Mumbai: Software firm Geometric Ltd on Friday said its board had accepted the resignation of managing director and chief executive officer Ravi Gopinath and named chief financial officer (CFO) Ravishankar as his replacement.
Gopinath’s resignation will be effective 20 February.
Ravishankar, who has been with the firm for at least two years, will continue to hold the additional responsibility of CFO till a replacement is found, the company said in a statement.
Separately, the board also approved consolidating Geometric’s US investments into one single holding company.
RIL set to take delivery of three deepwater rigs
Singapore: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will take delivery of three deepwater drilling rigs starting this year as India’s biggest company by value begins producing gas in the Bay of Bengal that may at least double the nation’s output.
RIL will receive three rigs capable of drilling in waters as deep as 12,000ft from Transocean Inc. starting in the third quarter, data on the driller’s website showed. The Indian company will pay 52% more to rent the rigs compared with previous rates, based on the Transocean data.
RIL is spending $5.2 billion (Rs25,324 crore) to produce gas in the Krishna-Godavari basin starting next month. RIL is paying as much as $557,000 a day for enhanced enterprise class, about 52% more than its current average day rate for its three existing vessels, according to Transocean. It will pay as much as $510,000 a day for Dhirubhai Deepwater KG1 and Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2.
Pakistani nuke scientist freed from house arrest
Karachi: Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan said on Friday authorities had lifted his house arrest order, five years after he admitted selling atomic bomb technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Khan, who appealed for his freedom to the Islamabad high court, expressed appreciation to president Asif Ali Zardari, saying he knows my contribution to the country. There was no immediate indication whether Zardari played a role in the scientist’s release.
Then-president Pervez Musharraf placed Khan under house arrest in 2004 after the International Atomic Energy Agency presented his administration with evidence of the nuclear technology sales.
On national television, Khan took full responsibility for the sales, saying Pakistan’s army, then headed by Musharraf, had no knowledge of them. Musharraf pardoned Khan the following day, avoiding a trial and sparing him imprisonment.
SC stays award of duty free shop at airport
New Delhi: The Supreme Court asked the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) not to proceed with awarding a contract to run a duty-free shop at the airport.
The airport operator was asked to halt the awarding of the contract until the next hearing on 16 February.
BIAL is challenging a lower court decision cancelling a permit awarded to a joint venture between The Nuance Group and Shoppers’ Stop Ltd to run the duty-free outlet.
Flemingo Duty Free Shops Pvt. Ltd, he current operator of the duty free shop at the Bangalore airport, had filed a petition before the Karnataka High Court because it was excluded from the bidding process in May. The high court on 19 December asked BIAL to seek fresh bids.
Sebi issues guidelines on bidding by FIIs
Mumbai: Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Friday issued guidelines on an open-bidding process that foreign institutional investors (FII) must follow for allocation of $8 billion (Rs38,960 crore) in corporate debt investment. The government had last month raised the limit for corporate debt investment by FIIs to $15 billion from $6 billion.
The initial bidding platform shall be offered by the National Stock Exchange, which will alternate bidding with the Bombay Stock Exchange. Bidding sessions will last two hours.
Only existing trading members will have access to the bidding platforms and will have to be given mandate by FIIs and subaccounts to bid on their behalf, Sebi said in a circular.
The minimum bid size has been fixed at Rs250 crore and minimum bid size at Rs100 crore. It has also set an investment limit of Rs10,000 crore for a single entity, and specified that limits must be utilized within 45 days of allocation. Allocations of up to Rs249 crore will be on a first-come-first-serve basis but these successful bids will need to use the funds within 11 working days of the allocation.
Each bid will also be translated into rupee terms at the existing central bank reference rate on the date of bidding.
— Tanmay Nanda
Posco denies report on plan to build $1 bn plant
Seoul: Posco Ltd, Asia’s third biggest steel maker, said it has no plans to build a processing plant in India, denying a report by ‘The Hindu Business Line’.
We don’t have any such plans going on now, Ko Min Jin, a spokesperson for the Pohang, South Korea-based company, said over phone on Friday.
‘The Hindu Business Line’ said Posco was planning to set up a $1 billion processing plant in Maharashtra. The government is in the process of acquiring land in Raigad district, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified state official.
Consider Praja Rajyam’s poll symbol request: HC
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Friday set aside an order of the Election Commission rejecting to grant a uniform election symbol to South Indian actor Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party and directed the poll panel to consider the matter afresh.
The court further directed that the principles which were adopted while granting a common election symbol to Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) may have to be kept in mind while taking a decision on the plea of Praja Rajyam for a common poll symbol.
The exercise is required to be completed within three weeks.
The Election Commission of India has reportedly told Praja Rajyam recently that only recognized political parties are eligible for a permanent election symbol while “registered” parties will have to choose from the ”free symbols” available.
Vishal Retail to expand, denies closure reports
New Delhi: Vishal Retail Ltd said it will open as many as 12 stores in two months and denied a newspaper report that it will close about one-third of its shops, chairman Ram Chandra Agarwal said.
We have only relocated four stores and the report that we will shut one-third of our stores is absolutely false, Agarwal said in a phone interview on Friday. The New Delhi-based company has about 180 stores, he said.
Vishal Retail is relocating stores to take advantage of lower rentals available elsewhere, Agarwal said.
‘The Hindu Business Line’ reported on Friday that Vishal Retail plans to shut about one-third of its stores and reduce the number of workers because of slowing sales. The report cited an unidentified person familiar with the development.
Govt issues ad for the post of Trai chief
New Delhi: The government on Friday started the process of appointing a new chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), who need not be from the government. So far Trai chairmen have been mostly retired officers from the Indian Administrative Service.
The department of telecommunications (DoT) on Friday issued an advertisement for the post. Current chairman Nripendra Misra retires on 22 March. Considering the fact that the government is open to professionals, a senior DoT official said the idea is to leverage on the experience and knowledge of the person.
The applicant, the advertisement said, must have special knowledge and professional experience of telecom, industrial matters, finance, accountancy, law, and management. The last date for sending the application is 6 March.
Spectrum: defence to get separate network
New Delhi: The ministry of defence and the telecom ministry on Friday agreed on setting up a dedicated alternative network for the defence services so that the spectrum occupied by them could be vacated for the existing 2G and 3G services.
The two ministries would sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) within a week to expedite the process of setting up an alternate network, official sources said.
The Group of Ministers led by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee met here and reviewed the status of spectrum held by the defence forces and ways to release it for telecom services, they added.
The released spectrum will be accommodated in the proposed auction of frequency for the 3G mobile services for which another GoM has been set up to finalise the price and number of players in each circle.
According to sources, DoT is likely to get more than 40 MHz of spectrum from the Defence services and the same would be allocated to the existing 2G players and also to 3G players by way of auction.
China toys ban complies with WTO norms: India
New Delhi: India’s ban on Chinese toys has been imposed on health grounds and is fully compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, commerce minister Kamal Nath said.
This is a matter of public concern rather than commercial concern, Nath told reporters in New Delhi on Friday. We are fully compliant with WTO.
India issued an order banning imports of toys made in China on 23 January for six months, citing public interest.
Mattel Inc. recalled at least 21 million China-made toys in 2007 because of excessive lead content.
Sebi issues circular on increased corporate debt limit, bidding methodology
Mumbai: Markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board (Sebi) has issued guidelines on an open bidding process that FIIs must follow for allocation of $8 billion in corporate debt investment. The government had last month raised the FII corporate debt investment limit to $15 billion from $6 billion.
The initial bidding platform shall be offered by The National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSEIL), which will alternate bidding with the Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE). Bidding sessions will last two hours.
Only existing trading members will have access to the bidding platforms, and will to be given mandate by FIIs and subaccounts to bid on their behalf, Sebi said in a circular Friday.
The minimum bid size has been fixed at Rs250 crore and minimum tick size at Rs100 crore. It has also set a ceiling of Rs10,000 crore of the investment limit for a single entity, and specified that limits allocated must be utilized within 45 days.
Allocations of up to Rs249 crore will be on a first come-first serve basis but these successful bids will need to use the funds within 11 working days of the allocation.
Each bid will also be translated into rupee terms at the existing RBI reference rate on the date of bidding.
— Tanmaya Nanda