London: Corus named Kirby Adams to succeed Philippe Varin as chief executive officer (CEO).
Varin will step down on 6 April after six years as CEO, London-based Corus said on Thursday in an emailed statement. Adams was formerly chief executive officer of Melbourne-based BlueScope Steel Ltd and chairman of the International Iron and Steel Institute, the statement said. He will relocate to London and begin work from early March, the company said.
Tractor industry to see flat growth in FY09
Mumbai: The tractor industry in 2008-09 is unlikely to register growth, and sales are likely to be at 300,000 tractors. The same as in 2007-08, a top industry official said on Thursday.
“This year is likely to be at best like last year. The first half year witnessed growth and the second half year witnessed degrowth,” Mahindra and Mahindra’s farm equipment sector president A. Choudhari said.
Mahindra Tractors sold 92,000 tractors last year in the domestic market and exported 8,000.
The company had in December brought down its tractor production due to falling demand. It would wait for two or three weeks and decide on the future course of action, he said.
“We will review our decision after one or two weeks,” he said.
Inventories are at a comfortable level now, he said. “We have brought it down to satisfactory levels,” he said.
Bhel expects sales of $7 bn by this March-end
New Delhi: The country’s biggest power-equipment maker, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel), expects to post $7 billion (Rs34,020 crore) of sales for the year ending 31 March.
The company expects to maintain sales growth of 25-30% in the next three years, K. Ravi Kumar, chairman and managing director of Bhel, said in New Delhi on Thursday. Bhel also plans to invest Rs4,800 crore to increase its capacity, he said.
Sardar Sarovar bond case hearing on 16 Jan
New Delhi:A trust of Hotel Janpath Employees Provident Fund has moved the Supreme Court alleging that public sector Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd (SSNL) cannot unilaterally seek premature redemption of deep discount bonds and, thus, harass innocent investors.
It alleged that the “illegal and unjust” action with “ulterior motives” on the part of the Gujarat government-owned company was meant to harass the innocent investors and bond holders and deprive them of their legitimate dues.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan refused to give any relief and directed that the matter be taken up for hearing on 16 January.
A trust of Hotel Janpath Employees Provident Fund, which safeguards its members—the employees of the hotel—and Investors Grievance redressal Forum had challenged the Sardar Sarovar Nigam Ltd (Conferment of Power to Redeem Bonds) Act, 2008, on the ground that it was contrary to the guarantee given by the state and was also beyond the legislative competence of the Union government.
It also challenged the validity of a notice issued on 3 November by SSNL that informed the investors and bond holders about the early redemption of the bonds, which was contrary to the terms and conditions set out in the offer document/prospectus dated 29 March 1993.
Telecast rights: SET India to clear stand
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has sought response from SET India Pvt. Ltd on a petition whether the transfer of telecast rights of films and television programmes abroad will amount to a sale of goods or merchandise for claiming tax deduction.
The issue has been raised by the Income-tax department challenging the Bombay high court verdict which held that “exporting the right for exhibition of a positive print was nothing but sale of goods or merchandise”, thus allowing SET India to claim deduction under the Income-tax (I-T) Act.
A bench headed by justice S.B. Sinha had issued notice to SET India as also the petition with other similar pleas pending before the apex court.
According to the department, in SET India’s case there had been only a transfer of telecast rights but no export of goods or merchandise, and thus the transaction does not satisfy the requirements of section 80 HHC of the I-T Act.The high court had failed to take into account the fact that the assessee had only leased the rights of a television programme to a party outside India for a limited period and there was no sale of goods or mercandise, additional solictor general Mohan Parasaran said.
Secured loans will have priority over excise dues
New Delhi:The Supreme Court has held that secured creditors such as the state financial corporations have the first right to recover outstanding loan dues from a defaulting entity.
A bench headed by justice S.B. Sinha while dismissing the Centre’s petition, said a secured debt such as outstanding loans will have priority over any other dues such as excise and taxes, which are unsecured debts.
The decision came on a petition filed by the Centre against state financial corporation Sicom. The Centre contended that the state had the first right to recover tax dues, as without funds it would not be able to discharge its functions efficiently.
This puts an end to a large number of cases where the government, banks and other institutions are pitted against each other in different courts fighting for their dues during recovery proceedings from defaulters.
The bench said: “A debt which is secured or which, by reason of the provisions of a statute, becomes the first charge over the property, having regard to the plain meaning of Article 372 of the Constitution, must be held to prevail over the crown debt which is an unsecured one.”
Radico Khaitan okays bonds buy-back plan
Mumbai:Liquor maker Radico Khaitan Ltd said on Thursday its board had approved a plan to explore opportunities to buy back some of its foreign currency convertible bonds.
No plan to buy stakes in Hindi channel: Ekta
Mumbai:Balaji Telefilms Ltd creative head Ekta Kapoor has said that she has no plans to start her own channel or acquire stakes in an existing Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC).
“Broadcasting is a risky business particularly after the recession. I am content being just a TV producer as of now,” Ekta said after announcing her new prime time shows with NDTV Imagine here on Wednesday.
Ekta, whose “exclusivity” prime time contract with Star Plus ended in 2008 has joined hands with NDTV Imagine for the 10-11 pm prime time band.
When asked if she plans to relaunch ‘Kyun Ki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ on any other channel since the show ended abruptly, Ekta said she had no plans to revive the show.
US to head anti-pirate patrols off Somalia
Dubai:A new international force to battle pirates off the Somali coast is being formed under the US command in a bid to focus more military resources to protect one of the world’s key shipping lanes, the US Navy said on Thursday.
But the new mission, expected to begin operations next week, will have no wider authority to strike at pirate vessels at sea or move against havens on shore. That raises questions whether it can significantly curb pirate flotillas after at least 110 ships were attacked last year. International efforts to fight piracy have mounted in recent months. More than 20 nations are expected to take part in the new US-led mission.
Mastek net profit up by 16% in Dec quarter
Mumbai:Information technology services and solutions company, Mastek Ltd, said on Thursday its net profit increased 16% to Rs31.1 crore for the quarter ended 31 December, compared with Rs27.1 crore in the same quarter a year ago.
The company’s revenue grew by 19% at Rs256.2 crore for the period under review, compared with Rs215.9 crore in the same period year-ago.
The company also recommended an interim dividend of Rs2.50 per share.
The financial performance of the company during the period under review reflects translation impact due to the significant weakening of the British pound sterling relative to the dollar and the rupee, forex losses amounting to Rs11.7 crore.
AAI to install radars to strengthen air security
Berhampur: In a bid to strengthen security in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack, Airport Authority of India (AAI) will soon install three monopulse secondary surveillance radars (MSSRs) in Orissa and West Bengal.
“The MSSRs will closely watch the movement of aircraft in the sky as well as their landing at any place,” P.K. Singhal, AAI executive director (eastern region), Kolkata, said here.
The radars are capable of surveillance of up to 200 nautical miles and their installation is part of the security measures taken by the Centre after the Mumbai attacks.
The radars would be installed in Kolkata and Raniganj in West Bengal and Jharsuguda in Orissa for proper surveillance of aircraft movement in the region, Singhal said.
At present, only one MSSR is functioning here in Orissa’s Ganjam district since 1992. The radar installed at Berhampur is capable of surveillance upto 400km in air path and functions without an airport, he said.
Boucher arrives in India; to discuss Mumbai
New Delhi: US assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher arrived in New Delhi on Thursday to discuss the progress of investigations into the Mumbai attacks and douse tensions sparked by sharp exchanges between India and Pakistan.
Boucher, who travelled to Pakistan this week, will meet Indian foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon and possibly foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee, after India accused Pakistan of doing little to catch those behind the Mumbai terror attacks.
Indian officials said they would take the opportunity to discuss with the US “a way ahead from the present situation”.
“We will look at what options we have on the table and what is the level of international support for those options,” a senior Indian government official said.
India is also expected to share with Boucher the latest in the Mumbai investigations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is helping in that probe.