Bangalore: Four hotel chains have submitted bids for a plot to build a five-star hotel in Navi Mumbai, at a time when land prices have dipped in Mumbai and surrounding areas.
Indian Hotels Co. Ltd, which owns the Taj group of hotels, Sun-n-Sand Group of Hotels, Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts and Metropolis Hotel have submitted technical bids in the auction for the 11.6-acre land on the Palm Beach Road. The bidders, if their technical bids qualify, will have to submit financial proposals on Friday.
Slowing market: A construction area in Mumbai. Land prices have dipped by 15-30% in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai this year
The City and Industrial Development Corp. of Maharashtra Ltd, or Cidco, which is conducting the auction, had set a minimum price of Rs37,000 per sq. m for the plot, nearly half the price at which two plots were auctioned in 2007 by the same organization in Navi Mumbai.
The slowdown has impacted the few land auctions this year. Last week, Cidco received only one bid in an auction for a plot reserved for an IT park. The land was sold at Rs1 lakh per sq. m, less than the Rs1.5 lakh quoted for a plot in the same area in 2006.
Pranay Vakil, chairman of real estate agency Knight Frank India Pvt. Ltd, said it is “not a good idea” to hold a property auction in a falling market. “We are not encouraging auctions now, because the psychology is not to outbid people but to underbid,” he said.
“Auctions, as we can see, would inevitably not receive enough bids. Private negotiations for property and land sale is a much better option over auctions now,” Vakil added. Land prices have dipped by 15-30% in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai this year, he said.
The signs of the real estate market heading for a correction in Mumbai started showing when two out of five plots went unsold in the central business district of Bandra-Kurla Complex in an auction in March.
“We are not private developers or landowners who are waiting for the market to go up. We continue to develop and sell land,” said Cidco managing director G.S. Gill.
CA firm Dalal and Shah joins PwC network
New Delhi:Dalal and Shah, one of the country’s oldest firms of chartered accountants, has become a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd (PwC), a statement said on Thursday.
Established in 1923, Dalal and Shah provides assurance and related services to some of the country’s leading companies. It’s clients will now have access to the expertise and global network of PwC, the statement said.
Commenting on the development, Ramesh Rajan, chairman PricewaterhouseCoopers India, said: “The PwC network in India will have a larger, more diversified and a significant domestic audit client base, comprising leading corporates in the Indian marketplace.” Staff Writer
Ajay Mahajan resigns from Yes Bank
Mumbai:Ajay Mahajan, head of financial markets, institutions and investment management group, Yes Bank Ltd, has resigned. The bank’s chief financial officer Rajat Monga has taken over his portfolio. An official of Yes Bank, who did not want to be named, said Mahajan is likely to join UBS. This could not be confirmed and Mahajan refused to comment. His resignation comes at a time when the private sector bank is facing disputes on selling of derivatives products to two of its clients. Anita Bhoir
2 IIITs for Maharashtra,varsity for Andhra
New Delhi: Two Congress-ruled states are set to benefit from the largesse of the Union ministry of human resource development in the form of Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) for Maharashtra, in Pune and Aurangabad to be set up under the private-public-partnership mode.
State minister for higher and technical education Dilip Valse Patil announced at a state ministers conference in New Delhi that the state government had found a private partner for the IIIT at Pune and is in the process of finding a partner for the IIIT at Aurangabad too. The ministry has also sanctioned a world-class university at Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, state education minister R. Chenga Reddy said.
A School of Planning and Architecture has also been sanctioned in Vijaywada, he added. Pallavi Singh
RPL to set up 4 ventures with Shanghai Electric
New Delhi:Reliance Power Ltd (RPL), part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Amabani Group (R-Adag) will set up four joint venture (JV) companies with Shanghai Electric Power Co. Ltd in the areas of power generation equipment manufacturing, equipment erection, spares and operation and maintenance. “These are four separate JVs. While the manufacturing JV will involve an investment of $3 billion, the remaining JVs will involve an investment of $100 million to $200 million each,” an R-Adag spokesperson said. Staff Writer
FDA: X-rays could cause device malfunction
New Delhi: The US drug regulator has issued a public health information alerting patients and doctors that X-rays emitted by computer tomography machines, such as CT scans, could cause implanted or external medical devices to malfunction. In a preliminary notification on its website dated 14 July, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it has “received a small number of reports of adverse events in which CT scans” could have impaired the functioning of medical devices such as “pacemakers, defibrillators, neurostimulators, and implanted or externally worn drug infusion pumps”. Bhuma Shrivastava
Weather cover planned for potato farmers
Khanna: After successful trial runs in Punjab, Maharasthra and Karnataka, PepsiCo India is planning to roll out a weather insurance scheme for potato growers in 10 states covering an area of 14,000ha. Partnering with ICICI Lombard, PepsiCo introduced weather based insurance for farmers in three states last year primarily for growers who supply potatoes for the company’s potato chips business. The crop in Punjab and Karnataka was severely hit last season, and the company hopes this experience will prompt more farmers to join the scheme this season. Bajinder Pal Singh
Somi Conveyor IPO closes at 26% discount
Mumbai:Somi Conveyor Beltings Ltd’s initial public offer, or IPO, on Thursday closed at 26% discount to its offer price.
The stock made its debut at Rs37.65 against its issue price of Rs35 but slipped during the day and closed at Rs25.9. Ashwin Ramarathinam
Piramal Healthcare first quarter profit rises 57%
Mumbai: Increased domestic sales in specific therapeutic areas and a rise in contract manufacturing has helped Piramal Healthcare Ltd, formerly Nicholas Piramal India Ltd, post a 57% growth in net profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2008-09.
The company’s profit increased to Rs68.1 crore in the three months ended June, though consolidated revenue grew at a relatively modest 17% to Rs708.3 crore. It also had a foreign exchange loss of about Rs22.9 crore.
A Piramal Healthcare executive attributed the surge in profit despite these to the “high margins in the international custom manufacturing business as well as speciality products sales in the domestic market.”
The company said in a statement on Thursday that its custom manufacturing business, which makes drug ingredients and formulations for international clients, grew by 14.2%, while domestic sales in therapeutic groups such as heart disease, skincare and anti-infection rose by around 21%.
Revenue in the company’s diagnostic services business grew 61% to Rs40.4 crore this quarter.
Piramal Healthcare, which was active in four health care business segments—drug manufacturing, sales, contract manufacturing, and research and development—had earlier this year demerged its research unit into a separate company.
The company’s share price rose 0.35%, or Rs1.05, on Thursday to close at Rs297.65 in a weak Mumbai market. C.H. Unnikrishnan
Rohit Saran named ‘Business Today’ editor
New Delhi:Living Media India Ltd on Thursday said Rohit Saran will succeed Sanjoy Narayan as editor of ‘Business Today’ effective 16 August. Saran is currently managing editor at group publication ‘Money Today’. “Rohit will continue to oversee the editorial leadership of the magazines that he is presently responsible for,” Living Media chairman Aroon Purie said in an internal memo. Narayan is leaving to join the ‘Hindustan Times’ as editor-in-chief. ‘Hindustan Times’ is published by HT Media Ltd, which also publishes ‘Mint’.
‘Business Today’ managing editor R. Sridharan is also leaving the group and the magazine’s executive editor Brian Carvalho has been elevated to the managing editor’s post. Staff Writer
ACC second quarter net profit falls 27%
Mumbai: India’s biggest cement maker ACC Ltd on Thursday reported a near 27% drop in its second quarter net profit, hurt by a surge in fuel and input costs, sending the company’s shares down more than 5% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) .
ACC, in which Swiss firm Holcim Ltd owns nearly 41%, posted a net profit of Rs255.08 crore, down from Rs349.02 crore in the year-ago period, while sales rose 1.52% to Rs1,920.11 crore.
Sales volume fell 1.3% to 5.29 million tonnes during the quarter due to lower availability of cement from two plants and problems in despatches in one state.
ACC’s board approved an interim dividend for 2008 at the rate of 100% to shareholders as on 1 August, to be paid on 12 August.
ACC shares fell 5.13% to Rs560.75 on BSE. Ankur Relia
Sobha Developers Q1 profit up 24% to Rs51 cr
Bangalore:Sobha Developers Ltd’s first quarter net profit rose by 24% to Rs50.5 crore from Rs40.8 crore last year. The company’s turnover rose by 30% to Rs348.8 crore, while operating margins went up to 29.7% from 25.5%. “The new financial year has started on a good note with Sobha receiving $10 million of foreign investment for one of our residential project in Bangalore. In the current financial year, we propose to launch projects in Mysore, Chennai, and the national capital region,” said J.C. Sharma, managing director.
The company’s board has decided to issue shares of up to Rs350 crore to existing shareholders.
As of 30 June, Sobha has completed 50 residential/commercial in-house projects and 111 contractual projects covering about 20 million sq. ft of area. Deepti Chaudhary