The Week in Review for 26 March 2010

The Week in Review for 26 March 2010

New Delhi: Bharti is now close to a deal with Kuwaiti telecom company Zain. On Wednesday, Zain’s board approved the sale of its assets in Africa to Bharti for about $9 billion. But Bharti will also taking be taking on $1.7 billion worth of debt from Zain, bringing the total value of the deal to $10.7 billion. Zain’s decision on Wednesday came soon after Bharti announced it had tied up $8.3 billion in financing for the acquisition.

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ICICI Bank got a green light from Singapore’s regulators to begin retail operations in that country. The approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore allows ICICI to open branches, take deposits and give out loans like a local bank. As part of a 2005 agreement, India and Singapore agreed to open up their financial sectors to each other. In 2008, SBI got approval to start operations in Singapore. And India has already allowed Singapore’s DBS to open more branches locally.

The UB Group is going to sell off its holdings in Aventis Pharma. This week the company said it would offload the 10.27% stake it owns for about Rs414 crore. The stake will be picked up by a subsidiary of French company Sanofi-Aventis.

Piramal Healthcare has bought the marketing rights to Cipla’s emergency contraceptive, the i-pill. The company says it has spent Rs95 crore to buy the brand. Sales of the i-pill reached Rs30 crore over the last one year.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for spending on infrastructure to double. He said India would have to invest about $1 trillion during the five years up to 2017. Singh added that the doubling of infrastructure spending was necessary for the country to reach its annual growth target of 10%. India plans to invest $500 billion on infrastructure in the five years to 2012.

Starting sometime after June, passengers at Delhi airport are likely to pay higher user fees. That’s because the modernization programme that the user fees is helping to fund, is running higher than expected costs. On Thursday the board of the DIAL consortium that’s upgrading the airport set the new cost of the modernization at Rs12,700 crore. It’s earlier estimate was just under Rs9,000 crore.

Jet Airways says it’s going to lease out three of its Boeing 777s to help reduce its expenses. It will lease the aircraft to Thai Airways for a three-year period. The airline has already leased out four other Boeing 777s to Turkish Airlines.

Indian Oil Corporation says it will spend around Rs2,000 crore on wind and solar power. Its investment will buy it 200MW of wind power and 50MW of solar power. India currently generates about 15,400MW of power through renewable sources.

After a 24-hour delay over a fire permit, the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week got off to a blazing start on Thursday, with designers including Gaurav Gupta and Ritu Kumar showcasing their collections. Later, organizers also announced the show would be continue into Monday to make up for the delayed start.