Need to Know | M&M October vehicle sales decline 18%

Need to Know | M&M October vehicle sales decline 18%

Mumbai: Auto maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd said sales in October fell 18%. The company sold 20,282 cars, sport utility vehicles, trucks and three-wheeled vehicles last month in India and overseas, compared with 24,652 a year earlier, according to a statement posted on its website. Exports declined 65% to 383 units.



Finmin plans to meet pvt, foreign bank CEOs

Mumbai: The finance ministry has called a meeting of the chief executive officers (CEOs) of private and foreign banks on 5 November, a day after finance minister P. Chidambaram meets the chiefs of state-run banks.

At least two bankers, who have been invited for the meeting, confirmed the development to Mint. The ministry has not circulated any agenda but said it would like to hear the CEOs’ views on the liquidity crunch and the recent credit crisis. The focus will also be on the non-banking finance companies, floated by the foreign banks.

The meeting is likely to be attended by ICICI Bank Ltd chief executive officer and managing director K.V. Kamath, HDFC Bank Ltd managing director and CEO Aditya Puri, Axis Bank Ltd chairman and managing director, P.J. Nayak, Citi India CEO Sanjay Nayar, HongKong and Shangai Banking Corp. country head India Naina Lal Kidwai, and Standard Chartered Bank’s regional CEO, India and South Asia, Neeraj Swaroop, among others.

—Anita Bhoir


Gold imports fall 30% in October on weak rupee

Mumbai: Gold imports by India had their first monthly drop in three months after a weakening rupee increased import costs.

Purchases last month fell 30% to 44 tonnes, compared with 63 tonnes a year earlier, according to provisional data from the Bombay Bullion Association Ltd, a group of 230 traders.

“Imports were less than expected because of the decline in the Indian rupee and high stocks of the metal with importers," Suresh Hundia, president of the association, said.

The rupee declined more than 5% in October to a record against the dollar. On Monday, it rose by the most in a decade on speculation the central bank’s surprise interest-rate cut at the weekend will support growth in the country. The rupee climbed 1.7% to 48.645 a dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That is the biggest advance since 19 January 1998.



Cooking oil imports may attract duty

New Delhi: The Union government may consider imposing duties on imports to protect oilseed growers. A panel of ministers will meet on Tuesday and consider the issue, commerce secretary G.K. Pillai said on Monday.



Balaji Telefims includes broadcasting as new biz

New Delhi: Television content and film production company Balaji Telefims Ltd has altered its memorandum of association and included the business of broadcasting among several others in the list of new businesses that the company may pursue in the future.

In a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange, it enlisted the business of broadcasting, telecasting, relaying, transmitting or distributing, in any manner in India or abroad, any audio, video, or other programmes or software for television, radio, mobile, Internet, or any other media, through terrestrial satellite, cable, direct to home, Internet or interactive TV network among others.

It has also said it could undertake any type of media business or invest in satellite channels among other things. “The last memorandum of association was signed in 2004 when Star bought an equity in the company. With Star exiting our company, we had to change the memorandum and we decided to keep all doors open for us for the future," said Sandeep Jain, chief financial officer, Balaji Telefilms.

Asked about the company plans to enter the broadcast business, he said: “We may consider it in future. There is nothing under consideration right now."

—Staff Writer


HC dismisses petition by highway builders’ lobby

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by highway builders lobby National Highway Builders Federation, or NHBF, as well as several highway contractors that sought to make an amendment to bid regulations be made applicable for all highways.

The government had earlier amended bid guidelines, which contractors and the trade body had alleged would lead to cartelization. “The future course of action will be determined after receiving the detailed court order,’ said M. Murali, director general of NHBF.

Mint could not immediately ascertain the effect of the dismissal on cases filed by GMR Infrastructure Ltd and Madhucon Projects Ltd challenging the reversal of a shortlist for a highway project in Andhra Pradesh.

—Rahul Chandran & Malathi Nayak