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Core sectors grow by 2.9 pc in March
New Delhi, April 29
The core industries have registered a growth of 2.9 per cent in March 2009, as compared to February 2009, when the growth was 2.2 per cent. Economists say this as static growth and warn that this is due to inventory adjustments and should not be confused as a sign of pick-up in economy.

Rajus’ remand extended
Hyderabad, April 29
The disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers B Ramalinga Raju and others accused in the Rs 7,800-crore fraud in the software giant will remain in jail till May 13 with a local court here extending their judicial remand. Raju, his younger brother and former Satyam managing director Rama Raju, former CFO V Srinivas and six other accused were produced before the special court here by the CBI, which is probing the fraud case.

SC denies relief to Kampani
New Delhi, April 29
The Supreme Court today refused to give immediate relief to investment banker Nimesh Kampani, who has sought anticipatory bail in the Nagarjuna Finance case. A Bench headed by Arijit Pasayat refused to give relief, saying that the day Kampani surrenders, the apex court will consider his bail application on the same date. However, the court directed the matter will be taken upon on May 4, the notified date of hearing.



EARLIER STORIES




Olympic gold medalist and Samsung’s brand ambassador Abhinav Bindra poses with LED high definition TV at its launch in New Delhi on Wednesday. Samsung launched a series of energy-efficient LED technology-based televisions in the Indian market, priced between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh.
Olympic gold medalist and Samsung’s brand ambassador Abhinav Bindra poses with LED high definition TV at its launch in New Delhi on Wednesday. Samsung launched a series of energy-efficient LED technology-based televisions in the Indian market, priced between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

SEBI seeks clarity from Airtel on promoters’ holding
New Delhi, April 29
Market regulator SEBI has sought clarifications from mobile service provider Bharti Airtel regarding promoter shareholding in the company. According to market sources, SEBI has asked the mobile operator to clarify the stake hike by one of the Bharti group companies India Continent Investment Ltd (ICIL), which has increased its stake in the company to over six per cent.

US lawmakers move Bill
Washington, April 29
Asking India's Reliance Industries (RIL) and other energy firms doing trade with Iran to choose either Tehran or Washington, US Senators have moved a Bill aimed at penalising such companies.

LIC unveils health insurance plan
Mumbai, April 29
Insurance major, Life Insurance Corporation of India has announced the launch of ‘Health Protection Plus’, a health insurance scheme.

Dunlop to resume output in May
Kolkata, April 29
Tyre maker Dunlop India Ltd is likely to resume production at its Sahaganj plant next month, if power is restored. "The Sahaganj plant is waiting for electricity connection to restart production," Dunlop India Ltd chairman P K Ruia told PTI.

Rupee bounces back
Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Wednesday bounced back by 47 paise to close at 50.04/05 against the dollar, in the midst of firm equity markets and a weak US currency overseas. 

Corporate Results

 





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Core sectors grow by 2.9 pc in March
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 29
The core industries have registered a growth of 2.9 per cent in March 2009, as compared to February 2009, when the growth was 2.2 per cent. Economists say this as static growth and warn that this is due to inventory adjustments and should not be confused as a sign of pick-up in economy.

The core industries, which has a combined weight of 26.7 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), recorded a 2.7 per cent growth during April-March 2008-09, as against 5.9 per cent during the corresponding period of the previous year.

The two key industries, steel and cement, which indicate economic activity, have instead shown a slowdown, indicating that all is not good in the economy. The finished steel production has slipped into negative zone and recorded a growth of -2.6 per cent in March 2009 as compared to February 2009,when it was 3.6 per cent. However, in March 2008, it stood at -0.9 per cent.

Cement production in the month of March this year grew by 10.1 per cent, as compared to 8.3 per cent in February 2009. However, in March 2008, the growth was 9.3 per cent.

The crude oil production registered a slowdown further to -1.8 per cent during April-March 2008-09 as compared to 0.4 per cent during the same period of 2007-08.

Petroleum refinery production registered a growth of 3 per cent during April-March 2008-09 as compared to 6.5 per cent during the same period of 2007-08.

Coal production showed a growth of 8.1 per cent during April-March 2008-09, as compared to an increase of 6 per cent during the same period of 2007-08.

Electricity generation showed a slowdown as well and grew by 2.7 per cent during April-March 2008-09 as compared to 6.3 per cent during the same period of 2007-08.

Cement production grew by 7.5 per cent during April-March 2008-09 as compared to an increase of 8.1 per cent during the same period of 2007-08.

Finished Steel production grew by 0.4 per cent during April-March 2008-09 as compared to an increase of 6.2 per cent during the same period of 2007-08.

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Rajus’ remand extended
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, April 29
The disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers B Ramalinga Raju and others accused in the Rs 7,800-crore fraud in the software giant will remain in jail till May 13 with a local court here extending their judicial remand. Raju, his younger brother and former Satyam managing director Rama Raju, former CFO V Srinivas and six other accused were produced before the special court here by the CBI, which is probing the fraud case.

This was the first time that all accused, presently lodged in Chanchalguda jail here, were brought before 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S Samuel Victor Emmanuel who extended their judicial remand by two weeks.

The court directed the prosecution to provide copies of the chargesheet to the accused. The CBI officials said the accused would be served copies of the charge sheet on May 4.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned to May 8 the hearing on a CBI petition seeking permission to conduct lie- detector test on Raju brothers and other accused to ferret out more facts regarding the elaborate fraud.

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SC denies relief to Kampani

New Delhi, April 29
The Supreme Court today refused to give immediate relief to investment banker Nimesh Kampani, who has sought anticipatory bail in the Nagarjuna Finance case. A Bench headed by Arijit Pasayat refused to give relief, saying that the day Kampani surrenders, the apex court will consider his bail application on the same date. However, the court directed the matter will be taken upon on May 4, the notified date of hearing.

Kampani and other executives of Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Finance (NFL), a non-banking financial company, are under investigation for the firm's alleged failure to return around Rs 98.3 crore collected from 85,160 depositors in 1997-98.

Kampani has challenged the Andhra Pradesh High Court judgment that dismissed the anticipatory bail petitions filed by the directors of NFL, including that of Kampani and other non-executive directors.

Besides, the High Court on February 25 this year also dismissed another petition filed by Kampani seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings initiated against him on 94 complaints. — PTI 

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SEBI seeks clarity from Airtel on promoters’ holding

New Delhi, April 29
Market regulator SEBI has sought clarifications from mobile service provider Bharti Airtel regarding promoter shareholding in the company. According to market sources, SEBI has asked the mobile operator to clarify the stake hike by one of the Bharti group companies India Continent Investment Ltd (ICIL), which has increased its stake in the company to over six per cent.

When contacted, the company spokesperson said, "SEBI has sought details on the factual position which we will provide shortly." According to current takeover regulation by SEBI, a company is required to make public announcement for hiking stake to over five per cent in a fiscal which is to be followed by an open offer to the non-promoter group investors.

The company spokesperson said, "ICIL, a Bharti Airtel group company, has bought 4.99 per cent stake in the company in FY'08 and 1.28 per cent in FY'09.

"Both these transactions have been undertaken during two different financial years and are well within the creeping acquisition limit of 5 per cent in each financial year as permitted under the takeover regulation.

"We have also filed the requisite declaration to the stock exchanges on all these transactions. We would like to clarify that Pastel Ltd, owned by the government of Singapore, is classified as a deemed promoter and it is not a 'person acting in concert' with the Bharti Group," the spokesperson said.

"Therefore, the shareholding of Pastel and Bharti Group cannot be aggregated while determining the creeping acquisition limit," the spokesperson added.

As of March quarter, promoters held a total of 67.15 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel. This includes Bharti Telecom's (45.30 per cent), Pastel Ltd (15.58 per cent) and ICIL (6.27 per cent). — PTI

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US lawmakers move Bill

Washington, April 29
Asking India's Reliance Industries (RIL) and other energy firms doing trade with Iran to choose either Tehran or Washington, US Senators have moved a Bill aimed at penalising such companies.

"We know who these companies are — Shell, Vitol, BP and Reliance — and we need to give them a choice: you can do business with Iran's $250 billion economy or our $13 trillion economy, but not both," said senator Jon Kyl, who was a part of the bipartisan coalition of 25 senators that introduced the Bill.

The senators have sought to strengthen President Barack Obama's authority for stopping Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons through their proposed legislation, which targets foreign companies that sell gasoline or other refined petroleum products to Iran.

The legislation also authorises the President to impose stronger penalties on these firms, including a ban on conducting business in the US.

The legislation, introduced in the US Senate yesterday, comes within days of another resolution introduced in the House of Representatives on April 21 to enhance the Obama administration's diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against the country.

The new Bills seek to make it a policy of the US to encourage foreign governments "to direct state-owned entities to cease all investment in Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum resources to Iran".

The US can also ask other nations "to persuade, and where possible, require private entities based on their territories to cease all investment in Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum resources to Iran." Both the bills have been referred to various House and Senate committees, including those on foreign affairs, financial services and oversight and government reforms.

Another US Senator who signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill, Mike Johanns said that, if passed, the legislation would give the President authority to put in place new, stronger sanctions on persons and businesses that help Iran import refined petroleum or develop its own resources. — PTI

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LIC unveils health insurance plan
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, April 29
Insurance major, Life Insurance Corporation of India has announced the launch of ‘Health Protection Plus’, a health insurance scheme.

In a statement here, LIC said the plan covers the entire family (husband, wife and children). Components of the plan include hospital cash benefit (HCB) and major surgical benefit (MSB) along with a ULIP component (investment in the form of units) that is specifically designed to meet domiciliary treatment benefit (DTB)/ outdoor patient department (OPD) expenses for the insured members, LIC said.

HCB is a daily benefit payable in case of hospitalisation. It can range from Rs 250 to Rs 2,500 for the principal insured (the person who proposes for insurance). For the spouse or the children, the maximum amount of HCB is Rs 1,500. The amount of daily benefit doubles in case of hospitalisation in the ICU. The IDB (initial daily benefit) is applicable during the first year of risk cover. The amount of daily HCB will increase @ 5 per cent simple per annum every year on policy anniversary until it hits a cap of 1.5 times the initial benefit.

Both HCB and MSB covers are available subject to a waiting period from the commencement of the risk cover in respect of each insured member. No death insurance cover is available under the plan.

All eligible existing family members are to be covered at the beginning (proposal stage) itself. New members can, however, be added under certain specified conditions.

The premiums paid under the policy are eligible for tax rebate under Section 80(D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

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Dunlop to resume output in May

Kolkata, April 29
Tyre maker Dunlop India Ltd is likely to resume production at its Sahaganj plant next month, if power is restored. "The Sahaganj plant is waiting for electricity connection to restart production," Dunlop India Ltd chairman P K Ruia told PTI.

Power has to be restored by the West Bengal State Electricity Development Ltd that was surrendered when production was suspended at the plant in November last year.

Asked whether resumption of production had any link to the Lok Sabha elections, Ruia side-stepped the question saying that the situation was favourable to begin production. Production was discontinued since November 30, citing the global financial crisis and recessionary pressure. — PTI

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Rupee bounces back

Mumbai: The Indian rupee on Wednesday bounced back by 47 paise to close at 50.04/05 against the dollar, in the midst of firm equity markets and a weak US currency overseas. 

At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the local currency resumed higher at 50.26/28 a dollar and moved up further to settle the day at 50.04/05, a rise of 0.93 per cent over its previous close of 50.51/52 per dollar. — PTI

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Corporate Results
Airtel net up 21% at Rs 2,239 crore

New Delhi, April 29
Bharti Airtel today reported a 21 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 2,239.30 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2009, against Rs 1,852.90 crore in the year-ago period.

The company also announced that it would pump in $3 billion in the current fiscal to fund its expansion plans mainly in rural areas.

"We have earmarked $2 billion for capital expenditure for infrastructure and another $1 billion for tower business. This, however, does not include the capex for 3G, for which we have adequate funds," Bharti Airtel CEO Manoj Kohli said.

The consolidated net profit for the full year (2008-09) stood at Rs 8,469.90 crore, up 26.40 per cent from Rs 6,700.80 crore in the previous fiscal. Total revenue rose to Rs 36,961.50 crore during FY'09, up 37 per cent from Rs 27,025 crore in FY'08.

The board has declared a maiden dividend of 20 per cent at the rate of Rs 2 on shares of face value of Rs 10 for the financial year ended March 2009.

Canara Bank net up 55 pc

Canara Bank today reported a 54.89 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 718.81 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009, against Rs 464.06 crore in the same period of FY'08.

The total income rose 18.38 per cent to Rs 19,430.27 crore during the March quarter from Rs 16,413.60 crore in the same period last fiscal, Canara Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The board has declared a dividend of 80 per cent at the rate of Rs eight on shares of face value of Rs 10 each for FY'09.

Dena Bank net Rs 111 cr

Dena Bank today said it has reported a marginal growth in net profit at Rs 111.17 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009.

The total income rose 17.31 per cent to Rs 1,035.83 crore during the March quarter, from Rs 882.98 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

The bank's board has declared a dividend of 12 per cent, at the rate of Rs 1.20 a piece on shares of Rs 10 face value for FY'09.

Bank of India

Bank of India today reported a seven per cent growth rate in its net profit to Rs 810.37 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009, over the corresponding period a year ago.

Total income during the January-March quarter of FY'09 rose to Rs 5,278.47 crore from Rs 4,154.86 crore in the same quarter last year.

The bank announced a final dividend of 50 per cent, or Rs five per share for the year 2008-09.

Dabur profit up 27 pc

FMCG major Dabur India today posted a growth of 27.61 per cent in its consolidated net profit at Rs 105.27 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared with the corresponding period a year ago.

Consolidated total income of Dabur India in the period under review rose to Rs 736.30 crore from Rs 616.26 crore in the same quarter a year ago.

Dabur India also announced a final dividend of 100 per cent or Re 1 per share for the financial year 2008-09.

Ceat Q4 net dips 41 pc

Tyre manufacturer Ceat today said its net profit dipped by 41.47 per cent to Rs 45.03 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2009, from the same period a year ago.

The total income slipped to Rs 631.20 crore for the quarter under review, from Rs 652.37 crore in the same quarter last fiscal.

Patni net declines

Patni Computer Systems today posted over 17 per cent decline in net income at USD 15 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, largely due to shrink in demand.

The revenues for the quarter stood at $156.4 million against $176.4 million in the same period last year, down 11 per cent. — Agencies

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BRIEFLY

ArcelorMittal posts net loss of $1.1 b in Q1
London
: Steel behemoth ArcelorMittal on Wednesday reported a $1.1 billion loss in the first quarter ended March 2009, primarily on account of "exceptional charges related to writedowns of inventories" amidst a slump in demand for the commodity on account of global industrial downturn. The company had net income of $2.4 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2008. ArcelorMittal saw its sales went down by 31.6 per cent to $15.1 billion in the reporting period as against $22.1 billion in the same period last year. — PTI

Markets closed today, tomorrow
Mumbai
: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Forex, Money, Bullion, Metals, Oils and Oilseeds, Cotton, Grains and Solvent markets will remain closed on April 30 and May 1 for Lok Sabha elections and "Maharashtra Day", respectively. — PTI

Yahoo! India lays off 60
New Delhi:
Global search engine player Yahoo! is learnt to have asked around 60 employees from its Bangalore-based R&D centre to quit the company. The California-based company is also planning to hire 130 professionals in India in areas like product engineering. A company spokesperson, however, declined to comment. — PTI

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