Nuclear deal: NSG may hold second meeting
Washington: A senior American official lobbying for an expeditious approval of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal has held out the prospect of finding an “easy agreement” with the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), but said it could take “another” meeting after August to finalize the waiver for India.
On 21 August, the US will seek a waiver for nuclear trade with India from the NSG, which consists of countries that export nuclear material and technology, before the deal is sent to the American Congress for ratification.
“If we find an easy agreement, maybe we can finish our discussions, but it may take another meeting after that to get together,” Richard Boucher, US assistant secretary of state for Central and Sou of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adopted on 1 August by consensus a safeguards agreement for India, a key step for initiating civilian nuclear cooperation with New Delhi under the deal.
The top diplomat agreed that “there are a lot of serious issues” involved before the work is done in the NSG. Some media reports have suggested that India and the US have planned a second meeting of the NSG in early September. PTI
Infosys slashes hiring target by 10,000 this FY
New Delhi: Indicating a slowdown in hiring activities in the IT sector, the country’s second largest software firm Infosys Technologies Ltd on Tuesday said it plans to hire about 25,000 people in the current fiscal, around 29% less than the total recruitments in the last financial year.
The IT bellwether had recruited 35,000 people in 2007-08.
“We are planning to hire 25,000 people in the current fiscal and among them, 18,000 would be hired through campus recruitment,” Infosys senior vice-president and group head of human resources Nandita Gurjar said here on Tuesday. Stating the firm has not made any changes in hiring plans due to global slowdown, she said that impact on hiring could be visible in the last two quarters of the current fiscal. PTI
Accenture to expand headcount, BPO centres
New Delhi: Global consulting and technology services firm Accenture Ltd is planning to expand the company’s business process outsourcing (BPO) footprint in India.
“We would be increasing our headcount from 37,000 to 50,000 (across all businesses including outsourcing) in the next five years and set up more centres. Most of our business would be focused on the third party solutions and a little bit on the captive sector,” Accenture BPO lead executive P.G. Raghuraman told ‘PTI’.
The firm says it will continue to focus on organic expansion. “If we go for acquisitions, it would be for increasing our capability and delivery network and not for merely increasing our scales,” Raghuraman said. PTI
Apollo Health’s CEO Ratan Jalan gets bail
Hyderabad: Chief executive of Apollo Health and Life Style LtdRatan Jalan, who was arrested in Hyderabad on Monday afternoon following a non-bailable arrest warrant issued by the Uttar Pradesh police, was released on bail on Tuesday.
Jalan has been charged with cheating and criminal breach of trust according to V. Ramakrishnaih, assistant commissioner of police, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, under whose jurisdiction Apollo Hospitals is located.
UP officials produced the Apollo chief executive before Nampally, Hyderabad chief metropolitan magistrate, where Jalan was granted bail.
The warrant was issued following a complainant by Maneesh Kumar, promoter of Aligarh, UP-based Rex Healthcare India Pvt. Ltd, who claimed that Apollo agreed to a franchisee agreement on payment of Rs22 lakh but has failed to live up to the agreement. According to a Apollo spokesperson, the fee is non-refundable, even in the event of termination of agreement and Rex Healthcare, which had applied for the franchisee and paid for it, never opened a clinic as agreed. Lison Joseph / Mint
Recast Sebi board to hold meeting today
Mumbai: Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, will hold its board meeting on Wednesday in Mumbai, its first after two new whole-time directors—M.S. Sahoo and K.M. Abraham—joined its board in July.
The board is likely to discuss certain critical issues on primary market reforms. Besides, market sources say, curbs on participatory notes imposed last year and the securities lending and borrowing mechanism, introduced in April, may also come up for discussion. Market participants also expect the regulator to clear applications of exchanges that have applied to set up platform for trading currency futures. A panel, jointly set up by Sebi and banking regulator, is scrutinizing the applications. After the board meeting, Sebi chairman C.B. Bhave will address the press at its headquarters in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. Khushboo Narayan / Mint
Germany’s Robert Bosch to delist Indian arm
Mumbai: German firm Robert Bosch GmbH on Tuesday said it plans to delist its Indian entity, Bosch Chassis Systems India, and has fixed a floor price of Rs600 per share for buying the stake from public shareholders.
The acquirer has accepted the exit price of Rs600 per share pursuant to the delisting offer made through reverse book building process, that opened on 4 August and closed on 8 August, auto ancillary firm Bosch Chassis said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Accordingly, the German firm would accept all the bids at or below the exit price and the final settlement date with the BSE for the equity shares held in dematerialized form is 13 August. For equity shares in physical form, the offer would open on 14 August and close on 28 August. Earlier, on 17 July, the German firm Robert Bosch had made a open offer to the shareholders of Bosch Chassis Systems India for acquiring 20% stake in the company at a maximum price of Rs600 per share.
Promoter holding in Bosch Chassis Systems India is 80% of the total issued equity share capital of the company, and post-offer the promoter shareholding in Bosch Chassis Systems India would increase to 100%. This would accordingly lead to the delisting of fully paid up equity shares of the company from the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.
Shares of the company surged nearly 2% and witnessed an intra-day high of Rs590 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The scrip of the company closed at Rs584, up 0.71%. PTI
NSE gets Sebi nod for currency futures trading
Mumbai: The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has received capital market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi) nod for trading in currency futures, according to a source familiar with the development.
Sebi has not made any announcement on this as yet and it is not known whether India’s oldest stock exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange, and the Multi Commodity Exchange, two other contenders for setting up the currency futures trading platform, have got the regulator’s nod or not. NSE is likely to make an announcement soon.
The Reserve Bank of India and Sebi released the guidelines for such trading on 6 August. Under the guidelines, the membership of the currency futures market should be separate from that of the equity derivatives segment and only US dollar-rupee contracts with a size of $1,000 each will be allowed for trading.
The membership of the currency futures market of an exchange will be separate from the membership of the equity derivatives segment or the cash segment. Anup Roy / Mint
Karnataka to bring in new mining policy
New Delhi: With illegal mining and the money earned from it becoming a major political issue, Karnataka has decided to bring in a comprehensive mining policy.
“The new policy would promote mining of iron ore and other minerals only for value-added activities,” chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters here on Tuesday.
The state government has not issued fresh licences and the existing licences were not renewed. “Neither fresh licences will be issued nor the existing proposals will be recommended to the Centre for clearance,” he said.
The Karnataka high court on Monday asked the state government to cancel the permission granted to mine owners in 36 blocks during 2003 and directed the Centre and the state to draw new guidelines to govern mining activities.
“The state government will abide by the Karnataka high court verdict quashing 36 mining licences in forest areas of five districts,” Yeddyurappa said, adding that the previous government had issued licences for mining in 36 blocks covering 5,347ha in forest areas. PTI
Indian players power ahead in boxing, tennis
Beijing: Indian pugilist duo of Akil Kumar and Jitender packed enough punch in the boxing ring to stroll into the pre-quarterfinals in their respective categories in the Beijing Olympics here on Tuesday. In the 51kg category, Jitender Kumar pounded Ulas Memis until the 17-year-old pugilist from Turkey retired while trailing 1-21. Later in the evening, Akhil tamed Ali Hallab of France 12-5 in the 54kg category to reach the second round.
Jitender now meets Tulashboy Doniyorov of Uzbekistan while Akhil takes on 2007 world champion Sergey Vodopyanov in the pre-quarters.
Meanwjhile, Athens Olympics silver medalist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Commonwealth Games hero Samresh Jung lost in the qualifying round of their respective events—double trap and 50m pistol.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi put behind their frosty relation and recreated the old magic to sail into the second round of the men’s doubles event. Paes and Bhupathi tamed the French scratch pair of Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-3 in less than an hour to breeze into the second round.
The seventh seeded Indians now meet the Brazilian pair of Marcelo Melo and Sa Andre. PTI
Panacea Biotech gains after winning order
Mumbai:Panacea Biotech Ltd, the world’s biggest maker of polio vaccine, gained to its highest in almost a month in Mumbai trading after winning a $34.2 million (Rs145 crore) contract from United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Panacea rose 2.3% to Rs311.85, its highest since 14 July, after rising as much as 19.8% intra-day.
New Delhi-based Panacea won the contract for 2008 and 2009 to supply a vaccine that immunizes children against five diseases to the United Nations’ children’s charity, the company said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Tuesday. Shares of Panacea ended at Rs308.85, up 1.63% on the BSE. Bloomberg
Dabur Pharma to get €30 mn from Fresenius
New Delhi: Fresenius Kabi, a unit of German healthcare group Fresenius SE, will invest €10-30 million (Rs63-189 crore) in the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant of Dabur Pharma Ltd, a top official said on Tuesday.
“It will probably more than double the plant capacity,” Rainer Baule, president and chief executive of Fresenius Kabi, said, adding the investment will be made over a period of two-three years.
The API plant is situated in Kalyani, in West Bengal. Fresenius Kabi acquired 90.9% in the Indian anti-cancer drug maker by acquiring the founders’ stake in April followed by a public offer, which was completed in July.
To grow Dabur’s business, Fresenius will work to seek necessary approvals from Food and Drug Administration for Dabur’s newly commissioned formulation unit in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, Baule said. The plant has already got approvals from Europe.
Fresenius, which completed the acquisition of Dabur on Monday, has replaced seven members of the board. Satish Kulkarni has replaced Ajay Vij as the chief executive officer of Dabur Pharma.
Schneider said the firm will continue to be managed by Indians as they can best serve local health care community.
Fresenius will offload at least 1% of its stake in Dabur Pharma to meet the listing requirements, Baule said, adding the firm currently did not have any plans to de-list Dabur from Indian stock exchanges. Shares of the firm provisionally closed up 3.13% at Rs64.25 in a weak Mumbai market. Reuters
Retail realty prices cooling, says Reliance
Mumbai: Retail real estate prices in the country are softening and availability is rising as high interest rates crimp access to funds, slowing demand and forcing builders to sell, a senior Reliance Retail Ltd official said on Tuesday.
Retail firms are scaling back their expansion plans, and builders who had planned to hold on to properties, are selling space to tide over the cash crunch, Bijou Kurien, chief executive of Reliance Retail’s lifestyle unit, told ‘Reuters’. “Finding the right deal was more of a challenge six months back. Now there is some sense in the rate and a willingness to talk,” he said.“ I think real estate prices will continue to soften for the next three-six months.” Reliance Retail is a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd. Reuters
Hamleys ties up with Reliance Retail
New Delhi:Hamleys Plc., the London toy retailer owned by Iceland’s Baugur Group, and India’s Reliance Retail Ltd. have signed a franchise agreement to open stores in New Delhi and Mumbai next year.
Hamleys and Reliance Retail will open more stores in India in the next few years, Mumbai-based Reliance Retail said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Reliance didn’t provide details.
The Indian toy and games market is estimated at about $600 million (Rs2,544 crore) annually, Reliance said. Reliance Retail is the unit of Reliance Industries Ltd. Bloomberg
Trai questions govt’s readiness for 3G licence
New Delhi: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or Trai, has questioned government’s readiness to give a licence to first time entrant in the telecom sector upon its successful bid for 3G, or third generation, saying regulators’ recommendations are a must for this.
Successful bidders, who do not have licence, would be given one and the terms and conditions of the existing licence shall be amended accordingly, DoT had said, while announcing the policy for 3G telephony. DoT had also said that the new player would have to pay a licence fee of Rs1,651 crore without allocation of existing 2G, or second-generation , spectrum.
“As this would require laying down the terms and conditions of this new licence, including the annual licence fee, therefore the authority would like to draw the attention of DoT to the Trai Act wherein recommendation of Trai is necessary,” Trai chairman Nripendra Misra said in a letter to telecom secretary Siddartha Behura. PTI