|Vol. 766 - March 28, 2013|
BRICS Summit: PM reiterates resolve to assist Africa
Following is the text of the Prime Minister's statement at the BRICS Leaders - Africa Dialogue Forum in Durban on March 27, 2013:
"I am pleased to have this opportunity for a dialogue on how BRICS, and in particular India, could contribute to and benefit from the tremendous transformation that has made Africa the continent of hope today. Indias relations with Africa are rooted in the history of our solidarity against colonialism and apartheid. Mahatma Gandhi developed the tools of peaceful resistance on this very soil. Our engagement with Africa has come a long way since then and today we have built a new template for partnership in the form of the India-Africa Forum Summit. This partnership is guided by the vision and priorities of our African partners. India will assist Africa in charting its own course through institution-building, infrastructure development and technical and vocational skill development. The pan-Africa e-Network for tele-medicine and tele-education, which is functional in 47 countries in Africa, is a major success story of our institution-building partnership with Africa. We are ready to work with our African partners on e-governance to help bridge the digital divide in Africa. India is also happy to share its experiences of participative political institutions, local governance, media and civil society with Africa.
Human resource development and capacity-building assistance are at the core of Indias cooperation with Africa, because they enable and empower people to take charge of their own future. Over 15,000 African students are studying in India. Agricultural and scientific fellowships specially designed for African scholars are highly popular. Our assistance with vocational and entrepreneurial skill development, with particular emphasis on small and medium enterprises, is helping promote employability and job creation in Africa. Our concessional assistance is directed towards development of agriculture, infrastructure and industry. We are reviewing the terms and conditions of our lines of credit so that they meet the budgetary requirements of our partners, are in line with their own development priorities, utilize local resources and skills, and create sustainable revenue-generating assets. On the trade front, our non-reciprocal Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme Scheme for LDCs has significantly enhanced the access of African LDCs to the growing Indian market...Read More
India to be 3rd largest aviation market by 2020: Ajit Singh
Speaking at a function in the capital on the occasion of Aviation Day, the Minister for Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh said that, India would be the third largest aviation market by 2020. Addressing senior representatives of the aviation industry, Ajit Singh informed that studies suggest, the countries airports would be handling 336 million domestic and 85 million international passengers with projected investment to the tune of US$120bn by 2020. The Minister reminded the gathering that recently he took a decision to liberalize the process for airlines to aquire aircrafts by doing away with the Aircraft Acquisition Committee. He added that the Government has also taken steps to liberalize and grant traffic rights to Indian carriers to fly to new destinations around the globe.
Following is the entire text of the Ministers speech:
"Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi, Tony Tyler, DG of International Air Transport Association (IATA), S. Bomiddala, Chairman of GMR Airports, Hari Bhartia, former President CII, Chandrajit Banerjee, DG, CII, representatives of industry, members of media, friends, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be here amongst this august gathering, the confluence of best minds in aviation industry from across India and abroad and welcome you all on the occasion of Aviation Day. It is really heartening to see that the first-off "Aviation Day" in India is being organized with the focus on economic benefits that aviation brings to the Indian economy. I am told that the most important branches of the Aviation value chain which are critically linked and interdependent including the airline industry, the airports and manufacturing, engineering and service industry through the CII are jointly organizing todays session. I hope this realization of interdependencies among airlines, airport and the industry will also reflect in a growing shared agenda among the three; and reflect the growing areas of synergies between key players from the industry, to work towards the development of the aviation sector in India. To quote Henry Ford, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." I congratulate the organizers for bringing you all together on the "Aviation Day", a new beginning which I am sure will progress into success...Read More
Rate cut on small savings will not hit collections: C Rangarajan
The Finance Ministry move to cut interest rates by 0.1% on certain small savings schemes such as NSC will not hit collections in such schemes, C. Rangarajan, Chairman to the Prime Ministers Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) said on Monday. Mr Rangarajan told reporters on the sidelines of the 31st Skoch Summit in New Delhi. According to Rangarajan, there is also scope for further repo rate (rate at which RBI lends to banks) cut by the Reserve Bank of India if core inflation were to remain below 4%. The countrys core inflation declined 3.8% in February 2013 from 4.1% in January 2013. Banks will be considering at an appropriate opportunity to act on their lending rates as Government expenditure picks up in March, the liquidity position of banks may also improve, Mr Rangarajan added. Speaking about the current account deficit, Mr Rangarajan said CAD as a percentage of GDP is expected to be higher in FY12-13 at about 5%. At the same time, he mentioned that the capital flows will be adequate to cover CAD for the current fiscal. For FY13-14, Mr Rangarajan expects CAD to be lower than FY12-13 and capital flows covering that will not be a problem. He expects the Indian economy to grow at 6.5% for FY13-14.
India is not my top priority for investment: Lakshmi Mittal
Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, has reportedly said that India was not his top priority for investment. On the sidelines of a convocation of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Mittal said: "I do not want to give you any timeline about my Indian projects...experienced so much of delay."
ArcelorMittal had inked an MoU with Orissa government in December 2006 to set up a 12 mtpa steel plant in Keonjhar district at an investment of Rs. 400bn, but it has been facing delay.
UPA unmoved as Mulayam talks Third Front again
The United Progressive Alliance, which is just about coming to terms with withdrawal of support from the DMK received another jolt. This time it was Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who on Sunday said the future belongs to coalition governments and asked all like-minded parties to come together. "Coalition government is the need of the country as no single party can come to power at Centre on its own strength. It is high time that parties, having the common goal to achieve social change, come together as in Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," Yadav said. He was speaking at a function to commemorate the first death anniversary of veteran freedom fighter and pioneer of the Maharashtra co-operative movement, Nagnath Anna Naikwadi, at Valva village in Sangli. Dismissing Yadva's view on coalition politics, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh said he has not said anything new and that the party is not 'bothered'. "We work according to the situation. Whatever he has said is not something new." The Samajwadi Party has 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha and is currently providing outside support to the government. With the 18 MPs of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam or DMK -- the second largest ally in the ruling coalition -- withdrawing support last week on human right violations of Tamilians in Sri Lankan, the UPA is left with no choice but to depend on the outside support of 59 MPs. Of these 59 MPs, if the 22 Samajwadi Party were to withdraw support, the Congress and other allies would find it difficult to reach the halfway mark of 271 MPs required to form the government. On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Mulayam's son Akhilesh Yadav said his party is prepared to withdraw support to the UPA government. Speaking to Aaj Tak, Yadav hinted that the party may withdraw support during the current Budget session.
Cyprus govt may impose money controls ahead of bk reopen
There seems to be no respite to Cyprus' woes. Fears of a bank run have prompted the government to impose tough controls which include limiting the number of withdrawals and banning cheques. This even as banks in the tiny island nation reopen for the first time in nearly two weeks. Capital controls as imposed by the Central Bank of Cyprus will include a 300-euro daily limit on withdrawals. There will also be restrictions on transfers to accounts outside the country. A Finance Ministry statement said the controls will be in force for seven days. Banks in Cyprus have been shut since March 16 after the European Union presented a plan forcing losses on all depositors in exchange for a bailout. The plan sparked off protest and led to its Parliament rejecting the same. The country then approached Russia in hopes of a bailout but met with rejection. With time running out, Cyprus had no option but to agree to the terms of the bailout. According to the deal reached early this week between President Nicos Anastasiades and the trioka of EU, ECB and IMF, Cyprus would shrink its banking system. It would also force large losses on depositors at the countrys two largest lenders Bank of Cyprus and Laiki.
Economics for Everyone: Global Institutions - World Bank
World Bank or The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and analytical and advisory services. Established in 1944 as the original institution of the World Bank Group, IBRD is structured like a cooperative that is owned and operated for the benefit of its 188 member countries. IBRD raises most of its funds on the world's financial markets and has become one of the most established borrowers since issuing its first bond in 1947. The income that IBRD has generated over the years has allowed it to fund development activities and to ensure its financial strength, which enables it to borrow at low cost and offer clients good borrowing terms.
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. The World Bank is not a "bank" in the common sense. It is one of the United Nations specialized agencies, and is made up of 188 member countries. These countries are jointly responsible for how the institution is financed and how its money is spent. Along with the rest of the development community, the World Bank centers its efforts on the reaching the Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by UN members in 2000 and aimed at sustainable poverty reduction.
The "World Bank" is the name that has come to be used for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Together these organizations provide low-interest loans, interest-free credit, and grants to developing countries. Some 10,000 development professionals from nearly every country in the world work in the World Bank's Washington DC headquarters or in its 109 country offices...Read More
How to meet fiscal target and realise better value for PSUs?
How to meet the fiscal target and realize better value for PSUs? We suggest the Government (1) meet its divestment and fiscal targets for FY2014 through enhanced dividends from the PSUs and (2) divest them later after improving their financials through a better policy framework. With the top-10 PSUs sitting on Rs1.4 tn of net cash (as of September 30, 2012), we believe the Government can easily meet its fiscal targets without conducting forced divestments.
Distribute the cash please; Coal India alone can meet half the divestment target.
We would suggest that the Government explore the option of higher dividends from cash-rich PSU companies (see Exhibit 1). In particular, we see little logic for selling Coal India at depressed valuations (see Exhibit 2 for its valuation) when its stock price has come off (see Exhibit 3) due to the markets expectation of an OFS and coal pricing uncertainty. Coal Indias capex plan at Rs50 bn for FY2014BE is quite small relative to its humongous cash balance (Rs750 bn; end of FY2013E). More important, Coal Indias cash balance will keep on rising over the next few years (see Exhibit 4) despite its capex plans. Coal India can easily give Rs200 bn of dividends and dividend distribution tax (DDT) of Rs34 bn, with the Government receiving Rs214 bn for its 90% holding.
Higher dividends will also address the issue of misuse of cash.
One of the reasons for the weak performance of PSUs over the past 1-2 months has been growing concerns about use of cash. The Government intends to use the cash balance of the PSUs as a way to kick-start the capex cycle. As can be seen in Exhibit 5, the FY2014BE (as per Union Budget) does not show any great spike in capex of PSUs. They seem to be investing sensibly based on their core plans. The Street has fears of PSU companies being made to invest in non-core businesses; this is true for NMDC with concerns about it being forced to invest in downstream steel plants...Read More
What role can big data play in achieving innovation within firms?
The Saïd Business School, University of Oxford will host the 7th annual Oxford India Business Forum on 5 April, 2012 at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. The Forum will provide a platform for global business leaders, academics, policy makers and sector specialists to debate some of the most pertinent issues affecting business, economic and social growth in modern India. Now well established as an annual event on the India calendar, the 2013 Forum will focus on the role big data can play in achieving strategic change and innovation within firms. The panel of leading experts will include the Dean of Sa?d Business School, Professor Peter Tufano, Professor David Upton , Professor Viktor Mayer Schönberger, Oxford Internet Institute, K Ananth Krishnan, Chief Technology Officer at Tata Consultancy Services and Satya Ramaswamy , Vice President & Global Head of TCS Mobility, Tata Consultancy Services. They will discuss how massive flows of data can be harnessed for competitive advantage, before an audience of 150 friends and alumni of Oxford, leading business figures and policy-makers. Big data is much discussed but ill-defined and can mean anything from social media analytics, real-time data, next generation data management, to managing huge quantities of data including that from non-traditional sources. Some companies have been collecting and utilizing big data for many years, but most are in the early stages of big data adoption. Increasingly boardrooms are starting to appreciate that analytical sophistication can bring competitive advantages. Two factors are facilitating increased big data use within organisations: the digitization of many activities and transactions has created new types of large and real-time data; new advanced analytics technologies enable organisations to extract insights from data in new ways with speed and accuracy...Read More
Mexicans paid most for a hotel room in India: Hotel Price Index
According to the latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) report by Hotels.com, the global hotel bookings expert, travellers from Mexico parted with the most money to stay in India. They paid on an average Rs. 7,766 in 2012 which is 19% more than what they paid in 2011. Travellers from the Middle East came in second at INR 7,670 followed by the Japanese at INR 7,648. Further, there was a good spread of nationalities in the Top 10 with two more from Asia as well as two from North America and one each from Europe, Latin America. Of the key inbound markets, the Americans were at No 5 at 7,448 INR after a 7% increase and the British were at No 9 on 6,941 INR.
Of the 32 nations included in the report, 25 paid more in 2012 than the previous year in the country. The report also reveals the list of top 10 Indian destinations preferred by international travellers. It has a good mix of the countrys metropolitan areas and tourist hot spots. The capital city Delhi ranks number 1 amongst international travellers followed by Mumbai. Goa, the popular beach and party destination comes in third.
One of the most famous buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal helped Agra to bag the 7th place on the list, attracting visitors from all over the world. On the other hand, 2 cities from Gods Own Country, Kerala are seen in the top 10 list - Cochin on the 9th spot and Thiruvananthapuram on the 10th.
Hinduja Bros richest Asian in Britain, topple LN Mittal
The battle of the Asian billionaires has today seen a twist in the fortunes of the man who for the past four years has sat comfortably at the top of the money mountain. For the first time in four years, since the Asian Media & Marketing Group (AMG) has been publishing the Asian Rich List, steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal no longer holds the title of the richest Asian in Britain. The unique accolade has been usurped by the London-based Hinduja brothers, whose net worth is estimated to stand at a staggering £12.5 billion, an increase of £3 billion over the past 12 months. The Hindujatrading empire is spread virtually over five continents and run by four brothers and their children. Steel magnate Mittal, who seemed unreachable at the top of the list, has had a tough year, with a drop in wealth of £2.5 billion, taking him to £11bn. Mittal has been largely hit by the fall in the share value of Arcelor Mittal, which has been beset by the falling global demand for steel. In what has been deemed by many to be one of the toughest years for the economy, this year's Asian Rich List, released exclusively at the Asian Business Awards today, sees the number of Asian billionaires more than doubling in a year. The Asian Rich List features seven billionaires, compared to three in the 2012 list. With a combined overall net worth of nearly £46bn, (an increase of £4bn since 2012), the 101 millionaires certainly seem to be bucking the global trend. This years list sees eight new entries with a combined value of £767 million, with the highest new entry, metal mining magnate, Rajesh Satija storming in to the Top 20 with a valuation of £390m.
As the UK economy struggles to overcome recession, the increasing demand for discount retail stores is creating new fortunes. Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora, have increased their fortune by almost £800m, by selling a stake in their hugely successful chain of discount stores B&M to private equity in this financial year, whilst the Lalani family of 99p Stores fame continue to travel steadily up the list. Interestingly, as their wealth grows, so does the philanthropic commitment of the millionaires, with many of them having set up their own charitable foundations and trusts. Retail and property tycoon, and the man who brought Dominos pizza to the UK, Rumi Verjee is a prime example with the Rumi Foundation selecting and donating to key projects and charities like Mosaic to give disadvantaged youngsters in the UK greater opportunities. Sir Anwar Perwez, who has been a consistent entry in the Top 10 set up the Best way Foundation and 2.5% of profits from the Best way Cash & Carry business are donated to the Foundation to support projects in the UK and Pakistan...Read More
Banks to follow priority sector lending rules strictly: RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 22nd March directed banks that contingencies liabilities and off-balance sheet items cannot be considered as priority sector lending. According to RBI, some banks are violating the priority sector lending rules to achieve the annual target. It has now told these banks to declassify the contingent liabilities and off-balance sheet items as priority sector loans with retrospective effect. Banks are stipulated to lend 40% of their total adjusted net bank credit (ANBC) of last financial year to priority areas like agriculture, small manufacturing units or exports. They are supposed to lend 18% of the ANBC to agriculture and allied services as a sub target. "Banks are advised to declassify such accounts with retrospective effect, where a contingent liability / off-balance sheet item is treated as a part of priority sector target achievement," RBI said in a press release. However, the banking regulator has not provided the names of the banks violating the rule. "We also clarify that all types of loans, investments or any other item which are treated as eligible for classifications under priority sector target and sub-targets should also form part of adjusted net bank credit," RBI added.
Political uncertainty and limited monetary support dilutes confidence
The Indian economy (and its asset markets) encounters strong headwinds from all sides, hurting the investor sentiment and confidence. The Euro zone crisis strikes back through Cyprus and there is fear of more in pipe-line. There is absolute lack of confidence in the economic recovery of Euro zone with struggle to stay afloat. On the domestic front, RBI maintains its hawkish monetary stance. The stake-holders anticipated RBI to be more concerned on growth taking comfort from sharp down-trend in headline WPI and core inflation. The hope was built on the presumption that RBI will shift into loose monetary policy stance in recognition of shift into tight fiscal policy stance.
It is obvious that sustainability of tight fiscal policy is dependent on quick shift into higher growth trajectory. It is not that it is possible only with favourable monetary conditions (of low interest rates and surplus system liquidity) but it will definitely be a catalyst to the process. The bolt from the blue is the political uncertainty building doubts over the ability of minority UPA to roll-out key reforms covering FDI limit enhancement in select sectors, tax (and land) reforms and more importantly igniting the pick-up of infrastructure (and core) projects. The market is not expected to get into bullish mode unless the fiscal consolidation is achieved through growth pick-up and not through cost compression. Governments disinvestment process (for one-off revenues) has limited appetite from investors and the bail out from PSU FIs is not seen in good light. All told, dynamics are very complex at this stage with strong cross-winds inhibiting combined strength of political, fiscal and monetary forces come into play for lifting the growth trajectory in FY14. What is the impact on markets?...Read More
More than 60% of IPOs are trading below issue price: SEBI
India Incs propensity to raise money from the capital markets has shown a very significant decline, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) chairman UK Sinha said. According to Mr Sinha, Indias decline is much more significant among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries or rest of the world. Mr Sinha was speaking at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Kolkata. Indian companies raised Rs. 670 billion from the primary market in 2010-11, while it came down significantly to around Rs. 160 billion in 2011-12. Till February 2013, domestic companies have raised around Rs. 144 billion from the primary market. This is a big decline, the SEBI Chairman said further. Many corporates, who have undergone the whole process of getting the final observation from SEBI, have not gone ahead with the fund raising. They have either withdrawn their request for raising money or have allowed the final observation, which is valid for one year, to lapse," Mr Sinha added. He added that around Rs. 600 billion of fund raising proposals have been shelved by India Inc in the past three years. More than 60% of IPOs (initial public offers) in the last three years the shares have been trading below the issue price month after month. SEBI is taking a number of initiatives to encourage companies raise funds from the capital markets. The e-IPO facility, which allows retail investors to submit bids electronically for IPOs, has been introduced in 400 locations and SEBI is planning to expand it to 1,000 locations soon.
Find 15% FY14 Earnings Growth For Sensex Optimistic: HSBC
HSBC Global Research has analysed the third-quarter earnings of companies in the MSCI India basket. According to it, the recent earnings season suggest flat earnings growth for MSCI India. The brokerage sees India's weak GDP growth rate now affecting corporate revenue. The latter was up only 10% in the period under review and is the slowest growth since September 2009. "Revenue growth came down from 27% YoY in March 2010 to 10% YoY in December 2012." Net profit was up only 3% in Q3 FY13 in continuation with the disappointing trend, it said in a report titled 'Slice & dice: Q3 FY13'. Sectorally, it finds contraction in earnings in telecom, industrials, and consumer discretionary while defensives sectors like consumer staples, IT, healthcare and utilities saw the highest growth. It feels the consensus FY14 forecast of 15% earnings growth for the Sensex looks optimistic. But all is not gloom for investors. FIIs, it said, continue to buy into Indian markets despite the lackluster earnings performance. "Foreign investors have injected nearly $34 billion since January 2012 which led to multiple expansions. Currently, FII ownership in Indian market is at a record high."
FII investments in P-Notes rises 7.3% to Rs. 1.62 trillion
Foreign institutional investments (FIIs) into Indian markets through participatory notes (P-Notes) have increased around 7.3% to Rs. 1.62 trillion in January against Rs. 1.51 trillion in December 2012. The cumulative value of P-Note investments in Indian markets comprising equity, debt and derivatives was at Rs. 1,62,139 crore at the end of January against Rs. 1,51,084 crore in December 2012, according to the latest data by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India). As a percentage of the total assets under the custody of FIIs, the foreign investments through P-Notes have increased to 11.83% in January against 11.3% in December 2012.
Mkt size of direct selling ind pegged at Rs 63,851mn
Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) in association with PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, released Annual Survey 2011-12 on the Indian Direct Selling Industry. The industry has continued to show remarkable growth and reached at 22% during 2011-12, expanding from INR 52,294mn in 2010-11 to INR 63,851mn in 2011-12. The robust growth in the segment has been contributed to 22.5% growth in organized sector and 17.68% growth in the unorganized segments of the industry during 2011-12. The industry grew at 24% during 2009-10, 17% during 2008-09, 13% during 2007-08 and 9% during 2006-07. "The Indian Direct Selling Industry has scaled remarkable growth over the years and has been expanding its horizons in India as a rapidly emerging alternate distribution channel says Dr. S.P. Sharma, Chief Economist & Head of Research, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ". The annual survey reveals that the concentration of sales of Direct Selling Industry in the Southern region has now started diversifying to the other regions of the country. Average turnover of Northern region reaches at 20% in 2011-12 from 15%in 2010-11; Average turnover of Southern region has reduced to 39% in 2011-12 from 44% in 2010-11; The Northern Eastern region has exhibited remarkable growth at around 43% Sharma said. According to Dr. S P Sharma, two Indian states have drafted out more detailed and focused guidelines for direct selling companies including Kerala and Rajasthan in November 2011 and October 2012, respectively. The Central government had constituted a committee to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory cooperation among agencies of both the State and Central governments with regards to fraudulent financial pyramid schemes. They should have the license to do business in India and should file all mandatory returns. Its mandatory to have trademarks or licences...Read More
Indian market relatively resilient: MasterCard
MasterCard Worldwide released a new Insights Report which assesses the extent to which a slower growing global economy and specifically a slowdown in merchandise exports, will impact the resilience of consumer confidence in key markets in Asia/Pacific and the Middle East. The report titled "Consumer Confidence in a Weak Global Economy: An Index of Resilience 1Q, 2013", is based on a correlation analysis of the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence (MWICC). The Index is Asia/Pacifics most comprehensive and longest running consumer confidence survey - against merchandise export growth for 17 countries across Asia/Pacific and the Middle East. Markets with the highest level of consumer confidence, as well as those that are most resilient to a slowdown in merchandise exports have the strongest potential to weather the economic downturn.
"The strong growth in global demand that we saw during the decade of 2000-2010 was unique in many ways, underpinned by an unprecedented increase in global liquidity which provided a tremendous boost to the export-oriented economies in Asia/Pacific and Middle East. But growth in global demand will be a lot weaker than before. Putting it bluntly, a repeat performance is highly unlikely," noted Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide, and co-author of the report. "For many markets in the Asia/Pacific and the Middle East, especially the export-oriented ones, the outlook of a slower growing global economy will mean weaker demand for exports. Thus, their ability to leverage domestic demand, especially private consumption, will be critical in supporting stronger economic growth. The extent to which they may succeed will in turn depend on how resilient consumer confidence is in these markets," he added.
India ranked an overall fourth on the new MasterCard Consumer Confidence Index as a market whose consumer confidence is less affected by changes in its merchandise exports. Indias consumer confidence is neutral with respect to changes in merchandise export growth. Moreover, India's consumer confidence regarding employment and regular income is more resilient than the overall consumer confidence to changes in merchandise export growth and has found a place in the "relatively resilient" and "very resilient" categories...Read More
Agencies issue updated leveraged lending guidance
Federal bank regulatory agencies on 21st March released updated supervisory guidance on leveraged lending, which has been increasing since 2009 after declining during the financial crisis. The guidance from the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the agencies) covers transactions characterized by a borrower with a degree of financial leverage that significantly exceeds industry norms. The guidance replaces guidance issued in April 2001. Before the financial crisis, the volume of leveraged credit transactions grew tremendously and participation by non-regulated investors willing to accept looser terms increased. While leveraged lending declined during the crisis, volumes have since increased and prudent underwriting practices have deteriorated. For example, some debt agreements have included features that weaken lender protection by excluding meaningful maintenance covenants and including other features that can limit lenders' recourse in the event of weakened borrower performance. In addition, capital and repayment structures for some transactions, whether originated to hold or to distribute, have been aggressive. Management information systems at some institutions have proven less than satisfactory in accurately aggregating exposures on a timely basis. It is important that banks provide leveraged financing to creditworthy borrowers in a safe and sound manner.
The guidance issued focuses attention on the following key areas:
Room for further rate cuts quite limited: Nomura
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently estimated its neutral nominal policy rate at around 6%.1 This holds when WPI inflation is close to the target 5% and the output gap is zero. In reality, WPI inflation is around 2 percentage points above the desired rate, while growth is below potential. The RBI assumes potential output growth at around 7%, but we believe it has fallen to 6.0-6.5%. Using actual growth and inflation data, we find that policy rates have broadly followed the Taylor rule. Based on our year-ahead forecast that the negative output gap will gradually close and WPI inflation will be sticky at around 7%, the Taylor rule suggests that policy rates are very close to the neutral rate currently and, in fact, should move marginally higher. Taylor rules do have limitations, but they reiterate the RBIs guidance that room for further easing is "quite limited."
CII Biz Confidence Index rises to 51.3 in Q4 FY13
Mirroring the impact of the recent reforms initiated by the government to boost growth, CII Business Confidence Index, which had slipped below the psychological 50 level mark in the third-quarter of the current fiscal, rose to 51.3 in the final quarter. Welcoming the development, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, said that "Though the index has strengthened in the final quarter of the current fiscal, it is too early to assume that the slowdown has bottomed out and the green shoots of recovery have begun to emerge". The 82nd Business Outlook Survey is based on the responses from 175 members. Majority of the respondents (53.0%) belonged to large-scale firms, while 14.8% were from medium-scale firms and 25.2% and 7.0% each were from small-scale and micro firms respectively. Further, 67.2% of the respondents were from manufacturing sector while 31.0% and 1.7% were from services and primary sectors, respectively. Majority of the respondents rated high levels of corruption, persisting inflation, threat to continuation of reform process, escalated interest rates and political uncertainty as the major concerns. Encouragingly, respondents did not perceive global economic/political uncertainty as a major worry at this moment.
Survey indicates that most of the respondents (43.5%) expect GDP growth to come in a range of 5.0-5.5% for 2012-13 as compared to the advance estimates of 5.0% released by CSO recently. In an indication of improvement in economic growth in 2013-14, majority of the respondents expect GDP growth next year to conform to the official estimates of 6.1-6.7% as forecasted in the Economic Survey. However, "For matching up to the government growth estimates for the next fiscal, it is critical that we remain focused on introducing the critical reform measures. The Union Budget 2013-14 has indeed covered some distance in this direction, but more measures are warranted" stated Mr. Banerjee. On inflation front, there are no major surprises. 42% of respondents expect average WPI inflation to lie in a range of 7.0-8.0% in the current fiscal. For 2013-14, however, most of the respondents (37.4%) expect inflation to moderate and come down in a range of 6.0-7.0%, which should help RBI to focus more on growth revival next year...Read More
HDFC ERGO launches Student Suraksha - Student Overseas Travel
Today studying abroad sounds thrilling and exciting. It not only allows students to live their aspiration but also gives them a direction to realise their dreams. But living away from home is not easy. There is always a need for someone to take care of your worries and be there with you at the time of emergency. Therefore it is important for all students to chalk out a plan that can help them stay hassle free and concentrate on their study abroad. HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited, India's' 4th largest private sector general insurance company, announced the launch of its new policy Student Suraksha Student Overseas Travel, a policy specially designed keeping in mind the needs of Indian students who are planning to pursue higher education abroad and for existing Indian students who are already studying abroad. HDFC ERGO Student Suraksha Student Overseas Travel policy provides cover against unforeseen expenses such as hospitalization, accidental death, permanent disablement, dental treatment. The policy also provides additional covers such as personal liability, bail bond, sponsors protection, study interruption, loss of passport and checked-in baggage loss.
The policy includes worldwide cover for students from 30 days to 2 years without any medical or health check-up requirements. This policy can be bought by an individual between the age 16 to 35 years who is a full-time registered student of an education course outside India. The special feature of the policy is that it pays amount incurred in the event of a visit by one Immediate Family Member abroad in case of medical emergency or vice-versa. Speaking on the new Student Suraksha Student Overseas Travel policy, Mr. Mukesh Kumar Member of Executive Management, Head - Strategic Planning, & Marketing, HDFC ERGO General Insurance said, "At HDFC ERGO, we believe in nurturing talent and taking utmost care of the needs of aspiring youth. With the rising medical and travel costs abroad, our policy comes as a pocket friendly solution for students. It is a comprehensive plan designed to offer students a safe and secured stay abroad." He further added, "With universities abroad making health cover mandatory for overseas students, it is gaining popularity amongst students. It is also more cost-effective for students to buy an insurance policy in India as typically the products here are better priced than the ones available abroad. Increasingly students are opting for this and we visualize that the demand for such products will only increase in the years to come." To enroll for the Student Suraksha Student Overseas Travel policy, one can chat with the customer service team or make a call on the toll free helpline, 1800 2 700 700 for further support.
ING completes sale of interest in ING Vysya Life
ING on 22nd March said that it has completed the sale of its 26% interest in ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Ltd to its joint venture partner Exide Industries Ltd. The divestment, which does not have a material impact on ING Groups results, is part of INGs earlier announced process to divest INGs insurance and investment management businesses. The process to divest the other insurance and investment management businesses in Asia, including INGs fund management operations in India, is on-going. Any further announcements will be made if and when appropriate. The divestment does not impact ING Vysya Bank, a publicly listed Indian bank in which ING has a 44% stake.
Govt releases 104lakh tons of sugar for open market sale
The Central Government has decided to make available quantity of 104 lakh tons of sugar, as non-levy quota for open market sale, for the 6 months of April, 2013 to September, 2013, as per the details given below: -
Particulars: Quantity in lakh tons
Normal quota: 104.00
The sale and delivery/dispatch period for the above quota would be from 1st April. 2013 and upto 3oth September, 2013, without any inter-month restrictions. The non-levy quota would be apportioned and released only among those sugar mills which have submitted online production returns at the time of release Mill wise quota apportionment would discount the entire non-levy quota released for the period of October, 2012 and upto March, 2013 and any quantity left unsold would not be not be available for sale during the period of April, 2013 to September, 2013. There would be no conversion of unsold non-levy quota into levy quota during the period of current release, i.e. April to September, 2013. Further, Government has also released, during this month, 3.69 lakh MT of levy sugar for meeting requirements of Public Distribution System for the months of April May, 2013.
Packaged rice variants double in less than a year
While rice remains an important part of the food and drink retail landscape across Asia Pacific, new research from Mintel highlights that it is India leading the way in the packaged rice market across the region. Indeed, Mintels new rice research reveals that new product development in packaged rice in India has more than doubled in the past two years, with over 200 packaged rice launches in 2012 compared to around 100 in 2011. Furthermore, in 2012, India was the most active country in terms of new product development, accounting for 50% of packaged rice introductions in Asia alone, followed by Vietnam and Thailand which accounted for 10% and 8% respectively of NPD in the region. Malaysia came forth with 7% of new packaged rice launches in APAC followed by Australia with 6%. Overall, the Indian retail rice market stood at INR 122 billion in value and 2 million kg in volume in 2012, from INR 75.56 billion and 1.2 million kg in 2010. And there is further good news for the market in the future too, as Mintel expects the market to grow even further to reach an estimated INR 333 billion and 4 million kg by 2016 (+175%)...Read More
Hindustan Motors inks alliance with IndusInd Bank
Hindustan Motors Ltd. (HM), Indias pioneering automotive major, has signed a deal with reputed IndusInd Bank in a bid to provide easy and trouble-free financing facilities to its customers all across the country. The tie-up shall facilitate prompt financing facility to potential customers in rural and semi-urban areas for buying cost-effective HM vehicles at competitive interest rates. According to the agreement, the bank will work in close coordination with the HM dealers for providing car loans for both commercial and passenger vehicles. The facility will be available through IndusInd Banks country-wide network of 254 branches spread across 180 geographical locations in 28 states and 6 union territories. The memorandum of understanding was signed by HMs Uttarpara unit Financial Controller & Head IT, Dibyendu Chatterjee, and T.A Rajagopallan, Senior VP-Consumer Finance of IndusInd Bank, here on March 25. Commenting on the development, Uttam Bose, MD & CEO, Hindustan Motors Ltd., said, "Customer-centricity is HMs credo. Our objective is to make purchase of HM vehicles easy and pocket-friendly for customers...Read More
Tata Motors to undertake shutdown for 11 days: reports
Tata Motors will undertake a 11-day shutdown to carry out maintenance of equipments at its Jamshedpur plant from March 27, says media reports. Reports said that the auto company will undertake shutdown from March 27 to April 6 to carry out maintenance of equipments.
Ford cuts global water use 8.5 % per Vehicle from 2011 to 2012
Ford reduced the average amount of water used to make each vehicle by 8.5% between 2011 and 2012 putting the company more than halfway toward its current goal of using an average of just 4 cubic meters per vehicle globally by 2015. Since 2000, Ford has reduced the amount of water it uses in everything from cooling towers to parts washing and paint operations by 10.6bn gallons, or 62%. Thats equal to the amount of water used by nearly 99,000 U.S. residences annually, or enough to fill 16,000 Olympic-size pools. Fords reduced consumption rates mean even more to regions around the world struggling with water-related issues like drought and extensive population growth.
Fords water reduction success is a result of the companys commitment to reduce the amount of water it uses by aggressively monitoring and managing just about every drop of water going into and out of its facilities and properties, says Andy Hobbs, director, Environmental Quality Office. Since 2000, Ford decreased the total amount of water used around the world annually from 64mn cubic meters to 24mn cubic meters. "Thats about 10.6bn gallons of water that was conserved and went to use somewhere else," says Hobbs. Ford voluntarily launched its Global Water Management Initiative in 2000, putting in place ways to manage water conservation, quality and reuse of storm and process water. Fords water strategy complements the companys overall Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibilities.
"Ford recognizes the critical importance of water, and is committed to conserving water and using it responsibly," says Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "Many vehicle manufacturing processes require water and the resource is used at every point in our supply chain." Ford aims to use an average of 1,056 gallons of water to make each vehicle globally consistent with its overall goal of a 30% reduction in the amount of water used per vehicle between 2009 and 2015. That is slightly more than the 1,000 gallons fire engine tankers in the U.S. are required to contain in their tanks. One cubic meter of water is equal to 264 gallons...Read More
Mercedes-Benz opens first luxury car showroom in Vadodara
Mercedes-Benz announced the launch of its dealership "Benchmark Cars" in the city. Conveniently located at Kalali Vadsar Road, the new dealership is spread over an area of 35,000 sq. ft., carrying an investment of INR. 70 million and created within a record time of 10 months. Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India elaborated: "With presence across 33 cities through 59 outlets, Mercedes-Benz clearly demonstrates its commitment to the tier-II and III markets in India. Vadodara is an important business hub; and one of the high potential cities of India. It is therefore natural for us to set-up operations here. Benchmark Cars has an enviable record of delighting customers and they have the mandate to ensure the highest levels of sales as well as vehicle ownership experience for our patrons in the city." Benchmark Cars started as a dealer for Mercedes-Benz in 2009 and over the years have spread across to 5 locations (Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Indore & Kolkata). With clear focus upon customer delight and robust processes, Benchmark Cars has won several recognitions within Mercedes-Benz India dealerships including the best Customer Satisfaction, Best Service Quality, Best Service Awards in 2011. Till date Benchmark Cars sold close to 2000 cars wearing the badge of the Three Pointed Star...Read More
Thomas Cook plans to sign up contracts in Europe: reports
Thomas Cook is planning to negotiate and sign up contracts directly with suppliers such as hotels or car rental companies in Europe, according to reports. Reports stated that this initiative will give Thomas Cook an edge, enabling it to offer competitive rates. The foreign exchange business contributes 60% of Thomas Cooks revenue; the rest comes from travel, says report.
Spicejet says not in talks with foreign player for FDI
Spicejet Ltd has reportedly said that they are not in talks with foreign player for FDI. SpiceJet is planning to grow revenue from Canada's Bombardier Inc planes to 20% from 11% in 12-20 months, chief executive officer Neil Mills reported said.
AirAsia-Tata may offer free seats to passengers: reports
AirAsia Bhd, the regions biggest budget carrier, is reportedly planning to offer some seats for free when it starts flying in India. The operator may expand similar promotional offers in Malaysia, according to reports. Reports stated that passengers would have to pay taxes and other fees. AirAsia, which is awaiting a licence after winning the Indian governments approval this month to form a joint venture, is targeting to start operations by end-2013.
BIAL hosts first cooperative aviation security programme - Asia Pacific
Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) in co-ordination with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) hosted the first CASP-AP (Cooperative Aviation Security Programme Asia Pacific) specialized quality control workshop at the airport. Raja Srivastava, IPS, Additional Commissioner, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, New Delhi and M N Chaturvedi, Consultant, Ministry of Civil Aviation, attended the five-day programme as observers from the Govt. of India. This workshop was facilitated by John Hondo Gratton and Graham Lockwood, CASP-AP Bangkok. This is the first time a workshop of this nature has been conducted in India and BIAL is the first airport in India to host this workshop. The main objective of this workshop is to ensure compliance with the international aviation security conventions, ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and related guidance material by enhancing the aviation security capabilities of the participating states and administrations.
It also aims to achieve a greater degree of harmonization in civil aviation security matters by creating a CASP-AP Civil Aviation Security Standing Structure (CASS) for AVSEC information exchange, technical assistance, co-operation and co-ordination, as well as for the training of aviation security personnel. Delegates from Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal attended this five-day workshop on Specialized Quality Control. Over the past 10 years this programme has been regularly conducted by the ICAO to airports to address quality control. This approach is substantially different from the previous training activities and has found to be a successful model of capability increase for smaller States in aviation security related fields...Read More
Composites industry seek govt support to become major employer
The Indian Composites Industry has appealed to the government to provide much needed benefits to make this industry the highest employment generator in the country. Today, composites find applications in almost all industry sectors and, if the ministry wants, it can provide the required support to generate increased employment within the industry, said Subhash Vithaldas, Chairman of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Institute, today at the press conference to announce the forthcoming event, ICERP 2013 to be held at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon, Mumbai from 4nd to 6th April, 2013. "Today, composites can be used in various product categories in almost in all sections of Industry, and with increased usage, employment is bound to grow, said Vithaldas. Citing an example of the potential of this industry for employment generation, Vithaldas commented that today a known composites manufacturing unit with an annual turnover of Rs 100 crores, employs an average of 600 employees, which illustrates the potential to generate jobs. The Global composites market is likely to grow at nearly 4 per cent over the next five years. The Indian composites industry could grow at 10-15 % during this period. Current Indian production of composites is estimated at about 3 lakh tonnes, about 3 per cent of global volumes and 33% of present volumes in China. The growth will be seen majorly in the automobile Sector, (defence) tanks, transportation, wind energy and infrastructure...Read More
Welcome extension of Compulsory Registration Order: MAIT
Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the apex body actively representing ICT Manufacturing, Training, IT, Design, R&D and associated services sector has hailed the governments decision to extend the deadline of "Requirement for Compulsory Registration Order 2012" by three months.The new deadline to implement the mandatory BIS certification is July 3, 2013. Commenting on this move, Anwar Shirpurwala, Executive Director, MAIT said, "The industry is delighted with this move taken by the IT & Communications Ministry. The relaxation of deadline will help maintain the market stability as well as avoid supply crunch." He also highlighted that the industry appreciated the compulsory BIS certification order. The Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012, notified by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) was scheduled to come in force with effect from April 3, 2013. It meant that no manufacturing, import, storage or sale of electronics products can be done without being registered with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The government order lists products under 15 categories ranging from video games, laptop, notebook, tablet and plasma/LCD/LED televisions, to microwave, printers and scanners, telephone answering machines, electronic music systems, etc.
MARG bags 3 Infra awards
MARG Group, one of India's leading infrastructure companies announced that it has bagged 3 prestigious Infra awards in quick succession. During the period of Feb-March 2013, the Group bagged 3 prestigious awards thereby once again reiterating the credentials that MARG has established in the industry. In the recently concluded 5th CIDC Vishwakarma Awards 2013, CIDC, New Delhi - an apex body set up by the Planning Commission of India handing handed out the most prestigious set of awards that recognize and facilitate achievers in the construction sector, GRK Reddy, CMD MARG GROUP was chosen as Industry Doyen for his exemplary contribution to the construction sector through adoption of path breaking technologies, best practices, people management and CSR initiatives . Also, MARG Ltd was chosen as Best Professionally Managed Company for exhibiting professionalism across its operation. The awards are an embodiment of encouraging truly successful efforts from individuals and organizations that have made a mark on the present Indian Construction Industry in terms of delivering better outputs, processes and creating higher benchmarks for construction industry to help in nation building. CIDC selects the winners through a stringent systematic process involving site visits & personal interaction with key functionaries of the organisation. These two awards were followed by another laurel for MARG in the form of the prestigious 5th KPMG Infrastructure Today Awards 2013.This annual award event organized by Infrastructure Today in association with KPMG recognizes excellence in infrastructure sector. MARG Karaikal Port was adjudged as Most admired emerging Infrastructure Company for its excellent performance & growth in transport segment. The selection to these awards goes through an extensive industry survey conducted by Infrastructure Today followed by elaborate discussions and voting by a panel of eminent jury from the construction sector...Read More
RInfra expresses solidarity with Earth Hour initiative
Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. (RInfra), the leading power distribution company in Mumbai, in solidarity with the Earth Hour initiative followed across the globe, will also observe Earth Hour on coming Saturday, March 23, 2013 between 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. RInfra, therefore, appeals to all the Mumbaikars to voluntarily switch off the power supply to their premises for one hour. Spokesperson, RInfra, while commenting on the initiative said, "We request all Mumbaikars, irrespective of their service provider, to come together for the cause and unequivocally support the cause by switching off all their non-essential appliances and gadgets during the hour." He further added, "RInfra is committed to the cause through its various initiatives in conservation of energy, food, water, paper, etc. that contribute towards the cause." Earth Hour is an annual international event created by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund), that urges households and businesses across the world to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour at the appointed time to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. RInfra, in line with its commitment towards the cause of energy conservation has initiated several programmes through its various initiative such as YES (Young Energy Saver) programme for school kids; facilitating distribution of Energy Efficient electrical appliances (Viz.T5 tubes, CFL Bulbs, Star rated ACs and Fans) for its consumer at discounted rates. The Company is also engaged in conducting lecture - demonstrations in various Housing Societies as well as Municipal Schools to create and spread awareness about energy conservation among the consumers. Company has launched Online Energy Manager which empowered consumers to calculate savings made on their power bills by resorting to the stringent energy conservation measures. It needs to understand that 1 unit saved in electrical energy is nothing but restricting 1 kg carbon emissions going in air. Through YES initiatives, RInfra has touched almost 5 lacs Mumbaikars. Saving of 1 unit of electrical energy by these people can be saving of 5 lacs kg Carbon Dioxide going into air; thus, creating healthy atmospheric conditions for the generations to come.
Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa ties up with World Hotels
The Galaxy Hotel, Shopping and Spa has forged an alliance with World Hotels to enhance its Global Distribution System (GDS) to the business and leisure traveler from across the world. The only hotel in the NCR region to have created this affiliation, Galaxy will now be a part of a coveted chain of 500 hotels, managed by the group globally and be a part of the 10 premier properties in India who are affiliated to Worldhotels. A strategic and completely marketing & sales oriented tie-up, Galaxy will now be serviced on a global platform by a team of professionals who set standards in global sales, marketing and distribution support that is to be found only in major chains. Worldhotels Sales and Reservations offices in over 30 key locations worldwide will service the hotel for customers in their own language. The Galaxy hotel will now be connected to high value business from over 500 key accounts plus worldwide distribution channels that include preferred travel consortia, the Worldhotels hotel websites, internet booking channels and online travel agencies. Galaxy will also find support and commitment through the Worldhotels social media network; through Facebook and Twitter pages of Worldhotels. The global marketing and e-commerce team will further provide a range of services from branding to online CRM solutions. Globally now the international traveler seeking upscale products will be directed to the Galaxy hotel to experience the wonders and heritage of India. The Galaxy Hotel guests will also enjoy the benefit of airline miles by staying in the hotel as Worldhotels has an affiliation with 25 major airlines across the world apart from other offers with numerous affiliates.
TCS positioned as a Leader in Sustainable Technology Services
Tata Consultancy Services, a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions firm, announced that it has been positioned as a Leader in Sustainable Technology Services by specialist energy, environment and sustainability analyst firm Verdantix. According to Verdantixs report, Green Quadrant: Sustainable Technology Services (Global), 2013, TCS is ranked as a Leader as a result of the companys expertise in manufacturing plant energy systems, renewable energy systems, residential smart meters, and data center energy management. TCS has invested significantly to build on its strong track record in corporate sustainability. The company has created a dedicated sustainability practice, and during the last 12 months has also enhanced its energy management and environmental capabilities in numerous specialist areas. In recognition of this, Verdantix has awarded TCS with best-in-class scores for manufacturing plant energy systems and residential smart meters.
Mobile VAS mkt to grow to $9.5bn in 2015: Wipro
Wipro Technologies, the Global Information Technology, Consulting and Outsourcing business of Wipro Limited, and The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), in a joint research report titled "Future Thought of Business (FTOB): MVAS" predicts that the Indian MVAS market will grow at a CAGR of 25% between 2012 and 2015 to reach US $9.5bn in 2015, from an estimated US $4.9bn in 2012. Wipro and IAMAI conducted an in-depth evaluation of over 450 consumers and providers of MVAS in India to identify the major drivers and barriers of the Indian MVAS market and provide insights that will help to grow this market. The research focused on the mEducation, mEntertainment, mFinance and mHealth application areas and found that there is pent up market demand from consumers for sophisticated mobile services in India that have the potential to improve the overall quality of living...Read More
Educomp Solutions completes sale stake in Eurokids
Educomp Solutions Ltd., India's largest education company, today announced that it has completed the sale of its entire 50% stake in Eurokids International Limited to a group of investors led by GPE India. Educomp had finahVed the stake sale on 8 January 2013. The transaction has been completed today, after meeting the customary conditions precedents. Shantanu Prakash, Chairman and MD, Educomp Solutions Ltd, said,"This transaction is an important milestone for the business transformation agenda that is currently underway. Educomp has made 3x its original investment in Eurokids and has created significant value for its shareholders by making a profit of approximately Rs 70 Cr on this investment.
Educomp's business transformation agenda is progressing well on track. Our strategy is to focus on one hand on a) our core businesses of digital content offerings & asset-backed offerings and b) to monetize the non-core assets to unlock value. As a result, earlier in the year, Educomp sought growth capital investment of Rs. 22cr in its internet education platform business Authorgen, from Kaizen PE and Bertelsmann. The transaction has insulated Educomp from any further capital infusion requirement, while at the same time, there is a potential value creation upside maintained through a minority equity stake. The completion of the Eurokids transaction is the second milestone in our asset monetization strategy. The proceeds from the transaction will be ploughed back into our core businesses as well as used to de-lever our balance sheet...Read More
Sonata Software enters into a global alliance with TIBCO Software
Sonata Software, an IT Consulting and Software services provider, announced that it has entered into a global alliance with TIBCO Software Inc. to sell and implement tibbr, a leading enterprise social networking platform. This alliance is a part of Sonata's strategy to employ the best of social, mobile, cloud and analytics technologies to transform business processes of customers in the verticals of interest to the company. Sonata is a partner of choice for Fortune 1000 enterprises to enable IT transformation initiatives by setting up customer specific Centers of Excellence. Developed as the first enterprise social platform to seamlessly and bi-directionally integrate with other enterprise applications, tibbr enables businesses to get work done faster by bringing people, apps and data together in one secure platform.
Cisco enables learning experience at BITS Pilani
Cisco announced that Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, one of Indias premier independent universities, along with BITSAA International, its global alumni community, have successfully deployed the immersive, high-definition Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing and Cisco WebEx technologies as part of a cross-campus technology initiative named BITSConnect 2.0. Set to transform the learning experience through unparalleled campus-connectivity, this platform is aimed at creating a dynamic and collaborative learning environment by connecting classrooms through a MPLS based data network. Custom-built using Cisco TelePresence technology, the new virtual lecture facility will offer immersive, high-definition visual communications enabling all students, regardless of location, to collaborate and participate as if they were in the same room as one another and their professor. The initiative will benefit over 11,000 students and 700 teachers and provide them with access to business leaders and guest lecturers located around the globe, enabling collaborative research and interactive learning a routine part of their lives.
Cisco has a history of developing unique solutions for educational institutions and a strong corporate commitment to improving the quality of education. Through the Cisco Networking Academy program, the companys 21st Century Schools initiative and numerous engagements with nongovernmental organizations whose aim is to boost opportunity through education, Cisco has helped multiply the impact of technology on millions of students and teachers around the globe.
Mindshare appoints Rajit Desai as Partner - Consulting
Mindshare, the flagship media agency of GroupM has further strengthened its consulting and analytics discipline in the west with the appointment of Rajit Desai as Partner - Mindshare Consulting. In his new role, Rajit Desai would actively contribute towards developing and restructuring Mindshares business consulting offering for clients in west region. He will be reporting to the Head of Practice - Sandeep Pandey. In his last role Rajit served as the Vice President and Head of Lab center (research and strategy hub) at Lodestar UM. Having worked in the marketing vertical and as media consultant for various leading companies such as HTA, Sony, Times Now, Loadstar, Media e2e and Turner Broadcasting, Rajit comes with 16 years of work experience in the media function. Welcoming Rajit, Sandeep Pandey, Head of Practice, Principal Partner Consulting and Analytics, said, "Our nature of work requires people from strong consulting and business strategy profile and Rajit has a combination of both. It is part of our larger talent restructuring within consulting discipline and you will hear soon about many senior profiles joining from different industries." On his move to Mindshare, Desai said, "This exciting role is a logical next step for me. I see this as a big opportunity and I look forward to help address clients marketing and business problems and grow the practice along with the high quality team at Mindshare."
RIL clearance for Oil&Gas blocks credit positive: Moodys
Last Thursday, the Indian government approved Reliance Industries Limited (RIL, Baa2 positive) to continue exploration and production at two oil and gas blocks including Krishna-Godavari Basin (KG) D6, its largest oil- and gas-producing block. This is credit positive for RIL. Without this approval, RILs exploration efforts could have stopped after Indias Ministry of Defense in January declared RILs two blocks as belonging to 14 blocks that the ministry deemed to be sensitive "no-go" areas, reversing the regulatory approvals that Reliance received in 2000 when it first secured the blocks. The two blocks are Reliances undeveloped gas discovery block, NEC-25, and the KG-D6 block, which it jointly owns with BP P.l.c. (A2 stable). The KG-D6 block is important for the production and revenue of Reliances upstream oil and gas business. For March-December 2012, the block produced 55 million barrels of oil equivalent, or 70% of Reliances total oil and gas production. During this same period, Reliance derived $860 million in revenue from the block at an average oil price of $103 per barrel and an average gas price of $4.2 per million British thermal units. The governments approval indicates that it is keen to avoid any disruption in gas production because of regulatory hurdles. Without this approval, KG-D6s development would have been further delayed. Output at the KG-D6 averaged 28 million metric standard cubic meter per day (mmscmd) in December 2012, just 35% of its daily target of 80 mmscmd. After nearly a year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in October 2012 approved the plan to increase production at the block. Two other blocks belonging to the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC, Baa1 stable) and Cairn India (unrated) were also given clearances. The government cleared a third block that RIL owned but has since relinquished.
Venus Remedies launches first OTC product 'EZENUS'
Venus Remedies Limited has announced the launch of its first OTC product 'EZENUS', a stress reliever. The product is a patent protected herbal, anti-stress formulation based on German Technology It is a strong detoxifier candy free from side effects, with strong antiox.dant hepato protective, and immune boosting activity which reduce stress without altering the physiological functions of the body. EZENUS reduces more than 60% stress within 30 days without change in life style and significantly improves the quality of life in terms of physical, social emotional and functional well- being. This breakthrough innovative product is suitable for all ages with safety established upto 10 times advised dose. Ezenus is the outcome of continuous research, latest technology and thorough screening for safety and efficacy of more than 5 years. With launch of 'EZENUS', a stress relieving candy, Venus is entering into the OTC segment for the first time. The company is hopeful that this novel research product 'EZENUS' will acquire 5% of the 100 million USD direct market of stress segment in India, other than lifestyle disorders, within 3 years of its launch.
Godrej Properties launches Affordable Housing in Ahmedabad
The Mumbai-based real estate developer launches 1 BHK affordable apartments in Godrej Garden City, Ahmedabad at prices starting at Rs. 16.5 lakh. Godrej Properties Ltd. (GPL) (BSE scrip id: GODREJPRP), the real estate development arm of the Godrej Group, today announced launch of the Affordable Housing Scheme in their township project Godrej Garden City (GGC) in Ahmedabad. Five new towers, each ground plus 12 storeys tall, will offer affordable 1 BHK apartments each measuring 600 sq. ft. at prices starting from Rs. 16.5 lakh. Each tower will be equipped with 2 lifts and all apartments are open from two sides with no two apartments overlooking each other. GGC is located just off SG Highway in the heart of Ahmedabad. The project is within Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) limits and is easily accessible from any part of the city. Godrej Properties is creating facilities for public transport, education, health-care, recreation, hospitality, retail and banking within the development. Important civic facilities and public utilities will be added to make Godrej Garden City fully self-sufficient. The master plan has been created by world-renowned architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), who have designed numerous landmark projects across the globe such as the Burj Khalifa, which is currently the worlds tallest building.
SAT defers SEBI-Sahara case till 13 April: reports
The Securities Appellate Tribunal has adjourned its hearing till April 13 on Sahara group chief Subrata Roy's plea against Sebi's attachment order of his bank accounts and other assets, according to reports. Reports stated that Roy has approached the SAT against the attachment orders issued by Sebi last month. The Tribunal, in its last hearing in Mumbai on March 23, had decided to hold its final hearing in the matter here in the National Capital on March 26.
Single Window System for clearance for real Estate Projects soon: Ajay Maken
Ajay Maken, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation informed that the Government had sanctioned projects worth Rs 41723 crores for building of 15,69,000 houses/dwelling units for Economically Weaker/Lower Income Group sections under the Ministrys flagship JnNURM (BSUP and ISHDP) programmes. Maken said this while addressing the National Editors Conference here today, of these approximately 10 lakh houses were either ready or under various stages of completion. Similarly under the Pilot phase of Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), in the 195 identified beneficiaries cities Rs 100 crores had been released for undertaking the finalisation of slum free city plans. 40 Projects worth Rs 1769 crores for construction of 32517 dwelling units in 33 cities had been sanctioned till the 10th March 2013, Shri Maken informed. Informing about the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) of the Ministry, Shri Maken apprised that during the XI Five Year Plan, a total expenditure of 2691 crores was made, 27.37 lakhs of beneficiaries had been provided Skill Training and 12.76 lakh of individuals were assisted for self-employment and also 6.29 lakh women beneficiaries were assisted for setting up of Group Enterprises. For the year 2012-13, as on 22nd March 2013, Rs 685.62 crores have been released to States and so far 3.23 lakhs of beneficiaries have been provided Skill Training and 53329 individuals were assisted for self-employment and also 29107 women beneficiaries were assisted for setting up of Group Enterprises. Elaborating further the Minister said that in order to have a mission mode approach to Urban Livelihood, the Ministry will launch a National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) during 2013-14, which will replace the existing SJSRY. Two new Schemes namely, Support to Urban Street Vendors and Shelter for Urban Homeless has incorporated in NULM. The targets for Skill Training under NULM will be 4.0 million during the XII Plan period. It is also proposed to construct 1600 shelters for urban homeless during the XII Plan period. As far as 2013-14 is concerned, it is proposed to provide skill training to 4 lakh urban poor beneficiaries and to construct 200 shelters for urban homeless...Read More
India among top 20 real estate investment markets: Cushman & Wakefield
According to Cushman & Wakefields latest report International Investment Atlas, the global property investment market recorded a modest 6% rise in activity during 2012 with volumes reaching US$929bn (714bn). In what was a difficult year in most markets, investment volumes rallied in Q4 signaling the beginning of real momentum and a return of confidence in the market which could see volumes this year increase 14% to exceed US$1 trillion mark (815bn) for the first time since 2007. India was (20th) among the top 20 real estate investment markets globally with investment volume of Rs190 bn (USD 3466 mn) recorded in 2012. Majority of the investment in India were through institutional sales (67%) while remaining were through private equity (PE) investments (33%). The market witnessed institutional sales (excluding apartments) of Rs128 billion, concentrated in commercial development sites and office segment including stand-alone and pre-leased office buildings. However the investments in institutional sales saw a decline of 37 % over last year. On the other hand private equity investment in India increased by 7% in 2012 and was noted at Rs62.0 billion. In terms of value, majority of the Private Equity in Real Estate (PERE) investments were noted in ready income generating / operational office assets at INR 32.3 billion saw an increase of 34% over 2011. Under construction residential projects continued to witness the highest number (25) of PERE deals in 2012 and witnessed private equity investments at Rs 28.5 bn...Read More
TRAI releases Quality of Service Regulations, 2013
The regulations issued in 2006 have prescribed a Code of Practice for metering and billing accuracy, containing standards for metering and billing, which every access service provider has to comply, so as to minimize the incidences of billing complaints and for protecting the interest of consumers. These regulations also provided for a system of annual audit of the metering and billing system through any one of the auditors, from the panel notified by TRAI, and the service providers are required to submit Audit Report by 30th June of every year and Action Taken Report on the inadequacies, if any, pointed out by the Auditor by 30th September. TRAI had issued a Consultation Paper on 27th November, 2012, seeking the comments of stakeholders on the proposals to introduce financial disincentives for addressing the problem of delay in submission of audit reports and action taken reports, false or incomplete audit and action taken reports and delayed refund of overcharges to affected consumers and proposals for improvement of quality of audit. Open House Discussions were held in Delhi on 9th January, 2013. After considering the views received from the stakeholders during the consultation process, TRAI has issued the Quality of Service (Code of Practice for Metering and Billing Accuracy) (Amendment) Regulations, 2013. The salient features of these regulations are given below:
Service providers to get its metering and billing system audited annually for basic and cellular mobile telephone service in each service area through any one of the auditor from the panel notified by TRAI. Audit of call data records of one month of sample subscribers from most popular plans, new plans, data plans and Special Tariff Vouchers, in each Quarter so that the audit is representative of the whole year and also to facilitate timely refund of overcharged amounts. Submission of audit report and action taken report by service providers to TRAI every year by 31st July and 15th November respectively. Financial disincentive at the rate of Rs. 1,00,000/- per week for delay in submission of Audit Reports and Action Taken Reports by the service providers. Financial disincentive not exceeding Rs. 10,00,000/- per Action Taken Report for false or incomplete information in the Action Taken Report. In all cases of overcharging established during audit the affected customers shall be refunded of the overcharged amounts within two months, failing which the service provider shall be liable for financial disincentive equivalent to the amount of overcharged amount. Auditors to submit monthly progress report to TRAI on refund of overcharged amounts to affected customers, in addition to submission of report on progress of audit at periodic intervals.
Core issues related to land acquisition In India
The core issues that surround the acquisition of land in India are more complex than those related to built-up property. Some of these are:
As things stand now, land acquisition has become a means for a multitude of middle-men to make a lot of money. This is because the tough regulations and complexities related to acquiring land today provide huge arbitrage to such people. If the Government starts simplifying the process, middlemen can be eliminated, reducing the cost arbitrage and passing the benefit to the actual land owners. Until that happens, the availability of fool-proof deals in land will remain scarce on the ground. For the record, a good deal is one wherein one can buy, in one go, a clean title property that complies with all Government plans and stipulated usages.
How To Avoid Bad Land Deals
One can avoid bad land deals by:
When it comes to land acquisition, there is no question of a free lunch or short-cuts. If something about a land deal seems out of whack, then it can be taken for granted that there is an issue with the land. As things stand today, fraud happens as because people buy land without complete due diligence, which leads to faulty acquisition of land with title issues. The objective of buying land for development should be getting a clean, secure title and being able to develop on the plot without facing any future complications at the development stage, and within a stipulated time.
Bharti Airtel raises $250mn via bond sale: Reports
Bhartis fully owned subsidiary in the Netherlands Airtel(Bharti Airtel International Netherlands) successfully raised $250mn yesterday from the international markets after raising $1bn through bond sale last month. The Netherland arm sold $500mn worth of bonds which carry a coupon rate of 5.04%. These are US dollar denominated bonds having a maturity period of 10 year.The bond is set to be merged with earlier bond issue, said the reports.
Spectrum Case: We have done nothing wrong, says Sunil Mittal
Each one of you must hold your head high for we have always done what is ethical and right, and will continue to do so, says Mittal in an email to his top brass. Sunil Bharti Mittal, CMD of Bharti Cellular Ltd, and six others were recently issued summons in a corruption case relating to allocation of additional spectrum during the NDA regime in 2002. Though Mittals name was not in the CBIs charge sheet as an accused, Mittal was prima facie in control of affairs of his company Bharti Cellular Ltd which was charged by the CBI, the court stated. In a recent email to the top brass of his company, Sunil Mittal said his firm has always maintained the highest standards of corporate governance. Quoting the Bhagwad Gita, he said, No one who does good work will ever come to a bad end, either here or in the world to come...Read More
Food prices decline but still high and close to historical peaks: WB
Global food prices continued to decline for six consecutive months, but still remain very high and close to their historical peaks. The persistently high and volatile food prices not only influence conditions of hunger and undernutrition, but also obesity which may increase in the context of high prices as people opt for cheaper, less nutritious food to feed their families, the World Bank Groups quarterly Food Price Watch report said. "Unhealthy food tends to be cheaper than healthy ones, like junk food in developed countries. When poor people with some disposable income in developing countries try to cope with high and increasingly volatile food prices, they also tend to choose cheap food that is high in calories but without much nutritious value," said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank Groups Vice President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. "Half of the world's overweight people live in just nine countries China, United States, Germany, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and Turkey evidence that obesity is not an epidemic restricted only to rich countries."
According to the latest edition of the Food Price Watch, global food prices continued to fall between October 2012 and February 2013 - a trend observed since the recent all-time peak in August 2012 - but prices were only 9% below the August peak. Lower demand from a sharp fall in the use of wheat feed and reduced maize consumption for ethanol in the United States pushed prices down. Reported favorable weather conditions in some regions have also raised hopes of better crop supply for 2013. But uncertainties remain. Global stocks of cereals dropped by 3% in 2012, mainly due to the decline in wheat stocks and coarse grains. The continued dry conditions in Argentina, South Africa and Australia also cast doubts over supplies in the coming months. Oil prices have been on the rise for three consecutive months, marking its highest level in February since April 2012. Stronger demand from Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey, and possibly China may pressure the market...Read More
US economy will grow despite spending cuts: Kurt Karl
After 20 March 2013 decision by the Federal Reserve to maintain the target Fed funds rate at zero to 25 basis points, Swiss Res Chief Economist, Kurt Karl, commented: "Triggering the sequestration will slow growth and delay the first rate hike by the Fed into early 2015. Karl added: "If present trends continue, the unemployment rate will fall below 6.5% in the first quarter of 2015, so the Feds first rate hike is unlikely to come any time sooner. Nevertheless, yields on the 10-year Treasury notes are expected to rise modestly this year and next, reaching about 2.6% by end-2015 as economic activity picks up. "Though allowing sequestration to be implemented is not sound fiscal policy, it will reduce the deficit. Additionally, it will weaken economic growth this year by about 0.5%, deferring monetary tightening. Our baseline scenario assumes that more finely-tuned policies will be put in place over the next few months to reduce the dampening impact from the sequestration, so growth will be about 2% in 2013."
He further added: "Economic developments remain uneven in the Euro area. Economic indicators have rebounded in Germany, but have remained weak in many other European countries, particularly Italy and France. We currently expect the mild recession to continue in the Euro area, with real GDP growth of -0.3% in 2013. "The lack of growth is one important factor that makes the resolution of the Euro area debt crisis so difficult. An excessive focus on fiscal austerity last year has probably contributed to the deepening recessions in the periphery. The focus now appears to be shifting gradually towards tolerating deficit overshoots caused by worse-than-expected economic performance. The key to longer-term sustainable growth, however, lies in further structural reforms that are conducive to growth and these, if implemented, will only have an impact over the next five years." He continued: "The indecisive election outcome in Italy is a reminder that the reform path in Europe will not be a smooth process. In addition, reducing the private and public debt overhang involves distributional choices that can lead to a public outcry as we are currently witnessing in Cyprus."...Read More
Fitch upgrades Philippines to investment grade; Outlook stable
Fitch Ratings upgraded the Philippines' Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'. The Long-Term Local-Currency IDR has been upgraded to 'BBB' from 'BBB-'. The Outlooks on both ratings are Stable. The agency has also upgraded the Country Ceiling to 'BBB' from 'BBB-' and the Short-Term Foreign-Currency IDR to 'F3' from 'B'.
Key Rating Drivers
The upgrade of Philippines' sovereign ratings reflects the following factors:
Sustainability depends on the way food produced and consumed: FAO
Small-scale producers, local production and consumption circuits and recovering traditional crops have a major part to play in reducing hunger, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told professors and students at the University of Gastronomic Sciences today, also noting the many possibilities of cooperation between FAO and the university to fulfil the vision of a hunger-free and sustainable world. He said that the Green Revolution of the 1960s had increased per capita availability of food by over 40 percent, but at the cost of a loss of food diversity because of a focus on a few crops and significant impact on the environment from intensive use of chemical inputs.
But now there was a trend towards growing and marketing traditional foods, towards improving local infrastructure and markets and helping small-scale producers, all of which was good for the environment and the economy of rural areas, where hunger was worst, he said. "Under-utilized crops ... can have a positive impact on food security," he said. "Recovering these crops is a way towards food security. It also means rediscovering lost flavors and identifying new ones. That is something that unites all of you to the poor farmers throughout the world," the Director-General told the audience. Graziano da Silva mentioned cassava in Africa and South America and quinoa in the Andes as food crops that were coming into their own, to the benefit of poor farmers and their families. He encouraged his audience to help spread the word about the International Year of Quinoa, being celebrated this year...Read More
Investing in Latin Americas future: IMF Survey
Economic growth in Latin America is expected to remain strong in 2013, but the region needs more growth-enhancing and employment-generating policies to reduce poverty and income inequality, said Alejandro Werner, the IMFs new Director of the Western Hemisphere Department.
Werner also noted that large capital inflows, while beneficial for countries in the region, were generating some volatility in domestic financial markets.
Werner joined the IMF in January 2013, leaving a position as head of corporate and investment banking at BBVA Bancomer.
IMF Survey online: You have just taken up the position of Director of the Western Hemisphere Department. What are your top priorities?
Werner: The Western Hemisphere covers all the countries in the Americas and, therefore, includes a wide mix of countries. Our priorities reflect this diverse mix.
For example, we have the United States, which is seeking to accelerate the pace of its recovery. Here, I think our job is to add value to the ongoing debate on options to speed up the U.S. recovery following its financial crisis, to develop a medium-term fiscal consolidation strategy and to continue strengthening the balance sheet of its financial sector. The United States has important ties to the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Central America and the Caribbean, for instance, are strongly linked to the U.S. through remittances, exports, and tourism. For these countries, low growth and high debt are the headline issues. So the IMF has to work closely with policymakers in these countries to help them design policies that will put them on a path of higher growth and declining debt-to-GDP levels. Then we have some countries, like Brazil and Mexico, whose economies are large and systemic. These economies have been extremely healthy and growing, so our role is to provide the best advice possible to continue strengthening their fiscal and monetary frameworks, developing their financial capital markets, and upgrading their regulatory frameworks...Read More
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde lauds Cyprus solution
She added "plan focuses on dealing with the two problem banks and fully protecting insured deposits in all banks. It addresses upfront the core problem of the banking system through a clear strategy that ensures debt sustainability and does not excessively burden the Cypriot taxpayer. This agreement provides the basis for restoring trust in the banking system, which is key to supporting growth. "We believe the plan provides a durable and fully financed solution to the underlying problems facing Cyprus and places it on a sustainable path to recovery. The staff teams of the IMF and the European partners currently in Cyprus will now work to complete the technical details. Based on this and final agreement of the mission in Cyprus, I expect to make a recommendation regarding potential financial support from the IMF to the Executive Board in coming weeks."
Pacific growth eases as gains from large projects fade: ADB
Pacific growth softened in 2012 and is expected to moderate further in 2013, as gains from major investment and public infrastructure projects fade, according to the latest Pacific Economic Monitor, released today by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Regional growth eased to 7.3% in 2012 down from a post global financial crisis high of 8.3% in 2011. The report forecasts a further slowdown to 5.2% in 2013, before a mild pick up to 5.5% emerges in 2014. The 2012 performance was affected by a slightly softer pace of expansion in the larger, resource exporting economies of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Timor-Leste, although these economies are still expanding at rates that lead the region. The Solomon Islands saw a sharp pullback from double digit growth rates, as log revenues leveled off. Reduced gains from public construction projects weighed down growth in Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, and Tonga. However, growth actually increased in 2012 for some countries in the region. Growing tourist arrivals gave growth a boost in the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, and supported solid growth in Palau. The tourism outlook for the region remains bright, with visitor numbers in 2012 building on historic highs set the previous year. Strong arrivals from the main markets of Australia and New Zealand, as well as a rise in numbers from East Asia, are driving the gains. This uptrend is likely to continue as the economies of the key source markets are expected to remain steady, as long as emerging concerns about the availability of tourism facilities at peak tourism periods are addressed...Read More
ADB annual meeting to focus on development through empowerment
Members of the media who have been invited to the 46th Annual Meeting in Delhi are reminded to register online by 20 April. This year's meeting focuses on Development through Empowerment and will feature leading experts speaking on job skills for the 21st century, moving beyond "Factory Asia," finding financing for infrastructure, preparing for disasters, financing universal health care, and delivering effective public services, among other topics. Speakers will include a Nobel prize winner, finance ministers and central bank governors. To facilitate entry upon arrival in Delhi, please be reminded that all working media must have press credentials to attend the ADB Annual Meeting. Media based in India need press credentials issued by Indian authorities such as the Press Information Bureau; or proof of assignment to cover the Annual Meeting, such as a letter from their editor or media organization. Media based outside India need press credentials from their national or local authorities; or proof of assignment to cover the Annual Meeting, such as a letter from their editor or media organization. The requirements also apply to freelance and online media (journalists, photographers, and videographers) and to media technical staff. Journalists visiting on short-term assignments and planning to bring into Indiaphotographic or audio equipment or set up satellite feeds must submit a list of the equipment to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India when applying for a visa.
Global urea mkt to enter oversupply zone post 2015: Rabobank
The global urea market is set to enter an era of oversupply post 2015, according to Rabobank. Unprecedented acceleration in urea capacity expansion by key importers (the US, Brazil and India) and low-cost producers in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) will drive structural changes. This capacity expansion is expected to improve the self-sufficiency of the top three importers and ensure that supply growth significantly outpaces demand growth, shifting the market into a buyers market towards 2020. The competition among traditional exporters in the MEA, China and the FSU will intensify, resulting in price pressure and capacity rationalisation in high-cost regions. "Attractive returns in urea production have resulted in a spurt in capacity expansion projects since 2007" Rakhi Sehrawat, Rabobank analyst commented. "The expansion is driven mainly by the exploitation of shale gas in the United States (US), new gas fields in Brazil, political incentives in India, and low-cost natural gas in MEA. Over 65 new projects have been announced that will expand global urea capacity by 30 percent between now and 2020. This rush of activity on the supply side will have a strong influence on the urea demand/supply picture in the coming five to ten years". The urea production boom will impact players across its value chain, especially high-cost producers and traders. As the import reliance of the main urea destination markets declines and low-cost export-oriented capacity grows, competition among the traditional players/exporters will intensify, resulting in price pressure and capacity rationalisation in high-cost regions. In this market, strategic routes of the urea value chain partners (i.e. producers and traders) would need to change to adapt to this new reality in the urea industry...Read More
China remains top destination for foreign investment: PwC
All eyes in the metal industry will be on the lookout for a silver lining in the uncertain economic horizon this year as a PwC report out predicts. Mega deals will dwindle against a surge in smaller announcements according to Forging Ahead, with CEOs holding onto their purse strings. In PwCs annual in-depth metals M&A review and forecast, the headline trend is for a continuing recovery from a post credit-crunch low with Asia being the star region dominating the 2012 deals market. It accounted for 68% of totals deals value, more than three times the 19% share it held in 2011. Jim Forbes, global metals leader, PwC, said: "There is no doubt that the industry is facing some of its toughest challenges yet as companies battle the headwinds of ongoing economic uncertainty and unpredictable costs around raw materials and energy. On the surface, we are still seeing some mega-deals but they are fewer and if we created a top 10 of the deals announced and completed in 2012 just half would have been valued above US$1bn...Read More
2013 Kia Optima Hybrid: Improves Performance and Efficiency
Since its debut, the Optima mid-size sedan has garnered awards and accolades for Kia Motors America (KMA) in recognition of its design, performance and value. In 2011, the Optima Hybrid introduced a new level of efficiency to the brands most popular name plate. Now, KMA is pleased to announce the arrival of its updated 2013 Optima Hybrid, featuring a more performance-driven and fuel-efficient powertrain as well as more cargo space and premium features. Value continues to be a strong selling point for the Hybrid with the LX starting at an MSRP of US$25,900 and the fully loaded EX at an MSRP of US$31,950. For 2013, the Optima Hybrid features numerous powertrain refinements for smoothness and drivability, including a more robust 47 HP electric traction motor, a stronger Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) and a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery. With a combined 199 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque an increase of 40 lb-ft the Optima Hybrid is noticeably more responsive and performance-driven than before. The Optima Hybrid is now available in two trim levels, LX and EX. The base model achieves an EPA estimated 36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined, making the Optima Hybrid more efficient than its predecessor. The EX model delivers an EPA estimated 35 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined. In addition to increases in performance and efficiency, the 2013 Optima Hybrid also benefits from greater trunk space than before, thanks to the repackaging of the vehicles battery pack. Furthermore, the EX model adds navigation with Rear-Camera Display an 8-speaker Infinity audio system, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and 17-inch wheels to the already long list of amenities...Read More
Weststar Aviation Services adds two Eurocopter EC225 helicopters
Following major orders of the EC225 signed at the Heli-Expo earlier this month in Las Vegas, the sales momentum for this 11-ton class helicopter from Eurocopters Super Puma family continues at the Langkawi Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition this week in Malaysia with an order for two units from Weststar Aviation Services. A Memorandum of Understanding for the EC225s was signed today during the Langkawi Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition by company officials, witnessed by Malaysian Minister of Defense, YB Dato Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The acquisition is part of Weststars strategy to build up an extensive helicopter fleet to be deployed around the world. Targeting to begin operating their new helicopters in 2014, the EC225s will strengthen their position in the global oil and gas market, as the aircrafts advanced technology and high performance has made it the helicopter of choice for oil and gas missions worldwide. "We are delighted that Weststar has selected Eurocopter to provide for their heavy helicopter needs in their expansion plans," said Olivier Lambert, Eurocopters Senior Vice President for Sales and Customer Relations. "It is great to see an ambitious and impressive oil and gas operator such as Weststar extending its fleet with the leading heavy aircraft in its category after two years of operations with medium helicopters. Eurocopter is proud to accompany Weststar on its expansion journey with our state-of-the-art EC225." Formed in April 2003, Weststar Aviation Services provides general aviation charter services, personal transport, aerial utility services and offshore transport. A member of the Weststar Group, this companys current Eurocopter fleet of seven rotary-wing aircraft includes a mix of light-single, light-twin and medium-twin helicopters...Read More
SGX consults public on new FX futures contracts
Singapore Exchange (SGX) is consulting the public on its four proposed foreign exchange (FX) futures contracts, namely the US dollar/Singapore dollar, Indian rupee/US dollar, Australian dollar/US dollar and Australian dollar/Japanese yen pairs. These cash-settled FX futures contracts will be traded on and cleared by SGX.
SGX seeks the views of the public and market participants on the following proposals:
Termination of trading The last trading day for the FX futures contracts will be two business days prior to the third Wednesday of the contract expiry month, except for the Indian rupee/US dollar futures. For Indian rupee/US dollar futures, the last trading day will be two business days prior to the last business day of the contract expiry month. Final Settlement Price The suite of FX futures contracts will be settled in cash based on proven and widely-accepted methodology. SGX targets to introduce the new suite of FX futures contracts in the third quarter of 2013.
Apple plans to triple exclusive stores to 200 by 2015: reports
Apple Inc is planning to triple its exclusive stores to around 200 by 2015, according to media reports. Reports said that the company plans to grow aggressively in the country. The company has launched a massive advertisement campaign in the country and started offering iPhones on equated monthly installment (EMI) scheme. At present, there are more than 65 exclusive Apple stores in India owned and managed by franchisees, report says.
Yahoo plans to acquire Summly: reports
Yahoo has acquired London startup Summly, the maker of a mobile application created by a teenage entrepreneur seeking an easier way to read news stories, according to reports. The details has not been disclose how much it is paying for Summly. Summly makes a mobile application that condenses content so readers can scroll through more information more quickly.
Connect with employers in real time using your Facebook id
Facebook, the largest social network on the Internet at the moment connects nearly 70mn Indian users to the widest social platform to find people and to communicate with them. It is one of the best engagement tools available to people and business and also provides opportunities to bridge the gap among these two. Uniquely positioned to skill and job market Facebook Assessment and Job Connect App developed by Wheebox, Asias Fastest Growing Talent Assessment Company is a pure play based on facebook social connects. Where candidates seeking for jobs from any educational background can connect to Wheebox.Com using their facebook account and take a 20 minutes career assessment in their respective choice of industry and thereby connecting instantly for telephonic interview scoring above 60% in the test. Wheebox.Com, announced that the company plans to assess 2,00,000 candidates using its Facebook App in India in next 12 months. The students from B. Tech, B.E, MBA, MCA and Graduate and Diploma courses can take the test and the students will be assessed on Industry Skills, Cognitive Abilities, and English Reading Skills. The test will provide a wide spectrum to the students and complete analysis of their skills status i.e. where do they stand against the employers expectations. The test will generate a robust and validated analytical report, which will state the core strengths and improvement areas of the students. All students who score more than 60% can either connect on a toll free number or can provide contact number to be connected for instant interview process. Candidate will be able to know their status and also will be able to join all interviews where their scores are shared with clients. Over 15 large employers of PeopleStrong to hire from pre-assessed pool of students scoring more than 60% in Wheebox Skill Test. In a recent study of Wheebox and PeopleStrong HR Services Employability outlook report, it was stated that only 14% students pass in their Domain knowledge test and Only 27 percent students are able to qualify the English Comprehension skills overall; Girl students score better in English Comprehension skills than boys...Read More
As for the story, it reminds you of Nagesh Kukonoors Iqbaal, Farhan Akhtars Dil Chahtaa Hai and Zoyas Zingadi Na Mile Dobara for different reasons. But unlike the Akhtar products, Kai Po Che goes way beyond unfolding the glossy, highbrow intricacies of camaraderie between three friends to convey the reality of life and work in India how political undercurrents cause religious unrests that trigger social upheavals which in turn shape individual trials and triumphs.
Kapoor is largely helped by Sushant Singh Rajput (who plays the impulsive and lion-hearted Ishaan, the principal protagonist) who breathes life, almost all of it, into the plot. Hes the latest hope in cinemascope and should bag quite a few awards for the sensational debut. Closer to Ranbir Kapoor than Ranveer Singh in every department, he seems perfectly poised for a fruitful career in Bollywood.
The other two, Raj Kumar Yadav (cautious and calculated Govind) and Amit Sadh (rustic, susceptible Omi) provide good support though at times, Sadh looks lost and Raj Kumar goes overboard. For an accomplished actor and a regular face in offbeat movies (and even big banner products like Talaash), Raj Kumar runs the risk of getting stereotyped in sober roles. Hope he gets a break he deserves someday soon. Amrita Puri capitalizes on the fabulous part she played in the Sonam Kapoor disaster Aisha that was followed by a long lull of "prakriti ka sparsh" laden endorsements.
For a film based on Bhagats novel, Kai Po Che cant escape melodrama and simplistic twists but Kapoor dexterously builds on the given foundation to create an enduring slice of fiction. He does his best to space out Bhagats content-heavy theme that accommodates cricket coaching, earthquakes, riots, elections, love tuitions, Navraatri-brand carnal escapades and pregnancy tests. If certain parts like the Kendriya Vidyalaya sports presentation appear abrupt, one cant really blame Kapoor.
Despite the fact that Bhagats amateurish take (on most things) is tailor-made for the Bollywood cause, Kapoor adds credibility to the story by refraining from garish romanticism. Even the note of collective accomplishment at the end of the film is admirably matter of fact, conveyed through a running cricket commentary. Any other director would have been tempted to set emotions in loose motion. Five points for the director and Rajput, and also a few points for someone who paved the way for such potent cinematic possibilities.
Before you venture out to suffer this one, theres a fruitful option at hand. You can watch both parts of Dabangg and Wasseypur over and over again. The ordeal could leave you physically exhausted but youll still adore Salmans charisma and Anurag Kashyaps inventive drama. More important, youll escape the unparalleled mental torture that Zilla Ghaziabad has in store.
But if you are in an outrageous mood to prove the world wrong, this film will provide you with some comic relief. Few pointers:
Relish Vivek Oberoi in a whole, new majboori-mein-militant Gandhian avatar
Enjoy Arshad Warsis desperate attempt to play Salman Khan
Revel in the peculiar Gujarati-cum-bihari intonation of a jaded Paresh Rawal
See Munnabhai and his circuit in conflicting camps, for the first time on screen
Savor a glamorous version of Phoolan Devi, courtesy Divya Dutta
There could be many more Go find out for yourself! Courage calls for initiative, fair enough.
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5 Weekly positional calls
The Indian equity market ended with marginal gains snapping the two weeks losing streak. For the week the NSE Nifty and the BSE Sensex gained by 0.7% each. The NSE Nifty index found strong support at around the 200 Day moving average which is considered as critical support levels. On a year to date basis the Nifty has registered losses of 4.5%. However, the market has recorded gains of almost ~6% in the fiscal year.
After last weeks DMK drama, the Samajwadi Party (SP) came in the limelight this week after the SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was seen very keen on his goal of making it bigger in the next elections. The SP leader signalled at pulling the plug soon on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government according to reports.
Most of the global markets which lost their way in recent weeks were seen bouncing back with the US markets among the top gainers. However, the worry globally is that Cypruss bank-restructuring plan may be used as a template for other nations.
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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has done a commendable job: Manmohan Singh
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Sandeep Kumar Reddy, Managing Director, Gayatri Projects Ltd
Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
Jayadeep Reddy, MD & CEO, ehealth Access Private Ltd.
Kulkarni, Director, Varasiddhi Infrastructure
Arora, Jt. Managing Director, LT Foods Ltd
Prathap Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Balaji Amines Ltd
Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways
Arora, Director Investment, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life
Bafna, Director, Shree Shubham Logistics
Jayakumar, COO, E-commerce for Homeshop18
Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Ltd
Kaistha, Chief Executive Officer, Planman Media
Sultan Ahmed, Managing Director, Edumedia India
Vineet Agarwal, Joint MD, Transport Corporation of India
Padalkar, Executive Director and CFO, HDFC Life
Muralikrishna, CEO and Managing Director, helios and matheson
R. Sheth, Managing Director, aurionPro Solutions
Sharma, Director Operations, Jaypee Hotels
Bickson, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Limited
BM Bhorania, Executive Director of Finance, GSFC Ltd.
Nathan, CEO and Founder, Classle Knowledge Private Ltd
Tiwari, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Blackberrys
Sreeni Tripuraneni, Chairman & CEO, 4G Identity Solutions
Mishra, Chairman & MD, Foodesign Hospitality Systems
Bhajanka, Chairman, Century Plyboards (I) Ltd
Pirojsha Godrej, Managing Director & CEO, Godrej Properties
Alok Sanghi, Director, Sanghi Industries Ltd.
Ganesh, CEO, D&B Analytics and Decision Services Limited
Subramanian, Co-founder, Sharedcab.com
M. Sawhney, Chairman and Managing Director, Triveni Turbines Ltd
Hooja, Co-founder & Director, Imarticus Learning
Rao, Faculty and Senior Admissions Officer, Imarticus
Oberoi, Chairman & Managing Director, Oberoi Realty Limited
Nayar, Vice Chairman and CEO, HCL Technologies Ltd
Ravanan, Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, Mindtree
Balakrishnan, CEO, BerkshireInsurance.com India
myth of affordable energy: Ed Dolan
Som Majumdar, Director, International Business, KadenBoriss Lawyers
Jain, Group President - (Corporate Finance and Strategies) Uflex Ltd
Baid, Chairman & Chief Mentor, Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd
Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides India Ltd
Sunder B K, Chief Designer, Industrial Design Tata Elxsi, India
Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies
Monga, Country Manager India, Asian Panaria
Bose, Managing Director & CEO, Siemens Industry Software
Devendra Shah, Chairman & Managing Director, Parag Milk Foods
Sawhney, CEO & MD, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd
Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty & Infra India Ltd
Mohammed, PhD, CEO and Co-founder, XCODE Life Sciences
Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister for Trade and Commerce, Republic of
Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman, State Bank of India
Mehta, Chief Executive Officer, Aadhar Housing Finance
Pankaj Seth, Managing Director, Orbit Exports Ltd.
Saha, Managing Director, CIMGLOBAL
Shejale, Co-founder & CEO (India), Logicserve Group
Chandramouli, CEO, Comniscient Group
Mushtaq Ahmad, Chairman & CEO of Jammu & Kashmir Bank
George, President & CEO, Thejo Engineering
Karpe, MD & CEO, Aptech Ltd
Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director, JSW Steel
Beas Dev Ralhan, Chief Executive Officer, Next Education
Goyal, Founder & CEO, Zomato
you need to verify before signing a rent agreement
your insurance policy effectively to make it work better for you
features of IRDA guidelines for insurance plans
are fixed maturity plans & double indexation benefit
documents NRIs need to opt for home loan to buy house in India
top up plan to enhance your health insurance
tax deductions & exemptions on stock investments
is securities transaction tax
you at risk of computer injury?
to avoid online credit card fraud
to care about your medical insurance policies
lessons to know when you start the financial life
should I expect from my life insurance agent?
about Indias current account deficit
Wake-up Call: Change Behavior before Its too late
you must know about making claims
Planning: Important that we do our planning timely
score below 700 is dangerous for you
world needs a pay rise
is exchange earners foreign currency account
a solid health insurance portfolio
you discontinue your ULIP after three policy years?
Have you heard of a wedding policy?
career trends in 2013: Aspire Human Capital
more about car insurance policy & online renewal
to Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme, 2012
for Nothin writing checks for free: Bill Gross
little known facts about NPS & NPS Lite
Trends presents Bipasha Basu as show stopper for Shantanu &
Nikhil at LFW
'Save Our Tigers' presents Fashion for a Cause
Gohil presented a stylish fashion statement at LFW Summer/Resort 2013
unveils smallest HDTV bullet-style network camera
Eros Foundation becomes patron of Educate Girls
online Holi campaign with Poonam Pandey
Keech dazzles the ramp for designer Purvi Doshi at LFW
brings green guides to India
Jewellers inaugural function celebrated with fanfare
of Mumbai partners with American Express
100% pure New Zealand at a discount
Bachchan is brand ambassador for Parles Gold Star Cookies
Malhotra pulled out all stops to close Day One at LFW Summer/Resort 2013
Kumar receives Lifetime Achievement Award for year 2012
& Paykel Social Kitchen: A world class celebration of great taste!
starts hunt for Indias first Indian Idol Junior
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