Mumbai:India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has raised interest rates on deposits between two- and 10-year maturities by 0.25-0.50%. Rates on deposits between two years and less than three years has been raised from 8.5-8.75% and that of five years to 10 years will now offer 9%, up from 8.50%. Rates on deposits of three years to less than five years have also been increased by 35 basis points to 8.85%. One basis point is a one hundredth of a percentage point. The new rates will take effect from 1 June.
A rise in deposit rates increases banks’ cost of funds and put pressure on their net interest income, which is the difference between the interest earned on loans and interest expended to raise deposits. Public sector banks, led by SBI, had reduced their prime lending rates, or PLR, by 50 basis points in February.
PLR is the benchmark rate to which all lending rates of banks are linked. Anup Roy
Federal Bank Q4 net up to Rs102.86 crore
Bangalore: Kerala-based private sector bank The Federal Bank Ltd on Friday posted a net profit of Rs102.86 crore in its fourth quarter, compared with Rs99.25 crore a year ago, registering a rise of about 3.6%.
The bank saw a 25.73% rise in its profit to Rs368.05 crore. For the March quarter, Federal Bank’s total income rose to Rs842.06 crore from Rs636.63 crore, an increase of 32.26%, while operating profit went up by 16.34% to Rs261.44 crore, compared with the same period last year. Its net interest income rose to Rs273.02 crore from Rs224.01 crore, while net interest margin stood at 3.76%. Looking forward, the bank expects to register a total business of Rs1 trillion by 2011. Staff Writer
Turtles and port can co-exist: Dhamra Port
Mumbai:Dhamra Port Co. Ltd (DPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel Ltd and Larsen and Toubro Ltd, says that “turtles and port can co-exist” even as the global campaigning organization on environmental degradation, Greenpeace International, asked DPCL to relocate its Rs2,463 crore port project to save the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles. DPCL is building Dhamra port close to the Gahirmatha beach in Orissa, one of the world’s largest nesting grounds for the species, on a build, own, operate, share and transfer basis. “We are not stopping the development, but we are merely asking them to go further north since the port is close to the nesting grounds. No studies are endorsing the port project,” said Greenpeace India executive director G. Ananthapadmanabhan.
DPCL’s chief executive Santhosh K. Mahapatra said the proposed site and its shipping channel lie in the northern-most possible site suitable. “Further north is a military practice area and the sea is not deep enough (for port activities).” According to him, more than 25% of the work has already been completed and the port is slated to be operational by April 2010. Staff Writer
UTV snaps up 76% stake in IT Nation Media
New Delhi: UTV Software Communications Ltd on Monday said it is diversifying into a fifth vertical after consolidating its presence in television content, broadcast, movies and gaming. Through wholly owned subsidiary United New Media Ventures Ltd, the firm has acquired 76% in IT Nation Media Pvt. Ltd for Rs15 crore. IT Nation runs portals such as Techtree.com, CXOtoday.com and Enterpriser.in. UTV had recently launched UTVi.com, the website for its newly launched business news channel. The firm will invest Rs120 crore in the new vertical over the next two years, said Ronnie Screwvala, chairman, UTV. “The entry into this fifth vertical completes our media play. The focus is on Web and mobile under three categories of content—entertainment, business and tech. We have acquired digital rights to 15,000 songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bhojpuri and Punjabi, and we will keep expanding that catalogue. We will continue this mode of expanding our business and launching new properties as well as acquiring properties that can strengthen our portfolio,” Screwvala added.
UTV scrip closed at Rs783, down 0.86% from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange on a day when the benchmark Sensex closed at 16,348.50, down 1.81% from its previous close. Sruthijith K.K.
Glaxo launches new breast cancer drug
Mumbai:GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the 50.67% domestic subsidiary of British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc., has launched its new breast cancer drug Tykerb in India. The drug, known as laptinib in the chemical term, is indicated for a second- line treatment for patients, who don’t respond to drugs such as Herceptin of F Hoffman La Roche Ltd. Glaxo is expected to price the drug lower than what it sells in the US and European markets as it would follow a differential pricing strategy in developing markets. Internationally, this drug is priced by Glaxo at $2,900 (Rs1.23 lakh) per one treatment course. A Glaxo official, who did not want to be identified, said the Indian price will be at least 20-25% less than the international price.
Glaxo’s new drug pricing in India is close on the heels of a differential pricing move by multinational companies in the country. C.H. Unnikrishnan
No end to row over ‘counterfeit’ drug
New Delhi: The resolution before the World Health Assembly (WHA) for laying down a globally accepted definition for counterfeit drugs and measures required to contain their sale was deferred. The proposal, put forward by the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce, or IMPACT, was referred to the executive board of the global health body after countries such as India, Brazil and Thailand strongly opposed it. If the board approves it, the proposals may come up for discussions in the next WHA session in May 2009. Public health groups were protesting IMPACT’s definition and suggested measures as they could create another entry barrier for legitimate non-patented drug versions, or generics, and allow some countries to clamp down on such medicines in the name of nailing counterfeits. Bhuma Shrivastava
Reliance, UNAIDS joinhands to fight HIV
Mumbai:Reliance Industries Ltd, or RIL, and UNAIDS, the joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS, are launching a partnership to fight HIV in India. The collaboration aims to establish a sustainable business model for social change to ensure equal access to HIV services for the poor. This is in line with the objectives of the National AIDS Control Programme III, a World Bank-aided programme in the country.
The partnership will support India in its efforts to scale up towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goal, a statement from RIL said. The partnership builds on a health care agenda set by RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani and UNAIDS’ deputy executive director Michel Sidibeuive, the company said. C.H. Unnikrishnan