MUMBAI: Indian billionaire Shiv Nadar’s foray into the insurance sector is likely to fructify soon. DLF Pramerica Life, seeking an Indian partner for its operation, is in talks with Nadar’s HCL Group to sell a majority stake. According to those in the know, both parties are back on the table to iron out the nitty-gritty, after the deal got stuck a year back due to stringent guidelines.
Earlier regulations prevented Indian promoters of insurance companies from divesting stake before completing 10 years in the business. With the finance ministry deciding to waive that requirement late last year, HCL Group is now set to buy 51 per cent stake in DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company. The deal size is expected to be around Rs 500 crore.
KPMG has been appointed as the adviser for the transaction. Industry sources say Roshni Nadar, the 29-year-old daughter of Shiv Nadar and chief executive of HCL Corporation, is leading the negotiations on behalf of the IT company.
The four-year-old insurance firm is a 74:26 joint venture between DLF and American insurer Prudential International Insurance Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial. Pramerica is the trade name used by Prudential Financial.
While both companies refused to comment on the deal, sources within the companies confirmed the deal to Business Standard. “We are not looking to exit the venture completely. We are in talks with HCL for selling a part of our stake,” said a senior official with DLF, requesting anonymity as the deal was still to be announced. When contacted, HCL declined to comment for this story. Nadar, the 12th richest billionaire in the country with a net worth of $5 billion according to the Forbes rich list, had started negotiations with the country’s largest real estate developer DLF to buy its stake in the life insurance company almost a year back.
“The new regulations provide comfort to both parties.
The transaction is likely to be completed in the next couple of months,” said a person familiar with the development.
Post this transaction, DLF’s stake in the company is likely to be around 23 per cent, while Prudential International Insurance Holdings will continue to hold 26 per cent.
The sale proceeds will be primarily used to repay the company’s debts. “The current regulations do not allow foreign insurers to hold more than 26 per cent stake in an Indian insurance company. Since Prudential International Insurance Holdings already holds 26 per cent stake, DLF has been looking for a domestic partner. Currently, discussions are on with HCL,” said another source.
HCL’s acquisition of a majority stake in DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company will be the third big deal in the Indian insurance space in the past year. In May 2011, Japanese insurer Nippon Life bought 26 per cent stake in Reliance Life for around Rs 3,000 crore. Earlier this year, another Japanese insurer Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company acquired 26 per cent stake in Max New York Life Insurance Company for Rs 2,731 crore.
In 2011-12, DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company collected Rs 102.8 crore by writing new policies. The company currently ranks 21 among the 23 life insurance companies in the country in terms of new premium collection.
In 2010, DLF had sold its stake in its mutual fund joint venture with Prudential after market regulator Sebi changed its guidelines, barring companies with less than five years’ experience in financial services from entering the asset management business.
CCI TO GET MORE POWERS TO SCREEN M&As IN ALL SECTORS
NEW DELHI: India’s competition watchdog is set to bring in some crucial legislative amendments that will empower it to screen mergers and acquisitions in all sectors, including pharmaceuticals. The move will give the Competition Commission of India more power than the current Competition Act, 2002 that allows it to scrutinise only those M&A deals in which the combined threshold of the parties involved amounts to at least Rs 1,500 crore in assets and Rs 4,500 crore in turnover. “To bring in all sectors under our ambit, it was necessary for the Act to give the commission the power to increase or decrease threshold limits according to the requirements of each sector,” a senior CCI official who did not wish to be named told ET. This will be part of a slew of amendments to be introduced into the Competition Act next Thursday. The move, which has been in the pipeline for the past several months, comes at a time when the six-month deadline for the CCI to regulate foreign direct investment into the pharma sector is about to get over. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/competition-commission-of-india-to-get-more-powers-to-screen-mas-in-all-sectors/articleshow/13042822.cms)
BANK OF INDIA BUYS 51% STAKE IN BHARTI AXA MF
MUMBAI: In a yet another sign of consolidation in the Indian mutual fund space, Bank of India (BoI) has acquired 51% stake in Bharti Axa Mutual Fund for an undisclosed amount. The deal marks the government-owned bank’s return to the MF industry after more than two decades. Bank of India and AXA Investment Managers Asia Holding have now upon receipt of all regulatory approvals, completed the formalities for acquisition of 51% of the equity stake of Bharti AXA investment Managers and Bharti AXA Trusteeship Services, the bank said in a filing to the BSE. While the remaining 49% stake will be with the Axa Group, the deal will lead to the exit of Bharti Enterprises, which had about 25% stake in the fund house, from the asset management business. The public sector bank has acquired 25% stake from Bharti, while the rest 26% from the Axa Investment Managers Asia Holdings. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/boi-buys-51-stake-in-bharti-axa-mf/946679/)
MURUGAPPA ENTERS RACE TO ACQUIRE MALLYA’S MANGALORE CHEMICALS AND FERTILIZERS
CHENNAI/MUMBAI: Coromandel International, a part of the diversified southern conglomerate Murugappa, has entered the fray to buy Vijay Mallya-managed Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCF). Mallya’s investment holding company United Breweries Holdings owns 30.44% promoter stake in MCF, which has been long considered a non-core asset. UB Holdings, also the parent of the cashstrapped Kingfisher Airlines, has initiated a formal process to identify potential buyers for MCF. Ambit Corporate Finance is advising UB Group on the divestment plan, the first such move by the beer-to-airline conglomerate to exit a business in more than a decade. Murugappa is among the six-seven potential bidders who have signalled initial interest after information memorandum on MCF was made available last week. UB will determine the asking price after initial discussions with the bidders. “As a group policy, we would not like to respond to questions that are speculative and hence we are unable to participate ,” a Murugappa spokesperson said. UB Group spokesperson denied developments. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods/svs/chem-/-fertilisers/murugappa-enters-race-to-acquire-mallyas-mangalore-chemicals-and-fertilizers/articleshow/13031179.cms)
RENEW WIND PLANS RS 6,000 CRORE INVESTMENT IN 2 YEARS
GANDHINAGAR: Independent renewable energy producer ReNew Wind Power Pvt Ltd plans to invest around Rs 6,000 crore on development of 1,000 MW of wind power in the next couple of years in the country. It commissioned its first wind farm project of 25.2 megawatt (MW) at Jasdan in Rajkotdistrict of Gujarat on Sunday. “We are working on 15 projects aggregating 1,000 MW of wind power in States like Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra as well,” Mr Sumant Sinha, Founder Chairman and CEO, ReNew Wind Power, told Business Line on Monday. Currently, the per megawatt cost of installation of wind power equipment is Rs 6 crore while per unit of electricity would cost, on an average, Rs 4.50 to the customer, which is far cheaper than solar energy at Rs 8 to Rs 9 an unit (kilowatt hour), he said. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-corporate/article3395037.ece)
APOLLO TYRES KEEN ON NEW ASIA FACTORY
MUMBAI: Apollo Tyres, India’s second-biggest tyre producer by tonnage, is keen to spread operations to at least one of the countries in Asiawith an aim to break into the league of 10 biggest tyre producers in the world. The Delhi-based company, which sells passenger and commercial vehicle tyres in Indiaand other parts of the world, is scouting for locations in countries like Indonesiaand Thailand, which are vehicle manufacturing hot-spots, for a manufacturing plant. After Chinaand India, countries from the southeast Asian region are one of the fastest emerging automotive markets globally, having manufacturing presence of almost all global automotive brands. Apollo’s expansion targeted in the Asian region comes after its finalisation of plans in Europe and Brazil, where it is collectively investing Euro 400 million (Rs 2,640 crore) in setting up facilities in the next three-four years. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/apollo-tyres-keennew-asia-factory/473743/)
TCS IS FOURTH MOST-VALUED IT SERVICES BRAND GLOBALLY
MUMBAI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been named as the world’s fourth most valuable information technology (IT) services brand by leading global brand valuation company Brand Finance. The top three most-valued IT services brands are IBM, HP and Accenture. “The value of the TCS brand has increased rapidly over the past three years. Our 2012 ranking marks the first time an emerging market-headquartered firm has entered the top league in IT services. With a strong brand strategy and a refined sponsorship portfolio, TCS has been able to improve both brand awareness and its profile globally,” said David Haigh, chief executive officer and founder of Brand Finance. Brand Finance assesses the dollar value of the reputation, image and intellectual property of the world’s leading companies. TCS, India’s largest IT services provider, has been investing heavily to build up its brand presence worldwide through a range of activities, including a global public relations programme, major sports sponsorships and corporate social responsibility activities. The company’s portfolio of sports partnerships over the past five years has cut across Formula 1 racing, Pro cycling, cricket and running, while its community initiatives have ranged from health and wellness to youth education and environment conservation initiatives. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/tcs-is-fourth-most-valued-it-services-brand-globally/473725/)
ELDER PHARMA WEIGHS SALE OF NUTRITION BIZ
MUMBAI: Drugmaker Elder Pharmaceuticals is exploring options to sell its nutrition products business, sources said. One of the sources said Elder is looking for a valuation of roughly $60-75 million for the business, which includes about 20 brands, and that discussions are at a very early stage. Elder Pharma joint managing director Alok Saxena denied that the company was looking to sell the business. “We are not selling anything, nor are we discussing this with anybody,” Saxena said in an emailed reply. The nutrition supplements market in Indiais relatively undeveloped and valued at about $1 billion, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. A rapidly expanding middle-class, increasing incidence of diabetes and longer life spans are driving demand for nutrition products in India, an opportunity that has caught the attention of multinationals. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/elder-pharma-weighs-sale-of-nutrition-biz/946694/)
CLINTON HOPES FOR RETAIL FDI, BUT DOESN’T PUSH DIDI
NEW DELHI: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee insisted on Monday that foreign direct investment in retail did not figure in her celebrated talks with USsecretary of state Hillary Clinton. Briefing media after the hour-long meeting at the state secretariat, the chief minister said issues like sharing of Teesta river water between India and Bangladesh retail “did not come up for discussion”. Instead, the two leaders exchanged notes on how the state can be the hub for US-led investments into Myanmar. The leaders — both of whom figure in Time’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people — meet just five months after Banerjee’s party publicly shot down the central government’s plan to allow FDI in multi-brand retail, which has been canvassed for extensively by US-based companies. Even US President Barack Obama in his Indiavisit flagged it as one of the key economic changes the USwould want Indiato adopt, besides raising the limit on foreign direct investment in insurance. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/clinton-hopes-for-retail-fdi-but-doesnt-push-didi/946761/)
UNCLEAR RULES STOP FDI IN PHARMA COMPANIES
NEW DELHI: The government has recently stopped giving permission to foreign companies and overseas investors to buy into Indian drugmakers till clear guidelines regarding foreign direct investment in the sector are finalised. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal agency that approves investments in India, deferred four proposals at its March 30 meeting on the grounds that specific conditions for considering cases of brownfield foreign investment in the pharma sector were under formulation. There have been no restrictions on foreign investments in pharma for the past decade, but a series of high-profile acquisitions in the sector has prompted the government to tinker with the approval process, resulting in delays. “Foreign direct investment (FDI) of 100% through the automatic route in the pharma sector was opened just a decade back…and there was no tangible reason to revisit it so soon. It is unfortunate that recent policy changes, primarily based on unfounded apprehensions, are causing avoidable delays in FDI approvals,” said Tapan Ray, director-general of industry body Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India. (For details log on to: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/healthcare/biotech/pharmaceuticals/unclear-rules-stop-fdi-in-pharma-companies/articleshow/13042574.cms)
BANGLADESH TO BUY POWER FROM INDIA’S OPEN MARKET
DHAKA: The government has for the first time moved to purchase electricity from India’s open market, following a competitive bidding, a top official said Sunday. The state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has already invited bids from India’s potential gas or coal-based power plant owners, suppliers or traders to supply 250 megawatts (mw) of electricity to Bohrompur substation at Murshidabad in India, a senior BPDB official said. This is the first time Bangladeshhas invited bids exclusively from Indian bidders to purchase electricity through competitive bidding to meet domestic demand. The deadline to submit bids is June 11. (For details log on to : http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=128947&date=2012-05-08)
INDIA, IRAN WORK TO BOOST TRADE IN NON-OIL PRODUCTS
NEW DELHI: Businesspersons from Indiaand Iran, on Monday, held talks to boost trade between the two countries on a day U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived here, seeking Indian cooperation for sanctions intended to choke Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme. Tehransignalled its interest in purchasing an estimated Rs.25,000-30,000-crore worth of Indian goods every year by having a former Cabinet Minister to head the delegation. Indiaand Iranhave been forced to turn to this system because most financial institutions are wary of dealing with Tehrandue to the threat of being locked out by western countries. Speaking at a reception, organised for the 50-plus Iranian team, former Commerce Minister Yahya Ale Eshagh said Indo-Iranian trade was poised to grow. He also seemed to dismiss U.S.pressure on other countries to reduce their trade ties with Iran. “Our trade problems will be resolved in spite of efforts of those who oppose us. Economics does its own work, trade does its own work and politicians do their own work,” he said. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/article3395596.ece)
CESC TO ADD 500 MW RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2015
MUMBAI: CESC, RP-Sanjiv Goenka-led power company, is planning to add 500 MW renewable energy capacity by 2015 through solar, wind and small hydro projects, its executive director said. The Rs. 10,000 crore group recently commissioned 9 MW solar project in Kutch in Gujarat. The company now plans to set up solar projects with total capacity of 50 MW across Maharashtra, Gujaratand Rajasthan. CESC had invested R110 crore on Kutchproject. “We are creating a land bank in Rajasthan for solar projects. We already bought 250 acres,” said Subrata Talukdar, executive director, finance, CESC. While CESC’s 100 MW hydel project in Arunachal Pradesh is underway, it plans to add two more hydel projects with combined capacity of 250 MW the state alone. (For details log on to : http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/CorporateNews/CESC-to-add-500-MW-renewable-energy-by-2015/Article1-852235.aspx)
DOUBTS ON D6 AS RIL, OIL MINISTRY SPAR
NEW DELHI: Mounting mistrust between the oil ministry and Reliance Industries has cast a cloud on the future of the prized D6 block as the government continues to maintain a stern posture toward the company while RIL struggles to justify further expenditure on the deep-sea block it operates. Matters came to a head last week when the ministry issued a notice to RIL saying it will disallow reimbursement of $1 billion from RIL’s field-development costs as gas output has fallen sharply, leaving many facilities unutilised. A top government official later said RIL will be allowed to recover all its costs if gas output rises to previously projected levels, but the uncertainty, company officials say, is making operations difficult. “Our expenditure over work done in the block over the past two years has not been approved. We cannot go on investing when the government is planning to restrict our cost recovery, in a clear violation of the contract,” a senior RIL executive told ET. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/oil-gas/reliance-industries-says-unexpected-geology-shrank-kg-d6-output-oil-ministry-unconvinced/articleshow/13042464.cms)
JINDAL STEEL & POWER’S BOLIVIAN ORE PROJECT ON SHAKY GROUND
NEW DELHI: Naveen Jindal-controlled Jindal Steel & Power’s ambitious Bolivian project to mine 20 billion tonnes of iron ore is at risk after the Bolivian government encashed yet another $18-million bank guarantee from the Indian firm for not meeting contractual terms. Jindal Steel Bolivia (JSB) was billed to become the largest foreign direct investment in the Latin American country under President Evo Morales’ reign. The South American nation had, in 2010, encashed a similar amount blaming the company for not meeting its commitments. JSB has sought the intervention of the international court of arbitration. According to sources close to the development, it could well be the end of the road for the Indian steel maker in Bolivia. “The writing is on the wall. It is hard to see how we can make this relationship work from here,” said the person, who didn’t want to be identified. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods/svs/steel/jindal-steel-powers-bolivian-ore-project-on-shaky-ground/articleshow/13043858.cms)
HYDEL POWER GENERATORS MISSED THEIR GENERATION TARGET BY ABOUT 4% DURING APRIL 2012
KOLKATA: Hydel power generators missed their generation target by about 4% during April 2012 against an excess generation of 18% during the previous corresponding period. According to figures released by the Central Electricity Authority, the hydel power units were to generate 8368 million units of electricity during April 2012. However, they managed to generate about 8041 million units during the period – a shortfall of 326 million units. During the previous corresponding period, the target for the month was set at 7521 million units and they generated 8874 million units, which was 1353 million units more than the target. Hydel units in southern Indiasaw a large decline in generation. They missed the target for power generation by about 15%. The target for the period was set at 2539 million units while, they managed to generate 2159 million units and was short by 379 million units. In contrast, during April 2011, these units generated 4.6% more than the target which was set at 2346 million units. They generated 2454 million units. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/hydel-power-generators-missed-their-generation-target-by-about-4-during-april-2012/articleshow/13036792.cms)
RIL MAKES $30-M PROFIT FROM US SHALE GAS BUSINESS
NEW DELHI: Despite intense competition and low price of gas in the US, Reliance Industries has made a profit of about $30 million from its shale gas exploration and production business in the North American continent in 2011-12, the Indian energy major’s first full year of operations there. RIL, which has three joint ventures in the USin the shale gas sector, has made a revenue of $250 million from the business, informed persons told FE. RIL also reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of $200 million. The numbers are included in the recently declared consolidated results of RIL but segment details about the unlisted business are not required to be disclosed. Despite the industrial recovery in the US, gas price is still bearish in a seller’s market. Analysts said making profits in the upstream sector in the first year of operations is rare. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/ril-makes-30m-profit-from-us-shale-gas-business/946528/)
POWER CONSUMERS CAN BEAR HIGHER TARIFF: STUDY
NEW DELHI: Policymakers should realise the importance of economic pricing of electricity and allow power distribution companies to hike tariff to save the sector from an impending financial collapse, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory said on Monday. In its report prepared by the agency on the power sector, it has said that Indian consumers can pay more than the electricity they consume and it is necessary that regulators revise tariff at regular intervals depending on the prevailing situation. Power distribution companies’ combined losses are estimated to have crossed R2 lakh crore in the financial year 2011-12 due to increasing gap between revenue and expenditure of discoms in the absence of timely revision of tariffs. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/power-consumers-can-bear-higher-tariff-study/946737/)
DGH REJECTS TWO GAS DISCOVERY CLAIMS OF RELIANCE INDUSTRIES
NEW DELHI: Upstream oil watchdog Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has refused to recognize two significant natural gas discoveries that Reliance Industries (RIL) had made in a Mahanadibasin block, because the company failed to conduct its prescribed test to ascertain the find. DGH in March this year told RIL that Dhirubhai 32 and 40 (D-32 & D-40 ) gas finds in the Mahanadi basin block NEC-25 (NEC-OSN-97 /2) cannot be recognized as a discovery because RIL had not carried out drill stem tests (DSTs) on them, sources said. RIL says the two finds, on which it had conducted other tests, may hold 663 billion cubic feet of gas reserves and can produce 170 million metric standard cubic feet a day from six wells. It had proposed an investment of $1.17 billion in developing the finds and another $23.5 million annual operative expenditure in producing 476 billion cubic feet of gas over the life of the field. Sources said RIL wrote to DGH seeking are-look at the Declaration of Commerciality (DoC) of D-23 and D-40 finds but the upstream regulator turned that down saying without DST tests it cannot declare the two finds commercially viable. DoC is a pre-requisite for developing a find, and unless the regulator and the government give DoC, no operator can invest any money. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Directorate-General-of-Hydrocarbons-rejects-two-gas-discovery-claims-of-Reliance-Industries/articleshow/13044771.cms)
SRIPRAKASH JAISWAL SEEKS THREE-MONTH EXTENSION FOR COAL SECRETARY
NEW DELHI: Call it the ‘Coalgate’ effect. Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has sought an extension for coal secretary Alok Perti, citing the need to maintain “continuity”. Perti, a 1977-batch IAS officer of Assamcadre, is scheduled to retire on May 31. Top government officials said the minister has argued that Perti needs to be retained beyond his superannuation to ensure that the ministry’s new initiatives are implemented smoothly. Extensions are usually granted for three months and can be renewed for a similar period but the government has so far avoided giving extension to any bureaucrat after retirement. But the real reason, sources in the know said, was the government auditor’s report on allocation of 155 coal blocks. The report, the draft of which was first reported by ToI on March 22, said the government gave “undue benefit” of Rs 10.67 lakh crore to private and state-run entities by giving away coal blocks without bidding. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sriprakash-Jaiswal-seeks-three-month-extension-for-coal-secretary/articleshow/13044492.cms)
CIL MAY REVIEW ‘FORCE MAJEURE’ CLAUSE IN FSAs
KOLKATA: A meeting between the chairmen and managing directors of Coal India (CIL) and NTPC here on Sunday last, the first such since a change of guard at CIL, failed to break ice over the issue of signing fuel supply agreements (FSAs), even as the discussions are being seen as a sign of a thaw between the two corporates. A possibility that has emerged from the meeting is that CIL may need to take a relook at some of ‘force majeure’ clauses that it has set in the draft FSAs that power companies would need to sign with it. The meeting was held between Arup Roy Chowdhury, Chairman and Managing Director, NTPC, and S. Narsing Rao, Chairman and Managing Director of CIL. Also present at the meeting were the Director (Operations) of NTPC and two of its executive directors, the director technical of CIL and a senior marketing official. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/business/article3394616.ece)
DHAKA, NEW DELHI TO HASTEN EXTRADITION TREATY
NEW DELHI: Dhaka and New Delhion Monday agreed to expedite efforts to sign an extradition treaty at the earliest. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and her Indian counterpart S M Krishna noted that the legal framework for bilateral security cooperation would be completed with the signing of the extradition treaty. According to a joint statement issued after Krishna and Moni co-chaired the first meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee in New Delhi on Monday, Dhaka and New Delhi reiterated their commitment that the territory of either side would not be allowed for activities inimical to the other, and resolved not to allow their respective territories to be used for training, sanctuary and other operations by domestic or foreign terrorist/militant or insurgent organisations and their operatives. (For details log on to : http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=224104&cid=2)
REALTY PLAYERS UPBEAT OVER REMOVAL OF 1% TDS
NEW DELHI: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s move to withdraw one per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) on transfer of immovable property has brought relief to the real estate industry. The industry said the move would be helpful, as TDS on property transactions would have discouraged buyers due to price escalation. “It is an excellent move, as TDS was totally unnecessary,” said R R Singh, director-general, National Real Estate Development Council. “Property buyers would benefit from the withdrawal. This would have been an additional burden on taxation,” he said. Earlier, the Finance Bill proposed TDS on the transfer of immovable property (other than agricultural land) at one per cent of the transaction value. The threshold was Rs 50 lakh in case of properties in a specified urban conglomerate, or Rs 20 lakh in case the property was in any other area. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/realty-players-upbeat-over-removal1-tds/473710/)
STEEL CONSUMPTION WILL FALL TO 3.6% IN CURRENT YEAR WSA
The raw material scenario for the second quarter of 2012 is difficult to predict. Demand and supply of iron ore would continue to be dependent on the fluctuating trend of steel demand and not on the various indices made popular by analysts. The projection of steel consumption by WSA has estimated that consumption in the current year would come down to only 3.6%, lower by 2% of the last year before limping back to 4.5% in 2013. Steel consumption would be led by China, India, Russia, Turkeyand USA. All these countries except Russiaand Indiaare large importers of iron ore and their level of steel consumption would sustain the demand for ore. In other words, if Chinese imports come down sharply from the last year’s level of 686 million tonne (59% of the total seaborne trade), demand for iron ore is likely to dip with implication on prices. (For details log on to: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/steel-consumption-will-fall-to-3.6-in-current-year-wsa/946790/)
IN RACE WITH INFY, COGNIZANT INCHING AHEAD
BANGALORE/CHENNAI: Software services major Cognizant, which has already overtaken revenues of its nearest rival Wipro, is now gearing up to outperform Infosys, the country’s second largest technology firm. Revenues of both companies are neck and neck for the quarter ended March 2012, and numbers indicate that Cognizant may surpass Infosys by the end of the June quarter. On Monday, while announcing its earnings, Cognizant said it expects to grow its revenue to a minimum of $1.79 billion during the April-June quarter, while Infosys has stated that its revenues will be under that figure, guiding in a range of $1.77 billion- $1.79 billion. Cognizant’s chances of outpacing the IT bellwether are strengthened by the fact that in the last few quarters, Infosys has consistently failed to meet the top end of its revenue estimates. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/in-race-with-infy-cognizant-inching-ahead/946689/)
HOUSE PANEL BLASTS TOURISM MINISTRY
NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary panel rebuked tourism ministry, saying the country’s global tourism share of 0.6% is dismal considering the fact that it has a wide variety of tourist attractions. In the report tabled in Parliament, the Standing Committee on Tourism and Culture reprimanded the ministry for spending R194 crore till February 2012 on overseas promotion and that the expenditure was not commensurate with foreign tourist arrivals. The Sitaram Yechury-led Committee pointed out that Indiahad higher tourism potential as compared to popular destinations such as Thailandand Singaporebut lack of facilities remains a hindrance. “Even though Indiahas vast variety of tourist attractions from ancient to modern, the global tourism share is less than 0.6% annually in terms of world arrivals. The Committee feels that this percentage is just unacceptable, and what we are aiming at is to achieve 1%during the 12th Plan,” it said. The Committee said that the government should relook into the necessity of various tourist promotion offices abroad and the efficacy of various officials under Overseas Promotion and Publicity. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/house-panel-blasts-tourism-ministry/946746/)
RS 100 CRORE PROPOSAL FOR DD INTERNATIONAL CHANNEL SENT TO PLAN PANEL: I&B MINISTRY
NEW DELHI: The government today said it had sent a Rs 100 crore proposal for global coverage of Doordarshan International Channel to the Planning Commission and is awaiting for an in-principle approval for the same. The information was provided by Minister of State in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry S Jagathrakshakan in reply to a question in Lok Sabha. “A proposal for Rs 100 crore for global coverage of DD International channel has been prepared for approval in 12th Plan scheme for Doordarshan,” Jagathrakshakan said. “The proposal has been sent to Planning Commission for an in-principle approval and the same is still awaited,” he said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/media/entertainment/media/rs-100-cr-proposal-for-dd-international-channel-sent-to-plan-panel-ib-ministry/articleshow/13035418.cms)
ICAI FINDS IRREGULARITIES IN OPERATIONS OF MNC AUDIT FIRMS
NEW DELHI: The government on Monday said accounting regulator ICAI has found irregularities in the operations of certain multinational audit firms in the country. The high-power committee appointed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for examining the operation of Multinational Network Accounting Firms (MAFs) has found the irregularities, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs R P N Sigh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. The Committee has observed that “certain Indian CA firms and private limited companies associated with them pose as if they are actually MAFs in India whereas to the ICAI report themselves purely as Indian CA firms having no relationship with foreign entities.” The Committee, in its report, has said that around 27 per cent of audit firms have furnished incomplete information and masked or not provided important information sought by the ICAI. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/consultancy-/-audit/icai-finds-irregularities-in-operations-of-mnc-audit-firms/articleshow/13035080.cms)