The Mint report for 5 November 2009

The Mint report for 5 November 2009

New Delhi: The government is trying to cut its fiscal deficit through stake sales. On Thursday home minister P Chidambaram said the government would make it mandatory for all profit-making government firms that are listed, to float at least another 10% of their stake. All unlisted government companies that have made profits for the last three years will also get listed. India’s fiscal deficit is expected to reach 6.8% of GDP by March of next year Chidambaram says the divestment process was consistent with the UPA government’s statements including its commitments to hold at least 51% stake in public sector companies.

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Food prices have risen at a faster rate. India’s wholesale food inflation rose 13.4% in the week ending the 24 October compared to a year earlier. Experts say the price rise has been sparked by both poor monsoons and floods in some parts of the country. The government did not release wholesale price index figures this week and will, instead, release them once every month from the 12 November.

The finance ministry says it’s considering changes to some of India’s tax laws. It’s looking at possible modifications to taxes on saving schemes, capital gains of non-residents and tax agreements with other countries.

GVK has announced it has purchased a 12% stake in Bangalore International Airport Limited for Rs485 crore. It’s subsidiary GVK Airport Developers bought the stake from Flughafen Zeurich and says it will buy more stake in the BIAL if it gets an opportunity. GVK also says wants to bid for an upcoming airport project in Navi Mumbai.

Wipro is buying some of British firm Yardley’s businesses. It will spend $45.5 million to buy Yardley’s operations in Asia, the Middle East, Australasia, and parts of Africa. Wipro says the acquisition will be completed by the middle of December and it expects revenue to start flowing from the March quarter.

Vedanta Resources has seen its profit drop in the first half of the fiscal year. The London based company posted a 46% fall in profit for the six months ending the 30 September. Net income also declined, falling to $188 million in the same period.

Markets rallied again on Thursday. The Sensex shot up 152 points to close at 16,064 and the Nifty climbed 55 points to end trade at 4,766.