GMR, REL, Tata Power bid for Singapore firm

GMR, REL, Tata Power bid for Singapore firm

New Delhi: Three Indian conglomerates —GMR Infrastructure Ltd, Tata Power Co. and Reliance Energy Ltd (REL)—are among those who have submitted bids for acquiring one of the three power firms in Singapore valued at about $1.7 billion (Rs6,698 crore), bidding for which closed on Wednesday.

“GMR Infrastructure, Tata Power and Reliance Energy as well as a number of international firms submitted indicative bids for the project on the last day today," people familiar with the development said. The bids will be opened in about two weeks.

The international bidders could include China Light and Power, and Japan’s Marubeni Corp. Singapore government’s investment arm Temasek Holding announced in October that it is selling stakes in three power utilities—Tuas Power, PowerSeraya and Senoko. Tuas Power would be the first to be sold. PTI

SAT gives go-ahead for Essar Steel delisting

Mumbai: The Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on Wednesday allowed Essar Steel Ltd to delist from the stock exchanges., vacating an earlier order of 5 December when it directed the stock exchanges to put the delisting on hold. n Essar Steel trading will now be suspended from 14 December and the stock will be delisted from 24 December.

The stock fell 10% to Rs57 after the announcement. It had witnessed a sharp jump from Rs47 as on 3 December to Rs71 on 6 December while the decision was on hold. Staff Writer

Turner enters India with Miditech channel JV

New Delhi:Turner International India Pvt. Ltd, part of the US-based media and entertainment conglomerate Time Warner Co., and Alva Brothers, promoters of TV production house Miditech Pvt. Ltd, have entered into a broadcasting joint venture to launch multiple general entertainment channels in the country. The first channel will be in Hindi and the deal marks the entry of Turner into the general entertainment space in India. The broadcaster already runs Cartoon Network and Pogo, and English movie channel, HBO. It is also present in the news space through two channels CNN and CNN-IBN, a local English channel launched in partnership with the Network18 Group. Priyanka Mehra

Tata to spend $1.5 bn on Ivory Coast mine

Mumbai: World’s fifth biggest steel maker, Tata Steel Ltd, will spend $1.5 billion (Rs5,910 crore) developing the Mt Nimba mine in Ivory Coast in its first overseas iron ore venture. The mine will supply Tata’s European mills in the next two-three years, managing director B. Muthuraman said on Wednesday. Tata has a 75% stake in the project. Bloomberg

Modi issued contempt notice in Sohrab case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a contempt notice to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for allegedly justifying the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter at the same time rejecting the state government’s plea that the case be heard after elections.

Modi was, however, exempted from making a personal appearance as the court said, “we do not feel contemnor to be present at this stage".

“Let the notice be issued," a bench comprising justices Tarun Chatterjee and Dalveer Bhandari said at the end of a day-long hearing.

The apex court was hearing the application filed by Rubabuddin Sheikh, brother of Sohrabuddin, who had alleged that the 4 December speech of Modi allegedly justifying the killing was an interference with justice on the pending matter and was a gross contempt of court. PTI

Three investors line up for equity stake in GoAir

New Delhi: Low-cost carrier GoAir Pvt. Ltd is emerging as an attractive investment target with the recent consolidation in aviation space, and has received offers from an international venture capital firm, an Indian corporate and another domestic financial investor even as it looks at bringing in a new equity partner in a move that would help the Wadias-promoted airline expand its fleet to 40 aircraft by 2012.

The budget carrier has been valued at Rs1,600 crore by a leading international consultancy company. The valuation was arrived at taking into consideration the firm’s business plans for the next five years.

The Mumbai-based airline is mulling over a new order for 20 aircrafts as part of its target for a fleet size of 40 by 2012; last year, it placed a 20-plane order with Airbus for $1.2 billion (Rs4,728 crore). A company spokesperson declined to comment about the developments, saying, “as a policy, GoAir does not comment on market speculations". PTI

Cyclone Sidr damaged 40% of Sundarbans

New York: Cyclone ‘Sidr’ damaged about 40% of the Sundarbans, Bangladesh’s mangrove forest, the United Nations reported on Wednesday.

The Bangladeshi and Indian portions of the jungle are separately listed in the Unesco world heritage list in 1997 as the Sundarbans and Sundarbans National Park, respectively. The greatest damage was observed in east Sundarbans, and more than 3,200 people were killed after Sidr struck Bangladesh on 15 November.

The impact of the cyclone on the wildlife there, which is the home to a number of endangered species, including the Bengal tiger, the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python, has not yet been determined. PTI

Safeguard talks with IAEA to be speeded up

Mumbai: India will hasten negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on country-specific safeguards, Atomic Energy Commission chariman Anil Kakodkar said on Wednesday at the end of the second round of talks by the two sides in Vienna.

“We are doing our best and try to complete the process as soon as possible, but everything has to be done satisfactorily as the negotiations are comprehensive and complex," Kakodkar said here.

He refused to elaborate on the nature of the talks saying, “the negotiating team is doing its job, let us see how it takes shape". Despite the threats of the Left parties to the government not to carry the safeguard talks further, India opened the second round of discussions with the nuclear watchdog. PTI

After Harvard, Yale to ease costs for students

Boston/Washington: Yale University next month plans to announce a student aid plan that could rival Harvard’s move to ease costs for “middle-income" families.

The governing board for Yale, located in New Haven, Connecticut, met recently to discuss the enhanced programme, university spokesman Tom Conroy said on Tuesday. The change is occurring “irrespective of any other institution’s announcement," he said. He couldn’t supply details about the initiative, he said. Harvard unveiled a plan that trims the annual cost of attending the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school by as much as half for families earning between $120,000 and $180,000 (Rs47.28 lakh and Rs70.92 lakh).

Other schools are likely to follow suit, said Terry Hartle, senior vice-president at the Washington-based American Council on Education. Bloomberg

Dabur’s H&B Stores ties up with 3 foreign labs

New Delhi: Branded honey and ‘chawanprash’ maker, Dabur India Ltd’s, health and beauty retail subsidiary H&B Stores has tied up with laboratories in Italy, the UK and Thailand for developing some of its private labels as it gears up to open outlets from next month.

The company, which is investing Rs140 crore in the first three years of operations, is aiming to break even within this period and is targeting Rs1,000 crore revenue.

“Private labels will be a strong focus for the company and occupy around 10% of shelf space across the board in the stores. We have tied up with companies outside India for research and development of private labels," H&B Stores chief executive officer Peter Baker said.

He said the company would outsource some of the functions through contract manufacturing for products under the ‘New U’ brand from domestic players. PTI

GMR sells 9% equity in infrastructure company

New Delhi: Industry conglomerate GMR Group on Wednesday announced raising $1 billion (Rs3,940 crore) through equity sale in the group company GMR Infrastructure Ltd—a move that pegs its value at about Rs45,000 crore.

The transaction, equivalent to a 9% equity dilution to institutional investors, was concluded on Wednesday and the resources would be used for the group’s overseas acquisitions as also domestic power and special economic zone projects.

Terming the deal as the largest QIP (qualified institutional placement) transaction, GMR Group chief financial officer Madhu Terdal said, “This is part of our major expansion programme aimed at becoming a $25 billion firm in the next two-three years." PTI

SBI cuts interest rate on fixed deposits by 0.25%

Mumbai: The country’s largest lender, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday announced a reduction of 0.25% in fixed deposit rates.

The 15-45 days term deposits would now attract 4.75% compared with 5%, while 46-270 days fixed deposits rates have been slashed by 0.25% to 5.25%, SBI informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Fixed deposits for 271 days-one year term would invite 6.5% as against 6.75% term deposit in between one year and 550 days would come down by 0.25% to 8.5%, it said.

One year-549 days fixed deposit would attract 8.25% interest, down by 0.25%. The bank has retained rate for 3-10 years deposits at 8.5%. The new rates would be effective from 17 December, it added. PTI

First integrated tourist complex at Tirupati

Hyderabad: The first integrated tourist complex in the country comprising a five-star hotel, convention centre and a golf course will come up at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

The proposed Integrated Tourism, Hospitality, Leisure and Entertainment Complex will also have a helipad, health spa, sports complex, bowling alley and open-air cultural auditorium.

The Tirupathi Urban Development Authority on Wednesday invited expression of interest from developers to finance and build these facilities under the Public Private Partnership route. The developer will have to undertake the integrated hotel and leisure complex project on a Build- Operate-Transfer basis for 33 years. PTI

Indian traders say China coal offers are limited

London: Chinese coal exporters have been offering limited prompt cargoes of good quality material at around $93 (Rs3,664) a tonne f.o.b. (free on board) and similar prices for small tonnages for the first quarter , Indian traders said.

“There have been a few Chinese cargoes sold to Indian traders, maybe a month ago, and there were rumours that the prices were low, but I haven’t been able to get any offer below $90 FOB," one of India’s largest coal-importing traders said. Other Indian traders said they had bought a cargo or two each of Chinese material for December shipment because the f.o.b. prices and freights at the time made it competitive against South African prices, when the latter hit a record of nearly $105 f.o.b.. Reuters

Dow starts India Islamic Index to tap demand

Bangkok: Publisher of the Dow Jones Industrial Average of stocks, Dow Jones & Co., has started an Islamic index for India to tap demand for Islamic products and rival benchmarks by Standard & Poor’s and FTSE International Ltd.

(Dow Jones & Co. publishes ‘The Wall Street Journal’, which has an exclusive content partnership in India with Mint.)

The Dow Jones Islamic Market India Index will draw from stocks that are part of the Dow Jones Wilshire Index and exclude investments in banking, alcohol, tobacco and gaming businesses, the company said in an email on Wednesday. It will include Reliance Industries Ltd, Infosys Technologies Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd.

Under the Islamic law, the payment of interest is prohibited, making conventional stock and bond indexes off limits to devout Muslims. Bloomberg

Deccan to deliver tickets at doorstep

New Delhi: Low-fare airline Deccan has launched a door-to-door delivery of tickets at about 215 cities across the country. The service is aimed for passengers who wish to avoid net-booking and travel agents.

The airline will deliver the tickets through its newly set up call centre three days before the travel date at Rs100 per ticket. “The tie-up with ExpressIT will enable easy door delivery and cash pickup for passengers booking through our call centre," said Ramki Sundaram, officiating CEO at Deccan in a statement. Tarun Shukla

BAG Films launches 24x7 Hindi news

Anuradha Mishra, managing director, B.A.G. Films & Media said: “News 24 will stand for top quality journalism and will be supported by an unprecedented news gathering infrastructure across the country." News 24 will be available across all television delivery platforms, including cable TV, DTH, IPTV, mobile TV and web streaming. Staff Writer