24 Aug | The Mint report

24 Aug | The Mint report

New Delhi: The CBI has confiscated the passport of the former chairman of NTPC. It’s investigating allegations of a pay-off made to Russia’s Techno-prom Exports for a contract to supply boilers to NTPC. After Techno-prom got the contract in 2005, the CBI had raided former NTPC CMD, C.P. Jain’s house.

A new Mint study shows the profitability of Indian manufacturers has fallen to the lowest in six years. The collective return on equity or RoE of 807 manufacturing companies fell to 15.39% in the year ending March 2009. In March 2007, the ROE was nearly 25%. ROE measures a firm’s profitability by showing how much profit it made with shareholder money. Several manufacturers carried out capital expansion during the good times and suffered during the economic slowdown after export markets dried up.

NACIL, the company that runs Air India has written to the government asking it not to allow Kingfisher to operate on the Delhi to London route. In a letter to the ministry of civil aviation Air India has said that there are already too many flights operating between India and the UK and that more of them will mean more losses for Air India. Kingfisher Airlines plans to stop its flights from Bangalore to London and instead fly from Delhi to London.

Airports at Delhi and Mumbai are only going to get more expensive for passengers. Operators of both airports want to hike their service fees by 10%. The service fees include passenger services — and also landing, parking, and navigation charges, for which the airport operators bill the airlines.

Fortis Healthcare is set to gain a presence in three major cities. It will buy a total of 10 hospitals in Mumbai, Kolkatta and Bangalore from Wockhardt Hospitals. The deal is valued at about Rs909 crore. Analysts say the acquisition will help Fortis expand beyond north India and help the founders of Wockardt Hospitals reduce their debt.

Coffee may be the world’s second most traded commodity after oil, but India’s coffee exports this year will be the lowest in a decade. Greater demand within India, high production costs, and climate change will bring exports down to below one hundred thousand tonnes.

Markets shot up on Monday. The Sensex rose 388 points to close at 15,629 — while the Nifty rose 114 points to end trade at 4,643.