Home / Opinion / Online-views /  NTK | Sebi amends clauses in listing agreement

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, on Thursday amended some clauses in the equity listing agreement, relating to notice period regarding rights issues, submission and publication of financial results, and merchant bankers’ role in valuation in case a listed company is merging with an unlisted entity. A Sebi notification to stock exchanges on Thursday noted that these amendments will be applicable with immediate effect and are intended to bring more transparency and efficiency in the governance of listed companies. The reduction in time duration for rights issues will help issuers reduce the market risk.

Krishnan?is BNP Paribas corporate finance head

New Delhi: French bank BNP Paribas SA on Thursday named R.S. Krishnan as managing director and head of corporate finance in India.

Krishnan joins BNP Paribas from ICICI Securities Ltd where he was head of financial institutions group.

“Krishnan’s appointment is another important step in building our presence in this market," Abhijit Raha, chief executive of BNP Paribas Securities India, said in a statement. “With Krishnan’s strong background in corporate finance, we will look to accelerate the growth of the business with the aim of making BNP Paribas a full-service investment bank in India."

—Staff Writer

Rising input prices put pressure on Nano

Mumbai: Auto maker Tata Motors Ltd, the company that is planning to sell a car for $2,500 (about Rs100,000), said it was facing pressure from rising prices of raw material including steel.

“I wouldn’t like to comment on the price but we are certainly under pressure from increased material costs that are faced by the industry," chairman Ratan Tata said, referring to the Nano car it plans to introduce by the end of the year.

The company plans to do “everything possible" to start selling the car as planned, Ratan Tata said in New Delhi on Thursday.


Fiat to introduce low-cost car in 2010

Mumbai: Italy’s largest carmaker, Fiat SpA, plans to introduce a “low-cost brand" in 2010, chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said.

“It is bound to be the cheapest car we have made," Marchionne said on Thursday. The car may be sold in western Europe initially, he said.

Fiat, which has a joint venture with India’s biggest truck maker, Tata Motors Ltd, is looking for partners in the country for its Iveco SpA truck business and New Holland Agricultural Equipment SpA tractor unit, Marchionne said.

Fiat is willing to supply engines for the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands that Tata Motors acquired from Ford Motor Co. for $2.4 billion, he said.

“If we are asked to supply engines, we would," he said.


India eases ban on premium grade rice

Mumbai: India, the world’s biggest producer of rice after China, partly lifted a six-month old ban on exports of some premium quality grain as the country is set to harvest a bumper crop for a second year. Overseas sales of Pusa-1121, grown in the northern states, will be permitted starting 15 October, the trade ministry said on Thursday on its website. Details of the shipments must be registered with the ministry, it said.


Refiners got $4.4 bn against oil bonds

Mumbai: The country’s central bank said it gave Rs19,330 crore of foreign currency to refiners against the so-called oil bonds to help them meet rising cost of crude oil.

The Reserve Bank of India bought the securities between 5 June and 8 August through designated commercial banks, it said in its report on currency and finance released on Thursday in Mumbai.

The oil bonds were issued by the government to state-owned refiners as compensation for selling fuels below cost.


Cabinet approves 20 Jawahar Vidyalayas

New Delhi: The cabinet committee on economic affairs on Thursday approved setting up of 20 new Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas during 2008-09 in districts with high concentration of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population.

This is the first time since 1985 when the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas were set up that the government has approved setting up of more than one such school in a district at the cost of about Rs432 crore. The government presently provides for one JNV per district.

Out of 20 new JNVs, 10 JNVs will be set up in districts having large concentration of SCs and remaining 10 in the districts having large concentration of STs.

—Pallavi Singh

ONGC has cash to buy Imperial; won’t list now

New Delhi: The countries biggest exploration company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, has enough cash to buy the UK’s Imperial Energy Plc. without listing its overseas unit, chairman R.S. Sharma said.

There is no plan to sell shares in ONGC Videsh Ltd, Sharma said over phone from New Delhi on Thursday.

The oil producer agreed last week to buy Imperial Energy for £1.4 billion (Rs11,074 crore) in what would be its biggest acquisition overseas. The Indian explorer wants to tap the UK company’s deposits in Siberia through ONGC Videsh to make up for dwindling production at home.

ONGC shares declined Rs32.70, or 2.97%, to Rs1,068.85 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

State-run ONGC plans to list ONGC Videsh in 2009, the Business Standard reported Wednesday, citing unidentified people. Part of the money raised will be used to repay loans taken to fund the purchase of Imperial Energy, the newspaper said.


Ranbaxy open offer on shares ends

Mumbai: The Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd share pierced the 500 mark and touched an intra-day high of Rs502.65 but ended the day at Rs493.55, a gain of 0.65%, or Rs3.20, from its previous close of Rs490.35.

The listless manner in which the Ranbaxy share performed on the last day of the open offer for its shares by Japanese pharma company Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd indicates that investors have acknowledged the fact that they expect an overflow of the excess shares tendered in the open offer by minority Ranbaxy shareholders to find its way back into the stock markets. Daiichi had made the open offer at Rs737 per share, for a 20% stake.

—Staff Writer

Khurshid files suit against DPS Society

New Delhi: Congress party member Salman Khurshid, ex-president of Delhi Public School (DPS) Society, who was served notice to leave the society, has filed a civil suit against the society in Delhi high court. The case came up for its first hearing on Thursday before justice H.R. Malhotra. “I have asked the court to protect me from the illegal actions of the (DPS) Society", said Khurshid, who is himself a lawyer. Lawyer Dushyant Dave, who represented the DPS Society in court, declined to comment on the case. “I never discuss matters pending before the court", said Dave.

The DPS Society runs 115 schools in India and 13 abroad. It voted to throw Khurshid out last week, an action triggered by a letter Khurshid wrote to schools, rebelling against the society and asking for a greater say for franchisee schools in the running of the society. Khurshid said he plans to file a writ seeking public remedy, which asks the government to intervene in the society, next week. The civil suit will come up for another hearing next week.

—Aparna Kalra

Bennett,?Coleman?and?Co announces Esops

New Delhi: The publisher of ‘The Times of India’, ‘The Economic Times’ and ‘Navbharat Times’, Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL), has rolled out employee stock options, or Esops, for senior staffers.

BCCL becomes the third media firm, after NDTV Ltd and Network18 Media and Investments Ltd, to share profits with employees. ‘The Financial Express’ first reported the development on Thursday. According to several senior BCCL employees familiar with the developments who did not wish to be named Esops are being allotted to staffers of the rank of general manager and above at the firm’s discretion.

On the editorial side, the equivalent designation of general manager is senior editor. The firm has about 40 general managers and 25-30 editors who are of or above the rank of senior editor, an executive, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

The executive added that the minimum quantum of stock options allotted is worth Rs40 lakhs at the reserve price. Vesting rights are spread over five years, with employees given the option of exercising 40% of their stock options at the end of two years from the date of allotment, 60% at the end of three years and 100% at the end of five years.

—Staff Writer

Ajay Mankotia to head NDTV corp planning

New Delhi: Broadcaster NDTV Ltd named Ajay Mankotia as president, corporate planning and operations. Mankotia, who has spent 25 years in the government, was commissioner of income tax, Varanasi, prior to this appointment.

In a statement, K.V. L. Narayan Rao, CEO, NDTV Group said: “It’s a privilege for the NDTV Group to have Ajay onboard.

His rich experience in government and taxation makes him the ideal person to supervise matters relating to compliance, corporate structures and multi jurisdictional taxation and also assist the group on matters relating to policy, ethics and governance."

—Staff Writer

Daiichi wins EU approval to buy Ranbaxy

Brussels: Japan’s third largest drug maker Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd secured European anti-trust approval to buy Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, India’s biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer, for $4.7 billion (around Rs20,915 crore).

The European Commission, the 27-nation European Union’s anti-trust regulator in Brussels, announced the approval on Thursday.

In India, Daiichi Sankyo bid to buy a controlling stake in Ranbaxy was referred to a cabinet committee as part of local rules for foreign investments of more than Rs600 crore. Proposals of Daiichi Sankyo will be examined by the cabinet committee on economic affairs, the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo agreed in June to acquire control of Ranbaxy for as much as Rs19,800 to enter the generic-drug market.


Dr Reddy’s ties up with US company

Hyderbad:Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd (DRL) has tied up with US-based Cosmederm Technologies Inc. for distribution of latter’s dermatology and aesthetic medicine products in India .

The agreement grants Dr Reddy’s exclusive distribution rights. Cosmoderm products are marketed for skin tone improvement, acne, anti-aging among other cosmetic uses. The tie-up will give DRL an entry into aesthetic dermatology segment, which according to DRL estimates, is currently worth about Rs100 crore and is growing at the rate of more than 50%.

—Staff Writer

Honda’s Indian unit sees marginal rise in sales

Mumbai/New Delhi: The Indian unit of Honda Motor Co., Japan’s second largest car maker, said it expects a marginal increase in sales this year.

“Our sales are now flat and we’re hoping for growth" in the festival season that starts next month, Jnaneswar Sen, vice-president, marketing, at Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, said in New Delhi. Rising interest rates have eroded sales, he said.

The company is planning to introduce a premium hatchback in the country in the last quarter of 2009, Sen said.


Hyundai Motor plans to sell new i20 by year-end

New Delhi: Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest auto maker, plans to start selling its i20 small car by the end of the year. The company expects to sell 20,000 i20 cars this year, Heung Soo Lheem, managing director of Hyundai’s India unit, said in New Delhi.


India among top five markets for Skoda Auto

Mumbai/New Delhi: Skoda Auto AS, Volkswagen AG’s Czech unit, expects India to become one of its top five markets, Thomas Kuehl, member of the board, sales and marketing, Skoda Auto India Pvt., said in New Delhi.

The company will introduce four to eight models in India in the next three to five years, including a small car. Skoda, which sold 12,000 cars in India last year, expects to sell 20,000 cars in the country this year, he said.


Volkswagen to firm up LCV plans by year-end

New Delhi: Volkswagen India Ltd, the wholly subsidiary of Volkswagen AG that sells the Passat and Jetta brand of premium luxury cars in the Indian market, would soon be entering the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market in the country.

Volkswagen India spokesperson said the company would firm up plans for the LCV segment by the end of this year. Without giving further details, he said it would be an imported offering to begin with, and the company may look at localization plans if the volumes justify.

Volkswagen had announced earlier that it was investing €580 million (about Rs3,600 crore) in setting up a manufacturing facility at Chakan in Maharashtra from where it would roll out is small car, which would be based on the Polo platform.

—Staff Writer

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