The Mint Report for 13 October 2009

The Mint Report for 13 October 2009

New Delhi: China’s Shanghai Electric Power Company or Sepco wants to set up a service facility in India, but its application has remained stalled for 18 months as the Indian government. Sepco’s difficulties come at a time when Indian companies have placed orders for some 22,000MW of power equipment with Sepco and other Chinese companies, and these firms say they have letters of intent for equipment for another 25,000MW. In recent times, both Larsen and Toubro and government-run BHEL have lobbied the government to reduce the presence of Chinese power generation equipment makers.

Loading video...

BHEL is planning an equal joint venture with the Indian Railways for setting up a factory in West Bengal. If it comes up, the factory will be able to make 500 coaches a year for electrically powered trains. Earlier, railways minister Mamata Banerjee had in her budget speech, announced the decision to set up the factory worth about Rs300 crore. BHEL is focusing on the railways at a time when it fears its domestic market share could decline from 60% to 50%.

It’s good times for India’s auto industry. Car sales rose 21% in September, with Indian firms selling 129,683 cars during the month according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Truck and bus sales were more modest, increasing 6.5% to 45,451 units while motorcycle sales rose 6.6% to 673,891 units. September sales have been helped by festival spending, cheaper credit and pre-Diwali bonuses.

The World Bank has signed agreements to lend India $4.2 billion to help the government stimulate the economy. Out of the $4.2 billion, $2 billion dollars will go to public sector banks, $1.2 billion will go to IIFCL to fund infrastructure projects, and another billion will go into power transmission projects.

United Spirits is going to sell shares worth $300-$350 million to institutions as early as this week. The company decided to go for a QIP share placement after talks with private equity firms failed. United Spirits has a debt of $1.4 billion.

Kobe Steel’s machinery unit will build a factory near Chennai to assemble excavators. The company says the factory will produce 1,200 units every year and will start operations in January of 2011.

Steel Authority of India or SAIL says its considering buying coking coal mines in Australia, Indonesia and Mozambique. The company needs the coke for blast furnaces used to produce iron from iron ore. SAIL is one of five Indian companies that set up the company International Coal Ventures Limited to acquire coal resources overseas.

Ratnagiri Gas and Power is seeking protection from the sea. It plans to invite bids to build a breakwater worth 600 crore rupees so it can operate its west coast liquefied natural gas terminal throughout the year. At present, the company can only put the terminal to full use between October and May because there’s no breakwater to protect the ships from choppy seas.

Expect to see a lot more rich people in the years to come. A new report from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Capgemini says the number of high net worth individuals in India could triple over the next decade. According to the report, Indian and Chinese high net worth individuals will together be worth $4 trillion ten years from now.