Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks to unwind their interest rate swap (IRS) transactions with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., three bankers familiar with the development said on Friday. The central bank had talks with banks this week to ascertain Lehman’s exposure in the local IRS market, they said. The unwinding should conclude by next Monday or Tuesday. Separately, the central bank suggested making it mandatory for banks to seek its approval before launching mobile banking services. In its second draft guidelines on mobile banking, the regulator also recommended restricting the size of each mobile phone transaction to Rs2,500, and capped per day transactions per individual customer to Rs5,000. Banks should be permitted to offer only rupee based domestic money transfers and cannot offer cross border transfer facility through mobile phones, RBI added in the draft guidelines.
—Anita Bhoir and Reuters
Sinosteel to slash iron ore imports from India
Mumbai: Sinosteel Corp. , China’s second- biggest iron-ore trading company, said it will slash imports from India by 30% this year as demand declines and global steelmakers favour Australian ore for its purity.
The ferrous content in the ore from India is often lower than what is promised to customers, said Wang Hongsen, managing director at Sinosteel’s Indian unit. Sinosteel imported 11 million tonnes from India last year, he said.
IOC to raise refining capacity, says Behuria
Mumbai: The country’s biggest refiner, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOC), plans to increase oil-processing capacity to 80 million tonnes (mt) a year by 2012 from 60.2mt now, chairman Sarthak Behuria said in Mumbai on Friday. IOC is investing in expanding its refining capacity and retail network to meet rising demand in the country.
Meanwhile, the refiner made a currency loss of Rs1,500 crore in the first six months of FY09 after the rupee depreciated, Behuria said.
Brijeshwar Singh is new NHAI chief
New Delhi: The Centre has named Brijeshwar Singh a 1975 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, the new chairman of highways regulator, National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, replacing N. Gokulram, who will join the Planning Commission, the apex plan body.
Gokulram’s exit comes even as the highways authority is caught in a legal wrangle over guidelines for shortlisting bidders for highway projects. He is the third top executive at NHAI to be moved out of the post in recent years. Mint had earlier reported on Gokulram’s uneasy relationship with T. R. Baalu, minister for shipping, road transport and highways.
Gokulram will move into his new role as a principal advisor at the Planning Commission next week, a government official said, asking not to be named. Singh is currently chairman and managing director of Arasu Cable TV Corp., a state-run provider of cable television services.
Hindalco to open rights offer on Monday
Mumbai: Aluminium maker Hindalco Industries Ltd will launch its planned Rs5,050 crore rights share offering on Monday. The sale in a ratio of three shares for every seven held at Rs96 a share will close on 10 October, Hindalco said in a newspaper advertisement. The company aims to use the funds to repay a bridge loan it had taken to buy Canada’s Novelis Inc. in 2007.
The company will spend Rs19,800 crore to set up aluminium plants in the country. Hindalco will expand existing capacity and also set up new factories in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla told shareholders.
—Reuters / Bloomberg
Emami’s open offer to start 26 September
Mumbai: Emami Ltd’s revised open offer for acquiring an additional 20% stake from the public shareholders of Mumbai-based herbal health care company Zandu Pharmaceuticals Works Ltd will open on 26 September through 15 October. The offer will open at Rs15,000 a share. The offer follows Emami’s June purchase of about 24% stake from the Mumbai-based Vaidya family, one of the founder promoters of Zandu. Emami had last week revised its original offer of Rs7,315 per share last week to match the market price.
Emami’s decision to revise the open offer price came following its two-month dispute with the current management of Zandu, controlled by key Mumbai-based promoters, the Parikh family.
NDTV-Hindu ink pact to launch TV channel
New Delhi: Broadcaster NDTV Ltd has formed a joint venture with Kasturi and Sons Ltd, publisher of ‘The Hindu’, to launch a city-specific channel in Chennai. NDTV holds 51% in Metronation Chennai Television Pvt Ltd, with Kasturi and Sons holding the rest.
N. Murali, joint managing director of Kasturi and Sons, said the channel, which will go on air before the end of the year, will be called NDTV Hindu.
“This is our entry into this new medium. The city does not have a dedicated English channel that will cover news, events and lifestyle,” he added. The two companies had announced a partnership in December 2007.
Narcotics case: Krebs managing director held
Hyderabad: Officials of the Department of Revenue Intelligence, or DRI, on Thursday, arrested R. T. Ravi, managing director of the Hyderabad-based drug maker Krebs Biochemicals and Industries Ltd for selling substances controlled under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. He was later produced in court and remanded to 14 days judicial custody.
The country’s largest drug maker by revenues Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd own’s 15% equity in Krebs and sources chemicals, known as active pharmaceutical ingredients, from the Hyderabad firm. A Ranbaxy spokesperson said the company “did not wish to offer any comments”.