SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

Govt in fix as crude prices surge
New Delhi, October 16
As the global crude oil prices surged to a record level and touched a new high of $78.88 per barrel, the government is contemplating to lobby cause of the developing countries before the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
A motorcyclist refuels his motorcycle at a Tokyo gasoline station on Tuesday. Oil thundered towards $88 a barrel on Tuesday, hitting a new record and extending a rally that has added $8 in a week on tight supplies, strong demand and tension in northern Iraq.
A motorcyclist refuels his motorcycle at a Tokyo gasoline station on Tuesday. Oil thundered towards $88 a barrel on Tuesday, hitting a new record and extending a rally that has added $8 in a week on tight supplies, strong demand and tension in northern Iraq. — AFP photo

Air India to join Star Alliance
New Delhi, October 16
Civil aviation minister Praful Patel today said Air India will join the Star Alliance within this year and the concomitant contractual process is on.

New agro industrial policy for Punjab soon
Chandigarh, October 16
Punjab will soon come out with a new industrial policy and separate agro-industrial policy aimed at bringing in liberal investment. This will be announced in the first week of December, Sukhbir Badal assured industrialists in New Delhi today.

Continue reforms for 10 pc growth: Lehman
New Delhi, October 16
Continued structural reforms process would help India to grow at 10 per cent in the coming decade and the Indian stock markets hold the potential to outperform developed and emerging markets over the next five years, global investment bank Lehman Brothers has said.




EARLIER STORIES

 
Actress Katrina Kaif smiles at the launch of the Philips Diamond Ambilight TV in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Actress Katrina Kaif smiles at the launch of the Philips Diamond Ambilight TV in Mumbai on Tuesday. Philips unveiled the one-of-its kind diamond-encrusted ambilight TV in India created in conjunction with the New York- based jewellery company A. Link. The 42-inch diamond-encrusted Ambilight LCD HDTV features 225 carats of close to 2,250 individual diamonds set into stylised floral patterns around the edges of the frame. The TV is claimed to be the most expensive globally at approximately Rs 59 lakh.
— AFP photo

Hooda woos US investors
Chandigarh, October 16
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has told representatives of various leading companies of the USA that Haryana can be the best destination for investment because of its proximity to the national capital and the facilities being provided to the entrepreneurs by the state government.

Cell phone to be a credit card too
Mumbai, October 16
Credit cards are passé. On next shopping spree, just flip open your mobile, punch a few buttons and pay for your purchases.

Tanishq retail store at Mohali
Chandigarh, October 16
Jewellery brand Tanishq will be opening its 97th jewellery retail store tomorrow at Mohali. Spread over 1,800 square feet, the new showroom will be located in Phase VII, Mohali.

3G Services
Foreign Cos may be allowed
New Delhi, October 16
Amidst mounting pressure from telecom operators for early allocation of more spectrum, telecommunications minister A Raja is scheduled to meet national security adviser M K Narayanan tomorrow to seek early vacation of spectrum from the Defence.

Corporate News
IDBI profit at Rs 155 cr
Mumbai October 16
IDBI today posted a net profit of Rs 155.5 crore for the quarter ended September 30, whereas the same was at Rs 139.4 crore in the corresponding period last year. The net income stood at Rs 2,363.72 crore for the second quarter, while in the year ago period, it stood at Rs 1,641.24 crore, the company informed the BSE.

MoUs for telecom centres inked
New Delhi, October 16
In a bid to beef up R&D infrastructure in the telecom sector and bridge the digital divide, mobile operators, top academic institutes and the government today joined hands to set up telecom centres of excellence (COEs). 

SEBI seeks comments on curbing FII 
Mumbai, October 16
In the midst of rampaging bull run in the stock markets, market regulator SEBI today proposed to curb foreign institutional investors (FII) from issuing offshore derivative instruments for which it has sought public comments over the next four days.


Video
HDFC acquires 10% stake in HDFC AMC.
(56k)

 

 

Top



 

 

 

Govt in fix as crude prices surge
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
As the global crude oil prices surged to a record level and touched a new high of $78.88 per barrel, the government is contemplating to lobby cause of the developing countries before the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The government’s move in this direction comes in the wake of mounting oil pool deficit triggered by global surge in crude and its domestic political compulsion not to go for retail price hike of petrol and diesel.

New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, surged to an historic $87.97 per barrel and London’s Brent North Sea crude soared to a fresh all-time high of $84.31 per barrel.

The basket, which comprises Oman-Dubai sour (high sulphur) grade crude and Brent dated sweet (low sulphur) crude in 59.8:40.2 ratio, rose by $1.1 from Friday’s closing price to touch $78.88 per barrel.

Sources in the petroleum ministry said New Delhi’s endeavour would be to convince the OPEC nations to ensure that the unprecedented increase in crude price doesn’t impact the growth story of developing countries like India, which will have repercussions in their own economic prospects.

In the pattern of negotiations in the multi-lateral trade negotiations body, WTO, India is also looking at forging an alliance with other large importers of crude to lobby with the OPEC nations to ensure reasonable stability in price line coupled with enhanced supply.

Seventy per cent of India’s domestic crude consumption is met through imports.

The high crude oil prices is keeping the oil marketing companies worried as their losses from sale of petroleum products at government-controlled prices have mounted to around Rs 200 crore per day from around Rs 180 crore in the first half of September.

Oil marketing companies - Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum - have, however, been assured of Rs 23,400 crore oil bonds by the government to compensate them for their retail losses. The government has estimated that the total revenue losses during the full financial year will be around Rs 54,900 crore.

Top

 

Air India to join Star Alliance
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
Civil aviation minister Praful Patel today said Air India will join the Star Alliance within this year and the concomitant contractual process is on.

"Air India will definitely join Star Alliance and it is just a matter of time before it happens. The AGM of Star Alliance is expected to take place in China in December and the deal should be firmed up then," Patel observed.

By joining the Star Alliance, Air India will gain access to member airlines common facilities at airports across the world as well as code sharing and joint marketing opportunities. Major carriers who are members of the Star Alliance include Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Air New Zealand.

Set up in 1977, Star Alliance is the world's largest grouping and has 17 members with a total annual revenue of more than $114 billion.

Space tourism comes to India

In a separate development, space tourism makes its advent in India with Virgin Galactic setting up their first office in the capital to cater to customers interested in travelling to the final frontier.

"This is the final frontier and now people of India will have the chance to access this incredible experience. We are excited to be here and are sure that many Indians will be soon travelling with us," Virgin Atlantic's head astronaut (operation) Carolyn Wincer told mediapersons today.

Santosh George Kulangara is the first Indian space tourist to book a Virgin Galactic space ticket. Kulangara has successfully completed the zero gravity traning in the special aircraft — G Force one.

The first 100 passengers who have already paid the full $ 200,000 fare will be referred to "Virgin Galactic Founders."

Virgin Atlantic plans its maiden flight in 2009 and will initially operate from the Mojave spaceport in California and eventually establish its headquarters and move its operations to spaceport America in New Mexico.

Top

 

New agro industrial policy for Punjab soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Punjab will soon come out with a new industrial policy and separate agro-industrial policy aimed at bringing in liberal investment. This will be announced in the first week of December, Sukhbir Badal assured industrialists in New Delhi today.

The policy would take into consideration problems being faced so that the process of setting up agro-industrial in the state becomes hassle free.

The industrialists, who are in the process of setting up their projects in the state, raised the problems being faced and requirements, which would push the investment in the agro-industrial sector in Punjab. Badal also said the government would like to act as a catalyst in promoting infrastructure for power, roads and airports and also ensure ease of carrying on corporate and contract farming on larger chunks of land to make it a viable and profitable proposition both for farmers and industry.

Top

 

Continue reforms for 10 pc growth: Lehman
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
Continued structural reforms process would help India to grow at 10 per cent in the coming decade and the Indian stock markets hold the potential to outperform developed and emerging markets over the next five years, global investment bank Lehman Brothers has said.

In a report, ‘India: Everything to play for’, the bank says that the rupee would continue to rise significantly against the dollar.

“Pushing through structural reforms will remain a political challenge in the face of headwinds from vested interest and coalition politics. There should be a new window for reforms after the next general election due in 2009,” Lehman Brothers said while emphasising the need for continued reforms process.

The growth projection could also be impacted by global economic downturn, though Indian economy is not much affected by it.

However, structural changes are much more important than global economic cycle, the report said, adding they would contribute to capital deepening and rising productivity.

Lehman Brothers also said given the prospects of a sustained high rate of nominal and real economic growth, the Indian stock market should perform very well over the medium to long term.

Although the bourses have been clocking stupendous growth and are reaching levels where the short-term potential for the market might seem lower than it has been over recent years, continued growth in GDP and earnings should mean that investors can still achieve solid returns, it said.

The strength of India’s productivity growth and rising differential with Asia (including Japan) and against the USA are likely to provide more support to appreciation of long-term real effective exchange rate of the rupee.

Top

 

Hooda woos US investors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has told representatives of various leading companies of the USA that Haryana can be the best destination for investment because of its proximity to the national capital and the facilities being provided to the entrepreneurs by the state government.

According to a press note issued here, while addressing delegates in a meeting and interactive session at Buena Park, California, the Chief Minister also talked about Haryana’s plan of providing world-class infrastructure to foreign investors.

He said the concept of industrial model township (IMT) at Manesar was being replicated with the creation of four more IMTs, out of which three would be in national capital region (NCR). He said the state government would also create three more industrial hubs like Gurgoan equipped with ultra modern facilities for the entrepreneurs.

The meeting was organised by Dr Fresh, a leading brand in the USA. The company is also setting up a special economic zone in Haryana. Members of the Indo American Society were also present in the meeting.

Top

 

Cell phone to be a credit card too
Shiv Kumar/Tribune News Service

Mumbai, October 16
Credit cards are passé. On next shopping spree, just flip open your mobile, punch a few buttons and pay for your purchases.

Mobile phone companies, banks and credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard that are coming together to offer smart payment solutions around the world are all set to replicate such facilities in India as well, according to sources.

Prominent mobile phone companies in India like Reliance Mobile, Vodafone and Bharti's Airtel are among those talking to banks like ICICI Bank to introduce 'contact-less payment' systems in the country.

Though they are tight-lipped about the new development, sources say, trials of these systems will commence in many parts of the country in a few months. Nokia is expected to bring in several handset models equipped with the near field communication (NFC) technology for the trials.

The NFC technology allows the specially-configured phones to be used in making payments for goods and services instead of a regular credit card, say sources.

Explaining the working of this technology, a senior official of a mobile phone company said that the NFC technology was linked to the SIM card of the handset. The customer first pays for the purchase via the contact-less payment system of either Visa or MasterCard embedded in the handset. A bill for the payment is subsequently sent along with the phone bill to the customer.

Only Sagem Communication and Nokia are known to manufacture such handsets in the world as of now.

The new technology also allows for merchants to present customers with special advertising targeted at them. So when a customer comes to the vicinity of a store that is participating in this experiment, he or she will receive a special offer or a discount coupon on the mobile handset.

Top

 

Tanishq retail store at Mohali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 16
Jewellery brand Tanishq will be opening its 97th jewellery retail store tomorrow at Mohali. Spread over 1,800 square feet, the new showroom will be located in Phase VII, Mohali.

To celebrate the occasion, Tanishq has announced a special inaugural offer wherein customers can avail a 10 per cent discount on making charges of gold jewellery and a discount of 5 per cent on studded jewellery. Tanishq is already present in 68 cities and plans to extend its operations this year. “We are planning two exclusive high-end luxury stores in Delhi and Mumbai this quarter, apart from expanding our operations in the region,” stated Saumen Bhaumick, divisional manager, Tanishq.

They also plan to launch their exclusive series for the yet to be released movie ‘Jodha Akbar’. “We will be doing a preview of the jewellery of the movie in December and then depending on how well the movie does, we will take it from there,” he informed. 

Top

 

3G Services
Foreign Cos may be allowed
Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi, October 16
Amidst mounting pressure from telecom operators for early allocation of more spectrum, telecommunications minister A Raja is scheduled to meet national security adviser M K Narayanan tomorrow to seek early vacation of spectrum from the Defence.

“I am meeting the chairman (M K Narayanan) tomorrow. Hope to get spectrum soon,” Raja told newspersons on the sidelines of a function organised by Ficci.

Narayanan heads the committee constituted by ministries of defence and telecom to work out details for vacating spectrum from Defence services.

The telecom ministry is hopeful that some spectrum would be vacated by Defence services by end of November.

About 35 companies, existing and new applicants, including real estate majors DLF, Parsvnath, Unitech and US-based telecom company AT&T are waiting for spectrum to be vacated for expansion or roll out of new services.

On the availability of spectrum in view of new entrants, the minister had a few days back said, "I would be fair to all three categories — existing players who need radio waves for expansion, new players who have licence but yet to start service in the absence of spectrum and the new applicants who are yet to get licence".

Meanwhile, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is looking at various options to allocate 3G spectrum to players, including auction and allotment basis, in which new as well as foreign players would be allowed. Telecom secretary Dinesh Mathur today said the DoT was looking at various options like auctioning of spectrum or standard allotment and if auctioning is allowed, anybody, including foreign players could bid for 3G licences in India. Asked about how the allotment will happen in case auction is not allowed, he said, "the department has worked out a formula." If foreign players are allowed, it will be a major digression from TRAI’s recommendations which had said only existing players could get such licences. 

Top

 

Corporate News
IDBI profit at Rs 155 cr

Mumbai October 16
IDBI today posted a net profit of Rs 155.5 crore for the quarter ended September 30, whereas the same was at Rs 139.4 crore in the corresponding period last year.

The net income stood at Rs 2,363.72 crore for the second quarter, while in the year ago period, it stood at Rs 1,641.24 crore, the company informed the BSE.

BoI rates

The Bank of India (BoI) has revised interest rates on short-term and personal vehicle loans to 11.75 per cent per annum. It is offering a special interest concession of 0.25 per cent on the rate of interest on vehicle loans for women.

Canara Bank

Canara Bank has announced reduction in rate of interest on personal loans by 50 basis points (bps) and vehicle loans by 25 bps with effect from October 17. The bank had recently announced reduction in the rate of interest on fresh housing loans by 50 bps on all slabs and tenures with effect from October 4.

HCL net up

HCL Technologies has posted 23.3 per cent increase in its net income on year-on-year to Rs 308.4 crore for the first quarter ended September 30 on the back of robust outsourcing deals and growth in the number of new clients.

The company’s revenue for the September quarter was also up at 23.9 per cent on year-on-year at Rs 1,709.2 crore. It announced an interim dividend of 100 per cent for the quarter.

Compact Disc

Compact Disc (India) has declared its financial results for the second quarter of 2007-2008. Revenue for the second quarter grew by 74.44 per cent, while profits grew by 126.26 per cent in comparison to the second quarter of 2006.

The revenue for the quarter was recorded at Rs 2,131.86 lakh vis-à-vis last fiscal’s second quarter revenue Rs 1,222.07 lakh, an increase by 74.44 per cent. CDI’s second quarter profit was posted at Rs.422.48 lakh, an increase by 126.26 per cent.

Amrit Food foray

With a view to expand its product offering, Amrit Food, a division of Amrit Corp Ltd (Amrit Banaspati Co. Ltd ) has forayed into premium flavoured milk segment with its Gagan café brand.

Gagan Café is being launched in four international coffee flavours — hazelnut, caramel, vanilla and cappuccino.

While Gagan brand is largely concentrated in north India, Amrit Food will go national with Gagan Café. This product will be available in major metros and other major towns.— Agencies, TNS

Top

 

MoUs for telecom centres inked
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16
In a bid to beef up R&D infrastructure in the telecom sector and bridge the digital divide, mobile operators, top academic institutes and the government today joined hands to set up telecom centres of excellence (COEs).

The first two of the eight proposed COEs are being set up by IIM, Ahmedabad, in association with Idea Cellular on ‘Telecom policy governance, regulation and management, customer care and marketing’; and by IIT, Kharagpur, in association with Vodafone Essar on ‘Next generation telecom networks and network technology’.

The signing of the MoUs and curtain raiser ceremony of India Teleco- 2007 organised jointly by the Ficci and the Department of Telecom was presided over by union minister of communications and information technology A Raja.

Raja said the telecom COEs in the public-private partnership mode, in the topmost academic institutions of the country, would go a long way in emboldening the R&D efforts and enhance the much-needed talent pool.

He pointed out that in the past decade, the Indian telecom sector has gone through a total transformation. India now has the fastest growing telecom sector, adding more than seven million subscribers every month and have almost reached 250 million subscribers three months ahead of the target date. The growth momentum has shifted in a big way to small towns and rural areas.

The minister said while the country has been keeping pace with the latest technological advances in telecommunications, the indigenous value addition in the networks has been on a much lower side. India Telecom 2007: ‘Digital divide to digital opportunities’ will be held in New Delhi from December 12-15. 

Bharti, IIT tie-up

Chandigarh: Bharti Airtel and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi today announced that they would establish Bharti-IIT Delhi Telecom Centre of Excellence. The centre will be established at the Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology and Management, IIT Delhi. An expression of interest in this regard has been signed. The centre will work towards providing support to the industry in planning future telecom growth in the country and reducing the rural urban digital divide.

Top

 

SEBI seeks comments on curbing FII 

Mumbai, October 16
In the midst of rampaging bull run in the stock markets, market regulator SEBI today proposed to curb foreign institutional investors (FII) from issuing offshore derivative instruments for which it has sought public comments over the next four days.

Aiming to check flow of funds from unknown entities, SEBI released a discussion paper in which it has sought comments by October 20 on various proposals, including not to allow FIIs and their agents from issuing or renewing ODIs such as participatory notes, equity linked notes and capped return notes.

As part of the proposals, SEBI has suggested directing FIIs to wind up their current positions over the next year and a half, during which the regulator would review the position from time to time.

“The year-on-year increase in ODIs, the anonymity that ODIs provide to investors, and copious inflows into the country from foreign investors has been engaging the attention of the government and the regulators such as the RBI and SEBI,” the paper said.

The SEBI move comes within days of finance minister expressing surprise and concern about the surge in the markets, saying: “Our assessment tells us that sensex is driven by copious inflow of funds.” Incidentally, there have been reports that the Centre had asked SEBI to keep a tab on flow of funds that could have originated from suspected terror groups. — PTI 

Top

 
BRIEFLY


Bollywood actress Vidya Balan models for a jewellery line in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Bollywood actress Vidya Balan models for a jewellery line in New Delhi on Tuesday. Balan launched a new luxury jewellery brand Mirari. — AFP photo

ICICI Bank
Mumbai, October 16
ICICI Bank today announced Bank@Home services for all its savings and current account customers in India. “Bank@Home is like a courier service wherein the banking facility is made available at the customer’s doorstep,” ICICI Bank’s head (retail liability group) Maninder Juneja said. The services being offered to the customer includes cash pick-up and delivery, cheque pick-up, demand draft and pay order delivery. — PTI

Kotak Mahindra
Mumbai, October 16
Kotak Mahindra Bank has raised Rs 1,615 crore by allotting 17,000,000 equity shares through a qualified institutional placement. The issue was priced at Rs 950 per equity share. This represents 4.95 per cent of the increased paid-up capital of the bank. The group net worth is now around Rs 5,000 crore, the company said. — PTI

Franklin tie-up
New Delhi, October 16
Franklin Templeton Investments (India) has signed an agreement with the Bank of Baroda (BoB) for the distribution of its products. Under the agreement, BoB will offer the entire bouquet of Franklin Templeton Investment products through its branches. “The tie-up is in line with the bank’s twin objectives- providing best-in-class solutions to our client base, and to enhance the fee-based activities for the bank,” bank’s executive director Satish C Gupta said. — UNI

Merril Lynch
New Delhi, October 16
Merrill Lynch has announced that it has made a private equity investment of $55 million in Vestas RRB India, a leading producer of world class wind electric generators in India. “It is our first and largest investment in the renewable energy sector in India and it endorses Vestas RRB’s leadership in the development of India’s alternate energy sector and the company's continuous efforts to add superior value in this business,” the company said. — TNS

Shilpa Medicare
Bangalore, October16
Shilpa Medicare has signed an MoU to acquire Austria’s LOBA Finchemie in an all-cash deal. The acquisition would give thrust to Shilpa Medicare’s vision of becoming India’s leading manufacturer of oncology products and provider of contract research and manufacturing services, said Shilpa Medicare MD Vishnukant Bhutada. — PTI

Kotak Debit Card
Chennai, October 16
Kotak Mahindra Bank has launched Kotak Gold Debit Card, a ‘fully loaded’ visa debit card with unlimited free access to all the visa ATMs in India and worldwide. The card also has higher purchase and cash withdrawal limits of Rs 1,75,000 each per day, the bank said. — UNI

Ajay Swaroop
Chandigarh, October 16
Ajay Swaroop has taken over as chief general manager, State Bank of India, Chandigarh Circle, which comprises of 696 branches in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and UT of Chandigarh. — TNS

Gold zooms
Mumbai, October 16
Gold advanced to a two-year high at Rs 9,745 gaining Rs 95 from its previous close of Rs 9,650 owing to festive demand, while silver slashed by Rs 15 per kg, traders at the Bombay Bullion Association said. — UNI 

Top

 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |