New Delhi: Anil Ambani has publicly criticized a special audit report that says Reliance Communications has overstated its revenues and evaded license fees. Ambani called the report biased and accused his rivals of being behind what he called a “vicious campaign”. He has also asked Sebi to investigate the recent fall in Reliance Communications stock and said he will take up the issue with the telecom ministry. The controversy over accounts broke out after the report by a government appointed auditor was leaked, sending Reliance Communications stock downwards. According to the audit report, Anil Ambani’s firm has overstated its revenues by Rs3,000 crore and has evaded license fees of Rs300 crore.
Bajaj Auto reported its highest ever quarterly profits on Thursday. Net profits for the second quarter leapt 117% to Rs403 crore compared to last year. Also up was the company’s operating margin, which was at 22% compared to 13.5% a year earlier. The growth has been driven by a focus on more profitable, high-end bikes like the Pulsar and premium pricing for entry-level bikes like the Discover 100cc. Bajaj Auto has sold 160,000 Discover bikes since its launch in July.
UCO Bank has reported healthy second quarter results. Net profits grew 38.4% to Rs208 crore compared to a year earlier, while total income increased to Rs2,610 crore. Interest income went up 19.6% to Rs2,384 crore.
ArcelorMittal’s Indian venture plans to increase steel production by 25% in the next financial year. Uttam Galva Steels says its output will rise to one million metric tonnes in the current fiscal year from 800,00 tonnes in the current fiscal. The company expects increasing demand for steel from the automobiles and consumer durables markets.
NDTV is going to buy back NBC Universal’s 26% stake in its subsidiary NDTV Networks, which holds its lifestyle and entertainment channels. In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange the company said it has agreed to buy back the stake NBC Universal bought last year. NDTV has not disclosed the size of the deal.
Graphics: Ahmed Raza Khan / Mint
Inflation has shot up again. The Wholesale Price Index jumped 0.92% in the week ending 3 October compared to a year earlier. Rising commodity prices and food inflation are said to be the main causes of the spike.
The RBI says it’s concerned about inflation, but it’s not expected to take any action immediately. It’s is set to delay raising interest rates when it reviews its monetary policy on the 27 October despite indications that Indian would act before developed countries. While inflation and growth are picking up in India, bank lending remains sluggish by Indian standards, leaving analysts to expect an increase in rates only in early 2010.
Morgan Stanley is also saying it expects the RBI to hold rates at its policy review. But it’s also raising India’s growth forecast for the current year from its earlier 5.8% to 6.4% after the higher than expected industrial output figures for August. Industrial production rose 10.4% in August, its fastest pace in 22 months.
Markets fell on profit taking on Thursday after the previous day’s gains. The Sensex fell 36 points to end trade at 17,195 and the Nifty went down 9 points to close at 5,109.