Week in Review for 08 January 2010

Week in Review for 08 January 2010

It’s now been a year since the Satyam accounting scandal broke out and the company’s new management is now making a push to return Satyam back to its glory days. Company employees have received a document that says Satyam plans to become one of India’s top five IT companies by 2012. And the company has created dedicated teams that will work to increase the business from existing customers and also win back old clients. Tech Mahindra took over Satyam in April last year, just months after the Satyam accounting fraud became public.

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Steel giant ArcelorMittal is forging new plans for its Indian operations. ArcelorMittal Netherlands, which controls the world’s biggest steel company, ArcelorMittal, plans to set up a new plant in Satarda in Maharashtra. The plant will be built as part of a joint venture with Uttam Galva Steels.

Reliance Industries Limited came a step closer towards a possible acquisition of LyondellBasell this week. On Monday the company raised Rs2,675 crore, after it sold what it calls treasury stock, to various institutional investors. And on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that RIL had increased its bid for LyondellBasell to $13.5 dollars. Its original bid was for $12 billion. RIL wants to buy LyondellBasell so it can access markets in the US and Europe.

The Auto Expo in Delhi revved up to full throttle this week, with top carmakers riding in with brand new models. Maruti Suzuki unveiled a multi-purpose vehicle, the Eeco, which it designed specifically for the Indian market. The car comes in five and seven seat versions and costs just over Rs250,000. Toyota also designed a new low-cost compact car specifically for India called Etios. Also created for the Indian market is Chevrolet’s compact car offering, the Beat, with a standard model costing less than Rs350,000.

And the Auto Expo also gave car companies a chance to show off their new concept models as well. Honda unveiled a compact concept car, which it says it will release in 2011. And Maruti Suzuki revealed its R-3 concept, the first car of its kind to be designed entirely in India.

Automakers also launched several global models in India for the first time.

Volkswagen displayed its hatchback car, the Polo, which it will begin selling in India in March. And Maruti Suzuki launched the Kizashi sedan, which it will put on the market by the end of the year. Toyota rolled out its highly successful hybrid car the Prius; and Skoda unveiled its Yeti, a new entrant in India’s compact SUV market.

Bangladesh’s telecom regulator gave the green light to Bharti Airtel’s initial investment of $300 million in local phone company Warid Telecom.

India’s manufacturing output rose the most it has in seven months. The Purchasing Managers’ Index reached 55.6 in December compared to 53 in November. December is the ninth straight month of the index going over 50, which indicates a rise in output.

Food prices have increased again, but at a slower rate. The food price index rose 18.22% in the week ending the 26 December. That’s a slight fall from the previous week, when food inflation stood at 19.83%.

Finance secretary Ashok Chawla has hinted the government could withdraw stimulus packages put in place after 2008’s downturn. Chawla said too much of a stimulus could be a bad, especially when things are picking up.