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Need to Know | Videocon in talks to buy stakes in oil fields

Need to Know | Videocon in talks to buy stakes in oil fields
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First Published: Wed, Aug 27 2008. 11 35 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 27 2008. 11 35 PM IST
Mumbai: Indian oil explorer and consumer electronics maker, Videocon Industries Ltd, is in talks to invest in oil and gas exploration in Qatar and Kuwait, chairman Venugopal Dhoot said.
“Oil prices are very high and we don’t mind spending on exploration,” Dhoot said over the phone from Mumbai on Wednesday without giving details. The company has interests in fields in Australia, Indonesia, Oman and Brazil, he said. Videocon agreed to pay $75 million (Rs328 crore) for a 10% stake in an exploration area in Mozambique. A unit of state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd, India’s second biggest refiner, also bought 10% in the area operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. under “identical terms”, Videocon said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Explorers are seeking oil and gas assets overseas to meet rising demand in Asia’s third largest energy consumer, which imports more than 70% of its crude oil needs. Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), agreed on Tuesday to buy the UK’s Imperial Energy Plc., which owns assets in Siberia.
— Bloomberg
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Reliance raises 5-year loan by 20% to $1.2 bn
Hong Kong: Reliance Industries Ltd, or RIL, India’s biggest company, increased a five-year loan by a fifth to $1.2 billion (Rs5,244 crore) after banks offered more than it sought, according to an email sent to lenders. The company, owner of the world’s third biggest refinery, received the funding from 32 banks, including 19 arrangers, to fund its expansion, the document showed. The loan pays interest 1.3 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate.
Indian borrowers are increasingly turning to banks for a cheaper source of funds as the international bond market remains tight amid the slowing global economic outlook. The deal will add to more than $22.5 billion of syndicated loans borrowers in India have raised this year to buy assets, boost production, and refinance debt, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
— Bloomberg
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Sebi’s MF panel takes up investor issues
Mumbai: The advisory committee on mutual funds for the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, discussed ways to resolve investor grievances at its first meeting on Wednesday, said a person who was present in the meeting. He didn’t want to be identified.
A Sebi spokesperson refused to comment. The committee, chaired by former Sebi chairman S.A. Dave, was set up to review the mutual fund industry and get opinions from market participants on issues they faced. It isn’t known when the committee will meet next.
— Staff Writer
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Asit C Mehta settles with market regulator
Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, on Wednesday said domestic brokerage Asit C Mehta Investment Intermediaries Ltd has paid Rs1 lakh in an out-of-court settlement. The brokerage had allegedly failed to follow the market regulator’s norms on stockbroker regulations.
Such out-of-court settlements are reached with the consent of the involved parties and the regulator. The regulator settled 66 cases through settlements in the first six months of this year, and 87 cases since it introduced norms for so-called consent orders in April 2007.
— Khushboo Narayan
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Severfield-Rowen plans mega India project
London: The UK’s market leading structural steel company, Severfield-Rowen Plc., plans to build India’s biggest steel structures factory to counter project delays in its home market. The girder maker has taken on a partner for a “major” joint venture to produce pre-made steel towers for the booming Indian construction market, chief executive Tom Haughey said. He declined to comment further on the project, which will be formally announced before year-end.
Haughey said he’s opting for India over UK expansion because the outlook for local demand is more “uncertain”. British factories will be running at full speed into the middle of 2009 based on current orders, though there are signs of a slowdown in recent months, he said. By contrast, India plans to spend $500 billion (Rs21.8 trillion) to build roads, ports and bridges to lift annual growth to 10% from about 9% during the next five years.
— Bloomberg
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Infosys looks at orders from West Asia, India
Bangalore: Infosys Technologies Ltd, India’s second largest provider of software services, may win more orders from West Asia and India, chief executive Senapathy Gopalakrishnan said. Infosys sees “significant opportunities” to increase sales in these markets, Gopalakrishnan told reporters in Chennai on Wednesday.
Infosys, which on 25 August offered to buy UK-based Axon Group Plc., a business adviser for companies that run SAP AG software, aims to raise revenue from markets other than the US as customers in its largest market delay orders. Infosys rose 0.61% to close at Rs1,708 in Mumbai trading.
— Bloomberg
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Dell to sell cheaper PCs in emerging markets
New York:The world’s second largest personal-computer maker Dell Inc., showed four new PCs that will sell in China and 20 other emerging markets, its biggest push so far to tap growth that’s four times faster than in the US.
The two laptops and two desktops, called Vostro and priced between $400 and $500 in China, will begin shipping in August and be available in Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East by November, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said in a statement.
The PCs include free software and pared-down technology, making them more affordable, Dell spokeswoman Gretel Perera said. First-quarter PC sales in Brazil, Russia and China grew at more than four times the pace of the U.S., according to researcher IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts.
— Bloomberg
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India buys raw sugar first time since 2006
Mumbai: Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd, India’s biggest refiner, bought 30,000 tonnes of raw sugar from Brazil, the nation’s first overseas purchase in two-and-a-half years as domestic production declines.
The sugar is scheduled for October arrival to Haldia, the site of the company’s 2,000 tonne a day mill, managing director Narendra Murkumbi said. Purchases by India, the world’s biggest sugar consumer, may bolster global prices, which have climbed 50% in the past year. The nation last bought sugar in 2005-06.
— Bloomberg
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First Published: Wed, Aug 27 2008. 11 35 PM IST