Mumbai: India’s top auto and industrial battery maker, Exide Industries Ltd, will begin commercial supply of batteries for Tata Motors Ltd’s small car, Nano, in the current Jan-March quarter, a top official said.
“We have received the order, we will be supplying soon...it will happen in the fourth quarter,” its chief executive and managing director T.V. Ramanathan told Reuters over the telephone.
He did not disclose the volume, citing a confidentiality clause with Tata Motors.
Exide would supply the batteries to Tata’s Nano plant in Pantnagar, in Uttarakhand.
HDFC launches special offer for housing loans
Mumbai:Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC), the oldest mortgage lender in the country, on Friday said it will offer housing loans of up to Rs30 lakh at a floating rate of 9.75% for new customers.
For loans above Rs30 lakh, the floating rate will be 10.75% as part of a limited offer that ends in February, HDFC said in a statement. The ‘limited offer’ will end in February
Govt scouts for Leeladhar’s successor
Mumbai: The government has started the process of identifying the successor of Reserve Bank of India’s deputy governor V. Leeladhar, who retired in December, by asking seven public sector bank chairmen whether they will agree to become the next deputy governor. In technical term, this exercise is known as seeking consent from the prospective candidates and the government follows this process for every important appointment.
The list includes, O.P. Bhatt of State Bank of India, IDBI Bank Ltd’s Yogesh Agarwal, Bank of India’s T.S. Narayanasami, Punjab National Bank’s K.C. Chakrabarty, Bank of Baroda’s M.D. Mallya, Union Bank of India’s M.V. Nair and Canara Bank’s A.C. Mahajan. All of them have been holding the top job for at least two years.
SRF gets 550 acres in Dahej from Gujarat
Mumbai:SRF Ltd on Friday said the Gujarat Industrial Development Corp. had allotted 550 acres of land to it in the industrial estate in Dahej.
The tyre cord maker said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Gujarat for establishing various projects acrossthe state.
UB Group gets nod to amalgamate Shaw
Mumbai: Vijay Mallya-promoted United Spirits Ltd on Friday told the Bombay Stock Exchange that it has got the Calcutta high court’s approval for the merger of Shaw Wallace and Co. Ltd with itself.
Last year, the company had received the approval of two other high courts for the amalgamation scheme.
“With this, the company has received all necessary court approvals,” it said.
India expects $3 bn from World Bank for recap
New Delhi: India expects to get about $3 billion (Rs14,640 crore) from the World Bank to help recapitalize 17-18 state-run banks by the end of March 2010, a finance ministry official said on Friday.
“We plan to infuse about Rs20,000 crore by March 2010,” said the official, who did not wish to be identified. The first World Bank funds were expected to flow from June, he told reporters.
The funds are needed to help the banks meet the central bank’s capital adequacy rules.
Rel Infra in talks with GE for nuclear projects
Mumbai: Reliance Infrastructure, an Indian utility, said it is in talks with General Electric Co., Areva SA and Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Corp. for nuclear power projects.
The discussions are related to nuclear power generation and the construction of plants, V.K. Chaturvedi, a director of Reliance Infrastructure, said in Mumbai on Friday.
Hyatt, Emaar MGF to set up hotels for Rs1,000 cr
New Delhi: Hospitality major Hyatt Corp. today announced an investment of Rs1,000 crore for setting up six hotel properties over the next three-four years in a joint venture with real estate player Emaar MGF Ltd.
“Land has already been acquired by Emaar MGF. The development would be completed in next three-four years,” Hyatt Corp. head of real estate and development, Steve Haggerty, said.
The hotels, to be launched under the brand Hyatt Place, would come up in Mysore, Lucknow, Indore, Mangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon.
TCS says $2.5 billion Citigroup order intact
Hong Kong:Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), India’s largest software services provider, said its $2.5 billion (Rs12,200 crore) contract with Citigroup Inc. remains in place after the bank sold control of its Smith Barney brokerage.
The revenue is intact as we see today, chief executive officer S. Ramadorai said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Friday. The business committed to the Indian company as part of the contract announced in October doesn’t include any services for the brokerage unit,he said. The Indian provider paid $512 million to buy Citigroup’s India-based back-office support unit in December, getting in return a contract for business worth $2.5 billion over nine-and-a-half years and 12,000 employees.
RIL should supply gas to Dadri plant once ready
Mumbai: The government on Friday told the Bombay high court that the empowered group of ministers decided that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will start supplying gas from the KG basin to Anil Ambani’s Dadri power project and other upcoming power plants once it is ready to begin operations.
“This is without prejudice to the court case and subject to availability,” the government counsel told the court during a hearing on the dispute between RIL and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd over supply of gas.
The government, as the owner of gas from KG basin, said it has every right to dictate RIL to whom it should supply the feed to, but the company disputed this claim.
“RIL is a mere contractor. Government is the owner of the gas. Government will direct RIL who will receive gas. It has right to decide on gas-allocation policy,” additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran told reporters outside the court on Friday.
RIL is involved in two legal disputes over gas supply—one with RNRL and the other with state-run NTPC Ltd.
RIL told the court that it can easily resolve the dispute with NTPC in view of sufficient gas reserves with the company. “I and Mr Kadam (NTPC lawyer) can solve the dispute within 15 minutes,” RIL lawyer Harish Salve said during arguments in RIL-RNRL case.
Both RIL-RNRL and RIL-NTPC cases pertain to agreements on supplying gas from KG basin.
NTPC has the first right on RIL’s KG basin gas, but RIL says it has not concluded the contract.
The bone of contention is the cap on the RIL’s liability in case it fails to supply gas for reasons beyond its control.
While RIL wants a cap on this liability, NTPC is opposed to it, saying that the contract is already concluded and RIL cannot add any new clause.
UCO Bank plans to raise Rs1,400 crore
New Delhi: State-run UCO Bank Ltd plans to raise Rs1,400 crore of fresh capital, including Rs700 crore via preference shares, by the end of this fiscal in March, its chairman said on Friday.
The Kolkata-based lender plans to raise Rs700 crore of tier I capital and the balance through tier II bonds, chairman S.K. Goel said, adding that the bank would sell the bonds in one or two tranches before March.
India’s Lupin gets nod for Keppra generic
Mumbai: Indian drug maker Lupin Ltd said on Friday it has received final US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval to sell the generic levetiracetam tablet in multiple strengths.
The drug is prescribed for the treatment of partial seizures in adults and children with epilepsy, and had sales of about $1.2 billion (Rs5,856 crore) for the 12 months to September, the company said in a statement.
Separately, India’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd and Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd said they had got FDA approval to launch the generic version of UCB’s Keppra in the US.
However, it remains unclear if Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), which had been in the running for the first-to-file status has received approval. A spokesperson of DRL declined comment as the company was in the so-called silent period.
Meanwhile, Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. said it has sued Lupin to block a generic version of its Antara cardiovascular drug from being marketed. Oscient, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, received notice that Lupin filed papers with the USFDA for a generic of the drug prior to the 2020 expiration of Oscient’s patent, the company said.
US representatives from Lupin declined to comment on the litigation.
—Reuters and bloomberg
Federal Bank Oct-Dec profit nearly doubles
Kochi: Federal Bank, a Kerala-based private bank, posted a 98.11% rise in net profit for the three months ended December, helped by a share rise in interest income.
Net profit increased to Rs203.89 crore from Rs102.92 crore in the year-ago quarter, the bank said in a statement. Net interest income went up substantially to Rs384.59 crore from Rs203.7 crore previously.
The bank’s net bad debt, or net non-performing assets at the end of December stood at 0.33%.
Federal Bank Ltd, the state’s largest bank, is targeting to take over Thrissur-based Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd (CSB) by the end of fiscal 2009. It
Federal Bank holds only a 4.99% stake in CSB, but has managed to garner the support of at least two-thirds of the bank’s stakeholders.
MMTC net profit dips 36% to Rs24.91 cr
Mumbai: State-run MMTC Ltd on Friday reported a 36.41% dip in its net profit at Rs24.91 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December 2008.
MMTC had a net profit of Rs39.17 crore in the third quarter of FY’08, MMTC said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Total income almost doubled to Rs9,763.57 crore for the quarter under review, from Rs4,884.86 crore in the same period a year-ago.
RBI begins identifying successor of deputy governor
Mumbai:The government has started the process of identifying the successor of Reserve Bank of India’s deputy governor V. Leeladhar retired in December by asking seven public sector bank chairmen whether they will agree to become the next deputy governorn. In technical term, this exercise is known as seeking consent from the prospective candidates and the government follows this process for every important appointment.
The list includes, OP Bhatt of State Bank of India, IDBI Bank’s Yogesh Agarwal, Bank of India’s CMD TS Narayanasami, Punjab National Bank’s KC Chakrabarty, Bank of Baroda’s MD Mallya, Union Bank’s MV Nair and Canara Bank’s AC Mahajan. All of them have been holding the top job for at least two years.
Four Indian pharmas receive US health regulator’s nod
New Delhi: Four Indian pharma companies, Glenmark Generics Ltd., Lupin, Orchid Chemical and Pharmaceutical and Aurobindo Pharma have received the US health regulator’s nod for marketing seizure and epilepsy drug levetiracetam in the US.
However, it remains unclear if Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), which had been in the running for the first-to-file status has received approval. Mint contacted the company spokespersons but received no response till late evening.
Levetiracetam is the generic equivalent of UCB SA’s Keppra whose patent expired on 14 January.
According to IMS Health data for the 12 month period ending September 2008, levetiracetam tablets recorded sales of $1.1 billion, growing at a rate of 36% over the corresponding period for the previous year. For the 12 month period ending September 2008, levetiracetam is ranked within the top 5 oral solid anti-epileptic products.<
In October 2007, UCB had reached an out of court settlement with DRL, US-based Mylan Inc and Canada-based Cobalt Pharmaceuticals in a patent infringement lawsuit for Keppra. Mylan, which finally got the status of first-to-file, launched the generic version of Keppra in the US in November 2008.
Mallya pitches for infrastructure status to aviation
New Delhi: Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya today pitched for infrastructure status to the aviation industry, saying it would go a long way in enhancing its credit rating and banking arrangements.
“The Civil Aviation Ministry should persuade the Finance Ministry to grant the aviation industry the infrastructure status, instead of the service sector status which we have now,” the Kingfisher Airlines promoter told a seminar organised by the Aeronautical Society of India here.
Maintaining that civil aviation flew thousands of tonnes of equipment and passengers across the country on a daily basis, he said grant of infrastructure status would help the industry in its dealings with the RBI as well as the commercial banks, both in the private and public sectors.
“It will make an enormous difference in our credit rating and financial arrangements,” Mallya said.
Later talking to reporters, he claimed the Kingfisher- Jet Airways synergy to curtail costs was “working very well. ... We are coordinating in many ways. Obviously it is a process that takes time to unfold.”
Stating that he and Jet chief Naresh Goyal were in touch on the matter on a regular basis, Mallya said “since we do not announce anything (about the synergy process), it does not mean things are not happening. Two biggest carriers are synergising their operations to cut costs ... why should we not engage in such partnerships.”
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Civil Aviation Secretary M Madhavan Nambiar, former Air India CMD V Thulasidass, Director General of Civil Aviation Nasim Zaidi and his predecessors K Gohain and Satinder Singh were present at the seminar among several top aviation officials.
New Hindi entertainment channel being launched
New Delhi: Real Global Broadcasting Pvt. Ltd (RGB), an equal venture between US-based media conglomerate Turner International and Alva Brothers Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, the promoter of television content production house Miditch Pvt Ltd, will launch its new hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) on 21 January. It will be the first channel of the JV set up in December 2007. The channel also marks the entry of the TV content producer into broadcast sector. “The name and programming details on the channel will be kept confidential till the launch date,” the spokesperson for Turner said. This will be the 12th channel to enter the already competitive Hindi GEC space that saw three high profile launches in 2008 that included NDTV Imagine, 9X and Colors. The other Hindi GECs include Star Plus, Star One, Zee TV, Zee Smile, Zee Next, Sony TV, Sahara One and Sab TV.