The Mint Report for 29 December 2010

The Mint Report for 29 December 2010

It’s another blow to India’s grand ambitions to mine for hydrocarbons offshore. The government has decided to end contractual obligations with Australian firm Santos for a block in the Bay of Bengal. That’s because of an ongoing territorial dispute with Bangladesh over the maritime boundary between the two countries. Santos had signed a so-called production sharing contract with the government back in 2007. And it began exploration soon after. But the Bangladeshi Navy repeatedly denied it access to much of the area. Santos eventually stopped operations in February 2009.

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And environment minister Jairam Ramesh has promised announce decisions on two controversial projects in the coming weeks. He said his ministry would decide on Lavasa’s planned township in Maharshtra by 10 January. Ramesh also promised a decision on Korean steel company Posco’s proposed steel plant in Orissa by the end of January.

And finally, trading volumes may be going down in the year-end, but markets shot up on Wednesday, led by metal companies. The Sensex jumped 231 points to close at 20,256. And the Nifty gained 64 to finish at 6,060.

Metal companies gained because of a spike in copper prices. Sterlite Industries soared some 3.38% on the BSE to end at Rs185.15. And Hindalco winded up 1.73% higher at Rs241.45