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The government has slapped an additional penalty of $579 million on Reliance Industries (RIL) for producing less tha
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries (RIL) is preparing the ground to restart its 1,400-odd fuel retailing o
The government has slapped an additional penalty of $579 million on Reliance Industries (RIL) for producing less than targeted natural gas from its KG-D6 block. With this, the total penalty on RIL for missing the target in four fiscal years beginning April 1, 2010 now stands at a cumulative $2.376 billion. The penalty is in the form of disallowing costs incurred. The production sharing contract (PSC) allows RIL and its partners BP Plc and Niko Resources to deduct all capital and operating expenses from the sale of gas before sharing profit with the government. Disallowing costs will result in government’s profit share rising by $195 million from 2010-11 to 2013-14. The gas output from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas field in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block was supposed to be 80 million standard cubic meters per day but actual production was only 35.33 mmscmd in 2011-12, 20.88 mmscmd in 2012-13 and 9.77 mmscmd in 2013-14. This year the output has been only 8.05 mmscmd.
L&T Hydrocarbon, a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&T, has secured a contract valued at $846 million (Rs 5,076 crore) from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). L&T Hydrocarbon will execute a complete engineer-procure-construct contract for a gathering centre for KOC. KOC is a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and is fully owned by the State of Kuwait. Located in north Kuwait, the oil gathering facilities will receive crude from the Raudhatain fields. The centre is designed for a multi-stage process that will separate 100,000 BOPD (barrels of oil per day) of crude oil, 240,000 BWPD (barrels of water per day) of water and 62.5 MMSCFD (million standard cubic feet of gas per day) of associated gas to meet the quality requirements of downstream operations.
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has rejected power producer NTPC’s plea to consider a change in the tariff norms for the 2014-19 period. In the power sector the fuel cost is pass-through and CERC’s order could mean a cut in electricity bills for consumers by 32 to 82 paise, depending on the distance from the plant. For NTPC, this would mean profits taking a hit of Rs 1,200-1,300 crore annually. The power producer had approached the CERC seeking a review of the basis of calculating the cost of the fuel coal while deciding the tariff. It also wanted the Commission to review the incentives being linked to the plant load factor (PLF), among other points. NTPC had stated that due to the grossed up 15.5 percent return on equity and PLF-linked incentive, there would be an aggregate loss of internal resources of Rs 14,500 crore during the 2014-19 period.
GMR Infrastructure, a publicly held firm that manages the Delhi international airport, is set to kick-start the second phase of monetization of its 230-acre land parcel near the airport. The price it might get for its land is estimated to tip over Rs 100 crore per acre and go in the range of Rs 105-110 crore an acre. In the first phase of monetization in 2009, GMR had sold 45 acres of the parcel at Rs 75-90 crore an acre to various hospitality majors. This time, it could try to get approvals for also selling to other players besides hospitality one. Delhi's international airport is a landmark public-private partnership project that has been a flagship for Bangalore-based GMR Infra. After the company won this contract through international bidding in 2006, the airport was upgraded and expanded with a project cost of Rs 12,800 crore in the first phase, which was completed in record time.
In a bid to increase its market share Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has embarked on a game plan to get closer to consumers both in terms of selling new cars and for post-sales support. For instance, the company has decided to expand its initiatives for providing service-at-the-doorstep to Maruti car owners. Maruti has launched mobile workshops which car owners can use to get services like washing, oil changes and body polish right where they are. The other big idea that’s working well for Maruti is the go-to-market strategy focussed on specific segments. For example, the auto maker sent its sales force to look for new customers among the blue pottery industry of Jaipur or orange growers of Nagpur. Maruti is working on 372 niche customer segments already and have sold 60,000 cars in such markets over the last few months.
ICICI Bank, the largest private sector lender in the country, has outpaced its rivals in growing its credit card base during financial year 2013-14 (April-March). The lender, which had reduced its unsecured lending following the global financial crisis, has now started offering credit cards selectively to individuals who did not have a prior banking relationship with it. But its primary focus remains offering cards to its existing customers. ICICI Bank net added a net of 0.3 million cards to its portfolio during the year - more than any other lender in the country. This is in sharp contrast to HDFC Bank, the largest issuer of credit cards in India. HDFC Bank trimmed its credit card base by 1.39 million during this period, as the lender cleaned up inactive and dormant cards in its portfolio.
Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India, resumed operation at three open cast mines, which were closed since July 11 due to protest by locals. These mines have a combined daily production of about one lakh tonnes - a third of MCL's daily output. MCL halted operations at the mines after over a hundred people, who are staying in the mining zone, launched an indefinite shutdown in the area four days ago demanding relocation to a site which lies among the three coal mines. The mining operations were resumed after police chased the protesters away from the site and arrested eight of them.
Lenovo India and HCL Infosystems has tied up to strengthen Lenovo’s consumer retail and commercial business by leveraging HCL’s sales, distribution and after-sales support network. This is part of HCL Infosystem’s strategy of focussing around retail and servicing of computer peripherals after it discontinued its personal computer manufacturing business last year. According to the partnership, HCL Infosystems will sell and support Lenovo’s entire portfolio of PCs and tablets, as well as enhance their existing cooperation in the distribution of tablets, through its wholly owned subsidiary -- Digilife Distribution and Marketing Services.
OCL India, the flagship associate company of Dalmia Cement Bharat, has commissioned its 2 million tonne per annum and Rs 615 crore cement unit in West Midnapore of West Bengal. Built on 154.43 acres, the grinding and mixing unit was formally operationalised at an event attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The unit is located at the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation established Godapiasal Industrial Park, 81 km west of Kolkata. This is the first unit of OCL in the state. The company has two cement plants at Cuttack and Rajgangpur in Odisha with a combined production capacity of 5.35 MTPA. OCL already markets cement in West Bengal.
Public sector lender Corporation Bank has tied up with Atul Auto for financing commercial vehicles manufactured by the Gujarat-based company. For this, the bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the three-wheeler maker to facilitate finance for those buying its commercial vehicles across India. The tie up makes Corporation Bank as the preferred financier for financing commercial vehicles of the company. The bank will offer financing facilities to the eligible customers for purchasing commercial vehicles of the company through its branches. The bank had recently introduced incentives for vehicle dealers and their sales executives for sourcing vehicle loan.
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries (RIL) is preparing the ground to restart its 1,400-odd fuel retailing outlets in the country. The company has begun gauging its dealers’ preparedness and willingness for this. The company is setting a tentative deadline of September 2014 to reopen the outlets. RIL had in May 2008 closed its fuel retail outlets due to mounting losses, since it was selling fuel at rates much higher than the subsidized prices of state-owned oil companies. In 2010, around 75 fuel retailers in Gujarat had decided to exit the RIL dealership and sought reimbursement of the investment made. The dealers had invested between Rs 2 crore and Rs 4 crore in each outlet. Of the 225 retail outlets that RIL had in Gujarat, 150 were dealer-owned, dealer-operated (DODO) or company-owned, dealer-operated (CODO). The remaining 75 were company-owned, company-operated (COCO).
In order to increase supply to fuel-starved power plants, state-run Coal India has started production at its 12 million tonne per annum (MTPA) coal mine in Jharkhand. The Jharkhand project is said to be one of the major mining projects in the recent few years. The coal produced from the mine will be evacuated through Tori-Shivpur railway line which, however, is yet to be completed. The Amrapali opencast coal mine of Central Coalfields (CCL), a Coal India subsidiary, is located in Chatra district of Jharkhand. It has a ‘mineable’ reserve of 291 million tonnes. CCL took almost 10 years to begin mining coal from the Amarpali coal mine mainly due to delays in land acquisition and in the absence of rail line to connect the mining project.
Riding on the strategy of focusing on first-time buyers and rural markets, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has increased its market share in passenger vehicle segment in the first quarter of the current fiscal to 42 percent. In the April-June period, the company sold 2,41,812 units of passenger cars and utility vehicles out of an industry total of 5,73,038 units, garnering 42.19 percent market share. During the same period last fiscal, MSI had sold 2,22,645 units of passenger cars and utility vehicles out of industry total of 5,58,416 units, securing a market share of 39.87 percent. In June, the company’s market share rose to 45 percent with 91,226 cars and utility vehicles sold out of a total 2,04,081 passenger vehicles sold during the month.
Realty firm Sobha Developers’ sales booking declined 20 percent to Rs 482.2 crore during the first quarter of this fiscal due to lower volumes as well as realizations. Its sales bookings stood at Rs 602.8 crore in the same quarter of last fiscal. Bangalore-based Sobha Developers’ sales volume dropped to 754,000 square feet during the April-June quarter of 2014-15 fiscal as against 920,000 square feet in the corresponding period of 2013-14. The sales realization also dropped to Rs 6,388 per square feet from Rs 6,548 per square feet during the period under review. Sobha Developers’ sales bookings rose by about 6 percent to Rs 2,343 crore in the last fiscal on higher realization but missed the target of Rs 2,600 crore due to slowdown in demand, especially in the NCR-Gurgaon region.
UK drug regulator Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has raised a Class Four alert against Wockhardt’s amoxicillin sodium powder used in injections to treat a certain type of bacterial infection in children. The alert cautions medical practitioners from prescribing or using the drug as the company has received reports of ‘extravasation and injection site reactions’ in neonates and infants below one. A Class Four alert is least critical in nature and is issued mainly as a precaution. The regulator has also clarified that currently there is no evidence to suggest that Wockhardt’s product is defective. Last month, Wockhardt had recalled 8,000 bottles of anti-hypertension drug Metoprolol Succinate extended-release tablets in the US market following the failure of a dissolution test.
Tata Power, which is pursuing aggressive growth plans, has sought shareholders’ nod to raise up to Rs 7,000 crore through issue of non-convertible debentures. Besides, the leading private power utility has proposed increasing its borrowing limit to Rs 27,000 crore. The proposed borrowings might have to be secured by way of mortgages, charges and hypothecations on its movable/immovable properties. In view of its strategic intent to be the largest integrated power company in India, the company has aggressive growth plans in the fields of generation, transmission, distribution and fuel securitization. The company is also required to refinance Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds of Rs 2,000 crore, maturing in November 2014, and extend support to Coastal Gujarat Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary.
L&T Infotech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has developed an innovative App called ‘GlassiC’ using the Google Glass technology for Insurance Claims Adjustment. The GlassiC App built on wearable technology like Google Glass will help claims adjusters to do their job safely and efficiently, and improve customer experience with real-time claims processing. GlassiC enables adjusters to schedule their day efficiently, collaborate with senior adjusters, and reduces data entry efforts, thereby, increasing their productivity by 20 percent. The claims turnaround time can be cut by up to 30 percent. Further, the GlassiC App makes the Claims Adjustment processes more collaborative, efficient and diligent. It enables hands-free use in adverse conditions, and helps in audio-visual capture of damage assessment, witness statements, and provides ability to scan documents.
Top private sector lender ICICI Bank will consider listing its two insurance units to unlock value at an opportune time when it feels that the valuations are optimum. At the end of last fiscal, ICICI Bank had 17 subsidiaries, including six in overseas markets. The major domestic subsidiaries are ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, ICICI Securities, ICICI Venture Funds Management and ICICI Home Finance. The bank’s life insurance subsidiary sustained its profitability and maintained its position as the largest private sector life insurer in the country. Its general insurance subsidiary saw strong improvement in profitability in fiscal 2014, while maintaining its market leadership position among private players.
Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), struggling to increase sales over the past year, plans to introduce two new vehicles in 2015. The compact sports utility vehicle codenamed S101 will be pitted against Renault’s Duster and Ford EcoSport and the multipurpose vehicle codenamed U301 will take on Maruti Suzuki’s Ertiga and Honda’s soon-to-be launched Mobilio. The M&M vehicles will be completely new offerings. The company has got product pipeline all the way to 2019.
Real estate developers like DLF, Phoenix Mills and Embassy are studying options to launch Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the income they generate will be taxed at the hands of investors. Apart from real estate developers, global investors such as Blackstone and Brookfield also could look at launching REITS. REITS are like mutual funds that pool money to buy into real estate. They are tax efficient structures that distribute the majority of their incomes among their investors. While SEBI had come out with draft guideline on REITS, it deferred a final decision due to lack of clarity on paying tax when income was generated by the fund, and then again in the hands of the investor.
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