Mumbai: Staff at State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s biggest bank, and its seven subsidiaries went on strike on Monday, protesting the merger of subsidiary State Bank of Saurashtra with the bank, a union official said.
About 60,000 officers of SBI and another 20,000 at seven subsidiary banks would stay away from almost 15,000 branches on Monday, G.D. Nadaf, the general secretary at All India State Bank of India Officers’ Federation had said by phone from Bangalore.
“It will affect the bank’s operations as no transaction can pass through without the approval of an officer,” Nadaf said. “We are demanding that officers at the subsidiaries be given the same superannuation benefits as those at the State Bank of India.”
The 59.73% government-owned bank got approval to absorb the subsidiary, according a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on 14 August. SBI owns between 75% and 100% of its seven subsidiaries.
Subir Raha quits Hinduja Group
Mumbai:Subir Raha, executive vice-chairman of Hinduja Group India Ltd, has quit. A company release on Monday said, “on completion of the pre-set term”, the group and Raha “have agreed to disengage”. The former chairman and managing director of Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, has resigned from the boards of Hinduja Group India Ltd as well as Ashok Leyland Ltd. He had earlier resigned from the office of chairman, Hinduja National Power Corp. Ltd.
- Staff Writer
Govt asks SC to hear rental tax petitions
New Delhi: The government on Monday asked the Supreme Court to hear the multiple petitions filed against the levy of service tax on commercial rental income. The government told the court that petitions filed before various high courts have challenged the service tax on leasing, renting and other, similar arrangements with respect to immovable properties for the use of business or commercial purposes.
The petitioners include groups such as the Retailers Association of India, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India, the Multiplex Association of India and some property developers. They are challenging the validity of the Finance Act, 2007, which included the 12% service tax on commercial rentals starting 1 June 2007.
The Bombay high court had stayed the levy of service tax on such rental income in an interim order on 2 August. (Read our 28 July story, “Retailers flock to courts to avoid paying 12% service tax” at www.livemint.com/retailers.htm)
Hindalco Industries’ shares decline on plans
Mumbai: India’s largest non-ferrous metals producer, Hindalco Industries Ltd, slumped to the lowest in 15 months in Mumbai trading after the company announced it will sell more shares to existing holders than previously planned. The stock fell as much as 4.53% to close at Rs129.69, the lowest since 14 May 2007. The company has lost 39% of its market value this year.
Hindalco will offer shareholders three shares for every seven held, instead of one for every three held as previously announced on 20 June, the company said on 14 August. The shares will be sold at Rs96 apiece, 29% below the closing price that day. Markets were closed on 15 August for a public holiday.
The sale will lead to a 43% dilution in Hindalco’s share capital, Credit Suisse Group said in a note to clients, greater than the 33% the brokerage had anticipated. Still, Credit Suisse lifted the stock to “neutral” from “underperform,” citing improved performance at Novelis Inc., which Hindalco acquired in February last year.
ICICI Bank to launch $200 mn PE fund
Kolkata:ICICI Bank Ltd is set to launch a $200 million (Rs864 crore) private equity (PE) fund, which would invest exclusively in small and medium enterprises. The bank would launch the fund in five-six months, said Sanjeev Sehrawat, head of business banking, ICICI Bank. “We would be looking to invest in a wide variety of companies, but are particularly bullish on auto ancillaries, pharmaceuticals, jewellery, textile and information technology,” he added.
- Staff Writer
BSNL workers to strike work on Wednesday
New Delhi: Workers who are part of the biggest employee union at state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, or BSNL, India’s largest phone firm by revenues, will strike work on Wednesday to protest a government move to disinvest and list 10% equity in the company.
Some 140,000 BSNL workers are part of the BSNL Employees Union, the largest worker group at the firm, which counts 304,000 as staff. The strike was also to have the management begin ”wage negotiation for non-executive employees,” V.A.N. Namboodiri, general secretary of BSNL Employees Union, said in a text message send on mobile phone. BSNL’s board of directors met late evening on Monday but it was not immediately clear whether the proposed strike was on the agenda.
- R. Jai Krishna