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Friday, February 05, 2016

Friday usually fine! Flat start for indices

What you risk reveals what you value. - Jeanette Winterson
Fridays have usually been cheerful for the indices despite the subdued sentiment which prevails broadly. The Indian equity market breached a three-day losing streak and ended higher after a bounce in crude oil prices. We won’t debate on why higher crude prices should benefit  but that seems to be the only plausible explanation for recent upmove. The budget session of Parliament Budget session of Parliament will begin from February 23. The Union Budget will be presented on February 29. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expects that the opposition parties will "see reason" and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is held up in Rajya Sabha.
The indices are set to open on a flat note. Investors may choose to take risks at lower levels given the speed at which stocks come tumbling down intra-day. The next hurdle for the Nifty is seen at 7570 hurdle which support should set in around the 7480 levels. Results will continue to flow on tap today are Lupin, Bosch, Cadila Healthcare, Carborundum, Cox & Kings, Deepak Nitrite, Divi’s Lab, Eicher Motors, Elgi Equipments, Radico Khaitan and Tata Power among others.
Asian markets are not exuding confidence for now. Nikkei has lost over a percent while China's CSI300 is marginally lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.7% while South Korea's Kospi is flat. US stock indices finished with modest gains on Thursday after swaying in and out of the positive territory throughout the session. Dow gained 0.5%,  S&P 500 rose 0.2% and Nasdaq was flat up 0.1%. Crude-oil futures reversed early gains and settled 1.7% lower at $31.72 per barrel. Initial jobless claims rose to 285,000 in the last week of January but remained at a low level. Any number below 300,000 is considered a sign of a strong labor market.
The productivity of US businesses fell at a 3% annual pace in the fourth quarter, marking the biggest decline since the start of 2014. Orders for goods manufactured in US factories slid 2.9% in December, the Commerce Department said. Investors will be closely watching Friday’s non-farm payrolls data for clue about the state of the US economy.
With increase in technology spending estimated by global technology analysts, NASSCOM expects the double digit growth story to continue in FY2017. The IT-BPM industry export revenue is expected to grow by 10-12 per cent in FY2017 reaching revenues of USD 119-121 billion.
Releasing the guidelines on steel overcapacity cut, China has decided to cut crude steel capacity by 100 - 150 million tonnes within next 5 years. The Chinese cabinet said today that the steel prices have tumbled to multi-year lows and debt of Chinese steel companies have shot up. This move aims at combating this situation. 
The Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, stressed upon the priority to provide the universal pension security including income security, health and life insurance to the people at large. He said that he believed in the philosophy to empower Indians with tools and knowledge to take ownership of their own retirement. 
Honda is recalling an additional 2.2 million Honda and Acura vehicles, according to reports. Report says that the recall is a big chunk of the 5 million additional vehicles to be repaired for Takata inflator problems that U.S. safety regulators announced last month.
Gold futures advanced on Thursday, as sustained weakness in the US dollar and safe haven demand for the yellow metal lifted prices to their highest level since late October.
Among stocks to watch: 
Tata Steel: Tata Steel Ltd, Indian multinational steel-making company, reported consolidated net loss of Rs.2,127.23 crore for the quarter ended Q3FY16. The company’s consolidated revenue stood at Rs. 28,039.02 crore, down by 16.63% yoy.
Lupin: The pharma company will announce its Q3 numbers today. IIFL forecasts the company’s net profit for Q3 FY16 to plummet to Rs. 428.6 crore, at 28.7% yoy, bu to rise 4.8% qoq.
Reliance Infrastructure: RInfra announced the signing of Share Purchase Agreement with Birla Corporation, the flagship Company of the M P Birla Group in relation to 100% sale of its subsidiary Reliance Cement Company Private Limited.
Cairn: The Petroleum Ministry on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that its empowered committee of secretaries (ECS) has decided against granting permission to Cairn India to export crude oil from its Barmer oil & gas block in Rajasthan.
Oil & Natural Gas Corporation: ONGC said that it would soon finalise the revised cost estimate for the development of its K-G basin discoveries.
Tata Power: The company will announce its Q3 numbers today. IIFL forecasts the company’s net revenue for Q3 FY16 to soar to Rs. 10,074 crore, at 14.4% yoy and 5.6% qoq.
Fortis Healthcare: Fortis Healthcare has announced that its Board of Directors have approved the acquisition of a 51% economic interest in Fortis Hospital Ltd (FHTL), a subsidiary of the Religare Health Trust (RHT).
Tata Teleservices: Tata Teleservices registered a net loss of Rs. 79.6 crore vs Rs. 155.7 crore qoq.Total income of the company declined 0.6% to Rs. 742 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 vs Rs. 747 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2015 while other income was reported at Rs. 11.1 crore vs Rs. 25 crore qoq.
Tata Motors: Tata Motors launched Signa range of commercial vehicles for haulage and construction segments.
Thomas Cook (India): The company reported consolidated net loss of Rs. 13.53 crore for the third quarter ended on December 31, 2015-16. 
Torrent Pharmaceuticals: The company’s consolidated revenue stood at Rs. 1,539 crore, up by 31.76% yoy but down by 8.99% qoq.
Gillette India: The company’s standalone revenue stood at Rs. 508.38 crore, up by 1.99% yoy and 5.53% qoq.
Great Eastern Shipping Company: The company’s consolidated revenue stood at Rs. 947.74 crore, up 7.97% yoy but down 8.29% qoq
ABB India:  The company has posted a net profit of Rs. 1294 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 as compared to Rs. 841.60 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2014.
Godrej Consumer Products: Godrej Consumer Products has entered into an agreement with Canon Chemicals Limited, for the acquisition of a majority equity stake in its business in Kenya. Canon Chemicals Limited, a Kenya based company, manufactures and distributes products in the personal and home categories. Its major brand is Valon, a petroleum jelly.
Eicher Motors: Eicher Motors will announce its Q3 numbers today. IIFL forecasts the company’s net revenue for Q3 FY16 to soar to Rs. 3,326 crore, at 45% yoy and 6.5% qoq.
Talwalkars Better Value Fitness: Talwalkars Better value Fitness Ltd, Integrated in chain of Gyms, fitness clubs and health club, reported consolidated net profit of Rs.5.41 crore for the quarter ended Q3FY16, registering growth of 20.73% yoy.
JK Lakshmi Cement: JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd posted a net loss of Rs. 36.70 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 as compared to net profit of Rs. 184.80 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. 
Sanofi India: The company’s standalone revenue stood at Rs. 568.70 crore, up 11.1% yoy but down 2.92% qoq.
Gujarat State Petronet: Gujarat State Petronet Ltd, state-run public sector natural gas transmission company, reported standalone net profit of Rs. 123.47 crore for the quarter ended Q3FY16, registering growth of 39.05% yoy and 13.77% qoq.
Hawkins Cookers: Hawkins Cookers Ltd posted a net profit after tax of Rs. 6.6 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 as compared to Rs. 3.1 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. 
Whirlpool: Whirlpool of India Ltd, a consumer electronic company, will announce its Q3 results today. IIFL forecasts the company’s net revenue for Q3 FY16 to soar to Rs. 7,480 crore, at 3.7% yoy and 4.8% qoq.  
MT Educare: MT Educare, leading education support and coaching service, reported consolidated net profit of Rs.7.84 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, registering growth of 33.79% yoy.
Kaveri Seed: Kaveri Seed Company Ltd posted a net profit after taxes, minority interest and share of profit of associates of Rs. 92.304 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 as compared to Rs. 357.860 mn for the quarter ended December 31, 2014. 
Mphasis: The company’s consolidated revenue stood at Rs. 1,516.70 crore, witnessing decline of 2.61% qoq but growth of 7.51% yoy.
Nitin Fire Protections: The company’s revenue stood at Rs. 387.95 crore, down by 3.05% yoy but down 12.95% qoq.
Esab India: Esab India, world's largest supplier of welding and cutting equipment, reported standalone net profit of Rs.4.96 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, registering decline of 2.75% yoy.
Other news in the media:
Tata Motors launched Signa range of commercial vehicles for haulage and construction segments. (ET)
Maruti Suzuki India will launch its smart urban compact car Ignis and premium sports hatchback Baleno RS around the festival season this year. (ET)
ONGC has sent an urgent message to Petroleum Ministry, saying the natural gas prices according to a formula approved by the BJP-led government was not viable to develop its KG basin discoveries. (ET)
The government told the Delhi High Court its empowered committee of secretaries has decided that Cairn India, the petroleum arm of London-listed Vedanta Resources, cannot be allowed to export excess crude oil production from its Rajasthan oil field (BS)
Gurdeep Singh has taken over the charge of Chairman and Managing Director of state-run power generator NTPC. (ET)
CIL is planning to acquire coal mines in South Africa in partnership with local government amid falling prices of assets globally. (ET)
Zydus Wellness is trying to push its market leading brand Sugar Free beyond coffee cups and tea sips. The company is keen that Indians adopt Sugar Free in their daily life, the myths regarding sugar substitutes notwithstanding, said chief operating officer Tarun Arora. (ET) 
Godrej Consumer has acquired a majority stake in Kenya-based Canon Chemicals. Having already acquired other African companies in the last few years, the latest buy is a continuation of the company’s strategy to expand into emerging markets which have higher growth potential. (BL)
Leading international insurer, RSA, announced a new seven-year partnership with IT major Wipro Ltd to deliver its IT infrastructure requirements across the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia. (ET)
The Budget Session of Parliament will commence on February 23 that will focus largely on the financial business of the government, which will present the General Budget on February 29. (BL)
The minister for road transport, highways and shipping, Nitin Gadkari invited suggestions from the auto industry to take ahead the scrappage policy, aimed at replacing 10-year-old vehicles with modern fuel efficient ones that conform to emission standards. (BS)
The Government has asked the pension regulator PFRDA to ensure that full range of investment products including alternate investment funds (AIFs) are made available for Indians saving for their retirement. (BL)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate on Friday the Rs 100 bn gas cracker project in Assam. (ET)
In keeping with the Narendra Modi-led NDA government's plan to reach out to people directly, the government has launched a YouTube channel for Finance Ministry.  (ET)
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas plans to extend financial partnerships to startups engaged in the oil sector to give a boost to the 'Startup India' initiative. (BL)

GST to become a reality soon: FM

The Finance Minister has said that he hoped that the opposition parties will see reason and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is held up in Rajya Sabha, will become a reality soon. Commenting on the issue, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the media, "It (GST) has been supported by most political parties and I am sure others will also see reason and this law will become a reality very soon." "We want to rationalise our direct tax system in order to make it one of the most competitive regimes in the world comparable with what competitive economies elsewhere have," he added. He further said that reform was a continuous process and there was no finishing line for that as it has to go on and on because challenges keep coming up. GST, which will subsume all indirect taxes such as excise duty, service tax and sales tax into one uniform rate, is stalled in the Rajya Sabha as the Congress is pressing for three changes.

Not only government, MNCs too responsible for tax rows: Raghuram Rajan

Blaming multinational corporations squarely for tax controversies, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan said their indulgence in avoidance and evasion results in prolonged legal battles, according to the PTI report.

Addressing the issue of tax havens, Rajan wondered aloud as to what makes a bulk of intellectual property reside in Cayman Islands, quipping that no one has seen scientists in so large numbers in the Caribbean isles.

"Occasionally, there is government excess, but they are not the only ones who commit excesses," he said, delivering the 13th Nani Palkhivala lecture on 'Strengthening the free enterprise in India'.

"Multinational corporations complain all the time of excessive demand about excessive taxation, but it is also true that MNCs across the world tend to find tax avoidance and sometimes tax evasion as an appropriate technique and therefore, there is a constant fight between governments and MNCs," he said.

In remarks that come within a week of Prime Minister Narendra Modi assuring all retrospective taxation such as the infamous Vodafone case being an issue of the past, Rajan said the movement on taxation within the country has been "positive and in right direction".

"The movement has been positive and in right direction, including the great debate on retrospective taxation which has allowed us to clarify our thinking on this issue and the government has stated its position very clearly on the way forward."

The academic-turned central banker said he hopes that the Bankruptcy Code gets passed in the upcoming Budget session of Parliament. The code will help facilitate credit for both large enterprises as well as smaller ones which have suffered the most under laws like the Sarfaesi Act.

"It would make it much easier for the smaller firm to get credit and also allow the large firm to get credit because now there is a way for the lenders to recover the money in the Bankruptcy Code," he said.

Rajan said the government is also working on a plan to have unique IDs for businesses on the lines of the ambitious Aadhar programme for individuals, which will help establish credit histories and make it easier for the better-behaved firms access credit.

India's exports may fall to $265-270 bn in FY16: FIEO

The country's exports will range between USD 265-270 billion in 2015-16, sharply lower than the USD 310.5 billion achieved in the previous fiscal, exporters' body FIEO said according to the media report.

"According to our assessment exports for the current fiscal will range between USD 265-270 billion. If this trend continues it may lead to job losses," FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai told PTI.

Exports contracted for the thirteenth month in a row in December 2015 as outward shipments shrank 14.75 per cent to USD 22.2 billion amid a global demand slowdown.

Sahai demanded that the corpus of the exports development fund which currently stands at Rs 200 crore should be enhanced to Rs 3,000-5,000 crore as it was inadequate.

"The export development fund which currently has a corpus of Rs 200 crore is inadequate and should be enhanced to 0.5 to 1 per cent of export value which is anywhere between Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 crore. Commerce Ministry has supported this demand. We are now awaiting a response from the Finance Ministry," he said.

During April-December period of the current fiscal, exports dipped 18 per cent to USD 196.6 billion as compared to USD 239.9 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the data released by the Commerce Ministry.

Besides, FIEO signed an agreement with TUV Rheinland India Pvt Ltd, a group company of TUV Rheinland, Germany to support its members in better understanding the requirements related to standardisation, conformity assessment, product & consumer safety, etc.

India's domestic passenger traffic grew by 20.2 pct: IATA

India's domestic air passenger traffic grew by a whopping 20.2 per cent in 2015 over the previous year, helped by higher economic growth and increase in number of flights across domestic airlines network, according to the global airlines body IATA.

"Total domestic travel grew by 6.3 per cent in 2015, although there was a wide dispersion in performance by market. The India and China domestic markets led the way, with both registering double-digit annual growth (20.2 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively)," the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its latest report.

Globally, international passenger traffic rose 6.5 per cent during 2015 compared to 2014 while capacity (addition of aircraft in the network) increased by 5.9 per cent.

As per the IATA, Indian carriers also recorded a higher seat occupancy during 2015 over 2014, IATA said.

The growth in India's domestic air traffic was more than three-folds of the global average of 6.3 per cent.

"All markets (globally) showed growth, led by India and China but there was wide variance. Capacity rose 5.2 per cent and load factor by 0.9 per cent over 2014 to a record 81.5 per cent," it said.

In the case of India, rise in domestic traffic was strongly helped by solid economic growth and an 8.3 per cent increase in the average frequency of flights on each route over the year, the airlines' body said.

India's economic growth for the fiscal 2014-15 stood at 7.2 per cent against 6.6 per cent recorded in FY14, reported PTI.

According to IATA, the domestic load factor of Indian airlines' jumped by 6.7 per cent from 2014 to a record high of 83.2 per cent.

"Last year's very strong performance, against a weaker economic backdrop, confirms the strong demand for aviation connectivity. But even as the appetite for air travel increased, consumers benefited from lower fares compared to 2014," IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Tony Tyler said.

Aviation delivered strong results for the global economy in 2015, enabling connectivity and helping drive economic development, he said.

Most telcos failed Trai's call drop test, improvement in Delhi

Most of the telecom operators, including state-run MTNL, failed random drive tests conducted by the regulator Trai to check quality of their network and services as part of its efforts to rein in call drop menace, according to the media report.

As per the test report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today, none of telecom operators showed improvement in call drops in Mumbai, Pune and Bhubaneswar.

The regulator conducted drive tests during December-January period.

As per Trai benchmark, not more than 2 per cent calls on a telecom operator's network should get automatically disconnected. The regulator conducted tests on both 2G and 3G networks of companies.

State-run MTNL was the worst performer in Mumbai and Delhi, where it operates. MTNL 3G network reported call drop at 15.58 per cent level in Mumbai and 23.65 per cent in Delhi.

For Pune, call drop on Tata's 3G network was as high as 42.93 per cent followed by that of Idea Cellular with 20.96 per cent. The 2G network of Idea Cellular in Pune was also worst performer in its category with 18.97 per cent call drop.

In Bhubaneswar, where all operators failed tests, maximum call drop was witnessed on Aircel's 3G network and on RCom's 2G CDMA network.

In Delhi, Airtel's both 2G and 3G network and 3G networks of Idea and Vodafone were compliant to call drop benchmark.

Similarly, in Kolkata only CDMA network of MTS, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications (RCom) were compliant to call drop benchmark while other operators failed to meet the benchmark. Even GSM network RCom and Tata failed the test.

The highest call drop of 8.86 per cent was noticed on BSNL's 3G network followed by 8.58 per cent on Vodafone's 2G network.

Similarly only CDMA network of Tata Teleservices was compliant in Surat to call drop set standard while other failed. Maximum call drop in this city were noticed on Idea's 3G network.

In Indore, 2G network of Airtel, Vodafone, RCom CDMA and Tata CDMA complied with call drop norms while other failed. Here maximum call drops were witnessed on BSNL's network in 3G category and Idea Cellular's 2G network.

Airtel, Axiata subsidiaries merger credit positive: Moody's

The merger of subsidiaries of Bharti Airtel and Axiata Group in Bangladesh is credit positive for both the companies, Moody's Investors Service said as per the media reports. On January 28, Bharti Airtel Limited (Baa3 stable) and Malaysia-based Axiata Group Berhad (Baa2 stable) announced that they had agreed to merge their telecom subsidiaries in Bangladesh. Airtel Bangladesh is wholly owned by Bharti Airtel and Robi Axiata Limited is 91.59 per cent-owned by Axiata and 8.41 per cent-owned by Japan's NTT Docomo, reported PTI. "The merger, which requires regulatory approval, is credit positive for both Bharti Airtel and Axiata," Moody's said in a statement. The merger, which the companies expect to conclude in the first half of the year, will be structured via issuance of ordinary shares, whereby Robi will issue new ordinary shares to Bharti Singapore, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel. After completion of the merger, the companies expect that Axiata will own 58.7 per cent of Robi-Airtel, Bharti Airtel will have 25 per cent and NTT 6.3 per cent, it added. Moody's said the new entity, Robi-Airtel, will have a stronger market position than either Robi or Airtel has on a standalone basis in Bangladesh's highly competitive mobile telecommunications market. Also, it said, the merger will ultimately enhance network quality and coverage and allow operational synergies without adversely affecting the credit quality of either Bharti Airtel or Axiata. "We do not expect Bharti Airtel's and Axiata's metrics to be significantly affected by the merger because the contribution from their respective Bangladeshi subsidiaries is relatively small," it said.

TeamLease Rs 423-cr IPO oversubscribed

The initial public offer of TeamLease Services has been oversubscribed by 1.83 times till afternoon on the last day of the offer today. The Rs 423-crore IPO received bids for 52,86,555 shares against the total issue size of 28,92,063 shares, as per the NSE data till 1200 hrs. TeamLease Services has raised Rs 190 crore through issue of shares to 15 anchor investors, including Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. The shares were allotted to anchor investors at a price of Rs 850 apiece, the upper end of the price band, said the PTI report. The IPO would close today and the price band is Rs 785-850 per share. At the upper end, the share sale can fetch Rs 423 crore. The offer will be made through a fresh issue aggregating up to Rs 150 crore and an offer for sale of up to 32.2 lakh equity shares. Proceeds from the IPO will be used for acquisitions and other strategic initiatives, upgradation of the existing information technology infrastructure, working capital requirements and other general corporate purposes. IDFC Securities, Credit Suisse Securities (India) and ICICI Securities are the book running lead managers to the offer.

Divesting stake in insurance subsidiaries may take time: SBI

State Bank of India, which is looking to divest some of its stake in life and non-life insurance subsidiaries, said that the process may take "a little time". "Life and non-life we have already said...But it will take a little time. This is not something which will happen immediately," SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said on the sidelines of India Investment Summit. The bank has already announced plans to lower its stake in insurance ventures - SBI Life Insurance and SBI General, reported PTI. On its life insurance venture, SBI proposes to sell up to 10 per cent stake, while it may be about 23 per cent in case of its general insurance subsidiary. "As per IRDA, the shareholders agreement needs to be amended in both of these, so those are the jobs getting done. Subsequent to that we will do...," she said as per the media report. With regard to anti-money laundering initiative, she said the bank has developed a robust system to detect such activity.

LafargeHolcim mulling divestment of Jojobera and Sonadih units

After scrapping the sale of two of its India cement plants to Birla Corp, LafargeHolcim Ltd today said it is considering divestment of the Jojobera and Sonadih units. Lafarge had in August agreed to sell the two factories in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to Birla for Rs 5,000 crore to comply with antitrust regulations as it was merging with Holcim Ltd. "LafargeHolcim today announced that it is considering a divestment of its interest in Lafarge India with an annual cement capacity of around 11 million tonnes," the company said in a statement as per the media report. The divestment, it said, would require the approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as an alternate remedy for the merger of the Group's legacy companies. LafargeHolcim was formed in July and is now the world's biggest cement maker with a market value of USD 25 billion, reported PTI. "The Group is no longer in discussion with Birla Corporation Ltd (BCL) for the sale of the Jojobera and Sonadih cement plants in Eastern India that was announced earlier," the statement said. It however did not explain the reasons for scrapping the deal. The BCL proposal involved the divestment of 5.1 million tonnes capacity by Lafarge India. Both BCL as buyer and the sale agreement with BCL were subject to approval by the CCI along with other regulatory approvals and customary conditions. "Due to the current regulatory issues relating to the transfer of mining rights captive and critical to the two plants, LafargeHolcim was obliged to submit an alternate remedy to the CCI to ensure compliance with the order. The alternate remedy is now under consideration by the CCI. The Group remains in dialogue with the fair trade regulator and will communicate any further updates to the divestment process in India in due time," it added. The two cement plants have a total annual capacity of about 5.15 million tonnes and own reserves of limestone, the raw material used to make cement. Birla Corp was to acquire Lafarge India Pvt Ltd's (LIPL) cement business, which comprises an integrated cement unit at Sonadih (Chhattisgarh), a cement grinding unit at Jojobera (Jharkhand), along with Concreto and PSC brands. The acquisition would have added an additional cement capacity of 5.15 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to Birla Corp's kitty and would have helped the firm consolidate its position in the eastern India cement market. The firm has a total operational cement capacity of about 10 MTPA with units in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Colgate-Palmolive opens toothbrush production unit in AP

Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd announced that it has introduced its toothbrush production unit in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh (AP) which is built in a 25 acres of land. The unit is commissioned in a building of 16000 square meter area with an investment of about Rs. 450 crore in 19 months. The toothbrush production unit has an annual production capacity of 220 million pieces of toothbrushes. Commenting on this, Fabian T Garcia, Chief Operating Officer, Global Innovation and Growth, Europe/South Pacific said, “Colgate Palmolive unveiled the plaque and signaled the start of commercial production at the Sri City facility established on a 25-acre site.” Garcia said, “For the past eight decades Colgate has been serving India with its high quality oral care products. The strong relationship and the trust of generations of consumers, built over decades of operations in India, made Colgate as 'most trusted brand' for the past five consecutive years.” Ravindranath Sannareddy, Managing Director of Sri City said, “Colgate-Palmolive revolutionised oral care with innovative products and has emerged as 'most chosen' brand in India.”

SKS Microfinance - Completion of Fourth securitization transaction of Rs. 651.80 crore in FY16

SKS Microfinance Ltd has informed BSE regarding "Completion of Fourth securitization transaction of Rs. 651.80 crore in FY16".

Cabinet approves formation of JV with states for rail projects

The Cabinet, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave its approval for allowing the ministry of railways to form joint venture companies with the state governments to mobilize resources for undertaking various rail infrastructure projects in States. “The joint venture companies would be formed with equity participation of ministry of railways and concerned state governments,” Cabinet said in a statement. Each Joint Venture (JV) would have an initial paid up capital of Rs 100 crores based on the quantum of projects to be undertaken. The Ministry of Railways’ initial paid-up capital will be limited to Rs. 50 crore for each State. Further infusion of fund or equity for the purpose of the projects shall be done after approval of the project and its funding at the level of appropriate competent authority. The JV can also form project-specific SPVs with equity holding by other shareholders like banks, ports, public sector undertakings, and mining companies, Cabinet said adding that the joint venture exercise would ensure greater participation of state governments in implementation of railway projects both in terms of financial participation as well as decision making process. This will also facilitate in faster statutory approvals and land acquisition. Besides travelling people, various cement, steel, power plants etc. would get the necessary rail link for transportation of their raw material and finished products, it added.

PM to inaugurate Rs 10,000 cr gas cracker project in Assam

The Indian Government has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the Rs 10,000 crore gas cracker project in Assam. Commenting on the issue, a Government Official told the media, "The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the Assam Gas Cracker project on Friday. He will be accompanied by the Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan." As per reports, this is the first ever petrochemical project in entire North East India and was a part of the historic Assam Accord signed on 15th August, 1985 to promote overall socio-economic development of the region. As per reports, the project is established with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore, out of which Rs 5,000 crore has been provided in form of subsidy by the Central government. The project will manufacture high quality of polymers with annual capacity of 2.80 lakh tonnes per annum including 2.20 lakh tonnes of polyethylene and 60,000 tonnes of Polypropylene per annum.

Gamesa wins 50-MW wind project from Atria Power

Renewable energy firm Gamesa India announced that it has won an order from Atria Power for the purpose of setting up a 50-MW wind power project in Madhya Pradesh. The company said in a release, “Gamesa India has announced a new 50 MW wind power project with Atria Power to be commissioned in Kukru wind farm, Madhya Pradesh by 31 March 2016.” It added, “As per the order, Gamesa will handle the supply, erection and commissioning of 25 units of G97-2.0 MW T104 wind turbines specially designed for low wind sites in India.” Commenting on this, Gamesa India Chairman and Managing Director Ramesh Kymal said, “We are happy to announce this new deal with Atria Power that has come close on the heels of our previous order announced recently.” Atria Power Director C S Sunder Raju said, “We are delighted to forge ties with Gamesa once again for this crucial project that will increase our presence in the renewable energy space.”

FDI in multi-brand retail of food won't harm local mkts: ICRIER

The Centre must consider allowing FDI in multi-brand retail of food and grocery to boost food processing as it is unlikely to pose any threat to local stores because a majority of Indian consumers still buy fruits and veggies from the local markets, an ICRIER report said. The current policy already has a provision for allowing 51 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and the BJP-led NDA government has not yet rolled back the policy decision taken by the previous UPA regime, said the media report. The report by Delhi-based think tank Indian Council of Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) comes weeks after Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal wrote to the Prime Minister suggesting a "relook" at the country's FDI policy in multi-brand retail in food processing. "The survey findings show that a majority of Indian consumers prefer to buy fruits and vegetables from the local markets (53.3 per cent) and push carts (18.8 per cent) despite presence of organised retail stores in select metros," ICRIER's Arpita Mukherjee said. So, allowing FDI multi-brand retail of food and grocery sector will not have any impact on local vendors. "Therefore, the government must explore the possibility of liberalising FDI in multi-brand retail and ease conditions on foreign investors to improve access to variety of products," she said. At present, the food and grocery sector is largely non-corporate and there are restrictions on FDI in multi-brand retail. Further, some states do not allow direct sourcing. As a result, global multi-nationals have not shown interest in investing in the food supply chain. High taxes on processed fruits and vegetables and variations in taxes across states also hinder the processing, she added. Besides this, the 'Indian Phytonutrient report' which was released today made several recommendations to address the supply chain barrier of fruits and vegetables in a bid to increase India's daily intake of these fresh farm items to the level of WHO recommended quantity of 400 grams per person. The survey covered 1,001 respondents in five cities -- NCR region, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata -- to learn the consumption of fruits and vegetables in India. The survey showed that the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables remained low at 280 grams per person despite India being the world's largest producer of these items. Lifestyle issues, seasonal availability, high cost, inconvenient market location, limited storage capacity at home among others were the reasons for low intake, it said. To raise the consumption level, ICRIER Director and Chief Executive Rajat Kathuria said, "There is a need to identify gaps in food supply chain infrastructure and focus policy on the creation of the right infrastructure." Fruits and vegetables should be delisted from APMC so that there is no cess and remove restrictions on inter-state movements of fruits and vegetables, he suggested as per the media report.