Recalling Bharat Ram’s stewardship of being president of Ficci and International Chamber of Commerce (India), Khorakiwala said: “Bharat Ram, an ardent votary of free enterprise, maintained that regulation, when necessary, should be minimal and essentially elastic.”

Bharat Ram was a visionary and far ahead of his times. At a time when labour and management were poles apart, he encouraged labour participation in management and had an elected worker on the DCM board, the Ficci president added.

Expressing shock and anguish over the demise of Bharat Ram, Assocham president Venugopal N Dhoot said the DCM chariman emeritus was known for his straight forwardness, crisp and clear understanding of business and economic issues and fought with courage and dignity the evils of closed economy.

Bharat Ram joined the family business-DCM-founded by his father Sir Sri Ram at a young age of 21 after his graduation and rose to become its chairman and managing director in 1958. Under his stewardship, DCM grew rapidly and was seen as one of the most forward looking companies during that period. Ranked among the top 10 conglomerates in India in 1980, DCM diversified beyond its traditional areas like textiles and sugar into emerging sectors like chemicals, fertilisers, tyre chord and electronics.

Bharat Ram was very active in the social, cultural, educational and sporting life of Delhi. He was very closely involved with prestigious organisations like Ganga Ram Hospital, Shriram College of Commerce, Lady Shriram College, Delhi Golf Club and Sri Ram Centre.

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BRIEFLY

HDFC plan
Mumbai, July 11
HDFC today said it would raise Rs 2,638 crore through the issue of equity shares to CMP Asia Ltd. The allotment committee of directors today approved the allotment of 1,52,50,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each at Rs 1,730 per share to CMP Asia Ltd, HDFC said in a filing to the BSE. The issue of shares would be subject to a lock-in period of 18 months from the date of allotment in terms of the special resolution passed by the shareholders. — PTI

Gammon Infra
Mumbai, July 11
Gammon Infrastructure Projects, a unit of construction firm Gammon India Ltd, will offload 20 per cent equity through an initial public offer (IPO) and a foreign convertibles issue. “We will be filing red herring prospectus for an IPO in the next 45 days,” company managing director Parvez Umrigar said, adding the offer will comprise 10 per cent stake sale. — PTI

Petron Engg
Mumbai, July 11
Petron Engineering Construction today said it has bagged a Rs 25.29 crore order from TOYO Engineering India for carrying out mechanical, piping and painting works at Indian Oil Corporation Ltd’s (IOCL) Panipat unit. Petron Engineering Construction has received letter of intent from TOYO Engineering (India) for mechanical, piping and painting works for Area D and E (part 2) for Naphtha Cracker Project at IOCL’s facility at Panipat. — PTI

Dollex Industries
Mumbai, July 11
Dollex Industries has bagged a $6 million order from an African firm for supplying Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). Under the contract, the company would supply 360 containers of IMFL to its African buyer, Dollex Industries said in a filing to the BSE. Once successfully executed, Dollex Industries plans to enter into a joint venture with its buyer to secure long-term contracts in the future. — PTI

HCL centre
Mumbai, July 11
HCL Technologies has opened an offshore development centre in Chennai for providing and developing software services to Konica Minolta Group, a move that will help HCL get a foothold in the Japanese market. “After successfully foraying into the USA and other geographies, Japan is the next market that HCL is looking on to sign big partnerships,like the one we have entered into with Konica Minolta,” HCL Japan Ltd president and representative director Selvatharasu Sadagoparamanujam said. — PTI

A.P. Solvex
Sangrur, July 11
Dhuri-based A.P. Solvex Limited has bagged the BK Goenka-SEA Award for being the highest producer of refined rice bran oil for sixth time in a row. Giving this information today, CMD of the A.P. Solvex A.R. Sharma said the award was presented by the union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Subulakshmi Jagadeesan at the 10th national seminar on rice bran oil, held at Chennai recently. — TNS

Allahabad Bank
Chandigarh, July 11
The CMD of Allahabad Bank, A.C. Mahajan, yesterday handed over a dividend warrant of Rs 74.01 crore to the union finance minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi as being the amount of 30 per cent dividend for the fiscal 2006-07. — TNS

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