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RBI cautions public against depositing money with Muthoot Estate Investments

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today cautioned members of the public to note that acceptance of deposits by Muthoot Estate Investments, which is a partnership firm, is prohibited in terms of Section 45-S of the RBI Act.

A press release from the central bank said Muthoot Fincorp Ltd, Kerala is a registered non-deposit taking Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).
 
"It has come to the notice of Reserve Bank of India that a partnership firm with the name of Muthoot Estate Investments in which the promoters of Muthoot Fincorp Ltd are partners has collected and has been collecting deposits in the form of fixed deposits, cumulative deposits and special public deposits from the public. These deposits are collected through the branches of Muthoot Fincorp Ltd located at different places in Kerala," the release said.
 
"In terms of Section 45-S of the RBI Act, acceptance of deposits from the public by Muthoot Estate Investments, which is a partnership firm, is prohibited. Members of the public are hereby cautioned to note that acceptance of deposits by the company or Muthoot Estate Investments is punishable with imprisonment and those who deposit money with the company or Muthoot Estate Investments may do so at their own risk," the release said.
 
The RBI has also directed Muthoot Fincorp Ltd to stop allowing the use of its premises/branches or officials, in any manner by Muthoot Estate Investments for accepting deposits from public, the release added.
 
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Readymade Steel India Ltd acquires foundation engineering company in Singapore

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Readymade Steel India Ltd (RMS), which offers readymade steel solutions for the building and construction industry, today announced that it had entered into a share sale and purchase agreement to acquire a substantial majority stake in KH Foges Pte Ltd, a company incorporated and situated in Singapore, through a wholly owned subsidiary.

KH Foges, a specialist contractor in foundation engineering works, specialises in bored cast in-place concrete piling and driven (Precast RC Pile, Spun Pile, H-Steel Pile) piling foundation work. It provides complete services encompassing design, supply, construction and project management, a press release from RMS said.
 
The release said KH Foges was registered as a “Specialist Builder” with the  Building and Construction Authority Singapore (BCA), and holds Grade L6 (Unlimited Category) for Piling Works tender. KH Foges has an annual turnover of about Rs. 300 crore and an outstanding order book size of an equivalent amount.
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Anil Agrawal, Managing Director of RMS., said, “The acquisition will result in diversifying the product and service portfolio of RMS, complementing our vision of creating a complete infrastructure solutions company. The move is a step towards integration, diversification and value creation. It will help RMS to enter a highly specialised segment of foundation engineering. The acquisition will assist RMS in providing more construction solutions in the value chain to address the construction industry’s concern to ensure speedy turnaround time and maintain the edge with competitive costs.”
 
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Tendulkar will be available for entire fifth season of IPL: Mumbai Indians

File photo of Sachin Tendulkar
File photo of Sachin Tendulkar

The Mumbai Indians today said that its captain Sachin Tendulkar would be fully available for the entire fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that will begin on April 4 and go on until May 27.

The clarification from the team came after media reports suggested that the star batsman's date of return from London, where he had gone for consultations with a specialist, was uncertain and that he might have to undergo a surgery for an old, nagging toe injury.
 
“Mumbai Indians captain Sachin Tendulkar will be joining the in-progress camp at Wankhede Stadium from 31st March 2012 and is fully available for the entire IPL season 5," a spokesperson for Mumbai Indians said.
 
"Sachin is in the UK to consult his doctor and will be back in India to join the camp from 31st March," he added,
 
Mumbai Indians, last year's runners-up in the T20 tournament, are slated to play defending champions Chennai Super Kings, led by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in the opening match on April 4.
 
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Waterstones business luxury hotel opens at Andheri in Mumbai

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Mars Enterprises has opened Waterstones Hotel, a theme-based business luxury hotel near Andheri, near the Sahar airport, in Mumbai, next to the Waterstones Club.
 
The hotel was inaugurated yesterday by Mars Enterprises group president Sanjay Narang. 
 
“Mars Enterprises has always been known to launch outstanding brands. The Waterstones integrated development comprises a club, hotel, serviced residences and offices,” Narang said.
 
“It is the only lifestyle brand having a seamless combination of signature products and services that provides to our valued guests a peace of mind that no other hospitality development in the bustling metro of Mumbai can match," he said.
 
Waterstones Hotel has six floors, five of which are customized to a specific natural theme, namely Glacier, Rainforest, Fire, Mountain and Marine. 
 
Apart from the restaurants, spa, indoor games, meeting rooms, a convenience shop and a lobby lounge at the hotel, the facilities at the adjacent Waterstones Club, consisting of a number of recreational and sports facilities, poolside, library, kids’ quarter and restaurant, are available to guests at the hotel.
 
Mars Hospitality also runs Eat Around the Corner, an eatery that serves European food, and Rokeby Manor, an English country-style hotel in the hills of Landour, Mussoorie having 19th century décor, and the specialised eateries Pizza By The Bay and Bombay Bistro.
 
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Nippon Life to acquire 26% stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management

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Nippon Life Insurance Company has signed final agreements with Reliance Capital to acquire 26 per cent stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management (RCAM).
 
The final agreements were signed here yesterday by Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital and Takeshi Furuichi, Senior Managing Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Nippon Life Insurance. The transaction is subject to necessary regulatory approvals, a press release from Reliance Capital said.
 
According to it, Nippon Life will invest an aggregate value of Rs 1,450 crore ($ 290 million) to acquire 26 per cent strategic stake in RCAM. The transaction pegs the total valuation of RCAM at approximately Rs 5,600 crore ($ 1.1 billion). 
 
Nippon Life is a 122-year Global Fortune 100 company and manages over $ 600 billion (Rs 30 lakh crore) in assets, amongst the largest total assets in the world for any life insurer. The company is the seventh largest life insurer in the world and the number one private life insurer in Asia and Japan.
 
"We are delighted to sign final agreements with Nippon and look forward to having them as our strategic partners in the mutual fund business. We will be filing our application with the regulators for approval and hope to conclude this transaction soon," Ghosh said.
 
Yoshinobu Tsutsui, President, Nippon Life said, "I am very pleased that we have entered into the final agreements about investment in Reliance Capital Asset Management. I believe that this partnership in the field of asset management will strengthen our relationship with
Reliance Group."
 
According to the release, RCAM is the largest and most profitable AMC in India, in terms of assets under management (AUM), managing approximately Rs. 1,40,000 crore ($ 28 billion) , across mutual funds, government-sponsored public funds, managed accounts and hedge funds. 
 
Nippon Life Insurance is already a strategic partner in Reliance Life Insurance. The Japanese company acquired 26 per cent stake in Reliance Life Insurance at an aggregate value of Rs 3,062 crore ($ 680 million). The transaction pegged the total valuation of Reliance Life Insurance at approximately Rs 11,500 crore ($ 2.6 billion).
 
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L&T wins news orders valued at Rs 1200 crore

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Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had won new orders valued at Rs 1120 crore across various business segments in March this year.

A press release from the company said the orders included one worth Rs 548 crore from the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the construction of 
220 kV overhead lines, switching stations and other related electrical works.
 
L&T Oman LLC, part of L&T Construction, has bagged a new order worth Rs 156 crore from a reputed client for the construction of an electrical substation and associated work, it said.
 
The release said the company had also secured orders aggregating Rs 416 crore from various customers. Major orders include those for construction of factory projects, and include 
contracts for additional work from various ongoing projects.
 
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Eros International acquires international rights of Priyadarshan's thriller Tezz

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Entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd (EIML) today said it had acquired the international distribution rights of the action thriller Tezz, slated for worldwide release on April 27.

Produced by Venus Films and directed by Priyadarshan, Tezz features Mohanlal, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgan, Boman Irani, Kangna Ranaut, Sameera Reddy and Zayed Khan in the main roles.
 
“With its stylish look, great action and catchy music, there is a positive buzz and anticipation around Tezz overseas and we are looking forward to an exciting film by Priyadarshan," Pranab Kapadia, President Marketing & Sales, Eros International plc. said.
 
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CBI arrests IAS officer, two retired army officers in Adarsh housing society case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Vyas, currently posted as the Secretary (Expenditure) in the Ministry of Finance in the Maharashtra government, two retired army officers and a former member of the legislative council (MLC) in connection with its investigations into the Adarsh Housing Society case in Mumbai.

The two ex-Army officers arrested were Maj Gen (retd) A R Kumar and Maj Gen T K Kaul, sources said.
 
The former MLC, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, was already under arrest in a separate bribery case and has now been held in this case, too.
 
Yesterday, the CBI had arrested three people in connection with the alleged scam -- the then Defence Estate Officer & Secretary of the society R C Thakur, retired Brigadier M M Wanchoo, then president of the society, and former deputy secretary, Urban Development Department (UDD) of the Maharashtra Government, P V Deshmukh.
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Tech Mahindra, Mahindra Satyam to merge to create top-tier global player

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The Boards of Directors of Tech Mahindra Limited and Satyam Computer Services Limited, now known as Mahindra Satyam, met separately today and approved a proposal to merge the two companies along with certain of their wholly-owned subsidiaries.

A press release from the two companies said the exchange ratio recommended by the valuers and approved by both the boards is 2 shares of Tech Mahindra (face value of Rs. 10 each), for every 17 shares of Mahindra Satyam (face value of Rs. 2 each).
 
On a pro-forma basis, the Mahindra Group will own 26.3% in the combined entity, British Telecom will own 12.8%, 10.4% will be held as treasury stock, 34.4% to be held by the public shareholders of Mahindra Satyam and the balance 16.1% will be held by the public shareholders of Tech Mahindra.
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Essar Shipping inducts third MiniCape vessel into its fleet

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Essar Shipping Limited (ESL) today said it had taken delivery of MV Ishwari, the third of six MiniCape vessels that it is inducting into its operating fleet.

A press release from the company, a part of the Essar Group, said the vessel, which is 253 metre long and 43 metre wide, has a cargo capacity of 105000 dwt.
 
 “With the induction of the MiniCapes, the company is on track to achieve the planned growth in revenues and scale of operations," A R Ramakrishnan- Managing Director, ESL, said.
 
"In the recent budget, the government has announced initiatives that will help the power, steel sectors to grow and in turn provide opportunities for the shipping industry. These vessels will be deployed to further capitalise on this growth platform," he said.
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CBI arrests three persons in Adarsh Housing Society case in Mumbai

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had arrested three people in connection with its ongoing probe into the Adarsh Housing Society case.

The three are the then Defence Estate Officer & Secretary of the society R C Thakur, retired Brigadier M M Wanchoo, then president of the society, and former deputy secretary, Urban Development Department (UDD) of the Maharashtra Government, P V Deshmukh.
 
The CBI had earlier this month arrested one more accused in this case, former Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, in a separate bribery case.
 
The CBI had registered a case in the alleged scam on January 29 last year against 13 accused persons, including some public servants and unknown persons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
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L&T wins construction orders worth Rs 1140 crore in March

 

Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had secured new orders valued at over Rs 1140 crores across various business segments in March.
 
These includes an order worth Rs 970 crore for the design and construction of a large information technology campus facility in Kolkata from a reputed company, it said. The project will be executed on a joint venture model along with Shapoorji & Pallonji Co.(SPCL) within a period of 32 months, a press release from L&T said.
 
The release said L&T Oman had bagged  a new order worth Rs 170 crore from Oman Electricity Transmission Co for replacing portions of the existing 220 & 132 kV overhead line  from Mawaleh to Seeb, to be completed within a period of 15 months.
 
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RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 8.5%, CRR at 4.75%

RBI logo
RBI logo

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 8.5 per cent on the basis of its assessment of the current macroeconomic situation.

Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7.5 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.5 per cent.
 
The central bank also decided to keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.75 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities.
 
The RBI had reduced the CRR by 75 basis points from 5.5 per cent to 4.75 per cent effective March 10, 2012.
 
It said today that this measure was necessitated ahead of today's scheduled Mid-Quarter Review to address the persistent structural liquidity deficit beyond the Reserve Bank’s comfort level, which would have further worsened during the week of March 12-16 due to advance tax outflows.
 
In its guidance, the RBI said that recent growth-inflation dynamics had prompted it to indicate that no further tightening was required and that future actions would be towards lowering the rates.
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"However, notwithstanding the deceleration in growth, inflation risks remain, which will influence both the timing and magnitude of future rate actions," it said.
 
The RBI said in a statement that, since its Third Quarter Review (TQR) of January 24, 2012, there had been modest improvement in the global macroeconomic situation. 
 
"The recent macroeconomic data for the US economy show some positive signs. In particular, labour market conditions have improved. Howver, the US Fed expects that economic conditions warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014," it said.
 
"The immediate financial market pressures in the euro area have been alleviated to some extent by the European Central Bank (ECB) injecting liquidity of more than one trillion euro through the two long-term refinancing operations. Growth in the euro area, however, turned negative in Q4. The emerging and developing economies (EDEs) are showing signs of growth slowdown. As a result, the global growth for 2012 and 2013 is expected to be lower than earlier anticipated.
 
"Inflation pressures in both advanced economies and EDEs moderated towards the end of 2011 on account of subdued domestic demand and correction in non-fuel commodity prices. Global crude prices, however, have spiked suddenly reflecting both geo-political concerns and abundant global liquidity, accentuating the risks to growth and inflation," it said.
 
On the domestic economy, it said GDP growth GDP growth [year-on-year (y-o-y)] decelerated to 6.1 per cent in Q3 of 2011-12 from 6.9 per cent in Q2 mainly reflecting a slowdown in industrial activity. On the expenditure side, the growth moderation was mainly due to a deceleration in investment activity and weak external demand. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has estimated the full year growth for 2011-12 at 6.9 per cent, which is in line with the Reserve Bank’s projection, it said.
 
Growth in industrial production, as reflected in the index of industrial production (IIP), moderated to 4.0 per cent during 2011-12 (April-January) from 8.3 per cent in the corresponding period a year ago. While growth in the capital goods and intermediate goods sectors was negative, growth in the basic goods and consumer goods sectors decelerated marginally. Given the significant volatility in IIP numbers, the Reserve Bank also uses several other indicators to assess the overall industrial activity. The Manufacturing PMI for February suggested that industrial activity remained in an expansionary mode. While corporate sales growth in Q3 of 2011-12 was robust, margins moderated, reflecting increasing difficulty in passing on rising input prices, it said.
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After remaining above 9 per cent during April-November 2011, y-o-y headline wholesale price index (WPI) inflation rate moderated to 7.7 per cent in December and further to 6.6 per cent in January 2012, before rising to 7.0 per cent in February. While moderation in WPI inflation stemmed mainly from primary food articles, fuel and manufactured products groups also contributed, the statement said.
 
Primary food articles inflation, which was modest at 0.8 per cent in December, turned negative (-0.5 per cent) in January 2012, before rising to 6.1 per cent in February. Despite the sharp increase in global crude oil prices, fuel group inflation moderated from 15.0 per cent in December to 12.8 per cent in February, reflecting the absence of commensurate pass-through to domestic consumers, it said.
 
The statement said non-food manufactured products inflation moderated from 7.9 per cent in December to 5.8 per cent in February 2012, reflecting both a slowdown in domestic demand following the monetary tightening and moderation in global non-oil commodity prices. The momentum indicator of non-food manufactured products inflation (seasonally adjusted 3-month moving average inflation rate) also showed a moderating trend.
 
"Notably, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation (as measured by the new series, base year 2010) for the month of January 2012 was 7.7 per cent suggesting that price pressures persist at the retail level," it said.
 
According to the RBI, the Centre’s fiscal conditions deteriorated during 2011-12 (April-January) with key deficit indicators already crossing the budget estimates for the full year. Apart from sluggishness in tax revenues, Government’s non-plan expenditure, particularly subsidies, increased sharply.  As indicated in the TQR, the slippage in the fiscal deficit has been adding to inflationary pressures. Credible fiscal consolidation, therefore, will be an important factor in shaping the inflation outlook, it said.
 
The y-o-y money supply (M3) growth and non-food credit growth moderated, reflecting the slowdown in the economy. Liquidity conditions have remained significantly in deficit mode.  In order to mitigate the liquidity tightness, the Reserve Bank undertook steps to inject primary liquidity of a more durable nature through open market operations (OMOs) aggregating `1,247 billion during November 2011- March 9, 2012 and reduced the CRR by 125 basis points (50 basis points effective January 28 and 75 basis points effective March 10), injecting primary liquidity of about `800 billion. The liquidity situation has since improved and it is expected to ease further in the weeks ahead, it said.
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The statement said that, while merchandise exports growth decelerated, moderation in imports growth was less pronounced leading to a widening of the trade deficit. After the TQR, the rupee has moved in a range of `48.69 to `50.58 per USD. With sluggish demand conditions in the advanced economies impeding exports growth and  crude oil prices rising sharply, the current account deficit (CAD) is likely to remain high. The financing of the CAD will continue to pose a challenge so long as the global situation remains uncertain, it said.
 
About its outlook, the RBI said that, while the recovery in the US has been progressing, economic activity in the euro area has contracted. Although abundant liquidity injection by the ECB has mitigated the immediate pressures in financial markets, a credible solution to the sovereign debt problem is yet to emerge. Sluggish global economic activity, uncertainty in the euro area and rising crude oil prices will hamper growth prospects of EDEs.
 
"On the domestic front, while most indicators suggest that the economy is slowing down, the performance in Q4 of 2011-12 is expected to be better than that in Q3. Inflation has broadly evolved along the projected trajectory so far. However, upside risks to inflation have increased from the recent surge in crude oil prices, fiscal slippage and rupee depreciation. Besides, there continues to be significant suppressed inflation in fuel, fertilizer and power as administered prices do not fully reflect the costs of production," the RBI added.
 
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Judges appointed to Karnataka, Bombay High Courts

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The President has appointed Justice Keralapura Nanjundaiah Keshavanarayana as a Judge of the Karnataka High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
 
The President has also appointed Benedict Victor Pinto, Bijoor Manohar, K. Govindarajulu and Hosahalli Sheshadri Kempanna as Additional Judges of the Karnataka High Court for a period of two years with effect from today, an official press release said.
 
The President has also appointd Filomeno Manuel Lopo Sales Rosario Dos Reis, Rajesh Govind Ketkar and Ravi Krishnarao Deshpande as Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court for a period of one year with effect from March 26, 2012.
 
Similarly, Sanjay Vijaykumar Gangapurwala has also been appointed as an Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court for a period of one year with effect from March 13, 2012, the release added.
 
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Suzlon to launch new low-wind 1.5 MW wind turbine for Indian conditions

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Wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy Limited today said it would launch a new turbine in the 1.5 MW range focused on harnessing Class III low-wind sites and designed specifically for the Indian market, where most of the potential lies in medium-to-low wind sites.

"The new turbine is specifically designed to deliver high efficiency and cost effective power generation even at low wind speeds, therefore increasing the size of the market and making wind power projects even more financially competitive than they are today," a press release from the company said.
 
The S8X, scheduled for launch in 2012, is designed with advanced rotors, with diameters of 86.5 and 89 meters, and a tower height of 90 meters, which will bring improvements in energy yields of between 15 to 20 per cent over the current S82 – 1.5 MW offering in low wind conditions. 
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India’s forex reserves fall by $ 58.8 m to $ 294.989 b

India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 58.8 million to $ 294.989 billion as on March 2 from $ 295.048 billion in the previous week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said today in its weekly statistical supplement.

Foreign currency assets fell by $ 1.505 billion to $ 259.596 billion from $ 261.102 billion in the previous week, the bulletin said.

Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of non-US currencies (such as Euro, Sterling, Yen) held in reserves, it said.

The country’s gold reserves increased to $ 28.128 billion from $ 26.728 billion, it said. Its special drawing rights (SDR) declined slightly to $ 4.457 billion from $ 4.481 billion in the previous week.

India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 70.3 million to $ 2.808 billion from $ 2.737 billion, the bulletin added.

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RBI reduces CRR of banks by 75 bps to 4.75%

RBI logo
RBI logo

In a bid to inject liquidity into the banking system, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today reduce the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks by 75 basis points from 5.5 per cent to 4.75 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) effective the fortnight beginning March 10, 2012.

This reduction will inject around Rs 480 billion of primary liquidity into the banking system, the central bank said in a press release.

In order to mitigate tight liquidity conditions, the CRR was reduced by 50 basis points in the Third Quarter Review (TQR) of January 2012, injecting primary liquidity of Rs 315 billion into the banking system. The Reserve Bank also continued with the open market operations (OMOs), injecting primary liquidity of over Rs 1,245 billion this financial year so far, of which Rs 528 billion was injected after the TQR.

“Despite these measures, the liquidity deficit has remained large on account of both structural and frictional factors. This was reflected in the net average borrowing under the Reserve Bank's liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) rising from an average of Rs 1,292 billion in January 2012 to Rs 1,405 billion in February. Net injection of liquidity through LAF rose to a peak of Rs 1,917 billion on March 1, 2012, though subsequently it declined to Rs 1,273 billion on March 7, 2012,” the release said.

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“Further, the liquidity deficit is ex

Actor Joy Mukherjee passes away in Mumbai

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Well-known Bollywood actor of yesteryears Joy Mukherjee, who had acted in  movies like Love in Tokyo, Shagird, Humsaaya and Ziddi, passed away at the Lilavati Hospital here today.

He was 73. He is survived by his wife Neelam Mukherjee, two sons and a daughter.
 
Sources said the actor was admitted to the hsoptial on Monday in a serious condition and had been put on a ventilator. The end came at around 9.30 am today. 
 
Born on February 24, 1939, Mukherjee was the son of Sashadhar Mukherjee, a successful producer and co-founder of Filmalaya Studios, and Sati Devi. His paternal uncle is director Subodh Mukherjee while his maternal uncles were actor Ashok Kumar and actor-singer Kishore Kumar.
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One of his brothers Shomu Mukherjee is married to actress Tanuja and their daughters Kajol and Tanisha are also actresses. Actress Rani Mukherjee is also one ofhis nieces.
 
Mukherjee made is debut with Sadhana in Love in Simla. He went on to star in several films like Hum Hindustani, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Ji Chahta Hai, Door Ki Awaaz, Aao Pyaar Karen Bahu beti, Saaz aur Awaaz and Yeh Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai. However, his career did not quite take off, as other actors like Dharmendra, Jeetendr and Rajesh Khanna became more popular with the audiences.
 
Some of his later films included Ek Kali Muskai, Dil aur Mohabbat, Moojrim, Ehsan, Aag aur Daag and Haiwan.
 
Mukherjee produced and directed Hum Saaya, which did not do well. His subsequent productions were also not box office successes, barring Ek Baar Muskura Do in 1972 with  his brother Deb. He also directed Chaila Babu, starring Zeenat Aman and Rajesh Khan. In 2009, he featured in the television serial Aye Dil-e-Nadan.
 
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IIFL appoints Nipun Goel as President, Investment Banking

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The India Infoline Group (IIFL) today announced the appointment of Nipun Goel as President, Investment Banking. 
 
Goel, who was prior to this serving as Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Nomura, India, will lead the Investment Banking team at IIFL Capital, a press release from the company said.
 
He was earlier Managing Director at DSP-Merrill Lynch and was associated with the company for more than 13 years in various roles in Investment Banking.
 
“We welcome Nipun to the IIFL family and look forward to a fruitful association. I truly believe he will play a valuable role in the growth of IIFL’s Investment Banking business, Nirmal Jain, Chairman, IIFL, said.
 
Goel is a post-graduate from the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIMA) and an engineering graduate from the Delhi College of Engineering (now the Delhi University of Technology).
 
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L&T names Venkataramanan as CEO & MD, Naik to continue as Chairman

K. Venkataramanan
K. Venkataramanan

The Board of Directors of infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro today decided to bifurcate the role of Chairman and Managing Director into two positions and appointed K Venkataramanan as CEO & MD of the group with effect from April 1.

A M Naik will continue as Executive Chairman of the group, a press release from the $ 11.7 billion company said.
 
Venkataramanan, a chemical engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi,  joined L&T as a graduate engineer trainee and was elevated to the Board of the Company as a Whole-time Director in 1995. 
 
He has won many national and international accolades such as Honorary Fellow of IChemE, U.K., Honorary Doctorate in Project Management, and Distinguished Alumnus of IIT, Delhi, to name a few. 
 
“I am pleased that the Board has appointed Mr. K. Venkataramanan as CEO & MD. I have full confidence that under Mr. Venkataramanan’s leadership, L&T will continue on its growth path," Naik said.
 
The release said L&T is implementing a plan to simplify its portfolion and has created 10 independent companies (ICs) and 7 subsidiaries with a view to bringing focus, autonomy and accountability. The company had engaged the services of the global strategy firms for the purpose. 
 
"While the journey is already on, changes in the economic environment necessitated the company to undertake a Mid-Term Review of Strategic Plan, which is now under finalization. In line with the vision of the company to become an Indian multinational as also looking at the current global competitive environment, it needs to develop leaders who will manage the company, going forward," it said.
A. M. Naik
A. M. Naik
"In view of the above transformation phase that L&T is going through, the Board decided that there is a need for continuity and accordingly requested Mr.A.M.Naik, to continue for a period of  5 years as Executive Chairman of the Group," it said.
 
Venkataramanan will be responsible for the businesses of the company. Naik will focus on completing the portfolio restructuring, institutionalizing the IC structure, mentoring and developing the leadership team and future leaders to face the global challenges.
 
“I am honoured with the responsibility that the Board has placed on me. I am also happy that Mr. A.M. Naik’s guidance will continue to be available," Venkataramanan said.
 
"The Board is confident that this step is in the best interest of all stakeholders," the release added.
 
The Board also elevated Shailendra Roy as a Whole-time Director, with immediate effect. He is currently Senior Vice President – Power Development Business, Corporate Affairs & Corporate Initiatives.  He is also a Member of the Executive Management Committee of the Company.This induction is part of L&T’s succession plan, the reease said. 
 
Roy, 59,holds a Bachelor of Technology degree, and started his career in 1975 as an Engineer with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited’s (BHEL) manufacturing unit at Haridwar.  
Before joining L&T, he was Managing Director & CEO of Bharat Heavy Plates & Vessels Ltd. (BHPV) from 2002 to 2004.
 
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Film music composer Ravi passes away in Mumbai

File photo of music composer Ravi Shankar Sharma
File photo of music composer Ravi Shankar Sharma

Well-known music director Ravi Shankar Sharma, who was popularly known as Ravi and had composed music for several Hindi and Malayalam films, passed away in the Bombay Hospital here after a cardio-respiratory arrest.

He was 86. He is survived by his son. His wife had predeceased him.
 
Sources at the hospital said Ravi, who was admitted to the hospital on February 12, breathed his last around 6.30 pm today.
 
Ravi had composed the music for popular movies such as Waqt, Neel Kamal, Phool Aur Patthar, Humraaz, Nikaah, Do Badan, Aankhen, Chaudhvin Ka Chand and Gumraah. He won Filmfare awards for Gharana (1961) and Khandaan (1965).
 
"Dil ke armaan aansooyon main beh gaye…", "Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai", and "Babul ki duyaen leti jaa…"are some of the memorable songs composed by him. Ravi had taken a break from the Hindi film industry from the 1970s to 1984 before making a comeback with Nikah, whose music became very popular.
 
Other films for which he provided music included Dilli Ka thug, Nazrana, China Town, Bombay Ka Chor, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, Kaajal, Do Badan, Dus Lakh and Ek Phool Do Mali.
 
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Born on March 3, 1926, Ravi had no formal training in classic music and learned all he knew about music by listening to his father sing "bhajans". He taught himself to play the harmonium andother instruments and worked as an electrician for some time to support his family.
 
In 1950, he moved to Bombay (now Mumbai) and became a professinal singer. In the early days, he virtually lived on the streets and slept on railway platforms.
 
In 1952, composer Hemant Kumar engaged him to provide backing vocals in Vande Mataram in the film Anand Math. During a fairly successful career, he composed music for scores of films, including may produced by South Indian banners such as Gemini, AVM and Vasu Films: Ghonghat, Grihasti, Aurat, Samaj Ko Badal Dalo, Mehrban, Do Kaliyan and Khandaan.
 
He had played an important role in shaping the careers of singers such as Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor.
 
In the 1980s, Ravi started composing music for Malayalam films as Bombay Ravi, starting with Panchagni. Other Malayalam films he worked for included Nakhakshathangal, Vaishali, Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha, Vidhyarambham, Sukrutham, Padheyam, Manassil Oru Manjuthulli, and Aavani Kanavukal.
 
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L&T secures orders valued at Rs 1454 crore in February-March

 

Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro today said it had won new orders valued at more than Rs 1454 crore across various business segments during February-March this year.
 
A press release from the company said its Water and Effluent Treatment business unit had secured orders worth Rs 579 crore from Tamil Nadu Water Supply & Drainage Board. The scope includes providing Combined Water Supply Scheme to Attur -Narsingpuram municipalities and the Vellore Corporation. 
 
The scheme will  cater to  20 town panchayats and 1345 rural habitations in Salem district and  11  municipalities, 5 town panchayats  and 944 rural habitations in Vellore district.

Air India to operate all-women crew flights to US, Europe, Asia on Women's Day

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National carrier Air India today said it would operate all-women crew international flights to a city each in the United States, Europe and Asia tomorrow to mark International Women's Day.
 
The three flights from Mumbai will include an ultra long haul flight AI 191 to Newark, AI 131 to London and AI 342 to Singapore.
 
Air India Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, will also be operating its flight IX 241 from Mumbai to Bahrain/Doha with all women crew to mark this occasion.
 
Also on the domestic routes, AI 669 from Mumbai to Bhubaneshwar and AI 649 from Mumbai to Raipur will be operated by all women crew. Flights from other cities are also being planned to commemorate the occasion.
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CBI arrests ex-MLC, tax consultant, 2 others for attempting to influence Adarsh case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a former Congress Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) in Maharashtra, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, and three others for allegedly attempting to use bribes to influence CBI officials in their ongoing investigation of the Adarsh Housing Society case in Mumbai.

A CBI press release said the others held in the case were a tax consultant, a special counsel in the Ministry of Law and Justice and a private individual.
 
It said a case was registered against the Mumbai-based tax consultant and the ex-MLC. It was alleged that they entered into a criminal conspiracy and the former MLC paid a sum of Rs 1.25 crore to the tax consultant illegally in an attempt to influence CBI officials in the investigations of the Adarsh case.
 
It was also alleged that the Special Counsel in the Union Ministry of Law & Justice, who is  presently working as Retainer Counsel for CBI at Mumbai ,entered into a criminal conspiracy with them and received a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs allegedly as bribe from the tax consultant.
 
All the arrested accused were produced yesterday before the Special Judge, Mumbai and were remanded to police custody till March 16, the release said, adding that further investigations are continuing.
 
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Kingfisher Airlines says no move to shut down airline as financial woes continue

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Private sector carrier Kingfisher Airlines today sought to scotch speculation about a shut down and said it was trying its best to cooperate with the tax authorities to get its accounts unfrozen at the earliest so that normalcy could be restored, employee salaries paid and further aircraft recoveries started.
 
A statement from the airline said its CEO Sanjay Aggarwal met with a group of pilots on Thursday to appeal to them not to stay away from flying duties which would potentially affect the operating schedule.
 
"At no time was there any suggestion that Kingfisher Airlines would shut down," Prakash Mirpuri, the spokesperson for the airline said in the statement.
 
The clarification came after media reports quoted the pilots, who were protesting against the delay in payment of salaries, as saying that Aggarwal had warned them during the meeting that the company could resort to if they did not resume their duties.
 
"We are trying our very best to co-operate with the tax authorities and get our accounts un-frozen at the earliest so that normalcy could be restored, employee salaries paid and further aircraft recoveries started," the statement said.
 
"Our flights are operating as per schedule and we truly appreciate the continued dedication and commitment of all staff to our valued guests," the statement by the airline added.
 
The latest developments came after news that the Service Tax department had frozen as many as 40 bank accounts of the company for non-payment of dues to the tune of Rs 40 crore.
 
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