Chennai, May 2:
The Rane group is scouting for acquisitions in Defence and aerospace.
“In the next couple of years, we are looking to make one or two acquisitions especially in the areas of mechanical and electronic systems for Defence and aerospace,” says Mr L. Ganesh, Chairman.
Rane is eyeing domestic companies in the “Rs 30-50 crore turnover size but with significant growth potential.”
The group, which has traditionally manufactured automobile components, diversified into the Defence sector last year with the acquisition of 26 per cent stake in Bangalore-based SasMos HET Technologies.
SasMos manufactures wiring harness, cable assemblies and panel boxes used in defence and aerospace. It is currently developing control systems; this involves lot of electronics.
The SasMos partnership with Rane has just completed a year. Sales at Rs 25 crore these years have been “marginally lower than planned”, says Mr Ganesh.
“But the business is close to break even. This year, we are planning Rs 35 crore.”
The SasMos business has the potential to ramp up significantly to Rs 130-150 crore in 3-5 years, says Mr Ganesh.
SasMos supplies to integrators such as BEML, BEL and Israeli Defence companies. Exports account for 60 per cent of its business currently.
IFC TO PICK UP STAKE IN RENEWGEN’S SRI LANKAN ARM
CHENNAI: International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to pick up an equity stake in Renewgen Environment Protection Kotte Private Limited (Renewgen Kotte), a company incorporated in Sri Lankaby Renewgen Enviro Ventures India. The Indian company was promoted by TT Jagannanahthan, chairman of the TTK Group, along with others. According to the IFC’s project disclosure, of the total project cost estimated at $29 million, the corporation is considering providing a financing package of up to $9 million consisting of equity and debt at both the sponsor and company level. The project will be located at Kaduwela in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. The developer has secured the first competitively-awarded, waste-to-energy concession in Sri Lankafrom the Waste Management Authority of the WesternProvincein Sri Lanka (WMA). With a 25-year concession, the 10-Mw project will be taken up in a build-own-operate mode. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ifc-to-pickstake-in-renewgens-sri-lankan-arm/473204/)
DEAL DONE, BUT BIYANI STILL BETS BIG ON FASHION
MUMBAI: The Pantaloons stores are sold, but Kishore Biyani is still focused on fashion. After clinching a Rs 1,600-crore deal with the Aditya Birla Group to sell its Pantaloons format, Pantaloon Retail plans to focus on expanding its remaining fashion formats, such as the ‘Central’ mall concept, discount chain Brand Factory and private labels, which have been kept out of the ambit of the deal. Even smaller fashion formats like Ethnicity and popular segments like Fashion at Big Bazaar will be under Future Group operations. The country’s largest retailer, Pantaloon plans to add 10 Central malls, with an average size of 90,000 sq ft, by June 2013. It has 21 malls at present. It had also plans to add 35 to 40 Brand Factory stores during the same period, said a senior Future Group executive involved with the expansion plans. Brand Factory has 20 outlets. The two formats have three million sq ft of retail space. Central and Brand Factory, whose financials are integrated, are actually bigger than the Rs 1,700-crore Pantaloons format, and are expected to clock a turnover of Rs 2,100 crore in 2011-12. The two were looking at 35 per cent growth in 2012-13 to achieve a turnover of Rs 3,000 crore, the executive said. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/deal-donebiyani-still-bets-bigfashion/473253/)
PANTALOON RETAIL’S DVR SHARES SPARKLE POST-BIRLA DEAL
MUMBAI: Shares of the Kishore Biyani-promoted Pantaloon Retail with differential voting rights (DVR) have surprised the market by gaining close to 35 per cent in two trading sessions, compared to the seven per cent gain in underlying shares. According to market experts, most new investors entering the Pantaloon counter had preferred DVRs over ordinary shares due to the 40 per cent gap between the two. Further, the company’s decision to increase voting rights in February for the shares with DVR had further boosted its appeal among investors. Shares of Pantaloon Retail closed on Wednesday at Rs 183, down 2.53 per cent, while the DVRs, also called Class-B shares, ended at Rs 135.45, up 14.21 per cent. After the sharp rise, the gap between the two has narrowed from 40 per cent to 26 per cent. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/pantaloon-retails-dvr-shares-sparkle-post-birla-deal/473231/)
END OF THE ROAD FOR FIAT-TATA MOTORS DISTRIBUTION TIE-UP
MUMBAI: Six years after Fiat agreed to sell its cars through Tata Motors dealers, the Italian auto maker has decided to call off its distribution and commercial alliance and go solo in India. Despite the alliance, the Italian car maker failed to push its sagging sales in the country. It has only 0.6 per cent share of the domestic car market. The company currently sells only two vehicles: Grande Punto in the hatchback and Linea in the sedan segment. Last financial year, the company’s sales saw a slide of 24 per cent at 16,073 units as against industry growth of five per cent. Fiat will now set up a new subsidiary company in Indiato look after sales, distribution and service of its own cars. This company will be directly controlled by the Fiat Group. Till now, the distribution and after-sale service responsibility of Fiat-branded cars was in the hands of Tata Motors, India’s largest auto maker. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/endthe-road-for-fiat-tata-motors-distribution-tie-up/473265/)
BIRLA SHLOKA EDUTECH, MALAYSIAN GROUP TIE UP FOR TRAINING
MUMBAI: The Yash Birla Group, which owns language learning labs across 800 schools through its company Birla Shloka Edutech, on Wednesday signed an agreement to partner Malaysian business conglomerate Melewar Group to start English training solutions product ‘Direct English’ in India. The joint venture company plans to roll out 500 centres in 15 states in the next three to five years. The product, which will be sold to English language learners between 20 and 45 years of age, will be offered by UK-based language training solutions provider Linguaphone Group, which had acquired Direct English from the Pearson Group in 2003. “Birla Edutech and Melewar will jointly act as the licensee for Direct English in corporate and retail markets in Indiaand Malaysia,” said Derek Price, CEO of the Linguaphone Group. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/birla-shloka-edutech-malaysian-group-tie-up-for-training/944669/)
VIP INDUSTRIES TO SET UP MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN BANGLADESH
NEW DELHI: Luggage maker VIP Industries on Wednesday said it has incorporated a wholly-owned subsidiary in Bangladeshto set up a luggage manufacturing plant. “A wholly-owned subsidiary of the company by the name VIP Industries Bangladesh Pvt Ltd has been incorporated on April 5, 2012 to set-up luggage manufacturing plant in Bangladesh,” VIP Industries said in a statement. The company, however, did not share any financial details. The company had last year announced a major makeover with focus on fashion baggage and accessories segment. It had announced to launch an array of products in ladies fashion bag segment and ramp up its product portfolio in the accessories category. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/cons-products/durables/vip-industries-to-set-up-manufacturing-facility-in-bangladesh/articleshow/12969481.cms)
SRM GROUP EXPANDING SMALL SCREEN PRESENCE
CHENNAI: The SRM Group is expanding its presence in the small screen with a new general entertainment and news channel. Vendar TV is expected to go on air on August 25, according to the group’s Chairman, Mr Ravi Pachamoothoo. (Vendar means ‘king’ in Tamil). “Apart from providing entertainment content, Vendar TV will also focus on positive news. There is so much of negativity in most of the channels. We want to change that,” Mr Pachamoothoo told Business Line. The required infrastructure is in place to launch the new channel. The group is waiting for certain clearances, he said. The SRM group entered the television space with the launch of a news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai in August last year. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-others/tp-states/article3378048.ece)
INDIA AGREES IN PRINCIPLE TO ALLOW FDI FROM PAK, SAYS SHARMA
NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday said it has decided in principle to allow foreign direct investment from Pakistanand the move was expected to enhance commercial engagement between the two countries. When asked whether government has decided in principle to allow FDI from Pakistan, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said “yes”. However, he said, that no FDI targets have been fixed. “The move is expected to enhance the commercial engagement and bilateral trade between Indiaand Pakistan,” Sharma said, adding that both sides agreed on the desirability of promoting bilateral investments. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/india-agrees-in-principle-to-allow-fdi-from-pak-says-sharma/944693/)
POWER TARIFFS TO BE LINKED TO FUEL COSTS
NEW DELHI: The power ministry will allow producers to raise tariffs if fuel costs of new projects rise, and will not oppose a hike in domestic gas prices. The move would hurt consumers but rescue large private investments that are threatened by uncertainty over fuel and tariffs. Linking tariffs to fuel costs will help new power projects, such as the next set of ultra mega power plants (UMPPs) yet to be awarded, and gas-fired electricity plants with a capacity of over 7,000 mw that have been built but are idling because of fuel scarcity, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told ET. His remarks will cheer private power producers, which are expected to build 60% of the new capacity in the next five-year plan. The comments would also be music to the ears of gas producers such as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/power-tariffs-to-be-linked-to-fuel-costs-move-would-hurt-consumers-but-help-new-umpps/articleshow/12972859.cms)
GET READY TO PAY MORE FOR POWER FROM THIS MONTH
NEW DELHI: Delhiites will have to pay more for power from this month, particularly in the areas under the BRPL and the BYPL, and this hike is independent of the new tariff structure that is still being worked out. The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission on Wednesday agreed to a “fuel price adjustment surcharge” for the power distribution companies TPDDL, BRPL and BYPL in the range of 4 to 7 per cent, scrapping the 5 per cent provisional surcharge introduced in February. While consumers in the TPDDL area will pay less, those in the BRPL and BYPL areas will have to shell out more on account of this surcharge for the next three months. The DERC has allowed TPDDL a fuel price surcharge of 4 per cent, while BRPL and BYPL have been allowed 6 and 7 per cent respectively. This surcharge will be reflected in monthly bills generated from May 1 to July. (For details log on to : http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article3378821.ece)
COAL INDIA TO SEEK PMO ADVICE ON FUEL SUPPLY AGREEMENTS WITH POWER UNITS
KOLKATA: Coal Indiawill seek advice from the prime minister’s office through the coal ministry on how to go about signing fuel supply agreements with power units commissioned between January 2012 and March 2015. “We will ask the government on how to go about signing FSAs with plants that have come up after December 2011 and will be put up till March 2015. We will send our queries to the coal ministry which may take it up with the PMO’s office,” Coal IndiaChairman S Narsing Rao told ET. The move assumes significance because the prime minister’s office had asked Coal Indiato sign FSA with plants that have come up after April, 2009 and will be set up till March, 2015 by March 2012. Coal Indiaboard, however, failed to take a decision and subsequently received a presidential directive that asked it to sign FSAs for plants that have come up between April 2009 and December 2011. The presidential directive, however, did not mention anything about plants that came up after January, 2012. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods/svs/metals-mining/coal-india-to-seek-pmo-advice-on-fuel-supply-agreements-with-power-units/articleshow/12973836.cms)
INDIA TARGETS SAVING OF 12,000 MW ELECTRICITY
NEW DELHI: Under pressure from the international community to cut emissions and support the fight against climate change, Indiais focusing on implementation of energy efficiency measures in a big way. The country has targeted to save as much as 12,000 mw of electricity by increasing energy efficiency standards of power equipment and appliances and buildings during the current Twelfth Five-Year Plan (April 2012-March 2017). ‘‘We have targeted energy savings of 12,000 mw during the 12th Plan,’’ Ajay Mathur, director general, BEE, told FE. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under the Union power ministry, has raised energy efficiency standards for split air-conditioners by 8%. The move comes in the wake of the upcoming freeze hydro-chlorofloro-carbons under the Montreal Compact on Environment next year. BEE introduced mandatory star labelling of electrical appliances in January 2010. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/india-targets-saving-of-12-000-mw-electricity/944487/)
APRIL MANUFACTURING PMI RISES GROWTH SLACKENS ON POWER CUTS
NEW DELHI: After indications of weak industrial production data for March, the widely-tracked HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey showed owing to power cuts, manufacturing growth in April fell for the third month. The PMI for manufacturing rose from 54.7 points in March to 54.9 points. A PMI reading of more than 50 points denotes growth, while that below 50 shows contraction. The PMI comprises many factors, including output growth and orders. Meanwhile, HSBC chief economist for Indiaand Asean Leif Eskesen termed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s move to cut the repo rate by 50 basis points premature and too aggressive, as rising input prices and higher taxes were being passed to customers. Budget 2012-13 had raised both excise and services taxes by two percentage points to 12 per cent each. Wholesale price-based inflation stood at 6.89 per cent in March. “Inflation accelerated, with both output and input prices rising faster. This suggests upside risks to inflation remain and RBI’s rate cut could turn out to have been premature and too aggressive,” Eskesen said. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/april-manufacturing-pmi-rises-growth-slackenspower-cuts/473271/)
GOVT REMOVES RESTRICTIONS ON UREA IMPORTS FROM IRAN
NEW DELHI: The government today said it has removed restriction on urea imports from Iranand has asked State Trading Corporation to modify the global tender, which restricts bids by suppliers of Iranian origin. The restriction was imposed by STC in view of Iran’s decision to ban urea exports and also due to default by three traders who were to supply urea from Iranin a tender floated by Indian Potash Ltd in March this year. “STC’s tender is yet to be opened and our Ambassador in Iranhas informed us that although there is a ban on urea exports, export permits are being given by the Iranian government on case-to-case basis,” Fertiliser Ministry Secretary Ajay Bhattacharya told PTI. Keeping in view the report of the Ambassador, he said the ministry has informed STC to modify the terms of the tender by removing the restriction on Iranian urea. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/govt-removes-restrictionsurea-importsiran/164107/on)
OIL MINISTRY SEEKS CLARIFICATIONS FROM RIL ON CBM GAS PRICE
NEW DELHI: Days ahead of the 60-day deadline for approving its gas sale price expired, the Oil Ministry has sought some clarifications from Reliance Industries on the gas it plans to produce from coal seams (CBM), thereby pushing back the approval clock by another two months. The Ministry had last month told Rajya Sabha that the contract with firms like RIL and Essar Oil, for producing coal bed methane (CBM) or gas from coal seams, provides for approval of the sale price formula within 60 business days “from the date of receipt of proposal or from the date of receipt of clarifications/additional information”. RIL had on February 21 submitted a proposal seeking a price of equivalent to 12.67% of price of JCC, or Japan Customs-Cleared Crude oil, plus $0.26 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu), for the CBM it plans to produce from Madhya Pradesh blocks from end-2014. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/oil-min-seeks-clarificationsrilcbm-gas-price/164116/on)
TELECOM COMPANIES TAKE UP CUDGELS AGAINST TRAI WITH GOVT
NEW DEHI: A power-packed delegation of the country’s top telecom chiefs, including the global heads of two leading mobile phone companies on Wednesday met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, telecoms minister Kapil Sibal, home minister P Chidambaram, representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office and four other key policy makers to demand that the government reject sector regulator Trai’s recommendations on spectrum auction. Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal, A V Birla group chairman K M Birla, Vodafone Group Plc chief executive Vittorio Colao and Telenor Group’s president and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas escalated their war with Trai and told senior Cabinet ministers that regulator’s proposals were ‘flawed, retrograde and regressive’ and its implementation would harm consumer interests. “This has been the most destructive period of regulatory environment I have seen in 16 years. Sector regulator Trai’s recommendations are ‘catastrophic’ for the entire telecom sector,” Mittal said when exiting the communications ministry after the chief executives had met telecoms secretary R Chandrasekhar. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/telcos-including-airtel-vodafone-idea-and-others-escalate-war-with-trai-complain-to-pranab-sibal-pmo/articleshow/12970641.cms)
HERO MOTOCORP LAGS FORECAST, RAISES PRICES AS COSTS BITE
MUMBAI: Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeled vehicle manufacturer, hiked prices and targeted industry-beating future sales growth as it blamed forex movements and rising input costs on quarterly profit that missed estimates. Hero will target a ramping up of exports and capacity to drive growth, after material cost increases during the quarter to end-March outstripped revenue growth as a weaker rupee raised the cost of imports. “There was a lot of damage that happened to the foreign exchange fluctuations,” said Ravi Sud, chief financial officer. “Out of whatever (cost) increase has come per unit in this quarter, about 70 to 75 per cent is on account of forex.” Imports account for around 15 per cent of the company’s vehicle costs, Sud added. The Indian rupee weakened by around 13.5 per cent against the dollar during the year to March 31. Hero expects two-wheeler sales growth of 10 percent in the current financial year, said Anil Dua, senior vice-president of marketing and sales, outstripping industry growth as the company continues to increase its focus on a largely untapped rural market. (For details log on to : http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/hero-motocorp-lags-forecast-raises-prices-as-costs-bite/473259/)
DELHI TOPS IN CUTTING EXPENSES: ASSOCHAM
CHENNAI: Due to high food inflation, middle and lower income groups are forced to slash 65% of spending on entertainment, shopping, vacations, electronics, automobiles, real estate and eating out to manage their monthly household budgets, according to a survey by apex industry chamber Assocham. Middle Income Group (MIG) has curtailed its spendings on such heads by nearly 65% during the last 6 months due to rise in inflation, interest rates and fuel costs. With food and education of children are eating up most of their incomes, the saving is likely to come down heavily, reveals the survey. The survey was conducted in a period of two months beginning March to April 2012 in major places like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun, etc. A little over 200 employees were selected from each city on an average. Delhiranks first in curtailing their expenses followed by Mumbai (2nd), Ahmedabad (3rd) Chandigarh(4th), Kolkata (5th), Chennai (6th) and Dehradun (7th), says D S Rawat, secretary general Assocham. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/delhi-tops-in-cutting-expenses-assocham/944696/)
MSOs, BROADCASTERS PLAN TO MOVE COURT OVER CARRIAGE FEE
NEW DELHI: Not satisfied with the ‘must carry’ diktat and regulation of carriage fee outlined in the latest regulations by the broadcast regulator, both multi-service operators (MSOs) and news broadcasters may soon take legal recourse. MSOs and broadcasters are studying the order before approaching the courts, sources said. On Monday night, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued the tariff order and regulations for digital addressable system (DAS) roll out mandating every MSO to upgrade its delivery platform so as to carry 500 channels in DAS areas, starting with the four metros. DAS entails mandatory use of a digitally addressable set-top-box for accessing TV channels and encryption of all television signals in DAS notified areas. “The tariff order applies equally to DTH service providers and MSOs. No such ‘must carry’ mandate is imposed on DTH operators. The Trai orders directly attacks every MSOs right to do business. This should be challenged in court,” said a top executive in MSO Alliance, the apex body of leading MSOs. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/msos-broadcasters-plan-to-move-court-over-carriage-fee/944695/)
BHARTI AIRTEL Q4 NET DIPS 28% AT R1,006 CR
NEW DELHI: High interest cost on loans for 3G spectrum, forex losses and increased tax outgo pulled down Bharti Airtel’s January-March net profit by a more than expected 28.2% to R1,006 crore. The company had posted a net profit of R1,401 crore during the same period last year. Total revenues for the period increased 15% at R18,729 crore against last year’s R16,293 crore. This was the ninth straight quarter of the company registering a decline in its net profit. On a sequential basis the net profit was down marginally by 0.4% as the company had reported profits of R1,011 crore during the preceding October-December period while revenues were up 1.3% as it had reported total earnings of R18,477 crore in the October-December quarter. The company’s Ebitda during the quarter was up 13.7% and 18.1% for the fiscal on a year-on-year basis. The full year Ebitda margin was at 33.2%. (For details log on to : http://www.financialexpress.com/news/bharti-airtel-q4-net-dips-28-at-r1-006-cr/944665/)
INDIA, CHINA NEXT DESTINATION FOR TALENT FROM THE WEST
DUBAI: The booming markets of Indiaand China, where a new war for professional talent is hotting up, will see incredible opportunities for Western professionals, a noted marketing expert has said. “The new war for professional talent is hotting up like never before and will see huge and developing opportunities for westerners looking for jobs in India and China,” Nirmalya Kumar, Professor of Marketing at London Business School said. Speaking to industry leaders, students and alumni at a session at the Dubai Centre celebrating LondonBusinessSchool’s five years of commitment to education in the region, Professor Kumar highlighted the shift from Indians and Chinese looking to the west for jobs and the reverse happening at a rapid rate. “When you go to the emerging markets it’s about growth, it’s about ambition and setting up businesses and factories,” Kumar, who recently launched his book India Inside and is the co-director of the School’s Aditya Birla India Centre, said. (For details log on to : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/jobs/india-china-next-destination-for-talent-from-the-west/articleshow/12963754.cms)