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Mumbai

Several passengers feared injured as train derails in Raigad district of Maharashtra

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Several passengers are feared to have suffered injuries when the engine and four coaches of the Diva-Sawantwadi Road Passenger train derailed between Nagothane and Roha stations in the Raigad district of Maharashtra this morning.
 
The mishap occurred at around 9.40 am at a spot about 136 km from here, Central Railway sources said.
 
Senior railway officials have rushed to the scene, along with an accident relief train from Kurla and a medical van from Kalyan, they added.
 
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Working Group on resolution regime submits report to RBI Governor

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A high-level Working Group set up to suggest extensive strengthening of the resolution regime, taking into consideration the structure of Indian financial institutions, has submitted its report to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Working Group had been constituted by the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), with Mr Anand Sinha, then Deputy Governor of RBI, and Dr Arvind Mayaram, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance as Co-Chairperson.
 
The Working Group had also been asked to take into consideration the structure of Indian financial institutions and the Financial Stability Board`s Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regime for Financial Institutions. 
 
The RBI Governor is the Chairman of the Sub-Committee of FSDC.
 
An official press release said there were some provisions contained in various Acts governing the respective financial institutions, which empower the respective regulator/ supervisor and/or the central government to resolve different types of financial institutions in India once they run into viability problems. 
 
In order to bridge the gaps and develop an effective resolution regime for all financial institutions in line with the key attributes, the Group has made wide-ranging recommendations taking into consideration the international best practices and work in major advanced jurisdictions as also the recommendations given by the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC). 
 
The release said the group emphasized the need for a separate comprehensive legal framework providing the necessary powers and tools to resolve all financial institutions irrespective of ownership; and setting up of a single Financial Resolution Authority (FRA) that is institutionally independent of regulators/Government. 
 
The group also recommends putting in place an early intervention mechanism in the form of a Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework with clear trigger levels for regulatory intervention in the early stages and for handing over to the resolution authority for initiating appropriate actions in the last stage. 
 
The release said the report had been placed on the websites of the Ministry of Finance, the RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA and FMC for inviting public comments.
 
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Air India to bring Bhuj on its network from May 15

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National carrier Air India today said it would Bhuj in the Kutch region of Gujarat with Mumbai with a direct flight from May 15 with a CRJ aircraft.
 
The flight will be operated by Alliance Air, the wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, five days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 
 
Flight AI9625 will take off from Mumbai at 0605 hrs and arrive in Bhuj at 0715 hrs. The return flight will leave Bhuj at 0740 hrs and land in Mumbai at 0845 hrs. 
 
The erstwhile Indian Airlines, which has now merged with Air India, used to operate flights to Bhuj. 
 
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Tewari apologises to Gadkari for Adarsh scam allegations

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Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Manish Tewari has tendered an "unconditional apology" to former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari for allegations he had made against him in relation to the Adarsh housing society scam.
 
Following this, Mr Gadkari today moved the Additional Metropolitan Court in Mumbai with a plea to withdraw a criminal defamation suit he had filed against Mr Tewari.
 
“I state that in future, I will never put you in disrepute by making any comments with regard to the Adarsh Society," Mr Tewari said in a written submission made in court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Mumbai.
 
Mr Tewari had, in his capacity as spokesperson of the Congress party, made a statement at a press conference on November 10, 2010 alleging that Mr Gadkari owned a "benami" flat in the Adarsh society building.
 
Mr Gadkari had filed a criminal defamation suit against Mr Tewari after he had refused to apologize for the allegations.
 
In his submission before the court, Mr Tewari said, “I state that, after perusal of the newspaper reports regarding the judicial commission appointed to investigate the Adarsh Society scam, it reveals that you have not played any role or you have any concern of whatsoever nature with the scam."
 
"Therefore, now I understand that whatever statements I had addressed in the press conference on November 10, 2010, which were aired in electronic media and printed on November 11, 2010 in print media, were not related to the true facts," he said.
 
“I understand that by such statements you have to suffer huge disrepute and have to face uncomfortable situation within your party and the society. Therefore, by this communication, I tender my unconditional apology for the allegations made against you," he added.
 
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Dia Mirza announces engagement with Sahil Sangha

Sahil Sangha and Dia Mirza
Sahil Sangha and Dia Mirza
Bollywood actress and model Dia Mirza today announced that she was officially engaged to long-time friend Sahil Sangha, with whom she co-owns a production house, Born Free Entertainment.
 
"Officially engaged :)," she posted on micro-blogging site Twitter, along with a picture of them at IIFA.
 
Dia is a former Miss Asia Pacific International. 
 
Born Free Entertainment's first film was Love Breakups Zindagi. Their next film is Bobby Jasoos, starring Vidya Balan.
 
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Ricky Ponting joins Mumbai Indians in ‘advisory role’

File photo of Ricky Ponting
File photo of Ricky Ponting
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has joined defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians in an "advisory role".
 
One of the best batsmen of the modern era, Ponting was part of the victorious Mumbai Indians side last season and had led the team in its first few outings in the IPL before handing over the reins to current captain Rohit Sharma.
 
Ponting will be with the team for the last two matches of the UAE leg.
 
“I am looking forward to working with Mumbai Indians once again,” he said after interacting with the team upon arrival in Dubai.
 
“I had a fantastic season last summer and understand how passionate our players are towards the franchise. I believe we have the fire in us and we will strive hard to put our best.”
 
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India’s forex reserves fall by $ 31.6 million to $ 309.413 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $ 31.6 million to  $ 309.413 billion in the week ended April 18, 2014 after rising for seven consecutive weeks,  the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here yesterday.
 
The country’s forex reserves had gone up by $ 2.797 billion to $ 309.445 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, decreased by $ 16.2 million to $ 281.536 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 $ 21.567 billion, while its special drawing rights (SR) went down by $ 10.9 million to $ 4.472 billion during this period.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 4.5 million to $ 1.837 billion in the week, the bulletin added.
 
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NTT Docomo to sell its 26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices Limited by June

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Japanese telecom services major NTT Docomo today said it had decided to exercise its option for the sale of its entire stake of 26.5 per cent in Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) as soon as the conditions for such exercise are met.
 
Tata Sons, NTT Docomo and TTSL had entered into a shareholders agreement (SHA) on March 25, 2009.
 
"Following its board meeting held on April 25, 2014, NTT Docomo has announced that it plans to exercise its sale option under the SHA as soon as the conditions for such exercise are met," a statement from Tata Sons said here.
 
"As also stated by NTT Docomo, it is not possible to predict how events will unfold; however, Tata Sons is cognisant of its responsibilities, and will act keeping in mind the interests of all stakeholders and in accordance with law.
 
"TTSL continues to be an integral part of the Tata group," the statement added.
 
Under the shareholders agreement, NTT Docomo holds the right to require that its TTSL shares be acquired for 50% of the acquisition price, which amounts to 72.5 billion Indian rupees (or 125.4 billion yennotice1) or a fair market price, whichever is higher, in the event that TTSL fails to achieve certain specified performance targets.
 
"In the event that TTSL fails to achieve these performance targets by the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, Docomo plans to exercise the above-mentioned right in or before June 2014. Docomo expects to sell its TTSL shares in accordance with the agreement. It is uncertain how the option will be performed, however, and Docomo is not able to predict how events will unfold," a statement by NTT Docomo said in Tokyo.
 
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Cadbury India changes its name to Mondelez India Foods Limited

Food and snacking major Cadbury India Limited, a subsidiary of Mondelez International Inc., has changed its name to Mondelez India Foods Limited. 
 
"The company is focused on creating delicious moments of joy that is encapsulated in its name – 'monde' for world and 'delez' for delicious. The change in name of Cadbury is in line with the gradual changeover of the name of all subsidiaries of Mondelez International globally," a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the change in name of the company would have no impact on the names or packaging of its popular products like Cadbury Dairy Milk, 5 Star, Gems, Bournville, Perk, Celebrations, Choclairs, Halls, Bournvita, Tang and Oreo, which will continue to be sold under the same brand names as before. 
 
"The only change consumers will experience is that the new name of the company will appear on the back of pack of the products," it said.
 
Mr Manu Anand, Managing Director, Mondelez India Foods Limited said, “With the change in name of the company to Mondelez India Foods Limited, we conclude the process of transition that began over two years ago. We are today the pre-eminent and most loved food company in India with leadership in fast growing categories, strong route to market, robust innovation pipeline and world class talent and facilities. We view this change as yet another milestone in this exciting journey of success and leadership.”
 
Mondel?z International, Inc. is a global snacking powerhouse, with 2013 revenue of $35 billion. It is a world leader in biscuits, chocolate, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages, with billion-dollar brands such as Oreo, LU and Nabisco biscuits; Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka chocolate; Trident gum; Jacobs coffee and Tang powdered beverages. 
 
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St Xavier's College principal sparks row by issuing advisory on voting to students

Dr Frazer Mascarenhas
Dr Frazer Mascarenhas
Dr. Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of St Xavier's College, Mumbai has set off a major political row by sending an email to students advising them to support people who pledge to work to take the country's human development indicators (HDI) higher and who commit themselves to a pluralistic culture in diverse India.
 
"This is the hope for the future," he said in his message, in which he has questioned the Gujarat model of development that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is showcasing in his campaign for the top job in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
 
"No magic wand or divine miracles will come to the aid of the Indian people. Their reasoned choice of individuals and political parties who promise to work for a real quality of life for all, will see India prosper or flounder on the precipice. Choose well!" Dr Mascarenhas said in his advisory, which has evoked strong reactions from both sides of the political divide.
 
In the message, titled "In the Background of Elections - The Development Debate", which has also been posted on the college's website, Dr Mascarenhas said the approaching elections had brought an interesting discussion to the public forum on what constitutes human development and how it is to be achieved. 
 
"The Gujarat model has been highlighted for our consideration. That is very apt because it puts in stark contrast two current views. Is the growth of big business, the making of huge profits, the achievement of high production – what we seek? Or is it the quality of life for the majority in terms of affordable basic goods and services and the freedom to take forward the cultural aspirations of our plural social groups that make up India?" he asked.
 
He said Gujarat may be doing well in the first sense, although not as good as some other States in the country. 
 
"But all the Human Development Index indicators and the cultural polarization of the population show that Gujarat has had a terrible experience in the last 10 years. Take the example of education: schools for the ordinary populace show abject neglect with a very high dropout rate in the last 10 years. Higher Education has not been allowed to move forward. To take just an example, St. Xavier’s College Ahmedabad, thrice NAAC accredited with an equivalent of the A grade, has not been able to gain permission from the Gujarat Government for Academic Autonomy, for the last 10 years and has finally won a battle in the High Court to approach the UGC directly for this status. 
 
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"Gujarat has also been the worst performer in settling claims and distributing title deeds to tribal people and other forest dwellers, as shown by the latest data put out by the Union Tribal Affairs Ministry. Till 2013, the State, with 15% tribal population, settled only 32 per cent of the claims, the lowest rate in the country," he said.
 
Dr Mascarenhas praised, on the other hand, programmes launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MGNREGA) and the Food Security Act which, he noted, had been criticised as "election sops".
 
"However some of our best social scientists like Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze have supported these as necessary in the emergency economic situation the country and the world is facing. The country is grateful that committed activists like Aruna Roy and Shailesh Gandhi have worked with the Government to initiate and sustain the Right to Information Act which makes accountability possible. Corruption still needs to be addressed effectively but since it is so prevalent at every level of society, it will take civil society long agonizing efforts to root it out," he said.
 
The principal said a massive investment in health and education was sorely needed in the country of widening disparities and those who support big business and its unethical profits would never agree to such public expenditure for the masses.
 
"In fact, the worsening situation of environmental degradation and depletion, in the lunge for growth and profit, shows up the real intentions of the greedy. None can withstand this, as seen by the many clearances given in a week’s time after the recent change of guard at the Central Environment Ministry, which had earlier tried to hold the line under a different Minister.
 
"So what lessons does a reflection on the approaching elections teach us? The prospect of an alliance of corporate capital and communal forces coming to power constitutes a real threat to the future of our secular democracy," he said.
 
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Reliance ties up $500m ECA facility co-financed by JBIC, Japanese banks

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said that it had tied up an Export Credit Agency (ECA) facility of upto $ 550 million co-financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and a group of other banks backed by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).
 
The loan is in continuation of the fund raising programme initiated by the company in financial year 2012-13 and will be used to part finance the proposed expansion of its petrochemical plants and setting up new gasification plant and refinery off-gas cracker over the next two to three years, a press release from RIL said here.
 
This is RIL’s eighth ECA facility for the largest capital expenditure program it has undertaken, it said.
 
This is the first time that JBIC is extending credit to RIL. JBIC will provide direct financing of up to $ 330 million and Japanese banks, supported by a 95% NEXI insurance cover, will finance up to $ 220 million. The participating banks include The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and three regional Japanese banks -- The Gunma Bank Ltd., The Hachijuni Bank, Ltd. and The Chiba Bank, Ltd.
 
This facility will have a door-to-door tenor of twelve years and will be used to finance contracts for imports of goods and services signed with more than 20 Japanese suppliers, including some SMEs and MMEs, the release said.
 
With this facility, NEXI has established a new insurance program that extends support to Japanese regional banks for financing such overseas projects. In addition to the six Japanese banks, some more Japanese regional banks are expected to participate through a partial assignment of the contractual rights and obligations of NEXI covered portion, it said.
 
According to the release, the deal is significant since JBIC is financing a buyers’ credit facility with more than 20 Japanese suppliers including SMEs and MMEs and NEXI cover is not only provided for regional Japanese banks participating as the primary lenders but also for the regional Japanese banks joining the deal through syndication process, it added.
 
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Reliance Life Insurance launches online term plan

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Reliance Life Insurance Company (RLIC), a part of Reliance Capital Limited, today announced the launch of ‘Reliance Online Term’, an online life cover plan.
 
"This is one of the most competitive online life insurance plans currently available in the industry, which offers Rs. 1 crore of life cover for as low as Rs 15 per day (for a 25 year-old healthy male)," a press release from the company, which is part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) said.
 
The release said that the plan offers higher life protection up to the age of 75 years through an online process and provides the convenience of medical tests/check-ups, if any, at the customer’s residence.
 
“Reliance Online Term is a simple life protection product that is based on two strong beliefs: one, adequate insurance cover should be within every Indian’s reach and two, people should be able to buy it with ease. Our new offering empowers customers to make an informed choice vis-à-vis their liabilities and family responsibilities and protect their family’s financial future at a minimal cost. With this, we aim to provide the most affordable online term life insurance plan to our customers,” said Mr. Anup Rau, CEO, Reliance Life Insurance.
 
Reliance Online Term offers Rs. 1 crore of life cover at Rs. 450 per month for a 25-year-old male (non-smoker) for the term of 15 years. The online life protection plan comes with a minimum annual premium as low as Rs. 3,500.
 
The entry age for a customer is a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 55 years with a minimum policy term of 10 years and a maximum of 35 years. The maximum maturity age is 75 years.
 
Reliance Online Term begins with a minimum cover of Rs 25 lakh and provides relatively lower premium rates for women and special rates for non-tobacco users.
 
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The company offers home visits to do medical tests/examinations, if required, at the customer’s residence, providing him/her convenience and choice.
 
“With this online term plan, we are rewarding a healthy lifestyle through lower premium rates for non-smokers and offering home medicals to enrich customer experience and convenience,” he added.
 
The plan grants a free-look period of 15 days, as mandated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), to enable policyholder to go through terms and conditions of the policy and reverse the purchase decision if he/she finds it unsuitable.
 
It offers annual premium payment mode only with a grace period of 30 days from the due date for payment of regular premiums. The insured will also be entitled for tax benefits on premium payment, as applicable.
 
Reliance Life Insurance has launched a new user-friendly website (www.reliancelife.com) that allows customers to calculate their insurance requirements and make an online purchase.
 
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TCS, Mitsubishi to create Japanese IT services company

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IT services major Tata Consultancy Services today said it had signed definitive agreements with Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) to merge TCS Japan, MC's subsidiary IT Frontier Corporation (ITF) and Nippon TCS Solution Center (NTSC) into a single new entity.
 
The merger will create a strong IT services unit with a base of over 2,400 associates in Japan and revenues of over $ 600 million per annum, a press release from TCS said.
 
TCS will have 51 percent equity in the new entity while MC will have the remaining 49 percent.
 
The transaction, which will enable TCS to serve a number of leading Japanese corporations as its strategic customer, is expected to close by June 2014 and the merged entity is likely to be operational from July 2014.
 
“This strategic transaction signifies our serious commitment to the Japan market. TCS will now have the scale, strong local presence and our full range of global capabilities to serve the Japanese corporations effectively and accelerate our growth in Japan market," Mr N Chandrasekaran, CEO and Managing Director, TCS, said.
 
“We deeply value the partnership with Mitsubishi Corporation and look forward to leveraging our mutual strengths in the Japan market," he said.
 
According to the release, the transaction will create a new IT services company of significant scale in the Japanese market.
 
"ITF brings its long standing relationships with Japanese corporations, talented workforce and competencies in industries like retail, distribution and trading. This will complement TCS’ deep domain knowledge, technology expertise and strong execution track record. TCS’ Global Network Delivery Model (GNDMTM) capabilities will also enable the Japanese corporations’ globalization ambitions. The company will provide tremendous additional value to clients in Japan; while employees will secure the advantages of building their careers in a global organization," the release added.
 
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Reliance Jio, ATC India sign tower infra sharing pact

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a part of Reliance Industries Limited, and ATC India, a leading independent tower company, today signed a tower infrastructure sharing agreement.
 
Under the agreement, RJIL will utilize the telecom tower infrastructure of ATC India to launch its 4G services across the country.
 
ATC has a portfolio of 11,000 towers in India, a press release from RJIL said.
 
 "We at Reliance Jio, want to provide innovative and empowering products, services and content to every Indian. To this end, we are committed to creating a cutting edge network for high speed 4G. Our relationship with ATC will accelerate the rollout of these services across India," Mr Sanjay Mashruwala, Managing Director, Reliance Jio said.
 
“There is considerable pent up demand for data and 4G has tremendous growth potential. We, at ATC India, are delighted to offer our countrywide network infrastructure to help Reliance Jio in its aggressive nationwide roll-out. This master contract recognizes ATC’s high level of customer service and operational efficiency. We believe this will strengthen our foothold as the leading independent tower company in India,” said ATC’s Chief Operating Officer, B. Ramanand.
 
RJIL, a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, India’s largest private sector company, is the first telecom operator to hold pan-India unified license. This license authorizes RJIL to provide all telecommunication services except Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite Service. RJIL holds spectrum in1800 MHz (across 14 circles) and 2300 MHz (across 22 circles) capable of offering fourth generation (4G) wireless services.
 
RJIL is setting up a pan India telecom network to provide to the highly underserviced India market, reliable (4th generation) high speed internet connectivity, rich communication services and various digital services on pan India basis in key domains such as education, healthcare, security, financial services, government citizen interfaces and entertainment.
 
The company already has:
·               agreements with Reliance Communications Limited for sharing of RCOM’s extensive  inter-city and intra-city optic fiber infrastructure of nearly 1,20,000 fiber-pair kilometers of optic fiber and 500,000 fiber pair kilometers respectively and 45,000 towers.
·               an agreement with Bharti Airtel for a comprehensive telecom infrastructure sharing agreement to share infrastructure created by both parties to avoid duplication of infrastructure wherever possible.
·               A key agreement for international data connectivity with Bharti to utilise dedicated fiber pair of Bharti’s i2i submarine cable that connects India and Singapore.
·               An agreement with Viom Networks for their 42,000 telecom towers
 
ATC India Tower Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Tower Corporation. Since launching operations in India in 2007, ATC’s portfolio now includes over 11,000 towers nationwide. 
 
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Gujarat Pipavav Port announces revised expansion plan

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Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (APM Terminals Pipavav) has announced a revised expansion plan which envisages an increase in its container handling capacity from present 0.85 million TEUs to 1.35 million TEUs, as compared to 1.5 million TEUs as originally planned.
 
A press release from the company said the revised plan was approved by its Board of Directors at a meeting here on Thursday.
 
It said bulk capacity will remain constant at 4-5 million MT as against the earlier plan of increasing it to 20 million MT.
 
The revised capex of Rs 4,600 million will be implemented in a phased manner and will consist of: purchase of 3 Post Panamax cranes to replace 3 existing Panamax cranes; strengthening of existing Berth 3; dredging of berth pockets; and phased container yard development.
 
It will also include purchase of 4 rubber tyred gantry cranes; development of internal roads and gate complex; and electrical and other allied works.
 
It said post-expansion bulk capacity will remain at 4-5 million MT and liquid capacity at 2 million MT.
 
The release said the revision was necessitated by the reissuance of the environmental clearance issued to the company and the increase in the Railways' tariffs on bulk commodities.
 
"APM Terminals Pipavav does not rule out any further expansion of bulk, container or liquid bulk facilities basis developing market conditions.
About APM Terminals Pipavav
 
APM Terminals Pipavav is part of an international network of 71 ports and terminals across 67 countries operated by APM Terminals BV, an independent business unit within the Maersk Group – with interests in shipping, oil and drilling.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $2.797 billion to $ 309.445 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves by $ 2.797 billion to $ 309.445 billion in the week ended April 11, 2014, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
This is the seventh consecutive of increase in the country’s forex reserves. They had gone up by $ 2.974 billion in the week ended April 4.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, increased by $ 2.747 billion to $ 281.552 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 $ 21.567 billion, while its special drawing rights (SR) went up by $ 35.9 million to $ 4.484 billion during this period.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 14.8 million to $ 1.842 billion in the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance reports marginal rise in net profit to Rs 5631 crore in Q4

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today reported a marginal 0.8 per cent rise in its net profit to Rs 5631 crore in the fourth quarter (Q4) of the current financial year (2013-14) from Rs 5589 crore a year ago.
 
The company said its revenue increased by 8.1 percent to Rs 401,302 crore. Exports had gone up by 15.3 percent to Rs 275,825 crore. 
 
It said its gross refining margin was $ 8.1/bbl for the year and $9.3/bbl for the fourth quarter.
 
“FY 2013-14 was a satisfying year for RIL. Refining business delivered the highest ever profits with a sharp recovery in GRMs towards the end of the year,” RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said.
 
“Petrochemical earnings grew sharply with margin expansion across polymers and downstream polyester products. While we continue to face technical challenges in growing domestic upstream production, the US shale gas business grew significantly during the year and has become a material contributor to our earnings,” he said.
 
Mr Ambani also said that the retail business had turned around and it was now India’s largest retail chain.
 
“We have also accelerated efforts to roll-out our state-of-the-art 4G services across the country which will add an exciting new dimension to our consumer facing service offerings,” he added.
 
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Piramal to acquire 20% stake in Shriram Capital for Rs 2014 crore

Piramal Enterprises Ltd today announced that it had agreed to acquire an effective 20 per cent equity stake in financial services major Shriram Capital Ltd (SCL) for an aggregate consideration of Rs 2014 crore.
 
SCL is the overarching holding company for the financial services and insurance entities of the Shriram Group, created with the primary objective of optimizing the synergies across the Group’s entities. 
 
Shriram Capital’s operating entities have an overall customer base in excess of 9 million, more than 53,000 employees across 2,600 offices, net profit of Rs. 800 crore with Assets Under Management (AUM) in excess of Rs.78,000 crore, a press release from Piramal said.
 
Piramal had invested Rs. 1,636 crore in May last year to acquire about 9.9% equity in Shriram Transport Finance Company Limited, one of the listed non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) forming part of the Shriram Group. 
 
Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Enterprises Limited, said, “This investment builds our presence in financial services sector and we see long term shareholder value creation from our partnership with Shriram Capital. The company is well known for its culture and values, which resonates well with Piramal Group’s philosophy.” 
 
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Mr. R. Thyagarajan, founder of Shriram Group, said: “Shriram Group has pioneered providing financial services to the under-served section of the economy. Our success over the last four decades has been possible only through strategic partnerships. Piramals’ entry into Shriram Capital is a significant milestone for the financial services businesses to take a quantum leap in the group’s contribution to the community at large”. 
 
UBS was the sole financial advisor to Piramal for this transaction. Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co. acted as sole legal advisors to Piramal Enterprises. Trilegal acted as sole legal advisor to Shriram Capital. 
 
On April 10, Piramal had announced that it had agreed to divest its entire equity stake, comprising 45,425,328 shares (about 11%), in telecom services major Vodafone India Limited to Prime Metals Ltd., an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc, for a total consideration of Rs. 8,900 crore ($ 1.5 billion).
 
The Piramal Group is a diversified conglomerate with operations in over 30 countries and brand-presence across 100 markets around the world. 
 
Since the late 1980s, it has evolved from a textile-centric business to a diversified pharmaceutical-based global organisation. The Piramal Group operates across sectors such as healthcare, life sciences, drug discovery, healthcare information management, financial services, specialty glass packaging and real estate.
 
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Tendulkar, Ganguly, Salman, John Abraham, Ranbir among owners of ISL franchises

File photo of Sachin Tendulkar. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS
File photo of Sachin Tendulkar. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Former Indian cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and leading Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham are among the owners of eight franchises of the Indian Super League (ISL), a new football league that will begin in September.
 
The league has been promoted by IMG Reliance and Star India under the aegis of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
 
The winning bidders for the franchises include the Sun Group for Bangalore; the Sameer Manchanda-led Den Network for Delhi; industrialists Venugopal Dhoot of Vieocn, Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas V. Dempo for Goa and John Abraham and football club Shillong Lajong for Guwahati.
 
Tendulkar and PVP Ventures have won the bid for Kochi; Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Atletico Madrid, Sanjeev Goenka and Utsav Parekh for Kolkata, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh for Mumbai and Salman Khan with Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan for Pune.
 
The ISL, to be held under the Football Sports Development Pvt Ltd, is aimed at taking Indian football to a new level and achieve international standards.
 
IMG Reliance (IMGR) is a joint venture that brings together India's largest private sector company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and sports and entertainment major IMG.
 
In football, IMG produces the global TV feed for the Barclays Premier League, represents the rights of Federations, Leagues and Clubs and partners with major football clients such as FIFA, UEFA and Wembley stadium in developing and delivering their products and revenue streams. 
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Star India is one of the country's leading media and entertainment companies. It broadcasts more than 40 channels in 7 languages, reaching more than 600 million viewers every week across India and 100 other countries. 
 
The Chennai-based Sun Group owns of the largest media networks in India, including 33 television channels, 45 FM radio stations, two newspapers and five magazines. It also owns DTH service provider Sun Direct and the Indian Premier League (IPL) Hyderabad franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
 
Den Networks is a cable TV distribution company based in Delhi which is also launching a high-speed broadband service.
 
Dattaraj Salgaocar's company has interests in mining, hospitality and shipping. It exports over 4 million tonnes of iron ore every year. The company also runs the Goa Marriott and Hotel La Plaz Gardens in Goa.
 
Dempo Mining Corporation Limited is a prominent mining company from  Goa. Shrinivas V. Dempo is the chairman of Dempo Group. They are also the owners of Dempo Sports Club, popularly known as ‘the whites’ from Goa. 
 
Videocon has diversified set of products ranging from handsets, D2H, electronic appliances and so on.
 
John Abraham is known for his obsession for football and is an avid follower of the game and sports in general. He also has a stake in the Delhi team of the Hockey India leagu
 
Shillong Lajong is an I-league team based in Shillong.
 
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PVP is one of the largest investors of the country in media and entertainment industry and is listed on the BSE and the NSE. Prasad V Potluri, a serial entrepreneur in the global outsourcing services space, is the Chairman and MD of PVP Ventures. PVP was one of the bidders for Hyderabad team of IPL in 2012.
 
Tendulkar will be associated with the Kochi team as its brand ambassador. “I will always remain a sportsman at heart who is keen to positively impact the sporting fabric of the nation. The Indian Super League presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for the youngsters to learn and enhance their talent to develop into outstanding players," Tendulkar said.
 
"It has been an interesting experience interacting with the young, passionate team at PVP Ventures led by Prasad Potluri. Based on the various insights shared by the team, the opportunity of the Kochi club seemed like a compelling and challenging proposition. With the Kochi club, we will strive to ‘score our goals’ and play a part in developing the game of football across the country." he added.
 
Atlético de Madrid plays in the La Liga and has been the champions on 9 occasions. It is the third most supported club in Spain.  It is one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of associates with more than 65,000 season ticket holders. 
 
"I am very excited to have won the Kolkata Franchise of the ISL and being the First International Team to be directly owning a Club in India we along with our Indian Partners and IMG-Reliance aim to revolutionise football in the country," Miguel Angel Gil Marin, owner of Atletico Madrid, said.
 
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Neotia of the Kolkata-based Ambuja Neotia Group is a prominent businessman. The group is a major player in the real estate sector and has recently forayed into the hospitality, healthcare and education sectors.
 
Goenka of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group from Kolkata has interests in the power and retail trading sectors.
 
Utsav Parekh is the non-executive-non-independent Chairman at SMIFS Capital Markets Ltd. 
 
Kapoor is the son of actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. He is a keen follower of football. 
 
“It is a moment of great pride for me to be a part of the Indian Super League and to represent the vibrant city of Mumbai. Football has never been far away from my daily life since childhood, and now as a partner in the Indian Super League, I am looking forward to translate my passion into contributing to the growth of the sport. I firmly believe in the grassroots and community development program designed by the League organisers IMG Reliance, to popularize the game and that’s one thing which excited me to be part of this dream," he said.
 
Bimal Parekh is a renowned chartered accountant in Mumbai.
 
Kapil Wadhawan is the chairman and Dheeraj Wadhawan of the Rajesh Wadhawan group, which has interests in financial services, food retail, hospitality, education and real estate.
 
Actor, producer and philanthropist Salman Khan is the promoter of the Being Human Foundation.
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 2.974 billion to $306.647 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 2.974 billion to $ 306.647 bilion in the week ended April 4, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here yesterday.
 
This is the sixth consecutive week of rise in forex reserves. They had gone up by $ $ 5.038 billion to $ 303.673 billion in the week ended March 28.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, increased by $ 2.4 billion to $ 278.806 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 went up by $ 589 million to $ 21.567 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) declined by $ 10.3 million to $ 4.448 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 4.3 million to $ 1.827 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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SBI raises record $ 1.25 billion through overseas bond sale

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, today said it had raised a record $ 1.25 billion in overseas debt sale through a dual tranche bond issue, the largest such offering by a public sector bank from India.
 
"On 10 April 2014, State Bank of India acting through its London Branch, successfully priced a US$1.25 billion Rule144A/Regulations dual tranche senior unsecured bond offering comprising of US$750 million 5-year bonds and US$500 million 10-year bonds," a press release from the bank said.
 
The bonds are rated Baa3/Stable by Moody's and BBB-/Negative by S&P.
 
"This offering marks the largest investment grade US dollar bond transaction out of India since August 2012 and the largest dual-tranche offering by a public sector bank from India," it said.
 
State Bank of India is India’s largest bank, with a total asset size of $ 281 billion, with 15,297 branches in India, 191 international offices in 36 countries and more than 261 million customer accounts as of 31 December 2013.
 
The 5-year bond was priced at a spread of 205 bps over the 5-year US Treasury, equivalent to a price of 100.000% and yield of 3.622% per annum while the 10-year bond was priced at a spread of 225 bps over the 10-year US Treasury, equivalent to a price of 99.945% and yield of 4.882% per annum. 
 
The offering will be denominated in US dollars, and will bear fixed interest of 3.622% per annum for the 5-year and 4.875% per annum for the 10-year, with interest payable semi-annually in arrears. The bonds will mature on 17 April 2019 and 17 April 2024, respectively.
 
"The total order book of the offering was in excess of US$5.9 billion and was oversubscribed 4.72 times with demand from 520 investors, underscoring SBI's strong credit profile and its position as India's largest bank," the release said.
 
For the 5-year bond, the final order book was over US$ 3 billion from 230 investors. In terms of allocation, Asia based investors received 24% of the new notes, Europe received 23% and the remaining 53% to the US. In terms of breakdown by investor type, fund managers took the majority at 70%, followed by banks at 15%, insurance and central banks taking 6%, and the remaining 9% going to private banks.
 
For the 10-year bond, the final order book was over US$ 2.9 billion from 290 investors. In terms of allocation, Asia based investors received 27% of the new notes, Europe received 33% and the remaining 40% to the US. In terms of breakdown by investor type, fund managers took the majority at 50%, followed by banks at 30%, and the remaining 20% going to insurance, corporates and other investors.
 
SBI's Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said, "We are pleased to see the robust demand for our transaction and the strong perception of our credit by the international investor community. The execution process was swift and ensured a strong momentum to our transaction. The lead managers have provided us with the right pricing strategy to help us achieve our targets for this fund raising exercise."
 
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan, SBI Capital Markets, Standard Chartered Bank and UBS AG acted as Joint Lead Managers for the offering.
 
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Sachin Tendulkar to be Mumbai Indians Icon

Harin Pathak
Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar with Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani
Defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions today announced former Indian star batsman Sachin Tendulkar will be the team's "icon".
 
“Sachin has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians and a source of inspiration for the team ever since the inception. It was a fitting finale to Sachin last season, when we dedicated the IPL as well as CLT20 trophies as tribute to the legend,” team owner Nita M Ambani said.
 
"We are very happy to recognize him as the Mumbai Indians Icon. I am sure the youngsters in the team will be delighted to have him around for guidance, and so would be the Mumbai Indians fans.”
 
Tendulkar retired from the game on November 16 last year at the end of his 200th Test - a record - in front of his home crowd in Mumbai. Earlier, on December 23, 2012, he had announced his retirement from one-day internationals (ODIs).
 
He has been honoured by the Government with the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour, and he is also a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, since June 2012.
 
On May 26, 2013, Tendulkar had announced that the sixth edition of the IPL would be his last appearance in the T20 cricket tournament after his team, Mumbai Indians, won the title for the first time that night.
 
"I have been a part of the Mumbai Indians team since its inception and am delighted to continue my association. This season with Mumbai Indians will be a different experience for me and I look forward to closely interacting with the experienced support staff and sharing my learnings with the exciting youngsters in the team," Tendulkar said.
 
A press release from the team said Tendulkar had also expressed a desire to be a part of the Mumbai Indians’ ‘Education For All’ initiative. Led by Ms Ambani, it  stands for equal and rightful education opportunities for underprivileged children and has been able to meaningfully impact over 30,000 children through various NGOs. 
 
"Mumbai Indians was one of the first teams to recognize the potential of using its worldwide fan base to enhance awareness about a compelling social issue. 'Education for All' is an initiative which has been personally nurtured by Mrs. Nita Ambani and each one of us at Mumbai Indians is a passionate believer in this initiative. I am committed to working with the team at Mumbai Indians in spreading the message of ‘Education for All’ across the country and beyond," Tendulkar added.
 
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IIFL Wealth Management Ltd. acquires majority stake in India Alternatives

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IIFL Wealth Management Ltd, the private wealth management arm of the IIFL Group, has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in India Alternatives Investment Advisors Private Limited (India Alt), the investment manager to India Alternatives Private Equity Fund.
 
A press release from the IIFL Group said it had also committed a significant contribution to the India Alt Fund.
 
India Alt Fund, a private equity fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has an initial commitment of Rs. 230 crore that invests primarily in mid-growth stage companies. 
 
Shivani Bhasin Sachdeva, founder, MD & CEO of India Alt fund, is an alumnus of the Wharton School and is a reputed PE manager with over 15 years of fund management experience in both the US and India and will continue managing the India Alt Fund, under IIFL Wealth.
 
Advisors of the India Alt Fund consist of eminent professionals such as: Ms. Ranjana Kumar (ex CMD Indian Bank, NABARD, ex Vigilance Commissioner, CVC), Mr. Kiran Nadkarni (managed four funds, started ICICI Ventures in India), Dr. Anjani Jain (Senior Associate Dean,Yale School of Management; former Vice Dean, Wharton); and Ms. Veronica John (Senior Advisor at Diamond Dragon Advisors, ex IDFC, CDC, ADB).
 
IIFL Wealth Management Ltd was incorporated in early 2008. It advises HNI/UHNI clients on assets over Rs 55,000 crore, making it one of the leading private wealth management companies in India.
 
“This acquisition will enable IIFL Group to widen its presence in the PE industry and provide an added offering under the asset management platform," Mr. Nirmal Jain, Chairman of IIFL Group, said.
 
Mr. Karan Bhagat, MD & CEO of IIFL Wealth, said, “IIFL’s fund raising capabilities and relationships with marquee families will help India Alt accelerate its growth path.”
 
Ms. Sachdeva said, “Association with IIFL Group is synergistic and will strengthen the India Alt platform; especially in fund raising, deal sourcing and exit management capabilities. The fund is a 100% institutional fund which provides a robust platform for further growth”. The fund plans to accelerate its pace of investment in mid-growth stage companies across sectors particularly in consumer & consumables, healthcare and pharmaceuticals."
 
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Reliance Jio signs pact with RCom to share its intra-city optic fiber infrastructure

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), a part of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL),and Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom), headed by his estranged younger brother Anil Ambani, today announced the signing of a Master Services Agreement for sharing of RCom's extensive intra-city optic fiber infrastructure.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, RJIL will utilize RCom's nationwide optic fiber network for accelerated roll-out of its state-of-the-art 4G services across the country.
 
The agreement is based on arm’s length pricing at prevailing market prices, a press release from RJIL said..
 
RCom’s intra-city optic fiber network extends to nearly 500,000 fiber pair kilometres, across more than 300 cities and towns in India. 
 
The release said that this was the third agreement between the two companies and further strengthens the comprehensive framework of business co-operation between them.
 
Earlier, the two companies had signed an inter-city optic fiber sharing agreement in April 2013, and a nationwide telecom towers infrastructure sharing agreement in August 2013. 
 
RJIL is the first telecom operator to hold pan India Unified License. RJIL holds spectrum in1800 MHz (across 14 circles) and 2300 MHz (across 22 circles) capable of offering fourth generation (4G) wireless services.
 
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Singapore Airlines to deploy A380 on flights to Mumbai, Delhi

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Singapore Airlines today said it would deploy its Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft on select flights from Singapore to Mumbai and Delhi with effect from May 30.
 
A press release from the airline said the A380 would operate daily to both Mumbai and Delhi, taking over fom two daily flights that currently serve each city using the smaller Boeing 777s.
 
Another daily flight will continue to be operated with B777s. In total, 14 flights will serve each city per week, it said.
 
“We have been keen to operate the Airbus A380 to India and are glad that the Air Services Agreement between Singapore and India now allows us to do so,” said Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Marketing Planning Lee Wen Fen.
 
“India is a particularly important market for Singapore Airlines and we are very pleased that more of our customers will soon be able to experience the spaciousness and comfort of the world’s largest aircraft," she said.
 
Mr. David Lau, General Manager – India, said, “Singapore Airlines was the first airline in the world to operate the A380. The Singapore Airlines A380 not only has immense public appeal but also showcases our commitment to offer the best in-flight experience to our Indian travellers. Customers from India will now be able to enjoy the complete A380 experience from Delhi and Mumbai to our onward A380 destinations including Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo Narita and Zurich.”
 
Mr. I P Rao, Chief Executive Officer, Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd, said, “We enjoy a close relationship with Singapore Airlines and the carrier remains a valued customer of our airport.  A scheduled A380 service connecting Delhi to Singapore daily demonstrates Delhi’s emergence as a true world-class airport, supporting the world’s largest passenger commercial aircraft.  Delhi was the first major airport in India to be A380 ready and today, I am glad to welcome Singapore Airlines A380 on its historic inaugural flight.”
 
Mr Rajeev Jain, CEO, Mumbai International Arport Limited (MIAL) said, “It’s an honour and a privilege to host the arrival of Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), Mumbai. Scheduling of A380 services further demonstrates Mumbai’s emergence as a world-class airport, which now supports routes to established and emerging markets across the globe."
 
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