Vol. 756 - January 18, 2013    

RIL Q3 net profit at Rs55.02bn

Reliance Industries Ltd has posted results for the third quarter ended 31st December, 2012. Its net profit stood at Rs55.02bn as compared to Rs44.40bn in the corresponding quarter, up 24% YoY. Its Q3 sales stood at Rs938.86bn. Total Income is Rs. 956260.00 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 where as the same was at Rs. 868520.00 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. The Scheme of amalgamation of Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Limited (RJIL), with the Company from the appointed date of April 01, 2011, has been sanctioned by the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad. The Scheme became effective on October 22, 2012. Commenting on the results, Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited said: "RIL’s performance has improved in this quarter with margin expansion in petrochemicals and record earnings in the refining business. We are investing over Rs 100,000 crore by expanding our petrochemical capacities and adding value to our refining business. These investments will secure a significant change in RIL’s earning capacity on commissioning of these projects. It will also provide employment opportunity for thousands of young Indians and support India’s economic growth".

On 25 September 2012, RIL and the Venezuelan state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA) signed a 15 year heavy crude oil supply contract and an MOU to further develop Venezuelan heavy oil fields. PDVSA will supply between 300,000 and 400,000 barrels per day of Venezuelan heavy crude oil to Reliance’s two refineries in Jamnagar under a 15-year crude oil supply contract. As per the MOU, Reliance will explore upstream options for joint participation in heavy oil projects of the Orinoco Oil Belt. RIL selected Fluor Corporation to provide project management services for its projects being executed at its refining and petrochemical complex in Jamnagar, India. These projects represent one of the largest investments globally.

RIL selected Phillips 66’s E-Gas technology for its coke gasification facility. This facility will process petroleum coke & coal into synthesis gas. Phillips 66 will license the technology to RIL and also provide process engineering design and technical support relating to the gasification technology process area. RIL has selected Technip as a technology supplier and engineering contractor to implement its Refinery Off-Gas Cracker (ROGC) project. This is part of the petrochemical expansion project being executed at Jamnagar, India. The ROGC plant will be amongst the world’s largest ethylene crackers and will be using refinery off-gas as feedstock. This plant will provide feedstock for new downstream petrochemical plants also being built at Jamnagar...Read More

No business as usual: PM talks tough on Pak

The Prime Minister has finally broken his silence on the barbaric killing of two Indian soldier on the Line of Control last week. He affirmed that it cannot be business as usual following the recent incidents adding that those responsible have to be brought to book. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Army Day reception hosted by Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh. "After this barbaric act there cannot be business as usual (with Pakistan),’’ said the Prime Minister. The remarks came in retaliation of beheading of an Indian soldier after a clash along the Line of control in Kashmir last week in which two Indian soldiers were killed and their bodies mutilated. PM remarked on General Bikram Singh’s statement that his country had the right to retaliate and also directed the ground commanders to respond to any provocation aggressively. Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon met BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and apprised them of the situation across the Line of Control (LoC). The beheading of one of the Indian soldiers provoked outrage in the country and demands of retaliation from his family among others who wanted the severed head of the soldier back. Pakistan termed Indian allegations as baseless propaganda and counter accused India of violating the ”ceasefire” in Kashmir.. Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid said that India has demanded an enquiry from Pakistan's government into the incident and to ensure that the act by its army be not repeated.

Govt will not allow breach of the fiscal deficit limits: FM

The Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that the fiscal consolidation roadmap for Centre has been laid out and the Government will not breach the Fiscal Deficit limits. The Union Finance Minister highlighted the challenges that economy is facing today and the urgency of reform measures needed to address these challenges. The Finance Minister P. Chidambaram drew the attention of participants to the consequences of high Fiscal Deficit. Chidambaram aid that the second major challenge that the economy faces is the high Current Account Deficit(CAD) level. He stressed on the importance of foreign investment to ensure economic stability. The Finance Minister said that foreign investment is not an option but an economic imperative. He requested States to fast track clearances required for investment proposals. He felt that if we take concrete measures to tackle these challenges, next year would be a better year. The Finance Minister Chidambaram was making his opening remarks during his sixth Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting with the Finance Ministers of States and UTs (with legislature) here.

Along with the Finance Minister, both the Minister of State for Finance S.S. Palanimanickam and Namo Narain Meena, Adviser to the Finance Minister, Parthasarthy Shome, Finance Secretary, R.S. Gujral, Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Sumit Bose, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Arvind Mayaram, Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Raghuram R. Rajan, were present among others. The meeting was also attended by two Chief Ministers and a Deputy Chief Minister holding Finance portfolio, 17 Finance Ministers/ Ministers representing their Finance Ministers of States, officers of State and Central Government. The Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram highlighted the benefits of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme and informed the roadmap for expansion of the pilot. He lauded the efforts of the State Governments and District administration of the pilot districts. He informed that even States can use this platform for benefits given by them.

Chidambaram informed the participants that an extensive exercise to rationalise Centrally Sponsored Schemes is on and that, in his personal opinion, all smaller schemes should be transferred to States. He stated that the Fourteenth Finance Commission has been constituted and he hopes that Finance Commission will recognise the primacy of the Centre in the area of external and internal security and national issues and the primacy of States in development issues. Later, the Finance Ministers of States/UTs raised a range of issues. Many States raised the issue of roadmap for GST and CST compensation. Many States gave specific suggestions about Central Schemes and unanimously supported rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Some States made specific observations about Terms of Reference of Fourteenth Finance Commission. Some States suggested specific tax changes to promote specific sectors in their States.

Dec WPI inflation at 7.18%

The official Wholesale Price Index for ‘All Commodities’ (Base: 2004-05 = 100) for the month December, 2012 declined by 0.1% to 168.6 (Provisional) from 168.8 (Provisional) for the previous month. The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 7.18% (Provisional) for the month of December, 2012 (over December, 2011) as compared to 7.24% (Provisional) for the previous month and 7.74% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Build up inflation in the financial year so far was 4.72% compared to a build up of 5.22% in the corresponding period of the previous year.

PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 20.12%)

The index for this major group declined by 0.4 percent to 220.0 (Provisional) from 220.8 (Provisional) for the previous month. The groups and items which showed variations during the month are as follows:-

The index for ‘Food Articles’ group declined by 0.5 percent to 212.2 (Provisional) from 213.2 (Provisional) for the previous month due to lower price of coffee (5%), fruits & vegetables and arhar (4% each), gram and fish-marine ( 3% each), masur (2%) and urad (1%). However, the price of bajra (8%), barley (5%), maize, rice, tea, ragi and poultry chicken (3% each), jowar and fish-inland (2% each) and wheat, moong, mutton and condiments & spices (1 % each) moved up. The index for ‘Non-Food Articles’ group rose by 0.8 percent to 202.9 (Provisional) from 201.3 (Provisional) for the previous month, due to higher price of guar seed (31%), gingelly seed (8%), flowers (7%), raw silk, logs & timber and sunflower (4% each), fodder, copra and tobacco (3% each), linseed (2%) and coir fibre (1%). However, the price of raw rubber (7%), niger seed (4%), groundnut seed (3%), castor seed and raw jute (2% each) and cotton seed, mesta and rape & mustard seed (1% each) declined...Read More

Oil ministry to deregulate diesel prices …partially

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily allowed Public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to raise diesel prices over a period of time until companies are able to cover the Rs.9.60 per litre loss they incur on fuel. The move translates into partial deregulation of diesel prices. Moily gave the green signal to companies to proceed with the move by as early as tonight.

The move, a set time frame for implementation of which is not provided, will relieve the exchequer of a mammoth subsidy bill and the oil companies that run losses to the tune of Rs.940bn on subsidized fuel. The government deregulated petrol prices long time back but was jittery of freeing diesel prices owing to its affect on Inflation.

PM Manmohan Singh led Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) met and authorized the OMCs to periodically raise the diesel prices in small quantum to cover up the Rs. 9.60 paise per litre loss which they bore. Earlier Kelkar Committee made recommendations which the Oil Ministry proposed for being cleared by the cabinet.

Moily also declared that the cap on the cylinders be raised to 9 per household in a year from the earlier 6. "I am happy to inform the CCPA has decided to raise the cap on subsidised LPG to nine cylinders per household in a year from existing six cylinders. Consumers will get a quota of five subsidised cylinders between September 2012 and March 2013 and from April 1, 2013, they will be entitled to nine cylinders per annum,’’ he said emerging from the cabinet meeting.

Petrol price hiked by 35 paise per litre

Government increases cap on subsidised LPG cylinders to 9

The government reportedly hiked the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from 6 to 9. The move will be effective from April, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily was quoted as saying. Reports said that Consumers will get a quota of five subsidised cylinders between September 2012 and March 2013 and from April 1, 2013, they will be entitled to nine cylinders per annum. There will be no change in LPG and kerosene rates, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily reportedly said.  Subsidised LPG costs Rs. 410.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder and any household requirement beyond the new limit of 9 cylinders will cost a near market price of Rs. 895.50 per bottle. The government had in September capped the supply of subsidised cooking gas to six cylinders per household in a year, with a view to checking diversion to unintended beneficiaries. However the decision met with widespread protests as only 44 per cent of population used six or less cylinders in a year.

London's Precarious Brilliance, Cyber-Attacks And The Real Wealth Of Nations

Source: Economist

What is left of Democracy in India: Justice Santosh Hegde

It was an evening to remember for the students of T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal, when they were graced with the presence of one of India’s most distinguished jurists and a prominent anti-corruption crusader, Justice Santosh Hegde. He delivered the 30th T A Pai Memorial Lecture, to commemorate the 90th birth Anniversary of TAPMI’s founder, the great visionary, Padma Bhushan awardee Shri. T. A. Pai. Hegde started by delving into the history of the Indian republic, and how our founding fathers envisaged the new country to be in the future. He charted the exact chronology of the formation of the Indian constitution, from its establishment to its final adoption. He described the roles and responsibilities of the three pillars of the constitution, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, thereby laying the context and the foundation for his lecture, "What is left of democracy in India".

Justice Hegde, started off with the examples of various misdemeanors that have happened in the Indian legislature in the recent past. Reciting a few anecdotes, he not only illustrated the apathy that has seeped into our legislature but also the increasing instances of corruption and the criminalization. He recalled the instances of the absence of 34 Members of Parliament from the question hour, after they had submitted questions. He also highlighted the growing instances of some MPs with serious criminal records (One in 13 Parliamentarians, according to Justice Hegde) and the disproportionate increase in their assets after they took office. From the Legislature, Justice Hegde moved on to the executive and explained how the subordination of the executive to the cabinet ensured its subservience. He quoted of instances where the elected ministers demanded Officers of their choice in their constituencies and of Officers cultivating elected representatives. He spoke of the growing affinity of the legislature and the executive by describing them as conjoint twins. He elaborated on how this affinity is seriously jeopardizing the effective running of the institution...Read More

Foods and household goods help drive Indian FMCG sector: Study

For the first time, economic forecaster The Economist Intelligence Unit has teamed up with Mintel, the consumer market expert to predict key trends for the future of different Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) categories in emerging markets, including India.

Following trends were revealed in India:

  • Household products are expected to continue booming – particularly in washing up liquids as cheap labour supply makes domestic help more economical than using dishwashers
  • Consumers continue to shift gradually away from home cooked food – demand for breakfast cereals is increasing as lifestyles become busier
  • India is already the world’s biggest packaged tea and whisky market by volume, although spending growth potential remains in both sub-sectors.
  • In the clothing market, male expenditure on clothes outstrips that of women, although this is expected to ease out in the coming years
  • Food service market shows the slowest growth with 7.4% growth per year –despite investment from multinationals

Launched today, the findings are revealed in the paper, ’Convergence with Divergence’, which analyses how household spending in China, India, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa will change in comparison to the USA and UK over the next three years. Providing an in-depth picture of micro and macro trends, the report reveals that Consumer spending in these emerging markets is expected to grow between 7.7% and 15.2% a year between 2013 and 2016 – with India growing by over 13%. While the world’s developed economies are still dealing with the fallout from the banking crisis of 2008, many emerging markets have seen incomes rise significantly, providing significant growth opportunities for FMCG businesses looking to enter new markets. Each market continues to differ and a need for businesses to understand their market remains integral.

In summary, key findings for each of the other markets analysed is as follows:

  • China is likely to see a growth in laundry detergents due to growth in washing machines (grown from 1% of rural households in 2000 to 16% in 2010)
  • In Mexico the pet food market is booming – with sales doubling in the last five years
  • South Africans are acquiring more expensive tastes in drinks and coffee is expected to see an annual growth of 8.8% a year
  • Turkey is experiencing a growth in sun cream as cultural changes mean more people are willing to sunbathe in public
  • In the UK chocolates and other cheap treats are proving popular – particularly individually wrapped branded sweets
  • The US is seeing a growth in its soft drinks market, along with the alcohol market – which has grown strongly by 3.2% a year on average between 2009 – 2012...Read More

Strive to improve your 'Personal Economy' in 2013

The start of the new year is the time when many consumers renew vows to improve their fiscal means, and Navy Federal Credit Union is helping members make good on those resolutions. The credit union's philosophy of avoiding fees and keeping rates low is helping millions of members cut costs and save money. Navy Federal shares the following expert advice and resources to help members improve their money management and save in 2013:

Review, re-evaluate, replenish

Developing a budget is the first line of defense to control your spending. The credit union urges members to go a step further and include a thorough examination of all personal financial tools – from accounts to loans – to discover where either fees or high rates are siphoning your funds. "Map out a smart money management strategy that focuses on avoiding unnecessary fees and expenses," says Claudia Warszawski, Navy Federal Manager, Personal Finance Management. "For example, our Active Duty Checking product is free, and members can earn dividends and receive up to $20 in free ATM rebates each month. This means more money into their accounts and less being taken away by the types of checking fees implemented at other financial institutions."

Warszawski recommends setting aside money towards a rainy day fund and contributing to it each month. It's also essential to save and plan for retirement – no matter your age – and look for additional means to fund your overall wealth. This includes IRAs and employer savings programs such as a 401(k) or Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). "The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow," says Warszawski. "Navy Federal has savings accounts for all budgets – large or small – and every dollar counts towards increasing your wealth. Additionally, our online features make it easy to establish and manage a Traditional or Roth IRA. Shop around and ask us for recommendations on which savings products are the right fit for you."...Read More

85% of employers report difficulty finding qualified new hires: Fluke Corp study

Almost a third in Europe do not have any savings: ING survey

Almost one-in-three admit they do not have any savings and even more people could not pay three months of expenses if they lost their job, a survey by ING of savings in 14 countries in Europe reveals. The second annual ING International Survey on Savings polled 14,000 people in 14 countries on a wide range of topics about savings methods, savings goals and financial comfort level. The results give a worrying snapshot of the state of savings. The survey shows widespread evidence people are changing their lifestyles and cutting back on entertainment, personal grooming and utility bills to make ends meet. "We can see that the crisis is still hitting home for many people in many parts of Europe. As difficult as it may be, it is very important for people to prepare financially and build an emergency savings fund in case they lose their job or a different emergency strikes", says ING senior economist Ian Bright. Romania is home to the largest proportion of people without savings – 48% – and Luxembourg the smallest. The UK and Turkey have the largest share of respondents who say they have increased their savings stockpile in the last year. At the other end of the spectrum are France, Spain and Italy, three countries where unemployment is a particular challenge. The economic climate is a major challenge; with 44% of respondents in Europe saying it has led to a deterioration in their finances in the last three months. With 64%, Spain has the largest share of respondents who say the economic climate has hit their personal finances. He says a "troubling" number of people surveyed – 47% – could not pay three months of expenses if their income fell significantly. "Three months of living costs is at the lower end of a common guideline for a sensible emergency savings fund. But the survey shows that even those who are aware of the importance of an emergency fund and are saving for one are having difficulties meeting their goal."

India searches online for appropriate festive SMSes 

Festivals are at the heart of our faith and fun, and January has been a spectacular month to prove that. With important new year related festivals across the country, this weekend was dominated by search for Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Bihu and Pongal. Google Search Trends for the past one week show that each region where these festivals are celebrated, spiked in search volume over the weekend. What has emerged as perhaps the most interesting insight is that for most of these festivals, Indian netizens were looking for greetings and SMSs to send to their near and dear ones! Here’s a look at how the different regions gave space to their local festivals…North Indians’ love for music define almost every festival; so it was no surprise to see the region search for Lohri songs and wallpapers; Punjab, followed by New Delhi, driving the highest search volume for the festival. Meanwhile, East India celebrated Bihu, and even though it is an Assamese festival, the search volume was only driven from West Bengal. However, across all festivals, the most searched was Pongal – with the entire search volume being driven from Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, respectively; there were marginal searches being done in Maharashtra and Delhi as well. The Hindu New Year – Makar Sankranti, marked by the Maha Kumbh, emerged most popular in Gujarat, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi, respectively. With millions of devotees expected to take a dip in the holy waters, citizens are busy reading more about the festival, being held in Allahabad this year.


Wipro beats expectations...Q3 net profit at Rs17.16bn

Wipro Ltd has posted a net profit after taxes, Minority Interest and Share of Profit of Associates of Rs. 17164 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 as compared to Rs. 14564 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. Total Income has increased from Rs. 101800 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 to Rs. 113115 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. The company has announced that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on January 18, 2013, has declared an interim dividend of Rs. 2 ($ 0.04) per equity share and ADR (100% on an equity share of par value of Rs. 2). The payment date for interim dividend is fixed as January 30, 2013. IT Services Revenue was $1,577 million, a sequential increase of 2.4% and YoY increase of 4.8%. Non-GAAP constant currency IT Services Revenue in dollar terms was $1,571 million, within our guidance range of $1,560 million to $1,590 mn.  IT Services Revenues in Rupee terms was Rs86.02 bn ($1,568 mn), an increase of 13% YoY. IT Services Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) was Rs17.92 billion ($327 million), an increase of 13% YoY. Operating Income to Revenue for IT Services was 20.8% for the quarter, up 0.1% sequentially.

IDBI Bank, Mindtree, NIIT Q3 revenue at Rs2.32bn, ITC edges up marginally after posting Q3 results, ITC Q3 net profit at Rs20.51bn, M&M Financial Q3 net profit at Rs2162.070 mn, HDFC Bank Q3 net profit at Rs18.60bn, Citigroup Q4 net income at $1.2 bn, Intel full-year revenue at $53.3 bn, HCL Technologies Q2 net profit at Rs7.24bn, iGATE Q4 revenue at 271.6 mn, Hero MotoCorp Q3 net profit at Rs4878.90 mn, Infotech Enterprises net profit at Rs620mn, Magma Q3 revenue up 60%, Essar Ports Q3 net profit at Rs904mn, WNS (Holdings) Q3 revenue at $120.2 mn, Bajaj Auto Q3 net profit at Rs8.19bn, YES Bank Q3 net profit up 35%, TTK Prestige Q3 net profit at Rs441 mn, DEN Networks Q3 net profit at Rs171.8mn, Somany Ceramics Q3 net profit up 23%, DCB Bank Q3 net profit at Rs269mn, Axis Bank Q3 net profit at Rs.13.47bn, NIIT Tech Q3 net profit at Rs560mn, Essar Oil Q3 net profit at Rs320mn, Shree Ganesh Jewellery Q3 net profit at Rs560mn, Muthoot Finance Q3 net profit at Rs2.70bnInfosys Q3 cons net profit at Rs23.69bn

Indian Banks need to modernize and upgrade themselves: Dr. C Rangarajan

"Indian Banks need to modernize and upgrade themselves in order to be counted in the Global markets for which Indian Banks need to adopt Modern Technologies, Solutions, Processes & Services required for Mobile, Retail Banking & Corporate Banking.", said Dr. C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council while inaugurating the 2nd edition of INTERNATIONAL BANKING EXPO INDIA (IBEX INDIA 2013), India’s only comprehensive B2B Trade Fair for Banking Technologies, Equipment & Services. The Exhibition is being organized by PDA Trade Fairs from 17th Jan to 19th Jan 2013 at Bandra KUrla Complex, Mumbai. India’s Financial Institutions, Nationalized Banks & Private Banks such as The Security & Minting Corporation of India, DENA BANK, UCO BANK, SYNDICATE BANK, ALLAHABAD BANK & YES BANK are extending their support to the initiative. Dr. Rangarajan also commented that shows like the IBEX help catalyze the modernization process and in extension enable banks to offer borderless, smooth, efficient banking experience to the consumer. Delivering the keynote address themed "Delivering Technologies for Innovative Banking", Dr Rangarajan dilated on a spectrum of issues across all banking functions that are of relevance to the Indian Banking Sector.

Dr. Saumitra Chaudhuri, Member, Planning Commission, Government of India; Dr. KC Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor, RBI; Anand Sinha, Deputy Governor, RBI; Sambamurthy, Director, IDRBT; A P Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI; Allen C Pereira, Director, NIBM; M V Tanksale, CMD, Central Bank of India and R M Malla, CMD, IDBI Bank , Sarkar CMD Union Bank are a few of the other the prominent speakers at the IBEX INDIA 2013 Conference. With over 90,000 bank branches & still counting, there is a pressing need for Banks in India to update Technologies, Services and Equipment to provide efficient world class banking to the Retail Bank customer & the Corporate Bank customer. Alongside the Conference, IBEX INDIA 2013 is feature an extensive trade exhibition showcasing the latest in banking technology from across the world. The products, services and solutions on display include ATMs, security devices, counterfeit detectors, counting machines, software solutions, payment solutions and much more...Read More

RBI releases report on routing code & account number structure

Speeches by Dr Duvvuri Subbarao, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India

Portfolios of RBI deputy governors reallocated

RBI announces swap facility for expansion of export credit

FM reiterates commitment of Govt to a stable tax regime

The Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram emphasises the need for greater cooperation among BRICS countries in the area of tax administration. The Finance Minister reiterated the commitment of the Government of India to a stable tax regime, moderate tax rates, non- adversarial tax administration and a fair mechanism for dispute resolution. He added that India has been modernizing its tax administration in a way that will minimize transaction costs and maximize taxpayer convenience, without compromising the deterrence factor. The Finance Minister Chidambaram was addressing the participants after inaugurating the meeting of the Heads of the Revenue Departments of five BRICS countries, i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa here today. The Finance Minister stated that tax administrations are faced with new challenges that include providing quality taxpayer services to take care of taxpayer expectations, protecting and increasing domestic tax revenues, and allocation of taxing rights and sharing of taxable income from cross border dealings between countries. This two day meeting, the first of its kind, aims at enhancing the co-operation among tax administrations of BRICS countries. The respective country delegations are being led by Carlos Alberto Freitas Barreto, Secretary, Federal Revenue of Brazil, Aleksey Overchuk, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Tax Service of Russia, Xiao Jie, Commissioner of State Administration of Taxation, China, Oupa Magashula, Commissioner, South Africa and Shri Sumit Bose, the Revenue Secretary of India. Dr. Poonam Kishore Saxena, Chairperson, CBDT, Ms. Promila Bhardwaj, Director General (International Tax), Shri K. Ramalingam and Shri Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretaries are part of the Indian delegation...Read More

Dr. Urjit Patel takes over as RBI Deputy Governor

Dr. Urjit Patel has taken over as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has been appointed for a period of three years from January 11, 2013. Dr. Patel will be the fourth Deputy Governor, the other three being Dr. K. C. Chakrabarty, Anand Sinha and Harun R. Khan. Prior to his appointment as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, Dr. Patel was Advisor (Energy & Infrastructure), The Boston Consulting Group. Born on October 28, 1963, Dr. Patel is a Ph.D. (Economics) from Yale University (1990) and M. Phil. from Oxford (1986). He has been a non resident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution since 2009. Dr. Patel was with International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 1990 and 1995 and worked on the U.S., India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks. He was on deputation (1996-1997) from the IMF to the Reserve Bank of India and provided advice on development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, real exchange rate targeting and evolution of the foreign exchange market. He was a Consultant (1998-2001) to the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, New Delhi.

Some of his previous assignments include, President (Business Development), Reliance Industries Limited, Executive Director and Member of the Management Committee, Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited (IDFC) (1997-2006), Member of the Integrated Energy Policy Committee of the Government of India (2004-2006), and Member of the Board, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited. Between 2000 and 2004, Dr. Patel worked closely with several central and state government high level committees, such as, Task Force on Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Advisory Committee (on Research Projects and Market Studies), Competition Commission of India, secretariat for the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Infrastructure, Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters, Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms, Ministry of Power’s Expert Group on State Electricity Boards and High Level Expert Group for Reviewing the Civil & Defence Services Pension System, Government of India. Dr. Patel has authored technical publications, papers and comments in the areas of Indian macroeconomics, public finance, infrastructure, financial intermediation, international trade and the economics of climate change.

Interest of the end investor is of paramount importance: SEBI

Three main questions that are related to consumer protection in the world of finance are information asymmetry, convenience and need of trust among lay investors, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) chairman UK Sinha said. "How to avoid information asymmetry is of utmost important. We also need to ensure that there is a convenient or smooth working system for consumers in the financial markets. Lastly, we have to ensure that the system is strong enough to enforce trust among consumers in these markets," Sinha added. The SEBI chairman was speaking at the "Financial Planning Congress 2012-13" seminar in Mumbai. The theme of the seminar was "Financial sector reforms-empowering and protecting the consumers". Financial Planning Standards Board India (FPSB India), the professional standards setting body for financial planners in India, along with Financial Planning Corporation (India) Pvt Ltd (FPCIL), organised the event. Financial Planning Congress is amongst the most sought after annual events in India, organised by FBSB India, on an ongoing basis over the years since 2005 to connect all stakeholders viz. the regulators, industry and professionals etc. on a common platform to deliberate upon various areas in the interest of financial consumers. The landscape of financial services has transformed over the years. From the initial focus on products and technology, the attention has shifted towards consumers and to the processes that create value for consumers. The government and the regulators have also taken cognisance of the requirement of reforms and effective regulations to foster the pace of the economic progress with a view to empower and protect the financial consumers...Read More

Govt is making all efforts to enhance coal production: Sriprakash Jaiswal

In order to fast track development of coal blocks in the country, the Government has proposed to develop some of the CIL coal blocks through mine developer and operator (MDO). Modalities are being worked out in this regard. This was stated by Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of Coal at the inaugural session of the 7th International Exhibition & Conference on Power Sector being jointly organised by the Ministry of Power and FICCI here. He said that efforts are being made to enhance exploration for enlarging resource base for coal. As against an actual growth of 3.8% achieved in the XI Plan, CIL has been asked to target a growth of 7% during the XII Plan to ensure more availability of coal through domestic resources. Regarding import of Coal and price pooling, the minister said that a proposal to import coal with pooling of prices is suggested to bind over the current shortage situation but this needs to be studied in depth for a considered view as a number of state governments have expressed their reservation on the proposal.

Full text of Coal Minister,s speech as follows:

"As you may be aware that coal is the main stay of India’s energy and will continue for quite some time into the future. About 55% of primary energy supply and about 70% of power generation in the country is coal based. This is basically on account of availability of coal reserves in abundance and lower price of the fuel compared to other fuel resources. At the current level of coal production of about 540 million tonnes, country’s coal reserves are likely to last for over 100 years. However, efforts are being made to enhance exploration for enlarging resource based...Read More

IIFCL gets SEBI approval to launch Rs. 50bn IDF

India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) on Wednesday said it has received approval from SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) for launching $1 billion (about Rs. 50 billion) infrastructure debt fund (IDF), S.K. Goel, IIFCL Chairman and Managing Director said. Mr Goel said at an event in New Delhi. The IDF will be operational in a month. The fund generated by the IDF would be utilised for funding infrastructure projects in the country. IIFCL is looking to launch a near $1-billion IDF and plans to rope in several investors including Asian Development Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Goel added.

YES Bank plans to acquire RBS' retail assets: reports

Private lender YES Bank is in talks with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to acquire the latter’s retail assets in India, according to reports.

Reports said that the move is in line with YES Bank’s strategy to expand its retail banking business aggressively.

The move comes after RBS failed to close a deal involving sale of its India retail assets to Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), report said. The deal was called off in November last year.

Investment inflow must to reduce high fiscal deficit: Montek

Increase in the investment thereby reducing the fiscal deficit is essential for sustained growth and development of the economy, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi. "Investments inflow has significantly declined by about three percentage points since 2007-08 in the aftermath of global economic crisis and we need to reverse this trend to achieve high economic growth and for this we need fixed investment of 35% by the end of the plan period from the level of 34% in 2007-08," said the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India while delivering the 15th JRD Tata Memorial Lecture organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

"Investments can get back only when savings go up otherwise the current account deficit will increase exponentially and for this investment in infrastructure is quite critical as it is a major constraint to India’s ability to attract both domestic and foreign investments and make it more productive," said Dr. Ahluwalia. "Investments in infrastructure has to be financed through increase in domestic savings as reducing the fiscal deficit is the long term sustainability of our investment strategy." Dr. Ahluwalia further said that lower interest rates and reduction in fiscal deficit is important for the stabilizing and growth of the economy. "Current account deficit of 4.2 per cent is not sustainable for growth of the country," said Dr. Ahluwalia while asserting that a subsidy of 1.5 per cent of the GDP against present level 2.5 per cent is a good cap. Dr. Ahluwalia listed the areas of the economy where radical rethinking was needed for 12th plan’s effective impact and for the country to become third largest economy of the world behind China and the USA by 2030...Read More

Cabinet approves changes to National Investment fund

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the following:

The disinvestment proceeds with effect from the fiscal year 2013-14 will be credited to the existing "public account" under the head National Investment Fund (NIF), and they would remain there until withdrawn/invested for the approved purposes.

The NIF will be used for the following purposes:

  • Subscribing to the shares being issued by the Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) including Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Public Sector Insurance Companies, on rights basis so as to ensure that 51 percent ownership of the Government is not diluted.
  • Preferential allotment of shares of the CPSE to promoters as per Securities and Exchange Board of India SEBI (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2009 so that Government shareholding does not go down below 51 percent, in all cases where the CPSE is going to raise fresh equity to meet its capex programme.
  • Recapitaliztion of PSBs and Public Sector Insurance Companies.
  • Fund Managers presently managing the NIF will stand discharged of their responsibility from the date the funds and the interest income are transferred to the fund.
  • The NIF was constituted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 27th January 2005. The objectives structure and administrative arrangements, investment strategy were notified in November, 2005, and the NIF started functioning from October, 2007. As on 31st August 2012 the corpus in the NIF consisted of Rs.1814.45 crore, comprising the disinvestment proceeds of Power Grid Corporation of India and the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited done during 2007-08. This corpus is presently invested through three Public Sector fund managers (SBI, LIC and UTI Mutual Funds).

Overall mood on economic growth continues to be muted: Azim Premji

India could be engineering hub for the world: ONGC chief

Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman and Managing Director, Oil And Natural Gas Limited (ONGC) stressed on the urgent need to strengthen the Bond between industry and the academia to stay competitive and also urged students to stick to their core engineering streams to build country’s economy. Addressing students of various engineering institutes during the ICON lecture series at Chemtech event in Mumbai, he said, "The present engineering colleges should shell out deployable engineers not employable as industry takes two years to train after employing the engineers. Despite lucrative offers in the Information Technology (IT) sector, core engineering streams including chemical, Mechanical, Civil, Telecom, production and industrial engineering are becoming popular again as they allow a student the freedom to move around seeing the vast opportunities in these fields."

"The core engineering students have a greater role to play in building the country’s economy as India is on the progressive path. The oil and gas industry, alternative energy sources, energy security, Hydrocarbon, power, aerospace and metallurgy sectors have huge opportunities. Attracting, training and retention of engineers in the core engineering and manufacturing industry are a bigger challenge for the industry due to the lucrative offers from non engineering industries" Mr Vasudeva said. "Our young engineers are already attaining prominence in their core sector, and I believe that our country has the potential to become the engineering hub for the world," he added. AK Purwaha, CMD, Engineers India Limited, said, "The Indian oil and gas sector has enormous potential in the coming years, as it will continue to play a per-eminent role in meeting the country’s energy requirements and will be the key driver, after infrastructure, of India’s economic growth. The strong momentum in the refining sector is expected to continue, the gas sector will also attract parallel investments in areas like re-gasification, pipeline transmission, distribution infrastructure and city gas distribution. The engineering opportunities other than petroleum and gas are vast in sectors like renewable energy, nuclear power, infrastructure, city gas distribution and fertiliser. The demand for core engineering will remain high."  

Oil & Gas sector awaits strong subsidy reduction measures: India Ratings

India Ratings says that the 2013 Outlook on both public and private sector oil and gas companies is Stable despite issues like high gross under recoveries (GUR) of public sector companies (PSCs) and a still uncertain global macro-economic environment. India Ratings links the ratings of oil and gas PSCs with that of the sovereign because of the strategic importance of the sector and the evidence of tangible financial support, and it does not expect any weakening of these ties. The Stable Outlook on private sector companies is based on the agency’s current expectation of their comfortable earnings in the context of capital expenditure. The government of India (GoI) has signalled a major reform in the subsidy transfer mechanism wherein it has planned to move to cash transfer (or direct benefit transfer – DBT) of subsidy to the target population under various schemes including kerosene and LPG subsidies. According to GoI estimates, the scheme could reduce GUR on kerosene by Rs75bn (H1FY13 actual: Rs143.3bn) and on LPG by Rs72bn (H1FY13 actual: Rs185.4bn). It has however excluded fuel subsidies from the scheme for the time being due to implementation issues. The GoI is also considering various pricing options to reduce the fuel subsidy. All these options will however be considered in the back-drop of 2014 general elections in the country, making implementation challenging. Also, there is a need for policy reform to improve timeliness of announcement and transfer of subsidy to public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs). "Substantial volatility in OMCs’ quarterly results is more an indication of GoI’s adhoc announcement of subsidy rather than their operational performance", added Goel. Similarly there are borrowing spikes due to the time gap between the announcement of subsidy and actual transfer of funds by the GoI...Read More

India’s social entrepreneurs attract global attention and funding

Global impact investors, Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network come together with Dasra, India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation to launch the Impact Investing Forum in India. The forum announced the launch of the India Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF) to catalyze collective action and market development in India via grants being rolled out to impact investing eco system builders in India. A US$800,000 grant was launched at the event by Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network to build the impact investing ecosystem in the country. The grant will be administered over the next few months by Dasra. Many young organizations today have risen to the challenge of solving some of India’s hardest developmental challenges through market based solutions; investors have become increasingly attracted to these types of investments. According to a recent study by the Planning Commission, investments by Impact Investment funds in India have crossed INR 1,200 crore and are growing. Speaking at the event, attended by over 100 business and social leaders in India, Neera Nundy, Dasra’sPartner and Co-Founder said "We are bringing together different stakeholders and building a common voice to boost impact investing in India and take it to the next level." Jayant Sinha, Partner, Omidyar Network spoke at length about the developments in India that are accelerating the impact investing industry, "India is the global epicenter for impact investing. We need to focus on a sector based approach and build market innovation, policy and infrastructure together to enable impact investing to flourish in India and move millions out of poverty."...Read More

Indian financial system remained largely stable

Consequent upon the IMF Board decision adopted on September 21, 2010 it was decided to include 25 systemically important economies, including India, under the Financial Stability Assessment Programme (FSAP) for members with systemically important financial sectors. The joint IMF-World Bank Financial Stability Assessment Programme (FSAP) was conducted for India. IMF has now released their report on the Financial Sector Stability Assessment for India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) welcome the comprehensive review of the Indian financial system by the joint IMF-World Bank team. The Indian financial system has been assessed in relation to the highest international standards. The assessment recognises that the Indian financial system remained largely stable on account of a sound regulatory and supervisory regime. However, the assessment identifies some gaps, including in international and domestic supervisory information sharing and co-operation, consolidated supervision of financial conglomerates, and some limits on the de jure independence of the regulators (RBI and IRDA). RBI, recognising their importance, has made efforts to establish information sharing mechanisms with various jurisdictions in which Indian banks are operating. RBI has so far entered into information-sharing MoUs with 12 jurisdictions. An additional 2 MoUs are scheduled to be signed shortly. Furthermore, RBI has carried out overseas inspections of Indian bank branches in the UK, the USA, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Singapore covering around 60 per cent of their total assets overseas. Efforts are also underway to establish supervisory colleges. The IRDA is also addressing issues relating to sharing of information at the international level through entering into a Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) under the aegis of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)...Read More

NASSCOM welcomes clarifications from CBDT

NASSCOM welcomes the clarifications from the CBDT to make available the eligible deductions for the Software Industry and hope the assessments and past denials are suitably resolved taking in to cognizance the clarifications issued. While this is a positive step, it is important that the implementation is carried on efficiently. We urge that benefits denied in the past be reviewed in light of this move, and there be swift closure of cases for the Industry to benefit from this.

Wipro expects revenues from IT Services business in range of $1,585 mn

Govt slaps 2.5% import duty on crude edible oils

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the enhancement of import duty on crude edible oils from 0 to 2.5%, while retaining the present import duty of 7.5 percent on all refined edible oils. This has been done with the objective to shore up the price payable to farmers for Fresh Fruit Bunches of oil palm, which is linked to the landed price of Crude Palm Oil (CPO). With enhanced duty on CPO, price payable to farmers will increase by around Rs. 150 per MT. Impact of enhanced duty on prices of edible oils would be negligible at less than Rs. 1 per kg. The price may be further moderated on account of the huge stocks of palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia, which may force these countries to lower the export duty currently levied in an effort to boost their exports.

NSE to exclude GVK Power, Bhushan Steel from F&O segment

Nokia to outsource 800 staff to TCS, HCL Tech: reports

RIL share buyback to end on 19 January: reports

Reliance Industries Ltd share buyback programme is set to end on Saturday, according to reports. Reports said that RIL had bought back shares worth Rs 33.60bn from the open market, about a third of the targeted Rs 104.40bn. The buyback, launched on February 7, 2012, was aimed at purchasing shares as long as the stock stayed below Rs 870.

Hero MotoCorp workers demands up to Rs 18k hike in monthly salary

Hero MotoCorp’s Gurgaon plant reportedly demanded a hike in monthly wages of up to Rs 18,000 over a three-year period, which is nearly three times higher than what the company is offering as part of a wage settlement agreement. Kawalpreet Singh, Hero MotoCorp Workers Union (HMCWU) President, "We are asking for a hike of about Rs 15,000-18,000 per month spread over a period of three years as cost of living in NCR is very high. However, the management is offering us around Rs 6,500, which was the hike for Dharuhera plant’s workers during the three-year agreement signed in 2011." The union had submitted its demand in August last year and its representatives have been holding negotiations with the management since then, he added. Nearly 1,200 permanent workers, under the aegis of HMCWU are observing silent protest by wearing black badges and not taking tea and snacks provided by the company to press for their demand, reports added.

Hero MotoCorp plans to invest Rs 9.50bn: reports

Kirloskar Brothers inaugurates a facility at New Delhi

Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL), a global fluid management company inaugurated its second Authorised Refurbishment Centre (ARC) at New Delhi, India. Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman & Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers Limited inaugurated the Authorised Refurbishment Centre in the presence of many eminent dignitaries. The Authorised Refurbishment Centre in New Delhi is well equipped with state of the art facility to service, repair and improve efficiency for all small, medium and large pumps manufactured by Kirloskar Brothers Limited. The facility will offer services like overhauling of pumps, impeller balancing, hydro testing, corrocoating, performance enhancement, testing, shot blasting & painting and lastly it will also cater to customers having annual maintenance contract (AMC). The company has six manufacturing plants and has now embarked on Authorised Refurbishment Centre (ARC), the second of which is being set up in New Delhi. The main objective behind commencing this new facility is to provide its customers with better conveniences of saving transportation cost, reduction indowntime and saving energy by upgrading the pumps...Read More

DSK Hyosung launches two new super bikes

Premium super bike manufacturer DSK Hyosung kicked off the New Year in grand style with the launch of two super bikes – Aquila Pro (650 cc) and GT650R -2013 edition. On the occasion, the new superbikes were unveiled by Shirish Kulkarni, Managing Director, DSK Hyosung in the presence of Jimmy Park, Managing Director, S&T Motors and Jason Lee, Manager, S&T Motors. Packed with looks, technology and unique features befitting motorcycles of far higher segments, the Aquila Pro is priced at Rs. 4,99,000 (Ex-showroom Delhi) whereas GT650R - 2013 edition is priced at Rs. 4, 79,000 (Ex-showroom Delhi) and will be sold across all the dealerships of DSK Hyosung. The cruiser Aquila Pro (650cc) will be available in three colour variants - Red, Silver & Black. While the 2013 edition of GT650R will be available in 3 color variants - Titanium White, Titanium Red and Titanium Black Powered by a V twin-cylinder, oil-cooled 4-stroke engine, Aquila Pro produces 74Bhp of maximum power at 9000 rpm, and 62.1 of maximum torque at 7500 rpm. The bike has a top speed of 195kmph. The Aquila Pro which is a sports cruiser is one of the best looking cruisers in town .It gives exceptional stability and balance - and is designed for highly comfortable cruising. The most striking feature is the sporty style of the cruiser which dazzles with an abundance of chrome. Both the newly-launched super bikes seriously up the oomph factor of speed by several notches. DSK along with Hyosung are currently selling four super bikes – GT250R, GT650R, GT650N, and the ST7 which are big hit among the bike aficionados. Addition of these two new superbikes into the DSK Hyosung product portfolio in India will make DSK Hyosung the only superbike company to offer products ranging from 250cc to 700cc.

Tata Motors steers uphill 3% on Jaguar Landover India sales

Tata Motors Ltd went up almost 3% after Jaguar Landover India unit on Thursday, January 17, 2013 declared that wholesales in India went up 32% from last year. Jaguar sold 2393 units in 2012 as compared to 1813 vehicles in India. The stock is currently trading at Rs329.45, up Rs9.40. The stock has hit a high of Rs331 and a low of Rs323. Total traded quantity on the counter stood at over 6.05 lakh shares. JLR on Sunday declared that its global sales went up by 30% to over 3.50 lakh units and it plans to add 800 new jobs at its Solihull plant in UK on the back owing to meet demands in China and other markets.

Mahindra hikes capacities of three brands

Mahindra & Mahindra announced that it had hiked the capacities of some its best selling brands with immediate effect. This has been necessitated due to the overwhelming demand for the Quanto, XUV500 and Rexton across the country. With the increase in capacity for these three products, Mahindra hopes to bring down the waiting period for these popular products and thereby facilitate its customers in getting early deliveries of their products. In addition, the bookings for these brands have been opened across more centres in India. Mahindra’s Quanto has garnered bookings of more than 12000 units within the first two months of its launch while deliveries for the XUV500 are as per schedule. The company’s premium SUV, the SsangYong Rexton which has over 1500 bookings across 9 cities is now poised to be launched in additional cities starting this month. The capacity for the Quanto has been raised to 3500 units, XUV500 to 4500 units and the Rexton to 500 units per month, respectively so as to effectively deliver the vehicles in the shortest possible time to customers.

DGCA directs AI to ground six Boeing Dreamliners: reports

DGCA has directed Air India to ground all six B 787, known also as the Dreamliners, according to reports. Reports saud that regulator's move could put Air India's turnaround plan in a soup as it was banking heavily on 787s for its return to profitability. Two 787s are due to arrive from Paris and Frankfurt to Delhi around 9 and they will then be grounded, DGCA was quoted as saying. There were reports that the other four dreamliner aircraft used for domestic operations have already been grounded.

Kingfisher fails to provide details on funding revival plan: reports

Kingfisher Airlines failed to provide any details on its funding which the aviation regulator wanted, according to reports. Reports said that Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal met Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Arun Mishra for 45 minutes to apprise him of the prevailing scenario facing the airline. The Kingfisher chief said the airline has not received no-objection certificates from any of the airport operators,including the Airports Authority of India, says report.

MIAL plans to increase charges by 154% from February: reports

Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd is planning to increase airport charges by 154% across the board from February, according to reports. Reports said that between February and April, passengers using Mumbai airport will be levied a new user development fee of Rs.346 on domestic flights and Rs.692 on international flights. There are reports that GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd-led MIAL will become almost as expensive as Delhi International Airport Pvt. Ltd, run by GMR Infrastructure Ltd, which was modernized at a cost of $3 bn.

Visa on Arrival....26% growth in 2012

The "Visa on Arrival" (VoA) Scheme of the government has increasingly become popular with the tourists. The scheme registered a growth of 26 % in the year 2012 over the figures of 2011. A total number of 16,084 VoAs were issued during 2012 as compared to 12,761 VoAs issued during 2011. The highest number of 4604 VoAs were issued to the tourists from Japan followed by New Zealand ( 3150 ) and The Philippines ( 2444).

The following are the other important highlights of VoAs issued during the year 2012:

  1. The number of VoAs issued during 2012 were Japan (4,604), New Zealand (3,150), the Philippines (2,444), Indonesia (2,426), Singapore (1,974), Finland (914), Vietnam (186), Cambodia (157), Luxembourg (110), Myanmar (109) and Laos (10).
  2. During 2012, the highest number of VoAs were issued at Delhi airport (9,596), followed by Mumbai (3,276), Chennai (2,273) and Kolkata (939).
  3. During the month of December 2012, a total number of 2,181 VoAs were issued as compared to 1,640 VoAs during the month of December 2011, registering a growth of 33.0%.
  4. The number of VoAs issued during December 2012 for nationals of the eleven countries were Japan (691), New Zealand (505), Indonesia (310), Singapore (256), the Philippines (239), Finland (104), Vietnam (34), Myanmar (20),Cambodia (13), Luxembourg (9) and Laos (0).

As a facilitative measure to attract more foreign tourists to India, the Government launched the "Visa on Arrival" (VoA) Scheme in January 2010 for citizens of five countries, viz. Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Singapore, visiting India for tourism purposes. The Government extended this Scheme to the citizens of six more countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Myanmar in January 2011.

Maruti launches refreshed Wagon R

Maruti Suzuki reportedly introduced a refreshed, new version of one of its best selling models Wagon R with a price starting at Rs 3.58 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), according to reports. 'The Wagon R is not just a bestseller for us but is also among top five models of the industry, " Maruti Suzuki India Vice President (Marketing) Manohar Bhat was quoted as saying. Reports said that the new Wagon R that comes with new exteriors and interiors will be available at Rs 3.58 lakh for the base variant, Rs 3.88 lakh for the mid-level and Rs 4.13 lakh for the top-end variant.

AXIS Bank to appoint Dr. Sanjiv Misra as Non-Executive Chairman

AXIS Bank Ltd has announced that the Board of Directors of the Bank at its meeting held on January 16, 2013, the following decisions were taken: The board will appoint Dr. Sanjiv Misra, former Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, Government of India and former Member of Finance Commission as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Bank. As the term of the present Chairman, Dr. Adarsh Kishore comes to an end on March 07, 2013, Dr. Sanjiv Misra will thereafter take over as the Non-Executive Chairman w.e.f. March 08, 2013 or any other date as may be approved by RBI and Rohit Bhagat, former Chairman, Asia Pacific, BlackRock Inc. as an additional Independent Director of the Bank with immediate effect.

Axis Bank subscribes to Series A1 Securitized Debt Instruments

McNally Bharat bags order worth Rs. 5.13bn

McNally Bharat Engineering Company Ltd has said that the Company have received an order for design, engineering, processing, manufacturing, inspection, civil work, erection & commissioning for complete Balance of Plant Equipment (BOP) (total plant excluding boiler, turbine & generator) for a value of Rs 5.13bn for 1X300 MW Power plant at Vizag. The contractual delivery period is within 22 months.

Adani to buy Dhamra Port from Tata, L&T: reports

Implementing reforms remains key to Power Sector growth : India Ratings

India Ratings believes that the implementation of reforms at the state power utility (SPU) level as well as of those initiated to mitigate fuel shortages remain key to power sector growth. The agency expects that its rated entities will manage the key sector risks in 2013 considering a favourable tariff mechanism, their comfortable liquidity and support from the central and state governments. Therefore, India Ratings has maintained a Stable Outlook on its rated power sector entities for the year. The stoppage of short-term credit from the banking system and pressure from the central government resulted in some reform measures at the SPU level in 2012 like tariff hikes and restructuring package. India Ratings believes that tariffs hikes coupled with operational efficiencies (like lower aggregate technical and commercial losses and lower operating costs) and successful implementation of the restructuring package is a long-term solution for turnaround of the distribution companies (discoms). Without a multi-dimensional approach, the problems would have only been successfully deferred and not resolved. The tariff hikes might not be sufficient to cover the current revenue gap in some cases and might not result in full recovery of regulatory assets in others and thus cannot singularly lead to an operational turnaround. Moreover, most states have hiked tariffs steeply for industrial consumers, while sparing domestic consumers. As the ability of discoms to cross-subsidise is limited, consumers might push back. Therefore, continued tariff increases over a short period of time might not be a feasible option for the discoms. The debt restructuring package seems positive as it aligns the interest of the state governments with the discoms by shifting 50% of their short-term loans to state governments. However, the implementation of the package, commitment to performance-linked measures and acceptance by the banking system remain the key challenges...Read More

Nitin Chalke named Managing Director of Eaton - India

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton announced that Nitin Chalke has been named managing director of Eaton in India, reporting to Curt Hutchins, president – Asia Pacific, succeeding Raja Kochar, effective January 18. "I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Nitin as managing director of Eaton in India," said Hutchins. "He has a wealth of business experience, including his most recent role leading our India and Southeast Asia Hydraulics business. We look forward to Nitin’s leadership as we continue to expand our India enterprise." In his new role, Chalke will be responsible for developing and executing a broad based, proactive strategy to support Eaton’s growth objectives in India. He will continue to lead the India Hydraulics business until a successor is appointed.

Chalke joined Eaton in 2009 and most recently served as managing director, India and South East Asia – Hydraulics. Prior to Eaton, he held various positions at Schindler, Structural India and Ingersoll-Rand. Chalke holds a Bachelor of Engineering and an MBA – both from Mumbai University. Eaton is a diversified power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power.  The company is a global technology leader in electrical products, systems and services for power quality, distribution and control, power transmission, lighting and wiring products; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in 2012. Eaton has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.

Crompton Greaves to acquire lighting division of Karma Industries

Crompton Greaves Ltd has announced that the Company has concluded an arrangement for acquisition of the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) business of Karma Industries at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. The approximate value of acquisition of the abovementioned business is Rs. 145 mn. The acquisition will double the Company’s capacity in the fast-growing CFL lighting segment and reinforce its presence in the rapidly growing Indian consumer market.

HCL Technologies signs long-term IT services agreement with Nokia

HCL Technologies Ltd. (HCL), leading global IT services provider, has entered into a long-term, global IT infrastructure management outsourcing services agreement with Nokia, a global leader in mobile communications. The scope of this engagement includes datacenter, network management, end user computing services and cross-functional service management across Nokia's global IT infrastructure operations. As part of this engagement, HCL will be deploying its MTaaS and MyCloud solutions. The associated IT infrastructure transformation program will leverage HCL?s „Enterprise of the Future? (EoF) Framework to provide a new infrastructure operating platform for Nokia. HCL has been delivering global service desk and desktop management outsourcing services for Nokia since 2009.

Persistent Systems acquires NovaQuest

Persistent Systems, the global leader in software product and technology services, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held NovaQuest, a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Search Based technology solutions company and a leading Value Added Reseller (VAR) and services provider of Dassault Systemes' 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications. With this acquisition, Persistent Systems enters into a strategic partnership with Dassault Systemes to sell and offer support, maintenance and deployment services as an authorized VAR for Dassault Systemes' in the United States. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The acquisition furthers Persistent Systems' objectives in expanding its PLM practice, strengthening its existing partnership with Dassault Systemes, and growing its North American footprint. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, NovaQuesf s team of about 20 seasoned PLM specialists have joined Persistent Systems to expand the Company's expertise in 3DEXPERIENCE and PLM applications and to support a growing client base across the aerospace, automotive, business services, consumer goods, energy, industrial equipment, life sciences, high tech and government verticals.

CtrlS bags recognition for ‘Data Center Managed Services’ from Indian CIOs

CtrlS, a leading MSP which owns the Asia’s largest Tier IV Datacenters, received the CIO Choice 2013 Honour and Recognition title in the category "Data Centre Managed Services" at the CIO Choice Awards in Mumbai on January 11th. CtrlS was the leading brand nominated by the Indian CIOs who participated at the first CIO Choice awards. Initiated in November 2012, over 200 Indian CIOs participated in the first ever CIO Choice, nominating their choice of vendors in 9 categories and further subcategories. CIO Choice became instantly popular as it is the first ‘By the CIO and for the CIO’ recognition platform. It offers the CIO community an authentic aid to finding and considering the most preferred and stable products, services and solutions. Most of the current vendor recognition platforms focus and emphasise heavily on revenue as one the key deciding factors while conferring vendor recognition. In a practical world – innovation, quality of services, and cost to customer are critical measures for vendor recognition. CtrlS is the largest and foremost provider of managed cloud services to many of India’s biggest and most reputed companies in both the private as well as the public sector. BFSI, eCommerce, Manufacturing, IT services and Logistics Companies, choose CtrlS for premium cloud services combined with unmatched expertise in managed services. CtrlS has been offering enterprises, hosting and managed services since 2007 and has built up its data centres to the highest level for uptime according to the International Data Corporation (IDC): Tier IV.

Abbott introduces Next-Generation Nepro with KidneyCare and CarbSteady

Abbott announces the launch of Next-Generation Nepro with KidneyCare and CarbSteady, complete renal nutrition to help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and replace nutrients lost during dialysis treatment. Only Nepro Renal Nutrition products offer KidneyCare, a heart healthy fat blend rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids; CarbSteady, a carbohydrate blend of slow-digesting carbohydrates; and kidney-friendly levels of phosphorus, potassium and sodium appropriate for those with CKD. CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have reached epidemic proportions and are becoming an unbearable burden on the healthcare resources of individuals and society. CKD affects nearly 500 mn people worldwide. with a crude incidence of end-stage renal disease of 151 per mn in India. CKD leads to buildup of fluid and waste products in the body’s system and affects many functions, including blood pressure control, red blood cell production and bone health. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms of the disease, but the loss of function usually takes months or years to occur and may be so slow that symptoms do not appear until kidney function is less than one-tenth of normal activity.

Diabetes is the most common cause of CKD, affecting about half of CKD patients. Reports reveal that 44 percent of people with diabetes in India have developed CKD2. Once a patient with diabetes develops CKD, kidney disease becomes the treatment priority because the two-year mortality rate for patients with diabetes and CKD is double for those with only diabetes. Research has shown that oral nutrition supplements improve outcomes including survival in CKD patients.5-8 Nepro HP (High Protein) is clinically shown to improve outcomes and improve nutritional status in dialysis patients with CKD.6 ?A person’s eating habits can increase or decrease diabetes and blood pressure risks,? said Dr Shrirang Bichoo, Associate Professor of Nephrology and Consultant Nephrologist,Bombay Hospital ] ?It’s the medical need to control blood glucose and blood pressure that makes specialized nutrition like Nepro renal nutrition therapy so important.? Nepro HP and Nepro LP (Lower Protein) is available for purchase in India across leading pharmacies...Read More

Pfizer in race to acquire Strides Arcolab injectables unit: reports

Pfizer plans to acquire Agila Specialties: reports

13 Insights for India Real Estate in 2013: JLL

The year 2012 closed with a few notes of positivity as the inflation was below the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) projected levels and the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth increased in the last two months of the year, giving new hopes for 2013. Overall, 2012 remained inactive, affecting all the major sectors in real estate. Office space absorption remained lower compared with 2011. Meanwhile, retail faced challenges of quality supply, affecting the overall absorption. The residential demand improved; however, developers continued to struggle with unsold inventories. With the expected moderation in inflation and strengthening policies, we have gathered few interesting insights for 2013 from real estate experts. Economy – As per RBI, the policies will focus towards growth in 2013, although risks of inflation will continue to remain. Interest rates are expected to witness a downward correction of 100 to 150 bps in 2013. The softening of interest rates is expected to reduce the home loan rates, in turn increasing the buying of real estate assets. Increasing urbanisation and consumption despite the slowdown in GDP growth will be the key drivers of the economy in 2013.

Policies – The recent policy initiatives are expected to improve the investment climate and business environment, and they are likely to benefit the real estate sector in 2013. Few policies to look at in 2013 are: the Real Estate Regulation Bill, likely to be tabled in the upcoming winter session of the parliament; the real estate investment trusts (REITs) or real estate mutual funds (REMFs), expected to get launched in 2013; and the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, likely to be tabled in the upcoming budget session in 2013. Infrastructure – The infrastructure sector achieved a substantial FDI of USD 2.8 billion, accounting for a notable 7.7% of the total FDI inflow in FY 2012. In the year 2013, the relaxation of FDI policies in multi-brand retail is expected to surge the investment in back-end infrastructure development such as logistics. Moreover, an FDI of up to 100% is also permitted under the automatic route in built-up infrastructure and is likely to surge the development of the city and the regional level infrastructure in 2013...Read More

TCS plans to lease out 3.5 lakh sq ft in Thane: reports

Real Estate outlook negative to stable: India Ratings

India Ratings has revised its outlook for the Indian real estate sector to negative to stable for 2013, from negative in 2012. Demand remains subdued and EBITDA margins low, leading to weak credit metrics for companies in the sector. The agency however sees signs of improvement, in terms of stability of margins and the easing of liquidity pressures, with free cash flows turning positive since H2FY12. Demand for residential real estate stabilised in 2012, with yoy growth in home loans from banks showing an uptrend from May 2012. However, the sales of large players declined marginally in 2012. Economic weakness continued with the associated apprehension of employee downsizing and salary freezes, which adversely affected consumer sentiments. Persistence of adverse sentiments, high inflation and high interest rates which reduce affordability, coupled with high property prices, continue to hinder improvement in demand. Commercial demand will be hit by subdued job growth in the IT sector, where average quarterly net headcount addition in 2012 has been around 28%-32% lower than in the previous two years. Demand for retail space is likely to be muted in the near term.

EBITDA margins which had been steadily declining from about 55% in FY08 remained at around 30% during 2012. With subdued sales and the lower level of profitability at which the industry seems to be stabilising now will keep financial leverage at elevated levels of around 6.5x in the short to medium term. To achieve a significant improvement in leverage, companies will need to rely less on debt financing and focus on buyer advances and internal accruals, a strategy which can only be adopted if there is an improvement in demand. An encouraging trend noted by India Ratings is the easing of liquidity pressures. In FY12, companies generated positive free cash flows and the trend continued into H1FY13. Apart from stable demand, other efforts to improve liquidity included strategies like monetisation of land and non-core assets, exercising prudence in new launces and adopting the JV route to developing projects.

With funding options limited, the key to sustainability for real estate companies is growth in sales. During the first 11 months of 2012, banks’ exposure to the commercial real estate sector increased by just 1.7%. Private equity inflow into the sector has been moderate. The limited funding options imply a continuance of dependence on operational cash flows for funding growth and debt servicing. Commercial real estate developers, especially those with cash flow visibility through lease rentals, continue to have better credit profiles. India Ratings-rated real estate companies include: Adarsh Developers (‘IND B+’/Negative), Ansal Housing & Construction Limited (‘IND BB-’/Stable), Bhoruka Park Private Limited (‘IND B’/Stable), Indian Express Newspapers (Mumbai) Limited (‘IND A-’/ Stable).

Kapil Sibal launches MTNL's Video Telephony Service

Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Communications & Information Technology launched MTNL’s Video Telephony Service for Delhi and Mumbai here today. MTNL is the first Telecom Service Provider in these Metros to offer high quality Video calling service in the two cities. Ahmedabad based ICT solutions provider Sai Infosystem (India) Limited is the Technology partner of MTNL for this Next generation Video calling service. This service can be availed over existing MTNL connection. Any MTNL customer can now avail this service to make high quality Video call through MTNL’s landline or Fibre network. Video conferencing so far costly will now be easily available to business and Government offices. MTNL shall provide special PVC (Private virtual circuit) on broadband connection through which traffic of Video calls will flow. With the launch of Video Telephony, organizations can have instant face-to-face meetings, sales reviews, and training sessions at 25% of the current cost. Apart from desk-to-desk calling, these Video Phones can also be connected to large screens like TV/Projector for Video Phones will work simultaneously with landline and broadband. Using this service, calls can be made within India on MTNL / BSNL HD-Voice and Video Telephony network. Video call charges are Rs. 2.50 per minute.

Telecom Sector Outlook negative on continuing regulatory woes : India Ratings

India Ratings’ outlook on the Indian telecommunication services sector remains negative for 2013 considering increasing regulatory costs for incumbent and new operators. The issue of regulatory uncertainty has now been replaced by increasing costs which will impact the financial profile of most operators, including incumbents over the short to medium term. The cancellation of telecom licences and muted response to their re-auction have resulted in consolidation in the telcom industry. In line with the agency’s expectations, telcos have raised tariffs and/or tweaked plans to increase average revenue per minute, which will lead to an improvement in their operating performances and partly off-set the negative impact of the recent regulatory developments. India Ratings expects that there is limited room for further consolidation in the industry. While there may be some corporate actions involving small operators, any M&A activity involving large operators is not likely in the short-term.

As the government has already taken major policy decisions regarding the telecom sector, India Ratings expects lesser regulatory uncertainty for the sector in the near term. The regulatory overhang is likely to fade out over the next 12 months. This will enable a fresh inflow of capital into the sector. With an already high subscriber base, there is limited opportunity for telcos to grow revenue by adding new subscribers. Therefore, India Ratings expects them to now focus on other growth levers like higher mobile data services adoption, value-added services, tariff hikes, among others. Higher mobile data services adoption will be driven by the availability of compatible mobile devices, affordable data plans and rapidly rising internet users. A stable outlook may result from significant tariff hikes by operators to offset additional regulatory charges, leading to an improvement in their business and financial profiles or a reversal of negatively impacting regulatory decisions taken so far by the government.

Govt approves 50% cut in CDMA spectrum reserve price

Finalisation of Revised Reserve Price for the Auction of Spectrum in 800 MHz band (CDMA) for all service areas, since no bids were received during auctions held in November, 2012. Pricing of Spectrum for current spectrum holding in the 800 MHz band (CDMA) by existing operators in the 800 MHz band at the reserve price till auction discovered price is available. After considering the recommendations of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), the Cabinet approved, among others, the following:

Reserve price for 800 MHz band in all service areas be reduced by 50% from the previous reserve price as approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 3rd August, 2012; As regards payment for spectrum currently held in 800 MHz band by existing operators in all service areas where auction determined price is not available, it has been decided that such operators be charged at the revised reserve price, w.e.f. 01.01.2013 on the applicable quantum of spectrum, till such time as auction determined price becomes available, and that after the auction price becomes available, the earlier payment made on the basis of reserve price would be adjusted against the amount actually due. The above decisions are expected to result in further efficient utilisation of the scarce natural resource of spectrum facilitating proliferation of telecom services in the country

RCOM signs billion dollar contract with Alcatel-Lucent

Sanjay Kapoor quits from Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel announced senior level organizational changes that will be effective March 1, 2013. After almost 15 years of illustrious innings at Bharti Group, Sanjay Kapoor, CEO – India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel, has decided to pursue his future aspirations outside of Bharti. Sanjay joined Bharti Cellular Ltd as its COO in 1998 and soon took over as its CEO to develop Delhi Circle as the foundation stone of Airtel’s growth. Sanjay has held several leadership roles since and has been instrumental in shaping the growth of Airtel. As CEO - India & South Asia, he led key transformations including the launch of Airtel’s new global identity – giving it a fresh, youthful and vibrant face, realigning of the organisation from technology-facing to a customerfacing one for enhanced synergies, agility and customer elasticity. He played a key role in shaping the organization from being a voice centric business to a mobile internet company, with forays into 3G, 4G, WiFi etc, the launch of "Airtel Business", an enterprise brand, conceptualization and implementation of Airtel Money as a new strategic business, and the launch of Airtel’s first ever employer brand "Jobs never done before". Sanjay’s leadership has extended well beyond the confines of Airtel. As Chairman of COAI and an Executive Committee member of GSMA Board, he has elevated himself as an industry spokesperson globally.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel was effusive in his praise "Sanjay has had an enviable performance track record, strategic disposition, business acumen and is an inspirational leader. Not only has he provided strong leadership and strategic direction during the toughest macro economic and regulatory environment, but has grown our customer base to 200 Million, developed DTH business, driven fixed line and broadband businesses from voice to data, enhanced our footprint in Asia to include Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and retainedmobile revenue market share at over 30%, maintaining a substantial lead over competitors in a hyper-competitive environment. I wish Sanjay all the very best in his future endeavors."

Sanjay will continue his association with the Bharti Group and be on the Board of Indus Towers Ltd and Bharti Global Ltd. Sanjay will continue in his current role until 28th February 2013, and will be available to assist on key matters until March 31st 2013 ensuring a smooth transition process. Gopal Vittal, who rejoined Airtel in April 2012 as Group Director - Special Projects, will take over as CEO – India, Bharti Airtel. He will report to the Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel. Gopal has spent the past year across the Singtel Group in South Asia/Australia, Softbank and Silicon Valley understanding emerging trends in data and internet space. In his new role as the CEO - India, Gopal will be responsible for defining and delivering the business strategy and providing overall leadership for Airtel’s India operations. Key focus areas for Gopal would be enhancing market share and margins along with growth of alternate revenue streams including 3G, Data, Airtel Money and Value Added Services. Gopal will lead Airtel India towards strengthening its position as a benchmark in innovative practices, brand leadership, operational efficiency, customer experience and talent/leadership depth.

Reliance Life appoints Anup Rau as CEO

The Board of Directors of Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC), a part of Reliance Capital Limited, today announced the appointment of Mr Anup Rau as the new CEO of the company, subject to IRDA approval. Rau succeeds Malay Ghosh, president and executive director, Reliance Life.  "Malay Ghosh has played a pivotal role in building the company in challenging times. He also played a key role in forging our relationship with Nippon Life Insurance, the largest private life insurer in Japan, as a strategic partner in the company. He will continue to guide the company as a member on the Board," said  Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital. "I am happy to announce the appointment of Anup Rau as the new CEO of Reliance Life Insurance with immediate effect. Rau has extensive experience in the Indian Life Insurance industry and we look to strengthen our leadership position in the life insurance business with him at the helm", added Ghosh. Rau will also be on the Board of Reliance Life Insurance. Anup Rau, aged 39 years, joins Reliance Life Insurance from HDFC Life Insurance and brings with him over 17 years of industry experience. As the Head of Sales and Distribution in HDFC Life he was responsible for managing Sales Commercials, Distribution Operations and Sales Support. Some of the key strategic initiatives in his previous role with HDFC have been building of new channels, transformation of the Agency channel, diversification of product mix and strengthening of Bancassurance business. Prior to HDFC he had was the National Head- Bancassurance, Alliances and International Business at ICICI Prudential Life.

Barack Obama rules out debt ceiling debate; warns Republicans against brinkmanship

US President Barack Obama held 17th solo news press conference of his presidency on Monday at White House. President minced no words in denying a debate over debt ceiling issue with republicans in the congress. He also warned that such brinksmanship over the crucial issue would be "absurd" and "irresponsible".  Obama’s 50 minute press conference was full of warnings for Republicans who he said "will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy," Obama said. "The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

"While I’m willing to compromise and find common ground over how to reduce our deficit, America cannot afford another debate with this Congress over how to pay the bills they’ve already racked up," Obama said in the East Room of the White House. "To even entertain the idea of this happening, of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s absurd."

Speaking on the "so called debt ceiling" he clarified that. "Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending. It simply allows the country to pay for spending that Congress has already committed to. These are bills that have already been racked up and we need to pay them". U.S. borrowing limit hit the $16.394tn legal limit on Dec. 31, 2012. US Treasury is not allowed to borrow money until the debt ceiling is raised; which is otherwise necessary for US economy which runs a deficit. He illustrated the worst case scenarios in such an event. Replying to question he said that there are enough votes in the House of Representatives to allow a government shutdown, something he called a "mistake" that would "profoundly damage our economy." On his decision on ruling out a debate on debt ceiling with the Republicans he said "We are not a deadbeat nation and that the real issue is whether Washington can pay its bills and the issue will have ramifications for rest of the world. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded. "The president and his allies need to get serious about spending, and the debt-limit debate is the perfect time for it,? he said in a statement, said the reports...Read More

Needed growth that can actually deliver jobs: IMF

After avoiding economic collapse following the global financial crisis, policymakers have more work to do to and cannot revert to business as usual, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. She told a January 17 news conference at IMF headquarters in Washington that decision makers should focus on the real economy and on growth "not any growth, but growth that can actually deliver jobs." Looking ahead to priorities for 2013, Lagarde said "We stopped the collapse, we should avoid the relapse, and it’s not time to relax." She noted that collapse had been avoided in most parts of the world, thanks to policies enacted by central bankers and by governments particularly in the advanced economies. But she added that there is still a lot of work to be done. Decision makers and authorities cannot relax, assuming that because some recovery is in sight and markets are anticipating good news, that they can slow down and go back to business as usual.

Second, finish the reform of the financial sector. "We recognize that there has been progress, but the process has been very time consuming and continues to contribute to uncertainty. We sense some signs of waning commitment," Lagarde said. Some reforms are diluted or softened at the margin, or implementation is delayed and there are inconsistencies of approach that lay the ground for possible arbitration. "We believe that it’s important for the regulators, for the supervisors, for the authorities, to resist aggressive industry pushback." Key risks include further weakening of capital and liquidity standards; and not enough progress on cross-border resolution and on shadow banking and derivatives. Lagarde said the ultimate goal should be a financial sector that supports growth and the real economy.

Third, focus on the real economy and on growth "not any growth, but growth that can actually deliver jobs." Noting that there are 200 million people out of work in the world economy today and that two in five of the jobless are under 24, Lagarde said "We need growth for jobs and jobs for growth. It’s a virtuous circle." She called for measures to promote inclusive growth that shares the benefits of expansion among all segments of the population. That means transforming energy subsidies into cash transfers and social safety nets "that are properly targeted to the people that actually need the support, and that are not across the board and generally benefiting anybody including those that don’t need it at all." Lagarde also urged authorities to encourage balanced growth that is more compatible with the sustainability of the environment and with the fight against climate change...Read More

Collapse has been avoided in many corners of the world: Christine Lagarde

Credible debt stabilisation strategy still key for Japan: Fitch

The central issue for Japan's sovereign credit rating remains the developing and implementing of a credible fiscal strategy to stabilise government debt over the medium term, Fitch Ratings says. Shinzo Abe's new Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government appears to be committed to reflating the economy via fiscal, monetary and investment-promotion policies (the "three arrows"). The government has taken its first step in implementing these policies with a JPY10trn (US$112bn, 2.2% of 2013 GDP) stimulus package, announced Friday and approved by the cabinet this week. Our downgrade of Japan to 'A+' in May 2012, and the Negative Outlook on the rating, already reflect the risk posed by high and rising general government debt ratios. The size of the fiscal stimulus package is not large enough to alter the rating; but as we said at the time of the downgrade, a lack of new fiscal policy measures aimed at stabilising public finances amid further rises in General Government Debt ratios could lead to a downgrade. The stimulus package will entail around JPY5.2trn of construction bond issuance, breaching the limit on annual net JGB issuance of JPY44trn set out under the Fiscal Management Strategy. Thus it appears to abandon an integral part of the previous administration's fiscal framework. Mr. Abe has indicated that he will outline his own government's medium-term fiscal policy in June. We will assess this in due course as part of our reviewing the new government's fiscal and economic strategy as a whole. A staggered 5pp rise in the consumption tax to 10% in 2014-15 was the centrepiece of the previous government's fiscal consolidation plan, expected to yield about 2.5% of GDP in additional revenue. Mr. Abe has said he will review the desirability of the hike in light of economic data in 2013. By itself, postponement of the increase would be negative for the fiscal outlook. But as the hike was only scheduled to happen in 2014-15, there should be sufficient time for Fitch to take stock of any new fiscal strategy before resolving the Negative Outlook. Abe has also reiterated his call for the Bank of Japan to adopt an inflation target of 2%, via additional monetary easing if necessary. The fall in the currency since the election indicates the credibility that currency markets ascribe to Mr. Abe's stated desire to loosen the monetary policy framework. Japan's export-driven economy means sustained yen depreciation may be the easiest single way to boost growth (although the impact would be likely to vary across sectors). Over the longer term, structural reform to enhance the economy's growth potential would be more supportive than one-off spending packages for Japan's sovereign ratings, which incorporate our expectation of weak real and nominal GDP growth.

Japan stimulus supports potential gaming liberalization: Fitch

Dell LBO would exacerbate existing challenges: Fitch

Eurozone and US key drivers of 2013 Global Credit Outlook: Fitch

Debt ceiling delay would prompt formal US rating review: Fitch

ADB prices US$1bn 7-year global benchmark bond issue

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) returned to the US dollar bond market yesterday with the pricing of a US$1bn 7-year global benchmark bond issue. The proceeds of the bond will be part of the bank’s ordinary capital resources and used in its non-concessional operations. "We are very pleased with the outcome of the transaction and the consistently solid support shown by a diverse set of investors," said ADB Treasurer Mikio Kashiwagi. The bonds, with a coupon rate of 1.375% per annum payable semiannually and a maturity date of 23 March 2020, were priced at 99.888% to yield 17.45 basis points over the 1.125% US Treasury notes due December 2019. The transaction was lead-managed by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and RBC Capital Markets. A syndicate group was also formed consisting of BNP Paribas, Citi, Daiwa, SMBC Nikko, and TD Securities. The book achieved broad primary distribution with about 59% of the bonds placed in Asia, 29% in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and 12% in the Americas. By investor type, around 54% were bought by central banks and official institutions, 27% by fund managers, 18% by banks, and 1% others. ADB plans to raise around US$14-16bn from the capital markets in 2013.

Ben Bernanke downplays inflation fears as a result of bond buying

Global IFM Market offers immense potential: Frost & Sullivan

As the concept of integrated facility management (IFM) becomes increasingly understood and demanded by end users across the globe, numerous opportunities are opening up for suppliers from a variety of backgrounds. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan Global IFM Market, finds that the market earned revenues of US$64.20bn in 2011 and estimates this to reach US$96.17bn in 2017. This will mean IFM will increase its penetration of the total global outsourced FM market from around 12% in 2011 to over 15% by 2017. Despite high growth rates, revenues generated by IFM in emerging markets like India and China remain comparatively small. This is because outsourcing is considered cost intense and the concept of integrated solutions remains little understood. Frost & Sullivan believes that the more mature markets of North America and Europe will still account for more than two thirds of global IFM revenues in 2017. The demand for further cost savings and single contact solutions will continue to drive service integration in mature markets. These trends are reinforced when synergies with other services can be demonstrated and cost savings achieved. Besides, the demand for value-add services, such as energy management, present IFM providers who have these capabilities with the opportunity to differentiate their service offering. "Many leading FM players have enhanced their integrated offering capabilities and will continue to do so," added Raspin. "The benefits of such a strategy become even more tangible as intensifying competition among suppliers highlights the need for greater differentiation." Mature IFM markets are characterised by intense competition. The challenge for many FM participants, therefore, will be to reach a balance between being competitive and achieving reasonable margins.

IFC supports Private Sector Utilities in Russian Regions

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing long-term debt and equity in the amount of 425mn Russian rubles (around US$14mn) to KKS Group, an independent utility, to support the company in supplying energy-efficient space heating and hot water to customers in the Tula and Kemerovo regions of Russia. IFC has also agreed to provide additional funding as certain new projects are realized. The IFC long-term finance package, an equity investment of 175mn Russian rubles (US$6mn), and a long-term subordinated loan of 250mn Russian rubles (US$8mn), will help the company upgrade heating assets with modern technology, thus improving the quality and reliability of services to its customers in central Russia and Siberia. This financing will also help raise efficiency and reduce losses, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. This investment is part of IFC’s strategy in Russia to support private sector development and encourage economic growth. The Russian Federation became a member and shareholder of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has invested US$10.1bn in Russia, including US$3.2bn in syndicated loans, and is involved in 270 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC’s investment portfolio in Russia stands at US$2.26bn, the fourth-largest country exposure for IFC globally.

Kia Motors America introduces new 2014 Cadenza premium sedan

Kia Motors America (KMA) introduced the new 2014 Cadenza premium sedan, the most technologically advanced vehicle that Kia has introduced in North America. The long-awaited announcement today at Cobo Hall during the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Kia confirmed intentions to enter the premium sedan segment. The Cadenza KMA expands line of vehicles inspired and rewarded while moving toward a high-end line with an impressive list of standard and optional premium equipment, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control system (ASCC), blind spot detection (BSD) , lane departure warning and another vehicle approaching at high speed. The Cadenza is expected to hit Kia dealerships around the second quarter of this year, and prices will be announced closer to the release date of the vehicle.

Bentley unveils Continental GT Speed Convertible at 2013 NAI Auto Show

Bentley unveils its new open-top performance flagship, the Continental GT Speed Convertible, at the North American International Auto Show, at the same time as the business announces a 22 per cent global sales increase, with the Americas region maintaining its position as Bentley's number one market. Commenting during the Bentley press conference at the Detroit Auto Show, Dr.Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive, said: "The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible is a truly breath-taking Grand Tourer, promising supercar performance and high end luxury, with the added thrill of open top motoring. This unveiling maintains our position as the largest producer of high luxury cars in the world, with our market share continuing to grow. Also on stand at Detroit is the Continental GT V8. Powered by a new 4.0 litre, twin turbocharged V8, the Continental GT and its GT Convertible stablemate achieve exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector. Finally, Bentley is showcasing a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of its flagship Mulsanne at the 2012 North American International Auto Show this year. The MDS blends a range of striking design features including unique 21-inch alloy wheels, Bentley Flying 'B' wing vents and Diamond Quilted leather trimmed cabin with driver-selectable, sports-tuned suspension and steering, underscoring the performance credentials of Bentley's 6.75 litre V8 ultra-luxury sports sedan. Available material includes highlights of the press conference, b-roll of the product range, soundbites with Bentley Motors executives and still images. An edited package will be available later on.

Lamborghini sales grow strongly in 2012; Strong demand for Aventador

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the Italian luxury super sports car manufacturer, increased worldwide deliveries to customers in 2012, from 1,602 to 2,083 units. This represents a 30% growth compared to the previous year and the third consecutive year of growth. "In spite of ongoing worldwide financial and economic uncertainties, Lamborghini has delivered a very satisfying performance in 2012, confirming the strength of our product and commercial strategy. We will continue to work on the development of our product range to address further growth in the future," said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. The growth is driven by the first full year of sales for the new Aventador LP 700-4 (922 units) while the Gallardo confirms its status as the most successful Lamborghini ever with an almost stable performance compared to 2011 (1,161 units sold in 2012) and reaching a total of more than 13,000 cars delivered since its launch. Lamborghini is a global brand and sales distribution is well balanced among the three regions: Europe 29%, America 28% (of which USA is 25%) and Asia Pacific 35% (of which China accounts for 15%). The Middle East and South Africa account for 8%.

Despite global market headwinds Lamborghini grew in Europe by 34% versus 2011, in the Americas by 50% (USA +53%) and in Asia Pacific by 9%. In 2013 the Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, the most extraordinary open top super sports car, will join the successful coupé. Initial pre-order expectations for this model have been exceeded and the order bank for both versions covers the next 15 months. For 2013, a focus for the ‘raging bull’ brand includes further investments into Lamborghini Motorsport. Following four seasons in Europe and the first season in Asia, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo has made its mark as the only one-make four-wheel drive series and the fastest one-brand racing series in the world. In 2013, the series will run on three continents, entering the USA with a new series for the Americas...Read More

Honda’s "Urban SUV Concept" debuts at 2013 NAIAS

An all-new Honda concept vehicle made its world debut today at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The concept hints at the styling direction of an all-new small SUV scheduled to be launched in Japan at the end of 2013 and in the U.S. in 2014. The model will subsequently be introduced in Europe. The Urban SUV Concept represents the expansion of vehicles that will be based on Honda’s new Global Compact Series platform, which include the Honda Fit (Jazz in Europe) and the Honda City. The Urban SUV Concept, designed to provide aesthetic cues for an all-new small SUV, showcases clean and sophisticated styling, dynamic lines and a strong stance. The small SUV will be rolled out across the world and will be powered by Honda’s fuel-efficient Earth Dreams Technology. The new model will utilise Honda’s original centre-tank layout that features on the Honda Fit Jazz and will also incorporate Honda’s famous Magic Seats that enable a range of seating configurations for maximum versatility. The small SUV will be manufactured at Honda’s newest North American plant near Celaya, Mexico along with the Fit (Jazz in Europe).

Volkswagen Group delivers over 9mn vehicles for first time

The Volkswagen Group recorded a further strong increase in worldwide deliveries for the full year 2012 and exceeded the prior-year delivery record. The Company delivered 9.07 (2011: 8.16; +11.2%)*mn vehicles for the first time in a twelve-month period. The Group also finished the month of December with a 20.7% increase, delivering 784,300 (December 2011: 649,700)* units. The Chairman of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft’s Board of Management, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, commented: "The Volkswagen Group developed extremely well in difficult conditions. 2012 was the best sales year ever. This is another big step forward in our Strategy 2018. Tough challenges lie ahead. The Volkswagen Group has everything it takes to face these challenges and to play a leading role on world markets." Group Board Member for Sales, Christian Klingler, added: "All the brands in our Group contributed to this very good delivery performance in 2012. This is an excellent team achievement. We are still keeping a vigilant eye on the future, because the present uncertainties will intensify this year, particularly in Western Europe. The markets are challenging and competition is also getting tougher." Full-year deliveries developed especially well on the American continent, with the number of vehicles handed over in the North America region in the period to December growing 26.2% to 841,500 (666,800) units, of which 596,100 (444,200; +34.2%) were delivered in the United States...Read More

Jaguar Land Rover announces record global sales- up 30% in 2012

Jaguar Land Rover, the UK's leading manufacturer of premium luxury vehicles, today confirms its best ever global sales performance, with retail sales up 30% following strong market performances from the UK, China and the U.S. Jaguar Land Rover has also confirmed that it will create up to 800 new jobs at its advanced manufacturing facility in Solihull, UK, to support the introduction of new model programmes throughout 2013. Jaguar Land Rover sells over 355,000 vehicles in 2012 In 2012, Jaguar Land Rover sales (357,773 vehicles) were up in every major market due to new model introductions and update programmes. China is now Jaguar Land Rover’s largest market delivering its best ever sales performance in 2012 (71,940, up 71%). It is followed by the UK (68,333 up 19%), USA (55,675, up 11%), Russia (20,549, up 43%) and Germany (16,722 up 41%). At the North American International Motor Show in Detroit, Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Group Sales Operations said: "2012 has been a strong year for Jaguar Land Rover with record breaking sales performance globally. All of our key markets saw strong progress, with demand for our premium vehicles setting new records in a very competitive environment...Read More

Premium traffic up 4.4% in November: IATA

IATA said "Premium traffic was 4.4% higher in November compared to a year ago, an improvement on the October result of 2.7%. Economy travel was up 5.8% in November year-on-year, also better than October’s growth of 3.4%. These growth rates show that air travel is up on a year earlier, but don’t reflect the slowing growth trend throughout 2012". "Throughout 2012 annualized premium travel growth has been just 3%, compared to double that in the last third of 2011. A majority of the growth in premium travel in November was driven by demand within the Far East, IATA reported. IATA also stated that China’s economic recovery and increased Asian trade growth have supported air travel in the region.While continued contraction in the Euro area economy has seen premium travel within Europe remain weak. "Looking forward, although world trade growth has slowed, increased business confidence firmly indicates stability ahead. This may not translate to acceleration in air travel growth, but it could ease the downward pressure on demand, " IATA said.

Boeing in turbulence as Japanese airlines ground fleet post emergency landing

Japan’s two biggest airlines, Japan Airlines(JAL) and All Nippon Airways(ANA) have grounded all of their Boeing 787 Dreamliners after an ANA flight was forced to make an emergency landing on Wednesday. ANA has 17 Dreamliners in operation and JAL has 7. An All Nippon Airways 787 made an emergency landing in Japan after an alarm signal on a battery activated, an ANA spokesman said. ANA has 17 Dreamliners while JAL has 7. ANA and the competitor JAL are among the biggest customers of Boeing for the Dreamliner aircraft. They said they would ground their entire 787 fleets pending safety checks, according to reports. Dreamliner troubles date back four months include a battery fire last week and earlier reports of an oil leak, a fuel leak, engine cracks and a damaged cockpit window. The latest troubles of Boeing 787 Dreamliner have triggered investigations by aviation regulatory bodies of both Japan and US. Boeing however maintains that the aircraft is safe.

Worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $11.4 bn in 2013: Gartner

Worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to reach $11.4 bn in 2013, up from $9.6 billion in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide revenue will reach $24.5 billion in 2016 with mobile advertising revenue creating new opportunities for app developers, ad networks, mobile platform providers, specialty agencies and even communications service providers in certain regions. "The mobile advertising market took off even faster than we expected due to an increased uptake in smartphones and tablets, as well as the merger of consumer behaviors on computers and mobile devices," said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner. "Growth in mobile advertising comes in part at the expense of print formats, especially local newspapers, which currently face much lower ad yields as a result of mobile publishing initiatives." "Smartphones and media tablets extend the addressable market for mobile advertising in more and more geographies as an increasing population of users spends an increasing share of its time with these devices," said Andrew Frank, research vice president at Gartner. "This market will therefore become easier to segment and target, driving the growth of mobile advertising spend for brands and advertisers. Mobile advertising should be integrated into advertisers' overall marketing campaigns in order to connect with their audience in very specific, actionable ways through their smartphones and/or tablets." Geographical regions will also evolve at a different pace and in different directions. Historically, the atypically large adoption of handsets for digital content consumption in Japan and South Korea has given the Asia/Pacific region an early lead in mobile advertising worldwide. Looking forward, the high-growth economies of China and India are expected to contribute increasingly to mobile advertising growth, as their expanding middle classes present attractive markets for global and local brands...Read More

Life insurance premiums growth may rebound in Emerging Asia in 2013

According to the Swiss Re study "Global re/insurance review 2012 and outlook 2013/14", life insurance premiums in emerging Asia will rebound in 2013, growing by about 10% in real terms. Life insurance growth will increasingly focus on risk protection products such as term life insurance, because regulatory changes and low investment yields will continue to dampen savings product growth. Huge health protection gaps that exist in many key emerging Asian markets, including India and China, will further drive consumers towards risk protection products.

A more favourable global economic backdrop

The global economy is currently fairly weak, but an improving housing market in the US, fiscal and monetary stimulus in China and a slow turnaround in the Euro area are expected to boost growth in 2013. Monetary policies will remain accommodative in major economies well into 2015, but low interest rates will reduce insurers' investment returns. Inflation will stay tame in advanced markets, but the risk of inflationary pressures re-escalating in emerging markets warrants close monitoring. Clarence Wong, Swiss Re Chief Economist for Asia, says: "In China, recent economic indicators are pointing to an improving outlook in 2013. Exports and industrial productions rebound amidst a more constructive global backdrop. Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) readings in recent months also suggest continuous expansion of economic activities ahead. "

Life insurance growth to accelerate in Asia in 2013

Global life insurance premium growth was close to zero in 2012, but is expected to be better this year. Emerging Asia, in particular, will experience stronger premium growth, as India and China are more fully adjusted to regulations passed in 2010/11. Advanced Asian markets will continue to maintain steady positive growth on generally stronger economic activity. Profitability will remain constrained, however, because investment yields will continue to decline as bonds mature and are replaced with lower yielding assets...Read More

UK FSA bans insurance broker, Harbinder Panesar

UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) on Tuesday banned insurance broker, Harbinder Panesar, from working in the financial services industry and fined him £212,237 (Rs. 1.85 crore). Mr Panesar was the director of South Wales motor breakdown insurance firm, Motorcare Elite (2008) Ltd (Elite). The FSA has cancelled the permission of Elite, meaning it can no longer do authorised business. Elite is currently in liquidation. An investigation by the FSA revealed that between August 2008 and December 2010 Panesar misappropriated over £180,000 from Elite and another insurance broker he previously ran, Motorcare Warranties Limited (Warranties).

Panesar’s fine also takes account of his reckless operation of Elite. Panesar allowed Elite to:

  • Sell Panesar’s product, ‘Supreme Plus’, which fundamentally failed to meet customers’ needs;
  • Sell policies that were outside the scope of cover offered by its underwriters;
  • Fail to report policies accurately to its underwriters; and
  • Sell policies after Elite’s deal with an underwriter had ended.

All of these failings meant that over 6,000 customers were left without the motor breakdown insurance cover they had paid for. Panesar has been recently discharged from bankruptcy, indicating that paying the full financial penalty would cause him serious financial hardship. However, his misconduct is so serious that the FSA will not be reducing the penalty and is prepared to put Panesar into bankruptcy a second time should he be unable to pay.

UK FSA issues norms to help firms avoid schemes that result mis-selling

Global VC investments plunged 50% in 2012:Mercom Capital

Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector during 2012. Global venture capital (VC) investments plunged nearly 50% to $992 million in 103 deals in 2012 compared to $1.9 bn raised in 108 deals in the previous year. The 2012 total represents the lowest amount since 2007. VC funding in Q4 2012 came in at $220 mn in 27 deals compared to just $72 mn in 14 deals in Q3. Twenty-five investors participated in the 27 deals in Q4, and no investor was involved in multiple deals. The leading VC deal this quarter was concentrating solar thermal company BrightSource Energy with $83.6 million. "The slowdown in VC funding can be attributed to the grim prospects for thin-film, concentrating solar and concentrating PV technologies," commented Raj Prabhu, Managing Partner of Mercom Capital Group. "With the drastic fall in crystalline-silicon PV prices over the last two years, most other technologies have struggled to compete." Thin-film companies saw the largest amount of VC funding in 2012, although the total fell 47 percent to $314 million compared to almost $600 million in 2011. Within thin-film, the copper indium gallium (di) selenide (CIGS) sub-category received 85 percent, or $274 million, of the total in 2012. Over the past three years, thin-film companies have received the most VC funding, with almost $1.5 billion, of which CIGS has received more than $1 billion. The solar sector’s drop in VC investments is directly related to the struggles of thin-film companies, especially CIGS, noted Prabhu. On the other hand, solar downstream companies, especially solar lease companies, have benefitted from low module prices. VCs invested $269 million in 25 deals in solar downstream. The top 5 VC funding deals in 2012 were BrightSource Energy, a CSP company, for $83.6 million, SolarCity, a solar lease firm, for $81 million, CIGS company Nanosolar for $70 million, solar lease company Sunrun for $60 million, and MiaSolé, a CIGS company, for $55 million.

Twitter likely to hits US market with $15 bn IPO next year

Popular microblogging site Twitter is planning to hit the US stock market early next year with $ 15 bn initial public offering, according to PrivCo's report. Reports said that Twitter, which has attracted millions of users worldwide including India, is expected to see robust market valuations primarily benefitting from its revenue-earning sources. "Twitter Inc plans to file for an IPO as early as the 4th quarter of 2013, and plans to go public in the 1st quarter of 2014," US-based PrivCo was quoted as saying. Social networking giant Facebook had come out with $ 16 bn initial public offering in May, 2012. Twitter's potential IPO is based on recent monetisation measures which are leading to increasing revenues for the micro-blogging site,report said.

Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola: Mao as Matru
IIFL Rating:

Vishal Bharadwaj, post the Saat Khoon Maaf blunder, is obviously a changed man. The niche he carved with his staple Shakespeare inspirations - Maqbool and Omkara - was suddenly wiped out by the mediocre adaptation of an equally mediocre Ruskin Bond tale. And that would have come as a rude shock. From a sought after offbeat director, he was reduced to a failed and flawed alchemist.

With MKBKM, Bharadwaj makes a watchful comeback following a long hiatus, clearly placing caution ahead of creativity. So, the comedy is a tad louder and the spice gaudier than what one would expect from a Bharadwaj product. Yet, the film is quite remarkable in its wit and wisdom that presents a Haryanvi version of the Mao Tse-tung brand of anti-imperialism that only Bharadwaj could have imagined within the constraints of mainstream cinema.

The film’s strength is veteran Pankaj Kapoor in the leading role who lends both substance and style to the lackadaisical theme that keeps oscillating between lurid satire and nonsensical comedy. Kapoor harbours two men in one body – the snobbish Harry Mandola when alert and the rustic, truthful Haria Mandola when inebriated. The fate of his village named after him depends on the prevailing mood which after many a dramatic twists and turns promising when Haria scripts a happy end devoid of his customary dose of alcohol.

Unfortunately, Bharadwaj does little to lend plausibility to Mandola’s dual psyche as also to the central premise representing the pathos of a vulnerable ‘India Shining’ merrily handing over fertile farmlands to help create Special Economic Zones for the value chain of vested interests. Bharadwaj takes his own sweet time to colour the obvious, if not to define it. That Matru plays part-time crusader Mao for his village is not as convincing as Mandola accommodating contrasting emotions. Even the umpteen references to political truths and economic realities are quite amateurish. One thought Dibakar’s Shanghai did a much better job of it.

Shabana Azmi seems to have hungrily latched on the "wicked woman" role, her trademark subtlety sorely amiss from her performance. Precisely why her soliloquy in the film sounds theatrical, something that Azmi was not known for all these years. Imraan Khan, armed with his coveted Act One theater group training, does an average job but his Haryanvi accent is more about posterity and pride than finesse and fulfillment. Anushka Chopra is inimitably inventive but her stereotype chirpiness and skin show in film after film are now defeating her cause. As one of India’s most competent mainstream actresses, she needs to break the pattern. For the umpteenth time, Arya Babbar gleefully plays the clown for obvious reasons. The pain of a staple comic role is any day better than the torture of exile.

Bharadwaj’s Shakespeare obsession and his mutual admiration society founded by lyricist Gulzar have earned him more than proportionate respect as a maverick filmmaker. That’s fine as he’s still far better than many revered stalwarts of his tribe. But while he’s winning accolades for his Kusturica and Menzel influences in MKBKM, his creativity has not travelled beyond adorning epic tales with local flavours. Primarily why his characters invariably appear disjointed, their literary influence glaringly detached from the realities of the chosen milieu.

Even as Rekha Bharadwaj and Sukhwinder continue to mesmerize us with their unique voice, Bharadwaj yet again proves he’s a better composer than director. A music album with Gulzar is long overdue.

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NOTE : S1, S2 and S3 are critical support levels while R1, R2 and R3 are resistance levels. Trading call depends on the price band

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5 Weekly positional calls

This week, main indices advanced led by gains in oil companies following a partial decontrol of diesel pricing.

What is heartening is that FII inflows continue unabated (FIIs have already pumped in ~Rs90bn this calendar year into Indian equities) amid hopes that government will continue with further reforms and deliver a credible plan on fiscal consolidation.

The government’s decision to defer the implementation of controversial rules on tax avoidance (GAAR) provided the trigger early this week. Moreover, strong corporate earnings reported so far and downward trajectory in WPI inflation are suggesting that the current rally is likely to continue with minimal correction in the immediate term.

While the RBI move later this month will be a topic of speculation, corporate results will continue to hog the limelight. The coming week has a number of larger companies announcing their results. These include HUL, L&T, HDFC and Maruti. Considerable challenges prevail on the macro front. With WPI and retail inflation giving conflicting signals and a high CAD, we expect RBI to cut the repo rate by 25bps in the upcoming monetary policy.

The India Infoline Weekly Wrap keeps you abreast of the markets and arms you for the markets in the coming week. To access the India Infoline Weekly Wrap, just Click Here



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Leader Speak

Joy Saxena, Executive Director – Strategy & Planning, Techno Electric & Engg
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Joy Saxena says "We expect to add 1000mw capacity in wind energy by 2020."...More

N Chandrasekaran, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, TCS
Yash Ved of IIFL provides the highlights of a media interaction where N Chandrasekaran says "We believe that clients are going to invest in making their operations ‘digital-ready’ in 2013 and drive business growth. TCS is well positioned to help our clients in this journey."...More

Ritu Arora, Director Investment, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company
Speaking to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Ritu Arora says, "Industrial production growth and inflation are linked to some extent as high capacity utilization drives up core inflation. Thus, revival of capital formation is important to bring us back on sustainable high growth trajectory."...More

Amitabh Mundhra, Director, Simplex Infrastructures Ltd
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Amitabh Mundhra says, "From a growth perspective, along with housing, urban infrastructure and power, mining will be a key growth area for the Group as a whole."...More

Paritosh K Agarwal, Managing Director, Suryalakshmi Cotton Mills
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Paritosh K Agarwal says "Exports contribute about 20-25% and rest 75% of revenue comes from domestic market."...More

TV Sandeep Kumar Reddy, Managing Director, Gayatri Projects Ltd
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, TV Sandeep Kumar Reddy says, "Our planned capex for the year is Rs493.8mn, most of which will be funded through internal accruals."...More

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, speaks with German weekly Die Zeit about her relationship to Wolfgang Schäuble, lessons from the crisis, and the economic outlook for the coming year...More

S. Jayadeep Reddy, MD & CEO, ehealth Access Private Ltd.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Jayadeep Reddy says, "There is a huge gap in patient to doctor ratio in India making it impossible for everyone to have an affordable and easily accessible healthcare."...More

Amit Kulkarni, Director, Varasiddhi Infrastructure
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Amit Kulkarni said "Varasiddhi Infrastructure has total 1.4mn sq.ft. area under development."...More

Ashwani Arora, Jt. Managing Director, LT Foods Ltd
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Ashwani Arora says, "We enjoy close to 40% market share in branded basmati rice in US."...More

A Prathap Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Balaji Amines Ltd
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, A Pratap Reddy says, "We are eyeing FY 2012-13 revenue targets approximately at Rs5.20bn - 5.50bn and for 2013-14 is Rs. 6.20bn - 6.50bn."...More

Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Akbar Al Baker says, "The airline plans to serve over 170 destinations worldwide with a fleet of more than 170 aircraft by 2015."...More

Ritu Arora, Director Investment, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Ritu Arora says, "We have done a study looking at equity market return on rolling 15yr blocks since 1991. We had 12 data points and consistently positive CAGR was delivered by Indian markets in each of them."...More

Aditya Bafna, Director, Shree Shubham Logistics
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, "We are developing Agri Logistics Parks at 16 locations in the states of MP, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan with an investment of around Rs2.70bn."...More

Narasimha Jayakumar, COO, E-commerce for Homeshop18
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Narasimha Jayakumar, COO, Homeshop18 says, "India is a hot market for e-commerce. West took 50 years to move from mom and pop stores to online stores and virtual environment, India has accomplished this in 2-3 years. We have made extensive preparations for the Google Online Shopping Festival in the last 15 days. As of today, we are prepared to handle 100% increase in traffic and orders."...More

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Ltd
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw says, "With a number of our biosimilar & novel programs entering the clinics, we have witnessed an upsurge in our Research & development costs, which indicates potential upsides in the long term."...More

Deepak Kaistha, Chief Executive Officer, Planman Media
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Deepak Kaistha says, "PowerBrands Glam is an amalgamation of a 3-day mélange which will witness the salutation of Indian brands, inspirational leaders and the next generation entrepreneurs who have and continue to shape the contours of our nation."...More

Syed Sultan Ahmed, Managing Director, Edumedia India
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Syed Sultan Ahmed says, "EduMedia wants every child to have access to high quality films and value education content."...More

Mr. Vineet Agarwal, Joint MD, Transport Corporation of India
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Vineet Agarwal says, "India currently spends 12-13% of its GDP on logistics. TCI is aiming at a 15% compounded annual growth rate for the next four to five years. The major growth has come from the supply chain division and express division."...More

Vibha Padalkar, Executive Director and CFO, HDFC Life
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Vibha Padalkar says, "HDFCSL has done better than many other insurance companies showing the strongest growth trajectory. Our WRP (Individual business) has shown a growth of 10% for the H1FY13."...More

GK Muralikrishna, CEO and Managing Director, helios and matheson
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, GK Muralikrishna says "The company is geared to tap this huge market potential and post healthy growth in revenue by building on its inherent strengths."...More

Amit R. Sheth, Managing Director, aurionPro Solutions
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Amit R. Sheth says, "We are seeing traction in new emerging markets like Kenya, Nigeria, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar."...More

Manju Sharma, Director – Operations, Jaypee Hotels
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Raymond Bickson, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Limited
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you highlights from a media interaction where Raymond Bickson says "We are planning 13 new hotels and 1521 rooms in 2013-14."...More

Mr. BM Bhorania, Executive Director of Finance, GSFC Ltd.
In an interaction with Anil Mascarenhas and Manu Kaushik of IIFL, Mr. BM Bhorania says, "The capex for Dahej plant will be huge; it would be too early to quantify the same. Yet, I would estimate it would be in the range of Rs.80bn for the four units put together."...More

Vaidya Nathan, CEO and Founder, Classle Knowledge Private Ltd
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Vaidya Nathan says, "Classle would do for Education and Learning what Google did to organize information and Facebook did for relationships and communication."...More

Yogesh Tiwari, Vice President – Sales & Marketing, Blackberrys
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Yogesh Tiwari says, "Today, all norms in dressing up are being challenged and the consumer is constantly pushing the envelope – therefore formal wear is getting more dressed up and fun elements are creeping into plain staid formalwear."...More 

Dr. Sreeni Tripuraneni, Chairman & CEO, 4G Identity Solutions
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Dr. Sreeni Tripuraneni said "4Gid has an order book of more than 2bn to be executed in next 12 months."...More

H.A. Mishra, Chairman & MD, Foodesign Hospitality Systems
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, HA Mishra says, "FHS has embarked on an aggressive growth trajectory and will soon be launching some of the most advanced and innovative services in the area of F&B Cost Management."...More

Sajjan Bhajanka, Chairman, Century Plyboards (I) Ltd
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Sajjan Bhajanka says "We are eyeing Rs20bn revenue target for FY13."...More

Mr. Pirojsha Godrej, Managing Director & CEO, Godrej Properties
Yash Ved of IIFL provides you the media reaction where Mr. Pirojsha Godrej says "We continue to build strong development pipeline in high growth markets and added two projects with 3.69 million sq. ft. of saleable area in Q2 FY2013."...More

Mr. Alok Sanghi, Director, Sanghi Industries Ltd.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Alok Sanghi says, "We reported a net profit of Rs.181.8mn for the first quarter ended September 30, 2012 as against a net loss of Rs.373.5mn in Q1 of previous fiscal. The infrastructure spending will increase, leading to demand growth and stable prices for the cement sector."...More

S Ganesh, CEO, D&B Analytics and Decision Services Limited
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, S Ganesh says, "We convert raw data and information into insights and actionable intelligence. Currently there are some opportunities emerging in verticals like telecom, healthcare, and retail as these industries are also very data intensive and use similar principles to expand their customer base and profitability."...More

NV Subramanian, Co-founder, Sharedcab.com
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, NV Subramanian says, "We aggregate demand for regular daily point to point travel from end consumers and pool them into an AC shared taxi. We're targeting a revenue of Rs.150mn in the 1st year."...More

Dhruv M. Sawhney, Chairman and Managing Director, Triveni Turbines Ltd
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you the highlights of the conference call conducted by Triveni Turbines Ltd after its latest quarterly results where Dhruv M. Sawhney says "Our domestic market order intake continues to improve in Q3 and Q4."...More

Sonya Hooja, Co-founder & Director, Imarticus Learning
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Sonya Hooja says, "The business model of Imarticus learning is based on two pillars – first one being students and candidates who are looking to begin their career in IB."...More

Suresh Rao, Faculty and Senior Admissions Officer, Imarticus
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Suresh Rao says, "One of my drivers is to inspire the youth and give them the extra edge through teaching, mentoring & help them succeed."...More

Gaurav Vora, Director, Dynaflex Private Ltd
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Gaurav Vora says "We are planning to invest US$5mn and will be raising the amount via debt and internal accruals."...More

Vikas Oberoi, Chairman & Managing Director, Oberoi Realty Limited
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you the highlights of the conference call conducted by Oberoi Realty Ltd. after its latest quarterly results where Vikas Oberoi says, "Going forward, we expect residential market to do well. There have been few changes in FSI norms. The new regime will benefit developers."...More

Vineet Nayar, Vice Chairman and CEO, HCL Technologies Ltd
Yash Ved of IIFL provides you the media interaction where Vineet Nayar says "We see significant opportunity because of contract renewal in America and Europe."...More

Rostow Ravanan, Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, Mindtree
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Rostow Ravanan says "We have lowered revenue growth guidance to below 11% for the current financial year, from 11%-14% sales outlook."...More

Arun Balakrishnan, CEO, BerkshireInsurance.com India
Speaking with Anil Mascarenhas and Yash Ved of IIFL, Arun Balakrishnan says "Little knowledge can be dangerous and unfortunately what insurance buyers are doing is that they are comparing just the premium."...More

The myth of affordable energy: Ed Dolan
"The US economy is still 15 percent less energy efficient than the average for high-income OECD countries, giving it plenty of room to improve. Switzerland is almost twice as energy-efficient as the US, and the UK is 68 percent more efficient,"...More

Dr Som Majumdar, Director, International Business, KadenBoriss Lawyers
Dr Som Majumdar tells Dolly Mirchandani of IIFL that, "Unless sold, service does not come up to the fore. Again, unless service is given to the satisfaction of customers, ‘sell’ may not be effected next time."...More

RK Jain, Group President - (Corporate Finance and Strategies) Uflex Ltd
In an interaction with Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, RK Jain says, "Uflex is the only integrated unit of its kind in the world with flexible packaging at its core and focused on innovation."...More

RC Baid, Chairman & Chief Mentor, Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, RC Baid says, "Implementation of GST will give more teeth to the road transport industry and will give it a new platform to further develop logistics concepts."...More

Mr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Ltd
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Rajesh Aggarwal says, "Statistically organic farming is giving below average results and also the quality for crop suffers. We would invest about Rs1bn in the next 2-3 years and as far as funding plan is concerned we are open and have not zeroed on any one."...More

Shyam Sunder B K, Chief Designer, Industrial Design – Tata Elxsi, India
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Shyam Sunder says, "Consumers have evolved from simply buying things off the shelf to studying the physical attributes or attractiveness of the container vis-à-vis understanding how a particular product can add value to their purchase."...More

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Dr. Ganesh Natarajan says "The Company is looking for acquisitions in Europe with a deal size of approximately USUS$20-25mn."...More

Sanjay Monga, Country Manager – India, Asian Panaria
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Sanjay Monga says "Bellissimo plans to invest Rs. 1bn over the next 3-5 years in manufacturing as well as setting up a nation-wide distribution network for luxury tiles."...More

Suman Bose, Managing Director & CEO, Siemens Industry Software
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Suman Bose says, "The ‘Curiosity’ landing on Mars was one of the toughest engineering challenges ever attempted, and we are proud to be associated with this project."...More

Mr. Devendra Shah, Chairman & Managing Director, Parag Milk Foods
In an exclusive interaction with Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Devendra Shah says: "We hold 1% market share in dairy products but we have a higher market share in value-added milk products."...More

Rajiv Sawhney, CEO & MD, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Rajiv Sawhney says "The growing leisure travel market is seeing newer demands and trends, more discerning consumers insisting on quality, value and differentiated experiences."...More

Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty & Infra India Ltd
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Dhaval Ajmera says "We are planning to invest Rs10bn in the real estate and power sectors in the next five years even as it is looking at exciting, some of its non- core assets including cement business and a land parcel in Bahrain."...More

Saleem Mohammed, PhD, CEO and Co-founder, XCODE Life Sciences
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Saleem Mohammed says, "Understanding how your personal genetic code influences and affects your health and well being is critical for better health."...More

H.E. Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister for Trade and Commerce, Republic of South Africa
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, H.E. Elizabeth Thabethe says, "Our primary motive behind India visit is to observe and understand Indian practices in enterprise development, SME support and industrial expansion."...More

Mr. Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman, State Bank of India
Yash Ved of IIFL brings you SBI’s latest media interaction, where Mr. Chaudhuri said "The objective of the lending rate cut is to improve demand for assets which in our view could have a positive cascading effect on related industries."...More

Harshil Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Aadhar Housing Finance
Speaking exclusively to Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Harshil Mehta says, "On a quarter-on-quarter basis, our loan book has been growing at the rate of 15% to 30%."...More

Mr. Pankaj Seth, Managing Director, Orbit Exports Ltd.
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Mr. Pankaj Seth says, "Our plans include expanding into the fabrics business. We are also planning to acquire brands overseas."...More

Prashant Saha, Managing Director, CIMGLOBAL
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Prashant Saha says, "CIMGLOBAL realizes that India is certainly short of quality convention/expo venues, resulting in its failure in attracting large conventions and expo businesses to India."...More

Prasad Shejale, Co-founder & CEO (India), Logicserve Group
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Prasad Shejale says, "Our USP lies in our strong technology background along with success stories in the UK and European market."...More

N. Chandramouli, CEO, Comniscient Group
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, N. Chandramouli says, "Mahatma Gandhi summarized this Brand tenet succinctly in his statement "Be the change you want to see." In communication terms this can be restated as "Be as you want to be seen."...More

Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad, Chairman & CEO of Jammu & Kashmir Bank
Speaking exclusively to Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad says, "The Bank targets a credit growth of over 25% and deposit growth of over 17-18% for FY13."...More

VA George, President & CEO, Thejo Engineering
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, V. A. George says "The domestic market has shown commendable growth with many projects coming up in mining, steel, power and ports sector."...More

Ninad Karpe, MD & CEO, Aptech Ltd
Ninad Kapre replies to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL and says, "Every testing requirement is an opportunity. However, reach, infrastructure, connectivity and computer literacy can be some challenges."...More

Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director, JSW Steel
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you highlights from a media interaction where SAJJAN JINDAL says "The merger completes the integration and aims to capture full value of the combination."...More

Mr. Beas Dev Ralhan, Chief Executive Officer, Next Education
Speaking exclusively to Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Beas Dev Ralhan says, "The company did Rs. 1bn in revenues last year and will do close to Rs. 2bn this year."...More

Deepinder Goyal, Founder & CEO, Zomato
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Deepinder Goyal says, "Over 4 million Zomato users come to the website every month to search places for dining out, home delivery, catching up or nightlife."...More

Anand Nichani, Director, Polyflex
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Anand Nichani says, "According to recent studies branded mattress market is approx USUS$200mn out of which luxury is about 2-3 %. We have a mattress for every possible sleeping need."...More

Antony Jacob, CEO, Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Antony Jacob says "The Indian health insurance market is one of the fastest growing portfolios among the non-life insurance category, but still is significantly under-penetrated in comparison with other countries."...More

Mr. Prashanth Prakash, Partner, Accel Partners
In an exclusive interview with Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Prashanth Prakash says, "We continue to believe that there are great opportunities in a broad range of Internet led technologies businesses from Online Media to Saas."...More

Mr. Mahesh R. Shetty, CMD, MT Educare Ltd.
Speaking with Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Shetty says, "Spend on the Education sector is increasing. Almost a third of the income of middle-class families is going into Education."...More

Mr. Rajesh R. Gandhi, Managing Director, Vadilal Industries Ltd.
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Rajesh Gandhi says, "With the unorganized market covering a large chunk (60%) of the Indian ice cream market and already crowded organized sector, all the big and small brands have to provide myriad choices to consumers."...More

Mr. Gaurav Modwel, CEO, Wadhawan Holdings Pvt. Ltd.
In an exclusive interview with Hemant P. Maradia of IIFL, Mr. Gaurav Modwel says, "We are expecting to turn profitable around the third year of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL)."...More

Ashok Chhajer, Chairman, Arihant Superstructures Ltd.
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Ashok Chhajer says, "We expect the turnover and PAT to increase at a CAGR of 50% and 60%, respectively for the next 6-7 years."...More

Mr. Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd.
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you highlights from CII marketing summit, where Mr. Rahul Bajaj said, "Bajaj Auto has been a value for money brand"...More

Nikhil Kumar, Joint Managing Director, TD Power Systems Limited
"While we remain confident about the longer term prospects for our business, near-term visibility remains uncertain," said Nikhil Kumar during conference call...More

Austin Coutinho, Author, The Games
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Austin Coutinho says, "In cricket there is a lot of commitment from all concerned - administrators, players, coaches etc. Sponsors are ready to put in money because of the commitment. Other sports are far behind in this aspect."...More

Mohit Modi, Director - Equity Research, CRISIL Limited
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Mohit Modi says, "Retail investors should look at three things before investing in stocks – fundamentals of the company, valuation levels and their risk appetite. Investments in equity markets depend on one’s risk appetite."...More

Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank
Recognized as one of the most powerful women in the world, the 50-year-old banker, wife and mother-of-two weighs in on whether women really can "have it all" and explains why she leaves her womanhood at the office door...More

David Gerald, Founder, President & CEO, Securities Investors Association (Singapore)
In an exclusive interaction with Dolly Mirchandani of IIFL, David Gerald stresses, "Investor associations—like ours—play an important role in educating investors. But you cannot be the only organisation working for investor improvement; there has to be corporations, stock exchange and regulators who should also educate investors at a national level."...More

Hari Prakash Pandey, VP-Finance, Housing Development & Infrastructure Limited
"We are expecting better demand for the residential segment over the next three to six months despite slack macro economic conditions." said Hari Prakash Pandey...More

Manju Yagnik, Vice-Chairperson, Nahar Group
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, Manju Yagnik says "The ever increasing demand for all realty segments in the country, which is outstripping its supply, signals a rosy outlook for the country’s real estate sector."...More

Uma Shashikant, Managing Director, CIEL
Reaching investors in a country geographically large and diverse like India requires serious investment of capital, expertise and time. Uma Shashikant tells Dolly Mirchandani of IIFL that "We need a national policy and an implementation program. CIEL is keen to drive such an initiative and will happily bring in content expertise and drive the program."...More

Karan Kapur, Executive Director, Travel Food Services
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Karan Kapur says, "We currently run over 100 locations in the travel sector and work with some of the best national and international brands and are open to financial partners should any significant synergy opportunities exist."...More

Raymond Bickson, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Limited
Yash Ved of IIFL gives you highlights from a media interaction where Raymond Bickson says "We are planning 16 new hotels and 2000 rooms for FY13."...More

Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Mr. Rajiv Sabharwal says, "New avenues of business generation, as shopping and other merchant payment solutions options, do show early potential to bring a sea-change in banking business."...More

Suresh K, Chief Financial Officer, Brigade Enterprises Ltd
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Suresh K says "The prices in Bangalore are not high as compared to other cities. We expect prices to be stable in the Bangalore market"...More

Shashank Joshi, Managing Director, Money-On-Mobile (MOM)
Replying to Divya Kurup of IIFL, Shashank Joshi says, "MOM has successfully got 500,000 subscribers on board and touches a daily transaction volume of Rs. 20 million."...More

Kunal Premnarayen, Group CEO, ICS Group
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Kunal Premnarayen says, "Over the last decade ICS, in conjunction with its various international partners, has launched complementing businesses in the real estate and financial sector."...More

Paresh Sukthankar, Executive Director, HDFC Bank
Yash Ved of IIFL provides the highlights of a media interaction where Paresh Sukthankar says "We continue to invest in technologies, in terms of new channels including social Media"...More

Lata Gwalani, Author, INCOGNITO
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Lata Gwalani says, "Unrequited love, emptiness, lack of meaning in life…all these form the basis of my book."...More

A. R. Ramakrishnan, Managing Director and Director, Essar Shipping Limited
"The outlook for the shipping industry is that pressure will continue for several months" said A. R. Ramakrishnan...More

Suhale Kapoor, Executive Vice President and Co-founder, AbsolutData
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Suhale Kapoor says, "The need for using Analytics varies in developed and emerging economies….in emerging economies marketers use analytics for foundational marketing techniques like targeting the right customer and customer segmentation."...More

P Ravindra Pai, Managing Director, Century Real Estate
Replying to Yash Ved of IIFL, P Ravindra Pai says "Our residential portfolio by the end of this financial year will be totaling 4 million sq ft."...More

Jayont R. Sharma, Founder Chairman and CEO, Milestone Interactive Group
Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Jayont Sharma says, "Introduction of 3G and telco’s focus on Value Added Services are expected to lead to exponential growth for mobile gaming in India."...More

Read More Leader Speak...

Industry Newsletters

Agriculture Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Automobile Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Aviation Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Consumer Goods Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Economy Round Up – January 07 to January 11, 2013

Hotel & Tourism Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

FLAME Newsletter - 16 January 2013

Infrastructure Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

IT Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Metal & Mining Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Merger & Acquisition Round Up - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Oil & Gas Round Up - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Pharmaceuticals Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Real Estate Round Up - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Retail Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013

Telecom Newsletter - January 07, 2013 to January 11, 2013


Investment covered u/s 80C Income Tax
You must choose the specific investment tool which is in sync with your investment pattern, financial goals and risk appetite...More

Know more about EURIBOR & mortgages
EURIBORs provide the basis for some of the world’s most liquid and active interest rate markets...More

Should you discontinue your ULIP after three policy years?
Most ULIPs especially those from the pre-2010 era—are front-loaded. Only a relatively small amount is available for investment...More

Getting married… Have you heard of a wedding policy?
An average wedding insurance policy covers the threats from fire, theft of jewellery, clothes and other expensive things and even cancellation of wedding due to death and other untoward incident...More

New career trends in 2013: Aspire Human Capital
Last year saw jobs primarily in sectors like healthcare, hospitality and IT/ITES. Apart from these, the other sectors involved in the process of in hiring were non-machinery manufacturing, media and entertainment...More

Know more about car insurance policy & online renewal
Comprehensive policy is optional. However, third-party insurance is mandatory for your car...More

Introduction to Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme, 2012
You can invest any amount up to Rs. 50,000 for availing tax benefits in RGESS...More

Money for Nothin’ writing checks for free: Bill Gross
These weren’t Bernanke innovations – nor was the term QE. Many of them had been applied by policy authorities in the late 1930s and ‘40s as well as Japan in recent years...More

Insurance glossary
Know the terms commonly associated with your insurance policies...More

Some little known facts about NPS & NPS Lite
While central and state government employees have to subscribe mandatorily, National Pension System is optional for others. We suggest you understand the benefits of NPS and NPS Lite...More

Tax planning through Muslim Wills
If the marriage between Muslims is registered under the Special Marriage Act, then the provisions of Indian Succession Act would apply and they may make a Will bequeathing their property to any person in any manner and absolutely no restrictions are placed...More

Zero depreciation cover for vehicle insurance
A zero depreciation cover ensures that in case of an accident, you will receive the full claim without any deduction for depreciation on the value of the parts replaced...More

10 commandments on mutual fund investing
A MF NAV is neither too costly nor cheap because a MF unit can’t be costly or cheap. It derives its value from the underlying investment. If the value of the underlying investment goes up, then the NAV will go up and vice versa...More

Damaged or lost? Steps to get a duplicate insurance policy
Read on to know what you need to do to prevent yourself from a financial loss in case you have lost or misplaced insurance policy...More

Health Insurance vs (HospiCase+Surgi+Criticare Plans)
Health insurance is important for the fact that there is been huge cost increase in medical treatments. Health care has increased due to medicine becoming more sophisticated...More

What is mutual fund benchmark & its importance
A scheme’s benchmark is an index that is decided by its fund house to serve as a standard for the scheme’s returns...More

What does your MF account statement include?
A MF account statement offers all transaction details carried out within a defined time period...More

Importance of receiving ITR-V acknowledgement
If you have filed your return online ‘without adding digital signature’, then the process of e-filing is not complete...More

Options to invest in gold
The benefit of long-term capital gains tax is only available after three years in e-gold, unlike gold ETFs and gold fund of funds, where the same is available after one year. Also, like in physical gold, investors are liable to pay wealth tax in case of e-gold...More

Online term plans: Look beyond the price
Online term plans offer you a high cover at minimal cost. Rather than only concentrating on the price, be smart and look beyond the price while choosing your policy!...More

Tax saving instruments: Much more than saving taxes
One must realise that tax saving instruments do much more than only saving taxes. Smart planning with right tax saving instruments adds value to a portfolio. So take a wiser approach and avoid last minute rush for tax saving...More

The fund that protects you from all investment robbers
Never mistake saving for investments otherwise you will be in for a rude shock. You would probably be living in a big delusion because you don’t understand the rules of money...More

Getting acquainted with fixed income ETFs
Fixed income ETFs basically provide regular income, such as interest payments from bonds and dividend payments from stocks...More

Tax planning for your income from house property
The income from a self-occupied property will always be zero or negative—to the extent of interest paid or the specified limit, whichever is lower...More

Micro insurance: Securing the future of low income group
Micro insurance is a kind of a financial service package for poor people that covers their risks by paying a small amount of premium on regular basis...More

Do you know about some unusual insurance policies?
These are unique insurance covers designed for specific individuals and are usually rare...More

Banking Ombudsman: Redressal for customer complaints against banks
The main object of the complaint is to get resolved your problem as earliest. So it is most important to make complaint to appropriate person who will resolve your problem effectively...More

How to file vehicle insurance claims
Increasing number of accidents and incidents of vehicle thefts has made it essential for policyholders to know how to file car insurance claims...More

Protect your property from loss due to fire
In order to get full protection for your property, insurance on reinstatement (replacement) basis is recommende...More

What do employers look for in a candidate?
Integrity is the top most priority for any employer while hiring new hire. No Company will ever compromise on the Integrity factor even if you are the most talented and apt person for the role...More

Political resistance to reforms is big risk factor for Indian economy and asset markets
The ability of the Government to push other financial and non-financial reforms is in serious doubt...More

Know more about home insurance
While buying an online home insurance plan, you need to read the fine print carefully. Make an analysis of what is covered and what is not covered under the policy...More

Online term plan: Simple & cost-effective way to buy insurance
While buying an online term plan, you need to read the fine print carefully. Make an analysis of what is covered and what is not covered under the policy...More

Claiming benefits under EPF & EPS
PF provides various benefits such as pension, loan facility, withdrawal, nomination, etc. However, some of us won’t be aware of the different forms which we need to fill while availing these benefits...More

EDLI: Insurance benefit to employees
Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance scheme provides for a lump sum payment to the insured’s nominated beneficiary in the event of death due to natural causes, illness or accident..More

An overview of the Australian insurance market
In the international political platform, there is an evidence of increased harmonisation, standardisation and globalisation of the insurance market that provides a fuel for growth within the sector...More

In-person verification for investment in ‘new’ mutual funds
If you have already invested in any particular fund house and now wish to invest in another fund house where you have not invested before January 1, 2012, then you will have to complete the KYC formalities again by filling up the new KYC form implemented after January 1, 2012...More

Tax provisions for investment in mutual funds
Debt MFs have a differential tax treatment compared to equity. While dividends are tax free for equity schemes, they are taxed in debt funds through dividend distribution tax. Similarly, there is no tax on long term capital gains in equity while same is taxed in debt MFs...More

Investors are biggest sufferers of frauds
Fraudulent documentation, multiple funding, non-existence of collaterals and siphoning of funds are some of the areas in which banks have witnessed major incidents of fraud, says Ernst & Young’s India Fraud Indicator report...More

Investing in equity: Common stocks, common mistakes
Many a times, individual rational intelligent persons commit simple mistakes while making investment decisions in common stocks. And market has its own method of finding and exploiting human weaknesses. Mehrab Irani explains some of the most common mistakes which investors commit while investing in common stocks...More

Little known facts about EPF & EPS
EPF withdrawal is not permitted if you are still working. But there are occasions when EPF withdrawal is allowed...More

World Savings Day

World Savings Day or World Thrift Day was established to inform people all around the world about the idea of saving their money in a bank rather than keeping it under their mattress...More

The A-Z syndrome of NRI taxation
Taxable income of NRI is calculated in the same way as that of resident Indians. The only difference is that a resident Indian is also being charged on the global income, whereas an NRI is being charged only on Indian income...More

NPS Lite: Ensuring old age income for all
NPS Lite aims at ensuring a pension of at least Rs. 1,000 per month based on your contributions and government support under Swavalamban Scheme...More

Simple & safe way to invest in equity
Treat equity investment as a long term one for 10-15 years like your insurance or PPF (or at least as your 5-yr NSC) and you will most probably end up with very good returns...More

XIRR: How to calculate your returns
XIRR is a more powerful function in Excel for calculating annualized yield for a schedule of cash flows occurring at irregular periods...More

Importance of paying premium on time
Remember, if you don’t pay premium every year for five years, there will be a discontinuance charge. Discontinuance charge will not apply to single premium policies...More

What is IRR & how to calculate it?
The internal rate of return is usually used to calculate the profitability of investments made in a financial product or projects...More

Lost share certificate: Steps you should take for issue of duplicate certificates
Read on to know what you need to do to prevent yourself from a financial loss in case you have lost or misplaced your physical share certificate...More

Compounding vs annualised yield
Financial terms are usually difficult for lay investors to understand. It is important for investors to understand these some of these basic terms before investing, Sanjay Matai elaborates...More

What is stamp duty & why to pay it?
Possession is the physical transfer of the property is not sufficient. You also need to have legal ownership. At the time of registration, you will also have to pay a stamp duty which is a government tax levied on property transactions...More

What is a rider?
Riders cover risks that are beyond the scope of the main life policy, resulting in a more comprehensive protection...More

Group personal accident insurance policy
The key benefit of GPA insurance policy is that it provides compensation in the event of death or disability of an insured employee directly due to accident...More

Group term insurance plan
Group term plan provides the employees of a company / firm with a life insurance plan so that their families’ needs are looked after in case an employee dies in an unfortunate event...More

Financial planning for the youth of India
Make sure you start your life after studies on the right financial foot by treating your financial future seriously while you’re still in college, Madhu Sinha explains...More

Hospital Cash vs health insurance policies
While buying daily hospitalisation cash plan, you need to keep an eye on sub-limits, particularly the ones specifying the maximum number of days spent for hospitalisation in a year...More

Terms commonly used in health insurance plan
It serves as a dictionary to help you understand common terms used in health insurance....More

Basic things to check before opening bank savings account
Savings bank account is safe and highly liquid. Besides, we also earn nominal interest on the money saved in our account...More

Beware of the insurance terminology
The wording of insurance contracts is normally difficult for a lay person to understand. Insurers need to make contracts and communication easier for policyholders, Sanjay Matai explains...More

Partners can get depreciation benefits against income
Partners of firms can consider claiming depreciation on assets—in their personal name and used for the firm’s business—against the remuneration and interest income from their firms, Arvind Rao explains...More

Preparing for financial issues after death of spouse
It is important for the individual handling this entire job to not let emotions influence any decision making and a qualified professional can be of immense help in this context, Arvind Rao points out...More

Which one to choose: Growth or dividend option?
In case of growth and dividend payout, number of units remains the same. If your goal is to build wealth to meet your long-term financial goals, then growth option would be the right choice...More

Consumer price index - Measurement rate of inflation
CPI shows increase of prices over a period for certain items of consumption of goods & services. GR Thengdi highlights the factors that are responsible for inflation & effect of inflation on expenditure & saving in next 10 years...More

Know more about health insurance
With medical costs growing at over 10% for four years in a row, the burden of healthcare has become increasingly heavy on the middle class...More

Payment Gateway Systems - Alternative to MasterCard & Visa
Various countries have started opting for alternative payment gateway systems to MasterCard and Visa to save on foreign exchange and transaction costs. In this article Navneet Saxena discusses two of them...More

Myths about financial planning
Financial planning is a strategic and systematic exercise to achieve one’s financial goals, Varun Jani says...More

Simple strategies for investing success
Information empowers you and gives you the extra edge while making investment decisions, Harshendu Bindal explains...More

Importance of life insurance for NRIs
It is also imperative to provide for long term security and achieve financial goals for you and your dependents...More

MWP Act: Make sure your dependents get insurance policy proceeds
To cover your life insurance policy under MWP Act is very simple and inexpensive procedure...More

Check your EPF balance online with e-passbook
E-passbook allows EPF members to download their e-passbook multiple times in a month...More

Stamp duty on transfer of shares
Transfer of shares implies transfer of ownership of shares. In this article, GS Rao points out the provisions of Stamp Act as well as Companies Act...More

Adnan Sami back after a 5 year hiatus
The eagerly awaited 11 track album includes 8 brand new songs ranging from Sami’s signature ballads to his up-tempo lyrically stylized humour...More

Minissha Lamba turns gracious 28
She turns a gracious 28 years of age today and has probably been memorable birth day for her as finally she will be celebrating her birthday with her family and friends at her Versova residence...More

Jacqueline shares her secret on See Taare Masti Mein
She discusses about many aspects apart from her most talked about song Lat lag gayi. She also shares the secret of unko kis cheez ki lat lag gayi!...More

Pure Gold Jewellers offer you the rarest of rare
Signifying Royalty and eloquence, the collection is a work of craftsmanship that is sure to attract attention...More

Popley & Sons celebrates womanhood
The event saw Chief Guest Dr. Indu Shahani Sheriff – of – Mumbai and Principal HR College, lit the traditional diya and began the ceremony...More

Emraan Hashmi's spooky midnight act for Ek Thi Daayan
Discarding the staid press conference routine, Balaji put up an electrifying act by Emraan Hashmi and his daayans, at midnight, in an elaborate setting, featuring daayan dolls hanging from tree tops and daayans at the entrance handing out 'misfortune cookies'...More

EduMedia initiative…Decoding Kids Conclave 2013
16 revered speakers from the industry and over 200 participants graced the conclave in the first year. Decoding Kids 2013 was launched with the theme ‘Marketing to Kids.’...More

Jitendra unveils Music CD of "Bloody Isshq"
Also present to enlighten the evening were Ravi Kishen, Kunal Singh the co producer, Ashok Bhadra, the man with the experience of more than 150 Bengali films is debuting in Bollywood with his melodious music and choreographer Ganesh Acharya...More

A geisha getaway
This centuries-old tradition is upheld to this day as maiko and geiko serve and entertain locals and visitors in highly traditional Japanese restaurants and theatres...More

Smash-hit US comedy drama ‘Ugly Betty’ premieres on Comedy Central
Starting Monday, January 21 2013 at 09.00pm, Ugly Betty is sure to provide audiences a laughter riot...More

DSK Hyosung launches two super bikes Aquila Pro and GT650R -2013 edition
Packed with looks, technology and unique features befitting motorcycles of far higher segments, the Aquila Pro is priced at Rs. 4,99,000 (Ex-showroom Delhi) whereas GT650R - 2013 edition is priced at Rs. 4, 79,000 (Ex-showroom Delhi) and will be sold across all the dealerships of DSK Hyosung...More

Ranchi Rhinos tame Punjab Warriors 2-1
Rhinos’ English recruit Ashley Jackson put the team ahead with a clinical drag flick in the 43rd minute and Mandeep Singh benefited from a defensive error on a hopeful cross from the right to score the second six minutes later...More

Living In Style launches exclusive collection of Panther shaped accessories
The interior of the modern home can take many guises, depending on personal style and choices, introducing artifacts into your home is a great way of complementing your home decor and adding a touch of the exotic...More

Animal Planet brings Animal Planet A-Z wildlife program
Animal Planet A-Z showcases one animal per week. From 21st to 27th January, every night at 10 pm...More

Buy Nyle Naturals Shampoo get free Spinz Perfumed Deo
Get a Nyle Naturals of 600 ml priced at Rs 219 and take home a Spinz Perfumed Deoa claim of 24hour long lasting fragrance worth Rs. 105 absolutely free...More

Shruti Hassan in Amit GT at Screen Awards, 2013
Looking lovely in a gorgeous purple chiffon gown, Shruti Hassan finished the look with voluminous hair and a striking lip color...More

Leadstart Publishing & Crossword Bookstore hosts launch of "The Unkindest Cut"
The evening was spectacular as it got together three different personalities from distinct background who shared their opinions on a topic that concerns our very own existence...More

Ornate your home with Unique and Stylishly Distressed Furniture
Original and customizes, Serenity – Blissful Living, rolls out some of their finest collection of distressed furniture speaking a vision that has valuable utility along with devoted love for art...More

‘Crocodiles’ uncovered next week in Animal Planet A-Z
This week from 21st to 27th January, find out more about these time-preserved amphibians on Animal Planet’s programming special ANIMAL PLANET A-Z...More

Big Bazaar celebrates a month long US Fresh Fruit Festival
Fresh Fruit Festival in 75 Big Bazaar stores across in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune. The festival showcases variety of U.S. fresh fruits including Grapes from California, Pears from Northwest and Apples from Washington...More

Deepika kick-starts the Race in Dubai
Attending the full day event in Dubai will be lead stars of the film Deepika Padukone, Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez and Ameesha Patel...More

Beat the cold with Van Heusen Sale!
Grab trendy apparel and accessories from suits & blazers, shirts, shoes for men to trench coats and dresses for woman...More

Tara Jewellers exhibits enchanting jewelry
Amara is a collection of stunning bridal jewellery which is designed to match the grandeur of the occasion of marriage itself...More

Bentley unveils Continental GT Speed Convertible at 2013 NAI Auto Show
Also on stand at Detroit is the Continental GT V8. Powered by a new 4.0 litre, twin turbocharged V8, the Continental GT and its GT Convertible stablemate achieve exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector...More

CNBC-TV18 launches ‘India’s Angels’
With the objective of introducing India to motivating stories, CNBC-TV18’s Executive Editor Shereen Bhan will put together this special series featuring some of India's most prominent early stage investors...More

Razzle, Dazzle…New Year collection by TMJ
Showcasing a stunning collection of exclusively designed modern jewellery, guaranteed to get your friends talking! Every piece of this fashionable collection has been carefully designed keeping in mind the sensibilities of the modern Indian woman...More

Other Lifestyle News 

RDB hits it again producing and releasing new track 'BBM'

Timberlake's new album hits No.1 on itunes within 24 hours

Karbonn Mobiles unveils New Year data offers for smartphone customers

IndiGo flights now to Bengaluru, Goa and Kolkata

Procam International ready for 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon

UTV’s Kai Po Che World Premiere at 63rd Berlin Film Festival

Pandit Chitresh Das and Antonio Hidalgo present Fastest Feet on Fire

Airtel launches limited-period free Facebook access for prepaid mobile customers

Pranab Mukherjee to inaugurate 28th APAO Congress

FoodFood launches new show Maa Ki Dal

The Body Shop opens 1st store in Dehradun

Students from Zee Institute of Creative Art protest for crime against women

DSK Hyosung launches two super bikes

Travelguru.com adds 'Khyber Himalayan Resort and Spa' to its list of Luxury Hotels 






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