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India's forex reserves rise by $ 1 billion to $ 367.140 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves increased by $ 1 billion to $ 367.140 billion in the week ended October 21, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
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 $ 1.015 billion to $ 341.923 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 $ 21.406 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went down by $ 5.4 million to $ 1.463 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 8.8 million to $ 2.348 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Sun Pharma to acquire Ocular Technologies

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Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd today said it would acquire 100 percent of Ocular Technologies, Sarl (OTS), a portfolio company of Auven Therapeutics (Auven), an international private equity company focused on accelerated development of breakthrough therapeutic drugs.
 
A press release from the company said definitive agreements had been executed in this regard by its wholly owned subsidiary.
 
OTS owns exclusive, worldwide rights to Seciera (cyclosporine A, 0.09% ophthalmic solution). Sun Pharma will pay Auven $ 40 million upfront, plus contingent development milestones and sales milestones as well as tiered royalty on sales of Seciera as consideration for this acquisition, it said.
 
Seciera is currently in a Phase-3 confirmatory clinical trial for the treatment of Dry Eye Disease, an inflammatory ocular disease affecting approximately 16 million people in the United States alone. Seciera is a patented, novel, proprietary formulation of cyclosporine A 0.09%. It is a clear, preservative-free, aqueous solution. In a completed Phase 2b/3 clinical trial in 455 patients, Seciera demonstrated a rapid onset of action and was well tolerated by the study population. Based on the published data in literature, the efficacy and safety endpoints in these trials compared favorably to other formulations of cyclosporine A, the release said.
 
“This potential acquisition signifies continued momentum in enhancing our global branded specialty portfolio,” Mr. Dilip Shanghvi, Managing Director, Sun Pharma, said.
 
“Coupled with our existing pipeline consisting of BromSite, DexaSite and Xelpros, this initiative will enable Sun Pharma to significantly expand its ophthalmic presence and reach millions of patients globally," he said.
 
“This is an important milestone for us,” said Jerry St. Peter, Vice President and Head, Sun Ophthalmics. “As a specialty business dedicated solely to the needs of eye care practitioners and their patients, Sun Ophthalmics is excited at the potential to expand our existing portfolio. We hope to bring Seciera, to ophthalmologists and optometrists globally and participate in a dynamic market that is estimated to reach almost US$ 5 billion worldwide by 2020.” 
        
“The arrival of a potential novel cyclosporine formulation for patients suffering from Dry Eye Disease is very exciting,” noted Kendall E. Donaldson, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Co-Director Cornea Fellowship, Bascom Plamer Eye Institute. “Dry Eye Disease is a complex, chronic condition that affects patient quality of life, often significantly. As practitioners, we require as many tools in our armamentarium as possible to afford patients the best chance at effective, lasting treatment and improved quality of life. The positive clinical trial results for Seciera, indicates great potential for patients and practitioners alike.” 
 
The transaction is subject to approval of the US Federal Trade Commission as required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and other closing conditions, and is expected to be completed by end of 2016, the release added.
 
Dry Eye Disease, as defined by the National Health Institute (NHI), occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. 
 
Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane. Other names for dry eye include dry eye syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), dysfunctional tear syndrome, lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis, evaporative tear deficiency, aqueous tear deficiency, and LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE). 
 
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Navneet acquires Britannica’s India Curriculum Division

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Navneet Education Ltd today announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Britannica’s Indian curriculum business. 
 
"This strategic move will help expand Navneet’s range of curricular offerings in the Indian school market, nationally," a press release from the company said.
 
Britannica India’s Curriculum Division designs and develops educational products for the Indian region used by nearly 5 million students across India and Indian schools abroad. By partnering with Navneet, Britannica India’s curriculum business will expand its products range and further accelerate its growth, the release said.
 
Under the agreement, the current Britannica business unit will become an independent company within Navneet and will realize considerable synergies with Navneet’s larger Indian group. The company will market Britannica’s existing India-specific curriculum titles, such as ‘Know for Sure’ and ‘The English Channel’ as well as develop new titles under Britannica’s brand, editorial supervision and guidelines for seven years.
 
The company led by its current chief executive Sarveshwar Shrivastava together with the entire team, both companies said, will benefit from its new parent company’s knowledge of the Indian educational and publishing markets.
 
Chicago-headquartered Britannica Inc. will continue to offer in the region its award-winning digital education solutions.
 
Announcing the acquisition, Navneet’s Director Anil Gala said, “The coming together of the two companies will help enhance Navneet’s footprint and access to newer markets. It will also significantly augment Navneet’s intellectual property.”
 
Britannica Inc. President Jorge Cauz commended Navneet for its commitment to continue Britannica’s tradition of editorial excellence. “We look forward to a fruitful collaboration and partnership. We intend to work closely with Navneet to find ways to benefit from our shared commitment to serve the students, teachers and schools of India," he added.
 
Navneet is looking to invest Rs. 85 crore-Rs. 90 crore for this business, the release added.
 
Navneet, founded by the Gala Family in 1959, is one of the leading educational syllabus-based content providers in print and digital media, manufacturer of scholastic paper and non-paper stationery products. Over the decades, Navneet has emerged as the preferred brand of educational content amongst teachers and students, particularly in Western India where it has become a household name. Navneet has published more than 5500 titles in English, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu and other Indian and foreign languages, making it one of the most dominant players in the field of educational publishing in India. 
 
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Navneet’s products are sold under the brands ‘Navneet’, Vikas’, ‘Gala’, ‘Grafalco’, ‘Ffunn’, ‘Boss’ and ‘YOUVA’. Its stationery products are exported to the United States, Europe, and parts of Africa and Middle East. 
 
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. is a global leader in education publishing with engaging and trustworthy products that promote knowledge and learning. The 248-year old company is a pioneer in digital education, and its products are marketed around the globe. The company is headquartered in Chicago.
 
Encyclopaedia Britannica India (EBI) is one of India’s leading Pre K-12 curricular educational publishers that started publishing operations in India in 2009. It has an extensive product catalogue comprising educational, instructional and information products as well as technology solutions and is fast moving into a major player designing learning solutions for the 21st century learners. EBI offers specialized curricular learning solutions consisting of textbooks, interactive student and teacher resources, and teacher training materials. EBI has a pan-India presence with footprint of over 14,000 schools. 
 
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Tata Sons Board replaces Cyrus Mistry as Chairman, Ratan Tata named interim Chairman

In a surise move, Tata Sons on Monday announced that its Board had replaced Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Chairman and named former Chairman Ratan Tata as Interim Chairman of the company.

Cyrus P. Mistry
Cyrus P. Mistry
In a surprise move, Tata Sons today announced that its Board had replaced Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Chairman and named former Chairman Ratan Tata as Interim Chairman of the company.
 
"The decision was taken at a Board meeting held here today," a press release from the company said.
 
"The Board has named Mr. Ratan N. Tata as Interim Chairman of Tata Sons," it added.
 
The release said the Board had constituted a Selection Committee to choose a new Chairman.
 
The Committee comprises Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Mr. Venu Srinivasan, Mr. Amit Chandra, Mr. Ronen Sen and Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, as per the criteria in the Articles of Association of Tata Sons. 
 
"The committee has been mandated to complete the selection process in four months," the release added, without giving any reasons for the sudden move.
 
Tata Sons is the promoter of all key Tata companies and holds the bulk of shareholding in these companies. The chairman of Tata Sons has traditionally been the chairman of the Tata group.
 
About 66 per cent of the equity capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family. The biggest of these trusts are the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, which were created by the families of the sons of Jamsetji Tata.
 
The Tata Group comprises over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals.
 
The group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents, and its companies export products and services to 85 countries. .
 
Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata
The Board of Tata Sons had, on November 23, 2011, appointed Mr. Mistry,  48, as Deputy Chairman of the company to succeed Mr. Tata as Chairman when he retired in December 2012.
 
Mr. Tata had, at that time, said Mr. Mistry's appointment was a "good and far-sighted choice". 
 
Mr. Mistry is the younger son of Pallonji Mistry, the largest individual shareholder in Tata Sons. He has been a Director of Tata Sons since August 2006. He is a graduate of Civil Engineering from Imperial College, London, and has a Master of Science in Management from the London Business School.
 
Before taking over as Deputy Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr. Mistry was Managing Director of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, the infrastructure and construction major.
 
Mr Tata, 78, served as Chairman of Tata Sons from 1991 to December 2012. During his tenure, the group's revenues grew 12-fold. He retired at the end of December 2012 when he reached the age of 75 as per company policy.
 
Mr Tata joined the Tata Group in 1962. He was appointed Director-in-charge of the National Radio and Electronics Company (NELCO) in 1971. In 1981, he was made Chairman of Tata Industries, another promoter company of the Group.
 
Later, Mr. Tata sent a letter to all Tata Group employees saying that he had agreed to serve as Interim Chairman in the interest of stability of reassurance to the Tata Group.
 
"The Board of Directors of Tata Sons has, in its meeting today, replaced Mr. Cyrus P. Mistry as Chairman with immediate effect.
 
"A new management structure is being put in place and a Selection Committee has been constituted to identify the next Chairmanof Tata Sons. The Committee has been mandated to complete the process in four months. In the interim, the Board has requested me to perform the role of the Chairman and I have agreed to do so in the interest of stability and reassurance to the Tata Group," he said in the mai.
 
 
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Vice-Admiral S. N. Ghormade takes over as DG, Naval Operations

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Vice-Admiral S. N. Ghormade assumed the charge of Director General Naval Operations at the Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) here yesterday.
 
The Flag Officer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 1, 1984. He is a graduate of National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune. He attended United States Naval Staff College at Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island and the Naval War College, Mumbai.
 
In addition to a specialisation in Navigation and Direction within the Navy, the Admiral holds an M. Phil. in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Mumbai, M.Sc. Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras and Master's degree in Personnel Management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (University of Pune).
 
During his career spanning over 32 years, his operational appointments include commands of the Guided Missile Frigate INS Brahmaputra, Submarine Rescue Vessel INS Nireekshak and Minesweeper INS Allepey and second in command of Guided Missile Frigate INS Ganga.
 
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His important staff appointments ashore include Principal Director of Personnel, Director Naval Plans and Joint Director Naval Plans at Naval Headquarters (as separate assignments), Director (Military Affairs) at the Ministry of External Affairs, Local Work Up Team (West), Instructor at Navigation Direction School and National Defence Academy.
 
Upon promotion to the Flag Rank in 2012, the Flag officer has held the appointments of Assistant Chief of Personnel (Human Resources Development) and Flag Officer Commanding Karnataka Naval Area. Prior taking over as DGNO he was the Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area.
 
The officer is the recipient of the Nau Sena Medal in 2007 from the President of India and Commendation by Chief of Naval Staff in 2000.
 
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TRAI says Reliance Jio tariff plans compliant with prevailing regulations

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has said that it has received communication from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) stating that the tariff plans offered by it are fully compliant with regulatory norms of IUC compliance, non-predatory and non-discriminatory. 
 
"This clearly establishes the fact that all the tariffs offered by RJIL are in compliance with the prevailing regulations. A key feature of RJIL’s tariff packs is free voice calling for Local, STD and National roaming for all times," a press release from the company, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), said.
 
The release said that, as per RJIL’s filing with the TRAI, the Jio Welcome Offer (JWO) will be available to all the customers for subscription till 3rd December 2016. 
 
"RJIL wishes to reconfirm that JWO benefits of free unlimited voice and data will continue to be available to all subscribers till 31st December 2016," it said.
 
"The consumers, who cannot subscribe to the RJIL services till 3rd December 2016 will continue getting opportunities to avail new offers and tariff plans from RJIL.RJIL aspires to provide the experience of Jio Digital life to all Indians and to achieve this it will continue coming up with more consumer friendly offers and plans to enhance the consumer experience," it added.
 
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RIL reports 17.9% growth in standalone net profit at Rs. 7704 crore in Q2

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a record standalone net profit of Rs. 7704 crore for the second quarter, ended September 30, up 17.9 percent from the same quarter in the previous year.
 
The group's consolidated net profit, excluding an exceptional item, increased by 43.1 percent to Rs. 7206 crore, the company said in a press release.
 
On a standalone basis, the company said its revenue (turnover) decreased by 0.3% to Rs. 64,344 crore, while exports decreased by 11.5% to Rs. 37,717 crore. 
 
The company reported a gross refining margin (GRM) of $ 10.1/bbl for the quarter as against $ 10.6/bbl in 2Q FY16. 
 
 “The company has achieved outstanding second quarter results with strong refining business performance and record petrochemicals segment earnings. Refining business sustained high profitability in a tough environment highlighting our exceptional refining assets, dynamic response to market trends and robust operations. Petrochemicals segment gained significantly from higher volumes, integration and supportive product margins," RIL Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani
 
"Our projects in the hydrocarbon chain are at advanced stages of mechanical completion and pre-commissioning activities. These projects will further strengthen our position as a leading operator in the energy and materials businesses. We are delighted and humbled by the enthusiastic adoption of Jio by India. Jio is built to empower every Indian with the power of data," he said.
 
The company said that, in the second quarter, it achieved a turnover of Rs. 81,651 crore ($ 12.3 billion), an increase of 9.6%, as compared to Rs. 74,490 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Increase in revenue is primarily on account of increase in volumes in refining, petrochemical and retail businesses.
 
The release said cost of raw materials increased by 4.7% to Rs. 43,134 crore ($ 6.5 billion) from Rs.  41,191 crore on Y-o-Y basis primarily on account of higher volume of crude processed and increased petrochemicals production during the quarter.
 
Exports from India operations were lower by 11.5% at Rs. 37,717 crore ($ 5.7 billion) as against Rs. 42,636 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year due to lower product prices.
 
The second quarter of FY16 included exceptional items which represents the net impact on account of sale of an associate EFS Midstream LLC and provision for impairment in Reliance Holding USA Inc. The gain on sale of investment in EFS Midstream LLC was Rs. 4,574 crore while the provision for impairment in shale gas assets was Rs. 264 crore. In the reported financials of 2Q FY16 (based on IFRS), impairment was considered at Rs. 2,659 crore (net of taxes). With the migration to Ind AS with effect from 01.01.2015, and consequent fair valuing of the asset, the provision for impairment has been revised to Rs. 264 crore. Furthermore, based on independent expert opinion the company has not provided for deferred tax asset /liability on these transactions, the release said.
 
The company's outstanding debt as on 30th September 2016 was Rs.  189,132 crore ($ 28.4 billion) compared to Rs. 180,388 crore as on 31st March 2016.
 
Cash and cash equivalents as on 30th September 2016 were at Rs. 82,533 crore ($ 12.4 billion) compared to Rs. 89,966 crore as on 31st March 2016. These were in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs and Government Bonds and other marketable securities.
 
In organized retail, RIL's revenues for 2Q FY17 grew by 63.0% Y-o-Y to Rs. 8,079 crore from ? 4,956 crore. The increase in turnover was led by growth in Digital, Fashion & lifestyle and petroleum products. During the quarter, Reliance Retail added 59 stores across various store concepts and strengthened its distribution network for consumer electronics. Omni commerce channel offerings www.footprint360.com and www.ajio.com gained traction during the quarter. As on 30th September 2016, Reliance Retail operated 3,442 stores across 679 cities with an area of over 13 million square feet.
 
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HCC Concessions starts toll operations for Farakka Raiganj Highway in West Bengal

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HCC Concessions Ltd, a subsidiary of infrastructure and construction major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), has commenced commercial operations of its Rs. 1,720 crore Farakka Raiganj Highways Ltd (FRHL) in Bengal. 
 
FRHL covers the busiest section of national highway (NH-34) over 100 km and passes through major towns such as Farakka, Kaliachawk, Malda, and Gajol, besides being the only link over the river Ganga in the region, a press release from the company said.
 
The project, which has a concession period of 30 years, forms an integral part of HCC’s Rs. 4,300 crore development of NH-34 across three contiguous stretches over 256 km between Baharampore and Dalkhola, it said.
 
The first leg between Baharampore to Farakka has been operational since May 2014 with a current daily collection of approximately Rs. 40 lakh, the release said.
 
Mr. Arjun Dhawan, Chairman of the Board, HCC Concessions said, “HCC’s development of NH-34 is among the largest PPP highway undertakings in the country. NH-34 is the backbone of the transport system in Bengal, which is the fourth most populous state in India and home to 90 million citizens. The completion of this mega project will have a multiplier effect on GDP growth as industrial investment and consumption is spurred due to swifter access and better logistics across the State. HCC is dedicated to the Nation’s service and we are proud of our rich history in completing such projects of national importance.”
 
The development of FRHL is supported by a consortium of nine lenders and the project has a concession period of 30 years. 
 
The construction of FRHL has involved over 130 structures including nine major bridges, 22 minor bridges, five underpasses and two toll plazas, with material coordination alongside National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and numerous State agencies. HCC Operations & Maintenance Ltd is the designated O&M contractor for the highway. 
 
Travel time for commuters in FRHL has been reduced materially, by approximately 5-6 hours during peak hours, while overall travel time between Kolkata and North Bengal will be cut by over half due to the complete four laning of NH-34, the release said.
 
NH-34 provides north-south connectivity between the capital region and the ports of Kolkata and Haldia to the north-eastern states of India. The west side of the highway borders Bihar and Jharkhand and the eastern side runs parallel to the Bangladesh border, where considerable import and export of goods occurs. NH-34 is the only viable route for commercial traffic over major rivers such as Bhagirathi, Ganga, Mahananda and Nagri in the region. Furthermore, it forms part of the critical route to neighbouring Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. 
 
The entire border region of West Bengal and Jharkhand is very rich in mining, while crushing is done at major towns like Pakur, Rampurhat and Nalhatti. Stone and related aggregates are supplied to the industrial towns of Baharampore, Kolkata, Dhanbad, Asansol, Durgapur, Jamshedpur in the south and Farakka, Malda, Dalkhola, Bangladesh and New Jalpaiguri in the north. 
 
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Two dead in fire at Maker Tower in Mumbai's Cuffe Parade area

 
Two dead in fire in Maker Tower at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai
Two persons died in a fire that broke out at Maker Towers, an iconic residential complex in the posh Cuffe Parade area in South Mumbai, here early this morning.
 
Fire Brigade officials told journalists that the two, who were trapped in a servant's room in one of the affected apartments in the "A" wing of the complex, were rushed to hospital, where they were declared dead.
 
At least 11 others -- members of a family that occupied the apartment on the 20th floor of the building as well as another on the 21st floor, which were connected to each other through an internal staircase -- were rescued by the Fire Brigade personnel, they said. "They are all safe now," they said.
 
The officials said the two people who died were working as domestic helps for the family which lived in the two worst-affected apartments. "They appeared to have had no chance to save themselves," they said.
 
Those rescued included residents of an adjacent apartment on the 20th floor, they said.
 
The fire broke out around 6.30 am, when most residents of the building were still indoors. There was panic and confusion on the affected floors for some time before the Fire Brigade personnel reached the site.
 
More than 10 fire tenders and water tankers reached the spot and brought the flames were brought completely under control by 8.30 am. Fire Brigade officials were, however, searching the affected apartments to ensure that no one was trapped there.
 
Fire Brigade officials said the cause of the fire could be ascertained only after an investigation into the incident. They said the task of the Fire Brigade was made easier by the fact that the fire fighting systems installed in the building worked well.
 
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L&T Construction wins Railway order valued at Rs. 3799 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has said that its construction arm has won an order worth Rs. 3799 crore from the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL).
 
The order was bagged by a consortium of L&T and Sojitz Corporation of Japan, a press release from the company said here yesterday.
 
The Design and Build Integrated Package involves the construction of Civil (Embankment, Structure, Tunnel), Track Works, Overhead Electrification, Traction Substations and Signalling & Telecommunication Works for double line electrified tracks with 2x25 kV AC, high rise Overhead Catenary System capable of operating at a maximum train speed of 100 km/h, from Rewari to Dadri (128 km), the release said.
 
The project is located at the northern end of Western Corridor and forms a link between the Eastern and Western Corridors. The works will be carried out between Rewari and Dadri (128 km) through the regions of Rewari-Alwar-Mewat-Gurgaon-Palwal-Faridabad-GB Nagar in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. This section of 128 km is in a detour and a greenfield project.
 
With this win, L&T shall be constructing 1042 km out of the total 1464 km of track in the Western Corridor. In addition, L&T will be electrifying the entire Western Corridor from Dadri to JNPT covering 1,464 route km with over 3,330 track km of high rise electrification, the release said.
 
According to it, the section will be designed for 25 MT axle load track, 2x25 kV traction power system with high rise overhead equipment (OHE) and Intermediate block signalling suitable for double stack containers dedicated for freight transport. The scope of work includes construction of 315 track km of railway line, 29 major and 240 minor bridges, a long tunnel, 2 traction sub stations, 321 track km of OHE, SCADA works and intermediate block signalling (IBS) at five stations along with supply of all associated equipment.
 
The project shall be executed using mechanized means of track construction and overhead equipment installation using the latest technology in railway construction including a one-of-its-kind energy efficient system that will be implemented for the first time in India’s rail sector.
 
DFCCIL is a special purpose vehicle of the Indian Railways, mandated to build dedicated freight corridors. This project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is part of the western corridor proposed between Dadri (near Delhi) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (near Mumbai).
 
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Reliance Communication to sell towers business to Brookfield for Rs. 11,000 crore

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Telecom services provider Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) today said it had signed a non-binding term sheet with Brookfield Infrastructure Group in relation to the proposed acquisition of RCom's  nationwide tower assets and related infrastructure by Brookfield.
 
Under the term sheet, the specified assets are intended to be transferred from Reliance Infratel Ltd. (RITL) on a going concern basis into a separate SPV, to be owned by Brookfield, a press release from RCom said.
 
RCom will continue as an anchor tenant on the tower assets, under a long term MSA, for its integrated telecommunications business. The company will receive an upfront cash payment of Rs. 11,000 crore from the proposed transaction. It will also enjoy 49% future economic upside from the towers business, based on certain conditions, the release said.
 
"RCom and Brookfield expect considerable growth in tenancies based on increasing 4G offerings by all telecom operators, and the fast accelerating trends in data consumption, which are expected to contribute to significant growth in revenues and profitability for the towersbusiness in the future," the release said.
 
"RCom and Brookfield also see several opportunities for consolidation in the towers industry in India that will further enhance growth and value creation in the future," it said.
 
RCom said it intended to utilize the proceeds of the proposed transaction solely to reduce its debt. 
 
"The proposed transaction is subject to definitive documentation, customary approvals and certain other terms and conditions. Accordingly, there can be no certainty that a transaction will result. Further announcements will be made at an appropriate stage," the release added.
 
RCom is the flagship company of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. Brookfield is a leading global alternative asset manager with over $250 billion of assets under management. 
 
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KKR-backed Emerald Media invests $50mn in YuppTV

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Emerald Media, a pan-Asian platform established by investment firm KKR for investing in the media and entertainment sector, yesterday  announced that it has acquired a significant minority stake in YuppTV for $50mn. 
 
YuppTV is one of the world’s leading over-the-top (OTT) video platforms for South Asian content offering live TV, catch-up TV and movies on-demand in 14 languages across the globe. 
 
The growth capital will enable YuppTV to further its global footprint, expand its content library through original productions and acquisitions, and rapidly grow its paid subscriber base, a press release from the company said.
 
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, YuppTV is an Internet Pay TV platform for South Asians, reaching more than 400 million households across the world. More than 5 million monthly visitors access YuppTV across 27 integrated devices – with a peak monthly traffic of 20 million.
 
YuppTV offers 250+ South Asian TV channels, 5000+ movies and 100+ TV shows to worldwide audiences, with a focus on the USA, UK, Middle East, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. 
 
"YuppTV continues to revolutionize the way TV and movies are viewed across the world with over 25,000 hours of entertainment content catalogued in its library, as well as nearly 5,000 hours of new on-demand content added to the YuppTV platform every day," the release said.
 
According to it, YuppTV has gained considerable popularity in India, having recently launched in the market. With an initial focus on South India, the company has gradually expanded to the rest of the country. It has also recently implemented advanced analytics-based real-time recommendations on Live TV, to make content more discoverable.
 
Uday Reddy, Promoter and CEO of YuppTV, said, “We couldn’t ask for a stronger partner than Emerald Media. YuppTV is a content distribution platform with a strong consumer connection, and Emerald Media has global media relationships.  We hope to leverage their relationships and existing assets Endemol, OML, Fluence and Graphic India to create original programming and make this platform a next generation distribution and content powerhouse.”
 
Rajesh Kamat, Managing Director of Emerald Media, said, “Emerald Media believes in driving change and value-creation by providing a distinctive combination of capital, domain knowledge and management bandwidth. The world is moving from traditional consumption to multiscreen delivery mediums. YuppTV provides a unique combination of technology, strong content relationships and revenues of scale and will be an anchor to our vision of building a new age media company.”
 
Paul Aiello, Managing Director of Emerald Media, added, “Uday and his team have created an exceptional online video platform with a loyal subscriber base that realizes the huge potential of the global Indian diaspora. Our investment and relationship will enable YuppTV to further their strong leadership position in the rapidly growing OTT space.”
 
In September 2015, YuppTV had raised its Series A round of funding from Poarch Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama.  YuppTV has had over 10 million mobile app downloads, in addition to 50 million pre-installs on Samsung TVs worldwide and 300,000+ downloads on LG Smart TV, making it one of the most downloaded Smart TV Apps. The YuppTV app is also the second most popular app in Android Play store in India (Entertainment) and the only South Asian app available on PS3 & PS4. In addition, YuppTV has launched its exclusive on-demand movie streaming service, YuppFlix, which is backed by a library of more than 5000 movies across various languages, the release said.
 
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Businesswoman, philanthropist Parmeshwar Godrej passes away

Parmeshwar Godrej
Parmeshwar Godrej
Well-known businesswoman and philanthropist Parmeshar Godrej, wife of industrialist Adi Godrej, passed away at the Breach Candy Hospital here last night.
 
She was 70.
 
According to various sources, Ms. Godrej had been suffering from a lung disease for some years and was receiving medical treatment for it. She contracted an infection some days ago and was admitted to the hospital, where she breathed her last late on Monday night.
 
Ms. Godrej was a non-executive director of Godrej Properties Limited and also served as a director of Indian Hotels and Health Resorts Private Limited, as well as Gates Foundation - Avahan, The Gere Foundation, Cine Blitz Publications and The Palace School, Jaipur. 
 
She also served as a Member of India Advisory Board of The American India Foundation.
 
Ms. Godrej was also known for her work combating AIDS in India through the Heroes Project, launched in 2004 with renowned Hollywood actor Richard Gere. She was also associated with various projects related to women's and children's health.
 
Ms. Godrej was also very active on the Mumbai's social scene and was known as one of its most gracious and generous hosts.
 
Before getting married to Adi Godrej, Parmeshwar Godrej was one of the first air hostesses for national carrier Air India.
 
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Reliance Jio enrols 16 millions customers in first month, claims world record

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Telecom services provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) has said that it has set a world record by enrolling 16 million customers in 26 days in its first month of operations.
 
RJIL, a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led energy, petrochemicals and retail major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), had launched its commercial services on September 5.
 
A press release from RJIL said the company had achieved this growth faster than any other telecom operator or start-up in the world, including the likes of Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype.
 
“We are delighted and humbled by the overwhelming response across India to the Jio Welcome Offer. Jio is built to empower every Indian with the power of data. We are delighted that people have recognized this and are utilizing our services to the fullest. We are customer-obsessed and committed to improve every day to exceed expectations of our customers," RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani said.
 
Jio has introduced Aadhaar-based paper-less Jio SIM activation across 3,100 cities and towns. This enables the customer to complete the SIM activation process in a matter of minutes, with only his or her Aadhaar number, the release said.
 
"This process will be extended across the country and fully stabilized for satisfactory on-boarding experience in the next few weeks," it added.
 
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Full Text: RBI's Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17

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Following is the text of the Resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued here today:
 
On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:
 
• reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent with immediate effect.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.75 per cent.
 
The decision of the MPC is consistent with an accommodative stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5 per cent by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth. The main considerations underlying the decision are set out in the statement below.
 
Assessment
 
2. Global growth has been slowing more than anticipated through 2016 so far, with weak investment and trade damping aggregate demand. Meanwhile, risks in the form of Brexit,
banking stress in Europe, rebalancing of debt-fuelled growth in China, rising protectionism
and diminishing confidence in monetary policy have slanted the outlook to the downside.
World trade volume has contracted sharper than expected in the first half of 2016, and the
outlook has worsened with the recent falling off of imports by advanced economies (AEs)
from emerging market economies (EMEs). Inflation remains subdued in AEs and has started to edge down in EMEs.
 
3. International financial markets were overwhelmed by the Brexit vote in Q2, with equity
markets losing valuations worldwide, currencies plunging and turning volatile, and investors
rushing for safe havens. Markets, however, recovered quickly and reclaimed lost ground in
Q3, with a return of risk appetite propelling capital flows back into EMEs. Nonetheless, an
uneasy calm prevails on uncertainty about the stance of monetary policy of systemic central
banks. Commodity prices have firmed up slightly, easing stress for commodity exporters and shaving off some of the terms of trade gains accruing to commodity importers. Crude prices rose to a recent peak in Q2 of 2016, mostly on supply disruption in various parts of the world, and again in late September as the OPEC announced intentions of cutting back on supply; but, the upturn has been curbed by higher inventories.
 
4. On the domestic front, the outlook for agricultural activity has brightened
considerably. The south west monsoon ended the season with a cumulative deficit of only 3
per cent below the long period average, with 85 per cent of the country’s geographical area
having received normal to excess precipitation. Kharif sowing has surpassed last year’s
acreage, barring cotton, sugarcane and jute and mesta. Accordingly, the first advance 
estimates of kharif foodgrains production for 2016-17 by the Ministry of Agriculture have
been placed at a record level, and higher than the target set for the year. The industrial
sector, by contrast, suffered a manufacturing-driven contraction in early fiscal year Q2, after
a sequential deceleration in gross value added in Q1. Even after trimming the statistical
effects of the lumpy and order-driven contraction of insulated rubber cables, industrial
production as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP) turned out to be slower
than a year ago. In August, steel production rose to a 37-month high and cement production
maintained momentum - auguring well for construction activity - even though the output of
core industries as a whole was weighed down by a decline in the production of coal, crude oil and natural gas and deceleration in refinery products and electricity generation. Nonetheless, business expectations polled in the Reserve Bank’s industrial outlook survey and by other agencies remain expansionary in Q2 and Q3. The strong public investment in roads, railways and inland waterways, the recent efforts to unclog cash flows in large projects under arbitration, and the boost to spending from the 7th Pay Commission’s award, should improve the industrial outlook. In the services sector, the acceleration in the pace of activity in Q1 appears to have been sustained. An increasing number of high frequency indicators are moving into positive territory, construction is boosted by policy initiatives, and public administration, defence and other services will be supported by the pay commission award.
 
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5. Retail inflation measured by the headline CPI had been elevated by a sharp pick-up
in the momentum of food inflation overwhelming favourable base effects during April-July. In
August, however, the momentum of food inflation turned negative and surprised
expectations; consequently, base effects in that month came into full play and pulled down
headline inflation to an intra-year low. Fuel inflation has moderated steadily through the year
so far. Inflation excluding food and fuel (including petrol and diesel embedded in
transportation) has been sticky around 5 per cent, mainly in respect to education, medical
and personal care services. Households reacted to the recent hardening of food inflation
adaptively and raised their inflation expectations in the September 2016 round of the
Reserve Bank’s inflation expectations survey of households. Input costs in the manufacturing sector, including staff costs, have firmed up slightly as evident in various surveys, but the presence of considerable slack has restrained their transmission into corporate pricing power.
 
6. Liquidity conditions have remained comfortable in Q3, with the Reserve Bank
absorbing liquidity on a net basis through variable rate reverse repo auctions of varying
tenors. Liquidity was injected through open market purchases of `200 billion in line with the
system’s requirements. As a result, the weighted average call money rate (WACR) remained tightly aligned with the policy repo rate and, in fact, traded with a soft bias. Interest rates on commercial paper (CPs) and certificates of deposit (CD) also eased.
 
7. In the external sector, merchandise exports contracted in the first two months of Q2.
Subdued domestic demand was, however, reflected in a faster contraction in imports.
Moreoever, the still soft crude prices pared off a fifth of the oil import bill and gold import
volume slumped to a fifth of its volume a year ago. Consequently, the merchandise trade
deficit narrowed by US$ 10 billion in April-August on a year-on-year basis. These
developments are likely to have contained the current account deficit in Q2 at its level in Q1,
although the decline in remittances and the flattening of software earnings warrants
monitoring. While the pace of foreign direct investment slowed compared to a year ago,
portfolio flows were stronger after the Brexit vote, galvanised by a search for returns in an
expanding universe of negative yields. The level of foreign exchange reserves rose to
US$ 372 billion by September 30, 2016 – an all-time high.
 
Outlook
 
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8. The Committee expects that the strong improvement in sowing, along with supply
management measures, will improve the food inflation outlook. It notes that the sharp drop in inflation reflects a downward shift in the momentum of food inflation – which holds the key to future inflation outcomes – rather than merely the statistical effects of a favourable base
effect. The Government has announced several measures to cool food inflation pressures,
especially with regard to pulses. These measures should help in moderating the momentum
of food inflation in the months ahead. This has opened up space for policy action, as
indicated in the third bi-monthly monetary policy statement. The easy liquidity conditions
engendered by the Reserve Bank’s operations should also enable the smooth transmission
of the policy action through various market segments. Furthermore, banks should find added impetus for better transmission by the recent downward adjustment in small savings rates.
 
The Committee took note of potential cost push pressures that may emerge, including the 7th pay commission award on house rent allowances, and the increase in minimum wages with possible spillovers through minimum support prices. The fuller play of these factors will need vigilance to prevent a generalised cost spiral from taking root. On balance, the Committee envisages a trajectory taking headline CPI inflation towards a central tendency of 5 per cent by March 2017, with risks tilted to the upside albeit lower than in the second and third bimonthly monetary policy statements of June and August respectively.
 
9. The momentum of growth is expected to quicken with a normal monsoon raising
agricultural growth and rural demand, as well as by the stimulus to the urban consumption
spending from the pay commission’s award. The accommodative stance of monetary policy and comfortable liquidity conditions should support a revival of credit to the productive sectors. The continuing sluggishness in world trade and smaller terms of trade gains than in the past point, however, to further slackening of external demand going forward. Accordingly, the projection of growth of real gross value added (GVA) for 2016-17 is retained at 7.6 per cent, with risks evenly balanced around it.
 
10. Six members voted in favour of the monetary policy decision. The minutes of the
MPC’s meeting will be published on October 18, 2016. The next meeting of the MPC is
scheduled on December 6 and 7, 2016 and its resolution will be announced on December 7,
 
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RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps to nearly six-year low of 6.25%

The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday reduced its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility by 25 basis points from 6.5% to 6.25%, a nearly six-year-low, with immediate effect.

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RBI logo
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today reduced its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 percent to 6.25 percent, a nearly six-year-low, with immediate effect.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stood adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.75 per cent, the central bank said in its Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2016-17 on the basis of the resolution of its newly set up Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which concluded two days of discussions today.
 
"The decision of the MPC is consistent with an accommodative stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5 per cent by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth," the MPC said 
 
Today's decision on the rate marked the beginning of a new era for the RBI, in which the policy decision was made by a committee for the first time. Earlier, the decision used to be taken by the RBI Governor on the basis of advice from his colleagues.
 
It was also the first monetary policy review under new RBI Governor Urjit Patel, who succeeded Dr. Raghuram Rajan on September 4.
 
The six-member MPC is chaired by the RBI Governor, and has two members from within the central bank -- the Deputy Governor of the Bank, in charge of Monetary Policy, and an officer nominated by the Central Board -- and three external members -- Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia, Professor, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, Prof. Pami Dua, Director, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), and Mr. Chetan Ghate, Professor, Indian Statistical Institute (ISI).
 
All six members voted in favour of the monetary policy decision, the resolution said. The minutes of the MPC’s meeting will be published on October 18.
 
The RBI Act was amended by the Finance Act, 2016,  to provide for a statutory and institutionalised framework for an MPC for maintaining price stability, while keeping in mind the objective of growth. The committee will be entrusted with the task of fixing the benchmark policy rate (repo rate) required to contain inflation within the specified target level.
 
The Government is of the view that a committee-based approach for determining the Monetary Policy will add lot of value and transparency to monetary policy decisions. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee shall be held at least four times a year and it shall publish its decisions after each such meeting.
 
The committee, in its resolution, said that it expected the strong improvement in sowing, along with supply management measures, would improve the food inflation outlook. 
 
It noted that the sharp drop in inflation reflected a downward shift in the momentum of food inflation – which holds the key to future inflation outcomes – rather than merely the statistical effects of a favourable base effect.
 
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"The Government has announced several measures to cool food inflation pressures, especially with regard to pulses. These measures should help in moderating the momentum of food inflation in the months ahead. This has opened up space for policy action, as indicated in the third bi-monthly monetary policy statement. The easy liquidity conditions engendered by the Reserve Bank’s operations should also enable the smooth transmission of the policy action through various market segments. Furthermore, banks should find added impetus for better transmission by the recent downward adjustment in small savings rates," the MPC said.
 
The committee took note of potential cost push pressures that may emerge, including the 7th Central Pay Commission award on house rent allowances, and the increase in minimum wages with possible spillovers through minimum support prices. 
 
"The fuller play of these factors will need vigilance to prevent a generalised cost spiral from taking root. On balance, the Committee envisages a trajectory taking headline CPI inflation towards a central tendency of 5 per cent by March 2017, with risks tilted to the upside albeit lower than in the second and third bimonthly monetary policy statements of June and August, respectively. 
 
It said the momentum of growth was expected to quicken with a normal monsoon raising agricultural growth and rural demand, as well as by the stimulus to the urban consumption spending from the pay commission’s award. 
 
"The accommodative stance of monetary policy and comfortable liquidity conditions should support a revival of credit to the productive sectors. The continuing sluggishness in world trade and smaller terms of trade gains than in the past point, however, to further slackening of external demand going forward. Accordingly, the projection of growth of real gross value added (GVA) for 2016-17 is retained at 7.6 per cent, with risks evenly balanced around it," it said.
 
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Dassault Aviation, Reliance Infra announce JV in aerospace sector

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Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO Eric Trappier and Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani today announced the creation of a joint venture (JV) in India in the aerospace sector.
 
"This new joint venture called Dassault Reliance Aerospace will support Prime Minister Modi’s 'Make in India' and 'Skill India' policies and develop major Indian programs with high levels of
technology transfer to benefit the entire aerospace sector," a press release from Reliance Infrastructure said.
 
The release said the proposed strategic partnership would also focus on promoting research and development projects under the IDDM program (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured), a new initiative of India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
 
According to it, the JV will be a key player in the execution of offset obligations, as a part of the €7.87 billion (Rs. 59,000 crore) agreement for purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets signed between India and France on September 23.
 
The agreement includes a 50% offset obligation which is the largest ever offset contract in the history of India, the relese said.
 
“The formation of this joint venture with Reliance Aerospace led by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group illustrates our strong commitment to establish ourselves in India and to develop strategic industrial partnerships under the 'Make in India' policy promoted by the Indian Government," Mr. Trappier said.
 
“We are delighted to partner a world leader in aviation like Dassault Aviation, and a visionary leader like Eric Trappier. This is a transformational moment for the Indian aerospace sector and for Reliance Infrastructure’s subsidiary Reliance Aerospace," Mr. Ambani said.
 
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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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