New Delhi: Inflation control measures like sucking excess money out of the economy and the robust gross domestic product (GDP) growth cannot go hand in hand, finance minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday. “You cannot have both,” Chidambaram said in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on inflation.
Chidambaram had recently said that if GDP growth was to be sacrificed by some margin, the government would not mind it for controlling inflation.
The Reserve Bank of India is due to announce the annual credit policy on 29 April and economists are expecting a hike in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) in the wake of inflation touching a three-year high of 7.41 %, bringing the government under political and public pressure.
India imports 38% more crude in April-Feb
New Delhi: India’s crude oil import bill has jumped by over 38 % to $61.16 billion (Rs2.4 trillion) in the first 11 months of 2007-08 fiscal on the back of surge in global oil prices.
India imported 111.089 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil in April-February 07-08 for Rs2.43 trillion as opposed to 101.213mt crude imported a year ago for Rs2 trillion, according to the latest data from the petroleum ministry.
In addition to crude, the nation also imported 20.19mt of products, mainly naphtha, LPG, kerosene and diesel, for Rs54,180 crore. In April-February 2006-07, it had imported 15.77mt of products for Rs37,632 crore.
The country’s fuel consumption grew 6.4 % to 116.711mt in April-February 07-08 on the back of a double digit growth in diesel demand at 43.27mt.
Of the crude imports, private refiners Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd imported 34.644mt for Rs72,381 crore.
With a surplus in refining capacity, the country saw a 20.4% rise in fuel exports at 36.16mt for Rs95,906 crore. The mainstay exports was that of diesel at 13mt (Rs36,200 crore) and naphtha 8.62mt (Rs25,002 crore).
PFC net falls 20% on foreign exchange loss
Mumbai: Power Finance Corp. (PFC), a state-run lender to Indian utilities, said fourth-quarter profit fell 20% because of losses on foreign currency borrowings after the rupee appreciated.
Net profit fell to Rs297 crore ($74 million) in the three months ended 31 March from Rs371 crore a year earlier, the New Delhi-based company said in a statement. Revenue rose to Rs1,367 crore from Rs1,238 crore.
India’s rupee appreciated almost 8% against the dollar, reducing the value of overseas loans, and the company’s borrowing costs increased in the year ended 31 March. The average cost of funds rose to 8.03% in the year ended 31 March from 7.32% in the previous year, Satnam Singh, chief financial officer, said on Wednesday.
PFC plans to lend Rs19,300 crore in the year that started on 1 April, Singh said. Last year, it lent Rs16,211 crore.
NDTV net profit rises to Rs3.3 crore in Q4
New Delhi: Broadcaster NDTV Ltd on Wednesday reported revenues of Rs102.09 crore for the fourth quarter ended 31 March, a 51% growth year-on-year.
The company said net profit grew to Rs3.31 crore from a loss of Rs17 lakh during the corresponding quarter the previous fiscal. For the fiscal ended 31 March, net profit grew to Rs4.28 crore from a loss of Rs6.9 crore during the previous fiscal.
In a statement, the company said it intends to split its businesses into news and non-news segments. Currently, non-news businesses, such as general entertainment channel NDTV Imagine, are held by the firm’s subsidiary NDTV Networks Plc.
The split is being undertaken to enable “strategic and financial” partnerships in focused entities.
An NDTV executive, who did not want to be identified, said the firm intends to split the news business further and hive off the financial news channel, NDTV Profit, into a separate company.
MindTree net rises 15% to Rs103 crore
Bangalore: Mid-sized IT services firm MindTree Ltd has reported a 15% rise in consolidated net profits to Rs103.2 crore for fiscal 2008, while revenue grew by 28% over previous year to Rs767.7 crore, ahead of its own projections. The company reported profit of Rs34.7 crore for the March quarter, a 41.5% rise over the corresponding quarter last year, while revenues increased by 37% to Rs217.8 crore.
“We are cautiously optimistic about the outlook as customers in non-US geographies such as Europe are cautious on IT spending,” said N. Krishnakumar, CEO, MindTree. The company saw its revenues from banking and financial services sector grow by a per cent to 24.8% of overall revenues.
For the current fiscal, MindTree has forecast its revenues to grow by 24-29% to $228-238 million (Rs912-952 crore) over fiscal 2008. Net profit is expected to grow between 23-29% in the range of $31.7-33.1 million.
The company expects to add about 1,200 employees to its existing headcount of 5,640. The MindTree board has recommended a dividend of Rs1 per share.
StanChart to invest $250 mn in India ops
Kolkata: Standard Chartered Plc. will put $250 million (Rs1,000 crore) into its Indian operations, its chief executive said on Wednesday, adding that he expected global market turmoil to continue for the next few months.
“I don’t know how long it will continue,” Peter Sands told reporters.
“But we expect a fair amount of turmoil and volatility, at least for the next few months. A lot of risk pricing and de-leveraging still needs to be done,” he said.
That is in contrast to the note of optimism struck by chief executives of rivals such as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, who said earlier this month that global markets are showing signs of working through the difficulties stemming from the US subprime mortgage crisis.
Standard Chartered, which makes three-quarters of its profits in Asia, will invest $250 million to expand its operations in India, taking its total capital base in the country to $1.9 billion, Sands said on Wednesday.
SBI to float $2 billion infrastructure fund
Mumbai: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) and Macquarie Capital Group (Macquarie) on Wednesday announced their plan to raise a $2 billion (Rs8,000 crore) fund to invest in infrastructure sector. The International Finance Corp. (IFC) will also have a stake in the proposed fund management company.
Macquarie, SBI and IFC plan to contribute $450 million in anchor investments to start the fund, which will raise further capital from both domestic and international institutional investors. The fund is scheduled for launch by the end of the second quarter of 2008.
“Teaming Macquarie and its global experience with SBI in its home market, where its reputation and credentials are beyond compare, will create a powerful partnership in India,” said Nick van Gelder, head of Macquarie Capital Funds in Asia.