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Sasan project goes to Reliance Power
New Delhi, July 30
Reliance Energy today said it would invest Rs 20,000 crore in the Sasan ultra-mega project after the government decided to award the 4000 MW project in its favour after disqualifying the bid of consortium of Lanco.

TN stalls Tatas’ chem project
Chennai, July 30
Stung by strong criticism not only from the Opposition but also by allies of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today decided to stall the Tata group's project to set up a titanium dioxide plant in southern part of the state.

Lenovo ‘imports’ Chinese experts for Baddi
New Delhi, July 30
If you come across some Chinese engineers in Baddi area of Himachal Pradesh, don’t get surprised.

IOC losing Rs 90 cr a day 
Q1 net up 11 pc at Rs 1,468 cr
New Delhi, July 30
IndianOil Corp (IOC) today said it was losing Rs 90 crore per day for selling petroleum products and LPG below the cost price.

Piggybacking on portals, Cos lure with freebies
New Delhi, July 30 After connecting people instantly in different parts of the world and other benefits, Internet is now ringing in money counters with various startup web portals doling out hard cash and gift coupons to its users.



 

EARLIER STORIES

 
ABN Amro chairman Rijkman Groenink (R) gives a press conference with CFO Huibert Boumeester in Amsterdam on Monday. Dutch bank ABN Amro said that it would recommend neither of two mammoth takeover offers and was withdrawng its backing for a bid from Barclays over a rival proposal from Royal Bank of Scotland’s consortium. The Netherlands’ biggest bank, the target of a Euro 64 billion offer from Barclays and a Euro 70.6 billion bid from RBS, Belgium’s Fortis and Spain’s Santander, also reported a 7.1 per cent decline in its second-quarter net profit.
ABN Amro chairman Rijkman Groenink (R) gives a press conference with CFO Huibert Boumeester in Amsterdam on Monday. Dutch bank ABN Amro said that it would recommend neither of two mammoth takeover offers and was withdrawng its backing for a bid from Barclays over a rival proposal from Royal Bank of Scotland’s consortium. The Netherlands’ biggest bank, the target of a Euro 64 billion offer from Barclays and a Euro 70.6 billion bid from RBS, Belgium’s Fortis and Spain’s Santander, also reported a 7.1 per cent decline in its second-quarter net profit. — AFP photo

Revised Company Law by year-end
New Delhi, July 30 The industry will have to wait a few more months for the revised albeit friendly Company Law, with the ministry of corporate affairs still working on the draft Bill and hopes to introduce it by the end of this year.

Indian insurance firms in Gulf
Dubai, July 30
Two Indian insurance companies — Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and New India Assurance - have entered into a contract with Saudi Arabia's Al Hokair Group to make services available in the kingdom.

RCom aims 15 pc share in Punjab, HP
Chandigarh, July 30
Reliance Communications’ (RCom) CEO, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, N.F. Aibara, today said they were aiming at over 15 per cent market share in terms of of subscriber base in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Shaw formulates Neobiocon
Mumbai, July 30
Biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd today said it will set up a joint venture company in Dubai along with Abu Dhabi-based drug maker Neopharma for expanding global network.

Boeing’s repair facility this year
New Delhi, July 30
US aircraft maker Boeing today said it will this year begin work on its $100 million MRO facility in India, while raising the projection for the country's requirement for jets to 911 in the next two decades.

Senior vice-president (sales) at Boeing Commercial Airplanes Dinesh Keskar addresses media representatives at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. The Boeing company detailed annual current market outlook (CMO), projecting India’s need for 911 new commercial airplanes worth more than $86 billion over the next 20 years. — AFP photo 
Senior vice-president (sales) at Boeing Commercial Airplanes Dinesh Keskar addresses media representatives at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. The Boeing company detailed annual current market outlook (CMO), projecting India’s need for 911 new commercial airplanes worth more than $86 billion over the next 20 years.

Corporate Results
Tata Steel net up 28 pc

New Delhi, July 30 The world's sixth largest steel manufacturer Tata Steel today posted 28.18 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,222.11 crore for the quarter ended June 30 compared to Rs 953.41 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

 


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Sasan project goes to Reliance Power 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
Reliance Energy today said it would invest Rs 20,000 crore in the Sasan ultra-mega project after the government decided to award the 4000 MW project in its favour after disqualifying the bid of consortium of Lanco.

"The revised bid of Reliance Power Ltd quoting levelised tariff of Rs 1.19616 per kilo watt hour was the lowest of the three bids ...accordingly, the eGoM has advised that the procurer should consider taking immediate action to issue the letter of intent to the lowest bidder," power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters here.

Reliance Power Ltd (RPL) is a subsidiary of Reliance Energy Ltd.

Shinde was heading the empowered Group of Ministers (eGoM) on ultra-mega power projects, which met for the fifth time to take a decision on the vexed issue.

"We are delighted to have won India's largest ultra mega power project through an international competitive bidding process," REL Chairman Anil Ambani said in a statement.

“The Rs 20,000 crore investment in the Sasan project will contribute to accelerating India’s economic growth by substantially raising the current generation capacity,” he said.

Sasan Thermal Power Project in Madhya Pradesh is the largest domestic coal based power project in the country at a single location.

The ministerial panel had earlier disqualified the bid by a consortium of Lanco Infratech-Globeleq, saying there was misrepresentation of financial data due to the withdrawal of Globeleq from the proposed project.

Lanco had outbid REL with a tariff bid of Rs 1.196 per unit. The bid was declared invalid after it was alleged that Lanco misrepresented facts during the bidding process.

The dispute over the project arose after Lanco's foreign partner, Globeleq, sold its 70 percent stake in the joint venture to Lanco and Jindal Steel and Power after winning the bid in December.

In newspaper advertisements today, Lanco Infratech said it had made a fair bid and did not agree with the government's decision, but said it was committed to supporting initiatives to raise the country's power generation capacity.

Sasan Power Ltd, the special purpose vehicle set up by Power Finance Corporation for setting up the project, had asked three other bidders - RPL, NTPC and Jaiprakash Associates - to submit fresh bids. NTPC and Jaiprakash Associates, however, did not change the prices.

The panel had asked Sasan Power, a holding company set up by the Power Finance Corp, to examine the future course of action in the project. But the board of Sasan Power left it to the government to take any decision it deemed fit.

The project in Sasan is one of seven planned 4,000 MW power plants that are part of the government's ambitious plan to add 100,000 MW of electricity by 2012.

The project is part of country’s plans to invest close to $100 billion in generation, transmission and distribution of power to meet existing and growing demand.

Finance ministry estimates the nation loses 2 percentage points from annual growth each year because of inadequate power and transportation networks.

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TN stalls Tatas’ chem project
Tribune News Service

Chennai, July 30
Stung by strong criticism not only from the Opposition but also by allies of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today decided to stall the Tata group's project to set up a titanium dioxide plant in southern part of the state.

He said here today that he would take a final decision after obtaining public opinion by deputing some senior ministers and officials to Tuticorin and Tirunelveli and conduct a survey in presence of journalists. "Based on their report, I will take a final decision," he added.

The Tata group's Rs 2,500 crore-project is to mine ilmenite, an ore of titanium, from the sands of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts in southern Tamil Nadu, and extract titanium, which will be used to manufacture titanium dioxide, a white pigment that can be used as applications in paints and inks.

While former Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa announced to launch a statewide agitation against the project, her ally Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko had threatened to turn the issue into another "Nandigram".

Karunanidhi is anguished over the fact that even the DMK's allies like the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) and the CPI are opposed to the project and lamented that efforts were being made to create an impression that the government was acting in favour of the Tata group.

PMK founder S. Ramadoss' opinion is that the state government should not allow a private player like Tatas to mine ilmenite and monazite for the plant but instead itself implement the project.

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Lenovo ‘imports’ Chinese experts for Baddi
S Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
If you come across some Chinese engineers in Baddi area of Himachal Pradesh, don’t get surprised.

Lenovo, a leading computer manufacturing company, has specially flown in 20 Chinese experts to set up the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Baddi, which is expected to be operational in the third fiscal quarter of 2007 with an employment potential of 350 persons.

The proposed manufacturing unit of Lenovo in Baddi would be the second unit in India. The company already has a manufacturing base in Pondicherry.

“We have four state of the art manufacturing facilities in Beijing, Huiyang, Shanghai and Shenzhen in China and we wish to replicate the same standard in our unit in Baddi…That is why we have specially brought in about 20 Chinese experts to set up the project with the help of their Indian Counterparts,” Manoj Chhura, Executive Director Global Supply Chain (Asia Pacific) of Lenovo told The Tribune here.

“Lenovo is committed to the Indian market and we believe our presence across the sales, manufacturing and marketing functions will allow us to best exploit the tremendous potential of this excising market,” Neeraj Sharma, Managing Director, Lenovo South Asia said.

“With growing market, we were finding it a bit difficult to reach our world class products in a big way in north India. But Baddi unit would help us meet customer aspirations in an even better manner,” he said.

Located strategically, the manufacturing unit at Baddi would employ not only local talents, but also abundant skilled workforce available in Chandigarh and Punjab, he said.

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IOC losing Rs 90 cr a day 
Q1 net up 11 pc at Rs 1,468 cr
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 30
IndianOil Corp (IOC) today said it was losing Rs 90 crore per day for selling petroleum products and LPG below the cost price.

IOC chairman Sarthak Behuria said: "We are losing about Rs 90 crore per day on sale of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene. But for the rupee appreciation the revenue loss would have been almost double."

IOC is losing Rs 5.88 a litre on petrol, Rs 4.80 on diesel, Rs 14.63 per litre on kerosene and Rs 189.14 per LPG cylinder, he said.

He said due to non-revision of retail selling prices in line with international prices, the company has suffered net under-realisation of Rs 4,879.49 crore during April-June.

Net profit was up 11.09 per cent at Rs 1,468.41 crore in April-June as compared to Rs 1,321.82 crore last year. Last year's profit included Rs 3,225 crore gains made from sale of the company's shareholding in ONGC.

IOC chairman said the company made gains of Rs 726 crore from rupee appreciation as against a loss of Rs 318 crore last year.

The company also made highest ever refinery margins (revenue earned from processing of every barrel of crude).

Average gross refinery margins during the quarter ended June 30 was $10.70 a barrel as opposed to $6.70 per barrel a year ago, he said.

Sales turnover increased 9.5 per cent to Rs 58,205 crore from Rs 53,142 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

IOC's total income increased 11.74 per cent to Rs 54,553.01 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, from Rs 48,819.68 crore a year ago.

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Piggybacking on portals, Cos lure with freebies

New Delhi, July 30
After connecting people instantly in different parts of the world and other benefits, Internet is now ringing in money counters with various startup web portals doling out hard cash and gift coupons to its users.

In past couple of days, as many as three new Internet firms have announced cash as well as gifts ranging from movie tickets to discount coupons to lure more customers to log on to their websites.

Internet has already seen a flood of e-commerce websites selling products like jewellery, garments, movie tickets, travel tickets, software and hardware products at a discounted price to the traditional means of shopping.

Now websites are coming up with an aim to augment the offline world of shopping. One of the latest, Coupons4me is offering discount coupons for free to its users. These can be redeemed for purchasing goods and services like apparels, footwear, grocery, jewellery, furnishing, fitness and beauty stores and dining through traditional ways.

Then, there is an online loan comparison portal Deals4Loan luring customers with Rs 5,000 in cash, besides providing "valuable information on available loans absolutely free."

The site has tie-ups with financial institutions like ICICI Bank, Citibank, HDFC, Deutsche Bank, IDBI, Kotak, HSBC, Standard Chartered, ABN Amro, LIC Housing Finance, SBI, Bank of Baroda and Oriental Bank of Commerce.

The "prize" is open to customers taking a loan from one of the financial institution members and every month it claims to gives its 10 customers the opportunity to win the contest.

Closely behind, PVR Cinemas, leading chain of movie theatres, has also tied up with Visa, one of the biggest credit and debit card companies, where it is offering one free movie ticket to customers for every ticket purchased online using their 'Visa Platinum' or 'Visa Signature' cards.

"This offer is redeemable everyday till December 31 for all movie showtimes at PVR Cinemas located in nine cities across the country," PVR said in a statement.

Similarly, private sector lender Citibank is offering one Hutch Home calling card free for opening a new online account before July 31 with $1,000 (or equivalent) cheque value.Besides, travel portals are also giving up to 20 per cent discounts to the netizens for booking rail and air tickets.Even state-run organisations are following suit to woo the net users of the country. Indian Railways' online ticket booking site 'irctc.co.in' picks up 20 lucky winners every week through an automatic computer generated draw. Of these, two get entire ticket fare refunded, eight get complementary mementos from IRCTC and others special gifts.

The exponential growth of the Internet has rapidly changed the way businesses are performed and the way consumers do their day-to-day shopping. — PTI

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Revised Company Law by year-end

New Delhi, July 30
The industry will have to wait a few more months for the revised albeit friendly Company Law, with the ministry of corporate affairs still working on the draft Bill and hopes to introduce it by the end of this year.

The ministry, which was earlier pushing for introducing the Bill in monsoon session of Parliament, would now table it later this year in the winter session as work on changes in the legislation would take a little longer.

"The legislative drafting of the revised company law is nearing completion and the final product will match industry's expectations," secretary in the ministry of corporate affairs Anurag Goel said at a CII seminar today.

He said interests of the industry would be taken into consideration in the revised Bill.

Corporate affairs minister P.C. Gupta said the government would like to introduce better transparency in the functioning of corporates and fixing accountability towards shareholders.

The Company Law Amendment Bill is aimed at protecting the interest of investors with stiffer disclosure norms. It proposes tougher penalties for defaults by managements.

Gupta also assured industry leaders the revised law will take care of the issue of number of independent directors and the government would do "what the industry is expecting".

On whether the number of independent directors in the new law would be different from SEBI norms or would be 50 per cent, 33 per cent or 25 per cent, Gupta said: "Numbers alone cannot bring good corporate governance. It is the intention, commitment, mindset which is going to make a difference." — PTI 

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Indian insurance firms in Gulf

Dubai, July 30
Two Indian insurance companies — Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and New India Assurance - have entered into a contract with Saudi Arabia's Al Hokair Group to make services available in the kingdom.

Saudi India Company for Cooperative Insurance (SICCI), formed out of the venture, has recently issued an initial public offering (IPO) for 40 per cent of the shares and raised SR 40 million as per Saudi regulations that require new insurance companies to offer 40 per cent of the shares to locals before starting operations.

LIC, along with its subsidiary, LIC International, holds 20.4 per cent stake in SICCI, while New India Assurance has 10.6 per cent stake in the company and Al Hokair Group holds 29 per cent stake.

"The Saudi India Company for Cooperative Insurance is a composite insurance company that will sell both life and non-life products. The IPO was very well received. The matter is now with the ministry of commerce of Saudi Arabia," a senior official said. — PTI 

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RCom aims 15 pc share in Punjab, HP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Reliance Communications’ (RCom) CEO, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, N.F. Aibara, today said they were aiming at over 15 per cent market share in terms of of subscriber base in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

While talking to reporters, he said : “During last quarter, we achieved a market share of 11 per cent. We are even going to small cities and towns of Punjab and Himachal so as to enhance our penetration in these markets".

Meanwhile, the company also launched today an album of legendary playback singer Mohammad Rafi on Reliance World for its customers.

Reliance susbcribers can download ringtones and videos. The charges for availing these services range between Rs 3 and Rs 10. 

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Shaw formulates Neobiocon

Mumbai, July 30
Biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd today said it will set up a joint venture company in Dubai along with Abu Dhabi-based drug maker Neopharma for expanding global network.

The joint venture, Neobiocon, is the company's foray in the region to develop and market biopharmaceutical products in areas such as oncology, diabetes, cardiology and anti-obesity.

"We are delighted to be able to provide the advantage of Biocon's proprietary biotech and other related bio- pharmaceutical pipeline products to the people in this region," Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.

Biocon has signed a memorandum of understanding with Neopharma for setting up a joint venture firm Neobiocon in Dubai's biotechnology and research park, Dubiotech, the company said in statement to the BSE. — PTI

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Boeing’s repair facility this year

New Delhi, July 30
US aircraft maker Boeing today said it will this year begin work on its $100 million MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility in India, while raising the projection for the country's requirement for jets to 911 in the next two decades.

"We have figured out the corners of the 75 acres of land in Nagpur in a special economic zone. We will do the ground-breaking later this year and have a projected investment of $100 million," Boeing vice-president (sales) Dinesh Keskar told reporters here. — PTI 

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Corporate Results
Tata Steel net up 28 pc

New Delhi, July 30
The world's sixth largest steel manufacturer Tata Steel today posted 28.18 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 1,222.11 crore for the quarter ended June 30 compared to Rs 953.41 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

Total income (net of excise) of the company increased 9.21 per cent to Rs 4,343.70 crore for the quarter ended June 30, from Rs 3,977.38 crore a year ago, Tata Steel informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

M&M revenue up

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) clocked 16.6 per cent growth in its gross revenues and other incomes for the first quarter of FY 2008 at Rs 2,972.8 crore as against Rs 2,548.6 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal.

For the period under review, the company has outperformed the industry in its core utility vehicles business with a growth of 23.6 per cent as against an industry growth of 8.2 per cent.

Net profit for the period after considering exceptional items and taxation stands at Rs 191.2 core against Rs 204.2 crore in the year-ago period.

Unitech gains

Unitech Ltd, the country's second-biggest realty firm in terms of market value, today reported a whopping 371 per cent surge in first quarter net profit this fiscal to Rs 347.83 crore from Rs 73.92 crore in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. Total income on standalone basis rose 158 per cent to Rs 788.73 crore during April-June 2007-08 from Rs 306.21 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

Jet Airways net dips

Private carrier Jet Airways today reported a 31.35 per cent decline in net profit at Rs 30.88 crore for the quarter ended June 30 compared to Rs 44.98 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

However, total income increased by 19.81 per cent to Rs 1,983.03 crore for the June quarter as against Rs 1,655.19 crore for the same quarter in the previous year. — Agencies

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BRIEFLY

Punj Lloyd arm
New Delhi, July 30
With increasing opportunities in the upstream sector, Punj Lloyd has set up a new subsidiary for onshore integrated drilling services with an initial investment of Rs 44 crore. Punj Lloyd Upstream Limited (PLUL) shall initially be engaged in providing Onshore Integrated Drilling Services to exploration and production companies in the domestic oil and gas sector. The drilling requirements under the New Exploration Licensing Policy coupled with the high crude oil prices has resulted in a substantial increase in the requirement of integrated drilling services. — TNS

‘Crises Cover’ launched
Managing director and CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Shikha Sharma at the launch of ‘Crises Cover’, a new insurance product, in Mumbai on Monday. The product covers 35 critical illnesses, total and permanent disability, and death over the long-term. The cover comes with a term ranging from 10 to 50 years. — PTI
Shikha Sharma

Axis Bank
Mumbai, July 30
The name of the country's third largest private sector lender UTI Bank has been officially changed to the Axis Bank Ltd with effect from today. The Registrar of Companies has issued a fresh certificate of incorporation, the bank has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange. — PTI

Ranbaxy in US
New Delhi, July 30
Pharmaceutical major Ranbaxy Laboratories today said it has commercialised its first authorised generic product, Isoptin SR - an anti hypertensive agent - in the US market. The commercialisation follows an agreement with US-based FSC Laboratories, the patent holder of the original compound Verapamil SR, the company said in a statement. — PTI

Exim Bank
Kolkata, July 30
Exim Bank of India will raise $1,200 million from overseas market in the current fiscal, Exim Bank CMD T C Venkat Subramanian said today. Speaking at the Banking Conclave organised by FICCI here, Subramanian said the bank was planning to expand its footprint in Africa. “In order to tap this market, we have opened an office in Dakar, the capital of Senegal,” he said. — UNI

Volvo's plans
Chandigarh, July 30
Volvo Car Corporation plans to enter the Indian car market before the end 2007 and Punjab will be one of the primary focus states for the company. Initially, the company plans to introduce Sedan S80 and SUV XC90. “Punjab ranks amongst India 's best performing states in the consumer market segment” Paul de Voijs, Managing Director, Volvo Car India, said. He was here to appoint a dealer for the region. — TNS

Dell operations
New Delhi, July 30
World’s largest computer maker, Dell Inc. Monday kicked-off its first manufacturing unit in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, with an initial investment of about $30 million spread over five years. The new facility would have an initial capacity of producing 40,000 desktop computers a year. — IANS

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