SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
B U S I N E S S

Satyam to delist from Euronext Amsterdam
Hyderabad, April 14
Satyam Computer today said it would delist its American Depositary Shares (ADS) from NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam due to financial and legal pressures and has started the process for the same. Post delisting from Euronext Amsterdam, the firm's shares are expected to remain listed on the BSE, NSE in India and its ADSs on NYSE in New York.

Mittal keen to dilute stake in Kazakh oilfield
New Delhi, April 14
Steel czar Lakshmi N Mittal is keen on selling half of his stake in a Kazakhstan oilfield to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to tide over the severe financial constraint affecting his planned expansion in energy sector.

SEBI tightens investment norms for MFs
New Delhi, April 14
Market regulator SEBI has imposed a ceiling of 30 per cent on resources a mutual fund can invest in the debt instruments of a single entity, a move that will help asset managers to diversify risks.

GSM operators add 1.08 cr users in March
New Delhi, April 14
The GSM-based telecom operators in the country added a record 1.08 crore subscribers in March this year, taking the total GSM users base to 28.83 crore. In March, the cellular subscriber base of Airtel touched 9.39 crore followed by Vodafone Essar with 6.87 crore subscribers and a market share of 23.85 per cent. However, Vodafone Essar added more new users in March, upstaging Bharti Airtel.



Sachin Tendulkar
Cement manufacturer Jaypee Cement on Tuesday announced cricket sensation Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador while launching its new brand campaign. 

EARLIER STORIES




This file photo shows ground staff (below) Qantas planes at Sydney International Airport. Australian airline Qantas on Tuesday downgraded its annual profit forecast by up to 80 per cent and said it would slash as many as 1,750 jobs and defer multi-billion dollar orders for 16 aircraft.
This file photo shows ground staff (below) Qantas planes at Sydney International Airport. Australian airline Qantas on Tuesday downgraded its annual profit forecast by up to 80 per cent and said it would slash as many as 1,750 jobs and defer multi-billion dollar orders for 16 aircraft. — AFP

Investors pull out Rs 54 tr in FY’09
New Delhi, April 14
The country's mutual fund industry witnessed hefty Rs 54,54,650 crore redemptions in the financial year 2008-09, as meltdown in the stock market and liquidity crunch made investors, including big corporate houses, pull out huge amounts from various schemes.

Rs 3 lakh cr needed to contain fiscal deficit: Assocham
New Delhi, April 14
In view of growing fiscal deficit, the new government will have no option but to mobilise over Rs 3 lakh crore by divestment of its resources and equity in PSUs and revert back to earlier excise regime of over 14 per cent from current 8 per cent, industry body Assocham said in its agenda for the new government.

 





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Satyam to delist from Euronext Amsterdam

Hyderabad, April 14
Satyam Computer today said it would delist its American Depositary Shares (ADS) from NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam due to financial and legal pressures and has started the process for the same.

Post delisting from Euronext Amsterdam, the firm's shares are expected to remain listed on the BSE, NSE in India and its ADSs on NYSE in New York.

Satyam debuted on the Indian markets in 1991, and was listed on New York Stock Exchange in 2001. Last year, it launched a secondary listing on Euronext Amsterdam under NYSE Euronext's new "fast path" process for cross-listings in New York and Europe.

"Upon careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of its listing on Euronext Amsterdam, the board of directors of the company has come to the conclusion that the financial and legal burdens of a listing no longer justify a listing on Euronext Amsterdam", Satyam said.

The company does not currently intend to delist from the BSE, NSE or NYSE, it said.

The application for delisting is subject to the approval of Euronext Amsterdam, the company added.

Satyam Computers after a turbulent phase since January this year is all set to be acquired by Tech Mahindra in a Rs 2,900-crore deal that includes a 20 per cent open offer to the public. The holders of Satyam's ADSs would be able to participate in the public offer.

Satyam shares yesterday closed at Rs 48.85, up 3.61 per cent on the BSE. — PTI

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Mittal keen to dilute stake in Kazakh oilfield

New Delhi, April 14
Steel czar Lakshmi N Mittal is keen on selling half of his stake in a Kazakhstan oilfield to ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to tide over the severe financial constraint affecting his planned expansion in energy sector.

Mittal Investment Sarl, the holding firm of the Mittal family's interest in the world's largest steel firm ArcelorMittal, had in April 2007 acquired 25 per cent stake in Caspian Investments Resources from Russian oil firm Lukoil for $980 million.

The acquisition was originally to be done by ONGC Mittal Energy Ltd (OMEL), the equal joint venture of OVL and Mittal Investment, but Mittal went ahead on his own citing opposition to OMEL from Lukoil. He had since been delaying transferring the assets to OMEL citing opposition to such a move by the Kazakhstan government. But having lost a fortune in the global meltdown, Mittal is now keen on selling half of his stake in CIR, or 12.5 per cent, to OVL, industry sources said. — PTI

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SEBI tightens investment norms for MFs

New Delhi, April 14
Market regulator SEBI has imposed a ceiling of 30 per cent on resources a mutual fund can invest in the debt instruments of a single entity, a move that will help asset managers to diversify risks.

"The board decided to amend the Seventh Schedule of SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations to provide that no mutual fund scheme shall invest more than 30 per cent of its net assets in money market instruments of an issuer," SEBI said in a statement after the board meeting.

The schemes may, however, continue to invest up to 15 per cent or 20 per cent of its net assets, in other investment grade debt instruments of an issuer as already provided in the regulations, it added.

Welcoming the decision, AMFI chairman A P Kurien said " the move was suggested by us as it will help in reducing risk by cutting down overexposure in a single entity." Valueresearch CEO Dhirendra Kumar said it is a modest initiative by the regulator and will lead to reducing systemic risks. It will ensure safety of investors' money although it will be bit tough for fund houses to comply with.

However, it said, these limits will not cover investments in government securities, T-Bills and Collateralised Borrowing and Lending Obligations (CBLO).

Besides, SEBI also allowed proposals to enable mutual funds and foreign institutional investors to invest in IDRs subject to Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

At the same time, it also approved demat holding of IDRs and issue of depository receipts by custodians on behalf of issuers.

IDRs are similar to American Depository Receipts (ADRs) and Global Depository Receipts (GDRs) through which Indian firms raise money from overseas capital markets.

As per the changed guideline, a foreign company wanting to raise money in India through IDRs should have a continuous trading record on a stock exchange in the parent country for at least three immediately preceding years.

However, the eligibility condition requiring the issuer to be making profits for at least five preceding years has been relaxed and the period has been shortened to three years.— PTI

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GSM operators add 1.08 cr users in March
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 14
The GSM-based telecom operators in the country added a record 1.08 crore subscribers in March this year, taking the total GSM users base to 28.83 crore. In March, the cellular subscriber base of Airtel touched 9.39 crore followed by Vodafone Essar with 6.87 crore subscribers and a market share of 23.85 per cent.

However, Vodafone Essar added more new users in March, upstaging Bharti Airtel.

The addition of 1.08 crore GSM subscribers in March was 17.4 per cent more than the additions in February.

Data compiled by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the industry body representing GSM operators, shows that Vodafone Essar beat Bharti Airtel in monthly subscriber additions for the first time.

Vodafone Essar added 28.5 lakh new users in March while Bharti Airtel added only 28.1 lakh new subscribers.

"We are delighted to report the highest ever GSM subscriber additions at 10.8 million (excluding the GSM users of Reliance) during March 2009. This is the highest-ever subscriber additions since the inception of GSM service in India," COAI Director General T V Ramachandran said.

BSNL added 25 lakh subscribers, taking its subscriber base to 4.66 crore, while Idea, with a market share of 14.92 per cent, added 15 lakh subscribers taking the tally to 4.3 crore.

Aircel's user base in March stood at about 1.84 crore with an addition of about 10 lakh new connections, followed by Reliance's base of 1.11 crore subscribers.

Incidentally, the COAI figures do not include data from Reliance Communications (RCom) and Tata Teleservices, which use the rival CDMA technology.

India set a world record in January this year by adding 1.5 crore mobile users, the highest-ever monthly additions in any country.

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Mutual Funds
Investors pull out Rs 54 tr in FY’09

New Delhi, April 14
The country's mutual fund industry witnessed hefty Rs 54,54,650 crore redemptions in the financial year 2008-09, as meltdown in the stock market and liquidity crunch made investors, including big corporate houses, pull out huge amounts from various schemes.

The 35 fund houses in the country saw redemptions of Rs 54,54,650 crore in the April-March period of 2008-09, against Rs 43,10,575 crore it saw during the year-ago period, as per data available on the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) website.

"During FY'08 the stock market was trading at higher levels and investors were putting in fresh money. But FY'09 saw decline in the AUM (assets under management) of the fund houses, as investors pulled out money amid liquidity concerns," Taurus Mutual Fund managing director R K Gupta said.

Experts said the redemptions during the fiscal were mainly on the back of meltdown in stock markets, which led to investors pulling out money from equity funds.

"Interest rate fluctuations and (the) inability of some fund houses to redeem money had led to a breakdown in investor confidence during the fiscal," Gupta said.

The industry saw outflows to the tune of Rs 28,297 crore so far this year from January, while in the corresponding period in 2008, there were inflows of about Rs 1,53,801 crore.

The combined average assets under management (AUM) of the 35 fund houses in the country saw an erosion of nearly Rs 8,000 crore, and dropped to Rs 4,93,286.56 crore at the end of March, according to the AMFI data.

"During March, the MF industry witnessed a decline in the assets under management as usually investors withdraw funds at that time to pay off tax liabilities," AMFI chairman A P Kurien said.— PTI

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Rs 3 lakh cr needed to contain fiscal deficit: Assocham
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 14
In view of growing fiscal deficit, the new government will have no option but to mobilise over Rs 3 lakh crore by divestment of its resources and equity in PSUs and revert back to earlier excise regime of over 14 per cent from current 8 per cent, industry body Assocham said in its agenda for the new government.

These measures would be necessary to ensure revival of Indian economy which is still creating demand against economies of scale in which unemployment rate has exceeded 10 per cent.

Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said the new government would have to mobilise around Rs 3 lakh crore to ensure that government deficits were contained. For this purpose, Assocham also suggested disinvestment of government equity to an extent of 15-20 per cent in most of the navratna companies.

Greenfield projects are not economically viable at current rates of interest which are above 12 per cent. Therefore, the RBI would have to bring down interest rates to single digit level although the prime lending rates in most of the public sector banks is around 12-13 per cent as against 17 per cent in the private sector banks.

Jindal hoped that in the monetary measures, to be announced soon by RBI, there could be a move towards single-digit rate.

Jindal said since the excise collection was a major source of revenue for government, the new government would have to restore the excise slabs to boom time economy levels.

It may be mentioned that the UPA government in its stimuli packages brought down excise duty from 16 per cent to 8 per cent as a temporary measure to extend relief to India Inc. to absorb ill effects of slowdown.

The Assocham chief also called for policy measures to tackle the grim situation of dumping. Dumping is going on unchecked, especially from CIS and Asean, including China, and the Department of Commerce need to take policy decisions so that dumping is restricted.

Assocham also opposed the growing tendencies of protectionism and said this should be opposed so that global industry can thrive in a competitive environment and create demand for quality products with virtually no mismatch between demand and supply.

On export front, Jindal said the situation would remain grim for first few months of current fiscal as exports have been hit in the past couple of months.

On steel sector, Jindal said India’s steel industry would have to curtail their exports to a level of 5 per cent of its total capacity in the current fiscal as steel has enough demand domestically whereas it has slowed down overseas. In 2008-09, Indian steel industry exported nearly 10 per cent of their production out of its total output.

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BRIEFLY

Allahabad Bank to retail gold coins, bars
Kolkata
: Allahabad Bank on Tuesday ventured into retailing of gold coins and bars through select branches. CMD of Allahabad Bank K R Kamath said the initiative had been taken to increase fee-based income of the bank. The bank, he said, had been earlier importing gold for wholesale purposes. Gold coins would be imported from Geneva and be made available in four, eight and 10 grams. Bars would be available in 20 and 50 grams. — PTI

Goldman Sachs net at $1.81 bn
New York
: Financial services major Goldman Sachs Group Inc has announced net earnings of $1.81 billion in the first quarter of this year and will raise about $5 billion through public offering. The proceeds from the public offering and other resources will be used in paying back the $10 billion aid it had received under the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). — PTI

GM shares plunge 16 pc
Detroit
: General Motors Corp shares plunged 16 per cent on Monday as traders shed positions out of fear the US government will push the automaker into a bankruptcy that could wipe out existing equity. GM, which is operating with $13.4 billion in emergency federal loans, has until June 1 to win sweeping concessions from bondholders and the United Auto Workers union. — Reuters

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