The Mint report for 2 November 2009

The Mint report for 2 November 2009

New Delhi: It’s now almost than eight months since the deadline for a peer review of Nifty companies was supposed to have been completed. But Mint has found the process hasn’t even begun in four companies. State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, SAIL and Jindal Steel and Power are yet to see auditors. And the peer review is still going on at a fifth company, BHEL. India’ s market regulator Sebi ordered the review of companies on the Nifty and Sensex after news of the Satyam accounting scandal broke out.

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India’s stem cell banks are likely to come under government regulation in the near future. Health ministry officials are drafting a bill for a biomedical authority that will cover issues including stem cells. Currently there are no checks on the conditions in which stem cells are stored and transported. And the government cannot help customers with complaints about a stem cell bank.

Many of Japan’s auto companies are seeing their sales fall but one of them expects Indian market to turn in a bumper profit. Suzuki’s new forecast for its annual operating profit is now four times its original estimate thanks to soaring sales in the Indian market. It expects operating profit to reach 40 billion yen instead of 10 billion yen. And its forecast for its net profit is 15 billion yen instead of 5 billion yen.

October has been a bumper month for Bajaj Auto. The company reported a 52% hike in its two-wheeler sales for October to nearly 250,000 units. The company’s exports also did well, going up 12% to 84,000 units. A lot of the new sales have been driven by Bajaj’s Pulsar and100 cc Discover motorcycles.

A survey shows Indian manufacturing expanded for the seventh straight month in October but at a slower pace. The Purchasing Managers’ Index or PMI fell to 54.5 in October compared to 55 in September. Any figure above 50 indicates an expansion. The PMI is based on a survey of 500 companies and is created by HSBC and Markit Economics.

Mint has learnt that the civil aviation ministry has decided to partly unfreeze its process of granting overseas flying rights to airlines. The decision is expected to benefit Jet Airways and Kingfisher, the only private carriers in India that are allowed to fly overseas. Earlier, India’s troubled government-run airline, Air India had asked for a freeze on granting new routes to both foreign and private Indian carriers. The government grants international routes after negotiating agreements with other countries.