New Delhi: India’s iron ore export will likely decline by as much as 33% after China, the world’s biggest steel producer and the South Asian nation’s biggest buyer of the raw material, pares purchases as demand slows.
India’s decision in June to increase the duty on exports to 15%, from a flat Rs50 a tonne, will contribute to the drop in overseas sales and prices, mines secretary Shantanu Consul said in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Montek to mediate in Khurshid and DPS case
New Delhi:Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of Planning Commission and a Delhi Public School (DPS) alumnus, has started mediation proceedings in the dispute between Supreme Court lawyer Salman Khurshid, who earlier this month was thrown out of the society which runs the DPS chain of schools, and society chairman Ashok Chandra, a retired bureaucrat.
Ahluwalia said he could not go into the merits of the case but will merely try to bring about a reconciliation between the two sides.
“Our objective is to reconcile the two parties. Court has not made us amicus curiae. It has not asked us to arbitrate. It has not said ‘you advise me’,”said Ahluwalia. “Court has just said see if you can bring a reconciliation of the two parties”. Khurshid was voted out of the DPS society, which runs a network of 115 schools in India and 13 abroad, for a letter he wrote to all owners of the schools. He said a system where only 11 of those schools — owned and run by the society — have voting rights is not fair to the franchise owners, who pay a fee for the right to use the DPS name and logo. He asked for a greater say for the franchisee schools, including the right to vote for election of the society’s chairman and a review of the finances.
— Aparna Kalra
IOC says oil import costs may climb 70% this year
Mumbai: The nation’s biggest refiner, Indian Oil Corp., said its oil import costs may climb as much as 70% to $45 billion this year, adding to increased borrowings and revenue losses from selling fuel below cost.
The New Delhi-based refiner is paying $110-115 for every barrel of oil it buys from overseas, compared with an average of $79 a barrel in the year that ended in March, Serangulam V. Narasimhan, director of finance, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
“Internal resources are not adequate because of pricing controls,” Narasimhan said. “Borrowing is by default. We have $3 billion of foreign-currency borrowings in short-term loans of about six months to a year.”
Indian Oil controls about 40% of refining capacity in India and expects average crude oil prices at $90-100 a barrel by March 2009.
Rel Money acquires 10% stake in NMCE
Mumbai: Reliance Money, the equity brokerage arm of Reliance Capital Ltd, has obtained approval from the consumer affairs ministry to acquire a 10% stake in National Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (NMCE), a company statement said on Tuesday.
Reliance Money had proposed to buy up to 26 % stake in NMCE in two phases. The commodity exchange “had accordingly applied for the necessary approvals from the FMC (Forwards Markets Commission), which, in turn, recommended the acquisition to the ministry of consumer affairs”, added the release. Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Reliance Money’s chief executive, said his company was “set to leverage our wide distribution network of 10,000+ outlets across 5,165 cities and towns” for the national commodity exchange space.
— Reuters/Bhuma Shrivastava
HSBC acquires 94% of IL&FS for $296 million
London:HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest bank, completed the acquisition of 94% of IL&FS Investsmart Ltd, an Indian brokerage, for about $296.4 million (Rs1,390 crore). “Investsmart gives HSBC access to the world’s third largest investor base, with over 20 million retail investors,” said HSBC Asia-Pacific chief Sandy Flockhart in a Regulatory News Service statement Tuesday. HSBC bought 44% from E*Trade Mauritius Ltd and 29% from Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, the statement said. HSBC bought a further 21% through an offer to Investsmart’s shareholders, the company said.
Pfizer India Q3 profit rises 24%, shares gain
Mumbai:Pfizer Ltd, the Indian unit of the world’s biggest drug maker, gained in Mumbai trading after saying profit rose 24% in the fiscal third quarter.
Net income in the three months ended 31 August climbed to Rs38 crore from Rs30.83 crore a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement to the National Stock Exchange Tuesday. Net sales gained 7% to Rs188 crore. Pfizer rose Rs28.25, or 5.3%, to Rs562.15 at close of trading in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Antrix, EADS to jointly bid for satellite deals
Bangalore:Antrix Corp Ltd, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), and Astrium, the satellite-making unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., or EADS, will jointly bid for deals to launch foreign satellites into space on an Indian rocket.
The deal, signed byAntrix chairman G. Madhavan Nair and François Auque, chief executive of Astrium, on Tuesday, would focus on building and launching remote sensing satellites on India’s PSLV rocket, a spokesman for the Indian space agency said. Both agencies have a similar deal for building communication satellites. Astrium has contracted Antrix to build two satellites — W2M, a satellite for telecom provider Paris-based Eutelsat SA and Hylas, a satellite by British firm Avanti Screenmedia Group Plc. Antrix will deliver the W2M satellite, being built at Isro’s Bangalore centre , in October.
— Staff Writer
Finmin tweaks rules to check excise evasion
New Delhi: The Union finance ministry on Tuesday calibrated tax rules to combat evasion of Central excise duty which is levied on manufacturing. The changes aim to collect information from third parties such as electricity boards and manufacturers to compare production data submitted by manufacturers against inputs used in the production process, a press release issued by the finance ministry said.
According to the release, manufacturers will have to give data on the volume of principal inputs used in their production process, while electricity companies will be approached by the government to collect data on manufacturers’ power consumption.
The development comes in the wake of an announcement made by finance minister P. Chidambaram in June that central board of excise and customs had been asked to find ways in which data captured by diverse sources during manufacturing could be used to check excise duty evasion. Chidambaram had identified “clandestine” removal of goods and misuse of input tax credit, or Cenvat, as factors that hampered excise collections. Excise collections in the current year are budgeted to grow by 8% to Rs1.37 trillion over the previous year’s number as compared to a budgeted growth of 17% in overall tax collections to Rs6.87 trillion.
— Sanjiv Shankaran