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Sensex zooms 413 points
Mumbai, March 13
The benchmark Sensex registered its highest gain in the current calendar year, up by a whopping 412.86 points, on the back of all-round buying triggered by stronger global cues despite sustained capital outflows. Rupee stronger  by 35 paise

Oil falls below $47 ahead of OPEC meeting
London, March 13
Oil edged down below $47 a barrel on Friday ahead of OPEC's Sunday meeting in Vienna, after two violent days of trade. The producer group gathers in the Austrian capital this weekend to discuss its output policy and perhaps adjust the 4.2 million barrels per day cut it implemented last September in reaction to the depth and speed of the global financial crisis.

S&P pegs growth at 6.1% in FY ’10
Mumbai, March 13
India is likely to grow at a rate slightly over 6 per cent in fiscal 2010, global rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) said in a study released today. "For FY'10, our current forecast is, to be precise, 6.1 per cent. Six per cent is where we see it. We see the first-half at about five per cent and the second-half at about seven per cent," S&P's Asia-Pacific chief economist Subir Gokarn, who conducted the study, said here.



EARLIER STORIES



RIL resumes crude oil production from KG-D6
New Delhi, March 13
Reliance Industries has resumed crude oil production from its predominantly gas-rich KG-D6 block after a three-month shutdown, which was forced by an equipment failure. "Oil production from the MA field in the KG-D6 block restarted on March 8," a source said

Aegon Religare to infuse 200 cr
Chandigarh, March 13
Aegon Religare Life Insurance will be infusing an additional Rs 200 crore in its business by March 2010. The company, which launched its life insurance business in India in August 2008, has already infused Rs 300 crore.

Enough response from Indian, global bidders: Satyam
Hyderabad, March 13
The fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services today said it has received “adequate response” from Indian and international bidders for acquiring 51 per cent stake in the software company.

Use forex reserves in infrastructure: WB
Mumbai, March 13
Time is ripe for India to use its massive foreign exchange reserves in infrastructure which will put the economy on fast track growth, World Bank's chief economist Justin Yifu Lin said today.

Ride may not be smooth for Nano in Europe
Ingolstadt (Germany), March 13
Tata's small car Nano may not be able to enter Europe due to stringent safety and emission norms, leading German luxury carmaker Audi said joining the list of auto players, who are sceptical about the prospects of the world's cheapest car.


Palash Nandy
Palash Nandy

Legrand to launch cable management solutions
Chandigarh, March 13
Legrand India, a subsidiary of the Euro 3.7 billion Legrand Group of France, is set to introduce home network and sound diffusion services in elite homes across the country. These services will be launched by the second half of this year.

Madoff pleads guilty, sent to jail
New York, March 13
Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard L Madoff was sent to jail after pleading guilty to swindling his clients of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme which he ran for years.

Sales of Hyundai i-10 cross 3-lakh mark
New Delhi, March 13
Hyundai Motor India Ltd, country’s second largest passenger car manufacturer and the largest exporter yesterday said its mid-segment hatchback model i-10 had achieved the fastest three lakh sales since its launch about a year and a half ago.

 





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Sensex zooms 413 points

Mumbai, March 13
The benchmark Sensex registered its highest gain in the current calendar year, up by a whopping 412.86 points, on the back of all-round buying triggered by stronger global cues despite sustained capital outflows.

Rupee stronger  by 35 paise

Mumbai: Moving in tandem with the equity markets, the Indian rupee today appreciated sharply by 35 paise to close at 51.51/52 against the dollar. In fairly active trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local unit opened firm at 51.70/71 per dollar from the previous close of 51.86/87.

It moved in a range 51.44-51.78 before concluding the day at 51.51/52, a smart rise of 0.67 per cent over the last close. Forex dealers attributed the rise in the rupee mainly to firm equity markets amid expectations of fresh capital inflows. — PTI

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share Sensex opened firm and remained in positive terrain throughout the session to settle the day at 8,756.61, a rise of 4.95 per cent over the previous close. Prior to this, the Sensex had gained by 492.28 points or 5.37 per cent on December 10, 2008.

The broad-based 50-issue Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also improved further by 101.80 points or 3.89 per cent to 2,719.25 from its last close.

Besides China and South Korea, other Asian indices ended in the green with a rise between 3 per cent and 5.62 per cent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed by 3.46 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index by 3.97 per cent yesterday. Realty, metal, banking and IT counters were at the forefront while others also registered smart to moderate gains at close.

Contrary to market sentiment, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 186.86 crore while domestic funds pumped in Rs 227.10 crore on March 12, as per provisional figures. Fall in inflation for the sixth consecutive week to 2.43 per cent, the lowest in nearly seven years, also partly boosted sentiment.

In the Sensex pack, DLF spurted 11.47 per cent, Tata Motors 10.72 per cent, Tata Power 9.18 per cent, ICICI Bank 8.60 per cent, Hindalco 7.99 per cent, Sterlite Ind 7.93 per cent, HDFC 7.53 per cent, Tata Steel 6.89 per cent, L&T 6.76 per cent, RIL 6.69 per cent, and TCS 6.57 per cent.

Jaiprakash Associates rose 6.22 per cent, Rel Com 6.18 per cent and Grasim by 6.05 per cent.

The market breadth was positive as 1,583 counters registered gains while 854 ended with losses on the BSE.

The business volume improved further to Rs 3,230.11 crore from Rs 2,726.77 crore on Thursday. ICICI Bank was the top-traded share with the highest turnover of Rs 253.55 crore followed by Akruti (Rs 192.74 crore), RIL (Rs 180.72 crore), Educomp Sol (Rs 168.86 crore) and Bharti Airtel (Rs 122.28 crore). The BSE-100 index shot up by 190.18 points or 4.48 per cent to 4,437.01 from the previous close of 4,246.83. — PTI

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Oil falls below $47 ahead of OPEC meeting

London, March 13
Oil edged down below $47 a barrel on Friday ahead of OPEC's Sunday meeting in Vienna, after two violent days of trade. The producer group gathers in the Austrian capital this weekend to discuss its output policy and perhaps adjust the 4.2 million barrels per day cut it implemented last September in reaction to the depth and speed of the global financial crisis.

Oil has hovered between $33 and $50 since the beginning of the year after OPEC implemented and began showing compliance to output cuts put in place to arrest its slide off last July's peak above $147 a barrel. — Reuters

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S&P pegs growth at 6.1% in FY ’10

Mumbai, March 13
India is likely to grow at a rate slightly over 6 per cent in fiscal 2010, global rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) said in a study released today. "For FY'10, our current forecast is, to be precise, 6.1 per cent. Six per cent is where we see it. We see the first-half at about five per cent and the second-half at about seven per cent," S&P's Asia-Pacific chief economist Subir Gokarn, who conducted the study, said here.

Stressing the need for credit flow, he said there was enough room for the apex bank to lower key policy rates.

"The problem is not with what RBI is doing, the problem is with what the banking system is doing. If the banking system is not advancing (credits), it doesn't matter what RBI does, because all that liquidity simply gets plugged back into securities. That narrows the scope of the stimulus quite significantly," Gokarn said. Further, the agency said it expects signs of a pick-up to emerge in the second-half of the year.

"The commentary believes domestic demand, though slowing, and India's high savings should continue to play key role in financing the country's growth," S&P said. — PTI 

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RIL resumes crude oil production from KG-D6

New Delhi, March 13
Reliance Industries has resumed crude oil production from its predominantly gas-rich KG-D6 block after a three-month shutdown, which was forced by an equipment failure. "Oil production from the MA field in the KG-D6 block restarted on March 8," a source said.

The field pumped about 5,000 barrels of crude oil on the restart as the company tested equipments and systems.

Output may rise to 10,000-12,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the month-end, when the field would be shut again for 45 days to hook up more oil wells.

The MA field in the Krishna Godavari basin block off the Andhra coast, began pumping oil in September 2008 and had produced 790,000 barrels of oil till December 9, when output ceased due to equipment failure.

"Production recommenced last week after completion of necessary repairs and modification," the source said. Gas from the block is also expected to start flowing by March-end.

Reliance was producing about 10,000 barrels of oil per day from two wells before the shutdown and it would add another well this month to raise the output.

The source said three more wells are likely to be brought into production when the field takes the planned shutdown in March-end or early April. "Output is expected to rise to 40,000 bpd before the end of the April-June quarter." — PTI

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Aegon Religare to infuse 200 cr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Aegon Religare Life Insurance will be infusing an additional Rs 200 crore in its business by March 2010. The company, which launched its life insurance business in India in August 2008, has already infused Rs 300 crore.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Yateesh Srivastava, chief marketing officer of the company said though the entire insurance sector was now showing a de-growth, they were hoping to achieve a new business premium income of Rs 1 crore a month from some of its branches. He said while they had decided not to roll out more branches in 2009-10 they would focus on increasng efficiency of its existing branch network. 

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Enough response from Indian, global bidders: Satyam
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, March 13
The fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services today said it has received “adequate response” from Indian and international bidders for acquiring 51 per cent stake in the software company.

However, the government-appointed board, which met here today, did not disclose the identity and the number of bidders.

HC dismisses Raju’s plea

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday dismissed the application moved by former Satyam chairman B Ramalinga Raju and others against sending them to CBI custody.

"There was no error in order passed by the trial court and it is only natural that whenever there is change in investigating agency, custodial examination is a must and there is absolutely no irregularity," Justice K C Bhanu observed.— PTI

The process of registration of potential bidders closed yesterday. The board meeting focused on discussing the Expressions of Interests (EoI) submitted by the bidders.

“The board has taken steps to release the request for proposals (RFP) in the course of the day to all registered bidders,” a company release said.

The board will make the financial and legal data available to those shortlisted companies who will qualify in the EoI criteria. The deadline for submitting the bid and proof of adequate funds is March 20.

Meanwhile, the board announced that former Chief Justice of India S P Bharucha would oversee and guide the company throughout the selection process.

Under the procedure finalised by the board, the expression of interest (EoI) from interested bidders along with proof of funds of Rs 1,500 crore is expected to be received by 5 pm on March 20.

The bidders, who have submitted compliant EoIs and executed certain pre-transaction documents, will have access to data and information regarding the company to enable them to submit technical and financial bids.

Four investors — Tech Mahindra, Spice Group, iGate and L & T — have confirmed that they have filed the expression of interests (EoIs) for bidding for a majority stake in Satyam.

The company CEO A S Murty briefed the board on his recent visit to Singapore and Australia to meet with customers and Satyam associates. He will be making a trip to the US for a similar purpose.

The entire process of selection of strategic investor is expected be completed in five to six weeks. Once the bidder is selected, Satyam would approach the Company Law Board and SEBI for approval.

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Use forex reserves in infrastructure: WB

Mumbai, March 13
Time is ripe for India to use its massive foreign exchange reserves in infrastructure which will put the economy on fast track growth, World Bank's chief economist Justin Yifu Lin said today.

"The only mantra now is to remove infrastructure bottlenecks so that the economy is ready for high growth path when global revival takes place," he said here.

It might not have been advisable to use the over $250 billion forex reserves to pump in the economy earlier when India had high inflation, but now with deflationary trends,the government should use it to remove infrastructure deficits.

"This would not only revive growth momentum, but also generate employment," he said, favouring the government's fiscal stimulus packages.

Lin, who is also the senior vice-president of World Bank, said the monetary policy should also aim at further lowering interest rates and increase money supply to stimulate demand.

"Making fiscal stimulus plans work by releasing bottlenecks to growth in developing countries offers a potential win-win solution," Lin said.

Such investments, he said, will not only increase demand, but also their growth, and the government revenues, which in turn will enhance overall demand.

India's foreign exchange reserves stood at $249.278 billion during the week ended February 27.

The potential impact on productivity and growth could be a strong contribution to India's development, Lin said, adding India could both kick-start demand in the face of the current crisis as well as pave the way for longer-term growth.

On growing fiscal deficits, he said as long as it was prudently invested in projects, it would augur well for the revival of the economy.

In the present scenario, fiscal deficit would any way go up as India had National Rural Employment Generation programme aimed at providing jobs to the rural poor, he said, adding, instead it would be better to invest on projects that would generate employment.

Lin blamed excess capacity in developed economies for the current crisis and prescribed that these industrialised nations should transfer resources to developing economies in infrastructure development.

He also warned developed nations against protectionism which should not in any way help overcoming the crisis. — PTI 

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Ride may not be smooth for Nano in Europe

Ingolstadt (Germany), March 13
Tata's small car Nano may not be able to enter Europe due to stringent safety and emission norms, leading German luxury carmaker Audi said joining the list of auto players, who are sceptical about the prospects of the world's cheapest car.

Nano has always elicited sharp reactions from rival carmakers, including Maruti Suzuki, about its compatibility with safety norms, which Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata has been challenging.

"Entering (by any model) the US and European market is very tough due to very stringent security and consumption regulations. Many Chinese carmaker had earlier tried to enter Europe, but could not as they faced problems," Audi AG Member of the Board (Finance and Organisation) Axel Strotbek told PTI here.

Asked if Nano could also face such difficulties in entering into Europe, he said: "Yes ... I don't think it will come here." Axel said that safety, fuel efficiency and emission norms are very important for the European customers, "which I am very apprehensive of getting in this price (Nano's price)".

Last week, India's largest auto maker Tata Motors unveiled the European version of Nano at the Geneva Motor Show and received huge applause from car enthusiasts. The company plans to launch 'Nano Europa', loaded with additional safety features and complying with Euro V emission norm, by 2011.

Nano would be launched in India on March 23, booking for which would start from the second week of April. It was originally to be launched in the second-half of 2008, but was delayed after the company was forced to shift manufacturing base from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat.

The company's website featuring Nano has registered 30 million hits or visits since the car, with a base-price tag of Rs 1,00,000, was first unveiled. The company had announced the low-cost car project in 2006.

The hatchback car features a 624-cc petrol engine and the company claimed that Nano would give a mileage of 20 km per litre. Its engine is located on the rear and the boot space in the front. — PTI

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Legrand to launch cable management solutions
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Legrand India, a subsidiary of the Euro 3.7 billion Legrand Group of France, is set to introduce home network and sound diffusion services in elite homes across the country. These services will be launched by the second half of this year.

The company will also be launching new cable management and structured cabling solutions in India during this year. This was revealed by Palash Nandy, marketing head of Legrand (India), during an interaction with The Tribune here today. He said though the home network market in India was still at a nascent stage and valued at Rs 140 crore, it was witnessing a phenomenal growth at almost 50 per cent each year.

“The demand for smart homes has been growing rapidly, with 20 per cent of total electrical products sold being smart products, like clock con switches and other standalone home automation products. This shows a need to bring in new technology like home networks, which will allow people to use all electrical appliances through one single socket. Similarly, sound diffusion will be a huge market in India, which will allow a person to listen to his choice of music in any room of his house, by installing speakers in each room,” he said.

In order to tap this market, Legrand is in talks with hi-end realtors in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore to provide infrastructure in their luxury housing and commercial projects for complete home automation and sound diffusion. “The field trials for these innovations are on, and these would be launched commercially later this year,” said Nandy.

Innovation has always been the key for our growth. Even in times of recession, we have managed to show a steady growth of 50 per cent in year 2008, and will show a 40 per cent growth in year 2009. “Last year, we had launched Ortronics, which provides domain expertise in technology and solutions for high-end data networking systems — ideal for critical installations such as data centres, BPOs, KPOs and defence establishments. This year, home automation will be the growth driver for Legrand in India,” he said.

Nandy said they were planning to open exclusive Legrand stores on a frachisee model. These stores will offer live demonstrations of the company’s latest smart home and office systems where visitors can experience the company’s latest product innovations. 

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Madoff pleads guilty, sent to jail

New York, March 13
Disgraced Wall Street financier Bernard L Madoff was sent to jail after pleading guilty to swindling his clients of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme which he ran for years.

After 70-year-old Madoff pleaded guilty to all 11 felony charges yesterday, his victims applauded as he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs to jail to await sentencing on June 16.

The charges included securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and perjury and together they carry a sentence of 150 years in prison.

Prosecutors say he swindled his clients of $65 billion and his guilty plea would not stop the investigations as investigators try to determine whether his sons or other family members or employees were involved in running the Ponzi scheme in which interest to older clients was paid by the money received from new clients.

Madoff offered his first public apology and said he was "deeply sorry and ashamed" at what he did.

"I knew what I was doing, it was wrong and I'm deeply sorry," he said amidst derisive laughter from his victims inside the court room.

Judge Denny Chin of Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected his lawyers' plea that he be sent back to his $7 million penthouse to await his sentencing, saying Madoff has incentive to flee, he has means to flee and thus presents the risk of flight.

His attorneys said they appeal the decision denying bail to him for which, they said, his wife Ruth was prepared to pay security at "her own expense".

Madoff bowed his head each time he uttered the world "guilty" in response to Judge Chin's question. "How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?" the judge asked. The response was "guilty." Admitting that he had run the Ponzi scheme for many years until his arrest, he said when he began he thought it would be over shortly. But it became difficult to stop and ultimately impossible.— PTI

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Sales of Hyundai i-10 cross 3-lakh mark
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13
Hyundai Motor India Ltd, country’s second largest passenger car manufacturer and the largest exporter yesterday said its mid-segment hatchback model i-10 had achieved the fastest three lakh sales since its launch about a year and a half ago.

Launched on October 31, 2007, HMIL said i-10 had achieved the target with over 1.44 lakh cars having been sold in the domestic market and around 1.56 lakh units being exported to over 100 countries across Latin America, European Union, Middle-East and South East Asia.

Arvind Saxena, senior vice-president, marketing & sales, HMIL, said “Hyundai Motor India has constantly focused on providing the best for its customers — be it design, technology or the best value for money proposition. And the resounding success of the i10 just proves that our customers value these parameters as well and have reinforced our belief that, if we provide the best, we will always be on the forefront be it the domestic or the overseas market. The i10 which meets the stringent safety and emission norms even in the European market has become an undoubted segment leader in both the domestic and overseas market and I sincerely thank our customers in India and in over 100 countries across the world for choosing to drive Hyundai i10.” 

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