London: Corus will cut 3,500 jobs as it reduces production following a collapse in demand from builders and car makers.
The company will slash 2,500 jobs in the UK and a further 1,000 jobs in the rest of Europe, or 8% of its workforce, after demand in the region fell 40% from a peak last year, chief executive officer Philippe Varin said on Monday.
GAIL gets SC nod to take pipeline through forest
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has allowed GAIL (India) Ltd to lay a pipeline for transportation of natural gas to a power project that will supply electricity for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi next year.
The pipeline, which will transport regasified liquefied natural gas from Vijaipur to Dadri, will also supply gas to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan allowed GAIL to go ahead with its Rs3,306-crore project, which required laying of the pipeline through wildlife sanctuary areas in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, on certain conditions imposed by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
The bench passed the order after GAIL undertook to comply with the recommendations of the committee.
‘Slumdog’ wins top prize at 15th SAG awards
Los Angeles: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ emerged as favourite to win the best picture Oscar after winning the top prize at the 15th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards on Sunday.
‘Slumdog’, which involves a host of amateur young actors in Mumbai’s slums, won for best ensemble cast on a night Hollywood actors traditionally tend to honour their own.
The SAG win followed four Golden Globes earlier this month and a Producers Guild Award on Saturday.
‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, which has a leading 13 Oscar nominations, came away empty-handed on Sunday, as did ‘Frost/Nixon’.
Sean Penn won the best actor award for playing slain San Francisco gay rights activist Harvey Milk in ‘Milk’. Meryl Streep was a popular best actress winner for her role as a vindictive nun in ‘Doubt’.
India may seek cap on Singapore investments
Mumbai:India’s finance ministry has proposed a cap on investments by Singapore sovereign funds Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) and Temasek Holdings Pvt. Ltd in publicly traded Indian companies, ‘The Economic Times’ newspaper reported on Monday.
The ministry seeks to restrict investments by the two Singapore firms to a total of 10% of equity capital in any company, the paper said, quoting a finance ministry note. A 2005 economic cooperation agreement between the two countries currently allows both Temasek and GIC to individually hold up to 10% in an Indian firm, the paper said.
It quoted the ministry note as saying this violates existing regulations by both the central bank and markets regulator, which bar a foreign institutional investor from holding more than 10% in an Indian firm.
Sebi threatens action against 26 companies
Mumbai: Capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), on Monday threatened to take penal action against 26 companies which have not resolved the grievances of a large number of investors.
In a notice to the 26 companies, Sebi said the market regulator would be constrained to take action under section 15C if they fail to submit the status report within 30 days on the grievances of the investors.
Under section 15 C of Sebi Act, such companies would be liable to a penalty of Rs1 lakh per day or Rs1 crore, whichever is less.
Binaca Synthetic Resins Ltd, Chicago Software Industries, Garden Silk Mills Ltd and Goodearth Synthetics Ltd are among the firms who were served the notice.
LIC to invest Rs4,000 cr in stock market by Mar
New Delhi: The Life Insurance Corp. of India Ltd (LIC) is all set to invest at least Rs4,000 crore in the equity market by March, a move that could bolster the volatile bourses.
“We have made an investment of Rs31,000 crore till December and it may cross Rs35,000 crore (by the end of March),” LIC chairman T.S. Vijayan said.
However, even the huge quantum of fund infusion this year is lower than the standards that LIC has itself set, as it would be 15% less than Rs41,000 crore that it invested in equity during the last fiscal year. As a result, the cumulative investment in equities by March must be touching Rs2 trillion, he said.
“Yes it (exposure to equities) is continuously growing. I believe, of all the listed companies’ market capitalization, There may be around 4% with us. It is huge money,” he said.
The insurer is putting in more funds in the equity market at a time when it is seeking to resolve the issues that followed a 10% equity cap announced by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority in August.
Avesthagen looking at tie-ups for diabetic biz
New Delhi: Biotechnology company Avesthagen Ltd is looking at tying up with global players to market its intellectual property rights (IPR) products in diabetic therapeutic areas in the overseas market, which is valued at around Rs2,000 crore.
“Our diabetic business is valued at around $470 million (Rs2,312 crore today). We are in talks for the tie-up with leading global players for marketing the product in overseas market,” Avesthagen founder chairman and managing director Villoo Morawala Patel said.
About the time span, she said, “These things take time of around nine months to a year to get into phase I and we have already cleared phase I. We are hopeful of signing the deal by June this year.” Patel however, decline to give details about the nature of the deal.
France Telecom applies for ISP licence
New Delhi: After getting licences for national and international long-distance services, France Telecom SA has now applied to the department of telecommunication for an Internet service provider (ISP) licence.
Company officials said the firm recently got the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval for applying for a new ISP licence. Equant Network Services—the joint venture between Emery Technologies, promoted by Moser Baer India Ltd’s managing director Deepak Puri, and France Telecom has applied for it. Equant is a 74:26 joint venture between France Telecom and Emery.
Unitech Wireless in talks on tower sharing
New Delhi: Unitech Wireless Ltd is in talks with Reliance Communications Ltd and Tata Teleservices Ltd for sharing towers, a move important in securing funds from Norwegian firm Telenor ASA, which seeks to buy a 60% stake in the New Delhi-based realtor-promoted company.
“Unitech Wireless is expected to close the telecom deal with Telenor by early February... The negotiations for tower sharing, which is one of the preconditions for closing the deal, are at an advanced stage and the company is expected to sign the tower-sharing agreement sometime next week,” Unitech chief executive officer Sanjay Chandra said. According to company officials, Unitech is in talks with Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications.
Telenor last week said that the transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2009. Telenor, in which the Norway government holds a majority stake, is seeking options other than the rights issue proposed to the government to fund the Rs 6,120 crore deal.
DoT shortlists 5 auditors to examine RCom books
New Delhi: The department of telecommunications (DoT) has shortlisted five auditors from a list of 10 provided by the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India to examine the books of Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) over allegations that the phone firm diverted revenue earned from its mobile services last fiscal.
DoT is likely to select Parekh and Co. as the final auditor but only after the CAG checks whether any of the firms on the shortlist has a relationship with RCom, a deparment official said, asking not to be identified. “This shortlist will now go to the CAG for approval after which they will select the final auditor,” he said.
The shortlist comes after DoT had asked the CAG to appoint a special auditor over charges from financial research houses and rival phone firms that RCom diverted revenue to a subsidiary so as to pay the government less by way of licence fees and spectrum charges. Phone firms in India pay the government spectrum fee of 2% and licence fee of between 6% and 10% of gross revenues. RCom has denied any wrongdoing on its part.
The firms in the shortlist also include Chajed and Doshi; Contractor, Nayak and Kishnadwala; GD Apte and Co.; and Verma and Verma based on the quantum of fees quoted by them.