BAE picks M&M for defence venture

BAE picks M&M for defence venture

New Delhi: Utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) is understood to have emerged as a preferred partner of defence equipment maker BAE Systems Plc. for a manufacturing joint venture in India.

The UK-based BAE Systems has zeroed in on M&M and is believed to have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) after holding talks with at least two other leading companies—Tata Motors Ltd and Larsen and Toubro Ltd—for its Indian Land Systems project, people close to the development said.

The MoU would be a morale booster for M&M, which is competing with the Tatas for acquisition of Ford Motor Co.’s global luxury brands—Jaguar and Land Rover, revised bids for which were submitted last Wednesday.

The proposed venture will make combat vehicles and other land-based defence equipment. The people said the project would cater to the Indian army and also explore export options.


16 firms in race for Udaipur airport

New Delhi: At least 16 companies, including Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Energy Ltd (REL), real estate industry leader DLF Ltd, Hyderabad-based GMR Group, and engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T), are understood to have bid for the Rs200 crore modernization project of Udaipur airport.

Officials from REL, DLF, GMR and L&T refused to comment on the ­development.

The government had recently identified 24 non-metro airports, which it plans to modernize through public-private partnerships. Udaipur airport is amongst the first in the group.

The move is aimed at maximising commercial revenues (non-aeronautical) of these airports with the private players managing facilities such a parking, restaurants and shops.

Other bidders for the Udaipur project include Soma Constructions Co. Ltd, Gammon India Ltd and Dubai-based ETA Group, sources said.


BAE picks M&M for defence venture

Romesh Sobti to be IndusInd Bank chief

Mumbai: IndusInd Bank Ltd has announced the appointment of Romesh Sobti as managing director and chief executive officer of the bank, contingent on the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.

The new appointment comes in the wake of the resignation of former managing director Bhaskar Ghose from the board of directors. Ghose would continue to serve until Sobti’s appointment is cleared by RBI.

Sobti comes on board IndusInd Bank with 33 years of banking experience in large state-owned and multinational banks, including ANZ Grindlays Bank and State Bank of India.

His last assignment has been with ABN Amro Bank NV as executive vice-president, country executive, India, and head, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the subcontinent.

His responsibilities included consumer and commercial businesses in India, Pakistan and UAE.

Staff Writer

GSM lobby pulls out of panel on spectrum

New Delhi: The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the lobby group representing telcos offering mobile telephony services on the dominant GSM technology platform, on Friday pulled out of an official panel set up to review spectrum allocation norms, alleging that the panel had a “predetermined mindset" and was ignoring all its suggestions.

“The committee has either completely ignored our submissions or has ­cherry-picked our inputs and applied its own assumptions to arrive at incorrect conclusions without affording us any opportunity to refute the same," T.V. Ramachandran, director general of COAI, said.


Rs1,960 cr more for Max insurance firm

New Delhi: Insurance and health care firm, Max India Ltd, said it would invest Rs1,950 crore in its life insurance venture, Max New York Life Insurance Co., over the next three years.

Max India owns 74% of the venture while New York Life International Inc. owns the remaining.

The total fund infusion in the venture would be Rs2,600 crore, of which New York Life would fund Rs650 crore.

The Max group had already raised Rs1,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement earlier this year and the bulk of that sum would be invested in the insurance venture.

Bhuma Shrivastava

Fertilizer bonds of Rs3,890 cr issued

New Delhi: The Union government on Friday issued the first tranche of fertilizer bonds to pay subsidy dues to 22 companies. The bonds worth Rs3,890 crore, out of a total of Rs7,500 crore assured in the first supplementary budget, will have a tenure of 16 years and yield a return of 8.3%.

These bonds would be transferable, but will not be considered as an eligible investment in government securities by banks and insurance companies.

“The bonds will hit the profitability of the companies especially because we will have to sell them at a discount in the market," said R.C. Gupta, deputy director general of the Fertiliser Association of India, an industry body.

Staff Writer