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Rajesh Exports acquires Valcambi, world’s largest gold refinery, for $ 400 million

Michael Mesaric, CEO, Valcambi and Rajesh Mehta, Chairman, Rajesh Exports Limited
Michael Mesaric, CEO, Valcambi and Rajesh Mehta, Chairman, Rajesh Exports Limited
Rajesh Exports Limited (REL) today said that it had, through its wholly owned subsidiary in Singapore, fully acquired European Gold Refineries, the 100 percent holding company of Valcambi, the world's largest gold refinery, in an all-cash deal with a total investment of $ 400 million.
 
Valcambi is the world’s largest precious metals refining company headquartered in Switzerland, a press release from the company said.
 
Valcambi has processed and sold 945 tons of gold and 325 tons of silver on an average per year during the last three financial years which is more than the annual consumption of gold in India, it said.
 
Valcambi refinery is London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) accredited and its gold bars are accepted as good delivery bars across all the official commodity exchanges in the world like COMEX (Chicago Commodities Exchange), NYMEX (New York Commodities Exchange), TOCOM (Tokyo Commodities Exchange), Shanghai Gold Commodities Exchange, DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Exchange), and MCX (Multi Commodities Exchange, India).
 
According to the release, Valcambi has been a consistently profit making and dividend paying company for the past 53 years.
 
For the last three years on an average per year Valcambi generated revenues in excess of $ 38 billion (Rs. 2,36,500 crore) and EBITDA of $ 33 million (Rs. 205 crore) by refining and selling 945 tons of gold and 325 tons of silver per year. Valcambi is a zero debt company with considerable cash surplus on its balance sheet. KPMG is Valcambi’s auditor and has been auditing the company for more than 40 years.
 
Valcambi was owned by Newmont Mining Corporation and a group of Swiss investors.
 
Newmont is one of the world’s biggest gold and copper mining companies and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1925 and is a part of S&P 500 Index. The owners of Valcambi conducted a global search for divesting Valcambi, and after an extensive search selected Rajesh Exports to acquire Valcambi, the release said.
 
Grant Thorton assisted Rajesh Exports in due diligence and Credit Suisse is part financing the acquisition through a long-term debt, it said.
 
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Mr. Michael Mesaric a globally recognized authority in gold industry and the current CEO of Valcambi, along with his entire senior management has agreed to be a part of REL for smooth transition and future expansion. With the acquisition, REL will become an integrated player covering precious metal refining and gold jewellery making. The acquisition will be EPS accretive for REL, the release said.
 
Mr. Emilio Camponovo, the founder and current major shareholder of Valcambi said, “More than the price of sale, my aim was to deliver the company to a buyer who would maintain its world class standard and stature. I am confident that under the leadership of Rajesh Exports, Valcambi will keep up it’s excellence and would continue to grow and increase it’s share in the global gold business.”
 
Mr. David Faley, Vice President, Newmont Mining Corporation said, “We have long term contracts with Valcambi for refining the gold produced from a number of our mines primarily due to the trust, credibility and global standards of Valcambi. We are pleased that Valcambi is being acquired by Rajesh Exports with whom we are continuing our long term refining contracts and we are confident that Rajesh Exports will maintain the high standards of Valcambi.”
 
Mr. Mesaric said, "The coming together of REL and Valcambi would ensure that Valcambi improves on its global share of gold business, by opening up new markets in India, Middle East and China. Valcambi would also focus on forward integration and on innovative gold products in the European markets, by utilising the technical expertise of Rajesh Exports Limited. The team of Valcambi will continue to deliver quality performance in its products and numbers under the able and proven leadership of Rajesh Exports Limited.”
 
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Mr. Rajesh Mehta, Chairman, Rajesh Exports Limited said “ This is a historic moment for REL and for the global gold business. The coming together of REL and Valcambi would expand the global gold business and would prove very productive for the future global plans of REL group. We will seamlessly integrate Valcambi into REL group and would continue with the professional and globally acclaimed management of Valcambi. The acquisition is also of national importance for India, as India is the largest consumer of gold in the world, it would be a step in the right direction by an Indian company to own a world class asset like Valcambi. On a theoretical basis Valcambi is capable of supplying the entire gold requirement of India. This acquisition will add significantly to the revenues and profitability of REL group during the coming years.”
 
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UK Minister Oliver Letwin to visit India from July 27-29

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United Kingdom Minister in charge of the Cabinet Office Oliver Letwin will visit Mumbai and Delhi from July 27-29 for talks with top government officials and business leaders on ways of strengthening economic and financial collaboration between the two countries.
 
Mr Letwin is the first British Cabinet Minister to visit India after the British general elections held in May.
 
The visit will focus on deepening the warm relationship between the two countries ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visitt to the UK in November, a press release from the British High Commission here said.
 
Mr Letwin will also reiterate the UK Government’s offer of £1bn of export finance credit in support of infrastructure and other needs in India, it said.
 
"I would like to reiterate the British Government’s commitment to work towards ‘an enhanced partnership with India’. Our Government launched the GREAT Collaborations campaign to complement Prime Minister Modi’s vision of Make in India. We look forward to forging a stronger commercial and economic relationship with his Government and to welcoming him to the UK later this year," Mr Letwin said.
 
In Mumbai, Mr Letwin will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to discuss further strategic engagement between Maharashtra and the UK. They will discuss co-operation on the Maharashtra government’s ambitions around ease of doing business, smart cities, financial services, skills and education. Mr Fadnavis and Mr Letwin will attend a reception for leading business personalities hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai, Mr Kumar Iyer.
 
Mr Letwin will also undertake a series of high level calls including on Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, State Bank of India Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and business leaders Anand Mahindra and Deepak Parekh.
 
The Minister will also participate in a round table with CEOs of leading Mumbai financial institutions.
 
"It is inspiring to see the broad range of engagement between the UK and Maharashtra stretching from business and infrastructure to arts and education. It is particularly good to see the clear focus in Maharashtra on improving the climate for business," Mr Letwin said.
 
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"The UK is one of the biggest investors in Maharashtra. It is also a key strategic partner. With offers of funding support for infrastructure to the extensive support on the Ease of Doing Business, we greatly value our partnership with the UK," the release quoted Mr Fadnavis as saying.
 
In New Delhi, Mr Letwin will call on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss financial and economic cooperation between the UK and India. He is scheduled to discuss infrastructure and bilateral cooperation between the UK and India with Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, and clean energy financing with Power Minister Piyush Goyal. 
 
Mr Letwin will also launch a British Council report on Social Entrepreneurship. The report’s preliminary findings suggest how the UK and India can work together to develop social entrepreneurship, the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves fall by $ 1.034 billion to $ 353.326 billion

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Falling for the fourth week running, India's foreign exchange reserves declined by $ 1.034 billion to $ 353.326 billion in the week ended July 17, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had gone down by $ 156.9 million to $ 354.361 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had fallen by $ 98.1 million to $ 328.931 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.074 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) decreased by $ 39.6 million to $ 4.018 billion in the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 12.8 million to $ 1.302 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance reports 4.4% rise in net profit to Rs 6,222 crore in Q1 of 2015-16

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a 4.4 percent rise in its net profit to Rs 6,222 crore in the first quarter (Q1) of financial year 2015-16 during which it achieved its highest gross refining margin in six years.
 
The company said in a press release that its revenue, however, decreased by 23 percent to Rs 83,064 crore in the quarter, as compared to Rs. 107,905 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. 
 
The decline in revenue was led by the 43.5% year-on-year (Y­o­Y)  decline in benchmark (Brent) oil price, it said.
 
The company recorded a Gross Refining Margin (GRM) of  $ 10.4/barrel for the quarter, it said.
 
During the quarter, RIL commissioned a 650 KTA PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Resin plant at Dahej in Gujarat, one of the largest bottle­grade PET resin capacity at a single location globally. This consolidates Reliance’s position as a leading PET resin producer with a global capacity of 1.15 MMTPA.
 
In April 2015, RIL commissioned 1,150 KTA PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid) plant at Dahej, taking its total PTA capacity to 3.2 
MMTPA and global capacity share to 4%. Paraxylene, the key feedstock for the PTA plant is sourced from Reliance’s Jamnagar refinery. The PTA plant is also forward integrated with the 
650 KTA PET plant in the same complex. 
 
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Mr. Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, RIL, said,  “Our financial performance reflects the benefits of integrated 
hydrocarbon chain activities in a benign oil price environment. The sharp increase in demand for transportation fuels helped us realize strong refining margins. Oil product demand globally is estimated to 
have grown at ~1.6 MMBPD YTD, resulting in high refinery runs across all regions. Our petrochemicals business recorded a strong quarterly performance supported by high operating rates and margin 
strength in the ethylene chain. In our retail business, we have reached significant milestones over the past couple of years and continue the high growth trajectory for this business."
 
"As we look forward, we are committed to accelerating the growth of operating EBITDA. We are leveraging the strength of our integrated value chains to deliver sustainable growth. Large investments in our petrochemicals and refining businesses are based on advantaged 
feedstocks to enable us to stay among low­cost, competitive producers in an evolving hydrocarbon chain environment. We maintained rapid progress in project construction activity at Jamnagar. The company’s world­scale petcoke gasification project and ethylene cracker are on track for planned start­up in 2016. We are also in the final lap of launch of our Jio services which will bring 
about a positive transformation in the lives of millions of Indians," he added.
 
The company said exports from its Indian operations were lower by 44.9% at Rs. 36,717 crore ($ 5.8 billion) as against Rs. 66,600 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year due to lower product prices in line with lower crude oil prices.
 
The cost of raw materials declined by 39.1% to Rs. 50,305 crore ($ 7.9 billion) from Rs. 82,631 crore on YoY basis, primarily on account of sharp decline in crude oil prices.
 
Other income was lower at Rs. 1,832 crore as against Rs. 1,974 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year, primarily on account of lower accruals on investments, it said.
 
The company said its outstanding debt as on 30th June 2015 was Rs. 170,814 crore as compared to Rs. 160,860 crore as on 31st March 2015. Cash and cash equivalents as on 30th June 2015 were at Rs.  87,391 crore. These were in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs and Government Bonds and other marketable securities.
 
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Virat Kohli to lead 15-man Indian squad on Sri Lanka tour

 
BCCI names squad for Test series in Sri Lanka
Virat Kohli will lead the 15-man Indian squad on a tour of Sri Lanka during which it will play a three-match Test series.
 
The team was picked up by the All-India Senior Selection Committee, headed by Sandeep Patil, of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its meeting here earlier today, a press release from BCCI said.
 
This will be the first full-fledged tour for Kohli as India's Test captain.
 
The team includes leg-spinner Amit Mishra, 32, who makes a return to the Test squad after a four-year gap. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has also been retained in the side.
 
Another notable inclusion is Lokesh Rahul, who had missed the recent Bangladesh tour because he was suffering from dengue at the time.
 
The following is the team:
 
Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron. 
 
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80% of companies increased revenue by investing in Internet of Things: TCS study

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About 80 percent of companies surveyed in a global study by IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said they had increased revenue by investing in the Internet of Things.
 
"Across the board, those companies investing in IoT are reporting significant revenue increases as a result of IoT initiatives with an average increase of 15.6 percent in 2014. Almost one in ten (9 percent) saw a rise of at least 30 percent in revenue," a press release from TCS on the results of the study said.
 
The release said company executives still see the IoT as a growing area for businesses, with 12 percent identifying a planned spend of $100 million in 2015 and 3 percent looking to invest a minimum of $1 billion among the 795 companies surveyed. 
 
The report also shows that companies predict their IoT budgets to continue increasing year-on-year, with spending expected to grow by 20 percent by 2018 to $103 million.
 
TCS launched the global study to look at the impact of IoT technologies across a wide range of industry sectors around the world.
 
The TCS Global Trend study on IoT, which surveyed 795 executives from large multinationals, identifies the huge potential for revenue increases from IoT, while also highlighting the significant challenges that lie ahead for businesses transitioning to the new model.
 
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Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of TCS, said: “The age of IoT is well underway. The question is whether businesses are ready to realise the full potential of this technology. Our latest global trend study found that leaders in using IoT technologies are using it to completely reimagine their businesses by changing every aspect of them from business models and products to business processes and workplaces.”
 
He added: “Now is the time for every leader in every industry to reimagine the possibilities for their businesses in a world of smart, connected ’things’.”
 
According to the release, companies at the very forefront of this drive for innovation through IoT have seen the biggest benefits from their investments. 
 
The top eight percent of respondents, based on ROI from IoT, report a staggering 64 percent average revenue gain in 2014 as a direct result of these investments. Currently the biggest business impact is that companies can offer their customers more bespoke products and services, yet by 2020 this will convert from marketing functions to increased sales, through adding considerable value to the customer.
 
"This is reflected in the finding that the most frequent use of IoT technologies by companies is tracking customers through mobile apps, used by almost half of all businesses (47 percent). More than half (50.8 percent) of IoT leaders admit to investing in IoT to track their products and how these were performing, whereas this is only the case with 16.1 percent of the respondents with the lowest ROI from IoT," it said.
 
Despite the encouraging data on IoT investment and its impact on revenue growth, the report also revealed that major challenges remain in realising the promise of IoT for businesses across all sectors. The report found that the three biggest factors holding companies back were:
 
Corporate culture: Respondents identified the ability to get employees to change the way they think about customers, products and processes was a major barrier;
 
Leadership: Having top executives who believe in IoT and are willing to invest time and resources is critical;
 
Technology: Questions around technology continue to loom large including handling Big Data; internal vs external development; integrating IoT data with enterprise systems; and ensuring security and reliability.
 
The release said the healthcare sector has been hailed as having the greatest potential to benefit from the IoT, but remains one of the most underdeveloped industries due to regulatory restrictions and data security concerns that currently hinder innovation. The sector plans to spend just 0.3 percent of revenue in 2015, but will be increasing this investment by at least 30 percent by 2018. The healthcare market driven by the IoT is predicted to be worth $117 billion by 2020.
 
In contrast, executives in the industrial manufacturing sector are reporting the largest increase in revenue from IoT, with an average 28.5 percent, followed by financial services (17.7 percent) and media and entertainment (17.4 percent). The automotive industry has the lowest revenue gain with just a 9.9 percent increase.
 
The report, which looks at trends across 13 key industries, found that large-scale investment in IoT infrastructure and monitoring is not confined to those in manufacturing, however, with the travel, transportation and hospitality sectors planning to spend 0.6 percent of revenue this year. Media and entertainment companies will spend 0.57 percent of their revenue on IoT in this year – significantly more than the 0.4 percent average and the 0.44 percent spend in banking and financial services.
 
The release said revenue increases are also being enjoyed globally with all regions reporting double-digit growth in 2014, but US firms are reporting the largest gains of 18.8 percent, up from the previous year.
 
In revenue terms, Europe as a whole is seeing a 12.9 percent increase, while Asia-Pacific reports a 14.1 percent increase and Latin America an impressive 18.3 percent growth. In 2015, European firms plan to spend $93.9 million on average, with French firms leading the charge ($138 million on average), ahead of Germany ($86.2 million) and the UK ($80.9 million).
 
North American companies will spend 0.45 percent of revenue this year on IoT initiatives, while European companies will spend 0.40 percent. Asia-Pacific companies will invest 0.34 percent of revenue in the IoT, and Latin American firms will spend 0.23 percent of revenue. This has led to North American and European companies more frequently selling smart, connected products than are Asia-Pacific and Latin American companies, the release added.
 
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HCC-Coastal joint venture awarded Rs 785 crore contract

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Infrastructure major HCC Ltd today said that its joint venture (JV) with Coastal Projects Ltd has been awarded a Rs 785 crore contract by Northeast Frontier Railway.
 
The contract is for developing a 9.5 km tunnel between Tupul and Imphal for a new railway line from Jiribam to Tupul. The share of HCC in the JV is 60% which is Rs.471 crore. The project is to be completed in 40 months, a press release from the company said.
 
This is the fourth successive order received by HCC from Northeast Frontier Railway on the new railway line between Jiribam and Tupul. 
 
The first project was to construct a 3.25 km tunnel between Dholakal and Kaimai Road stations and second was construction of a 3.3 km tunnel between Kambiron Road and Thingou stations and the third order was to develop a 4.9 km long railway tunnel between Kaimai Road and Kambiron Road stations. 
 
HCC is also constructing the 4.315 km long Bogibeel Rail-cum-road Bridge over river Brahmaputra near Dibrugarh, Assam for Northeast Frontier Railway.
 
Mr. Arun Karambelkar, President & CEO- E&C, HCC Ltd. said, “HCC is proud to receive the fourth order from Northeast Frontier Railway. It is testament to the confidence enjoyed by the company in successfully executing complex tunneling work. HCC with its sound engineering expertise and committed team is all set to leverage the opportunities in the infrastructure space."
 
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Shukla, Thakur, Chaudhry, Ganguly in IPL working group on Lodha report

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today constituted a four-member working group which will prepare the roadmap for the coming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and related matters, a day after the IPL Governing Council (GC) decided to implement the Lodha Committee report.
 
The IPL GC had yesterday authorised its chairman Rajeev Shukla to constitute a working group to study the order of the panel of three judges appointed by the Supreme Court, headed by former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, in the spot-fixing case.
 
Apart from Mr Shukla, the other members of the working group are Mr. Anurag Thakur, Honorary Secretary of BCCI; Mr Anirudh Chaudhry, Treasurer of BCCI; and former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, member, IPL GC.
 
The committee will be assisted by the legal adviser of BCCI, Mr. U.N.Banerjee, a press release from the Board said here today.
 
"The committee will share their recommendations with the Governing Council within a time frame of six weeks after consulting all the key stakeholders," the release added.
 
The Lodha panel had, in its verdict on July 14, suspended two teams --  Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) -- for two years because their officials were involved in betting.
 
The panel also banned Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan and one of the faces of CSK till 2013, and RR co-owner Raj Kundra, the husband of film star Shilpa Shetty, for life from any involvement with BCCI in any cricket matches for bringing the game into disrepute.

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One dead, three injured in landslide on Mumbai-Pune expressway

 
Landslide blocks traffic on Mumbai-Pune Expressway
One person died and three others suffered injuries when their car was caught in a landslide on the Mumbai-Pune expressway on Sunday afternoon, official sources said.
 
Police in Raigad district told NetIndian over the telephone that the injured -- two women and a man -- were admitted to the Lokmanya Tilak Hospital in Pune.
 
The landslide, which occurred around noon, blocked traffic on the busy expressway for some hours. However, by evening, traffic was partially restored on the affected section, they said.
 
The incident occurred near the Adhoshi tunnel on the expressway, the sources said.
 
The expressway has heavy traffic on the weekends as thousands of people make their way to the several popular tourist destinations in the area and back. Landslides occur due to heavy rains during the monsoon in the area.
 
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QuikWallet Raises $1.6 million, now caters to about 1000 offline locations

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QuikWallet, the mobile payments firm for the F&B sector, promoted by Livquik Technology India Pvt. Ltd, has secured $ 1.6 million in follow-on  funding from its existing investor Snow Leopard Technology Ventures.
 
Including this round of funding, the venture has in all raised $ 2.1 million and is looking to raise $5 million in Series A financing, a press release from the company said.
 
The venture currently caters to about 1000 restaurants and small merchants with a Gross Transaction Value (GTV) of Rs. 50 Lakhs and growing rapidly on a monthly basis, it said.
 
QuikWallet started off as a payments and loyalty app for restaurants and has transformed itself into a platform that serves diverse merchant categories – from small neighborhood stores, florists, education institutions to car service centres.
 
The platform provides merchants with a plethora of options like SMS, NFC, QR codes, Web/Mobile Apps and a POS Software integrated approach to help collect payments both offline as well as online, it said.
 
Mohit Lalvani, co-founder & CEO, LivQuik Technology India Pvt. Ltd., said “The line between online and offline is blurring with offline merchants wanting to sell online and vice-versa. On the other hand, banks need to compete with mobile wallets and have to provide a similar solution for their customers. We have now expanded our offering to own the customer whether they transact online or offline, where we work with banks as issuers on our platform. With our open approach, we are trying to create a standard and our DNA of being customer and merchant driven, provides a distinct edge in doing so.”
 
“Payment options available today require a 16-digit card number and further authentication for online transactions. For offline they require the merchant to have a POS terminal. And for mobile, banks need to implement additional software and hardware to enable NFC payments which makes them expensive to implement and maintain.  Posing constraints in a cost-conscious market like India, our vision is to bring down the barrier for a merchant to accept payments using just an SMS & NFC tags with no data connectivity or hardware terminals required,” he further added.
 
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According to Chris Kolenaty, CEO of Snow Leopard Ventures, “We are happy to lead this round for QuikWallet. The approach of their platform is radically different from that of peers and more sustainable and scalable in the long run. Their potent mix of technology (indigenously developed patent pending platform) and relentless consumer and merchant focus is what excites us.”
 
QuikWallet’s merchant connect platform interfaces with its consumer facing app, enabling businesses and consumers to transact fast and secure. The USP (unique selling proposition) of the platform is that merchants require no hardware whatsoever and sensitive payment information never enters the merchant environment. QuikWallet’s consumer app also features utility bill payments. QuikWallet has the necessary data security certifications in place and recently applied to the Reserve Bank for a semi-closed prepaid payments license, the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves fall by $ 156.9 million to $ 354.361 billion

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Falling for the third week running, India's foreign exchange reserves went down by $ 156.9 million to $ 354.361 billion in the week ended July 10, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had dipped by $ 704 milion to $ 354.518 bllion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had fallen by $ 177.4 million to $ 329.913 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.074 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) increased by $ 15.5 million to $ 4.058 billion in the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) rose by $ 5 million to $ 1.315 bllion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Cricket: Champions League Twenty20 to be discontinued

 
Cricket: Champions League T20 scrapped
The Governing Council of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) today confirmed that the CLT20 competition would be discontinued with immediate effect. 
 
The Governing Council of the CLT20, comprising representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket South Africa (CSA) and CricketAustralia (CA) made the decision unanimously, a press release from the BCCI said.
 
As such the 2015 CLT20 scheduled for September and October will not go ahead as planned, it said.
 
The competition was launched in 2009 by the BCCI with CA and CSA. The Governing Council determined that the discontinuation of the league was the most appropriate decision due to the tournament’s limited public following.
 
Mr. Anurag Thakur, Honorary Secretary of the BCCI said “This has been a difficult decision as the Champions League T20 provided added context to a number of domestic Twenty 20 competitions around the world such as the IPL in India, Big Bash League in Australia and South Africa’s Ram Slam T20. "
 
“It was a fantastic platform for players from around the world to showcase their talent and the participating teams thoroughly enjoyed the experience over the last six seasons. 
 
“Unfortunately, off the field, Champions League T20 wasn’t sustaining the interest of the fans as we had hoped.
 
”This decision was made, after consultation with all our commercial partners and meeting the contractual obligations of all parties involved. 
 
“The Governing Council would like to thank everyone involved with the CLT20 and all those who participated in the tournament.
 
“Further details associated with winding down the league including settling with the three nations that had invested time and effort in the competition, will be completed very soon," he added.
 
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India, Tajikistan agree to strengthen defence cooperation, enhance economic ties

India and Tajikistan on Monday agreed to further strengthen their defence cooperation -- a strong pillar of their strategic partnership -- and discussed measures to tap the rich potential in bilateral trade and commerce and to encourage joint ventures and investments.

 
Modi holds talks with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon
India and Tajikistan today agreed to further strengthen their defence cooperation -- a strong pillar of their strategic partnership -- and discussed measures to tap the rich potential in bilateral trade and commerce and to encourage joint ventures and investments. 
 
"We have tasked our Joint Commission to meet soon and finalise a concrete roadmap to expand our trade and economic ties," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after talks with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe.
 
Mr Modi noted that it was the last stop on a visit to the five Central Asian countries.
 
"We share deep historical, cultural and civilizational links. Tajikistan is nearest to India among all Central Asian countries. We are separated by a narrow corridor. Our linguistic links are the closest in Central Asia. 
 
"Today, we have formed a deep bond on the basis of our shared aspirations for security and prosperity for our people, and peace and stability in our region," he said.
 
Mr Modi said agriculture was important to both economies and pointed out that he and Mr Rahmon would address a workshop on advancing their cooperation in agriculture later today.
 
"Connectivity is vital for realizing the full potential of trade and commerce between our countries. We agreed to promote the International North South Transport Corridor. Other connectivity initiatives such as our planned investment in Chahbahar Port in Iran and intention to join the Ashgabat agreement will help. 
 
"But, I also hope that we can establish a direct link to India that would promote prosperity across the region," he said.
 
Mr Modi stressed that both countries were located in the proximity of the main source of terrorism. 
 
"Combating terrorism and extremism has always been an important and productive area of cooperation. At a time of growing threat of terrorism, we have resolved to intensify our cooperation further," he said.
 
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The Prime Minister said India and Tajikistan would also continue to support the aspirations of the Afghan people for a peaceful, stable and prosperous nation. 
 
"We will work closely in international forums, including the United Nations, where we already support each other’s initiatives. I conveyed appreciation for Tajikistan's continued support for India's candidature for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council," he said.
 
Mr Modi said India's membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) added a new dimension to their partnership. 
 
He thanked the Government of Tajikistan and the authorities of Dushanbe for their decision to install a bust of Rabindranath Tagore in the city. 
 
"It highlights the cultural and spiritual links between our two nations. The popularity of Tagore’s poetry in Tajikistan, is mirrored in the continued admiration of Bedil’s poetry in India. This is our shared heritage, of which we can truly be proud. 
 
"I am delighted to release today the Hindi translation of Babujon Gaffurov’s masterwork on Tajik history. This would enable a much broader understanding of Tajik culture and history in India," he said.
 
"I have extended an invitation to President Rahmon to visit India at an early date and look forward to receiving him in Delhi," he added.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 704 million to $ 354.518 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves went down for the second week running, falling by $ 704 million to $ 354.518 billion in the week ended July 3, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had fallen by $ 237.5 million to $ 355.222 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone down by $ 410.1 million to $ 330.091 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or  depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves  fell by $ 265.9 million to $ 19.074 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) declined by $ 21.2 millin to $ 4.042 billion in the week.
 
 India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 6.8 million to $ 1.31 bllion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Tata Motors wins contract for 1,239 vehicles from Indian Army

Automobile manufacturers Tata Motors today said it had bagged an orde from the Indian Army for the supply 1,239 of its high-mobility 6X6 multi-axle trucks.
 
This is the single largest order awarded to an Indian private original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in land systems under the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) by the Indian Army, a press release from the company said.
 
The order for 6X6 vehicles is for ‘material handling cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment, it said.
 
Developed indigenously, the Tata 6X6 all-terrain all-wheel drive vehicle has completed a total trial duration of 25 months, demonstrating maximum performance in the most demanding conditions, the release said.
 
"Designed to cope with extreme on or off-road loads, these vehicle have gone through trials like water-fording, on cross country terrains and plains and at Vehicle Research & Development Establishment’s (VRDE) torture track," it said.
 
"The Tata 6X6 is designed for easy operability. The vehicle is easy to maintain, due to accessibility to its aggregates. The vehicle is fitted with central tire inflation system (CTIS) for mobility in soft sand desert conditions. The CTIS allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat. The system provides the vehicle with better traction on different types of surfaces, especially when carrying vital and heavy loads. The self-recovery winch assists in extraction of the vehicle (including other vehicles in the convoy) during operations. The vehicles cabin is modular with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and is fully-ready for up-armouring. High ground clearance enables better negotiation of gradients, sand dunes, off-road terrains, trenches with higher water and mud fording capabilities, whilst carrying designated military payloads. The vehicle is also capable of achieving sustained speeds of 40 kmph, on severe cross country terrains," the release said.
 
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Vernon Noronha, vice president, Defence and Government Business, Tata Motors said, “We at Tata Motors are extremely proud to have bagged the single largest order, among Indian OEMs from the Indian army, for the most technologically advanced high mobility load carrier system ever built here in India. The order is a validation of our strategy and growth potential, for our durable and extensive range of defence vehicles, designed and developed with our evolving customers, including that of security forces across the world. As leading suppliers of mobility solutions to the country’s security forces, we will shortly commence delivery of these high-mobility vehicles”.
 
The release said the Tata Motors 6X6 high-mobility multi-axle vehicles can be customised for a wide range of applications such as CGT (Common Gun Tower), MBRL (Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher), MFU (Missile Firing Unit), MSV (Missile Service Vehicle), FSV (Field Service Vehicle), SRSAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile), QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile) vehicle, LLQRM (Low Level Quick Reaction Missile) vehicle and MRV (Medium Recovery Vehicle).
 
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India to play three Test matches during Sri Lanka tour

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India will play three Test matches during its tour of Sri Lanka in August-September this year, the itinerary announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) here today said.
 
The tour will start with a three-day warm-up game against Sri Lanka Chairman's XI, followed by three Test matches. 
 
The Test matches will be played at Galle, Tamil Union Oval, and SSC Colombo. 
 
The Indian team will be in Sri Lanka from August 3 to September 2.
 
The match with the Sri Lanka Chairman's XI will be played at the R.Premadasa International Cricket Stadium from August 6-8.
 
The first Test wil be played at Galle from August 12-16, the second from August 20-24 at Tamil Union (Oval), Colombo and the third Test from August 28 to September 1 at the SSC, Colombo.
 
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Essar Oil signs long-term crude oil supply agreement with Russia's Rosneft

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Essar Oil Limited today said that it had signed a long-term crude oil supply agreement with OJSC Rosneft Oil Company at Ufa in Russia for import of crude oil over a period of ten years.
 
The contract is in pursuance to the Key Terms executed between the two companies in December 2014 in New Delhi, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said Essar Oil operates the second largest single location refinery in India and has a large requirement of crude oil that has to be primarily met by imports. 
 
"This long term crude oil supply agreement with a large integrated oil company like Rosneft will help Essar Oil to diversify its supply sources, expand geographical market coverage and enhance supply security. The contract will ensure supplies of 10 million tons per annum of crude oil and feedstock to Essar’s Vadinar refinery over a period of 10 years. Adequate operational flexibility is provided for the refinery to benefit from the international oil market opportunities," it said.
 
Expanding the scope of partnership, Rosneft and Essar Oil & Gas Ltd / Essar Energy Holdings Limited, companies incorporated and managed under the laws of Mauritius, have signed a non-binding term sheet with regard to Rosneft’s participation in the equity capital of Essar Oil Limited with a share of up to 49%. 
 
"The proposed transaction is conditional upon various factors such as due diligence, determination of the transaction price, execution of definitive transaction documents and receipt of requisite approvals," the release said.
 
Appropriate disclosures shall be made in accordance with applicable law as and when any definitive steps in relation to the aforesaid are undertaken, it said.
 
Mr. Prashant Ruia, Chairman of Essar Oil Limited, expressed happiness at the signing of the crude contract and strategic partnership with Rosneft. He expressed hope that these agreements will give a boost to increased cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector between India and Russia.
 
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Exim Bank invites entries for its International Economic Research Award

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The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has invited entries for the Exim Bank International Economic Research Annual Award (IERA).
 
The IERA Award was introduced in commemoration of India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Birth Centenary (1889-1989) to reward research work by Indian nationals. 
 
Research work by Indian nationals in international economics, trade, development and related financing (either awarded a doctorate or accepted for award of doctorate) from a university or equivalent academic institution in India or abroad is a pre-requisite for eligibility of the award.
 
Issues of relevance to India and Exim Bank such as those pertaining to foreign trade, foreign direct investments, joint ventures, international competitiveness, policies impacting trade and investment, monetary and fiscal interventions would be of particular interest. Thesis for which doctorate has been obtained/ accepted for award of doctorate anytime in the last five years will be accepted as entries for the award.
 
The award consists of prize money of Rs 3.5 lakh and a citation, a press release from EXIM Bank said.
 
The last date for submission of applications is September 30, 2015. Abstract of the winning thesis will also be published as an Occasional Paper by Exim Bank.
 
“The IERA Award by Exim Bank is an exceptional platform recognizing the research work done on international economics, trade, development and related topics by Indian nationals across the globe," Mr. Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman & Managing Director, Exim Bank of India, said.
 
“Being the twenty seventh year of the award it symbolises the Bank’s continuing efforts at promoting research and analysis," he added.
 
Exim Bank received 42 entries last year from Indian nationals across the globe. 
 
The winner for the IERA Award 2013 was Dr. Anwesha Aditya for her research work on the topic “Trade Liberalisation, Product Variety and Growth”.
 
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Dena Bank hikes interest rates on FCNR (B)/RFC term deposits from July 1

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The public sector Dena Bank has hiked interest rates on foreign currency non-repatriable (FCNR-B) and resident foreign currency (RFC) term deposits with effect from July 1.
 
For FCNR (B) deposits of 3 years to less than 4 years, in US dollar terms, the revised interest rate is 3.31% as compared to the previous rate of 3.25% effective from July 1, a press release from the bank said.
 
For deposits of 4 years to less than 5 years, in US dollar terms, the revised interest rate is 3.59% as compared to the earlier rate of 3.49%.
 
In the case of deposits of five years, the new rate is 3.83% as against the previous rate of 3.7%.
 
For FCNR (B) deposits of 2 years to less than 3 years, in US dollar terms, the revised interest rate is 2.90 % as compared to 2.87 % previously.
 
For FCNR (B) deposits of 1 year to less than 2 years, in US dollar terms, the revised interest rate is 2.51 % as compared to 2.50% earlier, the release added.
 
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RIL proposes to sell 3.25 crore shares of Network18 Media

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The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said that it was proposing to sell 3.25 crore shares of Network18 Media & Investments Limited (NW18), representing 3.10% of the equity capital of NW18, to bring down the aggregate shareholding of the promoter and promoter group to 75% and increase the public shareholding to 25% as mandated by Clause 40A of the listing agreement pursuant to Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules, 1957.
 
In this regard, Shinano Retail Private Limited (effectively 100 percent owned by Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of RIL), a promoter group company of NW18, has issued a notice of Offer for Sale of 3.25 crore shares of NW18 through the stock exchange mechanism in accordance with the SEBI circulars, a press release from the company added.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 1885 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said that the Power Transmission and Distribution (PT&D) Business of its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 1885 crore in domestic and international markets in June this year.
 
On the domestic front, a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order was received from Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited, a press release from the company said.
 
The scope involves installing various 33/11 kV air insulated substations and associated lines with complete facilities for the Phase II of Odisha Distribution System Strengthening Project (ODSSP).
 
On the international front, major orders have been received from the Middle East. A key order includes construction of medium voltage substations on EPC basis from a major infrastructure development company. Another order is for engineering, procurement and construction for 132 kV double circuit transmission line and 132 kV cabling works from a reputed customer, it said.
 
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Rahane to lead Indian team on Zimbabwe tour; Dhoni, Kohli rested

Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane was today named as the captain of the 15-member Indian squad for the Zimbabwe tour starting July 10, with several senior players, including ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli being rested.
 
The selection committee also rested Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced.
 
The Indian team has just returned from a tour of Bangladesh, where it lost the ODI series 1-2, at the end of seven months of continous cricket.
 
The selectors decided to rest several of the seniors and give the younger players a chance to prove themselves.
 
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has staged a return to the ODI squad after four years.
 
Other notable inclusions include batsman Robin Uthappa, pace bowler Sandeep Sharma, leg-spinner Karn Sharma, opener Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Manoj Tiwary.
 
Sandeep Patil, chairman of the selection committee, said the disappointing performance in Bangladesh had to be put behind and the team had to move forward.
 
"We have picked this side, looking at the 2016 T20 World Cup,” he said.
 
“We had picked the best possible team that played at the World Cup and keeping the future series in mind, whether it is Sri Lanka, or South Africa home series, Twenty20 World Cup or the Australia series, we have decided to rest a few players, who need urgent rest,” he said.
 
“The selectors’ job is to pick the best possible combination. The rest is left to the team management. Once we select the team, it is left to the captain to make up the playing eleven,” he said.
 
Patil said the selectors were happy with the way Rahane's career had shaped up.
 
"He has been the most consistent batsman for India and we want to see his other aspects. So, we have given him this opportunity and we will keep backing him,”
 
"I feel the side is very good, it is young and holds the future for Team India," BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said.
 
India and Zimbabwe will play three one-day internationals (ODIs) and two T20 matches during the tour.
 
The following is the India ODI squad for the Zimbabwe tour: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma.
 
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Railways, Maharashtra govt. ink MoU for railway projects in state

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The Ministry of Railways and the Government of Maharashtra signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here yesterday for a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for speedy implementation of railway projects in the state.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
 
Mr Sunil Kumar Sood, General Manager, Central Railway signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Railways and Mr Gautam Chatterjee, Additional Chief Secretary (Transport and Ports) represented the Maharashtra government.
 
Mr Prabhu said about 75 lakh people travel daily in the Mumbai suburban railway system, which is the lifeline of the city. However, its services were proving to be inadequate due to the increase in population.
 
Mr Prabhu also launched the Rs 11,000 crore third phase of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP), which is aimed at addressing such issues. He said he had held discussions with Mr Fadnavis on the possible inclusion of elevated roads and elevated rail corridors.
 
A concession agreement between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and JSW Infrastructure was also signed on the occasion for a 33.7 km rail line connecting Jaigarh port with Digni station on the Konkan Railway at an estimated cost of Rs 771 crore.
 
The line will be implemented by Jaigarh Digni Rail Limited (JDRL), a joint venture with JSWJPL, KRCL and Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) as the shareholders. 
 
The cost of the project will be funded through a combination of equity and debt and the concession agreement between JDRL with Ministry of Railways (MoR) through KRCL will be valid for a period of 30 years, a press release from JSW said.
 
The alignment for this new railway line passes through difficult terrain of Sahyadri mountains which would necessitate construction of several tunnels. On completion, the corridor is expected to handle around 12 mtpa of cargo.
 
JSW Jaigarh Port is a modern, mechanized, all weather deep water port having a capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum with two berths and is expanding to achieve capacity of 65 mtpa by 2020. After having successfully handled cape size vessel (1,80,000 DWT), it is aiming for direct berthing of next generation vessels, i.e. Vale Max- the dry bulk carrier, Q- Max (the LNG carrier), Triple-E (the largest container carrier) and Very Large Crude Carriers.
 
Mr Sajjan Jindal, CMD, JSW Group, said “The project will usher a new era of development for the region and provide impetus to the economic activities with the new link. The Jaigarh Port will get major boost with the signing of concession agreement for Jaigarh- Digni new rail line. We are sure this will bring a socio economic change in the region by creating more job avenues. We are committed towards the make in India story and will work closely with the government to propel the economic growth”.    
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 2035 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 2035 crore across various business segments in June 2015.
 
A press release from the company said these included new orders secured by its Buildings & Factories Business for the construction of office spaces including add-ons. 
 
A major order was secured from a global information technology solutions provider for the turnkey construction of its office building in Hyderabad, it said.
 
The scope involves engineering design, civil, structural, architectural finishes and mechanical, electrical and plumbing works. 
 
Another order was received from a private developer for the construction of an office complex in Mumbai.
 
The company said its Transportation Infrastructure Business won a major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order from a reputed infrastructure developer for the construction of 109.54 kms of four lane dual carriage way of the Solapur, Maharashtra - Bijapur, Karnataka road.
 
The scope also involves constructing 46.23 km of service road, six flyovers, 2 railway over bridges (ROBs), three major bridges, 49 minor bridges and 27 underpasses.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.17 billion to new high of $ 355.459 billion

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Going up for the fourth consecutive week, India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.17 billion to a new high of $ 355.459 billion in the week ended June 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 1.575 billion to the previous high of $ 354.288 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 1.135 billion to $ 330.717 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of
appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.340 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went up by $ 26.6 million to $ 4.079 billion in the week.
 
 India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 8.5 million to $ 1.322 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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