Pune: Loss-making Wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy is considering a stake sale in its wholly-owned subsidiary REpower Systems SE, reports say. Repower is based in Hamburg, Germany, and manufactures onshore and offshore wind turbines with installation of around 3,600 wind turbines around the world.
Suzlon had acquired Repower at a high price after a bidding war with French energy company Areva in 2007. The firm was then valued at Euros 1.2 billion. The company got full control over the Germany subsidiary only late last year after buying out minority shareholders.
Bloomberg Businessweek had reported last week that Suzlon was studying option for its German REpower Systems SE subsidiary, including a sale or listing. The report said it was looking at raising Euro 1.5 billion from the sale. The options being considered was listing of REpower’s international operations or REpower itself. The Wall Street Journal too had reported that Suzlon was in talks with potential buyers such as Alstom and General Electric.
Suzlon has neither confirmed nor denied these reports. A company spokesperson said, “We don’t comment on market rumour or speculation.”
The company is under pressure as the debt repayment schedule approaches. The company has to raise R1,500 crore by June 2012.
Suzlon has already started selling non-core assets to raise funds and a small beginning was made last week when it announced sale of windfarm assets in India.
Suzlon Group, on Wednesday announced the sale of a block of wind assets for about R200 crore to repay its debt. These windfarms are located across India, with a majority of them located in Tamil Nadu.
Suzlon’s foreign currency convertible bonds comes up for redemption in June 2012 and October 2012 and this aggregates R3,021 crore. Suzlon has been maintaining that they would be able to take care of these obligations through recoveries from customers, sale of non-core assets and from selling their stake in Hansen Transmission.
BSNL-MTNL MERGER A DISTANT DREAM SYNERGY POSSIBLE
NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) plans to soon finalise policy decisions, required to enable state-run telecom firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to synergise their operations without a merger. An apex committee under DoT Secretary R Chandraskehar has been set up to oversee the required policy decisions and institutional framework for an alliance between the two public sector undertakings which have been incurring losses. Another permanent committee has been formed to prepare a suitable plan for implementation of the report by an earlier committee in a time bound manner which has favoured synergy between the firms. This committee would report to the apex committee, which would provide overall guidance and direction, a senior official from DoT said. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/bsnl-mtnl-mergerdistant-dream-synergy-possible/470420/)
COAL MINISTRY NOT IN FAVOUR OF 10% STAKE SALE IN CIL SUBSIDIARIES
KOLKATA: The coal ministry is not in favour of divesting 10% stake in Coal India’s subsidiaries, as proposed by the divestment department, as it will only infuse more funds into the cash-rich coal giant, a senior ministry official told ET. “We are not in favour of this divestment proposal. If the subsidiaries are listed, the money that comes from divestment will go to Coal Indiaand not to the government, because CIL is the owner of these subsidiaries,” coal secretary Alok Perti said. The department of divestment wants state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) to divest stake in its six profit-making subsidiaries: Central Coalfields, Mahanadi Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields, Northern Coalfields and Western Coalfields. CIL’s consultancy wing, Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, is also being considered for divestment. “CIL is a cash-rich company and if the government wants additional money from CIL it may take it in the form of special dividends. There will not be any separate requirement for divestment of the subsidiaries,” Perti added. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/metals-mining/ministry-not-in-favour-of-10-stake-sale-in-cil-subsidiaries/articleshow/12564397.cms)
M&A AND PE DEALS FACE SLOWDOWN AS POLICY PARALYSIS BITES
MUMBAI: Unstable government policies like retrospective tax on transactions, slower economic growth and fight between investors and promoters on corporate governance will slow down merger and acquisitions, private equity investments and companies’ ability to raise money by selling shares to qualified institutional investors. “Indiahas taken a major beating in the areas for which is was popular like economic growth, rule of law, stability of the government and corporate governance,” says Harminder Sahni, MDof advisory and consulting firm Wazir Advisors. “Issues like Lilliput have made investors realise that corporate governance in Indiais far behind expectation.” The volume of M&A, PE and QIP deals dipped 3% in the first three months of the calendar 2012 to $20.4 billion even as number of transactions rose to 297 from 219 in the same period previous year, a study by M&A Advisory and PE consulting firm Grant Thornton shows. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/m&a-and-pe-deals-face-slowdown-as-policy-paralysis-bites/933711/)
BHEL TO SET UP FABRICATION UNIT NEAR NAGPUR
NAGPUR: Soon after Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) announced its defence hardware unit at Amravati, engineering PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has also spoken of plans to acquire 300 acres in Bhandara district for a new plant. BHEL is one of biggest power plant equipment suppliers in the country. In an expansion mode, the BHEL unit at Bhandara will manufacture structural fabrication units – a key component in a power plant boiler. The plant is expected to entail an investment of Rs 1,000 crore. BHEL’s head of power sector in western region KS Mathur said the process has already begun, though no time frame can be cited since the project is in a preliminary stage. Sources in the company said the land has already been identified near Sakoli, a tehsil place in the district. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/BHEL-announced-Rs-1000K-cr-investment-at-Bhandara/articleshow/12563368.cms)
WITH JVs, TTK PRESTIGE TARGETS HIGH-END COOKWARE
MUMBAI: TTK Prestige, the leading kitchen appliances maker, is set for a makeover to an advanced cookware seller. It is entering various joint ventures and alliances as part of a plan to launch various high-end global cookware brands in India. According to sources, a joint venture with Meyer, a large US-based cookware company, and a partnership with Vestergaard Frandsen, a leading water purifier maker, are likely to be announced soon. Says K Shankaran, director & secretary, “We are operating at the middle of the pyramid and are in the process of moving into the top, by marketing popular foreign brands in India. We are in discussion with Meyer to market their advanced cookware brands.” On the JV plans, “It is premature to say,” was all he’d disclose. TTK already has been selling Meyer products in Indiaand in Sri Lanka, West Asia and Africa. Meyer’s product portfolio also includes known global brands such as Anolon, Circulon, Farberware, KitchenAid, SilverStone and Bonjour. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/with-jvs-ttk-prestige-targets-high-end-cookware-/470438/)
M&M MAY SET UP PLANT OUTSIDE MAHARASHTRA
MUMBAI: Multi-utility vehicle (MUV) manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra on Friday said it could look for an alternative location, possibly outside Maharashtra, to set up its proposed new manufacturing plant, in which it would invest between Rs 3,000 crore and Rs 4,000 crore. The move is in response to a decision by the Maharashtra government in its budget, presented late last month, in which it refused to concede to automakers’ demand to withdraw an amendment under which set-offs on value-added tax (VAT) would be limited to vehicles sold within the state. M&M’s proposed new plant was earlier planned at Chakan, near Pune. The stiff amendment in VAT rules, announced last year by the cash-strapped state government, had met stiff opposition from auto manufacturers, as they sold only 10-15 per cent of their vehicles in the state. The key auto manufacturers in the state also include Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Piaggio. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/mm-may-setplant-outside-maharashtra/470413/)
GMR FINALISING MOVE TO RAISE RS 650 CRORE
BANGALORE: The promoters of GMR Infrastructure are understood to be closing in on a deal to raise Rs 650 crore, to be used to repay part of the debt they have raised. The promoters, who hold a little over 71 per cent stake in the publicly-held company, based in this city, have pledged as much as 30 per cent of their holding with various financial institutions. The aim was to raise debt over a period of time and fuel growth of the company, now with a top line of Rs 6,500 crore. “The promoters have almost finalised a deal to raise Rs 650 crore to pay back the debt raised from IDFC, due by this June. Post this step, the promoters’ pledging of their holding will be down by around four per cent from the current a little over 30 per cent,” a senior management official told Business Standard. When asked, an official spokesperson of GMR Infra declined to comment. The promoters’ led by G Mallikarjuna Rao, chairman, have over recent years been investing heavily in building highways, power plants and airports. This catapulted GMR to among the top infrastructure developers in the private sector, riding on public-private partnerships. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/gmr-finalising-move-to-raise-rs-650-cr/470421/)
MINDTREE GEARS FOR PHASE-II OF ITS JOURNEY
BANGALORE: MindTree, a mid-sized information technology services company, is to focus on corporate governance, leadership grooming and repositioning of its brand, as it prepares for the ‘second phase’ of its journey, 13 years after inception. Based in this city, the company has hired three globally reputed agencies and firms — Egon Zehnder, for improving corporate governance; Siegel & Gale, for refurbishing the brand; and Korn Ferry, for career assessment and leadership grooming. “Phase one of our journey, in the first 13 years, was a period of great transition, essentially from a culture-led company to become an expertise-led one. If you look at the next eight years, we have to up the game,” Subroto Bagchi, the newly appointed chairman, told Business Standard. In April last year, MindTree saw one of its 10 co-founders leave, Ashok Soota. Bagchi says the company’s vision will be to make sure it is not dependant on the founders. “When we talk about core leaders, it goes beyond the founders. Our challenge and our job will be to make sure it is not a founder-dependent company. We did the right thing in the beginning, when we said our family members cannot work in this company. Now, we have to build a pool of leadership that is not linked to the founders,” he said. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/mindtree-gears-for-phase-iiits-journey/470422/)
TELECOM COMPANIES RING IN NEW ROUND OF SPECTRUM WARS
NEW DELHI: Two major airwaves auctions in the next 12 months – the sale of freed-up spectrum following the Supreme Court’s cancellation of 122 mobile phone licences and fresh bids for 4G permits – are set to trigger a new round of corporate hostilities in the controversy-ridden telecom sector as some of India’s biggest business groups lobby for policies that will benefit them and harm rivals in the upcoming sales. Unlike in the past, when telecom firms gravitated towards two distinct camps, based on whether they were running their networks on GSM or CDMA technology, this time there are as many alliances as there are issues and positions. The fact that Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications and Mukesh Ambani’s Infotel Broadband appear to be on the same side of the fence on some key issues, with Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest telecom company, on the other, will add to the drama. “Every operator is fighting for its own narrow interests and these are mutually destructive wars,” says BK Syngal, who was chairman of Reliance Infocomm between 1999 and 2002. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/2g-auctions-telcos-like-rcomm-bharti-airtel-ring-in-new-round-of-spectrum-wars/articleshow/12563745.cms)
TO BOOST MANUFACTURING, PLANNING COMMISSION PANEL MOOTS LAND ACQUISITION REGULATOR
NEW DELHI: As acquiring land for manufacturing industries becomes an issue of discord between various stakeholders, a Planning Commission committee has suggested setting up an independent regulator to lay down guidelines for such acquisitions. To determine the value of land for industrial purposes, which is mostly the primary cause of dispute, the steering committee on manufacturing, headed by Planning Commission member Arun Maira, suggested two methods: In the first, the land owners would submit the application for the sale of their land, quoting a price. The committee termed this a reverse auction process. In the second method, the regulator would set a price based on a multiple of the historical land price, as mentioned in the government’s land records. The committee, constituted to suggest measures to boost growth in manufacturing in the 12th five-year Plan, said while determining the price of land, the regulator should incorporate factors like upfront payments, annuity income streams and participation in the future appreciation of land prices. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/to-boost-manufacturing-plancom-panel-moots-land-acquisition-regulator-/470430/)
ALL DRUG BODIES FOR MARKET-BASED PRICING
MUMBAI: It’s rare to find three industry associations, each holding divergent views, to come together on a controversial issue. But for the first time probably in years, three pharma associations – Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA), Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) and Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) have rallied and submitted a uniform proposal to the government, suggesting a market-based pricing model for essential medicines. Interestingly, IPA represents the interests of the domestic home-grown industry, while OPPI fights for issues concerning multinationals. The development comes at a time when the Group of Ministers (GoM) is slated to finalize the model for fixing retail prices of essential medicines, and when certain health groups and ministries are opposing the suggested pricing model in the national pharma policy. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/All-drug-bodies-for-market-based-pricing/articleshow/12565427.cms)
INDIA REQUEST FOR EXTRA QATAR LNG TO BOOST BILATERAL TRADE
DUBAI: Indiaexpressing interest in importing additional liquefied natural gas from Qatarwill further boost the trade between the countries, a senior banker has said. “Indiawill be one of the largest gas markets for Qatarapart from China. Cooperation in the power sector between Indiaand Qataris under deliberation. Indiahas sought to purchase 2 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes of LNG from Qatarin addition to the 7.5 million tonnes it already imports from Ras Laffan,” Doha Bank Group CEO R Seetharaman told Gulf Times. Trade between the two countries stood at $ 5.2 billion in 2010, he said. He also said that the GCC-India trade, which stood at $ 118 billion in 2010-11, is expected to exceed $ 130 billion by 2013-14. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/article3287078.ece)
INDIA, CHINA CASHING IN ON IRAN SANCTIONS
WASHINGTON: Iran’s two major oil buyer — Indiaand China— now appear to be seeking to take advantage of the international sanctions against the Islamic republic by forcing concessions from Tehran, a latest Congressional report has claimed. “Indiahas used the payments difficulties to force concessions from Iran, including an Iranian acceptance of payment for about 45 per cent of the oil sales in rupees, India’s local currency, but which is not convertible,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said. “The remainder might be settled through barter trade or Indian investment in Iran, and some might be settled in gold. The Iranian concessions have made it attractive for Indiato refuse U.S.efforts to persuade it to cut its oil purchases from the baseline level of about 350,000 barrels a day,” it said. As the name suggests, CRS is the independent bi-partisan research wing of the U.S. Congress, comprising experts of various fields. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/article3289094.ece)
INDIA DEMAND MAY HIKE COAL PRICES GLOBALLY
NEW DELHI: The growing demand of coal in the domestic market is likely to push up its international prices. Coal industry experts feel that the prices may go up significantly in near future, driven mainly by the demand in Chinaand India. Coal prices in the international market have gone up from over $80 per tonne in 2009 to over $110 per tonne at present.This, the experts, feel may cross $150 per tonne. “China, which was earlier exporting coal, became net importer in 2008, while India’s coal import is continuously rising. The two countries together will play an important role in international coal pricing, which is expected to grow further,” Dipesh Dipu, director (energy & resources consulting) at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, said. Indiais one of the top ten coal producers as well as consumer in the world and contributes over 8% of the total international coal trading. It produced 538 million tonne in 2010-11, of which CIL alone produced around 431 mt. It imported 70 mt coal during 2010-11. While this was earlier expected to cross 100 mt in 2011-12, as per the latest estimate, the coal import for 2011-12 is likely to be 76-78 mt. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/india-demand-may-hike-coal-prices-globally/933723/)
POWER MINISTRY EYES 9,20,000 MU OF ELECTRICITY THIS YEAR: CEA
NEW DELHI: The Power Ministry has set a target of generating 9,20,000 million units of electricity this year, of which over 1,50,000 million units would come from the private sector alone, says a Central Electricity Authority report. Even as the sector grapples with acute fuel shortages, the power sector planning body in its report has set a goal of adding over 7,60,000 million units of coal-based power during 2012-13. The government also plans to harness the hydro power potential of the country by adding over 1,22,000 million units of hydel power during the same period, of which nearly 60,000 million units would come from the northern part of the country, the report said. And it would also import over 5,000 million units of hydro power from Bhutanto bridge the shortfall, it said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/power-ministry-eyes-920000-mu-of-electricity-this-year-cea/articleshow/12557265.cms)
PMO TO HASTEN LANGUISHING PORT PROJECTS
NEW DELHI: In its drive to hasten projects in the infrastructure sector, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is set to chart a road map to ensure the timely implementation of existing projects and enhance investments in the languishing port sector. Principal secretary to the prime minister, Pulok Chatterji, is slated to meet senior officials of the ministries of shipping and finance and with those from related departments, on Wednesday to chalk a strategy. The meeting is aimed at reviewing public-private partnership (PPP) port projects, as well as dredging projects at various ports, which are to be considered by the ministry of shipping. The ministry had set a target of awarding 23 projects through the PPP mode by March. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/pmo-to-hasten-languishing-port-projects/470429/)
ONGC DISCONTINUES OIL PRODUCTION IN SOUTH SUDAN
MUMBAI/VADODARA: Following geopolitical disputes in North and South Sudan, ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), the overseas investment arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) has discontinued crude oil production from the latter territory. “The dispute between North and South Sudanhas been a bone of contention for us. Hence, production from South Sudan has been discontinued since last three months while that of North Sudanis also relatively less. Till three months ago, we used to produce 50,000 barrels per annum from South Sudan,” said Sudhir Vasudeva, CMD, ONGC at a press conference in Vadodara on Friday. As against a target of nine million tonnes for the year 2011-12 for Sudanand Syria, OVL has seen a loss of 0.8 million tonnes in production. However, while it’s Sudanand Syriaproduction have taken a hit due to geopolitical reasons, back home ONGC has set a target of 27.5 million tonnes of oil production for 2012-13 as well as 25.7 billion cubic meter (bcm) for gas production. In 2011-12, the company achieved 99.7 per cent of its 27 million tonnes oil production targets. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ongc-discontinues-oil-production-in-south-sudan/470369/)
AIRLINES CUT BUSINESS-CLASS SEATS ON DOMESTIC ROUTES
NEW DELHI: Government-owned Air Indiahas begun changing the configuration of a substantial number of its short-haul aircraft to all-economy seats. Of the 62 Airbus-320 family of aircraft, AI has started converting 14 to single-class configuration and to decrease the number of business-class seats in 43 others from 20 seats per aircraft to 12. “We have already converted one of the aircraft to single configuration and the conversion of others is in process. These will be operated in connecting smaller cities that do not have any business class traffic and the business class seats go empty,” said a senior AI official, who did not wish to be identified. “We will be able to increase our capacity (with this) by at least 10 per cent. This will help us in increasing our revenue in sectors where business class seats have no takers.” The domestic market currently offers around 10 per cent inventory in business class and the rest in the economy category. It has seen a decline in business class seats due to curtailment of flights by Kingfisher Airlines and addition of capacity by various low-cost carriers. Domestic airlines provide a little over 200,000 seats a day. Till six months earlier, 15 per cent of the inventory was business class. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/airlines-cut-business-class-seatsdomestic-routes/470437/)
GOVT FOR RAISING PDS GRAIN PRICES AGAIN
NEW DELHI: The Centre is considering raising the prices of wheat and rice distributed through ration shops to bring down its food subsidy bill. Before 2010, proposals to increase the price of grains sold through ration shops for above poverty line (APL) families were placed before the cabinet once almost every six months, without any success. The price has not been changed since 2002. Experts believe the proposal might be more difficult to implement this time, as the proposed Food Security Bill promises grain at rates cheaper than the current rate at which they are sold at ration shops. “As the Food Security Bill is under works, there is very little ground to raise prices now,” said a senior official. The food Bill, being vetted by a standing committee of Parliament, proposes to give seven kg of grain per person per month to every priority sector household and three-four kg to general category households. To priority sector households, rice would be distributed at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse cereals at Rs 1 per kg. To general category households, grain would be distributed at a price related to the minimum support price. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/govt-for-raising-pds-grain-prices-again/470423/)
INDIA‘S R&D LANDSCAPE UPBEAT, OUTLOOK PROMISING: STUDY
NEW DELHI: The research and development (R&D) landscape in Indiawitnessed decent salary hike and rapid growth in the year gone by and the industry expects a steady outlook for this year as well, says a study. According to market research firm Zinnov, 2011 witnessed strong revival of R&D investments in Indiaand worldwide, signalling the optimism in world economy which earlier reported a drop in R&D investments in 2010. Indiacurrently has an installed R&D talent pool base of over 200,000 engineers growing at an average of 9% a year for the last five years. The R&D segment witnessed a salary hike of 13%, and there was also a focused approach on career enhancement by ensuring increased ownership, better work profile, and competitive pay to retain talent, the study noted. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/indias-rd-landscape-upbeat-outlook-promising-study/162434/on)
FINMIN SINKS PROPOSAL TO SET UP GLOBAL PORT OPERATOR
NEW DELHI: India’s global maritime ambitions must wait. The finance ministry has rejected the shipping ministry proposal to set up a global port operations company called Indian Ports Global on the lines of Dubai Port World and Singapore’s PSA International, which would invest and acquire stakes in overseas ports and container terminals. Government sources told FE that the finance ministry is in favour of investing in the domestic port sector facing challenges in capacity addition and technological advancements rather than mobilising funds for an expensive global outing. India’s major government-backed ports are sitting on about R7,500 crore. Indian Ports Global was proposed to be set up as a 50:50 joint venture with cash-rich ports and financial institutions investing R2,500 crore each. The company was then to leverage this amount to raise another R5,000 crore from the market by issuing tax-free bonds. (For details log on to: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/finmin-sinks-proposal-to-set-up-global-port-operator/933747/)
PARLIAMENT PANEL SOUNDS ALERT AS PRASAR BHARATI COSTS MOUNT
NEW DELHI: With expenditure consistently overshooting earnings by a wide margin, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is in danger of a complete erosion of its reserves, making it a financial liability for the government. In the past four years, against average annual earnings of R1,100 crore, Prasar Bharati has posted an average deficit of R1,500 crore, prompting a parliamentary panel to demand steps to raise revenues to meet operational costs and set its house in order. As a result, Prasar Bharati has initiated several steps under its new CEO Jawahar Sircar, sources said. These include hiving off the archives divisions of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) into a special purpose vehicle (SPV), sharing infrastructure of AIR and DD including towers, land and buildings with private operators including telecom players on a licence basis and providing value-added services like IVRS and SMS to consumers, among others. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/parliament-panel-sounds-alert-as-prasar-bharati-costs-mount/933739/)
COMMUNICATION TECH AND HEALTH MAKE FOR HEADY MIX
NEW DELHI: Two broad factors — the acute dearth of medical facilities in remote rural areas and the growing penetration of mobile and internet in urban areas — could permanently transform the way healthcare is consumed in this country. The hunt for the ‘right models’ is still on. An ECG application, which enables doctors to receive real-time heart data of patients on their BlackBerries, a R35 consultation with doctors in the middle of the night over mobile phone and kiosks in villages with BP machines, stethoscope, ECG machine are quietly but indelibly changing the healthcare landscape in the country. “Delivery of healthcare services through communication technology is an area that can be described today as ‘promising’ but not yet ‘perfected’ from a business angle,” says Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor, IIT Madras, extensively associated with such pilot projects. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/communication-tech-and-health-make-for-heady-mix/933707/)
SONY SIX’S FIRST INNINGS STARTS ON BACK FOOT
MUMBAI: India’s second largest television broadcaster by viewership Sony Entertainment Television’s new sports channel Six may end up cluttering the sports broadcast by filling up its telecast itinerary with less attractive non-cricket sports as it lost the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) right to telecast 96 circket matches to be played between July 2012 and March 2018. Sony Entertainment Television, the broadcaster owned by Multi Screen Media (MSM), will now have to depend on non-cricket sports like martial arts, basketball, badminton, boxing, tennis, etc., to gain viewership. The broadcaster lost out on BCCI’s media rights to rival Star India, which paid R3851 crore, R151 crore higher than Sony offered on Monday. The channel is now banking on India’s growing interest in non-cricket sports. Media buyers and consultants say without cricket’s muscle power, Sony Six could end up only cluttering the sports broadcasting space. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/sony-sixs-first-innings-starts-on-back-foot/933709/)
CESS HIKE ON CRUDE MAY MAKE VEDANTA’S CAIRN BUY UNECONOMICAL
NEW DELHI: The increase in cess by Rs 2,000 a tonne on domestically produced crude oil could make Vedanta Group’s $9-billion investment uneconomical. Cairn India, in which Vedanta has recently acquired majority stake, termed the move as ‘unfair and discriminatory’. Seeking a rollback, Cairn Indiahas approached the Prime Minister’s Office. The company said the Rajasthan block is the only production sharing contract (PSC) that is materially affected by this increase. In the 2012-13 Budget, the Government increased the cess to Rs 4,500 a tonne. Cairn said that instead of imposing financial levies, the Government should be pushing for higher domestic production and earn revenues from there. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/article3288551.ece)