New Delhi: Online auction house Saffronart said its summer auction featuring 140 works by 67 modern and contemporary Indian artists has fetched Rs38.8 crore.
The auction, which closed on Thursday, featured the works of painters, sculptors and installations artists. World auction records were set for eight artists, a statement said.
The top five lots of the auction were Subodh Gupta’s Untitled, which sold for Rs5.7 crore; S.H. Raza’s Germination, for Rs4.2 crore; Rashid Rana’s Red Carpet–2, for Rs2 crore; J. Swaminathan’s Untitled, for Rs1.84 crore; and F.N. Souza’s Untitled, for Rs1.63 crore.
L&T gets orders worth Rs1,000 cr
Mumbai: Engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd said on Friday it had won high-tech equipment orders worth more than Rs1,000 crore.
Shares of the firm closed down 2.05% at Rs2,563.70 each on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.
Tharoor’s firm to invest Rs800 crore in Orissa
Bhubaneswar: Former under secretary-general of the United Nations Shashi Tharoor has expressed interest to invest in Orissa.
Tharoor as chairman of Afras Projects India Pvt. Ltd has proposed to set up India’s first wielded stainless steel and duplex pipe manufacturing facility at an investment of Rs800 crore there, according to officials.
Tharoor met Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik and industries minister B.B. Harichandan seeking 50 acres of land for the initial phase.
Saffronart auction notches sales of Rs39 cr
New Delhi: India’s biggest maker of power equipment, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, or Bhel, won a Rs1,840 crore contract for a power-generation plant.
Damodar Valley Corp. placed the order for a 500MW plant, New Delhi-based Bhel said in an emailed statement on Friday. This will be the fourth unit to be set up for the utility in Jharkhand, Bhel said.
State-controlled Bhel is “favourably placed” to win a contract to install a 750MW power plant in Tripura for ONGC Tripura Power Co., Bhel said.
FM to accompany Deora to Opec oil meet
New Delhi: With relentless rise in crude prices pushing inflation to more than 11%, finance minister P. Chidambaram will accompany petroleum minister Murli Deora to the meeting of world’s leading oil producers and consumers in Jeddah to make a case for urgent steps to hammer down prices.
Deora will lead the Indian delegation to the meeting on Sunday with Chidambaram accompanying him to impress the oil cartel Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or Opec, to raise crude oil production to cool prices that have touched $140 (Rs6,020) a barrel.
Svati Bhogle wins green energy award
London: Indian entrepreneur Svati Bhogle was named 2008 Energy Champion at the Ashden Awards, which aim to recognize the use of sustainable energy in local communities worldwide, in London on Thursday.
Bhogle’s Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE) company developed energy-efficient woodstoves for use in southern India, and the 10,300 stoves it has sold have saved an estimated 43,000 tonnes a year of biomass.
She was awarded the £40,000 (Rs33.92 lakh) prize by Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London Thursday evening.
Hannover Re signs pact with GIC Re
Berlin: Germany’s second biggest reinsurer Hannover Re signed a five-year cooperation agreement with Indian state-owned insurance company GIC Re to develop a life reinsurance business in India. The two firms will be equal partners in the venture, which went into effect retroactively on 1 April, the Hanover-based company said in a statement on Hugin newswire on Friday. To further support its business in India, Hannover Re also plans to set up a service firm in Mumbai, it said.
Anheuser-Busch to buy India JV ownership
Mumbai: Leading American brewer Anheuser-Busch International Inc. on Friday said it will purchase the remaining 50% ownership of Crown Beers India Ltd, a joint venture from its partner Crown International Ltd.
The acquisition includes the joint venture’s 500,000-hectoliter brewery in Hyderabad. The development follows Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev NV’s $46 billion (Rs1.9 trillion) bid to take over Anheuser. As reported by ‘Mint’ on 13 June, this acquisition play in the international brewing business had generated froth in India’s 136-million-cases-a-year beer market, as both companies have a presence in India through joint ventures.
Anheuser-Busch brews some of the world’s largest-selling beers including Budweiser and Bud Light.
Rane Brake relists, sees FY09 sales at Rs225 cr
Mumbai: Automobile and railway ancillary maker Rane Brake Lining Ltd, which relisted on the stock exchange on Friday, expects fiscal 2009 net sales at more than Rs225 crore, its chairman L. Lakshman told a news channel.
Its annual profit would be in the range of 7-8% of sales, Lakshman told the CNBC-TV18 channel.
The relisting follows the demerger of Rane Brake Lining’s manufacturing business into a new company, a company official said. The investment-related businesses of the old firm have been incorporated into Rane Holdings Ltd. The stock, which hit an intraday high of Rs180, closed at Rs90.70 on Friday.
DLF denies SEZ stake sale to Mitsui
Mumbai: India’s biggest developer, DLF Ltd, denied a report that it had planned to sell a stake in its special economic zone project to Japan’s Mitsui and an Indian company. DLF delayed the sale of a 26% stake in its Manesar project to Mitsui and a unit of Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) for about Rs800 crore, ‘The Economic Times’ reported on Friday, citing a person that it didn’t identify. The newspaper didn’t specify which Mitsui company it was referring to.
“No discussions have taken place with Mitsui or any IL&FS entity for any stake in Manesar SEZ project,” Sanjey Roy, spokesman for DLF, said in a statement emailed from New Delhi.
“Nor do we have any intention of giving stake to any third party at this point in time. The story is entirely speculative.”
Essar Shipping plans $2.5 bn investment
Mumbai: Essar Shipping Ports and Logistics Ltd said on Friday it plans to invest more than $2.5 billion (Rs10,750 crore) over the next three years to expand its port and shipping capacity and add rigs.
“The money has been raised through debt and internal accruals,” managing director Sanjay Mehta said at an analysts meet. The investment is expected to add $900 million in annual contracted revenue, he said.
The company on Friday announced a net profit of Rs110.71 crore for the quarter ended 31 March, a nearly three-fold growth over the corresponding period a year-ago, Essar Shipping said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. Total income rose to Rs312.54 crore from Rs209.73 crore in the same period a year-ago. For the year ended 31 March, the group reported a consolidated net profit of Rs277.43 crore, a 75.87% growth over the previous fiscal. Shares of Essar Shipping closed down 5.09% at Rs118.45 in a weak Mumbai market.
Reuters and PTI
Spice-Idea deal likely next week
New Delhi: A deal on the merger of Indian mobile phone firms, the BK Modi-controlled Spice Communications Ltd and Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular Ltd, is expected next week, after the boards of the companies meet and formalize it, said a person involved in the deal who asked not to be identified.
According to the terms of the deal, Telekom Malaysia, currently a 40% shareholder in Spice Communications, will invest $1.6 billion (Rs6,880 crore) and swap its equity in the Modi firm to receive one-fifth equity rights in the merged entity. “The deal is in its final stages and the paper work is being done. The announcement will happen after the board meeting of the two companies,” the person said.
Yusof Annuar Yaacob, group financial officer of Telekom Malaysia, will be a representative on the board of the new merged entity; he is currently on the board of the Modi group company. Calls to Yaacob went unanswered.
The person also said that the agreement on supplying mobile phone handsets and software services for the new firm had been finalized. “The three-year agreement will create a (business) valuation of about Rs1,000 crore,” the person said, and added this will be over and above the Rs2,200 crore the Modi family will receive for selling its 40% stake in Spice Communications.
A spokeswoman for Idea Cellular declined to comment on the developments.
On the Bombay Stock Exchange, shares of Spice Communications shed 2.67% and closed at Rs61.95 each. Shares of Idea Cellular lost 3.14% to close at Rs104.85 each.
R Jai Krishna
Vodafone to challenge India tax change in court
New Delhi: The world’s largest mobile phone company by sales, Vodafone Group Plc., will seek next week to challenge a retrospective change to Indian tax law as it fights a $2 billion (Rs8,600 crore) tax Bill on its purchase of a controlling stake in an Indian mobile operator last year.
The Bombay high court is scheduled to resume hearings on 23 June in a case which is being closely watched by international investors, after adjourning it in March.
Vodafone said in a statement on Friday it had submitted an amended writ petition challenging the “constitutionality of the retrospective amendment of the changed tax law” to the high court on 12 June. It said the court had asked the tax department to respond within a week.
In May this year, the Parliament passed an amendment to a Bill to allow the government to take action against companies which do not withhold taxes when making a transaction.
Vodafone last year paid $11.1 billion to a unit of Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd for the controlling stake in the mobile operator, which has since been renamed Vodafone Essar Ltd.
‘WTO farm accord ready for ministers’ approval’
Moscow: Talks on lowering barriers to trade in agricultural goods as part of a global trade agreement are ready for ministerial approval, European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said. “The negotiations in agriculture have been long, painstaking, very complex technically, and although there are some outstanding issues, those negotiations are virtually at a state ready for ministerial decision,” Mandelson said on Friday. The World Trade Organization’s 152 governments are trying to wrap up global trade talks that began in November 2001 in Doha, Qatar, by the end of July.
Meanwhile, Canada’s ambassador to WTO Don Stephenson said in Geneva he will leave his post in August, adding pressure on WTO member-states to settle their differences before he goes.
Stephenson has for the past two years mediated talks over cutting tariffs on industrial goods such as cars, shoes, fuel and timber. “My term as Canadian ambassador ends in August,” Stephenson said, adding his last official duty as industry chairman would be a report to WTO “in the last few days of July.”
Bloomberg and Reuters