The Mint Report for 3 December 2009

The Mint Report for 3 December 2009

New Delhi: India’s car market could see a powerful new player. General Motors and SAIC of China are close to an agreement on manufacturing and selling vehicles in India. The two companies are creating a 50-50 joint venture that will take over GM’s assets in India. GM and SAIC have been in talks about making light commercial vehicles to meet the growing demand for light trucks in India.

Infosys Technologies is expecting a windfall from four new businesses it got into in the last three years. The four new businesses are involved in infrastructure management, independent testing and validation, business process management and systems integration. Infosys expects to generate $1 billion of revenue from each of them by 2013. Each of the businesses currently contributes $250-300 million a year.

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Food prices continued to rise in November. The food price index rose 17.47% in the week ending on the 21 November. Poor monsoons and floods in parts of India have hurt Kharif crops and driven up food prices in recent months.

Earlier on Thursday, the Prime Minister’s chief economic advisor C. Rangarajan said India’s high food inflation was worrying and that India may have to tighten its monetary policy to deal with it.

India’s services sector has grown at a slower pace in November compared to the previous month. The HSBC Markit Business Activity Index fell to 55.2 in November compared to a high of 56.8 in October. Any figure above 50 indicates an expansion.

India’s iron exports doubled in October compared to a year earlier. Exports went to 9.325 million tonnes from 4.26 million tonnes last year. China is India’s biggest iron ore customer.

Coal India Limited is talking to a foreign mining company about buying one of its coal blocks in Western Australia. It believes the block will have in place reserves of 150 million tonnes of coal.

Norwegian telecom company Telenor has launched its services in seven out of India’s 22 mobile zones. The company will charge 29 paise per minute for local calls and 49 paise per minute for long distance calls.

Bharti Airtel reiterated that it’s putting its overseas acquisition plans on hold. Earlier, analysts had said Bharti could be looking for overseas expansion because of saturation in the Indian market.