The Mint Report for 12 May 2010

The Mint Report for 12 May 2010

Kotak Mahindra Bank is considering buying a unit of Citibank in India. It’s talking to Citibank’s Indian management about a possible acquisition of CitiFinancial, which provides loans for homes, automobiles and other products. Kotak Mahindra Bank is currently conducting due diligence on the company’s assets. CitiFinancial has been struggling with bad loans since 2007.

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Luxury is selling. Sales of Jaguar Land Rover remained strong in April, going up 12% to 18,000 units. The company says it saw strong demand in markets like the United States, Britain and China. Jaguar Land Rover is wholly owned by Tata Motors. Sales were also driven by new models like the Freelander 2 and Discovery.

Bajaj Auto saw its numbers pick up. The two-wheeler company’s profit shot up 300% to Rs529 crore in the quarter to March. Net sales rose 84% to Rs3,290 crore. And the company’s operating margin for the quarter stood at 22.9%. But things may not continue to look so good. Bajaj is already warning that it will be difficult to maintain profit margins at current levels. Costs of raw materials like steel have been rising through the fourth quarter.

India’s industrial production has grown in March, but less than expected. Government figures show the index of industrial production increased 13.5% for the month on a year on year basis.