The Mint Report for 15 September 2010

The Mint Report for 15 September 2010

Some of India’s biggest companies have seen their advance tax payments spike up. State Bank of India paid close to 2,000 crores in the quarter ending September. That’s an increase of 5%. India’s most valuable company, RIL, paid 1,306 crore in the same period. And Mumbai’s third biggest taxpayer, LIC coughed up ,067 crore, an increase of nearly 1000% over the same period last year. Wednesday’s numbers suggest a healthy earnings season. Indian companies pay income tax every three months based on what they expect to earn during the period.

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India’s trade deficit is at its highest in almost two years. Commerce ministry numbers released on Wednesday show the deficit widened to $13 billion in August. In July that figure stood slightly lower at $12.9 billion. The ministry also said the total trade deficit for the entire fiscal could reach $135 billion. But commerce secretary Rahul Khullar added that while the higher-than-anticipated trade deficit was a matter of concern, it could still be financed.

The commerce ministry also announced export numbers on Wednesday. They’ve risen 22.5% to $16.6 billion in August. Imports meanwhile shot up 32.2% to nearly $29.7 billion.

Cairn India has moved to address the concerns of minority stakeholders in the planned share sale to Vedanta Resources. The company says it’s appointing a panel with two independent directors for the purpose. Bill Gammell, the chief executive of parent company Cairn Energy’s said the independent committee would be important in any discussions relating to market regulator Sebi. Vedanta Resources plans to buy up to 60% of Cairn India at a price that could reach $9.6 billion.