Panchkula, Haryana: As the inaugural Indian Cricket League (ICL) match commenced on Friday between Delhi Jets and Chandigarh Lions , a social networking site confirmed plans to sponsor the Hyderabad team.

Social Media India Ltd chief executive Vishnu Vardhan Induri said he wants cricket fans to think of his website——when they cheer for Hyderabad Heroes. The team was chosen because the company is based in Hyderabad, he said

Exciting biz: Subhash Chandra of Zee Entertainment.

“We don’t have a huge budget to sponsor ICL," Induri said. “Hence we selected a team." He did not comment on the money spent on the sponsorship.

BharatStudent, which was launched in March, has become one of India’s most popular social networking sites. The portal focuses on meeting the personal and professional needs of students and calls itself the “young soul of India."

Spread over two weeks, the Twenty20 tournament will follow a round-robin format before four semi-finalists are identified. ICL is backed by the Essel Group’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.

ICL has largely been considered a renegade, unofficial league by the nation’s cricket body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

IOC board nod for 5% stake buy in Oil India

Mumbai: State-run Indian Oil Corp. Ltd on Friday said it has received the approval of its board for acquiring a 5% stake in Oil India Ltd (OIL).

In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, IOC said it would acquire 10.7 million equity shares constituting 5% of OIL’s paid up capital at a price equivalent to its initial public offering (IPO) issue price.

OIL’s IPO is due in the first quarter of 2008. The company plans to issue 26.4 million shares of Rs10 each to the public. Of this, 2.4 million shares would be given to its employees.

At present, the government holds 98.17% stake in the company, while the employees hold the remainder. The government’s stake would come down to 78.43% after the IPO.

The government is divesting 10% of its equity in OIL to the general public and another 10% in favour of IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp., and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. PTI

Reliance Power gets Krishnapatnam LoI

New Delhi: Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Reliance Power Ltd on Friday received the contract for setting up the 4,000MW Krishnapatnam ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Andhra Pradesh. Reliance Power chairman Anil Ambani said the project would make the group by far the largest private power producer in the country.

With a bid of Rs2.33 per unit, Reliance Power beat Larsen and Toubro Ltd and Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd for the project.

Coastal Andhra Power Ltd, the special purpose vehicle formed by Power Finance Corp., awarded the letter of intent (LoI) to Reliance Power.

“We will import 14-17 million tonnes of coal a year for the project depending upon the quality available," Reliance Energy Ltd director (business development) J.P. Chalasani said. Reliance Energy holds 51% in Reliance Power. The project would require Rs16,000-17,000 crore of investment, he said. PTI

Shell to buy BPCL’s stake in Bharat Shell

New Delhi: Global oil company Royal Dutch Shell Plc. will buy Bharat Petroleum Corp.’s (BPCL) 49% stake in lubricant marketing firm Bharat Shell Ltd (BSL) for Rs152.40 crore.

BPCL is exiting the joint venture company, floated in 1993 to market Shell branded lubricants in India, as it has developed a competing product.

“The cabinet (at its meeting on Thursday evening) gave its approval for the sale of 49% equity stake of BPCL in BSL to Shell or its affiliate for a consideration of Rs152.40 crore in cash," information and broadcasting minister P.R. Dasmunsi said on Friday.

Shell currently holds 51% stake in BSL, which incurred losses until financial year 2001-02 but after hiving off its loss-making liquefied petroleum gas business, the company showed signs of turnaround and posted a net profit of Rs12.12 crore in 2006-07.

Shell would also takeover BPCL’s 49% share in BSL’s debt. PTI

Essar secures $3 bn loan against JV

Bangalore: The Essar Group, which partnered with Vodafone Group Plc. in India, has secured a $3.59 billion (Rs14,252 crore) loan against its stake in the joint venture.

BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc., Commerzbank AG and Standard Chartered Plc. arranged the loan for Essar Communications India Ltd, which will be payable by 8 December 2011, according to an emailed statement from the arrangers.

England-based Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile phone company, bought a controlling stake in the joint venture from Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd in May. Bloomberg

74% foreign stake in Shyam Tele cleared

New Delhi: Russia’s largest private consumer service firm, Sistema JSFC, on Friday received an approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to raise its stake in Shyam Telelink Ltd to 74%.

The move comes after the Russian company acquired 10% stake in Shyam Telelink for $11.4 million (Rs45 crore) in September. Sistema, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, controls Russia’s largest mobile operator.

It plans to acquire 51% stake in the Indian company and eventually ramp up the shareholding to 74%. PTI

India on target with budget deficit

New Delhi: India’s budget deficit in the first seven months of this fiscal year reached 54.5% of the year’s target, the government’s auditor said. The deficit was Rs82,260 crore compared with the full-year target of Rs1.5 trillion, the controller general’s office said on its website on Friday. The deficit was 58.6% in the same period last year.

The deficit is the amount the government has to borrow to bridge the difference between spending and non-debt receipts. A wider budget deficit may lead to higher government borrowing, preventing a drop in interest rates. Bloomberg