New Delhi: One of the world’s leading steel makers ArcelorMittal said 2010 would continue to be a challenging year for the company. It said that, although its shipments are expected to be higher in the first quarter of this year than at the end of 2009, it would face lower selling prices and increased costs. ArcelorMittal, which has approximately 8% of the global market, expects EBITDA, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, to be between US $1.8 and $2.2 billion dollars in the first quarter, versus US $2.1 billion in Q4 of 2009.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee forecasted economic growth for 2009-2010 at around 7.75%, higher than the government’s prediction. C. Rangarajan of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said stronger economic growth could mean that a roadmap for exiting the stimulus measures put in place in 2008, could be announced during the Budget. While Mukherjee’s economic growth predictions are in line with the RBI’s, the Central Statistical Organization, predicts a growth of 7.2%.
Honda Motor’s fully owned Indian bike unit, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd, is looking at plans to build another plant, to meet increasing demand in the segment, which is growing at 20% annually. Honda Motorcycle expects to sell 1.25 million scooters and bikes in the current year ending March, and 1.5 million units next year. The company currently has a 13% market share. India is the world’s second largest market for motorcycles and scooters, while China is number one.
Government-run India Infrastructure Finance Company, said it would raise US $1 billion in the next 2 years to fund power, road, port, and airport projects. The company, which was established by the government in 2006, has played a major roll in battling the slowdown, by promoting infrastructure projects all over the country. In addition, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank finalized loans of US $ 2.4 billion to IIFCL in January, to fund various projects.
The price of Indian spot sugar fell more than 3% on Wednesday, due to weak demand from bulk buyers, and selling by millers to complete the weekly quota. The price has fallen 15 percent since reaching its peak on January 7th.
Markets fell on Wednesday despite positive global cues, shedding most of Tuesday’s gains. The Sensex fell 120 points to close the day at 15,922 and the Nifty fell 35 points to end trade at 4,757.