Sunday, August 29, 2010
Apple is holding an event next week where the company is widely expected to launch the updated version of its iPod digital music players besides a revamped version of Apple TV and changes to iTunes services. Apple has sent an invitation to select members of the media, according to reports. The special event will take place in San Francisco on September 1. The company has refused to share more details about the products that it plans to unveil at the event. Apple could announce the first iPod touch with a camera, an updated Apple TV with an App Store, and iTunes changes, like a cloud-based iTunes service, according to one analyst. The iPod is now Apple's smallest product line in terms of revenue, behind the iPhone, Mac and iPad. Apple sold about 9.4 million iPod units during its June quarter - down 8% from the same period last year.
Toyota Motor Corp. added another 1.3mn cars to its growing recall list in North America, asking owners to bring in their Corolla and Matrix sedans to fix a problem with the engines. The recall covers 2005 to 2008 models, which could develop a crack that may cause harsh shifting or stop the engine from starting altogether. According to Toyota three unconfirmed accidents have been reported, including a minor injury. The recall covers 1.13 million vehicles in the United States and 200,300 in Canada, Toyota said. Toyota Canada said it had no reports of accidents or injuries. The recall of the Corolla and Matrix cars adds to the 11 million vehicles Toyota has recalled in the past year. Separately, General Motors (GM) said that some 200,000 Pontiac Vibes, a sister car to the Toyota Matrix, would be recalled in the United States and Canada because of the same issue.
Shares of Cairn India slipped after news reports suggested that public sector oil companies will not make a counter bid for the Indian arm of UK-based Cairn Energy Plc. Speculation has been rife that state-run oil companies, led by ONGC and Oil India could announce a counter offer for Cairn India. Vedanta Resources Plc last week announced plans to acquire up to 60% stake in Cairn India for up to US$9.6bn.
Commerce Minister Anand Sharma decided to extend sops for the labour intensive export sectors, citing a fragile recovery in the global economy, but sounded confident of achieving the annual export target. India’s plan to offer incentives to exporters will cost the Government Rs10.5bn, Sharma said while presenting the annual supplement to the Trade Policy at a press conference in New Delhi. The Commerce Minister said that the Government intends to extend the DEPB scheme for exporters for six months (or till June 30, 2011) and the zero duty EPCG scheme by a year or till March 31, 2011. He also announced the extension of SHI (Status Holders Incentive) scheme for one more year till March 31, 2011.
The world’s fastest countries like India and China have actively embraced mobile technology to drive for personal banking and retail transactions. This was one of the key findings of the Consumers and Convergence Report IV conducted by KPMG among 5,627 consumers in 22 nations this year.
Food inflation in India declined further in the middle of this month even as prices of fuels remained steady, data released by the Government showed. Inflation in the Food Articles group stood at 10.05% in the week ended August 14 versus 10.35% in the previous week, the Commerce & Industry Ministry said. It was at 13.45% in the comparable week last year. The index for Food Articles group declined by 0.2% to 297.9 in the week ended August 14. Inflation in the Primary Articles group stood at 14.75% in the week under review as against 14.85% in the week ended August 7. It stood at 7.74% during the week ended Aug. 15, 2009. The index for the Primary Articles group rose by 0.1% to 308.1 in the week under review. Inflation in the Fuel & Power group was unchanged at 12.57%. It was at (-)8.90% during the corresponding week of the previous year. The index for the Fuel & Power group remained unchanged at their previous week’s level of 385.9. But, inflation in the Non-food Articles group rose to 22.20% from 21.70% in the preceding week. It was at (-)2.7% in the year-ago period. The index for Non-Food Articles group rose by 1% to 290.6.
We could witness a rebound next week, at least initially if trend in European and US markets on Friday are any indication. US and European stocks advanced after the second-quarter GDP revision for America came in higher than consensus forecast. There could of course be a reversal and stocks in the US and Europe could turn lower. So, keep a close eye on global markets and then take a fresh call on Monday morning.
The Lok Sabha approved the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill after the Government struck a compromise deal with the Opposition over a contentious clause that deals with the liability of a supplier. Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan moved the Bill in the Lok Sabha and tabled an amendment to Clause 17(B). He said the Government has taken on board the amendments proposed by the Opposition to the Bill. The Opposition wanted the word "intent" to be dropped from the clause as it meant that suppliers would be liable for an accident only if it could be proved they had the intent to cause the damage. "The nuclear incident has resulted as a consequence of an act of supplier or his employee, which includes supply of equipment or material with patent or latent defects or sub-standard services," says the rephrased amendment.
The Union Cabinet approved the Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill, paving the way for lower tax rates and reduced exemptions for both individuals as well as corporates. The Bill is likely to be tabled in the current Monsoon Session of Parliament, and could lead to the introduction of the new tax regime from April next year. "The basic income-tax exemption limit is proposed to be raised to Rs2 lakh from the current Rs1.6 lakh and corporate tax rate for both domestic and foreign companies is proposed at 30%," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after a Cabinet meeting.
Shareholders of mid-sized infrastructure player, Sadbhav Engineering, can subscribe to the ongoing rights issue made by the company. At Rs 725, the offer is at a massive discount to Rs 1,500, at which the stock trades. Investors will also be allotted three convertible warrants of Rs 425 each, exercisable between three and 18 months, for every share issued on the rights basis.
Shareholders can stay invested in the Apollo Tyres stock with a two-year perspective. At the current market price of Rs 72, the stock trades at about 8.6 times and 7 times its estimated consolidated earnings for FY11 and FY12, respectively. But uncertainty on two counts implies that fresh exposures to the stock can wait one, the unrelenting rise in the prices of rubber, the key raw material; two, the success of the company's European debut.
Investors with a two-three year horizon can consider fresh exposure to the stock of Adani Enterprises (AEL). The company has made a complete transition from low margin trading to becoming a holding company for the group's promising new forays into businesses such as power generation and ports.
Investors can consider booking profits in the stock of aluminium producer NALCO. An uncertain outlook for aluminium metal prices, coupled with little visible expansion in aluminium smelter capacity, might leave the company with little scope for earnings growth in a market suffering from an aluminium supply glut and possibly stagnant realisations.