BoB reduces car loan rates by 100 basis points

BoB reduces car loan rates by 100 basis points

Mumbai: Bank of Baroda (BoB) on Thursday reduced the rate of interest on car loans by 100 basis points as a festival bonanza for customers. The new rates will be effective for all loans sanctioned on or after 1 November.

With the reduction, all new loans will be priced at 11.5% per annum on floating option. A further concession of 25 basis points will be given during the ongoing Centenary Retail Loan Festival, the bank said.

BCCI sells mobile rights for India-Pak ODIs

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday sold mobile rights for the five India-Pakistan one-day series beginning 5 November to the UAE-based telecommunications service provider Etisalat in a deal valued at $125,000 (Rs50 lakh).

This is the first instance of the board selling mobile rights. BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said the board had until now put a ban on sale of mobile rights as it did not want to dilute the revenue module for want of the right technology.

“We did not want to under-value it," he said, explaining Etisalat was selected as it offered mobile users 3G (third-generation) wireless services. The company’s website said it had over 4.5 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2005, up 23% from the previous year. No figure was available for 2006.

Calling it a “test case", Modi said the rights are valid only for the UAE.

He also said his pet project—BCCI TV or a channel owned by the board—has been “put on the backburner for the time being". “You don’t win every battle," Modi said. “In a few years time, let’s hope the (board) members will be more attuned to the idea."

- Anik Basu

L&T to raise $400 mn through global receipts

Mumbai: India’s largest engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) is set to raise $400 million (Rs1,572 crore) through its third issue of global depository receipts (GDR).

The GDR is part of L&T’s plans to raise $1 billion in six months. “We have already mandated for a $400 million GDR issue. The price will be fixed in the first fortnight of November. The last time we did a GDR was in the 1990s," L&T chairman and managing director A.M. Naik said. The GDR will be listed in Luxembourg. “We have a mandate to raise $1 billion in six months but we will raise the remaining amount as and when we need it," Naik added.

L&T has some major investments coming up, including a shipbuilding facility that it is planning with an investment of Rs1,500 crore. L&T is understood to be in talks with Italian company Ficantieri for a joint venture.

“The talks are in preliminary stages. This will be finalized only after L&T chooses the location for the shipyard," said a source. L&T and Ficantieri declined to comment.


Halder quits Wadhawan, joins Bharti Retail

New Delhi: Dippankar Halder, who quit Mumbai-based Wadhawan Food Retail Ltd in September, has joined Bharti Retail Pvt. Ltd and will spearhead the company’s neighbourhood store format.

Bharti plans to invest between $2 billion (Rs7,860 crore) to $2.5 billion to open grocery stores to hypermarkets nationwide by 2015.

Separately, Bharti has tied up in a 50:50 joint venture with the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to open wholesale or cash-and-carry stores.

- Rasul Bailay

Weather-based crop cover scheme launched

New Delhi: A weather-based crop insurance scheme has been launched on a pilot basis, finance minister P.Chidambaram told a parliamentary consultative committee attached to his ministry on Wednesday, according to a press statement issued by the finance ministry.

‘Mint’ had on 23 October reported that the government will for the first time launch a subsidized weather-based crop insurance scheme for the forthcoming rabi season.

The government is also encouraging state-owned Life Insurance Corp. of India to go global, said Chidambaram.

- Staff Writer

Bardhan protests US pressure on nuclear deal

New Delhi:A.B. Bardhan, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI), has taken strong exception to the “pressure mounted upon the UPA (govt) by the US administration" to push the India-US nuclear agreement.

“Never before have I seen so many diplomats and high officials of one country descend upon another," he said at the end of the meet of the party’s national council. “It is they (the US) who are more interested in getting India into their strategic fold. The deal is more in their interest than in India’s. They are holding out allurements, threats and even blackmail."

- Staff Writer