The week in review for 22 January 2010

The week in review for 22 January 2010

New Delhi: Some of India’s top companies announced their third quarter results this week including its very biggest, Reliance Industries Limited. RIL posted better than expected results with its net profits going up 15.8% to Rs4,088 crore. Analysts have told Mint that RIL’s gas production was the main reason for the increase in profits. They also say the company’s gross refining margins, or GRMs, were better than expected in the third quarter.

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And in the telecom sector, India’s biggest mobile phone services operator, Bharti Airtel has reported modest gains in its third quarter numbers this week. Net profits went up to Rs2210 crore, which is a rise of just 2% compared to the same period last year. Several mobile operators including Airtel are struggling to maintain their margins in the midst of an ongoing tariff war. While the cuts in prices have helped operators add some 15 million new subscribers every month, Airtel says many of them are multiple sim subscribers and that only 80% of the market are real customers.

India’s second largest bank, ICICI, reported a less than expected fall in its quarterly profits. Net profit for the third quarter fell 13.4% to Rs1,101 crore compared to the previous year’s Rs1,272 crore. And a rise in bond tields caused its treasury book to report a loss of 26 crores compared to a profit of Rs976 crore in the same period last year. ICICI’s results come just days after HDFC Bank and Axis Bank reported more than 30% increases in their net profits.

Mint learnt that an empowered group of ministers has decided to make it compulsory for companies to use Indian- made equipment for ultra mega power projects. While the decision will benefit some local companies like BHEL and Larsen and Toubro, it could hit Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power, which has tied up with a Chinese company for two of its projects.

On Tuesday, confectionary maker Cadbury Cadbury agreed to a $19 billion takeover bid from Kraft Foods of the United States. Cadbury is a UK based company with major operations in India.

Bharti Walmart opened its first agricultural cooperative centre on Wednesday. The centre is based in Sirhind in Punjab and will collect and deliver fresh produce to Bharti Retails stores. Bharti Wal-Mart is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart.

Heavy fog could end up disrupting many more flights this winter. Airline regulator DGCA has tightened its rules for low visibility take-offs for Airbus planes. Like Boeing aircraft, they will now have to wait for 150m of visibility rather than just 125m. Airlines like Jet and SpiceJet largely run on Boeing planes while Air India runs on Airbus aircraft, along with private airlines like Kingfisher.

Mortgage lender HDFC reported a 22.75% increase in net profits to Rs671 crore. Loan approvals during the nine month period ending in December went up 22% to Rs41,110 crore.

After impressive numbers from TCS and Infosys last week, Wipro on Wednesday announced its quarterly profits shot up 21% to Rs1,217 crore. Wipro’s numbers have been helped by greater demand from banks and financial institution.