The Mint report for 20 Oct 2009

The Mint report for 20 Oct 2009

About 8,000 workers from the auto industry went on strike on Tuesday in Gurgaon, an auto manufacturing hub just outside Delhi. They were protesting the death of a worker from auto component maker Rico Auto Industries, who was killed in police firing on Sunday. So far, only workers from component makers have gone on strike and employees at major companies like Maruti Suzuki and Hero Honda have not joined the protest. But discontent remains because auto workers’ unions believe they’ve been shortchanged by managements that have not passed on the benefits of rising sales to them.

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Tech Mahindra posted disappointing second quarter results on Tuesday. It’s net profit fell 44% to Rs169 crore compared to the same period last year. It’s revenues were also down slightly, falling 1.9% to Rs1,141 crore. Tech Mahindra’s numbers have been under pressure in recent months because of the interest it has had to pay for the money it borrowed to buy Satyam Computers.

Tata Consultancy Services says its orders have risen once again to the level they were at before the economic downturn. The company also says it has bagged enough customer contracts to maintain revenue growth for the next two years. It estimates sales will grow at least 20% a year once the global economy starts to recover. Just last week, TCS unveiled better than expected results for the second quarter, with net profits up 7.1% to more than Rs1,600 crore.

The government wants to reform India’s power distribution network, and the country’s IT industry wants to cash in. About Rs50,000 crore have been devoted to revamping the power network and about a fifth of that will go into information technology projects. TCS has already bagged a Rs193 crore project in West Bengal and other states are in the process of awarding IT projects to bidders.

The Supreme Court started its hearing on the gas dispute between the Ambani brothers on Tuesday. The counsel for Mukesh Ambani’s RIL started presenting its arguments and will continue to do so on Wednesday. RIL and RNRL have a dispute over the pricing and supply of gas from RIL’s KG D6 field. The two sides went to the Supreme Court after a Bombay High Court ruling that RIL considered unfavourable.

Reliance Capital is entering a strategic alliance with Daiwa Securities of Japan to set up an investment banking business in India. The deal will allow the two companies to share their domestic clients and give Reliance Capital access to high net worth individuals in Japan.

Den Networks Limited is set to open an IPO worth $100 million on 28 October. The company will offer 15.16% of its stake and will finalise its offer price band for its 20 million shares this week. Den Networks reaches about one crore homes and has 300,000 digital cable television subscribers.

One of India’s telecom tower operators, Tata-Quippo is talking to an American private equity firm about financing a potential purchase of Aircel’s tower assets. Aircel has 12,000 towers that are valued at $1.2-$1.5 billion.

Markets lost ground on Tuesday. The Sensex plummeted 103 points to end trade at 17,223 and the Nifty fell 27 points to close at 5,114.