Mumbai: Harsh Goenka-led RPG group today said it has appointed Apurv Nagpal as chief executive officer of its entertainment company Saregama.
Nagpal will be based in Kolkata and drive the operations of the company, RPG group chairman Goenka said.
Nagpal joined the company on January 15. Prior to this appointment, Nagpal was marketing director of SABMiller Plc.
Saregama has a library of at least 25,000-hours of Indian music and owns the largest music archives in India.
India scraps tax on export of basmati
New Delhi: The government has scrapped its export tax on basmati rice and cut the floor price for overseas shipments to $1,100 (Rs53,900) per tonne, commerce minister Kamal Nath said on Tuesday.
The import and export regime for other commodities remains unchanged, he told reporters after a meeting of a panel of ministers.
Kirloskar Bros to spin off investment arm
Mumbai: Pump maker Kirloskar Brothers Ltd will spin off its investment operations into a separate company from 1 April, a company official said on Tuesday. The separate entity will handle the investments of the company while the manufacturing operations will remain with Kirloskar Brothers, A.R. Sathe, vice-president, finance, said on the phone.
The share-swap ratio has not yet been arrived at and a committee of the directors of the company will decide it in the next 15 days, Sathe said.
Kirloskar Brothers earlier in the day reported an 84% fall in its December quarter net profit to Rs77.3 lakh.
The shares of the company ended down 5.4% at Rs64.00, in a weak Mumbai market.
Govt to probe Educomp over fudging reports
New Delhi/Mumbai: Amid reports that education-focused IT firm Educomp Solutions Ltd fudged accounts, just like Satyam Computer Services Ltd did, to inflate stock prices, the government on Tuesday said it would seek information from the company.
“I have read certain reports in the media today and there are allegations about certain irregularities... I will ask for the report and we will find it out,” corporate affairs minister Prem Chand Gupta told reporters in New Delhi.
Some media reports said that the promoters of the company started trading in their own shares, invested in unquoted subsidiaries and raised funds from financial markets by pledging overpriced shares.
The company denied all allegations and termed the reports as “malicious” and aimed at “misleading the investors”.
Shares of Educomp declined 8.61% to a low of Rs1,915.20 during trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The shares of the company closed at Rs1,942.15, down 7.8%.
Coca-Cola to go ahead with investment plans
New Delhi: Global beverages firm Coca-Cola is going ahead with its $250 million (Rs1,225 crore) investment plans for India despite the economic slowdown, and hopes to add more products to its portfolio.
“There is definitely a slowdown and it would also affect us to some extent. However, we believe the long-term prospects are good in India and we are continuing with our investment plans,” Coca-Cola India president and chief executive officer Atul Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
He said the company expects the market to rebound this year.
“Till the quarter ended September 2008, we posted consecutive growth for nine straight quarters, including six quarters where the growth in India was of double digit. Although times are now tough, we are hopeful of continuing with our growth momentum,” Singh said.
Merrill loses two top Asia executives
Singapore/Hong Kong: Rahul Malhotra, one of Merrill Lynch and Co.’s top private bankers in Asia, and Jon Pratt, head of Asia debt capital markets, joined a string of high-profile departures from the bank, according to sources with knowledge of the moves.
Merrill has lost several senior staffers after Bank of America took it over this year and said it planned to eliminate 30,000-35,000 jobs over three years.
Malhotra, who headed Asia advisory at Merrill’s wealth management unit in Singapore, resigned last week, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, but who declined to be identified because it has not been made public.
Malhotra joined Merrill in 2006 after more than two decades with Citigroup Inc. and headed a unit that caters to wealthy Indian clients.
Pratt, a managing director, also left last week, a separate source with knowledge of the move told ‘Reuters’. A call to Merrill’s general phone line also confirmed he was no longer at the firm.
The source also asked not to be identified because the information had not been made public.
No more tax concessions during FY09: Montek
New Delhi: Setting at rest speculation about the possibility of tax cuts to boost growth, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday said the government will not change the tax structure during the current fiscal year.
“Taxes will not be altered between now and the next budget,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a summit being organized by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry in the Capital. The next regular budget is likely to be presented sometime in July, while the government will come out with an interim budget and a vote-on-account in February to complete the essential business in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Bric needs 10% growth in ’09 to avoid recession
New Delhi: With major developed economies such as the US, Japan and those in the euro zone falling into recession, a new study says that the emerging Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations need to grow at 10% in 2009 to stave off a global recession.
If the US, the European Union (EU) and Japan witness a decline of 2% this year and the rest of the world’s growth remains static, then the emerging markets would have to spur up their gross domestic product (GDP) growths to avoid a global downturn, according to a report by brokerage firm Enam Securities.
The US, EU and Japan account for 64% and Bric nations contribute about 13% to global GDP.
Tata JV, JSPL shortlisted for coal-to-oil project
New Delhi: The Tata group’s joint venture with Sasol of South Africa, and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) have pipped Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and state-run GAIL (India) Ltd to the post and have been shortlisted for the prestigious $6-8 billion (Rs29,400-39,200 crore) project to convert coal into liquid petroleum.
An inter-ministerial group that scrutinized applications from 22 firms has recommended awarding the coal-to-liquid (CTL) pilot project to the Tata-Sasol joint venture—Strategic Energy Technology Systems Ltd—and JSPL, a top government official said.
Coal-abundant India has been pushing for the CTL project to cut its dependence on imported oil.
The project will produce 80,000 barrels crude oil per day (about 4 million tonnes a year) by liquefying coal reserves.
The inter-ministerial group has recommended the two companies for the award of coal blocks for the CTL projects.
Commodity bourses may get deadline extension
Mumbai: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Fidelity International Ltd may win more time to cut their holdings in Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd and the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd to abide with a government rule limiting their stakes.
The government capped ownership at 5% for a single overseas investor last year, with a 49% overall ceiling, and gave the exchanges until 30 June 2009 to comply. The bourses want the deadline extended to March next year, said B.C. Khatua, chairman of the Forward Markets Commission.
Dewan Housing highest bidder for IDBI Homefin
Mumbai:Dewan Housing Finance Corp. Ltd has emerged as the front-runner to buy IDBI Bank Ltd’s home finance arm, IDBI Homefinance Ltd, having put the highest bid among the three shortlisted bidders.
IDBI Bank’s board will meet on Friday to “consider and approve the selection” from the three shortlisted companies, a senior IDBI Bank official said on condition of anonymity. “In terms of pricing, Dewan Housing Finance has more weight than the other two companies, which are in the race,” the official said.
World newspaper forum shelved due to crisis
Paris: The global economic downturn has forced the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) to postpone its annual congress, set to take place in Hyderabad, a spokesman said.
The Paris-based association said the 22-25 March event, the world’s biggest annual gathering of newspaper editors and executives, has been pushed back to a later date because of the “global economic and financial crisis”.
Daiichi, Zenotech spar over open offer
New Delhi: Japanese drug firm Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd on Tuesday denied having any agreement with Zenotech Laboratories Ltd on an open offer, a claim disputed by the Hyderabad-based firm, which warned of “consequences” if the pact was not honoured.
“We do not have any agreement with Zenotech over the issue of open offer and we will remain firm on our decision to launch the open offer at predetermined price,” Daiichi Sankyo director in charge (investor relations) Shige Khodo said.
Kalyan Singh quits BJP,says was ‘neglected’
Lucknow: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vice-president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh on Tuesday quit the BJP, resigning from all party posts, saying he was feeling “neglected” in the party.
Mangalore Refinery Q3 loss at Rs285 crore
New Delhi: The refining unit of the country’s biggest crude oil producer, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, said it suffered a loss in the third quarter (Q3).
The refiner posted a loss of Rs285 crore in the three months ended 31 December, compared with a profit of Rs347 crore a year earlier, Mangalore Refinery said in a statement on Tuesday.
United Breweries net income rises 67% in Q3
New Delhi:United Breweries Holdings Ltd, controlled by Vijay Mallya, reported third quarter (Q3) profit grew 67%.
Net income increased to Rs6.93 crore in the three months ended 31 December from Rs4.15 crore a year earlier, the Bangalore-based company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday.