The Mint Report for 29 March 2010

The Mint Report for 29 March 2010

The power ministry appears to be divided over how to temporarily secure gas for NTPC from Reliance Industries. Power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said it’s not possible to secure the gas at below-market prices when an empowered group of ministers has already set a higher market price. NTPC and power ministry officials have been fighting to get gas at $2.34 per thermal unit. But the market price set by the government is $4.20 per thermal unit. NTPC and RIL are currently fighting a legal battle in the Bombay High Court over gas supplies. And the power ministry has been trying to temporarily secure some RIL gas for NTPC at below-market prices while legal proceedings continue.

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Reports say telecom companies Bharti and Zain could sign agreements on their assets purchase deal on Tuesday. Both companies have already said due diligence has been completed and that they are working on a final agreement. Under the deal, Bharti will buy Zain’s African assets for about $9 billion.

Credit Suisse says it has got approval to set up a bank branch in Mumbai. The proposed branch will allow Credit Suisse to accept deposits, use its balance sheet to offer financing and trade domestic fixed income products. Earlier this month, ANZ Bank announced it got approval to open a branch in Mumbai as well.

Citigroup has announced a change in its Indian leadership. The company has named one of its veterans, Pramit Jhaveri, the new head of its Indian operations. Jhaveri will manage all of the Citigroup’s businesses in India including consumer banking, institutional clients and wealth management.

Japan has committed to fund six major infrastructure projects in India. Under a new agreement, it will provide Rs10,535 crore in development assistance for the six projects. The projects being funded include the second phase of the Mass Rapid Transport System in Delhi. The money is expected to start coming in during the fiscal year starting April.