MUMBAI: The Mexico-headquartered Cinepolis, the world’s fifth largest multiplex operator with over 2,500 screens, is in talks with the Anil Ambani-promoted BIG Cinemas for a strategic alliance.
The alliance may entail buying a stake in some of BIG Cinemas’ screens.
BIG Cinemas is the exhibition arm of Reliance MediaWorks (RMW), which also has a presence in film services, including motion picture processing, studio facilities, film restoration, equipment rentals, visual effects, animation and post-production.
BIG Cinemas has the largest number of screens in the country, at 256, and 530 worldwide. The next in the country are Inox-Fame with 212 screens, PVR with 162 and Cinemax with 141.
Cinepolis, which started operations in 2009, has screens in six countries of North and South America. In the US, it has more than 250 cinemas. In India, it has a small presence, with 32 screens at five locations, including Amritsar, Bangalore, Patna, Amritsar and Surat. It does not have a presence in the four main metros, though it has announced an ambitious plan to set up 500 screens in 40 cities by 2016 with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore.
According to sources, the talks have been on for the past two months. “BIG Cinemas is planning to focus on its film and media services business and trying to reduce dependence on the multiplex business. Cinepolis is looking to either buy several key properties or get into a tie-up,” said a person familiar with the development.
RMW has already restructured its multiplex business into multiplex and single screens. Typically, multiplex operators invest Rs 2-2.5 crore per screen. A query sent to the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance group remained unanswered. A spokesperson of Cinepolis India did the same, as Milan Saint, the country head and managing director, was travelling abroad.
Last year, RMW decided to restructure the company into two business segments by creating subsidiaries for film exhibition and film and media services. The company said that would “allow it a strategic investor to invest in a business of choice”.
The UAE-based Grand Cinemas, several South Korean players and others are looking at the Indian market for growth. Most of them are looking at the acquisition route, as a slowdown in the real estate market has affected their expansion plans.
If the Cinepolis-BIG Cinemas deal goes through, it could be the second biggest after Inox Leisure took over the Shravan Shroff-promoted Fame Cinemas, after a bitterly contested battle with RMW.
Inox now owns 72 per cent of Fame while Reliance has 22.5 per cent after a recently concluded rights issue. RMW had bought around 36.5 per cent at a higher price of Rs 84 per share.
In the December quarter, RMW posted a net loss of Rs 150.56 crore, with a revenue of Rs 215.61 crore. The exhibition business contributed Rs 147.83 crore, while film processing contributed Rs 53.44 crore and film production Rs 12.88 crore. On Tuesday, the scrip closed at Rs 97.4, down two per cent, on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The company has a market capitalisation of Rs 380 crore.
SNAPDEAL SETS ASIDE $20 MILLION FOR ACQUISITIONS
NEW DELHI: E-commerce firm Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd that runs online portal Snapdeal.com has earmarked $20 million (around Rs 100 crore) to make up to four acquisitions this year. The company that had bought Bangalore-based group buying firm Grabbon.com in 2010, has recently acquired online sportswear retailer eSportsbuy.com for an undisclosed amount, as it looks to strengthen offers for daily deals and lifestyle products. “In 2012 we will make three to four announcements (on acquisition). We are not only looking for e-commerce players that specialise in specific product categories, but also relevant technology firms that can add value to our business,” Snapdeal.com co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl told PTI. Asked what kind of capital the firm has set aside to fund its inorganic growth activities, he said “$20 million”. Last year the company had raised over $50 million from private equity firms —Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Indo-US Venture Partners. On whether the firm was considering another round of funding, he said: “We are well funded to support our expansion for now.” (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/snapdeal-sets-aside-20-mn-for-acquisitions/470635/)
RELIANCE, BP SET TO KICK OFF IMPORTED LNG MARKETING
MUMBAI: Faced with a shortfall in gas production from its KG-D6 field, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is set to make its debut in the marketing of imported natural gas. India Gas Solutions, the equal joint venture between RIL and British Petroleum (BP) set up to source and market natural gas in India, will shortly bring in liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the terminals of Shell India and Petronet LNG. Company executives said RIL was in talks to book capacity at Shell Hazira Gas Private Ltd, a joint venture between Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell and France’s Total, and Petronet LNG’s Dahej terminal. “We are in talks with various LNG terminal operators to book exclusive capacity at the existing LNG terminals. We want to get capacity and bring in gas to market. We would be paying them toll charges,” said an RIL executive. An RIL spokesperson declined comment. The booked capacity at these terminals could be anywhere between two and three million tonnes per annum, depending on what the terminals will have on offer. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/reliance-bp-set-to-kick-off-imported-lng-marketing/470583/)
CLP POWER INDIA TO INVEST RS 1,800 CR IN WIND ENERGY
NEW DELHI: With a decline in European markets, many renewable energy producers are looking towards Indiaas an investment hub. CLP Power India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings Ltd, plans to invest around Rs 1,800 crore in Indiato add over 200 MW capacity in wind energy in the fiscal year 2012-13. “The company has delivered over 200 MW power last fiscal year, through its wind power projects existing in six states, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,” said Mahesh Makhija, director, business development, CLP India. “This year we plan to invest over Rs 1,500-1,800 crore to generate another 200 MW.” Capacity enhancement would be through new projects and the investment would be from debt and equity, he added. However, the company’s total investment in Indiais over Rs 12,500 crore. (For details log on to : http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/CorporateNews/CLP-power-India-to-invest-Rs-1-800-cr-in-wind-energy/Article1-837514.aspx)
CIL READIES 5,000 CRORE FOR CORPORATE BONDS
KOLKATA: Coal India, the world’s biggest coal producer, says it has firmed up a 5,000 crore kitty for investment in corporate bonds. The state-run company said the move follows good returns from its foray in the mutual funds market last year. “We started investing in mutual funds last year, which has yielded handsome returns,” A K Sinha, director (finance) at Coal India, told ET. “We have now decided to invest in corporate bonds of highly rated companies.” With a cash reserve of 45,000 crore at the end of March 2011, the company decided to invest in debt-backed mutual funds. Although Coal India’s board approved investment in liquid debt mutual funds to the extent of 10% of its reserves last year, the company started with a small corpus of 500 crore. This was invested in LIC, Nomura, UTI, SBI and Canara Robeco. “We will increase the amount when we turn comfortable investing in these funds,” Sinha said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/bonds/cil-readies-5000-crore-for-corporate-bonds/articleshow/12590621.cms)
EMAMI TO REVIVE OVER-THE-COUNTER HEALTHCARE BUSINESS
KOLKATA: Consumer products maker Emami is reviving its over-the-counter healthcare business with a slew of brand relaunches along with new distribution system, packaging and marketing blitz. “The focus on the OTC portfolio is part of a consolidation exercise we have undertaken to increase sales from existing brands, instead of randomly entering into newer categories,” Emami Ltd CEO (Sales, Supply Chain and Human Capital) Krishna Mohan said. The brands being relaunched include digestive tonic Zandu Pancharishta, blood and skin purifier Zandu Lalima, laxative Nityam Churna, cough tonic Sardi Ja and even popular pain reliever Zandu Balm-some of its own and some acquired from Zandu. Emami will now sell its OTC products through modern retail shops, kiranas and pharmacies. So far they were mostly sold through ayurvedic drug stores. Emami expects the move to help its OTC business grow 35%-40% a year. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/cons-products/fmcg/emami-to-revive-over-the-counter-products-like-zandu-pancharishta-nityam-churna/articleshow/12589273.cms)
ACCOR BETS BIG ON INDIA, PLANS 75 HOTELS IN 3 YEARS
BANGALORE: When he came visiting India last year, Denis Hannequin, the chairman and chief executive of Paris-based hotel group Accor, wasn’t impressed with his company’s performance in India. “Just eight hotels in a decade… I was not happy with the development of the Accor brand in India,” he says. Last week, Hannequin, a former McDonald’s chief executive, returned to Indiawith an aggressive plan that will help Accor add around 75 hotels in the country in three years, taking the number of properties from the current 15 to 90, and making Indiaone of its key markets. The company, which currently generates around 73% of its revenue from Europe, is working on restructuring the Accor brand globally and is hoping to increase its contribution from Asian countries like Chinaand Indiamanifold, Hannequin said, in an exclusive interaction with ET. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/hotels-/-restaurants/accor-bets-big-on-india-plans-75-hotels-in-3-years/articleshow/12588431.cms)
NITCO PLANS TO HAVE 250 ‘LE STUDIO’ SHOWROOMS BY 2015
With a view to tap opportunities provided by the increasing construction activities in the Tier II and III cities, flooring and interior solutions provider Nitco plans to have 250 exclusive stores ‘Le Studio’ in the next three years, a senior company official has said. “Over the past few years, there has been a considerable growth in the overall construction activity not only in the metros, but also in the Tier II and III cities. To tap these markets, we want to increase the number of our exclusive stores to 250 in the next three years,” a company official, who did not wished to be named, told PTI. The company, which operates in four business segments including vetrified tiles, ceramic tiles and gres porcelain tiles, marbles and real estate, currently owns 14 exclusive showrooms at Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Cochin, Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/construction/nitco-plans-to-have-250-le-studio-showrooms-by-2015/articleshow/12579852.cms)
US-BASED WORLDHOTELS TO ADD 10 PROPERTIES BY 2013 IN INDIA
MUMBAI: US-headquartered Worldhotels, which provides sales, marketing and technology services to hotels, is aiming to develop 10 hotels in Indiaby next year. “We are looking at expanding our portfolio in Indiaand are planning to develop 10 hotels by next year,” Worldhotels Regional Director Business Development, Indian Subcontinent & MaldivesNaresh Chandnani told PTI here. The hotels will be developed under ‘Worldhotel’ brand as a part of company’s newly launched brand license programme across the globe. “In India, our focus will be mainly to expand in the branded hotels,” he said. Worldhotels currently provides its services to 10 hotel properties in India, including the two Claridges hotels in Delhiand NCR, the Sahara Star in Mumbai and AambyValleyin Pune. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/hotels-/-restaurants/worldhotels-to-add-10-properties-by-2013-in-india/articleshow/12578542.cms)
AMSTERDAM-BASED EXSET BETS BIG ON CABLE DIGITISATION IN INDIA
Amsterdam-based Exset is keen on partnering cable operators to set up a venture in Headend in the Sky (HITS), which provides digitally compressed programming via satellite, to tap the multi-crore digitisation opportunity in the country. HITS helps cable operators save on costs as they are required to set up a single headend rather than multiple units. “Nationally, we are looking at HITS. We may partner one multi-system operator (MSO)…We are very open to partnering an MSO who has a strong national and regional footprint,” Exset CEO Alex Borland said. However, he declined to give further details about the target or investments saying “discussions have started but it is early days”. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/media/entertainment/amsterdam-based-exset-bets-big-on-cable-digitisation-in-india/articleshow/12581164.cms)
INFINITY PLANS RS 1,000 CRORE INVESTMENT IN ASSAM IN 3-4 YEARS
GUWAHATI: Kolkata-based real estate major Infinity Group is looking at investing around Rs 1,000 crore in Assamwithin next 3-4 years as part of its effort to expand footprints in the office and residential complex markets. “We are looking at investing around Rs 1,000 crore in Assamfor various projects over next 3-4 years. Though we are now concentrated in Guwahati only, we are also exploring possibilities of expanding our business to other cities and also other states in the North East,” Infinity Group Chairman Ravindra Chamaria said today. He said tier-2 cities like Guwahati offer huge opportunities in the real estate segment due to an expanding economy and growing affluence among middle class population. “We will be launching Guwahati’s first IT Park at Madhgharia locality in the city within the next few months. It will have an area of 20 lakh square feet and will have food court, office space and residential area, among others,” Chamaria said . (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/real-estate/news/infinity-plans-rs-1000-crore-investment-in-assam-in-3-4-years/articleshow/12583068.cms)
CAFÉ COFFEE DAY UPS TOP-END TO COUNTER STARBUCKS’ ENTRY
MUMBAI: Bangalore-based Café Coffee Day (CCD) is taking the battle to the enemy camp – before the enemy arrives. It plans to scale up its premium coffee chain format Square to counter the entry of USmajor Starbucks in India. While prices would be marked up, the large size of the Square cafes aims to catch up with the USchain that wants to position itself at the top end. Market sources say the joint venture between Tata Global Beverages and Starbucks, which plans to invest Rs 400 crore and open 50 outlets by the end of 2012, is looking at outlets measuring 3,000 to 3,500 square feet. VG Siddhartha, who owns the Amalgamated Bean Company that runs the Café Coffee Day chain of coffee shops, first opened Square three years ago and then went slow. As of now there are two Squares, one in Bangaloreand one in Delhiand the company aims to scale up with at least one store each in the metros and key cities. (For details log on to : http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/CorporateNews/Caf-Coffee-Day-ups-top-end-to-counter-Starbucks-entry/Article1-837528.aspx)
GOVERNMENT TO FIX MINIMUM INVESTMENT LIMIT FOR JV PARTNERS IN FDI
NEW DELHI: The government is likely to define the term “joint venture” for the purpose of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under which it would be mandatory for at least two partners to have minimum 25% stake each in the JV company. The definition of “joint venture” would be incorporated in the consolidated FDI policy which is to be unveiled shortly. “We have decided to define the joint venture under which at least two partners should have a minimum 25% stake each. Till now there was no specific shareholding mentioned in FDI policy to define joint venture,” an official source said. The official said that lack of any prescribed definition for joint venture was leading to cases where companies were entering into partnership without any minimum prescribed investment limit and then terming it as a joint venture. The policy, which was originally scheduled to be unveiled on March 30, was held up as the then DIPP secretary PK Chaudhery was appointed as Haryana Chief Secretary and the new incumbent is yet to take charge. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-to-fix-minimum-investment-limit-for-jv-partners-in-fdi/articleshow/12588871.cms
DOMESTIC SOURCING FOR SOLAR MISSION NO VIOLATION OF WTO RULES: GOVT
NEW DELHI: Indiahas told the USthat it does not intend to alter the domestic content requirement in its ambitious national solar power generation programme as it is essentially procurement by the government, which is outside the purview of the World Trade Organisation. “Indiais not a signatory to the Government Procurement Agreement under the WTO and hence is not under any obligation to follow rules prescribed by it,” a government official told ET. UScommerce secretary John Bryson had in a recent meeting with commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma in Delhiraised concerns about the 30% local sourcing requirement in projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, saying it might be in violation of WTO norms. “We have categorically told the USthat we do not view the domestic sourcing clause as violative of WTO rules,” the official said, adding, “We have no plan of amending the clause.” (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/domestic-sourcing-for-solar-mission-no-violation-of-wto-rules/articleshow/12590597.cms)
EASIER TRANSFER OF COAL BLOCK RIGHTS ON CARDS
NEW DELHI: In a move which could help private infrastructure companies such as ArcelorMittal, Jindal Power, Essar Power, NTPC, Lanco, GMR and Jaiprakash Industries get faster possession of coal blocks, the government proposes to revamp the archaic Coal Block Allocation (Acquisition and Development) Act of 1957. The Act established greater public control and rights over the coal mining industry and its development and provided for government acquisition of unworked land containing coal deposits. With block allocatees facing hurdles in transfer of land from the subsidiaries of Coal India (CIL) under the CBA Act, the government has come around to the view that CIL arms should urgently transfer land rights to coal block allocatees. Necessary guidelines will be issued, if necessary. “Transfer of surface right and mineral right of land acquired by CIL subsidiaries to block allocatees is sometimes a major cause of delay,” read the minutes of a high-powered meet headed by additional secretary, ministry of coal. Following discussions, sources said, the ministry is in the process of amending the CBA Act and will come up with revised guidelines regarding allocation of coal blocks under the Act. The ministry will also give top priority in quick settlement of bipartite agreements between subsidiary coal companies and coal block allocatees (power and mining companies) without delay. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/easier-transfer-of-coal-block-rights-on-cards/934362/)
MANUFACTURING GROWTH REVIVED IN Q4: SURVEY
NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding a tight monetary policy that is continuing and adverse reactions to some of the Budget proposals, a larger number of players sense a growth in the manufacturing sector to have revived in the last quarter of 2011-12, says a study. They expect a healthy expansion of over 10 per cent in segments such as automobile, tyres and leather products. A quarterly manufacturing survey conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) shows that about 36 per cent of the 336 respondents to the survey expected growth in manufacturing to have recovered in Q4 of the just-concluded financial year. This reflects higher confidence on the manufacturing sector, against only 13 per cent saying so for the third quarter and 26 per cent Q2 of 2011-12. The survey revealed that chemicals, cement, steel, textiles, paper and electronics are expected to have witnessed a growth of below 5 per cent in the fourth quarter, while automotive, leather and tyres are likely to have seen a growth in excess of 10 per cent. The growth is expected in the light of improved demand. (For details log on to : http://www.smartinvestor.in/market/Econnews-112234-Econnewsdet-Manufacturing_growth_revived_in_Q4.htm)
CHINA EXPANDS ITS FIRST NUCLEAR POWER PLANT WITH NEW REACTOR
BEIJING: Chinahas expanded its first nuclear power plant at Qinshan with installation of a new generator unit, authorities said on Sunday, indicating resumption of work at new nuclear projects halted for safety review in the wake of Fukushimaatomic disaster in Japanlast year. The pressurised water reactor power-generating unit, with a capacity of 650,000 kw, takes the total number of generator units at Qinshan to seven and the total capacity to 4.32 million kw, China National Nuclear Corporation said in a statement. The nuclear plant is expected to generate about 34 billion kwh of electricity annually, it said. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/China-expands-its-first-nuclear-power-plant-with-new-reactor/articleshow/12580104.cms)
COAL MINISTRY SAYS CAN’T CALCULATE COST OF PRODUCTION FROM DIFFERENT BLOCKS
NEW DELHI: In what can be seen as a clear rebuff to the recent leaked CAG draft report, the coal ministry has expressed its helplessness in giving the exact cost of production of coal from different blocks in the country. It has cited the presence of several variable factors, which makes estimating the cost difficult even for various mines in the same area. The ministry’s views are in response to a query made by the power ministry, which wants to compare the cost of coal production from blocks given to Coal India (CIL) and its subsidiaries and the ones being quoted by private sector companies that have been allotted captive coal blocks. The coal ministry, in its response, has said that geo-mining conditions, such as size of the property, seam thickness, mineable reserves, whether the area is geologically disturbed and also the method of extraction of coal (open cast or underground mine), stripping ratio and kind of mechanisation, are the main cost determinants. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/coal-ministry-says-cant-calculate-cost-of-production-from-different-blocks/934354/)
SWAN ENERGY PULLS OUT OF GUJARAT POWER PROJECT
MUMBAI: Little-known Mumbai-based Swan Energy (SEL) has pulled out of the 700-MW gas-based power project, in Gujarat, after being caught in a political firestorm over alleged largesse bestowed on it by the state government firms. SEL signed a deal in 2010 with two companies – Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and Gujarat Power Corporation – for a 49% stake in GSPC Pipavav Power Company ( GPPC). SEL agreed to pay 381 crore and received 70% of the carbon credits assigned to the project. But a few months after signing the share purchase agreement in January 2010, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Gujarat High Court challenging the legality of offering 49% to SEL. The opposition Congress party then jumped in the fray accusing the Narendra Modi government of ‘unprecedented corruption and nepotism’. In an interview in 2010, Shaktisinh Gohil, the opposition leader said that the Swan deal was a massive 14,296-crore scam and asked for an explanation into the allotment of the project’s 70% carbon emission rights for someone with a 49% stake. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/swan-energy-pulls-out-of-gujarat-power-project/articleshow/12590525.cms)
MORE HYDRO POWER TO BOOST ENERGY SECURITY: REPORT
NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of coal shortages impacting the power sector, increasing hydro power generation capacity would help in strengthening India’s energy security, says a report. Many hydro power projects are grappling with delays and cost overruns, mainly due to geological as well as geopolitical obstacles. “Given India’s tight domestic coal supply and increasing reliance on imported coal, hydro capacity provides the country with greater energy security…,” HSBC Global Research, part of banking giant HSBC, said in a recent report on the Indian hydro power sector. Going by estimates, hydro power makes up for little over 20% of the country’s total installed capacity of more than 1,90,000 MW. The hydro capacity addition was revised to about 8,200 MW from earlier target of 15,600 MW in the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12). However, the actual capacity added during that period is estimated to be around 5,400 MW. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/more-hydro-power-to-boost-energy-security-report/articleshow/12588867.cms)
INDIA‘S FIRST COAL BLOCK AUCTIONS TO TEST CAG’S LOSS FIGURE
NEW DELHI: India’s first auction of coal blocks will bring out sharp differences between calculations of the government and the national auditor, whose draft report estimated that companies which were allotted blocks free of cost received a benefit of 10.67 lakh crore. The coal and power ministries are trying to work out a system to assess the price for the blocks to be auctioned, while the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) simply multiplied the estimated reserves in each block with Coal India’s market price for that particular grade, government officials said. The coal ministry is in the process of appointing a consultant to evaluate the base price for 38 coal blocks that will be bid out to steel, sponge iron, cement and surface gassification units, they said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/metals-mining/indias-first-coal-block-auctions-to-test-cags-loss-figure/articleshow/12588831.cms)
GOVT TRYING TO SETTLE NREGA WAGE ISSUE
NEW DELHI: The Centre is keen to resolve differences with rights activists over the remuneration under its flagship rural job guarantee scheme, which can potentially save it from paying 7,000 crore in arrears to states that have higher minimum wages. Wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have risen for all states after the government made adjustments for price rise last month. But despite the revision, the payout is still below the notified minimum wages in eight states. “I am trying to have an out of court settlement for the issue. Now we can go for it because we have already revised the wages under MGNREGA and the disparity in many states have been addressed,” minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh told ET. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/govt-trying-to-settle-nrega-wage-issue/articleshow/12590564.cms)
LUXURY RETAILERS SHRINK OUTLETS TO MAXIMISE PROFITS
BANGALORE/NEW DELHI: Smaller is smarter, luxury retailers are discovering, as they reduce the size of their stores across the country to save on high rentals and other costs to realise higher profits per square foot of space they occupy. Hugo Boss, for instance, has downsized its 4,000 sq ft flagship store in Delhiby a third. The Collective stores, Madura Garments’ multi-brand luxury retail outlets in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore too have been reduced to 10,000-12,000 sq ft from the original 17,000 sq ft. Bottega Veneta, known for its signature leather goods, now operates from a store that is half the size of its original store in an older section of the DLF Emporio mall in south Delhi. “Ideally, rentals should be 15-20% of operating costs for a brand,” says Abhay Gupta, chief executive officer of luxury service provider Luxury Connect, “This is true globally, but in India this component is much higher at around 40% or even more, making it difficult to generate profitability.” (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/retailing/luxury-retailers-shrink-outlets-to-maximise-profits/articleshow/12588389.cms)
TESCO FACING INVESTOR PRESSURE ON STRATEGY – REPORT
LONDON: Major shareholders in Tesco have called on the world’s third-biggest retailer to rethink its strategy and improve its struggling domestic market, the Sunday Times reported, three months after the group issued a shock profit warning. Legal & General Investment Management said the company needed to think about its capital allocation and return on capital. “It needs to think long and hard about what it wants to be — can it be everything to everyone, or should it focus on its gem, the British grocery business?” Richard Black of L&G told the paper, on behalf of Tesco’s third-biggest shareholder with a 4 per cent stake. “Of course, this is likely to raise questions about other areas of the business, such as Americaand the bank.” (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/retailing/tesco-facing-investor-pressure-on-strategy–report/articleshow/12582639.cms)
GLOBAL COTTON TRADE HIT BY INDIA, CHINA POLICIES: ICAC
Policies adopted by Indiaand China, the world’s top two biggest cotton producers, have affected global cotton trade and prices this year, according the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). “This season, global cotton trade and prices are affected to a large extent by government policies in Chinaand to a lesser extent by policies in India,” the US-based ICAC said in a statement. Chinaimported in a big way to build reserve, while Indiahas stopped further cotton exports, it said. “Chinaaccumulated over 3 million tonnes of domestic cotton and at least one million tonnes of foreign cotton in its national reserve during the first eight months of 2011-12,” the ICAC said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/cons-products/garments-/-textiles/global-cotton-trade-hit-by-india-china-policies-icac/articleshow/12581022.cms)
INDIA SHOULD REFRAIN FROM MAKING ITS OWN TECHNICAL STANDARDS: GSMA
India has gained considerable influence in the decision making process of the global telecom industry on the back of huge mobile subscriber base, but it should refrain from developing technical standards of its own, global industry body GSM Association has said. “I would certainly not encourage Indiato develop standard that is just valid in India. Technical standards need to remain global and that is why we are keen we have very strong participation from Indian operators in to the GSMA,” GSMA’s Director General, Anne Bouverot told PTI. In the draft for new National Telecom Policy, the government has proposed to promote the development of new standards and generation of Intellectual Property Rights to make Indiaa leading nation in telecom standardisation, especially among Asia Pacific countries. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/india-should-refrain-from-making-its-own-technical-standards-gsma/articleshow/12581208.cms)
INDIA LIKELY TO GROW AT 6.1 PER CENT IN 2012: ERNST & YOUNG
MUMBAI: Indiais expected to grow at 6.1 per cent in calendar year (CY) 2012, similar to the pace recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Ernst & Young’s quarterly Rapid Growth Markets Forecast (RGMF). Growth should be picking up in H2, 2012, provided the global economy does not experience a further shock. Over the medium term, we expect a strong recovery in investment, which will help lift overall GDP growth over 9 per cent by 2014, it said. “India’s domestic demand-driven growth model is acting as a catalyst for attracting foreign investments into the country. Although the ongoing global uncertainty may have prompted global investors to become more cautious, India’s inherent advantages and proven resilience to counter-act macroeconomic challenges generally outweighs these concerns,” Ernst & Young India Partner & India Markets Leader Farokh Balsara said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-likely-to-grow-at-6-1-per-cent-in-2012-ernst-young/articleshow/12580235.cms)
INDIAN IT COMPANIES BEGIN TO TAME THE DRAGON
BANGALORE: Indian software product companies have started drilling some holes in the Chinese IT wall. Companies like Srishti Software, a Bangalore-based healthcare IT product company, is close to signing an agreement to implement its solutions in 19 hospitals in China. Pune-based internet security firm Quick Heal Technologies has also nestled itself firmly in Chinasince 2007, exploiting the market through its channel partners. Deriving confidence from such developments, more Indian software product firms are expected to set foot in the Communist country shortly. The Chinese government has made massive investments in the areas of information and communication technologies. According to IDC, China’s IT market size was $119.3 billion in 2011, recording a growth of 20.5%. It is estimated that it would record a CAGR of 16.5% growing to $220 billion by 2015. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/indian-it-cos-begin-to-tame-the-dragon/934343/)
IT REVENUE GROWTH MAY FALL IN Q4
BANGALORE: Fiscal 2011-12 has been a roller coaster ride for the Indian IT sector, and brokerage firms are expecting earnings for the January-March period to reflect the testing times it has gone through in the past few quarters. Revenue growth, say analysts, will be low to moderate, while margins are likely to be lowered, thanks to a stronger rupee compared to the previous quarter. Average quarter-on-quarter revenue growth for top-tier firms is being pegged in the region of 1.7- 2% against 2.6% in the previous quarter. Volume growth is expected to range between 0.4% and 3.5% sequentially, with TCS and Wipro leading the pack, and Infosys bringing up the rear. Infosys’ results will kick off results season on April 13, with its guidance setting the tone for sector performance. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/it-revenue-growth-may-fall-in-q4/934346/)
SPANISH PROJECT CONSULTING FIRMS MAKING BEELINE IN INDIA
Amidst the debt turmoil in Europe, Spanish firms are making a beeline to grab a pie in the USD 750-million Indian infrastructure project consulting market, expected to grow significantly in coming years. Talking to PTI, US-based consulting firm Louis Berger’s Indiahead Satyakam Mohanty said at least a dozen Spanish companies are awaiting in the wings to set up their bases in Indiaand looking for even inorganic route to set up shops. Louis Berger has been in the business in Indiasince 1995 and now employs around 900 people clocking USD 35 million revenue last year. It has USD 30 million order book. The market for project consulting has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 10-12 per cent in Indiafor the last few years, Mohanty said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/services/consultancy-/-audit/spanish-project-consulting-firms-making-beeline-in-india/articleshow/12580319.cms)