New Delhi: There are now at least four bidders in the race for a 51% stake in Satyam, the company caught in the country’s biggest corporate scandal. India’s largest engineering firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Mahindra Group’s Tech Mahindra Ltd, B.K. Modi’s Spice group, and iGate are among the companies bidding for a majority stake in Satyam. The Hinduja Group pulled out quietly on Thursday without giving any reasons.
Factory output contracted for the second straight month in January. This is the first time in 16 years that industry production shrank for two consecutive months. Inflation dipped to a six year low of 2.43% for the week ended 28 February as compared to 3.03% for the previous week. It was at 6.21% for the corresponding week last year and the lowest ever in India at 1.13% on 2 February 2002.
Eight political parties, led by the Left have come together to form the third front - an alliance to take on the might of Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA in the upcoming elections. The two leaders who could be kingmakers AIADMK’s J. Lalithaa and BSP’s Mayawati skipped the meeting and had instead sent their representatives. Mayawati’s emissary had a clear message – that she’ll join the front only if she is its prime ministerial candidate.
NCP president Sharad Pawar who is in the final stages of sewing up an alliance with the Congress has however opted to keep the doors open for any post poll scenario. On Thursday he said the third front cannot be ignored, if the ruling alliance does not get enough numbers on its own. He also set the cat among the pigeons by saying Manmohan Singh was only the Congress Party’s prime ministerial candidate and not that of the UPA.
The global meltdown has not spared even the billionaires. Forbes, releasing its annual list, said the number of billionaires fell to 793 from 1,125 last year and the net worth dropped for almost all of them.
For Indians the story is even more traumatic. More than half of the billionaires, who were on the list last year, have dropped off. Only two Indians - Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani and NRI tycoon Lakshmi Mittal continue to be among the world’s 10 richest.