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SBI becomes first Indian bank to open branch in Myanmar

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, today became the first Indian bank to open a branch in Myanmar.
 
The branch in Yangon was inaugurated by SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya in the presence of the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar.
 
Senior SBI officials, including Mr. Siddhartha Sengupta, Deputy Managing Director - International Banking Group, Mr. Arijit Basu, MD, SBI Life, and Mr. Sujit Kumar Varma, CGM - International Banking Group, were also present.
 
This is the 54th foreign branch of SBI, which now has a presence in 37 countries through 198 offices.
 
Ms. Bhattacharya said, “Operationalization of our branch has revived the relationship of SBI with Myanmar even though SBI’s association with Myanmar dates back to 1861, when the erstwhile Bank of Bengal operated its branch in Rangoon.” 
 
Later, in the course of nationalization of banks, the operations of the Rangoon branch were taken over by the Peoples’ Bank No. 8 of Burma in February 1963.
 
Earlier this year, SBI was awarded a banking license to open a branch in Myanmar with the primary objective of extending wholesale banking services to foreign corporates. In due course, the branch aspires to become an important link in trade and commerce between Myanmar and the world, a press release from SBI said.
 
India has been a major trading partner of Myanmar. Since the signing of India and Myanmar trade agreement in 1970, bilateral trade has been growing steadily. Bilateral trade rose from $ 328 million in 1997-98 to $ 2.052 billion in 2015-16.
 
Ms. Bhattacharya also donated equipments for recreation of cancer affected children in a ceremony held at Children Yangon Hospital on October 2. 
 
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Ravindra Sudhalkar appointed CEO of Reliance Home Finance

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The Board of Directors of Reliance Home Finance Limited (RHFL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Reliance Capital Limited, has announced the appointment of Mr. Ravindra Sudhalkar as the CEO of the company.
 
RHFL provides a wide range of loan solutions like home loans, loan against property, construction finance, flexi LAP and affordable housing. 
 
The company reported assets under management (including securitized portfolio) of Rs. 8,259 crore ($ 1.2 billion), as of June 30, 2016, and has an aggressive growth plan to be amongst the top five housing finance companies by 2020.
 
“I am happy to announce the appointment of Mr. Ravindra Sudhalkar as the CEO of our fast-growing housing finance business with immediate effect. Focus on housing finance forms an important part of Reliance Capital's growth strategy and we will continue to aggressively expand this portfolio under the leadership of Mr. Sudhalkar," said Mr. Sam Ghosh, ED and Group CEO, Reliance Capital.
 
“India’s mortgage penetration is very low, placing RHFL in a unique to position to aggressively expand its business in a short span of time. I would like to thank the Board for giving me the opportunity to lead this business, as its CEO, on this growth journey," said Mr. Sudhalkar.
 
Mr. Sudhalkar, 48, joins RHFL from Kotak Mahindra Bank where he spent eight years and served as Senior Executive Vice President & Head – Secured Assets. Prior to this, he has worked across various companies including ICICI Bank.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 6024 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders valued at Rs. 6024 crore across various segments.
 
These include engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) orders worth Rs. 1721 crore won by its Power Transmission & Distribution Business, a press release from the company said.
 
The scope of work includes construction of primary substations, extra high voltage cabling, and overhead transmission lines across various locations in the Middle East.
The release said the company's Water & Effluent Treatment business had secured secured orders worth Rs. 1497 crore in various sectors.
 
The scope of work includes supply and laying of water pipelines, wastewater network and design and construction of water treatment plants and waste water treatment plants across various locations in India.
 
The company said its Buildings and Factories business had bagged orders worth Rs. 1131 crores in various sectors. It said an order has been secured in the factories sector from a client. The scope of the work includes construction of a cement plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Orders have also been received from reputed clients for the construction of office buildings along with other ancillary facilities. An additional order has been received from an ongoing project.
 
The release said the company's ransportation Infrastructure Business had won an order worth Rs. 780 crore in the Middle East. The scope of work includes construction of road, an interchange, underpass, camel crossings, roundabouts, utilities along with other associated works.
 
The company's Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business had bagged orders worth Rs. 630 crore. An order has been secured in the nuclear sector from a client. An additional engineering, procurement and construction order has been received by the business, the scope of which includes construction of Inland Water Transport Terminal.
 
The Metallurgical and Material Handling Business of the company has bagged orders worth Rs. 265 crore. An engineering, procurement & construction order has been bagged for the construction of a coal handling plant. The business has also received an additional order from an ongoing job, the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 1.166 billion to $ 370.766 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves increased by $ 1.166 billion to $ 370.766 billion in the week ended September 23, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had dipped by $ 1.679 bllion to $ 369.6 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 $ 1.168 billion to $ 345.242 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 $ 21.643 bilion, while its special drawing rights went down by $ 1 million to $ 1.491 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 1.4 million to $ 2.391 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Eros International ties up with UAE’s Phars Film for co-production, distribution of Malayalam movies

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd has tied up with Phars Film, the largest film distribution and exhibition network in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
 
The partnership will entail the two companies jointly co-producing Malayalam films along with exploration of theatrical rights between the two entities. 
 
The deal licenses Eros to exploit the distribution of all Malayalam movies produced jointly in India, while Phars Films would present the same overseas where it enjoys a dominant market share, a press release from the company said.
 
“Eros continues to champion strong content led regional cinema, and we have made successful inroads in the Malayalam film industry. Our association with a prominent player like Phars Film to jointly create and release new content further reiterates our vision to scale up in the south industry and continue presenting attractive film content," Mr. Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd, said.
 
Mr. Ahmad Golchin, Founder & CEO, Phars Film said, “We are looking forward to partnering with India’s largest film studio with whom we share a common vision to bring the finest content from Malayalam cinema to discerning audiences in India & overseas market.”
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 2046 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders valued at Rs. 2046 crore across various business segments.
 
These include orders worth Rs. 826 crore bagged by its Power Transmission & Distribution Business,  a press release from the company said.
 
The scope of work includes construction of projects for rural electrification under the Integrated Power Development Scheme, extra high voltage substations and overhead transmission lines across various locations in India. 
 
The release said the company's Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business had secured a order worth Rs. 675 crore in the metro sector. The scope of the work primarily includes the construction of elevated viaducts and elevated stations.
 
The company's Building & Factories Business bagged a residential project worth Rs. 434 crore from a client. The scope of work includes engineering, procurement and construction of three towers each of G+30 floors, with 2 levels of common basement and other ancillary facilities.
 
The Transportation Infrastructure Business secured additional orders worth Rs. 111 crore in its various ongoing projects, the release added.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 1.679 billion to $ 369.6 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.679 bllion to $ 369.6 billion in the week ended September 16 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had soared by a whopping $ 3.514billion to a fresh all-time high of $ 371.28 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 $ 1.673 billion to $ 344.074 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 $ 21.643 bilion, while its special drawing rights went down by $ 2.3 million to $ 1.491 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 2.7 million to $ 2.392 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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High alert in Uran near Mumbai after kids spot suspicious men

A high alert was sounded along India's western coastline near Mumbai on Thursday after two schoolchildren reported that they had seen a group of men moving in the area near their school in Uran, near the metropolis, in suspicious circumstances.

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A high alert was sounded along India's western coastline near Mumbai today after two schoolchildren reported that they had seen a group of men moving in the area near their school in Uran, near the metropolis, in suspicious circumstances.
 
The students -- a girl and a boy in their early teens -- informed their teacher about what they had seen and heard, who in turn alerted the local police.
 
The police swung into action immediately and the Indian Navy's Western Naval Command, the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Air Force also launched a massive search operation for the men.
 
"IN's Western Naval Command today expeditiously reacted to a report of suspicious movement of some people in Uran area by initiating an alert & informing  all coastal security stakeholders. Searches& other actions as per SOP have been initiated. The situation is being closely monitored in liaison with the police," the spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"No person has been located or apprehended till now," he added.
 
Senior police officers rushed to the school and talked to the students, who reportedly told them that the men -- four or five in number -- appeared to be strangers, were dresssed in "Pathani suits",  carrying backpacks and weapons and speaking in a strange language. 
 
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While there was no independent corroboration of the children's version, the authorities were, nonetheless, taking the information seriously and carrying out a thorough check of the area to ensure that there was no cause for concern.
 
The alert came just four days after the terror attack on an Army administrative base at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir.
 
Apart from the increased police presence in Uran, the police also stepped up security in Mumbai.
 
The authorities are not taking any chances in their efforts to ensure that there is no repeat of the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, in which ten terrorists sneaked into the city through the sea route and killed more than 160 people.
 
Officials urged people to report anything suspicious to the authorities and not to spread rumours.
 
Uran is close to many vital installations and just 40 minutes across the sea from South Mumbai.
 
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GoAir increases flights to North East for Durga Puja

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Low-cost carrier GoAir today said it would launch additional flights  and feeder connections to deal with the growing demand for flights into Kolkata and Bagdogra during the busy Durga Puja period.
 
The additional flights will now ensure that GoAir flies Delhi to Bagdogra twice daily commencing on October 3 and Delhi to Kolkata thrice daily commencing from October 4, a press release from the airline said.
 
GoAir will also introduce its first ever direct flight from Chennai to Kolkata effective October 12, it said.
 
Bookings can be availed through the company website, www.GoAir.in or online travel portals, GoAir Call Centre, airport ticketing offices, through travel agents, and the GoAir App that is available on both Apple iOS and Google Android. Passengers will be required to download the latest version of the Apps to be able to make the bookings.
 
The airline had recently announced Hyderabad as its 23rd destination and will be adding to its existing tally of 144 daily flights and approximately 975 weekly flights across 22 destinations. 
 
The airline operates on these routes with its Airbus A320 fleet, the release added.
 
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L&T wins order from Vietnam Border Guard for high speed patrol vessels

Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said it had signed a contract, valued at $ 99.7 million, with Vietnam Border Guard for design and construction of high speed patrol vessels in India as well as for transfer of design and technology along with supply of equipment and material kits for construction of follow-on vessels at a Vietnam shipyard.
 
This is the biggest export order won by a private Indian shipyard till date, a press release from the company said.
 
The high-speed patrol vessels are purpose-built for controlling and protecting sea security and sovereignty, detecting illegal activities such as smuggling, and undertaking search and rescue missions. 
 
Constructed of aluminium alloy, the vessels are about 35 metres long and can clock a speed of 35 knots with a state-of-the-art navigation and surveillance equipment and self-defence capabilities on board.
 
A press release from the company said that, in keeping with the Government of India’s Make in India policy, complete design and engineering of these vessels will be undertaken at L&T’s dedicated Warship Design Centre with the vessels being built at L&T’s state-of-the-art Kattupalli Shipyard, off Chennai.
 
Mr. S.N. Subrahmanyan, President and Deputy Managing Director of L&T, said that the contract was testimony to L&T’s world-class technological capabilities. He also hoped the contract would pave the way for stronger bilateral ties between India and Vietnam.
 
Earlier in 2015, a tender was floated by Vietnam’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the patrol boats and six shipyards (L&T, MDL, GRSE, erstwhile Pipavav, ABG and PEC) from India participated in the bid. The MoD-Vietnam shortlisted three shipyards and undertook an extensive assessment of their design and engineering capabilities, yard infrastructure, track record and financial health. 
 
"L&T qualified on all the parameters and was selected from among the six for the prestigious export contract," the release said.
 
According to it, L&T is presently executing Indian MoD contracts for design and construction of 54 Interceptor Boats (IBs) for Indian Coast Guard, out of which 28 IBs have already been delivered with the last boat having been delivered two years ahead of schedule. L&T is also executing orders for design and construction of seven Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard against a contract of Rs.1432 crore and a Floating Dock for the Indian Navy with a contract value of Rs.468 crore.
 
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Essel Propack to acquire 100% stake in joint venture Essel Deutschland Germany

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Specialty packaging major Essel Propack, part of the $ 2.4 billion Essel Group, today announced a complete buyout of its joint venture Essel Deutschland Germany (EDG).
 
Following this transaction, EDG will be a 100% subsidiary of Essel Propack.  Until now, Essel has been a JV partner with 24.9% share in EDG. The enterprise value of EDG stands at $ 32 million, a press release from Essel said.
 
"The acquisition will help Essel  unlock synergies such as enhanced cross selling opportunity in the German markets, sourcing flexibility and  better capacity utilization at all of its Europe plants," it said.
 
According to it, Essel now can deploy its proven capability to offer high decoration laminated tube solutions for the premium non-oral care brands across Europe, including Germany.  Essel will also have the benefit of a long term supply agreement which EDG has recently signed with a local oral care company, it said.
 
The EDG revenue of approximately $40 million will now be consolidated in Essel’s global revenue and will boost consolidated revenue by 11%.
 
In FY16, Essel Propack’s consolidated revenue stood at Rs. 2,184 crore.
 
Mr. Ashok Goel, Vice-Chairman & the Managing Director of Essel Propack said, “The acquisition of EDG will further enhance our position in the non-oral care category. This move is in keeping with our overall plans for achieving revenue growth of 15% and PAT growth of 20% and achieving our Mission 20:20:20.”
 
The company has embarked on a mission  20:20:20 – EBITDA margin of 20%, Return on Equity (ROE) at 20% and Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) at 20% within next two years.
 
Mr. Ram Ramasamy, Global COO, Essel Propack, said, “The complete buyout will enable us to step up productivity and efficiencies to those of other Essel Propack plants and improve overall profits.”
 
Mr. Alan Conner, European Business Vice-President of Essel Propack, said, “This move will help us to creating a strong platform for growth in Europe especially in the non-oral care category.  As we have a ready customer base, this will help improve our revenue growth through synergies.  The acquisition will add 63% to our Europe revenue on an annualized basis.” 
 
Essel Propack manufactures laminated plastic tubes catering to the FMCG and Pharma space. It has 21 facilities in 11 countries and sells more than six billion tubes every year.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 1726 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders valued at Rs. 1726 crore across various business segments.
 
These include an order worth Rs. 687 crore bagged by its Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business in the defence sector, a press release from the company said.
 
The company said its Smart World & Communication Business had secured an order worth Rs. 421 crore from public sector telecom services provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for engineering, supply, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of wi-fi hotspots and wi-fi offload systems on turnkey basis for the Southern and Western States of India.
 
The scope of work includes installation of Wi-Fi Access Points (AP), provisioning of bandwidth connectivity to the Access Points (AP) and integration with the existing network.
 
The release said the company's Water & Effluent Treatment Business had won an engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) order worth Rs. 245 crore from Pune Municipal Corporation. The project scope involves design, procurement and construction of 63 RCC elevated storage reservoirs ranging from 0.5 ML to 4.5 ML, 19 RCC ground level storage reservoirs ranging from 0.5 ML to 17.0 ML and related infrastructure works for Pune city.
 
The company's Power Transmission & Distribution business has  bagged EPC orders worth Rs. 373 crore.
 
The release said the company had secured an order under Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) from Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (OPTCL). The scope includes electrification works in the WESCO utility areas of Odisha.
 
Another order has been received from Power Grid Corporation of India for the construction of 400 kV Double Circuit Mundra – Bhuj Transmission Line in Gujarat, the release added.
 
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Guided missile destroyer Mormugao launched at Mazagaon Docks

 
Navy launches warship Mormugao
India's guided missile destroyer Mormugao, the second ship of Project 15B, ws launched at Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) here today.
 
The launch is seen as a significant milestone in the annals of the country's indigenous warship design and construction programme.
 
With a launch weight of 2844 tonnes, the vessel made its first contact with water at 11:58 am with full fanfare during the launching ceremony graced at which Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, was the chief guest. 
 
In keeping with maritime traditions, his wife Reena Lanba, President, Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA), broke a coconut on the ship’s bow and launched the ship, as invocation from the Atharva Veda was being rendered. 
 
Admiral Lanba said the event was yet another moment of truth for the Indian Navy and India's quest for self-reliance and indigenisation. 
 
"The Indian Navy stands fully committed to the call of ‘Make in India’ and we are extremely proud of the fact that all of our warships and submarines on order today are being constructed within the country," he said.
 
He said the event was also an affirmation of the government's resolve that the Indian Navy should attain a size and capability that is commensurate with the country's growing stature in the world, its national maritime interests, and its commitment to cooperation and collaboration towards ensuring secure seas for shaping a favourable and positive maritime environment. 
 
The Admiral also commended the partnership of MDL, Indian Navy, DRDO, OFB, BEL, other public sector enterprises and the private industry in ensuring that force levels are made available to meet India’s national strategic objectives. He also congratulated DGND and his team at Directorate of Naval Design for designing state-of-the-art warships and contributing towards achieving Indian Navy’s dream of transforming from a “Buyers” to a “Builders” Navy. 
 
An official press rlease said Project 15B ships feature cutting edge advanced technology and are comparable to the best ships of similar class anywhere in the world. These ships have been designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi. Each ship spans 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam and displaces 7300 tonnes. They will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots. 
 
The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. P 15B ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters, the release said.
 
These ships are packed with an array of state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including vertically launched missile system, for long distance engagement of shore, sea-based and air targets. 
 
"With significant indigenous content, these ships are a true hall-mark of self reliance attained by our country in warship design and ship building," the release said.
 
The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship maneuverability. These ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multi-role helicopters. State of art rail less helo traversing system is being introduced on these ships for efficient helicopter handling onboard. 
 
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The release said the ships could be classified as possessing a Network of Networks, as they are equipped with Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), Ship Data Network (SDN), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Combat Management System (CMS). 
 
While control and monitoring of machinery and auxiliaries is achieved through the IPMS, power management is done using the APMS. The CMS performs threat evaluation and resource allocation based on the tactical picture compiled and ammunition available onboard. The SDN is the information highway on which data from all the sensors and weapons ride. 
 
Stealth has been a major thrust area in P15B design. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. The ship embodies features such as Multiple Fire Zones, Total Atmospheric Control System (TACS) for Air Conditioning, Battle Damage Control Systems (BDCS), Distributional Power Systems and Emergency DA to enhance survivability and reliability in emergent scenarios. 
 
These ships have been designed for a complement of 50 officers and 250 sailors. The accommodation and working spaces have been designed with special emphasis on ergonomics and habitability. 
 
The ship’s “fire power” consists of sophisticated weapons-sensor suite including vertically launched Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) and Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSM) for long distance engagement of shore and sea based targets. It is also noteworthy that this ship has significantly high indigenous content, in the form of weapons, machinery and material. 
 
P15B Yard 12705, christened Mormugao, will be the fifth frontline warship, including the indigenous aircraft carrier, launched in the last six years, in addition to the delivery of three frigates, three destroyers and two corvettes during the same period. 
 
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India's forex reserves soar by $ 3.514 billion to all-time high of $ 371.28 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves soared by a whopping $ 3.514 billion to a fresh all-time high of $ 371.28 billion in the week ended September 9, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had risen by $ 989.5 million to $ 367.766 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central banksaid that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 3.51 billion to $ 345.747 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 $ 21.643 bilion, while its special drawing rights went up by $ 5.3 million to $ 1.494 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 1.3 million to $ 2.396 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Vodafone says will triple points of interconnect with Reliance Jio

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Telecom services provider Vodafone today said it would triple its points of interconnect (PoIs) with Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a subdiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), which launched its 4G services in the country on September 5.
 
A press release from the company said that it was committed to "continue playing its responsible role in further developing the Indian telecom sector and in creating value for the consumer, the industry and the country".
 
"Vodafone India has always provided Points of Interconnect to other operators for all their fair, reasonable and legitimate requirements and will continue to do so. Following guidance from TRAI and clarifications from Jio regarding its commercial launch, Vodafone India has decided to increase the points of interconnect between the two operators by thrice and accordingly increase the capacity to connect. Vodafone is hopeful that all issues that it has raised with TRAI and Jio will be duly considered and resolved at the earliest," it said.
 
The release said that, to create a truly connected, inclusive and Digital India, it was vital to have a level playing field between providers offering the same service, encourage innovations and judiciously use a portfolio of technologies - 2G, 3G & 4G to service the evolving needs of consumers across the country.
 
Reacting to the announcement, Reliance Jio said it welcomed Vodafone's decision of providing more PoIs but felt that the quantum proposed to be released by it was substantially less than the requirement estimated based on transparent workings shared with Vodafone.
 
"RJIL has been writing regularly to Vodafone regarding its requirement for interconnection capacity over the last few months. Necessary details have been provided from time to time, highlighting the urgency of the requirement and the impact on Quality of Service parameters. However, no action was taken for the last several weeks, resulting in non-compliance of TRAI regulation on quality of service which mandates that POI congestion should not affect more than 1 call in every 200 calls made.
 
"The situation has deteriorated significantly in the last few weeks, with over 80 calls failing out of every 100 call attempts. In the last 10 days alone, over 15 crore RJIL calls have failed on the Vodafone network. While RJIL has rolled out a state-of-the-art network, the benefits of superior voice technology have been denied to Indian customers due to the POI congestion. Indian customers have not been able to enjoy RJIL's free voice offer as a result of such anti-competitive behaviour of incumbent operators," a release from RJIL said.
 
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RJIL said it had been raising the issue of insufficient POIs as anti-competitive aimed at hindering the entry of a new operator. 
 
"Such hurdles result in poor experience for RJIL customers who are trying to make calls to incumbent operators' networks.It is unfortunate that TRAI’s intervention was required for Vodafone to resume augmentation of POIs as admitted in its press release. Vodafone ought to have augmented POIs by itself in compliance with its license terms.
 
"Furthermore, Vodafone and the other incumbent operators have also been blocking the mobile number portability (MNP) facility for their subscribers who wish to subscribe to Jio serviceson baseless and unsubstantiated grounds. This is another example of disregard of license terms and their obligations under the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulations, 2009 (“MNP Regulations”) and TRAI directions. This is again an anti-competitive move aimed at stifling a new operator, denying the Indian customers the benefit of choice of service provider. This is against public interest and fair play.
 
"RJIL hopes that Vodafone will enhance the PoI's sufficiently to meet their license obligation of QoS with immediate effect and maintain these parameters on an ongoing basis. Vodafone must also immediately make available MNP to all its subscribers opting to port to RJIL in accordance with the license terms and MNP regulations," a release from Reliance Jio added.
 
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RIL retains position as most profitable company among Nifty 50

A view of RIL's petroleum refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat
A view of RIL's petroleum refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat
At the close of the extended results season for the April-June 2016 quarter, energy and petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has retained its position as the most profitable company among the Nifty 50 – a widely followed benchmark in the Indian stock market. 
 
The Mukesh Ambani-led company, which now also has a major presence in the retail and telecom sectors, continues to remain the single largest contributor to the aggregate net profit of the Nifty 50.
 
RIL’s consolidated net profit of Rs. 7113 crore for the April-June 2016 quarter was 12.6% higher than the Rs. 6318 crore reported by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the second best performer in the Nifty.
 
And, compared to the net profit of Rs. 4232.5 crore posted by the public sector Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), RIL’s largest energy sector peer among the Nifty 50, it is 68.1% higher.
 
The aggregate net profit of the Nifty 50 for the quarter stood at Rs. 69,793 crore, which means RIL has alone contributed 10.2% of it – rising from the 8.1% for the corresponding period a year ago. 
 
This high level of contribution is expected to continue as several of RIL’s large scale projects are set to become operational in near future.
 
At Wednesday’s close of 8762.6, the Nifty is trading at a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 23.9, with an EPS of 364.8.
 
Every additional rupee in the aggregate net profit of the Nifty improves the index’s EPS, and thereby justifies its level. The Nifty’s current valuation is considered excessive by many experts, and they anticipate a correction. Unless the earnings growth of the Nifty 50 companies picks up fast, the current level of the Nifty index might become unsustainable.
 
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RIL’s scrip has gone up over 21% in the past one year, outperforming the benchmark index that climbed 10.8%. This helped the company improve its weightage in the Nifty from 5% in September 2015 to the current 5.4%. (An individual stock’s weightage in the Nifty is decided not just by its market capitalisation, but also by free float.)
 
The Nifty index, which was trading at a price-earnings ratio (P/E) of 21.8 a year ago, now stands at 23.9. In comparison, RIL’s valuation has barely increased from a P/E of 11.7 to 11.9 over the same period. Due to this, most of the brokerage houses are bullish on the RIL scrip. A leading foreign brokerage CLSA, in its July 2016 report, has iterated its conviction on RIL, stating, “Start of projects worth $35 billion in the next six months could be a key catalyst; conviction BUY stays.”
 
The April-June 2016 results season had been extended by a month by market regulator Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI), allowing India Inc. extra time to adopt the new Ind AS accounting standards.
 
Coal India’s results on September 13 was the last from the Nifty 50 companies. 
 
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SBI raises $300 million through overseas bonds

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, today said it had raised $ 300 million through bonds from overseas investors, marking the first foreign currency Additional Tier 1 (AT1) issuance ever by an Indian bank.
 
A press release from the bank said that it had today, acting through its Dubai IFC Branch, successfully priced the inaugural $ 300 million fixed rate perpetual AT1 Notes under its $ 10 Billion Reg S MTN programme.
 
The perpetual non call 5 year deal was priced at a fixed coupon of 5.50% payable semi-annually. The first reset of the bond will be on the 6th anniversary date, the release said.
 
This followed the successful placement of the domestic AT1 of Rs. 2100 crore ($ 300 million approximately) in the domestic market at 9% p.a., the release said.
 
The bonds are rated B1 by Moody’s and B+ by Standard & Poor's.
 
SBI is India’s largest bank, with a total asset size of $ 339 billion, with 16,288 branches in India, 200 international offices in 37 countries and more than 370 million customer accounts as of 30th June, 2016.
 
SBI's Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said, "We are pleased to set a benchmark for US Dollar AT1bonds by an Indian bank. This successful benchmark size deal opens the USD AT1 market for Indian banks."
 
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi Bank, J.P. Morgan, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, SBI Capital Markets and Standard Chartered Bank acted as Joint Lead Managers for the offering, the release added.
 
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Reliance Capital to independently list Home Finance business on stock exchanges

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Reliance Capital Ltd., a part of the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, today said its Board of Directors had approved a proposal to independently list its home finance business – Reliance Home Finance Ltd (RHF) -  on the stock exchanges.
 
The independent listing of Reliance Home Finance is expected to unlock substantial value for existing shareholders of Reliance Capital, a press release from the company said.
 
The listing of Reliance Home Finance will also lead to increased management focus and accelerated growth in the home finance business, it said.
 
The release recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a goal of affordable housing for all by 2022 and noted that there was presently an estimated shortage of 100 million residential units in India. 
 
"To address the needs of this sector, Reliance Home Finance has charted an aggressive growth plan in this space, and aims to increase its book size to over Rs. 50,000 crore in the next few years,” said Mr. Anmol A. Ambani, Director, Reliance Capital Ltd. 
 
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“We expect the listing and allotment of shares in Reliance Home Finance, free of cost, to unlock significant value for our almost one million strong shareholder family,” he added.
 
As per the proposal, 49 per cent stake in Reliance Home Finance Limited will be allotted to all shareholders of Reliance Capital, in the ratio of one share free of cost in Reliance Home Finance Limited for every one share held in Reliance Capital.
 
Reliance Capital will hold a 51 per cent stake in Reliance Home Finance, and the company will be adequately capitalised to grow the lending book to over Rs. 20,000 crore in the next 18 months.
 
The proposal is subject to necessary shareholder and other approvals, the release said.
 
The release said Reliance Home Finance, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Reliance Capital, provides a wide range of loan solutions like home loan, LAP, construction finance and affordable housing loans. The company reported an AUM of Rs. 8,259 crore ($ 1.2 billion) during the quarter ended June 30, 2016.
 
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HCC awarded Rs 181 crore contract from Department of Atomic Energy

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) today said it had been awarded a Rs. 181.65 crore contract by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to build premium high rise residential towers at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. 
 
This is an item rate contract to be completed in 30 months, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the scope of the project included construction of five high rise residential towers of ground plus 15 floors, housing 600 apartments. The total built up area for the entire construction will be 7.5 lakh sq.ft. This facility would provide accommodation to DAE officers working at IGCAR, Kalpakkam.
 
This is the second order that HCC has received from DAE for construction of residential towers for its officers. HCC is also currently constructing the six high rise residential towers of ground plus 18 floors housing 312 residential apartments for Senior Officers working at BARC Anushaktinagar.
 
HCC has constructed 65% of the country’s installed nuclear power capacity and is currently constructing the first phase of Integrated Nuclear Recycle Plant of BARC in Tarapur and Units 7 & 8 (2×700 MW) PWHR at Rawatbhata, Kota, Rajasthan, the release added.
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Koyna region of Maharashtra

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, shook the Koyna region of Maharashtra this afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 17.4°N and longitude 73.8°E, occurred at 1330 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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India's forex reserves rise by $ 989.5 million to $ 367.766 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 989.5 million to $ 367.766 billion in the week ended September 2, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had dipped by $ 392.6 million to $ 366.776 billion in the pevious 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 $ 952.2 million to $ 342.237 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 increased by $ 58.1 million to $ 21.643 bilion, while its special drawing rights went down by $ 8 million to $ 1.488 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 12.8 million to $ 2.397 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Two injured in jostling during Navy recruitment drive in Mumbai

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Two persons suffered minor injuries in jostling during a special recruitment drive conducted by the Indian Navy for Senior Secondary Recruits (SSR) at INS Hamla at Malad here today.
 
The injured were treated at the Naval Hospital at INS Hamla, a press release from the Navy said.
 
According to it, due to the overwhelming response, a very large number of candidates had reported for the said drive. 
 
"Adequate arrangements for crowd control have also been made in liaison with Mumbai Police. However, due to some over-enthusiastic candidates desiring to enter the premises before the others, crowding resulted at the main gate of INS Hamla, which was controlled by Civil and Naval Police present at the site," it said.
 
"The examination is currently in progress in shifts, and will continue till all eligible candidates with valid documents have been examined. It is clarified that there has been no change in the minimum educational qualifications etc, and all the volunteers (with valid documents) will get a chance to appear for the recruitment opportunity, the release added.
 
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Mahindra, Ola in alliance, to target $ 400 million of vehicle sales, financing in two years

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Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., part of the $ 17.8 billion Mahindra Group, today said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enter into a strategic alliance with shared transportation platform Ola to empower 40,000 driver partners across India by 2018.
 
Through this strategic alliance, they aim overall vehicle sales and financing of over $ 400 million (Rs. 2,600 crores), a press release from the company said.
 
According to it, Ola's driver partners can now avail of an integrated and attractive 'Mahindra-Ola' package which will include Mahindra cars at special prices, attractive financing with zero down payment, and the best NBFC interest rates, subsidized insurance premiums, comprehensive maintenance packages, as well as exclusive benefits on the Ola platform.
 
The release said the alliance sought to encourage micro-entrepreneurship amongst drivers to address India's growing mobility needs. Mahindra and Ola will also explore other areas of joint collaboration to build the next generation of mobility solutions including those for unique transportation use cases, it said.
 
Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, said, "This is an initiative whose time has come, one that meets the current and future needs of Indian consumers, particularly younger ones who prefer shared mobility solutions. It also has a positive social impact on the lives and prospects of at least 40,000 driver owners, and their families. To me, this is an important strategic alliance for the Mahindra Group, one that I believe will change the contours of our industry, while giving us the first mover advantage in the fast growing Sharing Economy of India."
 
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola said, "We are delighted to work with an iconic Indian brand like Mahindra to further our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians. As part of the strategic alliance between the two companies, we have created a unique solution to help tens of thousands of aspiring driver-entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Our alliance with Mahindra will help build significant scale by innovatively building more mobility options and newer use cases in the time to come."
 
The release said the Mahindra-Ola package focuses on financial inclusion by empowering driver partners who otherwise may not be able to invest in a car, to purchase one at a highly affordable price, and at upto zero down payment. It will also support drivers with accident insurance and scholarships for their children. 
 
"This aligns with Mahindra's Rise philosophy of empowering people with the right products and services to enhance the quality of their lives, and Ola's focus on building an ecosystem that supports the entrepreneurial growth of driver-partners across the country.
 
"Amidst the rapidly growing sharing economy, this strategic alliance will create immense synergies and address the country's growing need for mobility offerings, which will play a key role in the realization of India's socio-economic development agenda," the release added.
 
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Reliance Capital raises Rs. 2000 crore through private placement

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Reliance Capital, a part of the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, today announced completion of a fund raising exercise of Rs. 2,000 crore ($ 300 million) through private placement of secured redeemable non-convertible debentures (NCD) for a period of 5 years and 10 years, respectively.
 
The issue size offered was Rs 1,000 crore ($ 150 million) with an option to retain oversubscription, by way of greenshoe option, of upto Rs 1,000 crore ($ 150 million), a press release from the company said.
 
The issue was fully subscribed, including the greenshoe option, and will be listed on BSE, it said.
 
“The funds will be used to refinance our existing debt and also grow our lending businesses. Our debt equity remains at a conservative 1.7, amongst the lowest in the NBFC sector. We will continue to maintain a healthy asset liability mix, and provide optimally priced funds for our high growth lending businesses,” said Mr. Sam Ghosh, ED and Group CEO, Reliance Capital.
 
The secured redeemable NCDs offer an annual coupon rate of 8.9 per cent for 5 years, and 9 per cent for 10 years.
 
The issue was rated AAA by two rating agencies – Credit Analysis and Research Limited (CARE) and Brickwork Ratings India Private Limited.
 
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Sun Pharma announces distribution alliance with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in Japan

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Pharmaceuticals major Sun Pharma today said it had initiated a  phased transfer of manufacturing and marketing rights in Japan for the 14 long-listed/established prescription brands acquired from Novartis. 
 
These 14 prescription brands acquired by the company earlier this year will be transferred from Novartis Pharma K.K. to Sun Pharma’s subsidiary in Japan beginning October 2016, a press release from the company said.
 
Sun Pharma has also signed a strategic distribution alliance with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation for these 14 prescription brands, the release said.
 
Under this alliance, following the transfer of manufacturing & marketing rights to Sun Pharma’s subsidiary in Japan, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation will market and distribute all the 14 brands as well as  provide information on their proper use  to healthcare professionals.
 
Mr. Isao Muramatsu, President & Representative Director, Sun Pharma Japan Ltd, said, “Through this alliance we have the opportunity to leverage Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation’s specialized expertise to create a strong business foundation for us in Japan. Sun Pharma will focus on expanding its sales channels in Japan’s pharmaceutical market while continuing to ensure a stable supply of medicines  and healthcare information.”
 
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