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B U S I N E S S

Cabinet okays major fleet expansion
SCI to acquire 12 vessels for Rs 3,193 cr
New Delhi, July 20
In a major maritime expansion move, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a proposal of Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) to acquire 12 vessels at a cost of Rs 3,193 crore.

India to dominate global KPO market
New Delhi, July 20
India, already known as the back office of the world, will account for two-third of the global knowledge process offshoring (KPO) segment that could create up to 1.8 lakh new jobs here by 2011, a new study has said.

Doha Round
Nath optimistic on new draft proposals
New Delhi, July 20
India today said the two new draft proposals on agriculture and non-agriculture market access (NAMA) by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) could be a ‘good basis’ for resuming and intensifying negotiations of the Doha Round.

SBI among successful bidders for
pension fund

New Delhi, July 20
The State Bank of India (SBI), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and UTI Assets Management Company (UTI AMC) have emerged as successful bidders for managing pension fund of government employees under the new pension system.
A woman stands next to a Lotus sports car at the 15th International Motor Show in Jakarta on Friday.
A woman stands next to a Lotus sports car at the 15th International Motor Show in Jakarta on Friday. Some 30 automobile makers from
Japan, Korea, China and
Europe are taking part in the
10-day exhibition and sales fest. — AFP photo

EPF Board to meet
on July 23

New Delhi, July 20
The Central Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet on Monday to decide on the interest rate to be paid to four crore EPF subscribers.

German Co to set up plant in Punjab
Chandigarh, July 20
German agro component manufacturing group ‘CLAAS’ will set up a manufacturing plant at Morinda, near Chandigarh, at the cost of Rs 112 crore to manufacture combine harvesters and agri-machinery components.

 


A NEC employee dislays the prototype model of a multi-media mobile phone.
A NEC employee dislays the prototype model of a
multi-media mobile phone, equipped with a high-spec video camcorder and editing device to transmit video images to website or blog through the Internet at the Wireless Japan exhibition
in Tokyo on Friday.
— AFP photo

EARLIER STORIES

 

Inflation static at 4.27 pc
New Delhi, July 20
Inflation remained unchanged at 4.27 per cent during the week ended July 7, thanks to fall in prices of some essential items neutralising the impact of other articles becoming dearer.

Corporate Results
Satyam earns profit of Rs 378 crore
Hyderabad, July 20
After Infosys and Wipro, it was now the turn of Satyam Computer Services Ltd, India's fourth largest software exporter, to feel the heat of rupee appreciation and face a dip in the net profit.

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Cabinet okays major fleet expansion
SCI to acquire 12 vessels for Rs 3,193 cr
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20
In a major maritime expansion move, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a proposal of Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) to acquire 12 vessels at a cost of Rs 3,193 crore.

This will enable SCI's tonnage to meet the increased demand for crude oil transportation and reduce dependence on foreign flag vessels. The induction of vessels will also result in net foreign exchange savings for the country, an official spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said SCI would be allowed to acquire four Aframax tankers of about 110,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) each; two large range-II size product tankers of about 95,000 DWT each; four Panamax bulk carriers of about 75,000 DWT each; and two cellular container vessels of about 5,000 TEU (Twenty Equivalent Unit) capacity each.

SCI will be allowed to avail of external financing up to the extent of 80 per cent of contract price of each vessel. The loan would be sourced either from the domestic or the international market.

The corporation will be allowed to pay the balance 20 per cent of the contract price from its internal resources.

The CCEA also approved purchase of three trailer suction hopper dredgers from the Netherlands at a cost of Rs 1,087 crore. With a hopper capacity of 5,000 cubic metres each, the dredgers will be procured by the Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) from IHC Holland Merwede, an official statement said.

The DCI will be allowed to avail of external financing up to the extend of about Rs 730 crore.

The loan would be sourced either from the domestic market or international market. In case, the DCI resorts to ECB funding, it would seek the necessary approval from the competent authority. The DCI will pay the balance amount from its internal resources.

Earlier, the Cabinet approved the signing of the proposed agreement between India and Bhutan for the 1,095-MW Punatsangchu-1 hydro power project, the second biggest in the Himalayan Kingdom.

External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit the Himalayan Kingdom shortly to formalise the Rs 3,514-crore project that would enable import of power to India, information and broadcatsing minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said after the Cabinet meeting.

The project will provide surplus power to India and augment power availability in the country. In addition, the project will contribute to our strategic objective of further integrating the economy of Bhutan with that of India. The project is expected to be commissioned in 7 years from the date of commencement.

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India to dominate global KPO market

New Delhi, July 20
India, already known as the back office of the world, will account for two-third of the global knowledge process offshoring (KPO) segment that could create up to 1.8 lakh new jobs here by 2011, a new study has said.

The industry would employ about 3.5 lakh professionals by March 2011 globally. This includes nearly 2.55 lakh in India, where only about 75,400 persons are currently employed.

According to Evalueserve, the KPO industry in India had only 9,000 billable professionals in India, generating revenue of $260 million during 2000-01. This number has grown to 75,400 by 2006-07 with $3.05 billion in revenue at an annual growth rate of 51 per cent.

The anticipated success in KPO comes after the success of business process outsourcing (BPO) in the country, which accounts for revenues of $15.8 billion in 2006-07, a jump from just $7.7 billion in 2003-04.

This huge growth in the global KPO space would be driven by the vast pool of educated and experienced professionals in countries like India, China, Russia, Poland, the Philippines, Hungary and many republics from the erstwhile Soviet Union, California-based Evalueserve's chairman Alok Aggarwal said.

It is quite likely that companies - both with their own captives and those using third-party vendors - may use a "hub and spoke" model in which a provider in India may constitute the "centre" whereas other units in the world may provide appropriate "spokes", Aggarwal said.

Evalueserve said in the near future, KPOs are likely to be driven by factors like breadth and depth of coverage, domain expertise, location advantage, sales and marketing capabilities, data compliance with respect to regulatory standards and management of business risks. — PTI

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Doha Round
Nath optimistic on new draft proposals
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20
India today said the two new draft proposals on agriculture and non-agriculture market access (NAMA) by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) could be a ‘good basis’ for resuming and intensifying negotiations of the Doha Round.

“It (the two drafts) is not a text of convergence, but can form a good basis for intensifying talks on negotiations (of Doha Round),” commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath told newspersons here on the sidelines of a function to launch e-filing of patent and trademark applications.

The minister said he had talked to WTO director general Pascal Lamy over phone and conveyed to him that “this (the drafts) is not a text of convergence. It is a text that will lead to further negotiations.”

Nath stated that when negotiations on the Doha Round restart in September, “we hope that the development agenda of the developing countries would be addressed.”

The Doha Round was suspended July last year and was revived in February. However, it suffered yet another set back when the four key negotiators (known as G4 countries) - the USA, EU, India and Brazil — failed to arrive at a consensus on how much tariffs and subsidy cuts developing and developed countries should undertake.

It was then left up to the WTO secretariat to find a meeting point.

On Tuesday, WTO circulated two proposals advocating sharp cuts in industrial tariffs and agriculture subsidies as part of Doha negotiations.

The draft modalities paper circulated by the chairman of the NAMA group suggests tariff cuts that would require India, Brazil and other large developing countries to reduce bound tariffs to 19-23 per cent.

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SBI among successful bidders for pension fund
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20
The State Bank of India (SBI), Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and UTI Assets Management Company (UTI AMC) have emerged as successful bidders for managing pension fund of government employees under the new pension system.

“Based on the overall evaluation, including technical and commercial parameters, the committee — appointed by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) — found SBI, UTI AMC AND LIC as the three best value bidders and recommended their appointment as sponsors of pension funds under the new pension system,” an official statement said here today.

The report is under consideration of the PFRDA. Meanwhile, the contract between the PFRDA and National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) is near finalisation and the work relating to Central Record-keeping Agency activities will commence as soon as the NSDL obtains approval of the SEBI to undertake this work, it said.

The PFRDA had invited EoI from public sector entities for sponsoring pension funds for government employees on May 11 and selected these three entities out of seven bidders.

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EPF Board to meet on July 23
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20
The Central Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet on Monday to decide on the interest rate to be paid to four crore EPF subscribers.

Union labour minister Oscar Fernandes has indicated that he would try to retain 8.5 per cent to provide relief to all employees.

However, this might not go down well with the Left-backed trade unions that have been demanding to restore the interest rate 9.5 per cent.

The proposed meeting on July 23 would be the seventh meeting of the Board to arrive at an acceptable interest rate to be paid to workers.

The finance and investment committee of the EPF Board in its 83rd meeting held in March 2006 had observed that only 8 per cent rate of interest was sustainable out of the income of the fund during 2006-07.

The fund has earned an interest of Rs 7,372.67 crore.

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German Co to set up plant in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 20
German agro component manufacturing group ‘CLAAS’ will set up a manufacturing plant at Morinda, near Chandigarh, at the cost of Rs 112 crore to manufacture combine harvesters and agri-machinery components.

The plant will be spread across 22 acres. A delegation of the company today informed Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal about the project.

The company is a technological leader in the area of agri-machinery and enjoys more than 30 per cent market share in Europe for harvester combines and 50 per cent market share worldwide for forage harvesters.

The managing director of the company Pradeep Kumar Malik said this would be the second manufacturing unit in India.

The company’s first Indian operation was started in 1993 at Faridabad as a joint venture with Escorts. The Morinda unit would provide direct employment to 300 youth and indirect employment to thousands in downstream ancillary units.

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Inflation static at 4.27 pc
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 20
Inflation remained unchanged at 4.27 per cent during the week ended July 7, thanks to fall in prices of some essential items neutralising the impact of other articles becoming dearer.

The annual inflation rate was 4.83 per cent during the corresponding week of the previous year.

Finance minister P Chidambaram had yesterday indicated to the possibility of the central bank not altering its current monetary policy saying high crude oil and food prices did not necessarily mean that monetary policy would be tightened further.

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Corporate Results
Satyam earns profit of Rs 378 crore

Hyderabad, July 20
After Infosys and Wipro, it was now the turn of Satyam Computer Services Ltd, India's fourth largest software exporter, to feel the heat of rupee appreciation and face a dip in the net profit.

The Hyderabad-based, New York Stock Exchange-listed company today announced its first quarter results ending June 30, posting a net profit of Rs 378 crore, down by 3.9 per cent over the previous quarter's Rs 394 crore.

Since United States is the biggest market for the software major, the Indian currency's 9.7 per cent gain against the US dollar this year has dented its profits.

However, on the year-on-year basis, the net profit has increased by 6.8 per cent.

The total income during the quarter touched Rs 1,893 crore, up by 24.8 per cent year-on-year basis and 2.4 per cent quarter on quarter basis.

Tech Mahindra

Tech Mahindra has clocked a 59 per cent jump in its consolidated net profit after tax of at Rs 169.9-crore in the first quarter and the revenues expanded by 49 per cent at Rs 876.3 crore. The company’s number of clients increased from 83 in the last quarter to 87 this quarter with the number of clients, whose annual revenue was more than $25-million, at three.

ACC net falls

ACC has recorded a 15 per cent dip in profit at Rs 351.24 crore for the quarter ended June 30. The company attributed the dip in net profit to an exceptional item comprising of Rs 146.39 crore on sale of land during the quarter ended June 30, 2006. The board, however, has announced a 100 per cent interim dividend. Total income of the company has increased by 28.03 per cent to Rs 1,896.25 crore for the June quarter.

Lupin profit up

Lupin has posted a 54.74 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 78.38 crore for the quarter ended June 30 and the total income of the company increased by 24.58 per cent to Rs 616.89 crore for the quarter, the company informed the BSE. Lupin declared a dividend of Rs 5 on 81,511,986 fully paid-up shares of Rs 10 each, for the year ended March 31.

Ashok Leyland

Ashok Leyland Ltd has said its net profit increased by 27.46 per cent at Rs 88.18 crore for the first quarter ended June 30 and its total income also shot up by 13.28 per cent to Rs 1,628.69 crore, a company statement said.

Mastek

Mastek has posted a net profit of Rs 187 crore for 2006-07 ended June 30. The company’s net profit grew by 28 per cent to Rs 743 crore for the year from Rs 591.8 crore attained in past fiscal. During the fourth quarter ended June 30, Mastek registered a growth in revenue at Rs 187 crore, a 28 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 23.6 crores.

Exide Industries

Exide Industries has posted an 83.96 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 70.11 crore for the first quarter ended June 30 and the total income of the company increased by 51.26 per cent to Rs 664.54 crore for the June quarter from Rs 439.33 crore in the corresponding year-ago period.

L&T net up

New Delhi, July 20
Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) has posted over two-fold increase in profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 376.85 crore for the quarter ended June 30, as compared to Rs 157.13 crore for the same quarter a year ago. Total income of the company increased by 33.16 per cent to Rs 4,716.68 crore for the first quarter.

DLF dividend

DLF has posted a net profit of Rs 579.27 crore and total revenue of Rs 1,207.11 crore for first quarter ended June 30. The board of directors have declared 100 per cent dividend on the entire equity share capital including the shares issued in the IPO of the company for the financial year 2006-07. The group recorded a net profit of Rs 1,515.48 crore and the total revenue of Rs 3,120.98 crore for the quarter.

ACC net falls

ACC Ltd has said its profit dipped by 15 per cent to Rs 351.24 crore for the quarter ended June 30, from Rs 413.24 crore during the same period last year. Total income of the company has increased by 28.03 per cent to Rs 1,896.25 crore for the June quarter.

SKF India

SKF India has posted over 60 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 40.74 crore for the quarter ended June 30, as compared to Rs 25.32 crore for the same quarter a year ago. The total income of the company increased by 22.37 per cent to Rs 403.78 crore.

ICI India

ICI India has posted a net profit of Rs 22.88 crore for the quarter ended June 30, whereas the same was at Rs 18.16 crore for the same quarter a year ago. The total income was Rs 239.87 crore for the quarter, while the same was at Rs 236.72 crore a year ago.— TNS, Agencies

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BRIEFLY

DMRC order
New Delhi, July 20
Bombardier Transportation today said it has bagged order worth 427 million euros for supply of high capacity train to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC). Deliveries of the trains are scheduled to begin in the last quarter of 2008 with completion in 2010 to provide public transport during the Commonwealth Games that will be held in Delhi in October 2010, the company said.— PTI

UltraTech plan
Mumbai, July 20
UltraTech Cement Ltd, an Aditya Birla Group entity, will invest Rs 3,300 crore over the next three years for expanding production capacity. This was announced by Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla at the company's AGM here
today. — PTI

Corpn Bank
Mangalore, July 20
Corporation Bank has reduced interest rates on floating home loan rates by a quarter per cent for loans with a tenure of five to 15 years. For housing loan with limits up to and inclusive of Rs 20 lakh, the interest rate is reduced to 10.25 per cent per annum, A Mohan Rao, general manager, said in a statement here today. The interest rates on loans with limits and above Rs 20 lakhs stands revised from 11.5 per cent per annum to 11.25 per cent per annum, he said. — PTI

PNB campaign
Chandigarh, July 20
Punjab National Bank has launched current accounts and saving accounts (CASA) campaign to open more accounts. B.P. Chopra, general manager, PNB, Haryana zone, after launching the campaign said emphasis would be given on opening more Vidyarthi zero-balance accounts, senior citizen accounts and on mobilisation of high-value accounts during the campaign. The campaign will continue till August
24. — TNS

Aviva tie-up
Chandigarh, July 20
Aviva Life Insurance today tied up with Paul Merchants Ltd, a non-banking financial services company. Under the agreement, Aviva will have access to Paul Merchants’ network of 110 branches and more than 10,000 sub-agents across the country to sell its products. — TNS

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