The Mint report for 19 Oct 2009

The Mint report for 19 Oct 2009

The government has approved a sale of 5% of its stake in NTPC. Monday’s decision will bring the government’s stake in NTPC down to 84.5% and raise about Rs8,600 crore. NTPC is India’s largest power generation company and is valued at about Rs170,000 crore.

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In another decision on Monday, the government decided to release wholesale price-based inflation data once every month rather than once every week. It also decided to change the base year for its inflation calculations to 2004-05. The currently base year for the wholesale price index is 1993-94.

UCO Bank is set to make the most of the stock market rally. It expects to raise Rs900-950 crore from an FPO. The bank has already revised premium estimates for its issue from Rs50 to Rs60.

Bad news for the cement industry. The October review of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy says cement prices are likely to fall for the rest of the fiscal year. India’s cement industry is expected to mark a record expansion in capacity this year, reaching about two hundred and seventy six million tonnes.

The coal ministry wants to know why some of the blocks it allotted for mining two years ago haven’t been developed. It has written to the Power Generation Corporation of Andhra Pradesh, also called AP Genco, demanding an explanation within a fortnight. The letter asks AP Genco to explain why its delays in developing the three coal blocks should not be treated as a violation of the terms of the allotment.

And the Supreme Court is going to start hearing the legal dispute between ADAG and RIL on Tuesday. The hearing will come just about a week after Anil Ambani made conciliatory remarks to his estranged brother Mukesh, who runs RIL.

Also on ADAG, India’s top oil industry body has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticizing the company’s media campaign in its gas supply dispute with RIL. And while the Association of Oil and Gas Operators doesn’t actually name ADAG in its letter, it refers to the advertising blitz the company unleashed in August, saying that it created a misleading picture that could end up complicating procedures or delaying decisions.