Need to Know | Honda raises production on increased demand

Need to Know | Honda raises production on increased demand

Tokyo: Honda Motor Co. increased global production in October to meet demand for small cars in the US and emerging markets. Output rose 1.4% to 368,245 vehicles last month, the company said in a statement .

Expansion in China is reducing Honda’s reliance on the US, where the company’s sales tumbled 25% in October.

Tokyo-based Honda will raise annual production capacity in Turkey by 26% to 63,000 vehicles a year by the middle of next year to meet rising demand in Russia.



China, Myanmar work on natural-gas ink design

Shanghai: China and Myanmar are working on the design of a natural gas pipeline linking the Asian countries as demand for the cleaner-burning fuel rises in the world’s second biggest energy consumer.

The gas link will be connected with China’s second west-east pipeline that is being built to draw the fuel from Turkmenistan, Cui Yingkai, a director at PetroChina Co.’s gas and pipeline unit, said in the southern Chinese city of Xiamen on Thursday.



Peacekeepers accused for complicity in conflict

Johannesburg: The Democratic Republic of Congo said one of the countries that contribute soldiers to the United Nations peacekeeping force is complicit in a conflict in the east of the country that displaced 250,000 people.

Foreign minister Alexis Thambwe-Mwamba who made the allegation on Wednesday in the capital, Kinshasa, refused to identify the nation for diplomatic reasons. BBC reported that Congo had requested that no Indian troops be included in the 3,000 extra soldiers being sent to bolster the UN force, citing communications minister Lambert Mende. Mende was unavailable for comment when called on Wednesday.



FDA rejects Sun’s plea to market anti-depressant

New Delhi: In what could be a setback for Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, the company’s pending abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) with the US Food and Drug Administration stood rejected after the FDA ruled in favour of a Citizen Petition filed by US-based Osmotica Pharmaceutical Corp.

Sun had filed an ANDA to market a generic tablet version of Wyeth Ltd’s anti-depressant capsule Effexor in the US after the company conducted bio-equivalent studies to prove that the generic version is equal to the original one. With the FDA ruling, if Sun wants to launch its drug in the US, it will now have to file a fresh ANDA, proving bioequivalence to Osmotica’s drug and not Wyeth’s.

A Sun spokesperson said the firm would take a call on whether they want to file a new ANDA or take another course of action. “This could be a long process for Sun if they decide to file a fresh ANDA. Besides redoing the study, the ANDA approval could take almost 30 months," said D.G. Shah, secretary general, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.

Osmotica’s generic version was approved by the FDA before Sun got its approval. Following this, Osmotica filed a petition with the FDA asking it to direct all subsequent filers for the tablet versions to resubmit their ANDA, proving bioequivalence to the Osmotica version.

Effexor is Wyeth’s biggest drug, generating $3.8 billion in sales in 2007. Sun’s generic version was expected to shave off almost $500 million from Wyeth’s top line.

—Radhieka Pandeya


GSM handsets: RCom plans Rs3,000 cr orders

New Delhi: Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) is placing orders with Samsung Telecommunications India Pvt. Ltd , LG group and Motorola Inc. for GSM handsets as it prepares to launch cellular services based on the global system for mobile technology. The orders may be worth as much as Rs3,080 crore. RCom will order between 5.25 and 7.7 million handsets, said an Rcom official who didn’t want to be identified.

The exact number will depend on the company hitting monthly sales targets, said the official. The cost will also depend on the price of the handsets, averaged around Rs4,000 a piece. The combined value of the orders could range between Rs2,100 crore and Rs3,080 crore.

The company plans to introduce GSM services initially in 250 big cities and expand by mid-2009 to other parts of the country, matching the coverage of its current CDMA services, ‘Mint’ reported on 16 September.

RCom has been testing its GSM operations in Delhi and Mumbai. It is expected to spend around Rs20,000 crore to roll out its GSM network in 14 circles by the first quarter of next year.

“We are in discussions with them (RCom) for the GSM phones but as yet have not signed a deal," Anil Arora, marketing head of LG Electronics India Ltd, said.

Sunil Dutt, who heads Samsung’s mobile business in India, said it hadn’t received a bulk order yet from RCom for GSM handsets

“We are in active discussion with all service providers, including Reliance. We will be happy to share details at an appropriate time," said Lloyd Mathias, senior director and head of sales and distribution, India & South West Asia, Motorola Mobile Devices.

—Shauvik Ghosh