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Setback for Mukesh
Give low-priced gas to RNRL: HC to RIL

Mumbai, June 15
Mukesh Ambani has suffered a major setback in his battle with younger brother Anil after the Bombay High Court ruled that former's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) was obliged to supply gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin at a low price to the latter's Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) under a separation agreement signed between them in June 2005.

Excise duty on oil may be cut in Budget
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murali Deora after meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday. New Delhi, June 15
The common man may not get a sigh of relief from high petrol and diesel prices in the forthcoming Budget if the Oil Ministry’s proposal of reduction of taxes is accepted by the Finance Minister.

Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murali Deora after meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday. Tribune Photo: Mukesh Aggarwal



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GAIL net dips 12.7 per cent
New Delhi, June 15
State gas utility GAIL India has witnessed a 12.7 per cent drop in net profit at Rs 630.02 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, due to lower price realisation and exploration and production cost.

CII task force on J&K meets today
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah (L) with Sunil Bharti Mittal, co-chairman of J&K — CII National Task Force on J&K, in New Delhi on Monday.Omar wants pvt Cos to look at investment opportunities in the state
New Delhi, June 15
Urging investors to free their minds of the idea of Jammu and Kashmir being a militancy-hit state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today asked private companies to look at investment opportunities in the region in areas, including farm, power, tourism, IT and handicraft.


Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah (L) with Sunil Bharti Mittal, co-chairman of J&K — CII National Task Force on J&K, in New Delhi on Monday. — AFP 

Housing finance arms of LIC to sell stake in LIC MF 
Mumbai, June 15
Housing subsidiaries of state-owned insurers will sell their stake in LIC Mutual fund (LICMF) for a total consideration of Rs 227 crore.

Comply with debt investment cap: SEBI to MFs
Mumbai, June 15
Market regulator SEBI today asked mutual funds (MFs) to bring down their investment in money market instruments of a single entity to within 30 per cent limit by September 5.

Overseas investers upbeat about India recovery: Barclays
Mumbai, June 15
Investers in countries like the UK, US and China are more confident about growth of the economy compared to Indian HNIs, a report by Barclays Wealth said today. The report by Economist Intelligence Unit based on survey of 2,100 wealthy investors in 10 countries said globally 90 per cent of high networth individuals (HNIs) see opportunity to invest in current market, but only a few are willing to increase risk in their portfolio.






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Setback for Mukesh
Give low-priced gas to RNRL: HC to RIL
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 15
Mukesh Ambani has suffered a major setback in his battle with younger brother Anil after the Bombay High Court ruled that former's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) was obliged to supply gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin at a low price to the latter's Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) under a separation agreement signed between them in June 2005.

A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Judges JN Patel and KK Tated ruled that under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two brothers, RIL was obliged to supply 28 mmscmd of gas at $2.34 per mmbtu to RNRL for a period of 17 years. RIL had contended that as a contractor for the government, which actually owned the gas, it was obliged to price it at $4.2 per mmbtu.

The high court also asked the two parties to enter into an agreement on the supply of gas based on the ruling within a month. Going by the MoU between the brothers, the ruling also permitted them to approach their mother Kokilaben Ambani to mediate on the final agreement or take the matter before a company court. As per the court's orders, the gas supplied to RNRL will have to be used for power generation and not for trading.

Reacting to the judgement, RNRL's counsel Mukul Rohtagi said the company would get 28 mmscmd of assured gas supply plus an additional 12 mmscmd if NTPC does not avail of its share. According to him, RIL had entered into a one-sided agreement with RNRL before it was demerged and handed over to the Anil Ambani group and it was, thus, violative of the MoU. "The court came to a conclusion that the MoU was valid and that the agreement as prepared by RIL was invalid,” Rohtagi said. RNRL's lawyers also contend that they could file for damages against RIL.

Meanwhile, lawyers for RIL say they may approach the Supreme Court to stay the order. Anil Ambani has laid claim to the gas from RIL's KG Basin in order to supply fuel for the ultra mega power project being constructed by group company Reliance Power at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.

The court ruling badly hammered RIL's shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The share fell eight per cent to Rs 2,172 during intra-day trade before closing 7.5 per cent lower at Rs 2,180. On the other hand, RNRL shot up 29 per cent to touch Rs 112 before closing at Rs 108, a gain of 24 per cent.

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Excise duty on oil may be cut in Budget
Bhagyashree Pande
Tribune news service

New Delhi, June 15
The common man may not get a sigh of relief from high petrol and diesel prices in the forthcoming Budget if the Oil Ministry’s proposal of reduction of taxes is accepted by the Finance Minister. Though the proposal to increase the prices still remains a political issue and the decision if at all will be a political one which is unlikely to happen anytime soon .

The ministry is proposing a reduction in excise duty on petrol and diesel in the forthcoming Budget. Sources in the government say the proposal being sent to the Finance Ministry includes a marginal reduction in excise duties of nearly Rs 1-2 per litre.

The proposal also says collection from reduction in the excise duty should be given to the oil companies as a compensation for keeping the prices stable at petrol pumps.

The government is under pressure to increase the prices because international oil prices have once again risen to $73 a barrel.

The issue, however, remains that the oil marketing companies are likely to make a loss if the government reduces prices of petrol and diesel. So there has to be a solution that is being sought and this will include reduction of excise duties, say government sources.

But the proposal with the Finance Ministry may hit a roadblock as revenue collection from excise duty on petrol and diesel form a substantial part of revenues from indirect taxes of the government. 

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GAIL net dips 12.7 per cent
Corporate Results

New Delhi, June 15
State gas utility GAIL India has witnessed a 12.7 per cent drop in net profit at Rs 630.02 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, due to lower price realisation and exploration and production cost.

The net profit in Q4 was lower than the Rs 722.38 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal, GAIL chairman and managing director UD Choubey said.

The turnover, however, increased 24 per cent to Rs 6,104.31 crore in the January-March quarter from Rs 4,935.29 crore earlier. For the 2008-09 fiscal, the company's profit after tax rose 8 per cent to Rs 2,803.7 crore, from Rs 2,601.46 crore in the previous year.

“This is despite increase in GAIL's outgo on LPG subsidies to Rs 1,781 crore as against Rs 1,314 crore in the previous year," he said.

The gross margin during 2008-09 increased by 8 per cent to Rs 4,851 crore from Rs 4,506 crore. The board of directors has recommended payment of total dividend at the rate of 70 per cent on the enhanced paid-up share capital for FY 2008-09.

Choubey said turnover (net of excise duty) in 2008-09 increased by 32 per cent to Rs 23,775.95 crore from Rs 18,008.20 crore in FY 2007-08.

Power Finance Corp

The net profit of state-run power infrastructure financing company Power Finance Corp increased by 63 per cent to almost Rs 1,970 crore last fiscal from about Rs.1,207 crore in 2007-08, it announced Monday. “The increase in net profit is mainly due to reversal of deferred tax liability of Rs.61,651.32 lakh (Rs.616.5 crore),” the company said.

Balmer Lawrie

Balmer Lawrie & Co has posted 17 per cent increase in the net profit at Rs 102 crore in 2008-09 compared to last year. The company had a net profit of Rs 87 crore in the previous fiscal. The gross turnover of the mini-ratna category-I PSU increased 13 per cent at Rs 1776 crore in FY 2009 against Rs 1571 crore in FY08, the company said. The company declared a dividend of Rs 20 per share.

Hinduja Foundries

Hinduja Foundries has reported a net loss of Rs 7.53 crore during the fourth quarter ended March 31, whereas it had a net profit of Rs 7.01 crore during the corresponding period a year ago.

The net sales of the company also dropped to Rs 60.08 crore during the quarter from Rs 129.91 crore in the same quarter last year, Hinduja Foundries said. For financial year ended March 31, 2009, the company posted a net loss of Rs 11.98 crore, while it had a net profit of Rs 16.92 crore a year earlier.

The Hinduja Group firm, in a separate filing to the BSE, said it plans to raise Rs 50 crore. “The board of directors has decided to raise further capital of Rs 50 crore,” it said. — Agencies

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CII task force on J&K meets today
Omar wants pvt Cos to look at investment opportunities in the state

New Delhi, June 15
Urging investors to free their minds of the idea of Jammu and Kashmir being a militancy-hit state, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today asked private companies to look at investment opportunities in the region in areas, including farm, power, tourism, IT and handicraft.

Initialising efforts to attract investors to the state, Omar held the first meeting of the joint task force, set up with industry body CII.

In his inaugural address, Abdullah informed the industry captains about the state government's proposal to set up a coal-based thermal power plant at the pithead with a 1,000 MW capacity.

"This will help the state in overcoming its acute power shortage and we may at some stage look for private sector participation in a joint venture mode for this purpose," he said during. Abdullah is the Chairman of the CII task force on J&K.

Bharti Enterprise Chairman and CEO Sunil Mittal is the co-chairman. Among others who attended the meeting were Sunil Munjal of Hero Group, Deepak Puri of Moser Baer's, and Shivinder Mohan Singh of Fortis. — PTI 

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Housing finance arms of LIC to sell stake in LIC MF 

Mumbai, June 15
Housing subsidiaries of state-owned insurers will sell their stake in LIC Mutual fund (LICMF) for a total consideration of Rs 227 crore.

LIC Housing Finance, a subsidiary of LIC, will offload its and its subsidiary's equity in LIC MF for a consideration of Rs 138 crore, a filing by the company on the BSE said.

On the other hand, GIC Housing Company, promoted by state re-insurers and its erstwhile subsidiaries, will dilute its entire stake in LIC Mutual Fund for around Rs 89 crore.

Japanese financial firm Nomura Securities is believed to be interested in buying stake in LIC MF.

While, LIC Housing will sell over 44 per cent stake in LIC MF by offloading 1,730 equity shares.

Also, the housing finance company will sell 55.55 per cent holding in LICMF Trustee company, parting with 2,000 shares.

Further, LICHFL Care Homes, the wholly-owned arm of LIC Housing, will sell its entire stake of 1,200 shares in LICMF Trustee.

All this stake sale by LIC Housing Finance and its subsidiaries will be for a consideration of around Rs 138 crore, it said.

Meanwhile, GIC Housing Finance said it would also sell its entire holding in LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Company as well as LIC MF Trustee Co for a consideration of around Rs 89 crore.

LIC Housing Finance shares rose 0.24 per cent to Rs 571 on BSE, while GIC Housing Finance scrips were up 2.76 per cent at Rs 83.85 on the exchange. — PTI 

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Comply with debt investment cap: SEBI to MFs

Mumbai, June 15
Market regulator SEBI today asked mutual funds (MFs) to bring down their investment in money market instruments of a single entity to within 30 per cent limit by September 5.

The investment cap was announced by SEBI in a notification issued on June 5, but it did not elaborate on the time period during which the guidelines need to be complied in the existing mutual fund schemes.

“It is hereby clarified that in case of the existing schemes where the investments in money market instruments of an issuer are not in compliance with the said notification, AMC (Asset Management Company) shall ensure compliance within a period of three months from the date of notification," SEBI said today.

Pursuant to the guidelines, no mutual fund schemes can invest more than 30 per cent of its net assets in money market instruments, like commercial papers, of a single issuer.

Welcoming the decision, SMC Capital equity head Jagannadham Thunuguntla said: “This is a good step by SEBI to encourage MF managers to allocate their assets in defined asset classes." However, the cap will not be applicable for investments in government securities, treasury bills and collateralised borrowing and lending obligations, it had said. — PTI 

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Overseas investers upbeat about India recovery: Barclays

Mumbai, June 15
Investers in countries like the UK, US and China are more confident about growth of the economy compared to Indian HNIs, a report by Barclays Wealth said today. The report by Economist Intelligence Unit based on survey of 2,100 wealthy investors in 10 countries said globally 90 per cent of high networth individuals (HNIs) see opportunity to invest in current market, but only a few are willing to increase risk in their portfolio.

On the findings of the report, Barclays Wealth (India) chief executive Satya Bansal said: “As the new government settles down and the expected reforms are carried forward, HNIs in India would feel more confident on the positive prospects of the Indian economy." The report released today said: “Investors in UK, US and China were more confident on growth in Indian economy than Indian HNIs back home." About 45 per cent respondents from India felt that prices of real estate may increase slightly while an equal number said it would remain stable for the next two years.

The survey found that the HNIs now undertake more due diligence while selecting a fund manager with almost half the respondents planning to increase the amount of time they spend selecting specific investment, the survey report said. — PTI 

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BRIEFLY

ATF prices up 12 pc
NEW DELHI:
After two minor price increases, state-run oil firms today hiked jet fuel or ATF rates by over 12 per cent on firming international oil prices. Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum raised aviation turbine fuel (ATF) price by Rs 3,949 to Rs 36,252 per kilolitre in Delhi effective Monday, an IOC official said. — PTI

Re sheds nine paise
MUMBAI:
The rupee pared its early losses and ended at 47.70/72 against the dollar, cheaper by nine paise from its last close on fears of capital outflows and a stronger US currency overseas. Dealers at the Interbank foreign exchange (forex) market said the continued weakness in local stocks stoked feared about FIIs pulling out of equity markets. — PTI

Appointed
BANGALORE:
Sonata Software on Monday said it had appointed N Venkatraman as head-strategic finance and risk management. Venkatraman would oversee various aspects of risk management and control functions, including valuations and deal structuring, financial information systems and legal and regulatory functions. — PTI

Exim's debt prog gets A1+
NEW DELHI:
Rating agency ICRA has assigned highest rating (A1+) to Export Import Bank of India's (Exim) Rs 8,855 crore short-term debt programme on the bank's role in meeting the government's policy objectives of promoting bilateral trade. — PTI

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