No deal: Azim Premji

No deal: Azim Premji

Cap Gemini shares fall after denying Wipro talks

Cap Gemini shares fall after denying Wipro talks

Frank Furt: Europe’s largest computer services company, Cap Gemini SA, fell the most in four months in Paris trading after saying it isn’t in talks with India’s Wipro Ltd about a takeover.

Cap Gemini dropped as much as €2.57 (Rs146), or 5.7%, to €42.43, the biggest decline since 16 August. It was trading at €43.58 at 12.05 pm in Paris.

No deal: Azim Premji

The ‘Hindustan Times’ had reported on 23 December that Wipro, India’s third largest software services exporter, may offer to buy Cap Gemini for as much as $7 billion (Rs27,580 crore). The newspaper did not say where it got the information. The bid may be made by the end of January, it had said.

Cap Gemini stock rose 11% on 24 December, the biggest gain in almost five years. Cap Gemini, based in Paris, had said after the market closed on 24 December that it wasn’t in takeover talks with Wipro.

‘The Times of India’ had reported in July that India’s second largest provider of computer services, Infosys Technologies Ltd, was in talks with at least four companies, including Cap Gemini, for a potential acquisition. Infosys plans to purchase smaller European competitors, B.G. Srinivas, head of the company’s operations in Europe, West Asia and Africa, had said in November.

Cap Gemini doubled its workforce when it bought Houston-based Kanbay International Inc. for $1.25 billion in February.

Wipro shares rose 2.5% to close at Rs549.3 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Philipp Grontzki/ Bloomberg

GAIL, Oil India sign MoU to cooperate, bid jointly

Mumbai: State-run GAIL India Ltd said on Thursday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with explorer Oil India Ltd for cooperation and to bid jointly for oil and gas assets being auctioned by the country.

The two firms would cooperate in exploration and production, natural gas marketing and transmission, city gas distribution, petrochemicals and technology, it said in a statement.

The two firms would also jointly bid for blocks being auctioned in the seventh round of the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP), as well as overseas exploration blocks.

Bids for NELP-VII, launched earlier this month, are scheduled to close on 11 April. This is India’s biggest auction yet and the first under new rules aimed at attracting global firms.

India expects to draw somewhere between $3 billion (Rs11,820 crore) and $3.5 billion for the 57 blocks that would go under the hammer.

GAIL and OIL are already partners in the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd in Assam, GAIL said.


Madras high court says Dunlop no longer sick

Kolkata: Tyre manufacturer Dunlop India Ltd said the Madras high court has declared the company out of the purview of Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985.

A release issued by the company said that as of 31 March, the networth of Dunlop had become positive and the entire accumulated losses had been wiped out. Dunlop was referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) in 1998.


Global Broadcast News plans 1:5 stock split

Mumbai: The broadcaster of news channels CNN-IBN and IBN7, Global Broadcast News Ltd (GBN), on Thursday said it plans to split stock in the ratio of 1:5.

GBN, a part of the Network18 Group, would subdivide shares of Rs10 into five shares of Rs2 with effect from the record date, it said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

GBN shares closed at Rs1003.80, down 3.49% on BSE.


Shipping and transport sectors under scanner

New Delhi: The government may ask competition watchdog Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) to investigate and take action against cartels in shipping, transport and tyre industry, minister for corporate affairs Prem Chand Gupta said on Thursday.

“We are getting reports which indicate cartelization in shipping, transport and tyre industry. Once we get actionable evidence we can ask Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission to investigate and take appropriate action," Gupta said.

He said MRTPC has already taken action against cement companies and their trade body Cement Manufacturers Association for forming a cartel to raise prices. He said commission’s investigative unit, Director General of Investigations and Registration (DGIR), has also initiated probe against GSM mobile firms on tariff hike.

DGIR is probing Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Essar Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd after the companies raised tariffs in a span of a few days earlier this year.


Hong Kong to increase India, China flights

Hong Kong: Hong Kong and India have agreed to expand services, including allowing Indian carriers to fly to North America via Hong Kong, boosting flights from the city to Mumbai and New Delhi and adding routes to Chennai and Bangalore, Hong Kong’s government said in an emailed statement on Thursday.

China’s central authorities and Hong Kong also agreed to let their airlines increase capacity on some routes between the mainland and the city as soon as March to meet growing travel demand.

The agreements will enable carriers including Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd to fly more passengers on routes to the world’s two most populous countries.

Cathay Pacific will be able to more than double existing flights to Delhi and Mumbai, the carrier said in an emailed statement. Cathay Pacific now operates four flights a week to Delhi and another four to Mumbai.

Traffic growth in mainland China and India will also enhance the status of Hong Kong as an international aviation hub, the city government said. Tourists from Asian countries such as China and South Korea drove up the city’s visitor arrivals to 2.45 million last month, a record for November, according to the city government.


NTPC to spend 18% more on adding capacity

Mumbai: India’s biggest power producer, NTPC Ltd, will spend 18% more on adding power generation capacity in the fiscal year starting 1 April to help meet growing demand. State-run NTPC plans to invest Rs13,000 crore next year, most of it on coal-fired generation capacity, chairman T. Sankaralingam said on Thursday.

The government estimates the nation loses an estimated 2 percentage points of annual growth to electricity shortages and has plans to add 78,577MW by 2012 to help beat peak hour shortages of up to 13%.

“We are trying our utmost to ensure we meet our capacity addition targets keeping in mind the growing demand," Sankaralingam said. The company will add three new coal-fired units in northern India by March next year, increasing its generation capacity to more than 30,000MW from the current 28,334MW, Sankaralingam said.

“Most of this will be coal-fired, considering LNG (liquefied natural gas) prices are becoming prohibitive," he said.


No row between ISRO and Kerala govt: CM

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Thursday rejected reports of differences between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the state government over allotment of land for setting up the agency’s space institute and accused a section of the media for creating a controversy over the issue.

“There is no dispute between the ISRO top officials and government over the allotment of land for setting up the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology," he said after a cabinet meeting.

ISRO was expected to start work at the 20 acre allotted to them at Ponnumudi soon, he said. The government had not issued any orders sanctioning 100 acre of land to ISRO in Ponnmudi, Achuthanandan said.


Indian lawyers oppose entry of foreign firms

London: UK-based Indian lawyers are up in arms against a reported move by the Indian government to allow foreign law firms to practise in the country without insisting on a reciprocal arrangement in Britain. The British Indian Lawyers Association has shot off a letter to Union law minister Hansraj Bhardwaj suggesting foreign firms should be allowed to practise in India or to render legal assistance to multinational companies “only if there is a reciprocal arrangement whereby Indian lawyers are allowed to practise in the UK."

Legal tangle: Hansraj Bhardwaj

The association, headed by Gautam Banerji, has also impleaded itself in the ongoing case in the Bombay high court filed by the Lawyer’s Cooperative, a legal service provider against the entry of foreign lawyers.

On 17 September, the law ministry had circulated a note proposing liberalization of the legal services sector in the country. The Society of Indian Law Firms (SILF) responded to this note on 15 November saying the government’s proposal is premature because it did not conform to the procedure laid down by the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services.


India ready to join OECD steel committee

New Delhi: India on Thursday said it is ready to join the steel committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), provided no additional conditions are imposed.

“We are ready, provided no conditions are imposed over and above the obligations under the WTO (World Trade Organization)," steel ministry secretary Raghav Sharan Pandey said.

With 30 members and observers including India, China and Russia, the committee accounts for around 65% of world steel production and 80% of global steel exports. Production figures have been revised upwards, making India the fifth largest producer in the world last year.


Sebi mandates online corporate filing

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Thursday amended the equity listing agreement and made it mandatory for corporations to file information online through corporate filing and dissemination system (CFDS).

Initially only 100 companies that have been short listed by National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange would have to file their information through CFDS from 1 January. These filings would be available on This website would also allow investors to see the same information as filed to the stock exchanges.

However, Sebi has said that over a period CFDS would be the only mode of corporate filings. So in future, the companies would not be required to file information through Electronic Data Information Filing And Retrieval System of Sebi. In addition, the utilization of the initial public offering proceeds would have to be placed before the audit committee of the company and any deviations in the proposed utilization plan would have to be intimated to the stock exchanges, the amendment said.

Staff writer