Mumbai: Shares of commercial vehicles’ maker Eicher Motors Ltd rose on Monday on the announcement that the company’s sales for June were 2,677 units, up 10% from a year ago. Domestic sales for the month rose 7% to 2,432 units, the company said in a statement.
Exports for the month grew about 27% to 245 units. Total sales for the January-June period stood at 6,742 units, a growth of 10.3% year-on-year. Eicher Motors shares closed Rs250.15, up 3.41% in a strong Mumbai market.
TVS Motor expects 20% growth in FY09
New Delhi: Two-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Co. sees sales up by as much as a fifth in 2008-09, following a lacklustre year, helped by wider offerings and as higher oil prices encourage sales of fuel-efficient bikes, an official said.
But H.S. Goindi, head of marketing, TVS Motor, said on Monday that the firm would raise prices in the year to offset some of the rise in raw material prices. TVS, India’s third biggest motorcycle maker, sold 1.29 million two-wheelers in the country and abroad in the year to March, about 16% below the previous 12-month period. The decline was due to falling bike sales in the domestic market.
“We now have a complete portfolio. That is the fundamental reason,” Goindisaid, refering to new models launched by the firm.
“The industry will grow 10-15% this year,” he said at the launch of a new 160cc bike model.
“As far as TVS is concerned, we will grow 15-20%.”
Goindi said a 10% rise in state-set retail fuel prices in June would be positive for the industry, as customers would favour the fuel efficient motorcycle over other options in the time of soaring inflation.
“Inflation will have an effect on the economy, but as two- wheelers have lower operating costs, as oil goes up we have a better chance,” Goindi said.
He said the firm was considering raising prices of its offerings, “over a period of time,” but did not say by how much. “Our policy is to maintain our margins, so if the cost pressure is too much, it will be passed on,” he said.
TVS’ managing director Venu Srinivasan had said in April the firm would hike prices by about 3% in the year. Shares of TVS closed 1.72% up at Rs26.60 in a firm Mumbai market.
Sandeep Singh is deputy MD at Toyota Kirloskar
New Delhi: Japanese car maker Toyota Motor Corp. announced on Monday it would appoint Sandeep Singh deputy managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd, its Indian arm. Mint had reported this news on 5 July.
“Singh’s appointment will be formalized at the next board of directors meeting scheduled to be held on 28 July”, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) said in a statement.
Earlier in May, TKM’s long-standing deputy managing director K.K. Swamy left the company and joined luxury car maker Volkswagen AG.
“Singh brings with him over 25 years of experience in a range of sales, marketing, customer support and general management functions across the automotive, tractor and construction equipment industries,” TKM said.
TKM is a joint venture between Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. and the Kirloskar Group. Recently, it had announced a Rs1,400 crore investment plan to set up the company’s second manufacturing facility in the country to introduce a ‘strategic small car’ by 2010.
MMTC seeks to import palm?oil?to?ease?shortage
Mumbai: India’s biggest state-owned trading company, MMTC Ltd, has called for bids to import 20,500 million tonnes (mt) of palm oil to ease a shortage and curb prices.
The company is seeking 18,000 tonnes of refined, bleached and deodorized palmolein in lots of 6,000 tonnes each for delivery between 15 August and 20 September at Kakinada Port. Suppliers have until 9 July morning to submit offers, according to the tender document on the government’s website.
MMTC is seeking bids for import of another 2,500 tonnes of crude palm oil for immediate delivery at Chennai Port.
The government has asked state trading firms, including MMTC, to buy 1mt of edible oils to sell to the poor at below market prices.
The South Asian nation, the world’s second biggest buyer of vegetable oils, buys palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, the biggest producers, and soya bean oil from Argentina and Brazil.
Mysore Cements JV partners end pact
Mumbai: Mysore Cements Ltd said on Monday the agreement between its Indian joint venture partners and its overseas holders has been terminated on 3 July.
Its Indian joint venture partners, represented by Birla Eastern Ltd, and Germany’s Heidelberg Cement Group represented by Cementrum I. BV, have terminated the agreement, it said in a statement.
Its Indian shareholders, who hold about 4.33% in Mysore Cements, would cease to be part of the promoter group and only Cementrum, which holds 54.89% in it, would be regarded as the sole promoter, it said.
Mysore Cements is a subsidiary of Cementrum, incorporated in the Netherlands and totally controlled by Heidelberg Cement.
Shares in Mysore Cements closed up 3.34% at Rs27.85 on the Bombay Stock Exchange which ended firm.
Indowind to set up subsidiary in UAE
Mumbai:Indowind Energy Ltd said on Monday it has decided to establish a subsidiary or joint venture company in the United Arab Emirates.
This entity would carry out business related to renewable energy and manufacture, sell, install power generating equipment, machineries and plants, it said in a statement.
Govt approves 23 coal blocks for steel firms
New Delhi: The government is understood to have approved allocation of 23 coking and non-coking coal blocks to leading steel, cement and power producers, including Essar Steel Holdings Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, Grasim Industries Ltd, Monnet Industries Ltd and Ispat Industries Ltd.
While four coking coal blocks have been allocated in Madhya Pradesh, the rest 19 non-coking blocks are in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, a senior government official said. In its meeting held last week, the screening committee of coal ministry, headed by coal secretary H.C. Gupta, decided to allocate the Behrabandh coking coal block to Vinod Mittal-led Ispat Industries Ltd on a sharing basis with Essar, Mukund Steel and Ind Synergy Ltd.
Of the total 170 million tonnes (mt) reserves, Ispat Industries was allocated 70mt, while Essar and Mukund 53 and 25mt, respectively. Orissa’s Ind Synergy got the rest.
Coking coal is a major raw material for steel making in addition to iron ore.
The committee has also approved the Urtan coking coal block, which has an estimated reserves of about 42mt, to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Monnet Ispat Ltd on a sharing basis.
The Urtan North coking coal block with an estimated reserves of about 54mt was approved for Bhushan Steel Ltd and Prakash Industries Ltd.
Of the major non-coking coal blocks, Moira and Madhujore (north and south) in West Bengal were allocated to Adhunik Group on a sharing basis with Uttam Galva, ACC, Vikas Metal and Power Ltd, Mideast Integrated and Ramsarup Lohh Udyog.
The block has a reserve of over 685mt, of which Adhunik Group was allocated the maximum 30% of the total reserves.
Kotak warns against takeovers exuberance
London: Indian private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd’s managing director Uday Kotak, one of the top bankers in the country, has warned against the “exuberance” in overseas acquisitions by the domestic companies at a time when global financial markets are in a turmoil.
“The Indian system, government and business, to a certain extent did fall prey to exuberance which is now getting seriously affected,” Kotak told British daily ‘Financial Times’ in a report published here.
While noting few top persons have dared to question the ambitions of the country’s MNCs, the daily quoted Kotak as saying that he was worried about corporate India’s overreach amid a period of global financial turmoil.
Indian companies announced an estimated 240 outbound mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals in 2007 worth more than $32 billion (around Rs1.38 trillion), up from less than 200 deals worth less than $10 billion in 2006 and not even $5 billion in 2005.
Nomura Holdings to invest in unit of LIC
Tokyo: Japan’s largest securities firm, Nomura Holdings Inc., agreed to form an alliance with Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC) that may include Nomura investing in the New Delhi-based company’s asset management unit.
“We signed a memorandum of understanding with LIC, which includes an investment,” Nomura spokesman Michiyori Fujiwara said by phone on Monday.
The two companies are discussing the size of the investment and the details of the alliance, Fujiwara said, declining to give further details.
‘Business Standard’ newspaper reported on the tie-up on 6 July.
Block deal in Spice Comm for 40.9% equity
Mumbai: A block deal was struck for 282.4 million shares of Spice Communications Ltd, amounting to 40.9% of equity, at Rs74 each on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday.
Last month, India’s fifth largest mobile operator Idea Cellular Ltd said it would buy 40.8% stake in smaller rival Spice for Rs21.76 billion (Rs3176 crore).
Sebi clears Pioneer role in BoB mutual Fund
Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, has no-objection to the inclusion of Pioneer Global Asset Management SpA (Pioneer Investments) as a co-sponsor in Bank of Baroda (BoB) Mutual Fund.
Consequently, Pioneer Investments has acquired a 51% shareholding in BoB Asset Management Company, a statement issued here stated on Monday.
Pioneer Investments, through this joint venture with Bank of Baroda will commence its asset management operations and mutual fund business in the country soon.
The new venture will be named as Baroda Pioneer AMC in which Pioneer Investments will hold a 51% stake with management control and BoB the remaining 49%, the release said.
Henceforth, BoB MF will be known as Baroda Pioneer Mutual Fund, the release said. “The JV will enable us to offer a wider bouquet of financial services to the existing as well as new customers of BoB,” the bank’s chairman and managing director, M.D. Mallya said.
The board of directors of the AMC will be reconstituted with nominees from the two partners as well as with prominent persons as independent directors.
Foreign funds bought stocks worth Rs533 cr
Mumbai: Overseas investors bought a net Rs533 crore of Indian equities on 4 July, paring their net outflow this year from stocks to $6.45 billion (Rs27,799 crore), according to the nation’s stock market regulator.
Funds bought Rs3,010crore of stocks and sold Rs2,480 crore, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, said on its website on Monday. They bought a net Rs1,640 crore of bonds. Funds have bought a net $918.1 million of debt this year.
Global investors bought a record $19.5 billion of stocks and bonds in 2007, comprising $17.2 billion of shares and $2.3 billion of bonds. They bought a net $8.9 billion of equities and debt in 2006 and $9.46 billion in 2005.
Overseas funds have invested $59.9 billion in stocks and $4.54 billion in bonds since they were allowed into India in 1993.
The regulator provides data on shares bought and sold by big investors, including trades in the primary and secondary markets, with a delay of at least a day.
Lloyd’s withdraws India agent on licence delay
London: Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance market, has withdrawn its main representative from India because it has been unable to gain a license to write business locally.
“Last January we were given strong assurances that the market would open up” to foreign investors, said Lloyd’s spokeswoman Louise Shield in a telephone interview on Monday. “Nothing has been done,” she added. Lloyd’s will keep an office in Mumbai, formerly Bombay, said Shield.
Lloyd’s insures about $400 million of premiums from London for the Indian market annually, the Sunday Telegraph reported yesterday.
India’s cash rates end up as CRR hike takes effect
Mumbai: Indian overnight cash rates ended at a two-week high on Monday, after the increase in banks’ cash reserve ratio, or CRR, took effect on Saturday and outflows towards last week’s bond auctions added to the pressure on liquidity.
Overnight call rates ended at 9.00/9.10%, a level last seen on June 25, and higher than its previous close of 6.00/6.25%.
“The cash reserve ratio increase drained about Rs9,000-9,500 crore while the bond auctions accounted for another Rs10,000 crore of outflows, so call rates are high,” said G. Bhaskar, a senior dealer at Mumbai-based Andhra Bank.
Call rates generally stay around 6%, the reverse repo rate of the central bank when cash supplies are adequate. The central bank in a surprise move last month, increased the banks’ cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 50 basis points. The first stage of a 25-basis point increase kicked in on Saturday, while the second increase of another 25-basis points will take effect on July 19. The Reserve Bank of India sold Rs10,000 crore worth of government bonds on Friday, the cash settlements for which took place on Monday, further tightening cash conditions.
The weighted average rate in the call money market was 8.96%, while collateralized borrowing and lending obligation (CBLO), a secured form of money market lending was 8.39%, according to the Clearing Corp. of India (CCIL). Volume in the call money market was Rs16,942 crore and in CBLO it was Rs36,582 crore, CCIL data showed. The central bank did not receive any bids at its daily reverse repo auction on Monday, while it infused Rs31,490 crore into the system, indicating the extent of cash squeeze in the system.