petrol price will touch Rs 70 a litre

Petrol prices are expected to rise by Rs10-20 a litre as the government is considering decontrol of fuel prices, a move that may relieve public sector oil marketing companies of the burden of subsidised sales that have cost them over Rs200,000 crore in lost revenues.
With the price of crude oil touching an all-time high of $135 a barrel in the international markets, the government is weighing plans to decontrol petrol prices while keeping some subsidies on diesel, cooking gas and kerosene.
"One of the options being considered is deregulating petrol prices," a petroleum ministry official said, adding, "The country's preferred auto fuel diesel will, however, continue to be subsidised even though a marginal Rs2-3 a litre hike in prices may be announced."
With petrol, currently being sold at a loss of Rs16.34 a litre and diesel at a loss of Rs23.49 per litre, a hike in petrol prices would mean that it will cost around Rs70 a litre in a metros like Mumbai.
Deregulating petrol price is the one option being considered after the finance ministry turned down petroleum ministry's request for withdrawing the five per cent customs duty on crude oil and that on petrol and diesel to 2.5 per cent from current 7.5 per cent.
The ministry had also sought lowering of excise duty on the two fuels but finance ministry is in no mood to oblige, the official said.
Petroleum ministry officials also content that unlike diesel, which is widely consumed by goods transporters, a rise in petrol prices will only have negligible or little impact on inflation and price deregulation would not add to the already high inflation rate.
However, deregulating petrol would lower the revenue losses of oil marketing companies by just Rs20,000 crore.
State-run oil firms, meanwhile, have raised the security deposit for new cooking gas (LPG) connections by Rs400 to Rs1,250 per cylinder.
Indian Oil(IOC), Bharat Petroleum(BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum(HPCL) raised refundable security deposit for new connections to Rs1,250 per cylinder from Rs850 due to rise in the cost of steel, which is used as an input, an industry official said.

geojit results 2.06 times higher & Rs0.70 dividend/share

Geojit Financial Services, a leading retail stock broking company, announced on Friday the consolidated net profit zoomed 2.06 times to Rs 118.20 million in the fourth quarter ended March 2008 as compared with Rs 57.40 million in the same quarter, a year ago. The consolidated revenues for the quarter surged 78% to Rs 643.5 million compared with Rs 361.4 million in the same quarter, last year.
Stock broking firm Geojit Financial Services on Friday said the company's board has approved the offer from French banking major BNP Paribas to acquire a 35 per cent stake in one of its subsidiaries.
The board has also recommended a final dividend of 70%, or Rs 0.70 a share of the face value of Re 1 a share for the financial year 2007-08, subject to the approval of the shareholders of the company at the ensuing annual general meeting of the company.

Petrol and diesel prices raised marginally

Crude oil hits $135/barrel because of that Petrol and diesel prices have been raised marginally by 3-5 paise per litre after the government decided to hike the commission paid to dealers for the sale of fuel.Dealers' commission effective midnight will be Rs 28 per kilolitre for petrol and Rs 31 per kilolitre for diesel, an Indian Oil Corporation official said.
The effect of the increase in the commission will be rise in prices of petrol and diesel, effective midnight(May23)

KGN Industries went upto Rs. 55,000

After 7 yearsof suspension KGN Industries listed in BSE on wednesday.Initially it was opened at Rs 100 and after sometiome it went up to Rs 55, one knows what happened to that stock,that too the volume was too low 827 only.Someone was surely playing funny on a day when trading in KGN shares resumed after the revocation of a suspension order issued in 2001, and when there were no circuit filters applicable. Individual shareholders have a stake of just 1.43% (or 3.18 lakh shares) in KGN. Almost half, or 49%, is held by the promoter group.
Another 49.5% is with domestic corporate bodies. Anyone could have bought and sold.
After opening at Rs 100 and briefly holding at those levels, the scrip zoomed to an all-time high at Rs 55,000 per share. That's 76,288% more than its intra-day low of Rs 72. It closed the day at Rs 15,001. All this activity was on volumes of just 827 shares, and before trading in the counter was stopped at 12.20 pm.
For FY '08, KGN reported a profit of Rs 1.51 crore, which puts its earnings per share at Rs 0.68.

Crude oil new high makes market downtrend

Indian Stock Markets have slipped sharply in the opening trades on back of heavy overnight losses in the US markets and a weak start to the equity markets across Asia. Further the sentiments have also dampened as US light crude oil for July delivery set a closing record of $133.17 in New York Mercantile Exchange trading, up more than US$4 per barrel and then proceeded to march to another record intraday high of $134.10 in electronic trading after the settlement.
Among the 30-scripts of Sensex, 27 stocks are in red and only 3 stocks are in green. Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, L&T and HDFC Bank are among the major laggards. At 10:00 am (IST), the BSE 30-share Sensex slipped 193 points at 17,049 and NSE Nifty was down 49 points at 5,068.
Asian stocks fell for a third day today, extending a global slump, after oil rose to a record and the Federal Reserve signaled it is done cutting interest rates.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1% to 150.49 as of 11:34 a.m. in Tokyo, with almost four stocks dropping for each that climbed. All 10 industry groups declined. All of Asia's benchmark indexes retreated, with Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average declining 1.2% to 13,762.27.
US stocks sank on Wednesday as crude oil surged further on a surprising weakness in government's weekly fuel supply report. Sentiment also got hit after the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting showed policy makers were reluctant to cut rates.
The S&P 500 slumped 22.69 points, or 1.6%, to 1,390.71. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 227.49 points, or 1.8%, to 12,601.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index dived 43.99 points, or 1.8%, to 2,448.27.
Stocks in Europe fell on record crude prices, resulting in sharp losses for automakers and airlines. The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index fell 0.9% to 323.16 as crude-oil prices run up as high as $132.08 a barrel. The UK's FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% to 6,198.10, while the German DAX 30 fell 1.1% to 7,040.83 and the French CAC-40 dropped 0.5% to 5,027.55.

In the emerging markets, the Bovespa in Brazil slid 1.7% to 72,294 while the IPC index in Mexico was down 1.3% at 31,126. The RTS index in Russia gained 0.6% to 2467 while the ISE National 30 index in Turkey fell 0.75% to 50,360.

Ranklin Solutions Ltd plans to acquire 51%stake in Logic Bytes Ltd

Ranklin Solutions Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on May 20, 2008 has decided to acquire 51% of the shareholding in Logic Bytes Pvt Ltd for a total consideration of Rs 91.80 Lacs. M/s. Logic Bytes Pvt Ltd is predominantly in the business of BPO / ITES.

GMR Infra-outcome of meeting

GMR Infrastructure Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on May 20, 2008, inter alia, has approved the proposal of Amalgamation of GMR Aviation Pvt Ltd with the Company and to widen the Objects clause of Memorandum of Association of the Company by including the aviation and other businesses.



















Educomp acquires 51% in

Educomp Solutions has invested 24.5 million dollars for acquiring 51% stake in US-based Learning.Com, a provider of web-enhanced instruction.Educomp has acquired 51 per cent stake in Learning.Com, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange(BSE), adding that it has invested a total of 24.5 million dollars in the transaction, which included the purchase of existing shares as well as infusion of new capital into the company.
Through this deal, Educomp has got distribution access to over 800 districts and leverages its substantial content development and IT capabilities to reach out to North American markets.
Learning.Com, founded in 1999, serves nearly two million students in schools across the United States and has partnership with schools and districts throughout the United States.
This partnership would facilitate both Learning.Com and Educomp to bring the entire suite of Educomp's intellectual property to schools in the US and bring Learning.Com's products to Educomp's four million users in India and SE Asia.
This is Educomp's second strategic investment after the acquisition of Singapore-based Ask n Learn.

State Bank of India(SBI) puts Agri Financing on hold for temporary

State Bank of India(SBI) has put on hold financing of new tractor and other capital equipment, a move that can have reflection on agriculture sector, a priority area for the government.
SBI has issued a circular to all its branches, saying the "bank has put on hold financing new tractor and farm mechanisation activities, which include power tiller and combine harvester, with immediate effect in view of very high overdues in this sub-segment of agri advances."
Some 2 or 3 months back only Finance Minister P Chidambaram announced a whopping Rs 60,000-crore debt waiver and debt relief scheme for distressed farmers.
In the tractor segment, SBI has been facing a very high rate of non-payment from farmers and this was the main reason to stop financing temporarily.
"The decision will be reviewed based on the progress achieved in reduction of overdues, in due course," the circular from the Agri Business Unit -- Product Development and Management Department of SBI said.

REC sanctoned loan of Rs 3,796 cr to NTPC

NTPC Tamil Nadu Power Company will receive a term loan of Rs 3,796 cr from Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) for a mega power project in the state.
The project will be commissioned in the Eleventh plan and is likely to add 1,000 MW thermal generation capacity to the state. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect confirming REC commitment to the project was signed recently in Chennai.
REC has signed an MoU with Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to provide project finance support of the order of Rs 16,000 crore for the TNEB’s proposed 3,000 MW generation capacity addition and related transmission and distribution network development schemes to be implemented during the Eleventh plan period.
The project, coming up at Kuruvimedu village in Ennore near Chennai, when commissioned will be the first 500 MW thermal unit in the state and is expected to be commissioned in 2010-11, the Ministry of Power said. The project, coming up at Kuruvimedu village in Ennore near Chennai, when commissioned will be the first 500 MW thermal unit in the state and is expected to be commissioned in 2010-11, the Ministry of Power said.
The entire work of the plant is awarded to Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), the Ministry added.

Maruti car price hike,Hyundai,GE may follow

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), quietly hiked the prices of all its models, except Grand Vitara, with effect from May 17, the second largest manufacturer, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), is likely to hike prices by the month-end. Even players like General Motors India are likely to announce new prices this month. “Maruti’s price increase ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 15,000 across different categories. But for our newly launched Swift Dzire, it has gone up by Rs 18,000 as the earlier price was an introductory offer,” says a company official, adding that the increase would have been higher than this had there not been a recent reduction in steel prices. Around a fortnight ago, steel Companies had announced a price reduction of Rs 4,000 per tonne on flat steel, which goes into car manufacture.“Input costs have been rising and Hyundai also plans to increase prices by the end of this month,” said a company official without giving details.
The spokesperson for General Motors India, P Balendran, said, “Though there has been a reduction in the prices of steel, there has been a significant increase in the prices of other raw materials, and this has added to the overall input costs. Also, with the rising cost of fuel, there has been a significant increase in the transportation cost. As a result, we are evaluating the overall impact and would be revising the prices by a little over 1% at the beginning of June.”

Another CRR hike expected from RBI

Sonal Varma, an economist with Lehman Brothers, said she expected the Reserve Bank of India to hike the cash reserve ratio (CRR) — the portion of deposit that banks keep with the central bank — by at least half a percentage point during the year and the government to take more fiscal and trade measures. The RBI has already increased CRR to suck out over Rs 27,000 crore liquidity from the system.
Crisil principal economist D. Joshi said, “The inflation would continue to move up in the coming weeks as there was pressure of the depreciating currency and high crude prices. The depreciating rupee is offsetting fiscal measures taken by the government.”
The government is in a fix over prioritising between growth and inflation. Amid rising prices, industrial growth has dipped to a mere 3 per cent in March. Besides the hike in CRR, the government has taken many fiscal measures such as a cut in customs duties on products such as edible oil, steel inputs and skimmed milk powder.

Inflation nearer to 8%

Inflation marched to a near-four-year high of 7.83 per cent for the week ended May 3, frustrating the government which has unleashed a volley of fiscal and some measures to rein in prices.
In the previous week, the rate of inflation was 7.61 per cent, while it was 5.74 per cent a year ago.
However, prices of cement, iron and steel fell, giving some respite to the government. These items have been among the major contributors to the recent surge in inflation. Iron and steel prices declined 1.7 per cent, while cement fell 0.4 per cent.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram today blamed the spurt in inflation to the high prices of manufacturing items, power and fuel and lubricants. He said the silver lining was the declining trend in food inflation.
According to the finance minister, “Unless crude prices decline, I am afraid we are stuck with high fuel inflation.”

Internet services companies down in US stock market

Some of the Internet software & services based companies stocks dipped Monday morning, though Yahoo Inc. gained somewhat after Microsoft Corp. disclosed it revived talks with the struggling Internet company regarding some kind of deal to challenge Web search and ad leader Google Inc.
As of early Monday, the talks had not turned into another attempt for the world's largest company to take over Yahoo
Here's how key Internet software and services stocks performed Monday morning:
Yahoo Inc. rose 31 cents to $27.97.
Google Inc. (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) fell $4.05 to $576.02.
EBay Inc. (nasdaq: EBAY - news - people ) fell 8 cents to $31.09.
VeriSign Inc. (nasdaq: VRSN - news - people ) fell 20 cents to $40.06.
Akamai Technologies Inc. (nasdaq: AKAM - news - people ) fell 77 cents to $39.56.

L&T Joint ventures with GE energy

Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Friday said it will explore the potential of the Indian power generation market along with Atlanta headquartered GE Energy. In a statement issued here, R.N. Mukhija, president (operations) and member of the L&T board, emphasised that GE Energy’s power plant automation solutions “were the key issues that we were looking for in order to complete our electrical and automation suite”.
As per the strategic agreement signed between the two companies, GE Energy will provide its power plants main control system products to L&T which, in turn, will tap the Indian market.
Jayaraman Kishore from GE Energy said the deal would help them showcase their power plant automation products as “L&T has a strong presence in the Indian market”.

global market in last week May12-16

European stocks gained on better earnings from BNP Paribas SA and European Aeronautic, Defence & Space. While Asian markets climbed led by BHP Billiton, the world`s biggest miner on speculation China is scouting for acquisition in mining space probably in BHP to secure more resources to meet growing needs of the Asian`s second biggest economy.
However, shares in US fell paced by retail and financial companies after the consumer confidence slipped to the lowest in 28 years and Merrill Lynch reduced ratings of two regional banks. Overseas investors bought net of Rs 15.25 billion worth equities over the week including provisional figures.

sensex bounce back in the last week May12-16

India`s benchmark index Sensex made a smart come back by posting more than 4% rise over the week helped by encouraging signs in global markets, heavy investments from overseas buyers and rally in metal stocks. Hindalco Industries, Reliance Communication(R Com), Reliance Energy(REL), Ranbaxy Laboratories and ICICI Bank led the gains.
Broad-based rally in the market was led by metal, IT, consumer durable, tech and banking shares.BSE mid-caps and small-caps climbed 1.96% and 1.35% respectively over the week.Despite several attempts to control rising prices by government, inflation is no mood to stop rising, which soared to a 3 1/2 year peak at 7.83% fuelled by high prices of food items and manufactured products, thereby, pressurizing the central bank to raise borrowing costs further to tame prices.

Dubai real estate majors plans for Indian infrastructure segment

Top Dubai based real estate majors(Emaaar MGF, Limitless and DP World) has shown much interest to enter into the Indian infrastructure segment including Multiplexes,Multi storeyed buildings and airport development projects. Some of the dubai based developers who have already invested in India are plans to increase their investments in the country. The offer of increased investment was made during a presentation by the Dubai-based companies to External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a three day visit to Dubai.The Companies including Emaaar MGF, Limitless and DP World are keen to enter the airport development projects.

Nagarjuna Fertilizers plans to setup overseas plants

Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd plans to set up overseas plants and foray into complex fertilisers to encourage growth that is currently restricted by government controls.Nagarjuna has signed an initial agreement to set up 1mn tonne a year urea and ammonia plant in south Iran, estimated to cost around $600mn.
Indian companies sell fertilizers below market rates to farmers, which is not compensation for the difference is often delayed or in the form of bons at discounted rates, which leads them to decide against capacity expansion in country for over a decade. Nagarjuna plans to set up a urea plant in Nigeria and is in talks to tie-up gas supplies in Middle East and other regions.

No new LPG connections-Oil firms

Crude oil price has reached $128/barrel so that State-owned oil companies informed government that they will forced to impose LPG quotas per family and NO new connections and lower the supplies of diesel, petrol and kerosene, however government is yet to take any decision on this issue.
Companies like Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum are running short of cash, since they are selling fuel at huge losses. Fuel prices in India are fixed by government and are reluctant to hike prices in the run-up to next year's general elections. Government is unlikely to allow these companies to go ahead with their plan, adds daily.
Top officials of IOC, HPCL and BPCL ealier met petroleum ministry official to apprise them of the growing losses. Some of the radical suggestions from the oilcos include: No additional LPG connections, quota per family, no imports of diesel and continuance of quota for kerosene, said daily.

RCom obtains $750mn from china development bank

Reliance Communications (RCom) has received a loan of $750-million (Rs 3,000 crore) for a 10-year period from China Development Bank to fund its nationwide GSM launch.The loan would essentially finance the company's GSM equipment order placed with Chinese network major Huawei. The order is spread over a 3-year period and is likely to be finalised soon. The order will have both 2G and 3G components.
In January this year, RCom had awarded a nationwide GSM rollout contract for electronics valued at about $500-$600 million to the Chinese company Huawei. The contract is for 14 circles for which RCom was awarded GSM spectrum. RCom's equipment order for Huawei is for its first nationwide GSM rollout contract for electronics. More such contracts for various equipment categories are expected to be signed over the next couple of months. RCom plans to invest over Rs6,000 crore in electronic equipment alone for its GSM rollout.
Sources said the company has received all necessary approvals including that of RBI for the said amount, whose tenure is for 10 years and carries a coupon rate of Libor plus 80 bps. NNSources said the loan would enhance RCom's cost structures as the next best option available offers a tenure of 6-7 years or a coupon rate higher by 70-80 basis points.
This is the single largest loan extended to an Indian company by the China Development Bank. For its GSM rollout RCOM would lease out passive infrastructure from Reliance Infratel, its 95- per cent owned tower firm.

Tech Mahindra got $700mn worth contract from British Telecom(BT)

Tech Mahindra India’s leading IT solutions provider to the telecom industry has bagged a $700-million contract from British Telecom (BT) for transforming and improving BT’s IT estate or infrastructure. This is one of the largest contracts that any Indian IT outsourcing company has won in recent months. Earlier, Tech Mahindra had won a $350-million contract and a $1 billion IT outsourcing deal from BT. The company is focusing on large fixed-price deals, which allows greater flexibility to improve margins. These deals are generally for three to five years, and Tech Mahindra has to take end-to-end responsibility for the improvement of existing processes. The company is due to announce its annual results on May 19 and refused to give more details on this deal.

Tata motors launced new variant Indica

Tata Motors on Friday announced it has launched a new variant of its hatchback 'Indica', equipped with a dual fuel engine for petrol and LPG, priced Rs 3.27-Rs 3.42 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The new 'Indica V2 Xeta LPG' would come with a 1.2 litre MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection) engine with two Electronic Control Units(ECU), the company said in a statement.
"The model is equipped with a dual fuel (petrol and LPG) engine, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 10 per cent, while delivering excellent fuel efficiency both in the city and on highways," Tata Motors said.
The engine of the car would meet Bharat Stage III emission norms and could be upgraded to Euro IV norms as well, it said.
"The Xeta LPG will initially be launched in two variants - GLE and GLS. The Xeta LPG GLE variant is priced at Rs 3.27 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the Xeta LPG GLS variant is priced at Rs 3.42 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)," the statement said.

dividend announcements and bonus issue of various co's

1)Empee Distilleries fixes Record Date for interim dividend
Scrip Code:532920 Company Name:Empee Distilleries Ltd
Empee Distilleries Ltd has informed BSE that May 21, 2008 has been fixed as the Record Date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend(Rs 3).

2)IMP Powers fixes Record Date for interim dividend
Scrip Code:517571 Company Name:IMP Powers Ltd
IMP Powers Ltd has informed BSE that May 21, 2008 has been fixed as the Record Date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend(Rs 0.50).

3)Logix Microsystems fixes Record Date for interim dividend
Scrip Code:532341 Company Name:LOGIX MICRO Logix Microsystems Ltd has informed BSE that May 22, 2008 has been fixed as the Record Date for the purpose of payment of interim dividend(Rs 4).

4)NMDC fixes Record Date for Bonus(2:1) Issue
Scrip Code:526371 Company Name:NMDC Ltd
NMDC Ltd has informed BSE that May 22, 2008 has been fixed as the Record Date for the purpose of issue of bonus shares of the Company

AXIS Bank Board recommends dividend(Rs 6) Record date may22

AXIS Bank Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Bank at its meeting held on April 21, 2008, inter alia, has recommended a dividend of Rs 6.00 per share (60%) for the year ended March 31, 2008 (previous year Rs 4.50 per share (45%)), subject to the approval of the members at the ensuing Annual General Meeting(AGM).
Ex-date:22nd may
dividend:Rs 6

JSW Steel Ltd dividend of Rs14 Record date is may21

JSW Steel Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on May 05, 2008, inter alia, has recommended transacted the following:
1. Dividend at the stipulated rate of 10% on the 27,90,34,907, 10% Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares of Rs 10 each & 11% on the 99,00,000, 11% Cumulative Redeemable Preference shares of Rs 10 each (11% CRPS) along with arrears for the period March 10, 2007 to March 31, 2007 on the said 11% CRPS of the Company has been recommended for the year ended March 31, 2008.
2. Dividend at the rate of 140% amounting to Rs 14 per equity share on the 18,70,48,635 Equity Shares of Rs 10 each of the Company has been recommended for the year ended March 31, 2008.
Further the Company has informed that, the Register of Members & Share Transfer Books of the Company will remain closed from May 23, 2008 to May 27, 2008 (both days inclusive) for the purpose of payment of dividend & Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.

Century Extrusions fixes Record Date for Rights Issue & Dividend

Century Extrusions Ltd has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on May 08, 2008 have decided the Record date as May 26, 2008 for the purpose of the following :
1. Payment of Dividend for the financial year ending March 31, 2008.
2. Rights Issue of 3,30,00,000 Equity Shares of Re 1 each for cash at a price of Rs 4 per equity share including premium of Rs 3 per Equity Share aggregating to Rs 1320 lacs to the existing shareholders in the ratio of 33 equity share for every 47 equity shares held.

List of holidays for Indian stock market 2008

1 Mahashivratri- 6th March 2008 Thursday
2 Id-E-Milad - 20th March 2008 Thursday
3 Good Friday / Holi (1 st Day)- 21st March 2008 Friday
4 Ambedkar Jayanti -14th April 2008 Monday
5 Mahavir Jayanti- 18th April 2008 Friday
6 Maharashtra Day - 1st May 2008 Thursday
7 Buddha Purnima -19th May 2008 Monday
8 Independence Day -15th August 2008 Friday
9 Ganesh Chathurthi- 3rd September 2008 Wednesday
10 Ramzan Id / Gandhi Jayanti -2nd October 2008 Thursday
11 Dasera -9th October 2008 Thursday
12 Diwali (Laxmi Pujan)- 28th October 2008 Tuesday
13 Diwali ( Bhaubeez)- 30th October 2008 Thursday
14 Gurunanak Jayanti- 13th November 2008 Thursday
15 Bakri-Id -9th December 2008 Tuesday
16 Christmas- 25th December 2008 Thursday

Lanco  wins Rs8000 cr Kerela port project

A consortium led by Hyderabad-based infrastructure company Lanco Infratech Ltd, or LITL, will build the Rs8,000 crore Vizhinjam International Container Transshipment Port in Kerala.The port will be more than 16m deep, enabing big ships to load container cargo arriving from smaller ports, or from smaller feeder ships.LITL, which earned Rs1,647 crore in financial year 2007-08, has business interests in construction, real estate, roads, power and airports. It has tied up with Malaysian container terminal company Pembinan Radzai Sdn Bhd for the Vizhinjam project. The LITL-led consortium won the bid against three others, including a consortium led by Nagarjuna Construction Co. Ltd (that included Singapore-based Overseas Port Management Pte. Ltd and Maytas Infra Ltd), another led by Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd (that included Videocon Industries Ltd, Gammon India Ltd, and Sical Logistics Ltd), and the third led by DS Constructions Ltd (that included Apollo Enterprises Ltd, Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd and Portia Management Services Ltd). Vizhinjam is located 16km south of capital Thiruvananthapuram. The port will be built on a 33-year build, own, operate and transfer basis.The consortium will develop the project in four phases with a total capacity of handling 6.5 million TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, used to measure container cargo. It will construct the first phase in five years. The Vizhinjam port is expected to attract traffic now handled by international ports at Colombo in Sri Lanka, Al-Salalah in Oman, Malaysia, and Singapore.

HP to buy EDS Mphasis share holders are lucky

Shareholders of MphasiS have some reason to cheer,The stock jumped 12.9% in two trading sessions after Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced it would acquire Electronic Data System (EDS).EDS holds 60.9% stake in MphasiS.
The acquisition brings with itself a hope of an open offer for at least 20% by HP.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s regulations call for the acquirer (here HP) to make an open offer for at least 20% of the target company’s shares if there is a change in management control.
Importantly, no open offer need be made if the HP-EDS deal is a merger.
In 2002, when HP acquired Compaq Computer Corp, it had also bought out Digital Globalsoft (the majority of which was held by Compaq) and eventually delisted it. The initial floor price was set at Rs 566 per share and the final delisting happened at Rs 850 per share.
The shareholders of MphasiS perhaps expect history to repeat itself.
However, some analysts maintain that if HP has no intention of delisting MphasiS, the open offer would be more or less similar to the average share price in the past six months.
It sure augurs well for MphasiS shareholders that HP does not have any listed subsidiary across the world.
Also, other companies in the space have given good returns to investors at such times. For instance, Flextronics Software Systems (now Aricent) set the floor price at Rs 575 per share and the shares were later de-listed at Rs 725 per share.
A more recent example is that of iGate Global Solutions (IGS), delisted in January this year. Though the floor price for delisting IGS was set at Rs 288.90 per share, the shares were eventually de-listed much higher, at Rs 410 per share.

Lafage buys L&T concrete for RS1480cr

French cement company Giant Lafarge today bagged Larsen & Toubro’s ReadyMix Concrete (RMC)business (L&T Concrete) for Rs 1,480 crore. Through this acquisition, Lafarge will gain control of 66 concrete plants located across India and garner a market share of around 25 per cent.the acquisition would increase its earnings per share from 2009. With this acquisition Lafarge claimed it would become the leader in India’s readymix concrete (RMC) market.
Though the RMC market is now at a nascent stage in India, it is felt that it has strong potential as the Indian construction market is developing to meet rising demand for housing and infrastructure. Lafarge said the acquisition would be an important step to develop its concrete business in the emerging markets.It is also expected to provide the group with an excellent platform to develop further its concrete business in the fast growing Indian market.
Lafarge entered the Indian market in 1999 with the acquisition of Tata Steel’s cement business. This buyout was followed by the purchase of the Raymond cement facility in 2001. At present, Lafarge has three cement plants in India, including two units in Chhattisgarh and a grinding plant in Jharkhand.Lafarge’s total cement production capacity in India stands at around 5.5 million tonnes, and the group has launched an expansion programme to more than double its capacity in the next five years.Operations at its first greenfield readymix concrete plant started in April this year, and the group is building a plasterboard plant in north India, with an annual capacity of around 10 million square metres. The company is present in key markets that include Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and Bangalore.It was in December last year that L&T decided to hive off its RMC business into a separate company called L&T Concrete. L&T’s capacity in RMC is over 4 million cubic metres. It is understood that Holcim was also interested in L&T Concrete. This, however, could not be independently verified from the group.
Commenting on the acquisition, Lafarge chairman and CEO Bruno Lafont said, “Lafarge was the first in its industry to move into aggregates and concrete in a significant way, over 10 years ago, and to develop a unique expertise in creating value in the concrete business. With this acquisition, we are taking a pioneering step in the emerging Indian market.”

Secondary steel makers to cut prices

Government's effort to reduce inflation has yielded more results on Wednesday as secondary steel makers and cement manufacturers have agreed to cut prices. Secondary steel makers like Bhushan Steel and National Steel, which manufacture mainly flat products, announced a price cut of Rs 4,000 per tonne, following the step taken by primary producers.
Steel secretary RS Pandey said the secondary steel producers have assured that they will hold the new reduced price line for the next three months. At the same time, he said, government is examining the request by the steel industry to lower export duty. Besides Bhushan Steel and National Steel, Surya Steel and Maharashtra Seamless have also decided to cut prices among other companies. The reduction would help contain spiralling prices of cold rolled, galvanised steel, tubes and pipes. Pandey said due to government measures, prices of long steel products used in construction industry have come down by 20%, while that of flat products too have declined. The secondary steel makers currently produce about 7 million tonnes of steel in the country.
On Wednesday, the government also succeeded in making cement manufacturers to roll back prices by up to Rs 7.5 per bag of 50 kg in most of the states. "We had discussion with cement industry, which has stated that in the last one year, the price was increased by only 2%. However, to combat and address the issue of inflation, they have agreed in certain states (to cut prices)," commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said here after meeting with cement manufacturers. He said the cement industry is scattered across the country with different prices in states. In case of certain states, the prices will be reduced between Rs 3 and Rs 7.5 per bag from the level prevailing on April 1, 2008.
At the same time, the cement producers have agreed to hold the price line at least for three months. However, the price cut will not apply to those companies, which are already supplying cement at concessional rates to states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

RCom forms JV with Alcatel

Anil Ambani group owned telecom company Reliance Communications(R.COM) has given a huge deal worth around 400 million dollar to Alcatel-Lucent.
This deal is for Network Managed Services(NMS) and would be applicable to both their CDMA and GSM mobile networks.The two companies would now be forming a joint venture company and the management work would be outsourced to this entity.Reliance Communications is expected to launch their expanded GSM operations in the Indian market by the end of the current year.
A company representative said: “We are aiming to set up nationwide GSM and CDMA network by fiscal end, which will cover 23,000 towns and six lakh villages serving 97 per cent of the Indian population.”

Inflation at 7.61%(42 month high)

Inflation went up to 7.61% for the week ended April 26 from 7.57% the previous week, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday viewed the upward movement as “stable and not statistically significant” while holding out an assurance that more administrative steps would be taken to tame the price spiral.
Commenting on the inflation data here at the end of an official briefing on Cabinet decisions, Mr. Chidambaram said the movement [of inflation from 7.57 to 7.61 per cent] “in our assessment means that it is stable and not statistically significant.
The government was now “persuading” the cement industry to roll back prices. “More administrative steps will be taken as and when they become necessary to check inflation,” he said.
As of now, the government has taken a slew of administrative measures. These include extension of the ban on futures trading — already imposed on wheat, rice, tur and urad last year — to four commodities, namely gram (chana), soya oil, potato and rubber, while primary steel producers have been persuaded to go in for a voluntary cut in prices.

High Inflation impact on cement and steel firms

The statement from the industry came minutes after Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the government was trying to persuade cement companies to lower prices.India's largest cement manufacture, ACC, which accounts for over one-tenth of the market, had announced its intent to freeze prices for two-three months.
Instead, cement companies demanded "concrete" assurances from the government regarding excise duty reduction. Companies want the Centre to allow them 55% abatement on the duty paid by them.At present, companies have to pay excise duty of Rs 350 a tonne in case the maximum retail price for a 50-kg cement bag is Rs 190 or less. For the more expensive varieties, the levy is Rs 550-600 a tonne.
"Freezing prices is not the industry's call. It is an individual decision and the cement firms are behaving in their own way," said H M Bangur, president of the Cement Manufacturers' Association and the managing director of Shree Cement. According to a senior executive of a southern cement major, so far, the government has not come up with any specific proposals. "If they (government) give some relief on excise, the reduction will be passed on to the consumers," the executive added.
Top officials of the Birla group too said that cement companies would take independent decisions on pricing and added that there is constant input pressure, which is shrinking the margins.The stance adopted by the cement companies is akin to the approach followed by steel firms, which were refusing to lower prices despite the government's repeated requests. It was only after some tough talking and fiscal steps to increase supply in the domestic market that steel companies agreed to lower prices

Vodafone also plans for stake in MTN

VODAFONE is examining a £20 billion bid for MTN, Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator.MTN has 68m customers in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Most of its subscribers are in South Africa, Nigeria and Iran.
Bharti said last week that it was in “exploratory discussions” with MTN. It wants to buy a 51% stake in the business. Priced at about $19 billion (£9.7 billion), it would mark the largest overseas expansion ever by an Indian firm. However, the two sides are still some distance apart on price. In addition, some minority shareholders are said to believe a full takeover would present more value.
Vodafone had hoped to strike a deal with its South African joint-venture partner Telkom to lift its 50% stake in Vodacom to 85% for £3.5 billion by the end of last year. However, Telkom, which is part-owned by the South African government, halted talks in November after it could not agree a price for a parallel deal to sell some of its fixed-line assets to MTN.

Bharti plans stake on south African MTN

Bharti Airtel has begun a dialogue with Johannesburg-listed telecom firm MTN to acquire a 51% stake in the company for a whopping $19 bn. If the deal is struck, it will be the biggest ever buyout by any Indian company.
The telecom secretary further said that entering into the US and European market would be even more challenging. “The Indian companies will definitely look into the strategic synergy while entering into foreign markets. I feel, entering the Europe and US telecom markets will be a tough proposition,” he said.
Analysts also feel that the larger Indian telecom players will follow the trend set by Bharti Airtel. “I am certainly expecting Reliance Communications to look at the overseas market. Tata Teleservices will also look at opportunities abroad as I feel, it is the only way the group can grow in future,” said an analyst working with an international research and analysis firm which deals with global M&A activities.