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After 30 years of selling cars and revolutionizing personal transportation in India, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is em
State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will invest Rs 12,000 crore in capex for FY15, a drop of 28 percent compared
After 30 years of selling cars and revolutionizing personal transportation in India, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is embarking on its next phase of journey with an eye on selling three million vehicles annually. The company would be at the forefront of the efforts to make India a significant player in the global market place. It is also developing 800cc compact diesel engines for Indian roads apart from giving special focus on electric vehicles and hybrids. In 2013-14, MSI had sold a total of 11,55,041 vehicles. In January, the company stopped production of the iconic Maruti 800, the car that revolutionized India's automobile industry. The car, produced at the Gurgaon plant, had sold a total of 2.7 million units since its launch in 1983.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will strengthen its project management team and go in for subcontracting instead of hiring local staff in the Persian Gulf, following a Rs 942-crore pre-interest and tax loss in the hydrocarbon segment in the last quarter. L&T posted a 111 percent year-on-year growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 967 crore in the first quarter of 2014-15 on the sale of its stakes in its finance services company, L&T Finance Holdings, and Dhamra port. However operationally, its results remained weak due to problems in the hydrocarbon business, which makes up 7 percent of its order book (Rs 1.95 lakh crore). With the domestic hydrocarbon business muted, L&T has spread its operations in the Gulf. It has been scouting for large orders in the segment for the last three years.
Jet Airways aims to save $100 million (Rs 611.5 crore) by renegotiating contracts with its vendors and suppliers with help from its strategic partner Etihad Airways, India's second biggest airline by market share. Jet's cost-saving target is in line with the recommendations of Seabury, a US consultant it hired to suggest network changes and cost saving measures. In its report, submitted in April, Seabury highlighted that Jet needs to urgently initiate measures to cut costs by at least $100 million. Separately, Jet Airways pilots have warned the management of agitation if the airline fails to offer a concrete plan on payment of arrears amounting to Rs 100 crore by August 20. Jet Airways, in which the Gulf carrier Etihad had invested Rs 2,058 crore for 24 percent stake, has 1,100 pilots on the roll. Its pilots have struck work for weeks in 2009 against sacking of two of their colleagues.
Force Motors is eyeing 20 percent market share in the niche off-road vehicle segment as it aims to sell around 2,400 units of its soon to be introduced off-road vehicle Gurkha in the first year of launch. The Pune-based firm, which plans to start selling the vehicle next month in the country, has already started exporting it to various markets. The company plans to utilize both its passenger vehicles and commercial vehicle sales network to market the off-roader model in the country. The passenger vehicle network of the company is small at around 25 dealerships while the commercial vehicle network stands at around 200 point of sales.
The automotive major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has expressed its plans to set up a Rs 300-crore tractor unit at Zaheerabad in Medak district of Telangana. A high-powered delegation headed by the company Chief Executive Officer Pravin Shah met Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to have outlined their plan for the Rs 300-crore project to manufacture the Dhruv range of tractors. The company plans to set up the unit adjacent to the existing manufacturing unit in the State. During the interaction, the company is learnt to have sought VAT and other concessions and facilities in line with the State norms. The M&M team also expressed its interest to provide commuters on the Hyderabad metro last mile connectivity once the project gets operational. They also want to introduce electric vehicles in the city seeking the State Government’s support and rebate.
In a first such tender for promoting the construction in this country of ships to carry liquefied natural gas (LNG), GAIL India has called for bids. It wants applications from companies holding a minimum 25 percent equity for seven years in three such operational vessels. Currently, there are no Indian shipyards that have been involved in the construction of LNG carriers. Those which bid would need a contractual agreement with a shipyard abroad which has constructed and delivered at least one LNG vessel with a capacity of at least 135,000 cubic metes in the preceding 10 years. The vessel must have been in service for at least one year prior to the bid. There are also various technical requirements for the Indian shipyards involved.
The promoters of Adani Group plan to sell their Abbot Point coal terminal in Australia at close to the acquisition price of $2 billion. They had bought the terminal in May 2011, at the peak of a coal boom. The project was transferred to the Adani family in January last year, after analysts raised objections over the high debt burden of India-listed Adani Ports, which had bought the terminal in an all-cash deal. The change in the group's strategy is mainly due to slowing coal traffic, apart from coal prices falling to $70 a tonne from $120 a tonne three years ago. The group has asked bankers in Australia to come up with proposals for sale and other options.
Apollo Hospitals is actively looking at expansion with the hub and spoke model and harnessing the telemedicine technology. At present, telemedicine centres were mostly utilized as tele-consultation centres but in near future these centres could be upgraded to offer intensive care with the help of specialized doctors with live monitoring and advise by sitting at a remote location. Apollo Group manages 8,600 beds across 50 hospitals and has 150 telemedicine centres. The eICU technology allows a remote intensivist to interact with a patient at ICU and part of the care team with a high definition camera, medical data monitoring system and an Audi-Visual module for discussion with the bedside staff.
Surya Roshni aims a turnover of Rs 1,800 crore from its lighting division in the next four years. The company, which has recently forayed into the light emitting diode (LED) segment, is expecting a good traction from the new business. Surya Roshni had revenue of Rs 1,125.77 crore from the lighting segment as on the financial year ended March 31, 2014. The company has already invested Rs 20 crore in R&D for LED and plans to put Rs 25 crore more within a year. Surya Roshni, which has also announced foray in the home appliance sector, is working on product development and would launch it by September 2014.
Sanwaria Agro Oils is targeting 60 percent revenue from its branded segment in three years and is planning to launch rice bran oil in six months. At present, the Madhya Pradesh-based edible oil maker gets 15 percent revenue from the branded segment and 85 percent from bulk business. Sanwaria Agro Oils is planning a capex of up to Rs 300 crore for the next two years subject to the approval of shareholders. The company is also planning to introduce rice bran oil in next six months. The company currently has 200 tonnes per day capacity rice mill at Itarsi near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and is setting up another 400 tonnes per day capacity unit near it, which will be operational by December.
State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will invest Rs 12,000 crore in capex for FY15, a drop of 28 percent compared with FY14, when the company had a planned capital investment of Rs 16,700 crore. Indian Oil, which has been maintaining its leadership in the downstream petroleum sector for the past many years and currently holds a market share of 47.1 percent, has an expenditure target of Rs 56,200 crore for various projects in the 12th Plan period, which is substantially higher than the Rs 48,655 crore spent in the 11th Plan period. The pipelines division of IOC is currently implementing 13 projects at a cost of Rs 6,800 crore to expand its network of crude oil and product pipelines during the 12th Plan period.
Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) has appointed two local investment bankers - Kotak Mahindra Capital and Axis Capital - as the company seeks to persuade minority investors to back a controversial plan that calls for the carmaker's proposed Gujarat factory to be set up by parent Suzuki Motor Corp. Maruti Suzuki's manufacturing will be contracted to the plant in a practice that some experts say is unusual for the industry. The move has been opposed by some shareholders who believe it will undermine the Indian unit and divert income to the parent.
Larsen & Toubro's (L&T) arm - L&T Hyderabad Metro Rail has begun test runs on a small stretch from its Uppal depot to Secunderabad section. The concessionaire L&T expects to commission first stretch of 8 km of the 72-km elevated metro project by March 2015. Once the trial runs are completed, it will take up detailed tests of the rail network. The Rs. 16,000-crore project seeks to decongest three dense corridors in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The work on various stretches is now underway, including construction of depots and metro stations in the phase one of the project.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has threatened to disconnect links with Idea Cellular across seven circles on the grounds that the private operator has not signed a fresh interconnection agreement. If BSNL carries out its threat, Idea Cellular’s subscribers in the seven circles will not be able to make calls to the PSU’s mobile and fixed-line telephone users, and vice versa. The circles are Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Kolkata, North East, Odisha, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai) and West Bengal. BSNL has complained to the Department of Telecom (DoT) that Idea Cellular has not signed the contract despite getting reminders over the past eight months. Idea Cellular had lost the licences for these circles after the Supreme Court scrapped 122 licences as part of its ruling on the 2G spectrum scam.
Low-fare carrier SpiceJet has recently increased salaries of pilots and crew after three years, a move which may give investors hope that all is not bad with the loss-making carrier. SpiceJet in the last few years had gone below the market index in terms of salaries to pilots. This will bring it on par with its peers. Also, recently, the airline’s chief operating officer Sanjiv Kapoor wrote to its employees assuring them their several tax filing forms will be given to them soon. Employees haven’t got these forms for a year, which had led to doubts that the airline wasn't paying its taxes. SpiceJet has been fronting aggressive ticket sales in the country, leading a chain reaction of such offers among other carriers. In June, SpiceJet had the highest load factors of 81.4 percent in the industry, beating market leader IndiGo.
FMCG player Marico has decided to hold on to its prices in the first quarter of this financial year despite facing margin pressure due to input cost inflation. Last year the company took a 19 percent weighted average price increase during the April and June quarters due to spurt in copra prices. With copra prices peaking, the company is hoping some price correction in input costs will help it in holding on to prices. Marico is seeking volume growth across its brands while keeping its gross margins at a threshold level. The company has also been facing flat growth in its products targeted at the youth comprising gels, deos and serum under brands like Livon, Zatak and Set Wet.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Neeraj Singhal, Vice Chairman of Bhushan Steel, in connection with the Syndicate Bank bribery case. The case has led to the suspension of Sudhir Kumar Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of the Syndicate bank. Bhushan Steel is one of the prime accused in the bribery case and CBI has recovered the bribe amount of Rs 50 lakh from Sudhir Kumar Jain. The CBI has alleged that Bhushan Steel paid a bribe of Rs 50 lakh to Jain to prevent the bank from declaring a Rs 150-crore loan to the company a non-performing asset.
Mid-size company ITC Infotech plans to grow its revenues by 50 percent in the 2015 fiscal, on the back of a healthy deal pipeline in financial services. The IT arm of ITC expects to increase its revenues from $200 million in 2014 to $300 million in 2015 fiscal. Further, the company has taken a different approach that involves changes to its sales team, focusing on domains and not restricting to solutions specifically such as Java or .NET. The company is also looking at a strategy of mining its existing clients in Europe, rather than go after a lot of new ones as it feels that the quantum of outsourcing work that can come from existing clients is still significant.
At a time when most banks have switched focus on expanding their retail housing finance business to preserve asset quality in an uncertain economic environment, ING Vysya Bank appears to buck the trend. The private sector lender has significantly scaled down its incremental disbursal of home loans because of lower pricing and rising incidence of pre-payment. While the bank has not exited the retail housing finance business, it is neither stepping up the incremental acquisition of home loan borrowers. In the first three months of this financial year, housing loans constituted only nine per cent of ING Vysya Bank’s aggregate mortgage disbursals compared to 30 percent in 2013-14 and 60 percent in 2012-13. The share of home loans in the lender's mortgage book is now below 60 percent compared to 90 percent earlier.
Bharti Airtel has raised Rs 2,100 crore by selling a 4.5 percent stake in its telecom tower subsidiary, Bharti Infratel. The sale, to comply with SEBI’s minimum public shareholding norm of 25 percent, took place in the open market. Airtel sold 85 million shares of Bharti Infratel to bring down its holding to 74.86 percent. The Offer for Sale, which opened and closed yesterday on the BSE and the NSE, was for 45 million shares, with a green shoe option to sell an additional 40 million shares. The offer for sale was over-subscribed 2.4 times as bids came for about 204 million shares.
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