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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
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B U S I N E S S

India keeps pipeline hopes alive
Says pact after settling the transit fee issue with Pakistan
New Delhi, October 1
Despite Iran and Pakistan finalising the deal on multi-million dollar IPI pipeline, India today stated that it continues to be part of the trination project.

500 apply for licence to DoT
New Delhi, October 1
The frenzy over telecom licences came to an end today with the tally touching the 500-mark as a number of biggies, including AT&T, Hindujas, DLF, Sterlite and Videocon jumped into the fray to tap the world’s fastest growing cellular market.

Lord Swraj Paul Caparo has designs on small car
New Delhi, October 1
As global automakers eye the burgeoning small car market in India, UK-based Caparo Group is developing a 'city car' which would be franchised for production to other manufacturers in the country.

Cadila to set up 3 overseas units
Ahmedabad, October 1
Days after opening its first overseas formulation manufacturing unit in Ethopia, Cadila Pharmaceuticals today said it plans to set up similar projects in Europe, West Asia and Asia to bolster exports.

Rupee Impact
Export growth graph slackens
New Delhi, October 1
Impacted by a sharp appreciation in rupee, India's export growth dropped to 18.91 per cent to $12.69 billion in August this year from a scorching pace of 41.14 per cent a year ago.

India gallops in global forex arena
New Delhi, October 1
India's forex market may be minuscule when compared to the developed economies like the US and the UK, but government efforts to ease capital movement has led to the country recording the fastest rise in its turnover growth in the segment over the last three years.



A Sotheby's employee displays the largest brilliant-cut D-colour flawless diamond at a preview on Monday in Geneva.
A Sotheby's employee displays the largest brilliant-cut D-colour flawless diamond at a preview on Monday in Geneva. This unique diamond weighing 84.37 carats is expected to fetch between $12 million and $16 million at a sale called Magnificent Jewels in Geneva on November 14. — AFP



EARLIER STORIES

 
The logo of a UBS bank in Geneva is seen on Monday. UBS AG, the world's largest wealth manager, unveiled $3.4 billion in losses, swept out senior managers and slashed jobs in one of the biggest casualties yet from the worldwide credit crunch.
The logo of a UBS bank in Geneva is seen on Monday. UBS AG, the world's largest wealth manager, unveiled $3.4 billion in losses, swept out senior managers and slashed jobs in one of the biggest casualties yet from the worldwide credit crunch. UBS head of investment banking, Huw Jenkins, will step down, with the role being filed by the group CEO Marcel Rohner for the forseeable future. — AFP

Airlines hike fuel surcharge
New Delhi, October 1
Private airlines today announced their decision to hike fuel surcharge by Rs 100 per ticket as government-owned oil marketing companies increased aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by Rs 1,600 to 1,700 for the current month.

Centre grants Rs 50 cr for food park 
Abohar, October 1
Union Minister of Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai said today that the union government has sanctioned Rs 50 crore for developing first mega food park in Punjab to promote food processing industry.

Nafed ups onion export price by $50 a tonne
New Delhi, October 1
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed), the main government agency exporting onion, has hiked the export price of the commodity by $50 per tonne to discourage its overseas sale and augment domestic supply. 

President and CEO of Bharti Airtel Manoj Kohli addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Monday.
President and CEO of Bharti Airtel Manoj Kohli addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. Bharti Airtel announced that it had crossed the 50 million customer mark, becoming the fastest private telecom company in world to achieve this landmark in a single country. The company also plan to demerge its tower business and roll out DTH television service by the end of this fiscal. — AFP

Ruia takes 30 pc in Malaysian Co
Kolkata, October 1
After acquiring three large industrial units in the country, Kolkata-based Ruia Group of Companies bought 30 per cent share of a Malaysian company to expand its business in the overseas. Disclosing this, Ruia Group chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia said 30 per cent share of the Rs 110 crore-Industronics Berhad was bought under the company’s business expansion target in the overseas.

Dhingra is Hudco chief
New Delhi, October 1
K L Dhingra has taken over as CMD of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd. (Hudco). He is one of the founder members of ICRA, an associate of Moody’s Investor Service.


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India keeps pipeline hopes alive
Says pact after settling the transit fee issue with Pakistan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 1
Despite Iran and Pakistan finalising the deal on multi-million dollar IPI pipeline, India today stated that it continues to be part of the trination project.

Petroleum Secretary M.S. Srinivasan told reporters that the government would ink the trination deal after settling the transit fee issue with Islamabad.

He said we have never said that we are pulling out of the IPI project. We are a part of the project and will continue pursuing import of gas from Iran through the three-nation pipeline.

"We have told Iran clearly that we want to settle the transit fee issue with Pakistan before signing a tri-nation pipeline deal," he added.

Iran last week said it will by October-end sign a pact with Pakistan to sell gas through a bilateral pipeline in the absence of India joining the Iran-Pakistan-India gas line.

In a move to put pressure on India, Tehran had stated that it could sign a pact with China if New Delhi was not serious with the IPI deal.

"We hope to settle the transit fee issue with Pakistan after their Presidential elections. Once we do that, we will go to Tehran for a trination pact," he said.

New Delhi and Islamabad had reached an understanding on the transportation tariff payable to Pakistan for wheeling gas through the 1,035-km pipeline segment in that country, but the two nations have not yet arrived at any agreement on payment of a separate transit fee to Paksitan for using its territory.

India and Pakistan, who had previously agreed on the price formula suggested by Iran, have differed with Tehran on its demand for price revision every five years.

The $7 billion gas pipeline was proposed more than a decade ago to meet the energy needs of the two South Asian nations, but the project is yet to get off the ground due to numerous differences between Iran and the buyers.

US is opposed to the project as it accuses Iran of harbouring nuclear weapon ambitions, a charge Tehran denies.

Left leaders took the India’s absense in Tehran for talks to criticise the Manmohan Singh government of succumbing to the pressures from Washington.

A senior party leader claimed that New Delhi absence as a vendication of their stand that the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Deal was not limited to nuclear energy alone but have an effect on the country’s foreign policy.

Stating that at the instance of Washington that India had voted against Iran twice at the IAEA meeting, the leader said India did not take part in the Tehran meet as Washington has been openly opposing the gas pipeline project to import natural gas.

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500 apply for licence to DoT

New Delhi, October 1
The frenzy over telecom licences came to an end today with the tally touching the 500-mark as a number of biggies, including AT&T, Hindujas, DLF, Sterlite and Videocon jumped into the fray to tap the world’s fastest growing cellular market.

The figure may go beyond 500 as the Department of Telecom (DoT) is still counting the applications received from various companies as the deadline expired today. Nearly 200 applications are estimated to have been submitted today itself.

A senior DoT official termed the rush of applications as “sheer madness” and the department would start scrutinising these documents soon. The DoT would screen the applicants once the committee, appointed by communications minister A Raja, comes up with fresh guidelines detailing the minimum net worth, ownership and other crucial aspects of the applicants.

Raja has already stated that only a select number of applicants would be accepted. The DoT would be following a two-stage screening process. — PTI

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Caparo has designs on small car

New Delhi, October 1
As global automakers eye the burgeoning small car market in India, UK-based Caparo Group is developing a 'city car' which would be franchised for production to other manufacturers in the country.

"We are working on a two-year project for designing a city car which will be made up of composite material and more efficient," Caparo Group founder and chairman Lord Swraj Paul said today on the sidelines of a Ficci event.

He said Caparo would only design the car and but it would not get into production by itself.

"It will be franchised to other auto companies and the only reason we do not make cars is because all our customers are car makers," Paul added. The company is working in association with the team, which has designed the light-weight Caparo T1 racing car.

"The majority of the designing work for the proposed 'city car' is going at our Chennai facility," he said, adding the company's goal was to help carmakers to create a new generation of more fuel-efficient and lightweight family cars with significantly lower Co2 emissions.

Already global auto majors like Toyota, Honda and General Motors have announced plans to launch compact cars in India.

Paul said the Caparo T1 would be showcased in India at next year's Auto Expo held in the Capital.

The Caparo T1 is a high performance two-seater sports car designed with the looks and performance close to that of a Formula One race car. With a power of 1,045 bhp-per-tonne, it has an extremely lightweight body and chassis constructed of advanced composite materials and weighing just 550kg. — PTI

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Cadila to set up 3 overseas units

Ahmedabad, October 1
Days after opening its first overseas formulation manufacturing unit in Ethopia, Cadila Pharmaceuticals today said it plans to set up similar projects in Europe, West Asia and Asia to bolster exports.

“The first overseas manufacturing plant of Cadila has been set up in Ethopia. It will start commercial production from October 15,” company’s chairman I A Modi said.

“We are also planning to set up three or four more overseas manufacturing plants, which could come up in West Asia, Asia or Europe in the coming years,” he said.

These plants are expected to be build on the lines of the manufacturing plant that Cadilla has set up in a joint venture with Almeta Impex Plc, Ethopia.

The plant in Ethopia, built at a cost of $10 million at Akaki near Addis Ababa, would function as a launch-pad for exports into other African nations.

“We will be exporting almost 30 per cent of the production from this facility,” said Modi, adding, initially three dosage forms - tablet, capsules and liquids - will be produced at the plant. — PTI

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Rupee Impact
Export growth graph slackens

New Delhi, October 1
Impacted by a sharp appreciation in rupee, India's export growth dropped to 18.91 per cent to $12.69 billion in August this year from a scorching pace of 41.14 per cent a year ago.

The decline was much sharper in rupee terms, with the export growth decelerating to 4.31 per cent in August from a huge 50.57 per cent in the same month last year.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) expressed fear that eight million persons engaged in export activities may lose jobs, if rupee rise was not curbed immediately.

"Nearly four million people have already lost their jobs and if the government does not intervene the number could increase to eight million by March next," FIEO President Ganesh K Gupta said. Growth of imports at 32.64 per cent totalling $19.57 billion in August remained almost at the previous year's level of 32.16 per cent.

With widening of the export-import gap, the country's trade deficit grew by 68.51 per cent to reach $6.88 billion for the month under review.

In rupee terms, exports grew to Rs 51,787.31 crore from Rs 49,649.32 crore. Imports in rupee terms, increased by 16.35 per cent to Rs 79,884.28 crore from Rs 68,658.24 crore.

For the April-August period, exports went up by 18.36 per cent to $59.48 billion from $50.26 billion.

Exports grew by a whopping 34.48 per cent in the comparable period last year.

Commerce and Industry Minister ruled out direct government intervention but assured exporters of help.

"We do not calibrate rupee but our government will meet different export promotion councils in the next two-three days and see how we can refund some of the state level and central taxes... to exporters," Nath told reporters.

Nath today said the government was reviewing the norms governing foreign direct investment (FDI) and a draft of the new policy will be ready this month. — PTI

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India gallops in global forex arena

New Delhi, October 1
India's forex market may be minuscule when compared to the developed economies like the US and the UK, but government efforts to ease capital movement has led to the country recording the fastest rise in its turnover growth in the segment over the last three years.

India's share in worldwide foreign exchange market turnover has grown to 0.9 per cent this year, marking a threefold jump from just 0.3 per cent in 2004.

This is the fastest increase in market share for any other country in the world, according to data compiled by Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlement (BIS).

In comparison, world's largest forex market, the United Kingdom, has recorded a much lower change, in percentage terms, in growth to 34.1 per cent of share in 2007 from 31.3 per cent three years ago.

The US, second largest market, saw a slowdown in its share growth to 16.6 per cent this year from 19.2 per cent in 2004. Japan, third largest market, also saw its market share easing to 6 per cent from 8.3 per cent three years ago.

"The growth of India among the emerging nations was notable and as the report says, it possibly reflected the efforts of Indian authorities in recent times to ease control on capital movements," BIS said in its latest Central Bank Survey of Foreign Exchange and Derivatives Market Activity report.

Besides the highest threefold jump in the market share, India also recorded second highest growth in the daily average forex market turnover after China.

According to BIS data, India's daily average forex market turnover rose to $34 billion in 2007.

The growth rates were much lower in developed markets.

The US saw its turnover rising to $664 billion this year, from $461 billion in 2004, while it rose from $753 billion to $1,359 billion in the UK during the same period.

Indian rupee's market share in the worldwide average daily turnover has also increased to 0.7 per cent in 2007, as against just 0.3 per cent in 2004. Rupee's market share in 1998 and 2001 stood at 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

Overall, emerging market currencies were involved in almost 20 per cent of all transactions in April 2007.

According to the report, there is an unprecedented rise in activity in traditional foreign exchange in the last three years.

"Average daily turnover (worldwide) rose to $3.2 trillion in April 2007, an increase of 71 per cent at current exchange rates and 65 per cent at constant exchange rates.

This increase was much stronger than the one observed between 2001 and 2004," it noted. — PTI

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Airlines hike fuel surcharge

New Delhi, October 1
Private airlines today announced their decision to hike fuel surcharge by Rs 100 per ticket as government-owned oil marketing companies increased aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by Rs 1,600 to 1,700 for the current month.

The fuel price upturn will result in a cost increase of more than 4 per cent for domestic airlines and more than 8 per cent for international airlines. Consequently, airlines will start charging Rs 750 as fuel surcharge in coming days.

Aviation fuel prices are revised at the beginning of every month based on average international price in the previous month. In Delhi, aviation fuel for domestic airlines will now cost Rs 39,767.75 per kilolitre as against Rs 38,163.23 a month ago. — UNI

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Centre grants Rs 50 cr for food park 
Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 1
Union Minister of Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahai said today that the union government has sanctioned Rs 50 crore for developing first mega food park in Punjab to promote food processing industry.

Addressing a gathering of farmers, after inaugurating multi-fruit and vegetable processing plant of Punjab Agro Juices Ltd at Alamgarh village , 5 km from here, the minister regretted that only 2 per cent of the produce was being processed in India compared to 80 per cent in the developing countries. This could be serious for 70 per cent of the population that depends on farming, he warned.

Desiring Punjab to emerge as a horticulture state, Sahai said farmers could survive only by diversifying to fruit cultivations and crops which consume less water. He offered income tax exemption for five years to the fruit processing units.

The minister claimed India had emerged as second largest fruit producing nation in the world but produce worth Rs 50,000 crore was lost due to improper handling, poor marketing avenues and lack of interest in processing. The sufferers are small and marginal farmers, he said.

The minister asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to formulate fruit processing policy to motivate investors. He complimented the state for starting multi-fruit processing units at Abohar and Hoshiarpur which topped in kinnows. 

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Nafed ups onion export price by $50 a tonne

New Delhi, October 1
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed), the main government agency exporting onion, has hiked the export price of the commodity by $50 per tonne to discourage its overseas sale and augment domestic supply.

With increasing demand in the wake of festival season, onion prices have been hitting the roof. The wholesale prices of onion today soared to Rs 2,125-2,375 a quintal in Delhi, against Rs 1,450 a quintal last week.

Nafed is selling it at Rs 22-23 a kg through its retail outlets in the national capital.

“We have decided to raise the minimum export price by $50 a tonne for all destinations,” a Nafed official said.

The agency has also submitted a proposal to the government to ban export of onion temporarily to contain high prices in the domestic market.

India’s onion exports during April-September 2007 has come down by almost 50 per cent at 3.82 lakh tonnes as against 6.05 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last year.

In August, the minimum export price (MEP) was hiked by $120 a tonne in two phases to discourage overseas sale.

After this revision, the MEP stood in the range of $445-565 a tonne depending on the export destinations. The price for export of onion to Pakistan is $445 a tonne while for Greece it is $565 a tonne. Singapore will get Indian onion at $495, Malaysia $470, Sri Lanka $480, Bangladesh and the UAE $500. — PTI

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Ruia takes 30 pc in Malaysian Co

Kolkata, October 1
After acquiring three large industrial units in the country, Kolkata-based Ruia Group of Companies bought 30 per cent share of a Malaysian company to expand its business in the overseas.

Disclosing this, Ruia Group chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia said 30 per cent share of the Rs 110 crore-Industronics Berhad was bought under the company’s business expansion target in the overseas.

The deal was completed three months back for which Bloom Billions, a special purpose vehicle, controlled by Ruia Group, acquired 30 per cent shares. Three directors besides Ruia, Deepak Ruia and Sanjay K Garodia, were inducted in the board on June 29 as representatives of Bloom Billions.

The Industronics, one of the largest companies of Malaysian stock exchange, is best known for public information display system under the Olympex brand, with security systems, industrial automation and other electronics and telecommunication products. It also makes bill board, display boards, highway signalling facilities, soft and hard wares and also caters to accounting jobs for other companies.

Ruia said this in Mysore on Friday, when reporters came to see the facilities and expansion projects of Falcon Tyre Ltd, one of the largest makers of two-wheeler, which Ruia had acquired in December 2005. He said expansion of business in the overseas and diversification of the domestic industrial units would go simultaneously.

Ruia said the group had entered into a technological agreement with Sumitomo of Japan for improving quality and quantity of its tyres. — UNI

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Dhingra is Hudco chief

New Delhi, October 1
K L Dhingra has taken over as CMD of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd. (Hudco). He is one of the founder members of ICRA, an associate of Moody’s Investor Service. He has also worked with public sector bank, All India Development Financial Institution and HSIIDC. He is also on the executive board of SCOPE, an apex body for the public sector enterprises. — TNS

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BRIEFLY

Markets closed
Mumbai, October 1
Trading in all principle markets like the BSE, NSE, Forex, Call money, along with essential commodities, including sugar, edible, cotton, bullion and others, will remain officially closed tomorrow on account of ‘Gandhi Jayanti’. — UNI

Acquisition
Mumbai, October 1
Time Technoplast today said it has acquired 74 per cent stake in Hyderabad-based NED Energy for Rs 50.3 crore to complement its overseas expansion plans. The deal includes the purchase of 42.9 lakh shares from the promoters at Rs 44.31 crore. The existing promoters would hold 26 per cent of the equity capital of NED, the company said. — PTI

3 more flights
Bangalore, October 1
The Singapore Airlines today announced commencement of three additional services from Bangalore from October 29, taking the number of flights from the city in a week to 10. In addition to daily night flights, there will be day flights on every Monday, Friday and Saturday from Bangalore to Singapore and vice-versa, Singapore Airlines GM said. — PTI

UTI Petro
Mumbai, October 1
UTI-Growth Sector Fund-Petro (UTI-GSF-Petro) has declared a tax-free dividend of 80 per cent (Rs 8 per unit on face value of Rs 10) under dividend option. It has also declared a bonus under growth option in the ratio of three units for every two units held of face value of Rs 10 each. — PTI

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