Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thiruvananthapuram-based mini-ratna PSU Hindustan Latex (HLL) today became the world's largest condom manufacturer with the commissioning of a new plant that boasts of an annual production capacity of 1 billion condoms.
The plant at Peroorkada in Thiruvananthapuram was today inaugurated by union minister for health and family welfare Anbumani Ramadoss. The new condom plant, built on a capital outlay of Rs 2,470 lakh, will add an additional 283 million condoms to the Peroorkada facility. With the new facility going on stream, the PSU would have a total annual production capacity of 1.316 billion condoms, which includes the out put at its Belgaum plant.
Showering laurels on Hind Latex's achievement, Ramadoss revealed that a Cabinet decision has been taken to enable Hindustan Latex continue to be the captive unit of the Centre for two more years so as the company would get 75% order of the government's requirements.
The company, which posted a turnover of Rs 244 crore and a net profit of Rs 19.50 crore during the past year, exports its products to over 70 countries around the world. Exports revenue stood at over Rs 27 crore during 2006-07. The company aims to boost its turnover become a Rs 1000-crore company by year 2010.
Hindustan Latex is the only company in the world manufacturing and marketing the widest range of contraceptives. The products, apart from the men's condoms, include female condoms, intra-uterine devices, oral contraceptive pills, emergency contraceptive pills, contraceptive cream and tubal rings.
The company would shortly start manufacturing and distribution of rapid diagnostic pregnancy test kits all over the country, M Ayyappan, CMD, HLL, said.
Global factors weighed on the Indian bourses, which fell 4.29% in the week under review due to negative FII activity and a cautious approach by investors.
In the week to November 24, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) 30-share Sensex moved widely in a range of 19,971.44 and 18,182.83 before ending the week at 18,852.87, a net loss of 845.49 points from last weekend's close of 19,698.36.
The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) tumbled 298.25 points or 5% to close the week at 5,608.60 from previous weekend's close of 5,906.85.
Global stocks received a severe beating on worries of widening US mortgage losses after a forecast of more write-downs by the Citigroup resulting in a downgrade of its share price on Wall Street. This sent negative signals to the Indian markets, brokers said.
The US Federal Reserve's concerns about economic growth, which is expected to slow in 2008 and skyrocketing crude prices were also seen as negative factors.
The Sensex registered the third biggest fall of 678.18 points on November 21 on reports of likely hike in securities transaction tax (STT).
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were heavy net sellers throughout. They pull out a massive Rs 3,321 crore in equity in the initial three days of the week, while selling off shares worth Rs 5,672 crore in derivatives.
FIIs are net sellers to the tune of 3,839.60 crore so far in November.
In what could be the mother of all IPOs, public sector BSNL, India’s largest telecoms company, is looking at divesting about 20% within the next 12 months. The catch is the plan can take off only if the government were to approve the plan.
Sources said BSNL, which has over 65 million users, could be valued at close to $100 billion, which puts a 20% stake dilution at $20 billion — the largest that the country has witnessed so far.
It must be pointed out that this is not the first time that BSNL is planning an IPO. Its earlier requests for listing have all been turned down by the government. BSNL had put its IPO plans on the back burner after former communications minister Dayanidhi Maran had rejected the proposal last year.
This time around, BSNL executives expressed more confidence and are of the view that the present communications and IT minister A Raja may not be against the proposal. BSNL is yet to present the idea of listing to Mr Raja.
If the communications ministry were to approve the proposal, BSNL will undertake a process for cleaning up its books and also appoint an advisor to for the IPO within the next couple of months. It must also be pointed out that sister company MTNL, which offers services in both Delhi and Mumbai, is a listed company.
Over six lakh millionaires are concentrated in just ten cities of the country, with the national capital accounting for maximum number of them, a survey says.
Delhi has emerged as the top city in terms of number of millionaires in the country, housing over 1.38 lakh of them, followed by Bangalore with over 1.04 lakh.
The country's financial hub, Mumbai, has over one lakh households earning more than 10 lakh per year, data compiled by Indicus Analytics' Housing Skyline of India 2007-08 shows.
However, Chandigarh has the maximum density of such households with annual incomes of over Rs 10 lakh a year followed by Silvassa, the capital of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Rupnagar in Punjab.
Interestingly, based on the percentage of households with incomes greater than Rs 10 lakh a year, cities like Kohima, Goa, Patiala and Jamshedpur also rank among the top ten cities.
Thane, Pune, Surat, Ahemdabad and Jaipur also figure among the top ten cities in terms of number of millionaire families.
Besides, according to Indicus's 'reside-in' index, eight out of ten top cities are from South India, with Kochi emerging as the most livable place.
The index ranks cities on the basis several indicators, including health, education, environment and safety among others. They indicate how good the city is in terms of living conditions.
The ten most livable cities in the country include Kozhikode, Shimla, Thiruvanthapuram, Mysore, Goa, Thrissur and Pondicherry.
Reliance Industries, the country’s largest private sector company, has sold a small stake in subsidiary Reliance Petroleum (RPL) in an effort to increase the company’s shareholder base.
Reliance Industries, which set up RPL as a separate company last year and did India’s biggest initial public offering (IPO), said late on Friday that it has sold 4.01% of the company to institutional investors. The sale was done through the stock exchange over the past few days and fetched Rs 4,023 crore.
“The sale has further helped to broadbase the shareholding pattern of RPL. The number of shareholders of RPL has increased from 12 lakh at the time of the IPO to about 16 lakh,” RIL said in a statement.
The sale reduces RIL’s stake in the company to about 70.99% from about 75%. US energy giant Chevron holds about 5% in the company. RPL shares inched up 0.3 to Rs 209.5 on Friday. The shares have fallen 2.31% over the week but risen 17.07% over the past month.
RPL shares had skyrocketed a few weeks ago on speculation that Chevron is increasing its stake. The American company has an option to raise its holding to about 29% soon after the commissioning of the refinery in late 2008.
RPL’s market cap today is bigger than the combined market cap of all the three public sector majors, IndianOil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, though it has no fully functioning operating asset.
The firm’s 580,000 barrel per day refinery, the sixth largest in the world, is being built in the special economic zone in Jamnagar. A 0.9 million tonne polypropylene plant is also being commissioned near the refinery.
The refinery was being commissioned to take advantage of oil shortages and rising gross refining margins, arising out of years of underinvestment in refining capacity across the world.
The Indian economy grew by 9.4% in FY07, driven by the buoyant manufacturing sector, which grew by 12.3% - the highest growth rate in the last six years, a Dun and Bradstreet report said.
The service sector grew by 11% during the same period. While the industry sector contributed 27.9% to the GDP in FY07, the service sector contributed a much higher 54.6%, the report said.
India's infrastructure sector has grown at an average of around 6.5% per annum during FY03-FY07.
"In FY07, its growth was above average at 8.6%, as compared to 6.2% in the previous year, owing to good performances of crude petroleum, electricity and petroleum refinery products," the report said.
In fact, petroleum refinery products witnessed a double-digit growth due to higher capacity utilisation at refineries. Cement and steel production remained buoyant as well, on account of rise in construction and real estate activities across the country.
The report further said while India spends around 5.63% of its GDP on infrastructure, China spends about 9.0%.
Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) - 2.8427 times
Non Institutional Investors - 17.2745 times
Retail Individual Investors (RIIs) - 10.1539 times
OVERALL - 7.20 times