NEW DELHI: The Analjit Singh-promoted company Max India has decided to divest its 25-year-old polypropylene business in a two-stage transaction for an enterprise value of about Rs 800 crore, a move that will help it exit its non-core business.
The Delhi-based company is in advanced negotiations with at least two overseas firms in Europe and the US for its bi-axially oriented polypropylene film division, two executives familiar with the negotiations told ET. The two-stage deal under consideration involves divestment of majority stake in the first phase, followed by sale of the residual stake later at a pre-determined price.
“The transaction, expected to close sometime this quarter, is likely to value the BOPP division at Rs 700-800 crore,” one of the executives said.
Max India’s spokesperson declined to comment.
The BOPP film is used for flexible packaging applications. For the year ended March 2012, the division is expected to generate an operating profit of Rs 75 crore on revenues of about Rs 700 crore.
Max has recently brought in Mitsui Sumitomo of Japan as a 26% shareholder in its life insurance venture to replace the US-based New York Life Insurance and made a windfall gain of Rs 802 crore.
An executive, who did not wish to be named, said the company is planning to distribute among shareholders a substantial part of the cash, generated from the insurance and BOPP transactions, by way of a special dividend or buyback of shares. Max India will have a corpus of more than Rs 1,000 crore as treasury cash upon consummation of these transactions.
“Since the company does not need to make any major capital infusion in its subsidiaries, a significant part of treasury cash will be used to reward the shareholders,” the executive said.
Two of the three subsidiaries, Max Healthcare and Max New York Life Insurance, have turned operationally profitable recently. The company’s life insurance venture does not need any cash, the executive quoted above said. Max Healthcare, which has just completed its expansion plan to reach a bed capacity of 1,900, has enough cash in hand after it raised Rs 516 crore from South Africa-based Life Healthcare last October. However, Max Bupa, a 74:26 joint venture with the UK-based BUPA Group, will need a cash infusion of about 200 crore in the next three years.
The divestment of the BOPP division will alter the character of Max India, which operates as a functional-cum-holding company. It will become a holding company on the lines of a core investment company that will not have any manufacturing business. It also plans to venture into the business of senior citizens’ homes. “A substantial part of the company’s revenues currently comes from the BOPP division,” an executive said.
At its closing price of Rs 194 per share on Friday, Max India has a market capitalisation of Rs 5,132 crore. Based on the last two transactions, the combined value of its stake in Max New York Life and Max Healthcare is close to Rs 9,000 crore.
CHRYSCAPITAL, BLACKSTONE AND ADVENT CAPITAL IN RACE TO BUY STAKE IN INTAS PHARMA FOR RS 250 CRORE
NEW DELHI: Private equity firms ChrysCapital, Blackstone and Advent Capital are vying for a minority stake in generic drugmaker Intas Pharmaceuticals, two people familiar with the development told ET. The minority stake is valued at about Rs 250 crore, the sources said, without giving any other detail. While Intas Pharmaceuticals’ chief financial officer, Jayesh Shah, declined to comment on the matter, the PE firms could not be contacted over the weekend. According to a senior investment bank executive, if ChrysCapital, which already holds 11.5% stake in Intas, emerges the buyer, its stake will rise to over 15% ahead of the drugmaker’s proposed public offer. ChrysCapital is seen as a frontrunner but it could not be confirmed. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/healthcare/biotech/pharmaceuticals/chryscapital-blackstone-and-advent-capital-in-race-to-buy-stake-in-intas-pharma-for-rs-250-crore/articleshow/12830614.cms)
NEYVELI PLANS 2,000-MW PLANT WITH ODISHA PSU
BHUBANESWAR: Chennai-based Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd (NLC), a navratna public sector unit, has evinced interest in setting up a 2,000-Mw coal-fired power unit in Odisha through a joint venture (JV) with a state government owned PSU. The proposal envisages an investment of around Rs 10,000 crore. NLC would prefer to put it up in the vicinity of its allocated coal blocks,Talabira-2 and Talabira-3, situated under the command area of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. “Top executives of NLC had a meeting with the chief minister recently on their plan,” a senior government official told Business Standard. “The plant is to be set up by forging a JV with any of the state PSUs —Odisha Hydro Power Corporation, Odisha Power Transmission Corporation or Grid Corporation of Odisha Ltd. NLC is the only central PSU with core competencies in both power generation and coal mining,” (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/neyveli-plans-2000-mw-plantodisha-psu/472308/)
STAR BETS ON AAMIR’S MIDAS TOUCH IN HIS TV DEBUT
MUMBAI: If Big B won your hearts with Kaun Banega Crorepati, Salman Khan made you laugh with Bigg Boss and 10 ka Dam, and Akshay Kumar kept you on the edge of your seats with Khatron ke Khiladi, how could Aamir Khan be left behind in the race? Even before hitting the small screen, Satyamev Jayate, with which Aamir Khan makes his television debut on May 5, is already making waves. To be telecast on Sundays at 11 am, the show will be reminiscent of Sunday morning family TV viewing — a common thing when serials like Ramayana and Mahabharat were on air. Like his movies, Khan has kept the concept of the show a secret, but industry officials say it is a talk show where he will talk about social issues like child labour, health problems and other issues affecting the country. “I am not attempting to change anybody’s life. When I speak about change, it’s about changing myself. I am not interested in changing the world. I only want to connect with them emotionally and empathise,” Aamir Khan said at the launch of the show’s theme song. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/star-betsaamirs-midas-touch-in-his-tv-debut/472242/)
CAPGEMINI EYES IT SERVICES MARKET
BANGALORE: European consulting major Capgemini is bracing for a major play in the domestic information technology services market in India. The French company, which reported $13.5 billion in revenues in 2011, is pitching for transformational projects in India, backed by its consulting capabilities that have been Capgemini’s forte globally, according to Salil Parekh, a top executive. The Paris-headquartered entity is now planning to introduce some of its globally-successful technology services in India, says Parekh, Capgemini’s CEO (application services business) for North America, UK and Asia Pacific), and also heading its global financial services. Given the company’s understanding of the requirements of the Indian customers, the 1967-founded Capgemini has identified energy & utility, financial services and telecom as the major focus areas. “We started the Indiabusiness about three years ago; thus we are at quite an early stage of business in India,” recalls Parekh, also a member of the Group’s executive committee. “So, we are focusing on a few areas where we can bring in our global expertise.” (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/capgemini-eyes-it-services-mkt/472309/)
TESCO’S E-TAIL ROLLOUT HAS INDIA AS ITS INNOVATION HUB
MUMBAI: Imagine a scenario where you are browsing through a recipe are also able to buy all the ingredients for the dish at a tab of your figure. This is what Tesco allows its buyers to do in the UKand elsewhere with help from its Indiatechnology centre. The application (app) for the iPad has been developed by the UKretailer’s Indiacaptive unit based out of Bangalore. Tesco Hindustan Service Centre, is helping the world’s third largest and Britian’s leading retailer in going global with its e-commerce roll-out. After successfully running its e-commerce site in the UK, the retailer is now planning to take its online stores to other regions. The first successful roll out of its online grocery shopping services outside the UKhappened in the CzechRepublic. The technology team from Tesco HSC based out of Bangaloreis a part of Tesco’s online foray. The team has developed the online platform that supports 25 countries and allows shoppers to browse the site in multiple languages. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/tescos-e-tail-rollout-has-india-as-its-innovation-hub/472303/)
TIKONA DIGITAL TO INVEST RS 1,000 CRORE IN NETWORKS
MUMBAI: Tikona Digital Networks, which is to launch its data offerings on 4G/LTE (high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals) this year, plans to spend Rs 1,000 crore in the next two years. The company has WiMax licences to offer these services in five telecom circles. It won these in the 2010 licence auction, along with Infotel Broadband Services, taken over by Reliance Industries, as well as Qualcomm, Aircel and others. LTE (Long Term Evolution) speeds would be at least four to five times those of the 3G networks offered by multiple companies in the market. The LTE plaform will also be a pioneering technology in India; it is still in the evolution phase in many developed countries. Tikona, which already offers Wi-Fi data connectivity to home consumers as well as small enterprises, hopes to combine both LTE and Wi-Fi in future plans. “We will converge both,” said Prakash Bajpai, chief executive officer. The combined service will offer data connectivity through existing Wi-Fi networks indoors, such as homes and offices. When the same consumer moves outdoors, these services will be offered via LTE. “When at home, traffic will automatically get bypassed to Wi-Fi. When the devices are used outside, we can connect it to LTE. Both will offer high speed experience but this way, it will have a better cost distribution and this combination will be very powerful,” said Bajpai. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/tikona-digital-to-invest-rs-1000-cr-in-networks/472313/)
MAN GROUP PLANS REALTY EXIT, TO FOCUS ON STEEL BUSINESS
MUMBAI: Man Group plans to wind up its investments in real estate and focus on its core business of steel pipe manufacturing, a senior official of the company said. The group, which has invested R350 crore in real estate via its subsidiary Man Infraprojects, will sell off its projects in 18 to 24 months, said Man Industries’ senior vice-president, corporate affairs, KG Mantri. He said: “We have decided to focus on our core business and sell off the real estate projects. After this, we will be a completely debt-free company.” Currently, the group does not have any outstanding debts apart from $44 million of outstanding foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs). Fresh debt won’t be raised in the coming years as the company has not planned any capital expenditure. The group’s steel-pipe-making arm, Man Industries, also got a boost with Japan’s Kobe Steel picking up a 3.18% stake in the company. (For details log on to: http://www.financialexpress.com/news/man-group-plans-realty-exit-to-focus-on-steel-business/940270/)
JAWED HABIB TO OPEN 50 SALONS ABROAD WITH P&G HELP
KOLKATA: Hair stylist Jawed Habib, who runs a chain of more than 300 salons across India, plans to take his venture global in a strategic partnership with Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer goods company. Procter & Gamble will not pick up equity in the venture, but will provide bridge financing and help identify locations as well as the kind of services to offer and how, said Habib who has finalised plans to set up three salons in Londonand one in Singapore. “Our initial thrust will be Europe and we want a big presence in Londonand Paris,” the chairman and managing director of Jawed Habib Hair & Beauty Ltd said. He said the company plans to open more than 50 salons abroad over the next two years. An email sent to P&G India regarding its business plans in this partnership remained unanswered. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/cons-products/fashion-/-cosmetics-/-jewellery/jawed-habib-to-open-50-salons-abroad-with-pg-help/articleshow/12830643.cms)
MUKESH AMBANI-OWNED INFOTEL BROADBAND TO SET UP OVER 1,00,000 TOWERS FOR 4G OPERATIONS
MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani-owned Infotel Broadband Services plans to set up over 1,00,000 towers for its 4G operations in the next three years, moving away from its ‘asset-light’ model and possibly disappointing telecom tower companies, including Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infratel, which were hoping the RIL group company would use their passive infrastructure for its services. Infotel Broadband had invited bids earlier this year from tower operators for leasing around 26,000 towers across Indiafor the first phase of its wireless broadband foray. But those plans are on hold, and according to three people familiar with the development, the company has sought quotes and samples from equipment vendors for carbon fibre telecom towers. The estimated outlay for the company’s launch, which is expected later this year or early next year, has been nearly doubled to $8-9 billion, from the originally stated $4 billion in 2010, said one of the three persons. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/mukesh-ambani-owned-infotel-broadband-to-set-up-over-100000-towers-for-4g-operations/articleshow/12830443.cms)
DEFENCE VENTURES WITH FOREIGN ENTITIES TO FACE CLOSER SCRUTINY
NEW DELHI: With the rising role of private sector in defence production, the government is planning guidelines for defence sector joint ventures (JVs) between Indian and foreign firms. Government sources said these will be similar to foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for defence collaborations in certain developed countries. The idea is to institute security and auditing procedures for JVs and their supply chains. According to the ministry of defence (MoD), the norms will apply to JVs based on their ‘threat perception’ and the sensitivity of products to be manufactured. Such JVs will have to seek prior separate security clearances from the home ministry regarding subsidiaries, directors and foreign nationals (if engaged). The new security measures and check lists emerged after two recent FDI proposals came up for scrutiny before the defence and home ministries. The proposals were from Mahindra Defence Services and Quest Global. Both wanted to set up JVs and work closely with the Indian defence and security establishment. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/defence-ventures-with-foreign-entities-to-face-closer-scrutiny/940296/)
OLD TRADE CORRIDOR PLAN GETS A NEW LIFE
NEW DELHI: With the India-Iran gas pipeline and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline scuppered by security concerns, the commerce ministry has fished out a decade-old proposal to link South Asia with Europeby sea, rail and roads. Designed as a trade route spanning Central Asia, the Caucasus and Russia, the unique North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) promises to be a lucrative one for India. The commerce ministry has called a meeting of all participating countries to evolve the project modalities. A meeting of experts and bureaucrats is also scheduled in May to work out the modalities to raise funds. “We are pushing for the corridor proposed in September 2000. Talks have been revived with Iran, Russiaand a few Central Asian countries. Soon, officials from these countries will meet us to work out the modalities including transport and the investments required to build this trade corridor,” commerce secretary Rahul Khullar told FE. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/old-trade-corridor-plan-gets-a-new-life/940298/)
NEW WAGE SYSTEM FOR AI, NO PRODUCTIVITY-LINKED INCENTIVE
NEW DELHI: The civil aviation ministry has decided to overhaul the pay structure of Air Indiaemployees by scrapping the contentious productivity-linked incentive (PLI) remuneration structure, which constitutes the bulk of salary. The new structure, meant to reduce the salary bill, will be based on Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) guidelines. However, the would not lead to a major salary reduction, as a wage revision is due. The ministry has decided to restructure the airline’s top management by creating a post of joint managing director, who would be an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, to monitor implementation of the still incomplete integration of the erstwhile Air Indiaand Indian Airlines. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/new-wage-system-for-ai-no-productivity-linked-incentive/472304/)
FINALLY, SOME RELIANCE CLARITY ON K-G RESERVOIR OUTPUT RIDDLE
MUMBAI: If the substantially differing estimates of gas reserves from the joint venture partners in the Krishna-Godavari (K-G) basin off the east coast have been puzzling oil industry watchers, there is now some official confirmation. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), operator of the country’s premier deep water gas acreage, has for the first time said it sees a 10-15 percentage point downward revision in its ‘2P’ (proven plus probable) reserves there. This, it says, is due to “reservoir complexity”. Typically, experts say, 2P estimates have a 50 per cent strike rate. RIL, reporting its fourth quarter and annual results on Friday, told analysts it might restate the K-G basin reserves. Five analysts Business Standard spoke to confirmed that. “RIL has for the first time admitted of sorts that they did go wrong as far as the understanding of the geology at the K-G basin is concerned. They also provided an asset by asset play as far as their other E&P (exploration & production) portfolios are concerned,” said an analyst who was present at the meeting. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/finally-some-reliance-clarityk-g-reservoir-output-riddle/472306/)
ONGC TO REGAIN TOP PROFIT SLOT FROM RIL
NEW DELHI: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is set to regain its tag of the country’s most profitable company, which it had lost to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) during financial year 2010-11. RIL on Friday declared a net profit of Rs 20,040 crore for the 2011-12, a marginal drop from the Rs 20,286 crore it made in 2010-11. Government owned-ONGC, the country’s biggest oil producing company, had already made net profit of Rs 19,478 crore during the first three quarters of 2011-12. This ONGC profit was in spite of giving Rs 30,296 crore towards compensating the losses of government oil marketing companies on the regulated sale of diesel, kerosene and domestic cooking gas (LPG). The company was, however, helped by an exceptional income of Rs 3,142 crore from Cairn India, as the royalty ONGC had been paying on the Barmer block in Rajasthan was made cost-recoverable. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ongc-to-regain-top-profit-slotril/472300/)
GOVT MULLS NEW NORMS, TAX SOPS TO REVIVE SEZ BOOM
NEW DELHI: It could be a second innings for special economic zones, especially those held up for years, with the commerce department proposing fresh tax concessions and a cut in the minimum area requirement to a quarter of the present specifications. The department has suggested that any zone that is not built around the identified 40 million-plus cities and state capitals would be eligible for duty benefits on capital investment for construction of hotels, hospitals, schools and colleges, residential and business complexes and training, leisure and entertainment facilities in what is billed as non-processing area (NPA) infrastructure. Sources said that the zones will be eligible for the tax concession if they are built 50-100 km from an urban conglomerate and facilities have to be for exclusive use of SEZ employees. In case of SEZs constructed in 123 backward districts, this infrastructure can also be used by those who are not part of the zone, a 48-page note said. At present, the rules specify that NPA can’t exceed half the area of an SEZ. (For details log on to : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Govt-mulls-new-norms-tax-sops-to-revive-SEZ-boom/articleshow/12829127.cms)
BUILDERS, CEMENT MAKERS SPAR AHEAD OF CCI ORDER
NEW DELHI: Builders and cement companies are at war over the rising price of cement. A verdict is expected next week from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), on a charge made by real estate dealers, of cartelisation among cement companies. Builders say cement makers have increased prices by 50 per cent in the past six months and as much as 20 per cent after the Union Budget, blaming collusion for the supply problem. Cement companies say the complaint is “ridiculous”, as the prices are controlled by factors like demand and supply, railway freight rates and excise duty. A 50-kg bag of cement used to cost Rs 170. It went up to Rs 250 before the Budget and costs Rs 300 now, said R K Arora, chairman, Supertech. “Excise duty went up by two percentage points but cement prices have gone up by at least 20 per cent. Therefore, we are including a cost escalation clause in our buyer-builder agreement due to uncertainty in the prices,” he said. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/builders-cement-makers-spar-aheadcci-order/472297/)
DOMESTIC PHARMA SALES SHOW RECORD GROWTH
NEW DELHI: The domestic pharmaceutical market (IPM) grew 21.9 per cent to record sales of Rs 5,369 crore in March, compared to the year-ago period, going by an analysis done by market research firm AIOCD AWACS. Its latest market intelligence report suggests this was fuelled by exceptional growth in companies such as Mankind, Macleods and Micro Labs. While Mankind recorded a growth of 32.6 per cent to record sales of Rs 194 crore, Macleods (Rs 132 crore) and Micro Labs (Rs 109 crore) grew 40 and 45.1 per cent, respectively. Abbott, with its subsidiaries Abbott Healthcare and Solvay, registered sales of Rs 306 crore to retain its number one position in the domestic market. The other market leaders were Cipla, GSK and Sun Pharma with sales of Rs 280 crore, Rs 254 crore and Rs 255 crore, respectively. Around 12 companies among the top 20 registered a growth of a little over 20 per cent, the agency’s data revealed. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/domestic-pharma-sales-show-record-growth/472311/)
INDIA, JAPAN TO TALK ON COOPERATION IN ASIA-PACIFIC
NEW DELHI: This Monday, and then again on Monday the 30th, Japanese and Indian officials will meet to impart momentum to what is arguably New Delhi’s most important partnership in Asia, but one that has consistently underperformed. These meetings seek to take forward a relationship that has the economic and military weight to balance China, and which enjoys broad political acceptance within both countries. For decades, the two sides remained aloof, first due to the Cold War, and then because of Japan’s reflexive opposition to India’s nuclear quest. In 2000, however, with Chinarising, the two established a ‘Global Partnership’ and upgraded that to a ‘Strategic and Global Partnership’ during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s path-breaking meetings in 2006 with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. Tomorrow, Tokyowill host the second India-Japan-US trilateral dialogue, the first such meeting after Washingtonannounced its strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific in January 12. Officials say the participants will share their perceptions on China; discuss the regional security architecture, particularly maritime security; and the prospects for co-operating in keeping open sea lanes of communications in the face of Chinese claims. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/india-japan-to-talkcooperation-in-asia-pacific/472333/)
COAL INDIA COULD GET TO PASS ON COST OF EXPENSIVE IMPORTS
NEW DELHI: The government is weighing a new coal pricing dispensation to help Coal India (CIL) recover the extra cost of imported coal it might have to give power plants to comply with the fuel supply agreement (FSA). The agreement means Coal Indiamust guarantee supply of at least 80% of fuel required by these plants. Government sources said a committee of secretaries led by Pulok Chatterjee, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, has been mandated to evolve a pricing dispensation where power companies will have to bear the extra cost of imported coal to the extent of difference in the quality of imported and domestic coal. The quality of imported coal is much superior to domestic coal. For example, the ash content in domestic coal can be as high as 40%, compared with 10% in imported coal. The gross calorific value (GCV) of domestic coal is 3,000-3,500 Kcal/kg while that of imported coal is 5,000-7,000 Kcal/kg. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/coal-india-could-get-to-pass-on-cost-of-expensive-imports/940292/)
COMMERCIAL REALTY SLUGGISH IN JANUARY-MARCH
MUMBAI: Leasing and buying activity in the commercial real estate market in Indiaremained sluggish for the first quarter ended March 31 of calendar year (CY) 2012. The total absorption of office space declined 12% in Q1 compared to the Q4 of CY 2011. Weak domestic macro-economic indicators and cautious sentiments among Indian corporates and financial institutions led to the fall in commercial space take-up, says a report by real estate consultant DTZ India. No change in the interest rates by the RBI in the last quarter also made companies hold their decisions to buy as they anticipated a fall in rates in the subsequent quarters. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/commercial-realty-sluggish-in-janmar/940269/)
OGILVY & MATHER INDIA WINS MOST AWARDS AS 3-DAY GOAFEST CONCLUDES
GOA: The curtain came down on the seventh edition of the Goafest on Saturday, with the grand finale of Creative ABBY Awards. Advertising major Ogilvy & Mather India won the maximum number of awards: 61 metals, including 12 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze, at the grand finale. The agency walked away with the ‘Grand Prix’ in the ‘Digital & Interactive’ category’ for its work for FoxCrime. In the final tally, Leo Burnett Indiawon 35 metals, closely followed by Taproot India, a three-year-old ad agency, with 34. Yet another new entrant into the Indian advertising industry, Creativeland Asia bagged the coveted ‘Grand Prix’ for its work for German auto giant Audi. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/ogilvy-&-mather-india-wins-most-awards-as-3day-goafest-concludes/940273/)
BOT DREAMS DRAG INFRA COMPANIES LIKE HCC, IVRCL, GAMMON INTO DEBT TRAP
MUMBAI/HYDERABAD: Pushed to the wall with a huge debt pile, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has urged lenders to restructure its loans even as it scurries to organise cash by selling non-core assets. The Ajit Gulabchand-led engineering company is just one of a clutch of Indian infrastructure developers whose ambitions of owning BOT (build, operate and transfer) assets-primarily road & highway projects-have backfired on their flagship business of EPC (engineering, procurement and construction). Whilst HCC’s bread and butter has already been thrown out of kilter by mounting debt, other stars of yesterday in the infrastructure space like IVRCL, Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) and Gammon Infrastructure also have similar problems, although they may not be as severe as those of HCC. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/construction/bot-dreams-drag-infra-companies-like-hcc-ivrcl-gammon-into-debt-trap/articleshow/12830900.cms)
HCL HITS LOW-MARGIN BARRIER IN INDIA
NEW DELHI: A robust deal pipeline from its European clients made HCL Technologies post better than expected growth in revenues and profits for the last quarter. However, the company is struggling to find its ground in the Indian market, which it says is a ‘low margin trajectory’. Despite getting lower margins from its Indiabusiness, HCL Technologies’ focus is on ‘strategic’ clients in Indiaacross verticals like financial services and government where it is signing both local deals and managing the Indiafootprint of its global clients. While Americascontribute 56.7% to the firm’s revenues and Europe’s share is at 27.6%, revenues from rest of the world stand at 15.7%. India’s share, according to analysts, in this is close to 5%. The firm is offering enterprise application services (EAS) to 20 customers in Indiaand business process outsourcing (BPO) services to less than 5% of its global clients here. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/hcl-hits-lowmargin-barrier-in-india/940260/)
UNIFIED LICENSING REGIME: TOWER COMPANIES UP IN ARMS AGAINST TRAI
KOLKATA: Senior executives of Bharti Infratel, IndusTowers, Viom, GTL, AmericanTowersand Tower Vision will meet communications minister Kapil Sibal this week to decry sector regulator Trai’s bid to licence tower firms by migrating them to the unified licensing regime. They are likely to argue that tower firms don’t merely meet the needs of mobile phone companies, and it would be unfair to licence them since they also support a host of non-telecom services linked to government projects like customer service centres, national e-governance rollouts, online education, surveillance work for the interior ministry to disseminating information on NREGA subsidy flows. “Tower networks are a multi-sectoral infrastructure resource that do not address the needs of telecom alone. Trai’s move to licence tower infrastructure providers will sharply inflate costs of the gamut of rural services and undermine the Centre’s social and financial inclusion targets,” said Umang Das, who is director general of the Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association – the industry body representing telecom tower firms across the country. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/unified-licensing-regime-tower-cos-including-bharti-infratel-indus-towers-viom-up-in-arms-against-trai/articleshow/12830591.cms)