Bangalore: The country’s domestic information technology (IT) market grew 29% in financial year 2007-08, its growth rate overtaking the IT export market growth for the first time in a decade, according to a recent survey by IT magazine ‘Dataquest’, published by CyberMedia Digital Limited.
An accelerated 34% growth in FY08 (compared with 27% in the year-ago period) took the total domestic IT market, the survey says, to Rs99,018 crore in FY08. “Despite the downturn and the challenging economic climate, the top IT services companies managed to keep growth up and their margins intact,” said Pradeep Gupta, the chairman of CyberMedia Digital Limited.
The overall Indian IT industry grew 29% in FY08 to report revenues of Rs288,810 crore. Exports grew at 27% (compared to a 35% growth recorded during 2006-07).
VW sees most growth in emerging markets
Frankfurt: Europe’s biggest carmaker, Volkswagen AG, said emerging markets will provide the most growth in worldwide sales over the next 10 years, led by economic expansions in India, China and Russia.
India’s market will increase 171% to 4.6 million vehicles by 2018, while China’s will almost double to 14.5 million from 7.4 million and Russia’s will grow by 62% to 4.2 million vehicles, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a presentation on its website.
Volkswagen reiterated that its sales and operating profit will rise this year as the company delivers more cars.
Govt to begin selling wheat locally
New Delhi: India, the world’s second biggest producer of wheat, will begin selling grain from reserves in a week to increase supplies during the festival season. Food Corporation of India (FCI), the country’s biggest buyer of grains, will set the sale price this evening, chairman Alok Sinha said.
The government may sell as much as 6 million tonnes (mt) of wheat domestically between September and March to keep domestic prices affordable, Union food secretary T. Nanda Kumar said in an interview on 18 August.
FCI bought a record 22.5mt of wheat from farmers this year. The nation may have harvested a record 78.4mt in the year ended 30 June, up 3.4% from the previous year, according to the farm ministry.
The company may purchase a record 27.7mt of rice from domestic farmers by 1 October, Sinha said.
The government may hold 6.24mt of rice on 1 October, compared with a buffer stock 5.2mt, the food ministry said 22 August.
FCI bought 26.68mt of rice from farmers as on 18 August, compared with 25.1mt purchased in the year ended on 30 September.
Emami launches glycerine soap
New Delhi: Fast moving consumer goods company Emami Ltd has launched a range of glycerine soaps branded as Pure Skin. The product has been launched in south India and the company plans to roll it out nationally by the next year.
“The total glycerine soap market is of Rs300 crore and it is growing at a compound annual rate of 15%. We hope to be a significant player in the near future,” said Priti Sureka, director, Emami Group. ”The marketing efforts for Emami Pure Skin will be supported by massive television advertising and a 360 degree communication campaign.”
After the acquisition of Himani Ltd in the late 1970s, Emami had discontinued its glycerine soap brand and the new launch marks its entry back into the category. The launch comes at a time when the soap category, estimated at around Rs6,500 crore, has become very competitive and most of the soap makers are facing margin pressures due to rising raw material and packaging costs.
However, according to Emami, the glycerine soap market is still not very competitive and there is only one leading brand Pears by Hindustan Unilever Ltd in the category. ”Unlike other soaps, glycerine soaps fall in the premium category and offer better margins,” Surekha said. The company is currently getting the soaps manufactured by a third party.
Emami aims to use its existing distribution channel to take this product to the end-consumers. Priced at Rs23, Emami Pure Skin, is currently available in a 75gm pack.
Warner Music agrees to market EMI catalogue
Warner Music Group Corp. signed a multi-year agreement to market and distribute EMI Group Ltd’s entire catalogue of artistes in South-East Asia.
The two companies already have a similar agreement in India, West Asia and North Africa, where EMI has marketed and distributed Warner Music’s physical products since 2005, the companies said in a statement distributed by ‘Market Wire’ on Monday.
Bonds little changed on debt sales plans
Mumbai: The country’s 10-year bonds were little changed on speculation demand for the securities will wane as the nation plans to increase debt sales this week.
Yields on benchmark notes rose from the lowest in more than two months after the government said on 5 September that it will auction Rs8,000 crore of bonds on 12 September as part of its budgeted borrowing plan. India will also sell Rs9,000 crore of treasury bills at a weekly auction on 10 September, compared with Rs7,500 crore of bills sold last week.
“Bonds are lower because the supply of debt is bigger this week,” said S. Srikumar, chief debt trader at state-owned Corporation Bank in Mumbai. “The weekly treasury bill sale is bigger, adding to the government bond auction.” The yield on the 8.24% note due April 2018 was little changed at 8.49% as of 12:09pm in Mumbai, according to the central bank’s trading system. The price was 98.38.
This week’s auction will complete India’s Rs96,000 crore borrowing plan scheduled for the six months through September. Bonds also fell on concern quarterly tax payments by companies due 15 September will drain cash from the banking system, leaving investors with fewer funds to buy debt. “The tax outflows are likely to tighten liquidity in the system,” Corporation Bank’s Srikumar said. “That concern is also pressuring bonds down.”
Firstsource denies claims of stock sale
Bangalore: Indian back office processing company Firstsource refused to comment on reports that a key investor has put up its stake in the company for sale. The ‘Financial Times’ reported on Monday that Metavante, a US-based banking technology group has evinced interest in divesting its 20% stake from Firstsource and Goldman Sachs has been appointed to find a suitable buyer. It, however did not cite any sources.
There has been speculation that ICICI Bank which owns 27 % was also seeking to divest its stake holdings from Firstsource.
Ministry issues IPTV services guidelines
New Delhi: The ministry of information and broadcasting has issued guidelines for provisioning of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Services. The Union Cabinet had, on 21 August, cleared necessary amendments in the government’s downlinking policy, allowing broadcasters to provide their signals to IPTV operators. In a statement, the ministry said: “Telecom Access Service Providers having license to provide triple play services and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with net worth more than Rs100 crore and having permission from the licensor to provide IPTV or any other telecom service provider duly authorized by the Department of Telecom will be able to provide IPTV service under their licenses without requiring any further registration.” Registered cable operators can also provide IPTV services without further permissions.
Text of the detailed guidelines were not made available on the ministry website at the time of going to press.
Philips to buy Alpha X-Ray Technologies
Amsterdam: Royal Philips Electronics NV, Europe’s biggest maker of consumer electronics, agreed to buy India’s Alpha X-Ray Technologies for an undisclosed amount. Alpha is a manufacturer of cardiovascular x-ray systems targeting the economy segment of the Indian market, Amsterdam- based Philips said on Monday in an emailed statement.
Infotech Enterprises acquires US Company
Hyderabad: City-based Infotech Enterprises Ltd will acquire Time To Market Inc.(TTM), a US based company specializing in chip design and embedded software services. While the company did not disclose the exact value of the acquisition, Ashok Reddy, head of corporate affairs at Infotech, said the all-cash deal is in the range of Rs25-30 crore. California-based TTM has presence in Hyderabad and Bangalore. TTM is expected raise the company’s total revenue by around 20 crore this fiscal. Infotech which is focusing on providing technology solutions to automotive and aviation industry, expects this acquisition will help the company add to the spectrum of services that it currently offers.
Fewer foreign tourists visited India in 2008
New Delhi: Indicating a reduction in the number of foreign tourists visiting India, the first eight months of this year saw 3.5 million foreign tourists to India showing a growth of 10.4% over the same period last year, as against the 15.6 % growth seen during the same period last year over 2006, according to the latest government data.
Last year, India’s foreign tourist arrivals at 3.2 million from January to August resulted in foreign exchange earnings (FEE) of Rs28,369 crore, showing a growth of 15.3% over the same period the previous year.
The FEE of Rs33,321 crore this year, however, showed a marginal growth of 17.5% over last year. In dollar terms, however, the FEE growth declined marginally to 21.5% this year, as against a growth of 23% last year.
This year, FEE earnings in dollar terms were $8,134 million, while 2007 FEE was at $6,694 million.