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Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passes away

Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passed away at his residence in Mumbai in the early hours of Monday morning after a prolonged illness.

Murli Deora
Murli Deora
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Murli Deora passed away at his residence here in the early hours of this morning after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 77. He is survived by his wife Hema and two sons, Milind and Mukund. Milind Deora is a former Union Minister and Lok Sabha member.
 
According to sources, Mr Deora had been unwell for a long time and had been undergoing treatment at a hospital. He had come home two days ago and breathed his last around 3.30 am today, they said.
 
Mr Deora's body will be kept at the Mumbai Congress office from noon to 2 pm today to enable party workers to pay their last respects to him. His funeral wil be held at the Chandanwadi Crematorium later in the afternoon.
 
Born on January 10, 1937 in Mumbai, Mr Deora had graduated in Economics from Mumbai and was an industrialist by profession but was also actively involved with political and social activities.
 
He had a long innings as a Municipal Corporator in Mumbai, starting from 1968 and was elected as one of the youngest Mayors of the city in 1977. He also served as a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1982-84.
 
He was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1984 from Mumbai South and was re-elected thrice in 1989, 1991 and 1998. He lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party's Jayawantiben Mehta in 1996 and 1999. In 2004, his son Milind wrested the seat back for the Congress. 
 
In between, Mr Deora was elected to the Rajya Sabha for a six-year term from 2002-08.
 
Mr Deora served as president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee for 22 long years from 1981 to 2003.
 
He was elected as Chairman of Parliamentarians for Global Action for 1995-96, the first Indian to hold he position. He also served as Vice-President of the Federation of International Red Cross and Crescent Society. 
 
Mr Deora was also involved with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and was Vice-Chairman of the Gandhi Institute of Computer Education and Information Technology set up under its auspices. He was a keen bridge player.
 
He served as Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister for Corporate Affairs and earlier as Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology in the Manmohan Singh government.
 
Mr Deora had a way with people and had friends and admirers across the political spectrum and enjoyed tremendous clout in the corridors of power in Delhi and Mumbai.
 
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ISL: Chennaiyin FC drub Mumbai City 3-0 to extend lead at the top

Chennaiyin FC players celebrate Bruno Pelissari's opening goal in their match against Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League at Navi Mumbai on November 23, 2014.Photo courtesy:ISL
Chennaiyin FC players celebrate Bruno Pelissari's opening goal in their match against Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League at Navi Mumbai on November 23, 2014.Photo courtesy:ISL
Chennaiyin FC scored a late flurry of goals to get past hosts Mumbai City FC with a 3-0 win in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tonight.
 
Bruno Pelissari, Dhanachandra Singh and substitute Cristian Hidalgo were the scorers for the visitors.
 
The defeat saw Mumbai City’s citadel being finally breached after a run of five clean sheets in a row and they have now slipped sixth place in the table.
 
Chennaiyin (19 points), on the other hand, extended their lead at the top of the table by three points over Atlético de Kolkata.  
 
The first half turned out to be a cagey affair as both teams failed to find that killer pass or moment of brilliance to make it count. Chennai did look like they missed the presence and creativity of Elano, and the pace and directness of John Mendoza. For the hosts, Nicolas Anelka’s absence seemed to take the bite out of their attack. 
 
Chennai keeper Gennaro Bracigliano was called into action though, when Bernard Mendy lost the ball near his box, and André Moritz forced a low diving save from the Italian. The rebound came out to Tiago Ribeiro but his shot deflected off Mikaël Silvestre for a corner. 
 
Mumbai’s marquee player Freddie Ljungberg, who was on the bench, came on for the injured Moritz and played till the end.
 
Not much happened in the match till after the 70th minute, when Mumbai’s defence finally succumbed to mounting pressure from Chennaiyin. Pavel ?movš’ error proved costly for the hosts as Jeje Lalpekhlua pounced on the opportunity and played the ball across for Balwant Singh. The ball instead fell kindly for Pelissari who obliged with a well taken finish.
 
Chennai went two up when Dhanachandra made the most of a scrappy clearance from a free kick and slotted the ball calmly into the bottom corner past the Mumbai defenders.
 
The final nail in the Mumbai coffin was hammered by substitute Hidalgo who scored with a brilliant free kick past a diving Subrata Paul, after being brought down outside the box by Johan Letzelter, an effort that the missing Elano would have been proud of.
 
Peter Reid will hope to rescue his faltering campaign when Mumbai City travel to the national capital to take on Delhi Dynamos FC on November 28 while Chennaiyin travel to Guwahati for a meeting with NorthEast United FC a day earlier.
 
Match awards:
 
Hero of the Match:  Bruno Pelissari (Chennaiyin FC) 
Swift Moment of the Match: Dhanachandra Singh (Chennaiyin FC) 
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Jan Štohanzl (Mumbai City FC)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Balwant Singh (Chennaiyin FC)
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by $ 419.4 million to $ 315.551 billion

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India’s foreign  exchange reserves rose by $ 419.4 million to $ 315.551 billion in the week ended November 14, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex  reserves had fallen $ 778.4 million to $ 315.132 billion in the previous week after rising for four consecutive weeks before that.
 
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, went up by $ 422.7 million to $ 290.062 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 $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 2.4 million to $ 4.229 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 0.9 million to $ 1.521 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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ING Vysya Bank to merge with Kotak Mahindra in all-stock deal

Mumbai office of ING Vysya Bank
Mumbai office of ING Vysya Bank
The Boards of Directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank met separately today and approved an all-stock amalgamation of ING Vysya with Kotak Mahindra, the two companies announced today.
 
A press release from the banks said the amalgamation was subject to the approval of the shareholders of Kotak and ING Vysya, respectively, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Banking Regulation Act, the Competition Commission of India and such other regulatory approvals as may be required.
 
"Upon obtaining all approvals, when the merger becomes effective, ING Vysya will merge with Kotak," it said.
 
Shareholders of ING Vysya will receive shares of Kotak in exchange of shares in ING Vysya at the approved share exchange ratio.
 
"All shareholders of Kotak and ING Vysya will participate thereafter in the (merged) Kotak business. All ING Vysya branches and employees will become Kotak branches and employees," the release said.
 
ING Vysya’s CEO designate, Mr Uday Sareen, will be inducted into the top 
management of Kotak reporting directly to Mr Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak. 
 
Under the swap ratio worked out, ING Vysya shareholders will receive 725 shares in Kotak for 1,000 shares of ING Vysya. 
 
"The share exchange ratio is considered fair and reasonable given the underlying value of ING Vysya, as also giving shareholders the ability to benefit from the potential that can be realised upon merging into Kotak," the release said.
 
"This exchange ratio indicates an implied price of Rs.790 for each ING Vysya share based on the average closing price of Kotak shares during one month to November 19, 2014, which is a 16% premium to a like measure of ING Vysya market price," it said.
 
The proposed merger would result in issuance of approximately 15.2% of the equity share capital of the merged Kotak. 
 
The release said the Boards of Kotak and ING Vysya, respectively, considered the results of a due diligence review covering areas such as advances, investments, deposits, properties & branches, liabilities, material 
contracts and so on.
 
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S.R.Batliboi & Co., LLP, Chartered Accountants, and Price Waterhouse & Co LLP, the independent valuers appointed by Kotak and ING Vysya, had recommended the share exchange ratio, which has been accepted by the respective Boards. 
 
Avendus Capital Private Ltd. provided a Fairness Opinion to Kotak on the share exchange ratio and Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. provided a 
Fairness Opinion to ING Vysya, the release said.
 
One of ING Vysya’s directors will be joining the Board of Directors of Kotak, it said.
 
 
 
The release said Kotak, with 641 branches and relatively deeper presence in the West and North, has a differentiated proposition for various customer segments including high networth individuals (HNIs), deep corporate relationships including emerging corporates, a wide product portfolio, including agricultural finance and consumer loans, and a robust capital position. 
 
ING Vysya has a strong customer franchise for over eight decades, with a national branch network of 573 branches and deep presence in South India, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka. ING Vysya has a large customer base across all segments. It is particularly noted for a best-in-class SME Business, as also for serving large international corporates in India by access to the international relationships of ING Group, it said.
 
The combined Kotak will have 1,214 branches, with a wide-spread pan-India network, getting both breadth and depth given the strong geographic complementarity between Kotak and ING Vysya. 
 
"Substantial efficiencies will arise out of the proposed merger, which is likely to result in significant benefits for all stakeholders, be it shareholders, employees or customers, and ultimately the banking industry," the release said.
 
"Customers and employees will benefit from the combined Kotak having a wider geographical spread, expertise across customer segments, such as SME, HNI, Corporates, and on products such as private banking, asset management, insurance, investment banking, NRI offerings etc.," it said.
 
"Kotak’s strong capital position potentially avoids capital raising and attendant dilution in the near to medium term for ING Vysya shareholders. Additionally, with ING Vysya nearing the cap for foreign shareholding, the merger would yield more liquidity with significant foreign headroom in Kotak even after merger, with foreign shareholding at ~47%," it said.
 
Mr Kotak said, “This is a momentous occasion that brings together two 
banking institutions with significant complementary strengths. The opportunities and synergies that this merger will create will place Kotak and its incoming stakeholders from ING Vysya on a new trajectory of excellence and leadership. I firmly believe this merger will pave the way for a bigger and better financial services player with deep Indian roots and global standards of service. Kotak values the diversity of ING Vysya, welcomes them as its family, and will work towards integrating them smoothly on this exciting journey that is ahead of us.”
 
Mr. Shailendra Bhandari, presently MD & CEO of ING Vysya Bank Ltd, said:  “Our two companies are a perfect match at a perfect time. Our customers will see tremendous value from the combined entity as we fill the gaps, in terms of a much larger footprint and a complete product suite, both national and international. Together, both companies will participate in the growth of one of India’s strongest and most successful banking franchises.”
 
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ING Vysya’s CEO designate, Mr. Uday Sareen, said, "This is a historic day in our 84 year heritage. I truly believe that the merger is a game-changer for us, laying the foundation to help us leapfrog by several years and be part of, and further scale a truly national franchise. The combination creates a company that will deliver maximum value for our shareholders, enormous opportunities for employees and deliver the entire suite of financial products and services to our customers.”
 
The release said ING Group, which owns ~43% in ING Vysya, has indicated that it supports the proposed transaction. It will become the largest non-promoter shareholder in combined Kotak. 
 
"ING Group and Kotak intend to explore areas of cooperation in cross border business, on the basis of a Framework for Future Cooperation that has been entered into, subject to mutual agreement on specific terms and all laws and regulations," the release added.
 
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Western Union enhances direct-to-bank service to India

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Global payment services major Western Union Company today said it had enhanced its international direct-to-bank transfers to select banks in India, paving the way for customers to send money in minutes to major Indian banks. 
 
"Western Union has successfully linked its retail agent network and digital transactional sites in select countries to move money in minutes to account holders of select banks via India’s revolutionary Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)," a press release from the company said.
 
It said the service is available using cash and debit cards at participating agent locations, and debit and credit cards at www.westernunion.com.com at this time.
 
Western Union President and CEO Hikmet Ersek said, “We are harnessing our system to link retail or digital transfers from major send countries to direct money into individual bank accounts of major receive countries.
 
“To date, we have connections to transfer money into bank accounts in more than 50 countries. India leads the way and we can now do it in minutes.* This is a major win for our customers. We are giving them the choice of placing cash on the counter or using cashless send options and yet sending directly into a bank account from major centres around the world.
 
“We move money that helps finance the futures of millions—largely global workers and their families. Linking our global retail Agent network with digital capability means convenience, reliability and speed for our customers,” Mr Ersek said.
 
Direct-to-bank international money transfers are preferred by customers looking for the convenience of funds received directly into a bank account and accessible on demand, 24/7, according to a Western Union user survey.
 
The in minutes delivery speed is an enhancement to the direct-to-bank money transfer services launched by Western Union last year, which delivers funds within one banking day to 140 banks in India. 
 
This service, provided in collaboration with IndusInd Bank, operates using the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) IMPS platform, which has recently been approved by the Reserve Bank of India to facilitate cross-border money transfer within minutes to select banks.
 
Western Union services are currently available at more than 112,000 agent locations in India. Western Union has transactional websites in 24 countries and a mobile app in the US and Australia to send money globally to 200 countries and territories.
 
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SEBI approves new regulations to deter insider trading in securities

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) today approved new regulations in place of the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 designed to deter the practice of insider trading in the securities of listed companies.
 
The new regulations, approved by the SEBI Board which met here today, will be in place of the existing regulations, a press release from the market regulator said.
 
The release pointed out that two decades had passed since the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations, 1992 were notified and, since then, there had been several amendments to the regulations. Judicial paradigm through case laws had also evolved in India, it said.
 
To ensure that the regulatory framework dealing with insider trading in India is further strengthened, SEBI sought review of the extant Insider Trading regulatory regime and constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Justice N. K. Sodhi.
 
The SEBI Board deliberated on the recommendations of the committe today and public comments received on them.
 
"The new regulations strengthen the legal and enforcement framework, align Indian regime with international practices, provide clarity with respect to the definitions and concepts, and facilitate legitimate business transactions," the release said.
 
According to the release, the salient features of the regulations are:
 
(A) STRENGTHENING THE LEGAL AND ENFORCEMENT FRAMEWORK
 
            (i) The definition of Insider has been made wider by including persons connected on the basis of being in any contractual, fiduciary or employment relationship that allows such person access to unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI). However directors, employees and all other persons in the deeming category covered under 1992 regulations would continue to be covered. Insider will also include a person who is in possession or has access to UPSI. Now, immediate relatives will be presumed to be connected persons, with a right to rebut the presumption. In 1992 regulations, definition of connected person was largely position based.  
 
            (ii) In the case of connected persons the onus of establishing, that they were not in possession of UPSI, shall be on such connected persons.
 
            (iii)  Clear prohibition on communication of unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) has been provided except legitimate purposes, performance of duties or discharge of legal obligations.
 
            (iv)  Considering every investor's interest in securities market, advance disclosure of UPSI at least 2 days prior to trading has been made mandatory in case of permitted communication of UPSI.
 
            (v)  UPSI has been defined as information not generally available and which may impact the price. The definition of UPSI has been strengthened by providing a test to identify price sensitive information, aligning it with listing agreement and providing platform of disclosure. Earlier, the definition of price sensitive information had reference to company only; now it has reference to both a company and securities.
 
            (vi)  Generally Available Information will be the information that is accessible to the public on a non-discriminatory platform which would ordinarily be stock exchange platform.
 
            (vii) Companies by law would be entitled to require third-party connected persons to disclose their trading and holdings in securities of the company.
 
            (viii) In line with Companies Act, 2013, prohibition on derivative trading by directors and KMPs on securities of the company has been provided.
 
 
 
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(B) ALIGNING INSIDER TRADING NORMS WITH INTERNATIONAL PRACTICES
 
            (i) The requirement of communication of UPSI in the case of legitimate business transaction has been recognized in law and a carve-out with safeguards has been provided. [Reference to A (iii) and (iv) above]
 
            (ii) Disclosure of UPSI in public domain has been made mandatory before trading, so as to rule out asymmetry of information in the market, as prevalent in other jurisdictions. [Reference to A (iv) above]
 
            (iii) A provision of Trading Plans on the lines of U.S. has been introduced for insiders with necessary safeguards. Such a plan has to be for bona fide transactions and has to be disclosed on stock exchange platform in advance.
 
(C) CLARITY IN THE DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS
 
            (i) With important provisions, clarificatory notes have been inserted in the regulations itself.
 
            (ii) Clarity has been brought to the definition of UPSI by aligning it with listing agreement and making the definition inclusive.
 
            (iii) To provide clarity, Generally Available Information has been defined as information that is accessible to public on a non-discriminatory platform such as stock exchange. [Reference to A (vi) above] 
 
            (iv) Clarity about timing of disclosure of UPSI has been provided and the trading window norms have been made uniform to other connected persons.
 
(D) FACILITATING LEGITIMATE BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS
 
            (i) To facilitate legitimate business transactions, unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI) can be communicated with safeguards. [reference to A (iii) & (iv) above]
 
            (ii) Insiders who are liable to possess UPSI all round the year would have the option to formulate pre-scheduled trading plans. Trading plans would, however, to be disclosed on the stock exchanges and have to be strictly adhered to. Trading plans shall be available for bona fide transactions. 
 
            (iii) Principle based Code of Fair Disclosure and Code of Conduct has been prescribed. 
 
            (iv) In given cases, certain circumstances which can be demonstrated by an insider to prove his innocence have been provided.
 
            (v) Repeated disclosures have been removed so as to ease compliance burden and to align with Takeover Code. Disclosure of any change of 2% for persons holding more than 5% shares or voting rights has been removed as they are prescribed under Takeover Code.
 
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Reliance Jio signs syndicated term loan facilities of $ 1.5 billion

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL), a subsidiary of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today said it had signed a syndicated term loan facility aggregating to $ 1.5 billion.
 
The facility is guaranteed by RIL and will be used to refinance the syndicated term loan facilities aggregating to $1.5 billion tied up by RJIL in 2010, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the facility was fully underwritten by an initial group of 15 core relationship banks that comprise the Mandated Lead Arrangers (MLAs) and Bookrunners. 
 
"The deal witnessed significant oversubscription before it was launched into syndication and two banks joined in as MLAs. The overall bank group saw participation from banks all over the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. This term loan syndication saw a total of 26 banks participate in the facility," it said.
 
The loan syndication comprises a $ 1 billion Facility I, which has a total maturity of 5.5 years and a $ 0.5 billion Facility II, which has a maturity of 7 years and represents the longest average maturity for an unsecured syndicated loan of similar size in Asia this year.
 
The facility was tied up at significantly better terms than the facilities being refinanced which were signed in 2010, the release said. It saw tremendous response in syndication and raised over $ 400 million.
 
In compliance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, the facility saw participation from only International banks, it said.
 
"This was one of the rare occasions when the higher tenor 7 year facility saw a strong participation in syndication: the 7 year facility saw a higher participation (in percentage terms) than the 5.5 year facility," the release said.
 
The facility saw strong participation from Middle Eastern, regional Taiwanese and Japanese banks.
 
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Air India sets up helpline desks in four metros

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National carrier Air India has set up dedicated telephone numbers in the four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, in addition to its all-India toll free call centre number 1800-180-1407.
 
These dedicated lines will provide information on the status of Air India flights round the clock, all seven days of the week, a press release from the airline said.
 
The helpline numbers are:
 
Delhi 011-49637522, 011-25653385 
Mumbai 022-66858097, 022-26168250 
Kolkata 033-25119982, 08336918921 
Chennai 044-22562011, 044-22566002 
 
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Canadian film producers in India to foster audio-visual ties

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A delegation of 14 Canadian film producers will take part in the 4th Forum of the Canada-India Business Council being held in Mumbai from today and in the 8th Film Bazaar that will take place in Goa on November 20-24 to activate the Canada-India Audiovisual Coproduction Treaty.
 
Telefilm Canada and the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) are spearheading the mission with support from the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA).
 
In parallel, the 45th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) taking place in Goa from November 20 to November 30 will feature five Canadian films. 
 
Two Canadian directors, Mathieu Denis (Corbo) and Andrea Dorfman (Heartbeat) will be on hand to promote their films. The Canadian films Mommy by Xavier Dolan, Le règne de la beauté (An Eye for Beauty) by Denys Arcand and Maps to the Stars by David Cronenberg will also be shown.
 
The coproduction treaty between Canada and India, which came into effect on July 1 this year, will become a reality with this mission, the purpose of which is to develop relationships with India’s film industry and to position Canada as a major player and key partner for co-production, a press release from the Canadian High Commission said.
 
The Canadian delegation will first attend the Canada-India Business Council Forum in Mumbai as part of a group of some 200 Canadian and Indian businesspeople. They will take part in a panel discussion entitled Activating the Canada-India Coproduction Treaty, and will have the opportunity to participate in business-to-business networking opportunities organized with Indian film producers. Canadian producers will then move on to Goa to attend the Film Bazaar, a major gathering for film industry development, distribution and production professionals.
 
According to the release, oarticipating Canadian producers include: Alfons Adetuyi, Inner City Films; Paula Devonshire, Devonshire Productions; Karen Franklin, Hill 100 Productions; Ralph Holt, Hill 100 Productions; Daniel Iron, Blue Ice Pictures; Mehernaz Lentin, Industry Pictures; David Miller, A71 Productions; Damon D’Oliveira, Conquering Lion Pictures; Rama Rau, Trinetra Productions; Sergio Navarretta, Platinum Image Film; Miranda de Pencier, Northwood Entertainment (all Ontario); Kelly Balon, Karma Film; Anand Ramayya, Karma Film (both Saskatchewan); and Vic Sarin, Sepia Films (British Columbia).
 
Travelling with the delegation will be Sheila de La Varende, Director of International Promotion at Telefilm Canada; Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO of OMDC; and Susanne Vaas, Vice-President, Business Affairs & Secretary Designate at CMPA.
 
Chris McDonald, President of Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will also take part in the Film Bazaar and IFFI in Goa. Hot Docs is preparing a “Made In India” program for its 2015 edition to celebrate the country’s contribution to contemporary documentary cinema, the release added.
 
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India’s forex reserves fall by $ 778.4 million to $ 315.132 billion

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After rising for four consecutive weeks, India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $ 778.4 million to $ 315.132 billion in the week ended November 7, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had gone up by a whopping $ 1.732 billion to $ 315.91 billion in the previous week.
 
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, declined by $ 726 million to $ 289.64 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 $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 38.5 million to $ 4.232 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 13.9 million to $ 1.522 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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SBI reports 30.54% rise in net profit to Rs 3100 crore in Q2 of FY15

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State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender by assets, today reported a 30.54 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 3100 crore in the second quarter (Q2) of the the current financial year (FY15) from Rs 2,375 crore in the same quarter of the previous year.
 
The bank said operating profit increased by 33.43% from Rs.6,312 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs. 8,422 crores in Q2FY15, while net interest income had gone up by 8.36% from Rs. 12,251 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs.13,275 crores in Q2FY15.
 
Fee income increased by 18.98% from Rs.2,615 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs. 3,111 crores in Q2FY15, while operating Income increased by 14.91% from Rs. 15,529 crores in Q2FY14 to Rs. 17,845 crores in Q2FY15.
 
A press release from the bank said its gross non-performing assets (NPA) ratio was down by 75 basis points (bps) to 4.89% in Q2FY15 as against 5.64% in Q2FY14. The ratio of net NPAs to net advances stood at 2.73% as compared to 2.91% a year ago.
 
Gross NPAs declined from Rs.64,206 crores in September 2013 to Rs.60,712 crores in September 14.(5.44% YOY decline). The provisioning coverage ratio as on 30 September 2014 stood at 63.18%.
 
Deposits of the bank increased from Rs.12,92,456 crores in September 2013 to Rs.14,73,785 crores in Sepember 2014.( 14.03%.YOY growth), while savings bank deposits went up from Rs.4,45,443 crores to Rs. 5,00,861 crores in the period.
 
Among its associates and subsidiaries, SBI Capital Markets Ltd registered a net profit of Rs 165.82 crores in the first half of FY15 up from Rs.126.15 crores in H1FY14 (31.45%YOY growth).
 
SBI Funds Management Pvt Ltd registered a net profit of Rs.82.60 crores in H1FY15 against Rs.75.26 crores in H1FY14 (9.75% YOY growth), while SBI Cards & Payments Services Pvt Ltd registered a net profit of Rs.194.20 crores in H1FY15 against Rs.143.38 crs in H1 FY 14 (35.44% YOY growth).
 
SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd posted a net profit of Rs.458.58 crores, in H1FY15 from Rs.431.70 crores  in H1FY14(6.23% YOY growth). 
 
The SBI Group's net profit increased from Rs 7371 crores in H1FY14 to Rs 8472 crores in H1FY15 (14.93% YOY growth), the release added.
 
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Reliance Infra terminates agreement for Mumbai Metro Line 2

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Reliance Infrastructure today said the Mumbai Metro Transport Private Limited (MMTPL), in which it has 48% stake, and the government of Maharashtra had agreed to erminate the concession agreement for the Mumbai Metro Line 2 Project (Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd corridor).
 
A press release Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) said here today that, due to non-fulfillment of carious critical obligations by the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), the project could not take off.
 
RInfra is part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group headed by industrialist Anil Ambani.
 
The state government had awarded the contract for the project, estimated to cost about Rs 12,000 crore to the consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) on August 3, 2009 through an international competitive bidding process.
 
The release said the concession agreement was executed between the state government and MMTPL on January 21, 2010.
 
"Even after four years, despite of the best efforts by the Government of Maharashtra, various project impediments could not be resolved.
 
"The parties (MMTPL and Government of Maharashtra) agreed to terminate the Concession Agreement at no cost or claim to either party with Government of Maharashtra to return the Bank Guarantee (of Rs 160 crore) to MMTPL," it said.
 
The release said that, with the termination of the concession agreement, all commitments and liabilities of RInfra towards the project, including the commitments towards funding the project have been annulled with immediate effect. 
 
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Gold jewellery demand in India up 60% to 183 tonnes in Q3 of 2014: WGC

Gold jewellery demand in India saw a 60% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase to 183 tonnes (t) in the third quarter (Q3) (July-September) of 2014, according to the latest Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council (WGC).
 
A press release from WGC said this was the second highest Q3 on record for India.
 
"While the increase is partly reflective of the weakness in Q3 in India last year - when the government introduced import curbs and raised import duties - it also demonstrates the resilience of the country’s appetite for gold jewellery. Improved consumer confidence in both the domestic economy and the new government added to the positive sentiment, with strong levels of purchasing being seen in the build up to Diwali," it said.
 
Overall, the global demand for gold was down just 2% year on year to 929 tonnes, it said.
 
Overall jewellery demand softened slightly down 4% to 534t, when compared with an exceptional quarter in 2013. Taking a slightly longer term view, Q3 2014 jewellery demand was marginally stronger than the quarterly average of 527.6t. Year to date volumes continue to extend the broad uptrend from the low seen in 2009, the release said.
 
In China jewellery demand for Q3 2014 was down 39% year on year to 147t, but was broadly in line with both Q3 2012 and the 5-year quarterly average (of 148.2t and 154.9t, respectively). In the US and UK, jewellery demand was strong, buoyed by ongoing economic recoveries. US jewellery demand grew 4% year on year to 34t, the highest Q3 since 2009. UK jewellery demand had its fifth consecutive quarter of year on year growth.
 
Investment demand, a combination of bars and coins and exchange-traded funds (ETF), was up 6% to 204t. However, investment in bars and coins was down 21% to 246t. 
 
"This reflects an adjustment towards more normal levels of demand after a surge of unprecedented consumer demand took place last year. ETF outflows stood at 84t for the year to date compared to 699t in the same period last year. Third quarter demand for bars and coins was very close to the 10-year quarterly average of 240.6t. It’s worth noting that before the financial crisis of 2008, the European bar and coin market was virtually non-existent," the release said.
 
Mr Marcus Grubb, Managing Director of Investment Strategy at the World Gold Council said: “This quarter the market continued to find its feet after an exceptional 2013, with China catching its breath and buying in the build up to Diwali driving Indian jewellery purchases. The figures for India and China this quarter reinforce the need to understand the factors which underpinned an exceptional Q3 last year. In 2013, India was impacted by import curbs and increased import duties imposed by the previous government, whereas exceptional buying in China during the same period shaped buying patterns in 2014."
 
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"The long-term sources of demand - jewellery, investment, central banks and technology remain robust and diverse. People around the world buy gold for different reasons at different times, reinforcing the unique self balancing nature of the gold market. With recycling at a seven year low and mine supply looking increasingly likely to be constrained in the future the outlook for physical gold demand remains strong," he said.
 
According to the report, central banks bought 93t of gold in Q3 2014, the 15th consecutive quarter that banks were net purchasers of gold. Year to date, central banks have bought 335t of gold compared to 324t in the same period last year. This was driven by a number of factors including a continued diversification away from the US dollar and the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical tensions.
 
Technology demand was 98t, 5% lower than a year ago as the industry continued its shift towards alternative materials in technological applications.
 
Total supply fell by 7% in Q3 2014, continuing the broad themes surrounding gold supply during the first half of the year. Mine production stabilised (up 1% to 812t) but recycling slowed considerably, reaching its lowest year to date levels since 2007 at 807t, the report said.
 
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Eros International acquires worldwide rights of Rajinikanth’s Lingaa

A poster of 'Lingaa'
A poster of Lingaa
Film entertainment major Eros International Media Limited has said that it has acquired the worldwide rights of the Tamil film Lingaa, starring superstar Rajinikanth and directed by K.S. Ravikumar.
 
Produced by Rockline Entertainments Pvt Ltd, producer Rockline Venkatesh and also presented by Muni Rathna, Lingaa has Rajinikanth reprising a dual role along with Anushka Shetty and Sonakshi Sinha who makes her debut in Tamil cinema. 
 
The sound track has been scored by Oscar winning composer, A R Rahman with cinematography by R. Rathnavelu and production design by Sabu Cyril.
 
The Tamil and Telugu audio launch of Lingaa is slated for November 16 in Chennai along with the trailer launch of all three languages -- Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The Hindi audio is scheduled to release soon. The music rights of the film, across languages – Tamil, Telugu and Hindi -- have been acquired by Eros’ music label, Eros Music.
 
Mr. Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd said, “We are delighted to present and release worldwide superstar Rajnikanth's much anticipated film Lingaa.  Audiences across the globe keenly await his first live action film after the blockbuster Robot. There is a huge buzz within the consumers and trade for the film and we are very excited."
 
Venkatesh added, “We are very pleased to associate with a leading studio like Eros to present a prestigious project like Lingaa starring superstar Rajinikanth. With their global positioning, we hope to present the film on a worldwide platform with maximum reach”.
 
Eros will release Lingaa worldwide in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi amongst other languages this December, a press release from the company added.
 
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Dhoni rested for first Test against Australia, Virat Kohli to lead

Virat Kohli
File photo of Virat Kohli.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been rested for the first Test against Australia beginning on December 4 and Virat Kohli will lead the side in his place, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced today.
 
"M. S. Dhoni has been rested for the first Test as a prophylactic measure to ensure optimum recovery. He will join the team from the second Test onwards, and will lead the team for the rest of the Test series," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said after the All-India Senior Selection Committee met here earlier in the day.
 
The committe selected the Indian teams for the last matches of the Micromax Cup India vs Sri Lanka ODI series and the tour of Australia for a four-Test series.
 
The selectors have included Karnataka opener K L Rahul and Railways' leg-spinner Karn Sharma in the 19-member squad for the Australia tour.
 
They have also recalled Suresh Raina to the side after a gap of two years, while Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper will be the back-up for Bengal 'keeper Wriddhiman Saha for the first Test.
 
The team includes five pace bowlers  - Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. 
 
For the remaining ODIs against Sri Lanka, the selectors have rested opener Shikhar Dhawan and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
 
Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Karn Sharma, Vinay Kumar and Kedhar Jadhav are among those who have been chosen for the two matches, scheduled for November 13 and November 16.
 
The following are the teams:
 
INDIAN TEAM FOR THE LAST TWO MATCHES OF THE MICROMAX CUP:
 
Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Robin Uthappa, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, R. Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Vinay Kumar, Kedar Jadhav.
 
INDIAN TEAM FOR THE TEST SERIES IN AUSTRALIA
 
M.S.Dhoni ( Captain), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, K.L. Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Naman Ojha, R. Ashwin, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohd. Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.
 
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ISL: Goa, Mumbai play out goalless draw in midfield battle

Photo courtesy:ISL
Photo courtesy:ISL
The match between FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in the Hero India Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Fatorda ended in a stalemate today, with neither team managing to get on the score-sheet.
 
It was Mumbai City’s first draw of the tournament, and takes them to the fourth spot and the top half of the league table with 10 points, whereas Goa stay rooted at the bottom of the table with five points.
 
The match began with Goa dominating proceedings, playing attacking football from the word go and going forward with some beautiful movement and build-up play. 
 
The heat and humidity seemed to have an impact on proceedings as well, as after the first 15 minutes, Goa went into their shell, with Mumbai taking control. The closest that the visitors got to scoring was when Subhash Singh put the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. 
 
The momentum again switched towards the end of the half, with Goa looking the more threatening once more. Home defender Grégory Arnolin came close to scoring from a corner, but his header was not accurate enough. The first half also saw a water break taken to allow the players to replenish themselves in the unforgiving climate.
 
The story of the second half was similar, with the teams tiring out and the speed of play going down a notch. Arnolin once again came closest to scoring for the hosts from a corner, this time beating Mumbai City keeper Subrata Paul all ends up, but his shot hit the crossbar.
 
Goa had an incredible nine corners awarded in the game, but, as their story has been so far, did not manage to convert any of their chances. Jan Štohanzl was a stand-out performer for the visitors, and was justly named the player of the match.
 
Goa travel to the national capital to face the Delhi Dynamos FC in their eighth match on November 13. Mumbai City will play their second straight away game, going to Kochi to face the Kerala Blasters FC in their next encounter on November 12.
 
Match Awards
 
Hero of the Match: Jan Štohanzl (Mumbai City FC)
Swift Moment of the Match: Tolgay Özbey (FC Goa)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Narayan Das (FC Goa)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Bikramjit Singh (FC Goa)
 
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India to launch "blue revolution" to boost fish production

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Union Minister for Agriculture Radhamohan Singh has said that the government is all set to launch a "blue revolution" that envisages transformation of the fisheries sector with increased investment, better training and development of infrastructure.
 
Delivering the convocation address at the Central Institute of Fisheries Education here yesterday Friday evening, Mr. Singh said India was the second largest producer of fish, but it lagged China by a huge margin and also scored low on the  productivity scale.
 
He said fisheries output in the country is presently about 10 million tonnes, with inland fisheries accounting for 5.6 million tonnes and marine fisheries 3.4 million tonnes. 
 
“India has large natural resources, and water bodies such as reservoirs, lakes and ponds, in addition to an 8,118km-long coastline. So it is well positioned to have a blue revolution,” he said. 
 
Mr. Singh expressed concern over stagnation of production of marine fisheries. He said deep sea fishing would require large investments and the possibilities of public-private partnership would have to be explored.
 
He said the largest species of fish are found in India, and there is also tremendous scope for breeding of colourful ornamental fish. 
 
Mr Singh said that so far governments had focused mainly on agriculture and industry, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisaged a grand plan for development of fisheries as a major employment generating economic activity. 
 
The 'blue revolution' will focus on construction of new fishing harbours, modernization of fishing boats, imparting training to fishermen, and above all promotion of fishing as a self-employment activity. 
 
A total of 128 degrees and 18 Ph.Ds were awarded at the 12th convocation of the institute at Versova here. As many as 29 students were given gold medals for meritorious achievements.
 
The Central Institute of Fisheries Education is a deemed university and a centre of excellence in the field of fisheries and allied subjects. It has 20 Fisheries Colleges spread across India. 
 
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Tendulkar's autobiography breaks records for pre-sale orders

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Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography "Playing It My Way", released yesterday, has broken all records for an adult hardback on pre-order subscriptions across both fiction and non-fiction categories, the publishers said today.
 
According to them, on the day of release before sales began (at 11.30 am yesterday), the book had topped 150,000 copies in orders, already pulling ahead of both pre-order and lifetime sales of the top hardbacks Dan Brown's Inferno, Walter Issacson's Steve Jobs and JK Rowling's Casual Vacancy 
 
Thomas Abraham, Managing Director of Hachette India, which has published the book in the country, said, "It is no surprise that the master blaster's pen talks up records at the same pace as his bat. We're delighted that he has now notched up a thousand hundreds on debut, and we're sure that this innings has only just begun."
 
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India’s forex reserves swell by $ 1.732 billion to $ 315.91 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves rose for the fourth consecutive week, swelling by a whopping $ 1.732 billion to $ 315.91 billion in the week ended October 31, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had gone up by $ 495.5 million to $ 314.175 billion in the previous week.
 
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, went up by $ 2.034 billion to $ 290.366 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 declined by $ 375 million to $ 19.738 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 19.5 million to $ 4.27 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) fell by $ 7 million to $ 1.536 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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HCC wins contracts worth Rs 634 crore in transportation, hydel sectors

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC) has said that it has won two contracts worth Rs 634.79 crore in the transportation and hydro-electric segments.
 
The contracts include one valued at Rs 454.89 crore from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) for 4-laning of the 50.5 km long Numaligarh-Jorhat section of national highway (NH)-37 in Assam, a press release from the company said here yesterday.
 
The project is part of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North Eastern Region (SARDP-NE) and includes rehabilitation, upgradation and augmentation of the existing carriageway, major and minor bridges, culverts, road intersections, interchanges, drains, and so on.
 
The second contract worth Rs 179.90 crore is from Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL) for the balance works of Head Race Tunnel of 111 MW Sawra Kuddu Hydel Power Project in Shimla district.
 
Mr. Arun Karambelkar, President & CEO, HCC Ltd. said “HCC has received three major orders totalling Rs 1028 crore in last fortnight that includes two EPC orders from MoRTH and an order from HPPCL. Earlier, the company was awarded Rs 393 crore MoRTH contract for widening of 65.87 km section of NH-233, on the Indo-Nepal Border. HCC with its expertise and dedicated team is poised to leverage on opportunities in the infrastructure space.”
 
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ISL: Anelka takes Mumbai City to 1-0 win against Delhi Dynamos

Frenchman Nicolas Anelka of Mumbai City FC during their match against Delhi Dynamos FC in the Hero Indian Super League in Mumbai on November 5, 2014.(Photo courtesy: ISL)
Frenchman Nicolas Anelka of Mumbai City FC during their match against Delhi Dynamos FC in the Hero Indian Super League in Mumbai on November 5, 2014.(Photo courtesy: ISL)
Frenchman Nicolas Anelka was in the spotlight again as he scored once more to lead Mumbai City FC to a 1-0 win over Delhi Dynamos FC in a keenly contested encounter in the Hero Indian Super League at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai tonight.
 
The win helped the hosts to move up to third spot on the league table with nine points from six games while the visitors, who have six points in the kitty, slipped to sixth spot.
 
It was a cagey start as Delhi Dynamos kept possession for major periods of the first half. Syed Rahim Nabi, for the second time in the tournament, picked up an injury early on and was forced off with Peter Costa coming on to replace him. 
 
This pegged back the Mumbai side as the visitors moved the ball around well with Delhi’s Steven Dias causing a few problems for the hosts from the right with his runs and crosses. Mads Junker was however unable to get on the end of any of them as Subrata Paul, the ISL emerging player of the match, came bravely off his line a few times to thwart any danger.
 
As the half progressed, Mumbai slowly began to get into the game. Jan Stohanzl, Amul’s fittest player of the match, collected the ball in midfield, ran towards goal and unleashed a thunderous effort that sailed over the bar. 
 
Lalrindika Ralte tested Kristof Van Hout a few minutes later with a shot from a distance, but the 6’10” Belgian goalkeeper made a comfortable save.
 
The closest either team came to scoring was when André Moritz picked up the ball and threaded it through to Anelka on the left who lobbed a beautiful pass across the goal to an unmarked Subash Singh who fluffed the chance. 
 
Mumbai came out firing on all cylinders in the second half while Delhi were content playing from behind and attempting to hit back on the counter. But when Delhi did finally venture forward, it was the home side that hit Delhi with a superb counter attacking move in the 59th minute. Stohanzl collected the ball in midfield and released Subhash down the right who dinked the ball over a defender (the Swift moment of the match) on to the onrushing Anelka who placed it past van Hout into the top left corner with a sublime left foot finish. 
 
Delhi responded by sending marquee man Alessandro Del Piero on for the ineffective Junker. Mumbai however were in an unrelenting mood as they continued to pile on the pressure. Anelka was at the forefront of everything for the home side but was unable to convert the chances that came his way. 
 
Subhash too was guilty of wasting a good chance to double the lead from a one on one with van Hout. Delhi tried to get back into the game and Del Piero wasted a golden opportunity to draw his side level when he met Dias’ cross with a header that went just wide.
 
With two wins on the trot Mumbai, will head out with confidence to face FC Goa away on November 9 while Delhi travel south to meet Kerala Blasters in Kochi on the same day. 
 
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Taj Group launches complimentary Wi-Fi access across its hotels globally

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The Taj Group today announced that it would, starting November 15,  introduce complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity for residential guests across its 125 hotels around the globe. 
 
A first-ever all brand-inclusive initiative in India, guests at any of the Taj Group of hotels – The Taj, Vivanta by Taj, Gateway Hotels and Ginger will now be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi connectivity for the duration of their stay on up to three devicesas soon as they check-in to the hotel.
 
A press release from the company said the complimentary Wi-Fi access which will be available for all in-house guests will be ideal for checking e-mails, social-networking and general web browsing at an efficient speed. 
 
"Guests who require higher bandwidth scan instantly upgrade to the premium tier and also connect additional devices at specially designed tariffs," it said.
 
Ms.Rakhee Lalvani, Director - Public Relations, Taj Group said, "Industry as well as our own research has shown the increasing importance of 'staying connected'; Travellers world over have ranked free Wi-Fi as one of the most essential and valuable hotel amenities. It is our constant endeavour to raise the standard of personalized service for business and leisure travellers and believe that with this value added service of free Wi-Fi, our guests will enjoy the enhanced experience during their stay at the Taj."
 
According to global research undertaken by SmartBrief, 85 percent travellers wanted free Wi-Fi in hotels and 38 percent stated that Wi-Fi was a key factor while selecting a hotel. Interestingly, 45 percent guests travel with two devices whereas 40 percent travel with three or more. 
 
Another study by global hotel consultancy HVS reveals that the new-age traveller needs to feel ‘at home’ and‘stay connected’. 
 
"Furthermore, the millennial generation is increasingly interested in instant storytelling of memorable experiences. Therefore, in order to keep pace with this rapidly changing lifestyle, free Internet access has become essential," the release added.
 
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Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’ released

Well-known cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography 'Playing It My Way' was released at a glittering event at the ITC Maratha here this evening, in the presence of present and past stars of the game and nearly a year after he bid adieu to the game after playing his 200th Test match in the city on November 16 last year.
 
In an hour long event, master of ceremonies Harsha Bhogle took the packed hall through Tendulkar's life and the evolution of Indian cricket with scintillating on-stage conversations with Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Vasu Paranjpe, and the famed 'class of 98' (with Sourav Ganguli, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Tendulkar himself). 
 
The formal book release saw Tendulkar present the first copy to his first coach and guru Ramakant Achrekar. This was followed by the final session which was a solo conversation with the author himself.
 
Tendulkar said, “Playing It My Way is a different sort of innings for me, and was in the making for the last three years.  As with the game, I have been honest and sincere in putting together various aspects of my life, and the book is something I hope readers will enjoy."
 
Mr Thomas Abraham, Managing Director of Hachette India, which has published the book in the country, said, “This is an absolutely outstanding book--at once cricketing history and personal narrative; and will delight every cricketing fan. We are delighted to welcome Sachin Tendulkar to our list and are proud to be publishing this landmark autobiography which we're sure --like its author-- will go on to set new records.”
 
The book has in fact already set the Indian record for the largest adult hardback orders on day of release with 100,000 copies being released by the publishers.  While lucky guests got the chance to purchase early 'launch' copies the book is heavily embargoed and was transported across the country under security for simultaneous release tomorrow.
 
Sachin Tendulkar presenting the first copy of his autobiography,
Sachin Tendulkar presenting the first copy of his autobiography, "Playing It My Way" to his first coach and guru Ramakant Achrekar in Mumbai on November 5, 2014.
‘Playing It My Way’ releases as hardback and simultaneous eBook tomorrow. An audiobook version will follow early next year as will Indian language versions in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam and Bengali.
 
The highest run-scorer in the history of international cricket, Tendulkar retired in 2013 after playing for an astonishing 24 years. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna – India’s highest civilian award – on the day of his retirement. 
 
The book tells his remarkable story – from playing in the bylanes of suburban Mumbai, to his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought the country to a standstill.
 
When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long, Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India’s batting line-up, his every move watched by a cricket-mad nation’s devoted followers.
 
Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style – scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games.
 
And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation by defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked his hometown of Mumbai.
 
His many achievements with the Indian team include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings. Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure – from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his tenure as captain.
 
Despite his celebrity status, Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.
 
The book will be simultaneously released all over the world and in India will be represented by Hachette India.
 
Book details: ISBN 9781473605206 / Hardback / Royal octavo- 157 x 240 mm / 514 pages including 84 photographs / Imprint: Hodder/Hachette India / UK £25 India Rs 899
 
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Reliance, Pioneer to divest shares of Eagle Ford Shale Midstream business

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and its partner Pioneer Natural Resources of the United States are planning to pursue the divestment of their shares of the Eagle Ford Shale (EFS) Midstream business.
 
Pioneer said in a press release issued in Dallas, Texas, United Staes that it was pursuing the divestment of its 50.1% share of the business.
 
"Reliance Holding USA, Inc. (RHUSA), a subsidiary of RIL, owns the remaining 49.9% of the EFS Midstream business and also plans to pursue the divestment of its share in a joint process with Pioneer. Pioneer is the operator of the business," it said.
 
RIL sources said RHUSA had acquired 49.9% stake in EFS Midstream LLC in June 2010.  Current investments in EFS Midstream LLC are $208 million, they said.
 
Mr Scott D. Sheffield, Chairman and CEO, stated, “The sale of EFS Midstream would allow us to strategically redeploy capital to our core, oil-rich Spraberry/Wolfcamp assets in the Permian Basin of West Texas, where we are successfully transforming the substantial resource potential we delineated in 2013 into strong production growth. We currently have no plans to divest our Eagle Ford Shale upstream assets. The sale of EFS Midstream is not expected to impact our ability to export processed Eagle Ford condensate.”
 
The EFS Midstream business was formed in 2010 to construct facilities to provide gathering and handling services for condensate and natural gas produced from wells on dedicated acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale. These services are provided for the Eagle Ford Shale upstream joint venture operated by Pioneer (Pioneer 46%, Reliance 45% and Newpek LLC 9%) and for various third parties. 
 
The EFS Midstream system consists of 10 central gathering plants (CGPs) and approximately 460 miles of pipelines. The system gathers and separates produced condensate from produced gas. It also stabilizes the condensate, where necessary, and treats the gas. 
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 1576 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 1576 crore across various segments in October 2014.
 
Of these, the Power Transmission & Distribution Business had secured new orders worth Rs 1164 crore, including one from the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited under the R-APDRP scheme, a press release from the company said.
 
The order is for system strengthening and augmentation of power supply 
networks for Lucknow with SCADA compatibility to improve efficiency and power quality. 
 
The project is funded by the Power Finance Corporation Limited. The scope includes construction of 33/11kV substations, renovation and modernization of existing substations, 11kV distribution lines, distribution transformer centres, underground cabling, installation of ring main units and electronic energy meters.
 
The Business also bagged an order from the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited for the supply, erection, testing and commissioning of a 33/11kV power distribution network for augmenting rural electricity infrastructure and household electrification for prospective consumers covering the districts of Nadia, 24 Parganas (North) and Cooch Behar in the state of West Bengal under 12th Plan of RGGVY Scheme. The project is funded by the Rural Electricity Corporation Limited, the release said.
 
According to it, the Water & Renewable Energy Business has won orders including add-ons worth Rs 304 crore. An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order has been received from the Drinking Water & Sanitation Department of the Government of Jharkhand for the Ranchi Water Supply Scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
 
The scope involves the design and construction of a 172 MLD intake well with a pump house, a 114 MLD water treatment plant and a 217 km of rising mains and distribution pipelines including associated electromechanical works.
 
The release also said additional orders worth Rs 108 crore had been received from various ongoing jobs of the Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business.
 
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