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Jaipur Panthers beat UMumba 35-24 to win Star Sports Pro Kabaddi league

Jaipur Pink Panthers, the winners of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League, with their owner and film actor Abhishek Bachchan in Mumbai on August 31, 2014.
Jaipur Pink Panthers, the winners of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League, with their owner and film actor Abhishek Bachchan in Mumbai on August 31, 2014.
Jaipur Pink Panthers outplayed UMumba 35-24 in the final to win the inaugural Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League here tonight.
 
The final took place in front o a crowd that was equally divided in its support for both the home team as well as the Jaipur team, with its immense talent and Bollywood backing.
 
Both teams were equally placed for most of the match, but the final five minutes saw the Panthers surging ahead to an 11-point win.
 
The match began with both teams playing on a cautious note, but there was enough drama as the night unfolded.
 
The first ten minutes saw lightning raids and strong tackles that sent raiders flying out of the lobby as neither team was prepared to yield any ground.
 
But the 11th minute saw the scales turn in the Panthers' favour. Two tactical mistakes from the Mumbai team had left them with only Rishank Devadiga, who was hopelessly outnumbered an could not outsmart the Jaipur defence. Thus an all-out put the Panthers ahead 13 – 7. They would fight to maintain this lead with tooth and nail, and their determination would be well rewarded. 
 
An impossible escape from Shabeer Sharfudheen gave UMumba 2 points, as the spectators were treated to Shabeer spinning himself out of a full-faced grab by two Panthers.
 
This was followed by a successful tackle and Mumbai was able to bring the scores to 16 – 12, closing in on the Panthers' lead. But after Jaipur closed the first half by a single handed, wrecking-ball tackle of Anup by Prashant Chavan, Jaipur was prepped to dominate once again. 
 
Exhibiting the same defensive fortitude that had humiliated Patna in the semi-finals, Jaipur gave the Mumbai team nothing, while Maninder and Jasvir took the players apart. Faced with an all-out in the 30th minute, the last man crumbled under the Panther attack, and the lead grew to 27 – 15. As the clock clicked on, Jaipur would not ease up at all.
 
As Jasvir walked the centre line in the final minute, running out the final time, it was with the proud knowledge that his team would go down forever as the first champions of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. His victory would be preserved in history alongside the final score, with the crushing defeat of U Mumba and a score of 35 – 24.
 
Amongst the individual winners, Arjuna Awardee and the vice-captain of the Indian National Kabaddi Team, Anup Kumar one of the most experienced players in the league, was awarded the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Most Valuable Player Award. Averaging at 5 raids per game, his style has been consistent throughout his career and was reflected in his captaincy of the UMumba team. 
 
Rahul Chaudhari of the Telugu Titans was awarded Best Raider of the tournament, an award in recognition of scoring a record 23 raid points in a single match against UMumba in Vizag, and becoming the first raider to cross the century benchmark. The 21-year-old, always a trump card for the Telugu Titans, at 151 raid points was tonight Rs. 75,000 richer as he was named the top raider of the first Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League.  
 
The Top Defender of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League was chart topper and all-rounder Manjit Chillar, who was one of Bengaluru Bulls’ most effective weapons. Leading the Bulls’ charge, Manjit’s experience provided him with that additional mojo that helped him to oust as many players as possible. An ankle-hold specialist, Manjit Chillar’s grip on the raider’s mind is also what made him formidable.
 
Earlier, in the first match of the night for the third place, Patna Piraes bulldozed Bengaluru Bulls 29-22.
 
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Essar Global Fund Limited exits its telecom investment in Kenya

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Essar Capital, the fund manager of Essar Global Fund Limited (EGFL), which through its portfolio company Essar Telecom Kenya Limited (ETKL), operates the yuMobile telecom service in Kenya, today announced the signing of binding agreements with Safaricom and Airtel for sale of its telecom business in Kenya for approximately $ 120 million. 
 
The divestment will see Safaricom take over ETKL’s Network, IT & Office infrastructure while Airtel will acquire the company’s subscribers, a press release from the company said.
 
The transaction has received approval from the Communication Authority (CA) in Kenya, subject to all parties involved in the transaction meeting certain pre-conditions. 
 
The transaction will now be filed with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) for approval. Essar Capital expects the transaction to conclude during the fourth quarter of 2014. yuMobile will continue to operate and serve customers offering uninterrupted services.
 
yuMobile’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Madhur Taneja said: “We would like to reassure our customers that they will continue enjoying our products and services uninterrupted. We have structured the transaction such that our customers will not need to change their mobile numbers or sim cards, post this transaction. Moreover, we expect that the intended transaction will bring bigger benefits through an expanded product bouquet to the customers.”
 
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Mr Taneja further expressed his delight that as a part of the transaction, close to 90% of the yuMobile’s employees will be absorbed by Safaricom and Airtel.
 
EGFL, together with its partners, invested in ETKL in 2007-2008. The investment led to an upgrade in infrastructure, improved customer service offerings and brought new and innovative marketing strategies to the Kenyan mobile telecommunications market.
 
Mr Firdhose Coovadia, Board Member of Essar Capital, said: “The ETKL transaction is another step towards achieving Essar Capital’s strategy of divesting EGFL’s investments in the global telecommunications sector. We also believe that the transaction with Safaricom and Airtel will provide for much needed consolidation in the Kenyan mobile telecommunications market and provide customers with fewer mobile operators, better equipped to enhance service delivery and provide customers with greater product offerings.”
 
The divestment of ETKL represents EGFL’s second significant portfolio exit in the last few months, following the sale in July of its US-based outsourcing company, Aegis US, to Teleperformance for $ 610 million.
 
Essar Telecom Kenya Limited is the country’s third largest mobile cellular network under the brand yuMobile. It launched its operation in December 2008 and currently has a base of 2.55 million subscribers.
 
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UMumba to face Jaipur in final of inaugural Star Sports Pro Kabaddi

Patna's raider Ravi Dalal trying to escape Jaipur Pink Panthers' trap in the semi-final of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on August 29, 2014
Patna's raider Ravi Dalal trying to escape Jaipur Pink Panthers' trap in the semi-final of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on August 29, 2014
Hosts UMumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers will clash in the final of the inaugural Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League after beating Bengaluru Bulls and Patna Pirates, respectively, in the semi-finals here tonight.
 
While Jaipur stormed into the final by trouncing Patna Pirates 38-18 in the completely one-sided first semi-final, UMumbai managed to get past Bengaluru 27-23 in the second semi-final.
 
U Mumba led through most of the match, with the Bulls managing to get ahead for a few minutes in the first half but surrendering the advantage soon after when their skipper was sent packing by all-rounder Rishank Devadiga.
 
The ouster, which provided the much needed breakthrough for the Mumbai boys, was followed up with Rajesh Mondal’s exit and two points as Rishank escaped Bengaluru’s four-man defence. 
 
Even Ajay Thakur’s heroics could not help the Bulls as they gifted Mumbai the first LONA points of the match in the 12th minute. With a seven-point lead and an insatiable hunger for points, U Mumba scored their thirteenth point, leaving Bengaluru high and dry towards the end of the first half. With seconds to go for the break, Mumbai’s best raider and the top raider amongst the finalists, Anup Kumar did what he did best, taking the score to 15-9 by half-time.
 
The second half began with Rishank walking out, reducing the Mumbai team to three. Despite the stacking odds towards an all out, Bengaluru’s star raider Ajay was captured by Anup Kumar and Mohit Chillar in the 34th minute, allowing them a chance at redemption. 
 
Mohit’s brilliance as a defender shone through as he executed the perfect tackles against Manjit and Ajay Thakur. 
 
Mumbai’s best defender Surender Nada also joined the party by single-handedly sending the Bull’s captain back. Re-introduced for the second time in the 33rd minute, Mumbai’s Pawan Kumar failed yet again, reducing the Orange brigade to four. After denying Bengaluru Bulls LONA points for a long time, Mumbai gave in, conceding their first LONA in the 37th minute. Though it offered two vital points to Bengaluru, it was a little too late as the Bulls were tamed 27-23.
 
Earlier, Jaipur established themselves as the stronger team within the first 15 minutes of the first semi-final and went on to dominate the proceedings for the rest of the match.
 
Both teams began cautiously before Patna began the fireworks when their best raider Ravi Dalal scored an outstanding three-point raid, sending back Rajesh Narwal, Navneet Gautam and Prashant Chavan of the Panthers.
 
The league got its first chance to use a TV referral, as a turbo-charged Maninder Singh slammed into Rakesh Kumar, knocking them both clear out of the lobby. The referees gave both teams points.
 
Moments later, a brave attempt from Sandeep Narwal failed against Jaipur’s impenetrable defence and Patna was left a four-man army by the seventh minute. 
 
After tying at five, Jasvir Singh clawed down Patna’s defence, earning a crucial one-point lead. The lone man standing, Rakesh Kumar, revived his team but gave away the first LONA points of the night, with a hope of a better, stronger comeback. 
 
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Nursing an injury, Rakesh was ousted by an easy tackle from the Panthers immediately after. With an escalating lead and a diminishing team, Patna’s inability to handle pressure showed as Maninder reduced them to two men, prompting Patna’s second all-out in the 17th minute. The Pirates were able to derive some satisfaction before halftime by taking out the juggernaut Maninder Singh, but with the first-half clearly dominated by Jaipur, the score was 20-7 at the break.
 
As the second half began, Patna was denied yet another chance to come back as, one by one, Rakesh, Ravi and Sandeep were sent back, the latter tackled just a few centimetres away from the centre line. As the Panthers continued to race ahead, their lead extended to twenty points as Ravi failed against the strong defence of the Panthers, granting them their third LONA. 
 
With seven minutes to go and a lot of ground to cover, Rakesh’s lack of form put his team on the back foot again, setting them back by 11 points. Playing his first game, Bashimov was able to gain a point which did not help much as Patna conceded their fourth LONA, giving Jaipur an unassailable lead. 
 
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Jaipur Pink Panthers storm into final of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League

Patna's raider Ravi Dalal trying to escape Jaipur Pink Panthers' trap in the semi-final of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on August 29, 2014
Patna's raider Ravi Dalal trying to escape Jaipur Pink Panthers' trap in the semi-final of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League in Mumbai on August 29, 2014
Jaipur Pink Panthers stormed into the finals of the inaugural Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League by trouncing Patna Pirates 38-18 in the completely one-sided first semi-final of the tournament here tonight.
 
Jaipur established themselves as the stronger team within the first 15 minutes and went on to dominate the proceedings for the rest of the match.
 
Both teams began cautiously before Patna began the fireworks when their best raider Ravi Dalal scored an outstanding three-point raid, sending back Rajesh Narwal, Navneet Gautam and Prashant Chavan of the Panthers.
 
The league got its first chance to use a TV referral, as a turbo-charged Maninder Singh slammed into Rakesh Kumar, knocking them both clear out of the lobby. The referees gave both teams points.
 
Moments later, a brave attempt from Sandeep Narwal failed against Jaipur’s impenetrable defence and Patna was left a four-man army by the seventh minute. 
 
After tying at five, Jasvir Singh clawed down Patna’s defence, earning a crucial one-point lead. The lone man standing, Rakesh Kumar, revived his team but gave away the first LONA points of the night, with a hope of a better, stronger comeback. 
 
Nursing an injury, Rakesh was ousted by an easy tackle from the Panthers immediately after. With an escalating lead and a diminishing team, Patna’s inability to handle pressure showed as Maninder reduced them to two men, prompting Patna’s second all-out in the 17th minute. The Pirates were able to derive some satisfaction before halftime by taking out the juggernaut Maninder Singh, but with the first-half clearly dominated by Jaipur, the score was 20-7 at the break.
 
As the second half began, Patna was denied yet another chance to come back as, one by one, Rakesh, Ravi and Sandeep were sent back, the latter tackled just a few centimetres away from the centre line. As the Panthers continued to race ahead, their lead extended to twenty points as Ravi failed against the strong defence of the Panthers, granting them their third LONA. 
 
With seven minutes to go and a lot of ground to cover, Rakesh’s lack of form put his team on the back foot again, setting them back by 11 points. Playing his first game, Bashimov was able to gain a point which did not help much as Patna conceded their fourth LONA, giving Jaipur an unassailable lead. 
 
Jaipur Pink Panthers will now play the winners of the second semi-finals between U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls.
 
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Injured opener Rohit Sharma ruled out of ODI series against England

Rohit Sharma. Photo by Sandeep Shetty-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Rohit Sharma. Photo by Sandeep Shetty-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Opening batsman Rohit Sharma has suffered a finger injury and has been ruled out of the one-day international (ODI) and T20 international series against England.
 
"Rohit Sharma has sustained a fracture on the middle finger of his right hand, and has been ruled out of the ongoing ODI and T20 International Series against England, as a result," the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.
 
BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said its All-India Senior Selection Committee had picked Murali Vijay, whad flown back home after the Test series, as Sharma's replacement. "Vijay will join the squad in England at the earliest," he added.
 
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India’s forex reserves fall by $ 810.7 million to $ 318.58 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 810.7 million to $ 318.58 billion in the week ended August 22, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said today.
 
The reserves had risen by $ 43.3 million to $ 319.39 billion in the previous week after falling for two consecutive weeks.
 
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, fell by $ 783 million to $291.318 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 $ 21.174 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) fell by $ 19.8 million to $ 4.396  billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) declined by $ 7.9 million to $ 1.691 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Goods train derails at Karanjadi on Konkan Railway, disrupts services

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Seven wagons of a goods train derailed this moring at Karanjadi railway station, about 205 km from here, on the Konkan Railway, disrupting train services on the section.
 
A press release from the Central Railway said four of the wagons had capsized in the mishap, which occurred at 6.28 am.
 
Accident relief trains from Kurla and the Konkan Railway have left for the site of the derailment for restoration of traffic.
 
The Central Railway said the following trains had been cancelled/short terminated/ diverted and passengers were being transhipped:
 
TRAINS CANCELLED ON 24.8.2014
1. 01003 Dadar-Sawantwadi special
2. 12051 Dadar-Madgaon Janshatabdi Express
3. 02005 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Karmali Double Decker Premium Special
4. 10103 Mumbai-Madgaon Mandvi Express
 
TRAINS SHORT TERMINATED ON 24.8.2014
1. 50105 Diva-Sawantwadi Road Passenger at Roha
 
TRAINS DIVERTED ON 24.8.2014 VIA PANVEL-KARJAT-PUNE-MIRAJ-LONDA
1. 16345 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Thiruvanthapuram Netravati Express
2. 19578 Hapa-Tirunelveli Express
 
TRANSHIPMENT OF PASSENGERS ON KONKAN RAILWAY
1. 12450 Chandigarh-Madgaon Sampark Kranti Express
2. 12618 Hazrat Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Express
 
The Railways have requested passengers to check the status of the trains on this route on telephone number.139.
 
They can also do so on these websites: enquiry.indianrail.gov.in/ntes and 
 
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Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan transferred to Mizoram

K Sankaranarayanan
K Sankaranarayanan
The President today transferred Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan and appointed him as the Governor of Mizoram for the remainder of his term.
 
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan issued shortly after midnight last night said Mr Om Prakash Kohli, the Governor of Gujarat, would discharge the functions of the Governor of Maharashtra, in addition to his own duties, until a regular arrangement for the office of the Governor of Maharashtra was made.
 
Mr Sankaranarayanan, 81, who was earlier Governor of Jharkhand and Nagaland, took over as the Governor of Maharashtra on January 22, 2010. He was given a fresh term of five years and took oath as the Governor of Maharashtra for the second time on May 7, 2012.
 
The post in Mizoram had fallen vacant on August 6 after the President sacked Governor Kamla Beniwal.
 
Ms Beniwal, who was earlier the Governor of Gujarat, had been transferred to Mizoram only a month before that on July 6 for the remainder of her term.
 
During her tenure in Gujarat, Ms Beniwal had several differences with then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is now the Prime Minister, on issues like the appointment of a Lokayukta and various Bills.
 
The opposition Congress had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre of indulging in political vendetta against governors appointed by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, but the Centre denied there were any political considerations in the removal of Ms Beniwal.
 
The Government defended its action and referred to various allegations against Ms Beniwal.
 
Ms Beniwal was among the several governors appointed by the Congress-led UPA regime who had refused to send in their resignations though the new government had made it amply clear that they were overstaying their welcome.
 
Ms Beniwal, 87, a Congress leader from Rajasthan, was due to complete her tenure in two months. 
 
Ms Beniwal was the second Governor to be sacked after the Modi government assumed office on May 26. On July 11, Mr Virendra Kataria had been removed as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
 
Soon after assuming office, the new regime had sent clear signals that it would like Governors appointed by the previous UPA government to step down. Five of them sent in their papers in the days that followed, including Mr B L Joshi in Uttar Pradesh, Mr M K Narayanan in West Bengal, Mr Ashwani Kumar of Nagaland, Mr Shekhar Dutt of Chhattisgarh and Mr Bharat Vir Wanchoo of Goa. 
 
Mr Vakkom Purushothaman, who was shifted from Mizoram to Nagaland after Ms Beniwal was moved from Gujarat to Mizoram, resigned in protest against the manner in which he was transferred without consulting him.
 
While Mr Hans Raj Bhardwaj of Karnataka and Ms Margaret Alva have since completed their tenures, others such as Mr Janaki Ballabh Patnaik of Assam, Mr D Y Patil of Bihar and Mr Jagannath Pahadia of Haryana are due to retire in the coming months.
 
Others like Mr Sankaranarayanan, Mr Shivraj Patil of Punjab and Ms Sheila Dikshit of Kerala have longer tenures remaining. 
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 43.3 million to $ 319.39 billion

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After falling for two consecutive weeks, India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 43.3 million to $ 319.39 billion in the week ended August 15, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.
 
The forex reserves had declined by $ 643.3 million to $ 319.347 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here yesterday, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, rose by $ 54.7 million to $ 292.101 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 $ 21.174 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) fell by $ 8.3 million to $ 4.416 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) declined by $ 3.1 million to $ 1.699 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Jaipur Pink Panthers hold U Mumbai to a draw, continue to lead table

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Home team Jaipur Pink Panthers played out a thrilling 31-31 draw against U Mumbai, who turned the tables in the second half, but the hosts remained at the top of the table with 43 points.
 
Mumbai are placed second in the league at 41 points.
 
Though Jaipur had the home advantage, U Mumba joined in and stepped up to the challenge and decided to make the most of the 40-minute bout, ending it in a tie.
 
The first minute saw the captain of the Panthers out, thanks to a raid by showman Anup Kumar. But the flamboyant Anup Kumar soon left the field, failing to escape a powerful tackle orchestrated by Navneet Gautam. As Surender Nada was captured by the Pink army, the visitors were left with just three players. 
 
By the fifth, the home team earned their first LONA points, taking their lead to 8 points. In a spot of bother with just a single point, young Pawan Kumar stepped up and scored two crucial points for his team. Riding high on the 9-point lead, Maninder Singh got the better of Anup Kumar sending him back during a crucial juncture of the match. 
 
As Pawan’s extraordinary lion’s jump failed, Mumbai was reduced to a four-man army by the home team. Leading by seven points in the 18th minute, Jaipur’s complacence saw them reduced to just two men, and soon after one, as Anup ousted Jaipur captain Navneet Gautam. 
 
As the half-time whistle blew, Jaipur conceded the first LONA Points of the match, taking the points tally to 17-15 in their favour.
 
The second half began with an Anup Kumar classic, a brilliant one-point raid. Again Pawan’s agility failed against the Jaipur defence as they led by 5 points in the 24th minute. A strong, unprecedented tackle by Mohit Chillar saw Maninder Singh out of action, but only for a moment as he was revived in the very next challenge. 
 
Then came an exciting lightning fast raid by Rajesh Narwal which was a highlight of the match as Anup Kumar had to take leave. Jaipur reinstated their dominance as Rajesh Narwal ousted Mohit Chilliar leaving Pawan to fight alone. An encore of sorts, Pawan found himself fighting alone yet again as Suresh Annadorai was taken down. 
 
But U Mumba did not give up easily. Anup Kumar dethroned Rajesh Narwal with a brilliant catch, reviving his army to four players. Fighting tooth and nail, both the teams ended as the top two on the league table, 
 
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RIL expands feedstock supply options from US for its crackers in India

Reliance logo
Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it was implementing a project to source 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) of ethane from the United States to feed its crackers in India.
 
"The shale gas industry in North America has grown exponentially in the past five years.  As a result, ethane has become the dominant feedstock for crackers replacing liquids," a press release from the company said.
 
"Reliance’s investments in shale gas and its existing crackers portfolio in India are a natural fit for sourcing ethane from North America and shipping it to India to attain long term feedstock competitiveness," it said.
 
The release said RiL had executed storage and capacity agreements for liquefaction and export of ethane with a North American terminal, which is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2016.
 
For the purpose of transporting liquefied ethane to India in a safe and cost efficient manner, Reliance has ordered six state-of-the-art Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) which will be the largest vessels ever built in the world. The ships are expected to be delivered starting last quarter of 2016 in synchronisation with the readiness of the terminal in North America.
 
Reliance is also building a world-scale receiving and storage facility in India for liquefied ethane and pipeline to deliver ethane to its crackers. 
 
The release said RIL would upgrade its crackers to maximize cracking of ethane and to have maximum operational flexibility and capability to optimize feed stocks with complete control of supply chain.
 
"The project will significantly improve the long term competitiveness of our cracker portfolio through dedicated feedstock, enhanced margins, higher capacity and end-to-end integration," the release added.
 
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ErosNow acquires worldwide rights to Zee TV premier TV content

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd has said that its on-demand entertainment portal ErosNow has acquired the worldwide rights of popular Zee TV shows. 
 
With this announcement, content from Zee will be available to ErosNow members with no extra subscription costs, a press release from the company said.
 
With a reach of more than 169 countries and access to more than 670 million viewers globally, Zee TV is the largest media franchise serving the South Asian diaspora.
 
"This partnership allows ErosNow to showcase Zee’s premier television content ranging from top rated serials and soaps to reality shows," the reease said.
 
The titles that will be available to subscribers include: Ek Mutti Aasmaan,         Pavitra Rishta, Fear Files, Sapne Suhane Ladakpan Ke, Jodha Akbar, Do Bandhe Ek Dori Se, Kumkum Bhagya, Qubool Hai, Aur Pyar Ho Gaya and        Armano ki Doli.
 
This would make ErosNow a one-stop destination for viewing quality Indian content online, the release said.
 
“We aim to provide a robust customer experience with an extensive content offering. We are thrilled to introduce prime television programming from Zee TV into our content mix," Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, ErosNow said.
 
"Partnering with a leading television player like Zee for compelling content is a natural step to providing the very best of Indian entertainment to our consumers worldwide. We are very excited to bring these shows to the platform and are confident this content will be enjoyed worldwide on ErosNow," she added.
 
Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) said, “Zee has always been a leader in the media and entertainment space, having evolved from being a broadcaster to a content creator and aggregator. Our premium television content is enjoyed by a large global audience across diverse platforms, with a definitive surge in younger viewers who are more accustomed to consuming entertainment via digital platforms. It is therefore, a logical extension for us to make our popular programs available on leading online providers such as ErosNow. By partnering with ErosNow, we hope to capture viewers from around the world with the best shows from Zee’s library."
 
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BCCI appoints Ravi Shastri as Director of Cricket for ODI series against England

 
BCCI sidelines Fletcher, appoints Shastri as Director ODI series
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today said it had appointed former Indian all-rounder Ravi Shastri as Director of Cricket to oversee and guide the Indian team for the coming one-day international (ODI) series against England.
 
BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel also announced that, after discussions among all its office bearers over the last couple of weeks, "the Board had also decided that Duncan Fletcher would continue as Head Coach.
 
Shastri will be the overall in-charge of cricket affairs of the Indian team, he said in a press release.
 
In their continuing efforts to re-energise the support to the team, the BCCI has given a break to the bowling coach Mr Joe Dawes and the fielding coach, Mr Trevor Penny for the one-day series and appointed Mr Sanjay Bangar, former Indian all rounder and former India fast bowler Mr Bharat Arun as the assistant coaches of the team.
 
"Mr R.Sridhar will join the support team as the fielding coach for the one-day series," the release added.
 
The announcement comes in the wake of India's poor show in the just concluded Test series against England and means that, while he has got a reprieve, he will function under Shastri.
 
Arun is a former India under-19 coach who has played two Tests for India. He has also served as a coach in the National Cricket Academy.
 
Bangar and Sridhar have been associated with Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
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Longest foot overbridge on Indian Railways inaugurated at CST, Mumbai

A newly constructed foot overbridge (FOB), the longest on the Indian Railways, was inaugurated at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) here today.
 
The new bridge connects platform number 1 to 18 (platform number 1 to 7 on the suburban section and platform number 8 to 18 on the main line) at CST.
 
It has a length of 364 metres (a 270 metre new FOB connecting the 94 metre existing FOB) and a width of 5.3 metres. It has been constructed at a cost of Rs 8.5 crore.
 
Passengers coming to and from Sir J.J. Flyover on the west side and P. D'Mello Road on the east side will be benefited immensely by this FOB, a press release from Central Railway added.
 
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PM lays foundation stone of JNPT SEZ, port connectivity road in Navi Mumbai

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that his government had conceived Sagarmala, an ambitious project for maritime states that envisages not only development of ports but port-led development.
 
Speaking at Sheva in Navi Mumbai here after laying the foundation stones for the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and a project for widening of the port connectivity road from JNPT to the national highway, he said Sagarmala would include ports, SEZs, and rail, road, air and waterway connectivity with the hinterland.
 
He said the project would also include linkages of cold storage and warehousing facilities.
 
Mr Modi also symbolically handed over land allotment letters to the project affected persons.
 
He pointed out that two-thirds of all global trade and half of container trade happened through the Indian Ocean and said this highlighted the importance of the ports sector. "Ports can become gateways to India`s prosperity," he said.
 
Mr Modi said the government was concerned about the large number of stalled SEZ projects across the country, and a high-level team had been constituted to review the problems and resolve them at the earliest. 
 
He stressed that export promotion was the need of the hour. "Unless we join manufacturers in export promotion, and unless the States and the Centre work together, we cannot achieve new heights in exports," he said.
 
He said the Centre had recently convened a meeting with States to understand bottlenecks in exports, and States would soon be given the right to form their own Export Promotion Councils. 
 
"Let there be competition among States for exports," he said.
 
Mr Modi said the government had recently done away with the requirement of renewal of shipping licenses every year, and now the license would be granted for a lifetime. He said the government wished to create an environment for ease of business and encouragement for youth.
 
He also said shipbuilding offered big opportunities. He pointed out the big strides that South Kora had taken in this area and said India should also try to do so.
 
Elaborating his theme of "Come, make in India", which he mentioned during his Independence Day address yesterday, the Prime Minister said his government would encourage foreign investment in shipbuilding. Made in India should occupy a place in the global market, he said.
 
Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari told the gathering that the JNPT SEZ would provide employment to 1.5 lakh people. 
 
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was also present on the occasion.
 
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RBI reduces free transactions at ATMs of other banks in Metros to three

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reduced the number of mandatory free ATM transactions for savings bank account customers at other bank's ATMs from the present five to three per month in the six metro centres of Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
 
This is inclusive of both financial and non-financial transactions, the RBI said in a notification to all banks.
 
Some banks and the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) had approached the RBI seeking changes in the extant instructions.
 
Referring to the growing cost of ATM deployment and maintenance incurred by banks on the one hand as well as the rising interchange out-go due to these free transactions, the IBA had sought the removal of free transactions at other banks’ ATMs at metro centres and other large townships in the country, it said.
 
It said the decision was taken after an analysis of the ATM deployment in the country as well as availability of alternate means of electronic payment infrastructure and access thereto.
 
The central bank said it had taken into account the high density of ATMs, bank branches and alternate modes of payment available to the customers.
 
"Nothing, however, precludes a bank from offering more than three free transactions at other bank ATMs to its account holders if it so desires," it said.
 
This reduction will, however, not apply to small/no frills/Basic Savings Bank Deposit account holders who will continue to enjoy five free transactions, as hitherto.
 
At locations other than the six metro centres, the present facility of five free transactions for savings bank account customers shall remain unchanged.
 
ATM installing banks have been advised to indicate clearly at each ATM location that the ATM is situated in a ‘metro’ or ‘non-metro’ location using appropriate means (message displayed on the ATM / sticker / poster, etc.) to enable the customer to identify the status of the ATM in relation to availability of number of free transactions. 
 
Further, banks have been advised to ensure the “ATM location identifiers” in their ATM database is accurate and kept up-to-date at all times so as to minimise disputes, if any, in the matter.
 
The issuing banks are also advised to put in place proper mechanisms to track such transactions and ensure that no customer inconvenience or complaints arise on this account.
 
The provisions related to levy of charges for use of own-bank ATMs have also been reviewed. Accordingly, banks have been advised that at least five free transactions (inclusive of financial and non financial transactions) per month should be permitted to the savings bank account customers for use of own bank ATMs at all locations. Beyond this, banks may put in place appropriate Board approved policy relating to charges for customers for use of own bank ATMs.
 
The ceiling/cap on customer charges of Rs.20 per transaction (plus service tax, if any) will be applicable.
 
Banks have been advised to put in place suitable mechanism for cautioning / advising / alerting the customers about the number of free transactions (OFF-US as well as ON-US) already utilised during the month by the customer and the possibility that charges may be levied as per the banks’ policy on charges.
 
There were more than 1.6 lakh ATMs across the country at the end of March this year, up from 27,000 at the end of March 2007.
 
During the same period, the Point-of-Sale (POS) infrastructure has increased from 3.2 lakh to 10.65 lakh terminals. The ATMs are being gradually leveraged by banks to deliver other financial and non-financial products to their customers. Meanwhile, White Label ATMs (WLAs) have also been introduced in the country with the objective of increasing the ATM density and also building the rural and semi-urban ATM infrastructure. However, despite this growth, the deployment of both ATMs as well as POS infrastructure in the country is lop-sided with a significantly large presence in metropolitan and urban areas as compared to rural and semi-urban areas, the circular noted.
 
 
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Global gold demand declines 16% to 964 tonnes in Q2 of 2014

Global gold demand touched 964 tonnes (t) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2014 (April-June), 16 per cent lower than the same period last year, as consumers and investors pulled back and consolidated their activity, according to the latest World Gold Council (WGC) Gold Demand Trends report.
 
The report said gold demand continued to demonstrate a return to long-term trends after an exceptional year in 2013. 
 
Global jewellery demand, which represents more than half of total global demand, was unsurprisingly down 30% year-on-year to 510t.
 
In comparison, Q2 2014 was 11% higher than Q2 2012, extending the broad upward trend evident since 2009, it said.
 
The report said India and China remained significant drivers of the global jewellery market, purchasing 154t and 143t, respectively. 
 
"In what is traditionally a quieter quarter for jewellery, consumers continued to digest opportunistic purchases made in 2013 and adopted a more 'needs' based approach to their jewellery buying.  Indian jewellery buying was also affected by high value purchases being restricted in the run up to the election and the continued impact of import restrictions on gold," the report said.
 
Meanwhile, there were continued signs of recovery in some Western markets as jewellery demand in the United States rose by 15% to 26t and the United Kingdom rose 21% to 4t as consumer confidence continued to grow in line with the economy and yellow gold came back into fashion, it said.
 
According to the bank, central banks bought 118t of gold in Q2 2014, a rise of 28% versus the same period last year. It was the 14th consecutive quarter in which central banks were net purchasers of gold driven by a number of factors, including a continued diversification away from the US dollar and the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Iraq and Ukraine.
 
Total investment demand (investment in bars and coins combined with exchange-traded funds (ETF) investment) was up 4% to 235t. Investment in bars and coins stood at 275t for Q2 2014, a fall of 56%, following unprecedented levels of buying during the same period last year. 
 
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"In Q2 2014, many investors were uncertain about the direction and momentum of the gold price, while traders in price sensitive markets were far less active due to low volatility. The quarter did see an improvement in investor sentiment towards ETFs compared to last year. Outflows stood at 40t for the quarter, a tenth of the redemptions seen in the same quarter a year ago. The bulk of these outflows occurred at the beginning of the quarter, turning to marginal inflows by the end," it said.
 
Mr Marcus Grubb, Managing Director of Investment Strategy at the World Gold Council said: “In the context of an exceptional year last year where we saw record consumer buying and investor sell-offs, this quarter’s demand continues to demonstrate a return to long-term trends, illustrating the uniquely balanced nature of the gold market. Jewellery consumers continued to digest the exceptional purchases of 2013 and investors also rebalanced, pulling back from the extremes we saw last year. Overall the gold market is stabilising following the extraordinary conditions we saw in 2013.”
In value terms, gold demand in Q2 2014 was US$40bn, down 24% compared to Q2 2013. The average gold price of US$1,288/oz was down 9% on the average Q2 2013 price."
 
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Modi to lay foundation of SEZ at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust on August 16

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a port-based multi-product Special Economic Zone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Sheva in Navi Mumbai on August 16.
 
The industrial infrastructure project will be established on 277 hectares with a total public and private investment of about Rs 4,000 crore.
 
An official press release said it was being planned as a self-sustainable integrated development project having a potential of generating over 1.5 lakh direct and indirect jobs. 
 
The project, which will be developed through a JNPT-Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode, is scheduled to be completed within three years.
 
The SEZ will develop Free Trade Warehousing Zone, Engineering Goods Sector, Electronics and Hardware Sectors, Non- Conventional Energy Sector, Multi Services (IT and Healthcare) Sectors and Apparel and Textiles Sectors, the release said.
 
Mr Modi is also slated to lay the foundation stone of a port connectivity highway project at JNPT and allot land to JNPT Project Affected Persons (PAPs) under the 12.5% scheme fo the Maharashtra government implemented by the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharastra Ltd (CIDCO).
 
The Port Connectivity Highway Project with a cost of about Rs.1927 crores is to be completed by December 2017. 
 
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India’s forex reserves decline by $ 573.5 million to $ 319.99 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $ 573.5 million to $ 319.99 billion in the week ended August 1 after rising for the previous eight consecutive weeks, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said.
 
The forex reserves had grown by $ 2.714 billion to $ 320.564 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here yesterday, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, declined by $ 1.091 billion to $ 292.693 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 grew by $ 538.9 million to $ 21.174 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) went down by $ 15.5 million to $ 4.422 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 5.9 million  to $ 1.701 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Sanju Samson, Karn Sharma included in ODI squad against England

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Sanju Samson
Kerala's young batting star Sanju Samson and Railways' leg-spinner Karn Sharma were today included in India's 17-member squad for the one-day international (ODI) and T20 International series against England from August 25 to September 7.
 
India are scheduled to play five ODIs and one T20 International against England.
 
Others who have found a place in the squad include pace bowlers Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohit Sharma. Batsman Suresh Raina is also back in the squad, as is pace bowler Umesh Yadav.
 
The following is the squad announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
 
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Virat Kohli (Vice-Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sanju Samson, and Karn Sharma.
 
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RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 8%, reduces SLR by 50 bps to 22%

Citing upside risks to the target of ensuring consumer inflation at or below 8% January 2015, the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility unchanged at 8.0 per cent.

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Citing upside risks to the target of ensuring consumer inflation at or below 8% January 2015, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today kept its key policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 8.0 per cent.
 
In its Third Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2014-15, the RBI, however, reduced the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks by 50 basis points from 22.5 per cent to 22.0 per cent of the net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) with effect from August 9.
 
On the  basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, the central bank also decided to keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of NDTL.
 
RBI Governor Raghuram G. Rajan said in the statement that the central bank would continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise NDTL  and liquidity under 7-day and 14-day term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 7.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.0 per cent, he said.
 
Dr Rajan said that, since the second bi-monthly monetary policy statement of June 2014, global economic activity had been picking up at a modest space from a sharp slowdown in Q1.
 
"Investor risk appetite has buoyed financial markets, partly drawing strength from assurances of continuing monetary policy support in industrial countries. Portfolio flows to emerging market economies (EMEs) have risen strongly. This implies, however, that EMEs remain vulnerable to changes in investor risk appetite driven by any reassessment of the future path of US monetary policy or possible escalation of geopolitical tensions," he said.
 
According to him, sentiment on domestic economic activity appears to be reviving, with incoming data suggesting a firming up of industrial growth and exports. The June round of the Reserve Bank’s industrial outlook survey also points to improvement in business expectations in Q2, he said.
 
"Leading indicators of the services sector are mixed, although there are early signs of modest strengthening of corporate sales and business flows. While the initial slow progress of the monsoon and its uneven spatial distribution raised serious concerns regarding agricultural production, these have been mitigated, though not entirely dispelled, by the pick-up in the monsoon through much of the country in July. The implementation of government policy actions that have been announced should create a congenial setting for a steady improvement in domestic demand and supply conditions," he said.
 
The statement noted that retail inflation measured by the consumer price index (CPI) had eased for the second consecutive month in June, with a broad-based moderation accompanied by deceleration in momentum. Higher prices of vegetables, fruits and protein-based food items were offset by the muted increase in the prices of non-food items, particularly those of household requisites and transport and communication. CPI inflation excluding food and fuel decelerated further, extending the decline that began in September 2013. 
 
"However, with some continuing uncertainty about the path of the monsoon, it would be premature to conclude that future food inflation, and its spill-over to broader inflation, can be discounted," it said.
 
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The statement said liquidity conditions had remained broadly stable, barring episodic tightness on account of movements in the cash balances of the Government maintained with the Reserve Bank. 
 
"While the system’s recourse to liquidity from the LAF, and regular and additional term repos has been around 1.0 per cent of the NDTL of banks, access to the MSF has been minimal and temporary. In order to manage transient liquidity pressures associated with tax outflows and sluggish spending by the Government, the Reserve Bank injected additional liquidity aggregating over Rs 940 billion through nine special term repos of varying maturities during the months of June and July. Despite the reduction in the export credit refinance effected in early June, average utilisation of the facility has only been around 70 per cent of the available limit. The Reserve Bank will review existing liquidity arrangements and continue to monitor and manage liquidity to ensure adequate flow of credit to the productive sectors," it said.
 
"With the buoyancy in export performance sustained through Q1, the trade deficit has narrowed from its level a year ago. While oil imports rose in June partly on higher international crude prices, gold import growth picked up in response to some liberalization of import restrictions, and non-oil non-gold import growth has turned positive since May. Turning to external financing, all categories of capital flows have been buoyant. Surges in capital inflows in excess of the current account financing requirement and the repayment of swaps by oil marketing companies have bolstered international reserves," it said.
 
The RBI said that the moderation in CPI headline inflation for two consecutive months, despite the seasonal firming up of prices of fruits and vegetables since March, was due to both base effects and the steady deceleration in CPI inflation excluding food and fuel. 
 
"The recent fall in international crude prices, the benign outlook on global non-oil commodity prices and still-subdued corporate pricing power should all support continued disinflation, as should measures undertaken to improve food management. There are, however, upside risks also, in the form of the pass-through of administered price increases, continuing uncertainty over monsoon conditions and their impact on food production, possibly higher oil prices stemming from geo-political concerns and exchange rate movement, and strengthening growth in the face of continuing supply constraints," it said.
 
"Accordingly, the upside risks to the target of ensuring CPI inflation at or below 8 per cent by January 2015 remain, although overall risks are more balanced than in June. It is, therefore, appropriate to continue maintaining a vigilant monetary policy stance as in June, while leaving the policy rate unchanged," it said.
 
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Dr Rajan said prospects for reinvigoration of growth had improved modestly. The firming  up of export growth should support manufacturing and service sector activity, he said.
 
"If the recent pick-up in industrial activity is sustained in an environment conducive to the revival of investment and unlocking of stalled projects, with ongoing fiscal consolidation releasing resources for private enterprise, external demand picking up and international crude prices stabilising, the central estimate of real GDP growth of 5.5 per cent within a likely range of 5 to 6 per cent that was set out in the April projection for 2014-15 can be sustained. On the other hand, if risks relating to the global recovery, the monsoon and geo-political tensions intensify, the balance of risks could tilt to the downside," he said.
 
"The Reserve Bank will continue to monitor inflation developments closely, and remains committed to the disinflationary path of taking CPI inflation to 8 per cent by January 2015 and 6 per cent by January 2016. While inflation at around 8 per cent in early 2015 seems likely, it is critical that the disinflationary process is sustained over the medium-term," he said.
 
The statement said the balance of risks around the medium-term inflation path, and especially the target of 6 per cent by January 2016, were still to the upside, warranting a heightened state of policy preparedness to contain these risks if they materialise.
 
"In the months ahead, government actions on food management and to facilitate project completion should improve supply, but as consumer and business confidence pick up, aggregate demand will also strengthen. The Reserve Bank will act as necessary to ensure sustained disinflation," he said.
 
In the second bi-monthly monetary policy statement of June 2014, the Reserve Bank had reduced the SLR to 22.5 per cent of NDTL in anticipation of recovery in economic activity.
 
"With the Union Budget for 2014-15 renewing commitment to the medium-term fiscal consolidation roadmap and budgeting 4.1 per cent of GDP as the fiscal deficit for the year, space has opened up further for banks to expand credit to the productive sectors in response to its financing needs as growth picks up. Accordingly, the SLR is reduced by a further 0.5 per cent of NDTL," the statement said.
 
"In consonance with the calibrated reduction in the SLR, it is necessary to enhance liquidity in the money and debt markets so that financial intermediation expands apace with a growing economy. Currently, banks are permitted to exceed the limit of 25 per cent of total investments under the held to maturity (HTM) category provided the excess comprises only SLR securities, and banks’ total holdings of SLR securities in the HTM category is not more than  24.5 per cent of their NDTL as on the last Friday of the second preceding fortnight. In order to enable banks greater participation in financial markets, this ceiling is being brought down to 24 per cent of NDTL with effect from the fortnight beginning August 9, 2014.
 
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"The Reserve Bank has taken a number of steps to enhance efficiency, increase entry, speed up resolution, and improve access to financial services, such as modified regulations on long term lending and borrowing, proposals for licensing payment banks and small banks, a framework to deal with stressed assets, actions to further the use of mobile phones in banking, and efforts to simplify know your customer (KYC) norms, among others. The Reserve Bank will continue to carry forward its banking sector reforms agenda," the statement added.
 
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Essar Projects bags $ 54-million maiden contract from Saudi Aramco

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Essar Projects, an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, today said its Hydrocarbon SBU had secured its maiden contract from Saudi Aramco, the national petroleum and natural gas company of Saudi Arabia.
 
A press release from the company, a part of the Essar Group, said the $ 54 million project involves the upgradation of a Crude Stabilization Unit at Aramco’s Abqaiq Plant, in Shaybah, one of the largest oilfields in the world. 
 
The scope of work entails engineering, procurement and construction of a crude tank, replacement of crude pumps and associated civil, piping, electrical and instrumentation facilities. The project is scheduled to be completed in 29 months.
 
Essar is already executing five other projects in the region in the hydrocarbon sector, the release said.
 
Mr Amit Gupta, CEO–Hydrocarbon SBU, Essar Projects, said, “This contract is a reflection of our capability to undertake global projects from reputed clients in this region. We will leverage the capabilities gained to enhance our foot print in other Middle East countries.”
 
Essar Projects has previously executed a world-scale grass-roots refinery at Vadinar, Gujarat, with an initial capacity of 10 MMTPA, which was gradually expanded to 14 MMTPA and then 20 MMTPA. It also executed the supporting infrastructure and facilities that include SBM for crude unloading, product jetty for refinery product export, a tank farm with total tankage of 3 million cubic metres for crude, products and intermediate and 77 MW of captive power plant.
 
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Mumbai's Sassoon Dock to be revamped as modern fishing harbour

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Mumbai's historic Sassoon Dock will be revamped as a modern fishing harbour as part of a redevelopment project, under the aegis of the Mumbai Port Trust, that was inaugurated here yesterday by Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
 
Mr Gadkari said the project was aimed at giving a thrust to exports of marine products and the Mumbai Port Trust was backing this objective by creating the necessary physical infrastructure for the harbour.
 
He said the government was committed to creating a good water transport infrastructure in the country to promote both seabound shipping and inland water transport, to save cost and create job opportunities.
 
He said his Ministry would proactively accord approvals for port related projects. 
 
Mr.Gadkari said the pro-development policies being pursued by the government would take the GDP growth upto 8.5 per cent within the next two years. 
 
An official press release said that, as part of the redevelopment plan, fishing activities would be restricted to the New Sassoon Dock area, while Old Sassoon Dock would be used for outfitting of fishing boats and for providing required services like fuel, freshwater and ice for fishing boats. 
 
There is also a plan to provide an ice plant and an ice crusher shed. The existing open fish auction hall at New Sassoon Dock will be converted into a modern fish handling and auction hall. 
 
The redevelopment project also envisages construction of a dormitory, rest rooms, restaurant and a radio communication tower. There is also a proposal to set up a Marine Food Park, a sea food restaurant and an art gallery at the Sassoon Dock premises at a later stage. 
 
Mumbai Port Trust has appointed Central Institute of Coastal Engineering for Fishery, Bangalore as the Project Management Consultant for preparing the detailed technical report. The redevelopment project is estimated to cost Rs 25.50 crores. 
 
Sassoon Dock is among the oldest docks of Mumbai, built in 1875 on reclaimed land in Colaba. It was built by Albert Abdul Sassoon, son of David Sassoon, who was the leader of the Jewish community in Bombay (Mumbai). It is the main fish loading and trading centre in the city. 
 
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RIL denies any move to sell stake in Reliance Jio Infocomm

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The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it had no plan to sell any stake in its telecom venture Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (RJIL), a wholly owned subsidiary, as had been reported by a business newspaper.
 
"This is to clarify that there is no merit in the report carried in today’s Business Standard captioned 'Reliance Open to 30% stake sale in Jio', as there is no such proposal under consideration," a spokesperson for RIL said.
 
"This statement has also been shared with the relevant stock exchanges," the spokesperson added.
 
Reliance Jio is the first telecom operator to hold a pan-India unified licence, which authorises it to provide all telecommunication services except global mobile personal communication by satellite service. 
 
RJIL holds spectrum in 1800 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 high speed internet connectivity, rich communication services and various digital services in domains such as education, healthcare, security, financial services, government citizen interfaces and entertainment. 
 
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Piramal Enterprises, APG to invest $ 1 bilion in Indian infrastructure firms

Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL), one of India's largest diversified companies, and APG Asset Management, the Dutch pension fund asset manager, today announced a strategic alliance for investing in rupee denominated mezzanine instruments issued by infrastructure companies in India with a target investment of $ 1 billion over the next three years.
 
PEL and APG have each initially committed $375 million for investments under this strategic alliance, a press release from PEL said.
 
This is one of the largest private sector commitments to the infrastructure sector in India and one of the single largest commitments to date by a foreign investor to the infrastructure sector in India. 
 
“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with an institution like APG which is a like-minded, focused and committed global investor. This is an opportune time to be creating an aligned pool of capital to target what we believe to be very compelling funding opportunities in the infrastructure sector in India," PEL Chairman Ajay Piramal said.
 
"The alliance is consistent with PEL’s long-term plan and vision of playing a contributing role towards investments that promote growth. This is the single largest investment of APG in the unlisted space in India till date and underlines the confidence reposed by institutional investors in Piramal Group’s capabilities," he said.
 
APG CEO Dick Sluimers said, “APG puts a great deal of effort and time into selecting the right partners and forming long-term relationships. In PEL, we found an aligned partner with the requisite expertise and industry knowledge to add value through active ownership, which is why we have teamed up with PEL for this strategic alliance in India. The strategy of the alliance to focus on mezzanine investments in infrastructure projects in India ticks the right boxes for our pension fund clients in terms of risk-return profile and high cash flow visibility.” 
 
The release said the strategic pool of capital will focus on operational and near completion projects with limited execution risks and high visibility of cash flows coming from a portfolio of projects. 
 
"The access to this source of capital will enable infrastructure players in India to retain their equity interest in the assets, while raising long term capital to help them complete their on-going infrastructure projects and enhance shareholder value," the release said.
 
Mr Jayesh Desai, co-Head of Structured Investment Group (SIG), PEL said “Indian infrastructure players have moved up in maturity scale as the portfolio of operational projects has increased and hence, is lending high visibility to future cash flows. Over $150 billion of equity and mezzanine funding is required to meet government target investment of $ 1 trillion until 2017, and this is the gap which our strategic alliance seeks to bridge."
 
"Mezzanine investments for infrastructure sector in India offers a compelling investment proposition as it addresses the void in the capital stack, which currently exists in the market place. This is due to the constraints of commercial banks in India to provide only senior secured lending at asset level where there is limited headroom, especially in cases where there has been delay in project execution," he said.
 
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Mr Hans-Martin Aerts, Head of Infrastructure Asia, APG said, “We are very pleased to partner with PEL in this venture. The current market circumstances where there is a mismatch between demand and supply of capital creates a window of opportunity to make mezzanine investments in Indian infrastructure. We believe that the infrastructure sector in India is at an inflection point. Given the strong push of the new government on sector revival through conducive policy measures, the funding from this strategic alliance will help infrastructure companies to recycle capital and contribute significantly to the further development of India’s infrastructure sector.”
 
The release said PEL had demonstrated strong sourcing and risk underwriting capabilities, and has developed a strong track record in providing mezzanine funding to corporates in various sectors including infrastructure. 
 
Macquarie Capital acted as the sole financial adviser for the transaction, the release added.
 
PEL has a presence in pharmaceuticals, healthcare information management and financial services. 
 
For its pension fund clients and their 4.5 million active and retired participants from the public and private sectors representing over 30% of all collective pension schemes in the Netherlands, APG Asset Management N.V. manages pension assets of €375 billion as at the end of June 2014. 
 
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