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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

B U S I N E S S

New norms for P-Notes
SEBI chairman M Damodaram SEBI imposes curbs for investing in spot market

Mumbai, October 25
Market regulator SEBI today announced new rules for foreign investments through financial instruments such as participatory notes, asking FIIs to wind up P-Notes for investing in derivatives within 18 months.

3i Group invests Rs 900 cr in Adani Power
Mumbai, October 25
London-based private equity firm 3i Group today said it has picked up a minor stake in Adani Power for Rs 900 crore ($227 million).

Doha Round
Open up markets, US tells India
Washington, October 25
The US asked India to show flexibility and allow more access to its markets especially for non-agricultural products for reviving the stalled Doha Round of trade talks.

Rice export ban partly lifted
New Delhi, October 25
Under pressure from farmers, traders and exporters, the government today lifted the ban on export of superior quality non-basmati rice priced over $425 a tonne.

Country’s most modern airport in making
Hyderabad, October 25
Work is in full swing at the new international airport here, billed as the country’s most modern airport, and the commercial operations are set to commence on March 16, 2008.



EARLIER STORIES

 
Canon India brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar pose at the launch of Canon digital printer, 'Image Press C7000VP Digital Press' in New Delhi on Thursday. The printer is priced at Rs 10,200,000
Canon India brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar pose at the launch of Canon digital printer, 'Image Press C7000VP Digital Press' in New Delhi on Thursday. The printer is priced at Rs 10,200,000. —Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

SBoP to help farmers store their crop
Inks pact with National Bulk Holding Corpn
Patiala, October 25
The farmers can now store their crop and sell it at an appropriate time with the help of bank. The State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) has launched a scheme to help the farmers store their produce and sell it at appropriate time and price.

Tatas keen to set up 5-star hotel in Guwahati
Guwahati, October 25
The Assam government is ready with some concessions to woo Tatas who have evinced interest in setting up a five-star category hotel in the state capital here.

Oracle investment crosses $3 b
New Delhi, October 25
Global software major Oracle today said it's Indian investment has crossed $3 billion over the past five years, which reflects the local market as a priority for the company.

Corporate Results
Reliance Capital net up 20 pc 
Mumbai, October 25
Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Capital today posted a 20.42 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 201.28 crore for the quarter ended September 30, compared to Rs 167.15 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

 

 

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New norms for P-Notes
SEBI imposes curbs for investing in spot market

Mumbai, October 25
Market regulator SEBI today announced new rules for foreign investments through financial instruments such as participatory notes, asking FIIs to wind up P-Notes for investing in derivatives within 18 months.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New norms to come into effect from tomorrow
  • Unregulated pension fund, university fund, charitable fund, endowments etc to be treated as FIIs
  • No dilution of know-your-customers norms for registration of FIIs to prevent money laundering
  • FIIs to be registered on a permanent basis instead of earlier practice of renewing registration every three years

SEBI chairman M Damodaram announced the decision after a meeting of the Board, which also approved imposing curbs on P-Notes for investing in spot market. The new norms would come into effect from tomorrow.

In derivatives, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and their sub-accounts cannot issue fresh P-Notes and will have to wind up their current position in 18 months, he said.

In spot market, FIIs will not be allowed to issue P-Notes more than 40 per cent of their assets under custody. The reference date for calculating such assets will be September 30, SEBI said. The provision will come into effect from close of trading hours today.

Those FIIs who have issued P-Notes of more than 40 per cent of their assets could issue such instruments only if they cancel, redeem, or close their existing PNs. Those FIIs who have issued P-Notes less than 40 per cent of their assets under custody can issue additional instruments at the rate of 5 per cent of their assets.

Damodaran also said the date of September 30 was fixed as the reference for calculating assets under custody of FIIs since this was the latest date for which data is available.

SEBI stuck to its original proposal of October 16 that sent stock market into a tailspin the following day. The BSE baromoter Sensex lost 1,700 points within minutes of opening on October 17, but later recovered after finance minister P Chidambaram assured that the steps were not aimed at curbing capital inflows. — PTI

What are P-Notes?

P-Notes are instruments like contract notes issued by FIIs to overseas investors who cannot directly invest in equity market as they are not registered. Out of over 1,100 FIIs registered with SEBI, only 34 have been issuing PNs. 

No evidence of terror money’

In the midst of the move to check flow of anonymous foreign funds in the bourses, market regulator SEBI today said there was no evidence of terror money coming into capital markets.

"At present, there is no evidence," SEBI chairman told reporters when asked whether any terror money was finding its way to the stock exchanges.

Damodaran was briefing reporters after the crucial Board meeting which approved restrictions on participatory notes.

To a query on a mechanism to check terror funding in stock markets coming in the shape of corporate entities, he said, "Anyway, securities market regulation is not an answer for everything. There are other regulators and enforcement agencies to look into this."

Damodaran also said SEBI has maintained that money comes through the banking channels, which are expected to have 'Know Your Customer' norms. — PTI

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3i Group invests Rs 900 cr in Adani Power

Mumbai, October 25
London-based private equity firm 3i Group today said it has picked up a minor stake in Adani Power for Rs 900 crore ($227 million).

The investment was made in Adani Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, through 3i Group's investment vehicle 3i IIF GP Ltd, formed with India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd last April.

Adani Power is presently developing an independent 2,640 MW imported coal-based thermal power plant in Gujarat.

The project, launched in June last year, is expected to become operational by 2009 and achieve full capacity by the close of 2010, a press release issued said here today.— PTI

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Doha Round
Open up markets, US tells India

Washington, October 25
The US asked India to show flexibility and allow more access to its markets especially for non-agricultural products for reviving the stalled Doha Round of trade talks.

"If the Doha Round does not materialise that would not be on account of the US agricultural subsidies ... major emerging economies (India and Brazil) are not coming up with enough market access, especially in non-agricultural areas such as services, including financial services," US treasury secretary Henry Paulson, who will be visiting India shortly, said.

He said though not easy, completion of WTO Doha Round was within the reach.

"The key to Doha is going to be market access by the major developing countries (Brazil and India) that have been pushing the developed countries to further open their markets which are already quite open," Paulson said.

While the major developing countries have been asking the rich nations for more markets they are "resisting opening theirs," Paulson said at the Council on Foreign Relations here.

He said with India the issues of agriculture and subsistence farmers have not been resolved.

"We need more movement in non-agriculture areas, the manufacturing tariffs and services" said Paulson, visiting in India from October 27-31.

He said the US was quite comfortable negotiating within the texts( proposed by the WTO in July).

Paulson added that India has done well in areas like information technology and aviation which were never regulated were liberalised.— PTI 

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Rice export ban partly lifted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 25
Under pressure from farmers, traders and exporters, the government today lifted the ban on export of superior quality non-basmati rice priced over $425 a tonne.

The decision to withdraw the ban on export of expensive non-basmati rice was taken by the union cabinet at a meeting here, information and broadcasting minister P R Dasmunsi said.

The decision comes after a meeting between commerce minister Kamal Nath, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the national capital earlier this week.

The state Chief Minister had also met the Prime Minister to apprise him of the situation and the problems the traders and exporters were facing.

Farmers across the country have been protesting against the export ban as it was leading to fall in prices of the commodity.

The government had on October 9 imposed a ban on export of all non-basmati rice to augment domestic stocks.

Exporters and rice growers opposed the move as the move led to fall in prices in the domestic market and deprived the growers’ benefits of lucrative exports.

Nath had yesterday said that stocks of all varieties lying in port godowns up to October 10 would not come under the export ban.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today considered the call option notice given by Sterlite Industries to acquire 10,81,06,005 equity shares held by the government in Balco.

The CCEA decided to constitute a Committee of Secretaries comprising secretaries of Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Disinvestment and ministry of mines for finalising government's position from time to time considering the legal issues as and when the need arises.

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Country’s most modern airport in making
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, October 25
Work is in full swing at the new international airport here, billed as the country’s most modern airport, and the commercial operations are set to commence on March 16, 2008.

Plans are on to invite the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to inaugurate the Rs 2,478-crore Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, being developed by the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL).

Being developed under public-private partnership model, the airport is coming up over an area of 5,400 acres at Shamshabad, about 25 km from the city.

Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy has written to Gandhi requesting her to inaugurate the airport.

The GMR group is holding a majority stake of 63 per cent in the project while the Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad holds 11 per cent, the Airports Authority of India and the Andhra Pradesh government have 13 per cent stake each.

“Nearly 96 per cent of the works pertaining to passenger terminal building, airside landside, airfield pavements and runway have been completed. The works on approach roads and flyovers, leading to the airport, are being speeded up,” officials said.

In the first phase, the airport can handle 12 million passengers and the capacity will be increased in phases to handle 40 million passengers a year.

The airport can accommodate Airbus A-380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world. The airport will have several firsts to its credit. It will have the longest runway at 4.26 km. It will also have the tallest air traffic control tower in the country at 75 metres.

It will be the first airport to introduce a city check-in facility and offer fuel on an open access basis. 

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SBoP to help farmers store their crop
Inks pact with National Bulk Holding Corpn
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 25
The farmers can now store their crop and sell it at an appropriate time with the help of bank. The State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) has launched a scheme to help the farmers store their produce and sell it at appropriate time and price.

The managing director of the bank A.C.Varma while talking to The Tribune said the bank has entered into a memorandum of understanding with National Bulk Holding Corporation. The farmers would be provided loans to keep their produce in the stores of the corporation. The interest on the loan would be 11.75 per cent and it would be given against collateral of the crop lying in the stores.

When asked about the proposed merger of the seven associate banks with the State Bank of India, he said some vital issues need to be addressed before the banks are merged. They are about 60,000 employees in the subsidiary banks of the SBI. Their seniority, benefits and place of posting have to be addressed before the banks are merged, he said.

The managing director, however, added that personally he was in favour of merger of banks as it would create a bank that can compete at international level with large working capital.

He informed that the SBoP would celebrate 90 years of its foundation next month. The bank would adopt 90 villages and 90 schools. These villages and schools would be provided finances and advice for overall development.

He said the business turnover of the SBoP has crossed Rs 75,400 crore. This year aggregate deposits in the banks have increased by 26.48 per cent. The non performing assets ratio has also decreased to just 0.98 per cent.

Meanwhile, members of the associate bank officers association submitted a memorandum to the managing director expressing their views against the merger of the banks. They alleged that the subsidiary banks were catering to the regional needs of their respective areas and so should be allowed to maintain their regional identity.

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Tatas keen to set up 5-star hotel in Guwahati
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, October 25
The Assam government is ready with some concessions to woo Tatas who have evinced interest in setting up a five-star category hotel in the state capital here.

In a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to discuss a proposal to set up a five-star hotel in the city by Indian Hotels owned by Tatas, it has identified a sprawling plot of government land in a prime location in the city to be handed over to Tatas to set up the plush hotel.

The Tatas had earlier sent feelers to the Chief Minister’s office about its choice for a particular plot of land to set up the hotel.

An official source informed that the high-level meeting reviewed the feasibility of the Tatas’ proposal to build a hotel at the plot of land in question. The meeting took serious note of a suggestion that the state government could float a joint venture with the Tatas-owned Indian Hotels by providing the plot of land located at prime location in the city.

The Indian Hotels will be able to complete the project in two years if it gets the land it has sought. If the deal comes through, it will be the second investment from outside in building high-end hotel in the city. The DS Group has already started constructing a five-star hotel in the city.

Meanwhile, Taj Group, also owned by the Tatas is constructing a budget hotel at six-mile area in the city under its Ginger Brand.

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Oracle investment crosses $3 b

New Delhi, October 25
Global software major Oracle today said it's Indian investment has crossed $3 billion over the past five years, which reflects the local market as a priority for the company.

The investments include Oracle's approximately $2 billion acquisition of Mumbai-based banking software company i-flex Solutions two years ago. Oracle holds about 83 per cent in i-flex which is listed on the Indian bourses.

The enterprise software major has seven development and solution centres in India. Today, it opened two centres - Asia R&D unit and Partner Solutions Centre, in Gurgaon to focus on Indian market.

The two centres would be part of the 19 R&D and solution units spread across Asia Pacific.— PTI

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Corporate Results
Reliance Capital net up 20 pc 

Mumbai, October 25
Anil Ambani group firm Reliance Capital today posted a 20.42 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 201.28 crore for the quarter ended September 30, compared to Rs 167.15 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.

The total income of the firm increased to Rs 391.27 crore for the quarter under review against Rs 222.84 crore recorded in the year-ago period, up 75.58 per cent, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Britannia sales up

Britannia Industries Ltd (BIL) has reported sales of Rs 658.8 crore for the quarter ended September 30 representing 20 per cent growth over the corresponding quarter last year.

Net profit for the quarter at Rs.48.5 crore was more than double the corresponding quarter last year of Rs 21.2 crore.

For the half year ended September 30, the revenue grew by 19.6 per cent to Rs 1,235.6 crore, while net profit at Rs 84.6 crore was 64.6 per cent higher than last year's.

Nicholas Piramal

Nicholas Piramal India Ltd today said its net profit increased by 20.75 per cent to Rs 80.98 crore for the quarter ended September 30, as compared to Rs 67.06 crore for the same period a year ago.

Total income also shot up 20.12 per cent to Rs 531.82 crore for the second quarter in FY2007-08 against Rs 442.74 crore for the same quarter during the previous fiscal.

TVS revenues fall

Two-wheeler major TVS Motor has recorded a fall in revenues at Rs 841.32 crore for the quarter ended September 30 compared to Rs 1,088.75 crore during the same period last year.

The fall was consequent to the slowdown in the motorcycle segment, the company release said. Net profit for the period stood at Rs 11.92 crore compared to Rs 24.83 crore last year.

Gillette net dips

Gillette India today posted a 44.91 per cent decrease in net profit at Rs 27.82 crore for the quarter ended September 30 against Rs 50.50 crore for the reviewed period last year.

The total income of the company rose 35.28 per cent at Rs 142.05 crore for the quarter ended September 30 compared to Rs 105 crore for the same quarter reviewed last fiscal, Gillette said.

ABB net up

Engineering firm ABB Ltd today said it has posted 40.83 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 115.68 crore for the quarter ended September 30 compared to Rs 82.14 crore for the reviewed quarter last fiscal.

The total income of the company rose by 27.40 per cent at Rs 1,393.31 crore for the quarter ended September 30, against Rs 1,093.59 crore during the same quarter last year, the company said. — Agencies

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BRIEFLY
A Nepalese activist affiliated with the Maoist student wing of The All Nepal National Independent Students' Union-Revolutionary shouts anti-government slogans during a protest against price rise of oil products in Kathmandu on Thursday. Nepal's state-owned monopoly oil company has hiked prices by as much as 22 per cent to meet a rising import bill in the landlocked Himalayan nation that depends on India for all supplies
A Nepalese activist affiliated with the Maoist student wing of The All Nepal National Independent Students' Union-Revolutionary shouts anti-government slogans during a protest against price rise of oil products in Kathmandu on Thursday. Nepal's state-owned monopoly oil company has hiked prices by as much as 22 per cent to meet a rising import bill in the landlocked Himalayan nation that depends on India for all supplies. — AFP photo

Glenmark deal
Mumbai, October 25
Drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals today said it has signed a 10-year marketing and distribution rights agreement with South Africa-based MeyerZall Laboratories. The deal is meant to facilitate the expansion of its topical dermatology portfolio, the company said. — PTI

Maytas Infra
Mumbai, October 25
Infrastructure development firm Maytas Infra today surged over 66 per cent at the BSE to close at Rs 614.30 over its issue price of Rs 370 on its debut at the bourse. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs 637.70 and a low of Rs 480 at the exchange. A total of 2.07 crore shares changed hands at both the bourses today.— PTI

MS buyout
San Francisco, October 25
Rapidly rising Internet star Facebook Inc. has sold a 1.6 per cent stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million, spurning a competing offer from online search leader Google Inc. Culminating weeks of negotiations, the investment announced yesterday values the social networking site at $15 billion, a stunning figure for an online hangout started in a Harvard University dorm room less than four years ago.— AP

DMRC order
Bangalore, October 25
Public sector engineering major Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) has bagged a Rs 1,144-crore tender for manufacture and supply of 156 standard gauge stainless steel metro cars from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The metro cars would be supplied for the second phase DMRC's operation, the company said. The order is the single largest contract it has bagged. — PTI

GETIT Info
Chandigarh, October 25
GETIT Infoservices Ltd., India's yellow pages pioneer and provider of information products, has launched its exciting new mobile local search offering The mobile site is available on www.getit.in or wap.get.in and can be accessed from any mobile device which has GPRS connectivity. The salient features of the service are that it works across platforms and is available for free. —TNS

Deutsche cards
Mumbai, October 25
Deutsche Bank today launched image debit cards which enable the customers to personalise it with image of their choice, a first of its kind in the country. These debit cards are available in three categories — zodiac series, Deutsche Bank travelling logo series and the Incredible India series, a press release issued here said.— PTI

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