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Gas Row
RNRL to move SC today
Serves notice on RIL, OilMin
New Delhi, July 29

Seeking early resolution to the gas supply dispute involving Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and Oil Ministry, Anil Ambani today said his group firm RNRL would approach the Supreme Court tomorrow for final hearing on September 1, a move that is likely to find support with the government.

Dispute rocks Lok Sabha
New Delhi, July 29
The dispute between Ambani brothers over gas distribution echoed in the Lok Sabha today. MPs of the Samajwadi Party led by party president Mulayam Singh Yadav initiated a heated debate in the House over the issue. They were joined by MPs of other parties in demanding resignation of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora over the government’s failure to ensure supply of gas for the Dadri Power project in Uttar Pradesh.

Hyderabad Metro: Another setback for Maytas Infra
HC refuses to stay termination of pact
Hyderabad, July 29
Maytas Infra, owned by family members of the fallen IT icon B Ramalinga Raju, suffered a setback in its legal battle against Andhra Pradesh government with the high court ordering a status quo on Hyderabad Metro Rail project and refusing to stay the termination of agreement with Maytas-led consortium.





EARLIER STORIES

A model poses with a range of ‘Ssteele’ watches by P A Time Industries, owner of the Maxima brand, at its launch in New Delhi on Wednesday.
A model poses with a range of ‘Ssteele’ watches by P A Time Industries, owner of the Maxima brand, at its launch in New Delhi on Wednesday. The watches are made of stainless steel and priced between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,000. The company plans to launch at least four international watch brands in the country in the next three years. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Economy to maintain growth rate of 6.7 pc: FM
New Delhi, July 29
The economy is expected to maintain a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in 2009-10, same as last fiscal, as some signs of pick-up are visible, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said.

FDI flows set to pick up: Industry secy
New Delhi, July 29
Despite a sharp decline of over 43 per cent in foreign direct investment as a fallout of the global recession, the prevailing mood is that the flows will soon pick up.

PNB to divest 26 pc in housing finance arm
New Delhi, July 29
Punjab National Bank today said it expects to complete 26 per cent stake sale in its housing finance arm by September.

Microsoft, Yahoo in Web search pact
New York, July 29
Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc inked a 10-year Web search deal to better compete against market leader Google Inc but stopped short of combining their display advertising businesses.

ArcelorMittal loss $800 m
London, July 29
Global steel giant ArcelorMittal on Wednesday reported a net loss of $800 million for the second quarter of this year but hoped for a much better performance in the ensuing months. The huge loss was largely due to an exceptional pre-tax charge of $1.2 billion.

Corporate Results
Tata Steel net declines 47 pc
Mumbai, July 29
Tata Steel today reported a 47 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 789.83 crore for the first quarter ended June 30. Total income declined to Rs 5,661.89 crore during the April-June quarter from Rs 6,165.14 crore in the corresponding period a year-ago, Tata Steel said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.





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Gas Row
RNRL to move SC today
Serves notice on RIL, OilMin

New Delhi, July 29
Seeking early resolution to the gas supply dispute involving Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and Oil Ministry, Anil Ambani today said his group firm RNRL would approach the Supreme Court tomorrow for final hearing on September 1, a move that is likely to find support with the government.

There are also indications that Oil Ministry will amend its petition to limit the prayers to government's right on fixing gas price, leaving alone the Ambani family deal — based on which an MoU was signed for supply of gas by RIL to RNRL.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on September 1 cross-appeals by both Ambani group firms, as also a petition by the Petroleum Ministry against a Bombay High Court order that asked RIL to supply gas to RNRL at $2.34 per mmBtu against the officially prescribed $4.2 per mmBtu.

Anil Ambani, who arrived here from Mumbai this morning to meet key cabinet ministers, said that RNRL lawyer had served notices to RIL and Petroleum Ministry saying that a mention would be made in the Supreme Court tomorrow seeking final hearing on September 1.

Asked about the response of the government to RNRL's notice, a top official involved in the process said: "Why not... even we want expeditious hearing and settlement." On the other hand, a spokesperson of RIL, which Anil accused of deliberately delaying the matter and firing from the shoulders of Oil Ministry, declined comment. Incidentally, Mukesh was here yesterday and met key ministers, including possibly the Finance Minister. — PTI

Both scrips gain

Mumbai: Amid an intense legal and public battle between the Ambani brothers on KG Basin gas, shares of both firms concerned, RNRL and RIL, on Wednesday ended in positive territory with gains of 1.39 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

RIL witnessed volatile trading as after witnessing a low of Rs 1,872.50, the scrip soon recovered lost ground and settled for the day at Rs 1,926.30, up nearly 1 per cent from its previous closing price. Shares of RNRL could not sustain the upward momentum and settled for the day at Rs 83.85, up 1.39 per cent from its previous closing price.

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Dispute rocks Lok Sabha
Bhagyashree Pande
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
The dispute between Ambani brothers over gas distribution echoed in the Lok Sabha today. MPs of the Samajwadi Party led by party president Mulayam Singh Yadav initiated a heated debate in the House over the issue. They were joined by MPs of other parties in demanding resignation of Petroleum Minister Murli Deora over the government’s failure to ensure supply of gas for the Dadri Power project in Uttar Pradesh.

Claiming that he had nothing to do with Anil Ambani of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav forced adjournment for the third time demanding an explanation from the government as to why the dispute between the two brothers over the gas purchase contract went to the Supreme Court.

Grave injustice was being done to Uttar Pradesh by denying gas to the Dadri Power plant and it could cost the national exchequer around Rs 30,000 crore, he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also present in the House. Yadav said any minister or the Prime Minister could reply on the issue as it was a collective decision of the government to move the apex court.

When Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal assured Yadav that he would bring the issue to the notice of the minister concerned, the dissatisfied SP leader demanded that the government should make a statement in the House.

Even as BSP members joined the protest making it a larger issue affecting the energy scenario in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav pleaded with the Chair to direct the government to at least announce a date when it would reply to the queries raised by him.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice during the morning hours over the issue. Though Yadav wanted to raise the issue after Question Hour, too, Speaker Meira Kumar disallowed the request.

Reoti Raman Singh and Shailendra Kumar also demanded Murli Deora’s resignation. Anil Ambani had yesterday hit out at the Petroleum Ministry for colluding with elder brother Mukesh’s RIL in blocking gas supply for its power projects despite a firm commitment, upheld thrice by the Bombay High Court.

Junior Ambani attacked the RIL chairman and his brother Mukesh Ambani saying he was delaying the settlement process and it was hurting public interest.

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Hyderabad Metro: Another setback for Maytas Infra
HC refuses to stay termination of pact
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 29
Maytas Infra, owned by family members of the fallen IT icon B Ramalinga Raju, suffered a setback in its legal battle against Andhra Pradesh government with the high court ordering a status quo on Hyderabad Metro Rail project and refusing to stay the termination of agreement with Maytas-led consortium.

Maytas had moved the court challenging the state government’s order of July 7 cancelling the concession agreement for executing the Rs 12,132 crore metro rail project.

While the petitioner, Maytas Infra Director B Narasimha Rao, contended that the government’s order was unreasonable, the high court judge Justice G Rohini refused to stay the order and allowed the government to carry on with the tendering process.

The government had last week invited fresh global tenders for the project and the last for submitting applications for pre-qualification is September 7.

While allowing the ongoing bidding process, the court, however, ruled that the finalization of tenders was subject to the final disposal of the petition. The court refused to entertain the petitioner’s plea for stalling global tenders.

Maytas had filed the petition yesterday challenging the termination order on the ground that the government’s action was unreasonable and did not take into account the hindrances and hurdles which were beyond the company’s control.

The court also ruled that there would be a status quo on forfeiture of Rs 71 crore paid by Maytas to the state government – Rs 60 crore towards the bid security and Rs 11 crore towards the bid offer.

However, the government would not have any claim over the amount till the disposal of the case. The court posted the matter for further hearing on August 11.

The government had cancelled the deal with Maytas after the consortium failed to achieve the financial closure even after a four-month extension of the March 17 deadline.

The cash-strapped Maytas Infra, whose operations have come under cloud following the Satyam fraud, was supposed to achieve financial closure by March this year but missed the deadline. The company found it difficult to raise resources from an already recession-hit market.

The project was scheduled to have begun in March and completed in four years.

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Economy to maintain growth rate of 6.7 pc: FM

New Delhi, July 29
The economy is expected to maintain a growth rate of 6.7 per cent in 2009-10, same as last fiscal, as some signs of pick-up are visible, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said.

"We have ended 2008-09 at 6.7 per cent. I do hope, this level of growth, we will be able to maintain (in 2009-10)," he said while commending the Finance Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

He said although some signs of recovery are visible, it is too early to point out that whether they would be steady.

Mukherjee hoped the stimulus, both in terms of financial concessions, fiscal policy and the monetary measures announced by RBI, will have its "desired impact".

The Finance Minister said the early signs of improvement in the Indian economy are seen despite no big recovery visible in the global economy.

He said trillions of dollars would have been injected in Europe and North America. "But there is no immediate restoration of the (global) economy," he added. — PTI

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FDI flows set to pick up: Industry secy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29
Despite a sharp decline of over 43 per cent in foreign direct investment as a fallout of the global recession, the prevailing mood is that the flows will soon pick up.

“With liquidity improving and confidence in the economy rising we think these (FDI) numbers should pick up”, industrial policy & promotion department secretary Ajay Shankar told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by CII-Institute of Logistics. “FDI inflows stood at around US $2.2 billion in May compared to $3.9 billion in the same month last year”, he added.

The government had scaled down the FDI target by $5 billion from $35 billion last fiscal. Cumulative inflows from April 2000 to March 2009 stand close to about $90 billion. Thanks to robust trend during the first six months of the last fiscal FDI in 2008-09 was $27.3 billion against $24.5 billion in 2007-08.

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PNB to divest 26 pc in housing finance arm

New Delhi, July 29
Punjab National Bank today said it expects to complete 26 per cent stake sale in its housing finance arm by September.

"We have identified the strategic partner for PNB Housing Finance Ltd. The buyer is currently doing due-diligence," PNB executive director Nagesh Pydah said.

The US-based Downay Day is going to be strategic partner, he said.

The bank would get about Rs 80 crore from divesting 26 per cent stake to its strategic partner and the stake sale would be over by September, he said.

The board has given approval to dilute up to 49 per cent stake in the housing finance company, he added.

Currently, PNB Housing Finance Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the bank.

Meanwhile, the bank has obtained requisite permission from the RBI to set up a joint venture company with Malta-based FIMBank for factoring, and trade finance related activities, he said.

The foreign partner would have 40 per cent stake while PNB and other investors will hold 60 per cent in the joint venture, he added.

At the same time, he said, the bank has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary PNB Investment Services Ltd exclusively for merchant banking activities. — PTI

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Microsoft, Yahoo in Web search pact

New York, July 29
Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc inked a 10-year Web search deal to better compete against market leader Google Inc but stopped short of combining their display advertising businesses.

Shares of Yahoo, which had risen in recent weeks in anticipation of this deal, fell more than 7 per cent in premarket trading, while shares of Microsoft edged higher.

The deal will boost Yahoo's annual operating income by about $500 million and yield capital expenditure savings of $200 million, the companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Microsoft's Bing search engine will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search technology for Yahoo's sites, while Yahoo will be responsible for selling premium search ads for both companies. — Reuters

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ArcelorMittal loss $800 m

London, July 29
Global steel giant ArcelorMittal on Wednesday reported a net loss of $800 million for the second quarter of this year but hoped for a much better performance in the ensuing months. The huge loss was largely due to an exceptional pre-tax charge of $1.2 billion.

"The first six months of the year have been some of the most challenging the steel industry has ever experienced," said Lakshmi Mittal, chief of the company. — IANS

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Corporate Results
Tata Steel net declines 47 pc

Mumbai, July 29
Tata Steel today reported a 47 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 789.83 crore for the first quarter ended June 30. Total income declined to Rs 5,661.89 crore during the April-June quarter from Rs 6,165.14 crore in the corresponding period a year-ago, Tata Steel said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

PNB profit up 62 pc

Punjab National Bank today reported a 62.39 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 832.05 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009.

Total income of the country's second largest PSU lender increased to Rs 6,177.58 crore during the April-June quarter, from Rs 4,594.62 crore in the corresponding period a year-ago, PNB said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Interest income rose 26 per cent to Rs 5,207.42 crore during the June quarter, while the interest expenditure stood at Rs 3,345.61 crore, up 24 per cent over the year-ago period.

RNRL net up 7 pc

Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) today reported a 7.28 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 17.24 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009.

Total income rose to Rs 115.46 crore during the same quarter, from Rs 92.92 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, RNRL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

GSK Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare today reported 19.96 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 55.19 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009.

The board of directors of the company at its meeting today approved investment of up to Rs 200 crore for enhancement of capacity at its factory at Sonepat.

The total income of the company rose to Rs 491.56 crore as against Rs 402.77 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, the company said.

The total income of the company stood at Rs 1,041 crore for the June quarter as against Rs 813 crore in the year ago period.

Sun Pharma net dips 67 pc

Drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical today reported a fall of 67.32 per cent in consolidated net profit at Rs 163.84 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, 2009.

Total income decreased to Rs 814.67 crore in the June quarter of 2009 from Rs 1,066.91 crore in the same quarter last year, Sun Pharma said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

On a standalone basis, Sun Pharma posted a net profit of Rs 121.51 crore in the June quarter this year against Rs 280.78 crore in the same quarter of the last fiscal.

Cipla net up 73 pc

Pharma firm Cipla today reported a net profit of Rs 241.71 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009, up 72.6 per cent over the corresponding period a year ago.Total income has increased to Rs 1,388.01 crore during the June quarter from Rs 1,224.14 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, Cipla said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The board has approved the raising of up to Rs 1,500 crore by way of issuing securities in the domestic and international markets. NMDC net down 21 pc

State-run NMDC today reported a 21.15 per cent drop in net profit to Rs 773.75 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, 2009.

Total income decreased to Rs 1,507.06 crore in the June quarter of 2009 from Rs 1,862.37 crore in the corresponding year-ago period.

HDIL profit down

Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) today reported a 66 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs 107.47 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2009.

Total income nearly halved to Rs 318.62 crore during the April-June quarter, from Rs 601.13 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, HDIL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Further, the board has approved the raising of up to $450 million (about Rs 2,179 crore) through issuance of further securities. — Agencies

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BRIEFLY

Gold loses shine
New Delhi:
Gold prices on Wednesday tumbled by Rs 190 to close at Rs 14,990 per 10 gram in the bullion market on heavy selling by stockists triggered by steep fall in the precious metal in overseas markets. Selling pressure gathered momentum as metal prices fell to their lowest in more than a week in London as a strengthening dollar dimmed the metal's appeal as an alternative investment.— PTI

Adfactors’ launch
Chandigarh:
Adfactors PR, a corporate and financial PR consultancy, has announced the launch of IPO Nurture™, a unique offering aimed at companies planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the near to mid-term future. This is a programme designed to optimise value from the IPO process by enhancing corporate reputation and outreach programs targeting the universe of financial intermediaries and opinion influencers. — TNS

Tata Motors tie-up
New Delhi:
Tata Motors on Wednesday announced that it has entered into an understanding with public sector lender State Bank of Hyderabad for financing of Fiat cars available through the Tata-Fiat dealer network. Under the agreement, customers can avail loans of up to 85 per cent of the "on-road price" for a tenure ranging up to 7 years at an interest of 10.25-10.75 per cent annually. — PTI

Van Heusen foray
New Delhi:
Premium segment men's lifestyle brand Van Heusen is planning to foray into the denim and casual wear segment by the year-end, besides increasing its retail presence across the country, particularly in Tier II and II cities. This was disclosed by Van Heusen COO Shital Mehta. — PTI

Simmtronics office
Chandigarh:
Simmtronics Semiconductors Limited, a global player in the manufacturing and distribution of memory modules, motherboards and graphic cards, has set up sales and service support office in Ludhiana. — TNS

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