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Magna ready to take over Opel
New York, May 30
Canada-based auto parts maker Magna International and Sberbank of Russia have reached a tentative deal to acquire the European operations of US car maker General Motors, says a media report. “The global reordering of the auto industry took a big step forward on Friday as an unlikely alliance led by Magna International, a Canadian auto parts maker, and Sberbank of Russia tentatively agreed to buy the European operations of General Motors," The New York Times has reported.

Bharti Wal-Mart opens first store in Amritsar
Amritsar, May 30
Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman and MDRajan Bharti Mittal (R) at the inauguration ceremony of India’s first Bharti Wal-Mart wholesale outlet in Amritsar Bharti Wal-Mart, the joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and US-based Wal-Mart Stores , today opened its first cash-and-carry store here.

Bharti Enterprises vice-chairman and MDRajan Bharti Mittal (R) at the inauguration ceremony of India’s first Bharti Wal-Mart wholesale outlet in Amritsar on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph





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Investor Guidance
Interest from NRE deposits is tax-free





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Magna ready to take over Opel

New York, May 30
Canada-based auto parts maker Magna International and Sberbank of Russia have reached a tentative deal to acquire the European operations of US car maker General Motors, says a media report.

“The global reordering of the auto industry took a big step forward on Friday as an unlikely alliance led by Magna International, a Canadian auto parts maker, and Sberbank of Russia tentatively agreed to buy the European operations of General Motors," The New York Times has reported.

The daily said the deal was brokered by the German government in Berlin, with negotiations stretching from Moscow to Washington, Detroit, Ontario and New York, where GM's board gathered for a meeting ahead of an expected bankruptcy filing on Monday.

According to the report, a final deal would lift Magna, whose speciality is making parts and assembling vehicles for other automakers, into the role of manufacturer.

“Under the terms of the deal, as initially proposed by Magna, GM would retain a 35 per cent stake in the new company, with Sberbank, a bank controlled by the Russian government, taking 35 per cent, Magna holding 20 per cent and Opel's employees controlling the remaining 10 per cent.” “While Sberbank’s stake is larger, Magna, along with GM Europe's executives, would supply the carmaking expertise to the new company,” the publication noted.

According to the report, Italian car maker Fiat had hoped to grow into a top-tier global company virtually overnight, with its nearly-completed alliance with Chrysler and by buying GM of Europe, which includes Opel of Germany as well as the British auto company Vauxhall.

“Now, with Fiat apparently losing out to Magna for GM's European operations, prospects for Chrysler's long-term future could darken," it added.

The New York Times said a deal for GM's European operations could resolve an important issue for the battered auto maker and help speed its restructuring in bankruptcy court, which appears all but certain.

Meanwhile, Russia's news agency reported that with GM expected to file for bankruptcy, the move is seen as a lifeline for some of the 55,000 GM workers across Europe. However, Magna is expected to slash some 10,000 jobs, 2,500 are due to go in Germany, it said.

"We have an agreement," the newswire quoted German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck as announcing after protracted late-night negotiations in Berlin between US and German government officials, GM and Magna.

Magna has said it will invest more than $700 million in Opel, which along with the Vauxhall brand employs more than 25,000 people in Germany alone.

It is expected that Magna will use Opel to move more of its operations into Russia, one of the fastest-growing car markets in the world. — PTI 

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Bharti Wal-Mart opens first store in Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 30
Bharti Wal-Mart, the joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and US-based Wal-Mart Stores , today opened its first cash-and-carry store here.

In the cash-and-carry store ‘Best Price Modern Wholesale’, over 90 per cent of the goods and services would be sourced locally thereby helping keep costs to a minimum, adding to the growth of the local economy and creating job opportunities for about 800 youths.

Rajan Bharti Mittal, vice-chairman and managing director, Bharti Enterprise, said the company intended to open 15 more such stores in Punjab, Haryana, NCR Delhi and MP in the next three years providing jobs to about 5,000 persons. He said the store would provide an additional 3-11 per cent profits to its customers as compared to traditional wholesalers but it, however, would be dealing with only licensed retailers.

Mittal said the farmers in the region would be benefited the most as they would be able to sell their produce directly to the store. 

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Investor Guidance
Interest from NRE deposits is tax-free
by A.N. Shanbhag

Q: In case of an NRI, what is the tax implication of interest on FDRs in his name or in name of wife or kids?

Salary is received by the NRI direct in his Indian SB a/c. Whether this would be taxable as the same is transferred by the foreign company in the employee’s SB a/c?

Interest deduction u/s 24(1) is available on any number of houses. Is my contention right?

— Hardeep Saini

A: Interest on NRO deposits is taxable at the rate of 30.9% if the interest is below Rs 10 lakh and at the rate of 33.99% if the same is above Rs 10 lakh. Interest from NRE deposits is fully tax-free. An NRI cannot have a resident SB account. The same has to be converted into an NRO account. Any money directly received in India is taxable even though the employment may be exercised outside India.

Hence, it would be safer if the NRI receives salary in a bank account abroad and then if so desired, remit the same to his NRO account in India. In other words, the point of first receipt should be abroad. Lastly, the interest deduction on housing loans is limited to Rs 1.50 lakh in case of one’s self-occupied property. From the second self-occupied property onwards or in the case of rented property, there is no limit on the deduction of interest i.e. the full amount of interest paid is tax deductible.

Profit from shares

Q: My wife sold some shares and made a profit of around Rs 40,000. The shares were held for more. She has also earned some short-term gain from sale of shares of about Rs 23,000. She has other income, including bank interest of around Rs 3,500 during financial year 2008-09. She is a housewife and does not have any other income. Does she have to file IT return?

— Satish Sharma

A: Assuming that your wife is not a senior citizen, the basic exemption limit applicable to her would be Rs 1,80,000. Her income as mentioned above is much lower than this limit. Note that even taxable capital gain can be included within the non-taxable limit of Rs 1.80 lakh to determine liability to tax. Therefore, your wife is not liable to pay tax and hence does not need to file return.

The authors may be contacted at wonderlandconsultants@yahoo.com

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BRIEFLY

Oman Oil to up stake in Bina refinery
Dehradun:
Oman Oil Company is finally keen on increasing its stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd's Bina refinery project to 26 per cent and is ready to pay $250 million for the same. OOC, the oil-rich Gulf nation's national oil company, has so far invested Rs 75 crore for a two per cent stake in Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd - the company that is building the six million-tonnes-a-year refinery at Bina in Madhya Pradesh at a cost of Rs 10,400 crore. Bina refinery project was originally mooted in 1994 with BPCL and OOC having 26 per cent stake each and the rest going to public and strategic investor. — PTI

Tata Steel gets nod for easier Corus loan terms
MUMBAI:
Tata Steel on Saturday said lenders of its UK-based subsidiary have approved easing certain terms for a £3.7-billion Corus acquisition-related debt, after it agreed to infuse £425 million into the European business. Nearly half of the amount to be injected by Tata Steel into Tata Steel UK would be used for debt pre-payment and de- leveraging of the company's European balance sheet. — PTI

Digital infra strategic national asset: Obama
WASHINGTON:
Observing that terrorists are using cyber space and modern means of communication in carrying out attacks, US President Barack Obama has announced measures to strengthen cyber security in the US. Obama said the US has failed to adequately protect the security of its computer networks and announced that the digital infrastructure would now be considered and treated as a strategic national asset. — PTI

Molson Coors buys Cobra Beer
LONDON:
Cobra Beer, which has been facing mounting losses, has been bought over by UK's Molson Coors, one of top brewers in the world by volume, in a joint venture deal with its NRI-founder Karan Bilimoria. Revealing the "pre-pack" deal with Molson Coors, Bilimoria said on Friday Cobra Beer's Indian business would be an independent company which would be wholly owned and financed by its shareholders. — PTI

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