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The Mint report

The Mint report
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First Published: Fri, Jul 24 2009. 12 41 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Jul 24 2009. 12 41 AM IST
Two industry giants unveiled their first quarter results on Thursday. India’s largest GSM phone operator Bharti Airtel, and the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki posted better than expected figures.
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Bharti Airtel announced a 24% jump in its net profits to Rs2,517 crore. The surprisingly good results come amid concerns that the country’s phone companies may be making less money from new customers. While operators have been adding more than 10 million additional subscribers every month, most of the newcomers are relatively low spenders from rural India.
The economic slowdown had put the brakes on India’s auto industry, but on Thursday Maruti Suzuki showed it had recovered. The company posted a net profit of Rs584 crore, up 25%. Maruti officials said its profits rose on the back of increased sales of high-end models and also diesel versions of its Ritz and Swift cars.
Biocon Ltd. announced its first quarter results on Thursday. The firm’s net profit shot up to Rs58 crore, which is nearly four times its net profits from the same period last year. Analysts say the company has managed costs well and is getting steady work in the biopharmaceutical business.
The impact of a good earnings season showed up on the stock market. The Sensex shot up by 388 points on Thursday closing at 15,231, while the Nifty rose 125 points ending the day’s trade at 4,524.
India’s inflation remained negative. New data shows the Wholesale Price Index or WPI stood at -1.17% for the week ending 11 July. This is slightly higher than the -1.21% figure for the previous week.
Some of India’s farmers could get additional debt relief. Under the government’s farm debt waiver scheme, farmers who own more than 5 acres of land can get a 25% waiver on their overdue loans if they pay the rest by the end of the year. But now some public sector banks are offering further discounts of up to 15%, hoping to encourage repayment. The government’s waiver scheme completely writes off the debts of small and marginal farmers who own less than 5 acres of land.
DTH firm Sun Direct TV plans to raise about Rs1,000 crore through debt. The money is meant to fund its expansion this year. Company officials say it will spend about 90% of the money importing set top boxes. Sun Direct TV is promoted by Kalanidhi Maran, the founder of the Sun TV Network.
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First Published: Fri, Jul 24 2009. 12 41 AM IST