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ECONOMY
Exports surge 23 % to $16.64 b in August

• India's exports continued to surge for the tenth successive month growing by 22.5 per
cent to $16.64 billion in August as compared to the same period last fiscal.
• However, imports also jumped by 32.2 per cent year-on-year to $29.67 billion in August,
according to the government data released here on Friday.
• During April-August this fiscal, exports posted a growth rate of 28.6 per cent to $85.27
billion on a year-on-year basis. Imports grew by 33.1 per cent to $141.89 billion.
• The trade deficit for the period stood at $56.62 billion, outstripping the deficit of $40.28
billion logged in the same period a year earlier. In August, the trade deficit widened to
$13.03 billion as compared to the year-ago period.
• The government is aiming for around 15 per cent export growth in the current fiscal year
to March 2011 after a drop of nearly 5 per cent in the previous year and is confident that
it will be able to touch the $200-billion export target set for 2010-11. India's exports rose
more than 30 per cent each month between November and June. Hailing the 22.5 per cent
growth, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), President A. Shakthivel said it
reiterated FIEO's view that India's exporters were on our course to realise the export
target or even surpass it to reach $210 billion.

IDBI Bank to finance MSMEs with SIDBI


• IDBI Bank on Friday announced a number of new initiatives, products and services on its
7th Foundation Day, including joint-financing of micro, small and medium enterprises
(MSMEs) with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
• With IDBI Bank's increasing focus towards the MSME sector, it has entered into a
special partnership with SIDBI for joint financing of MSME clients across the country,

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IDBI Bank Chairman and Managing Director R. M. Malla said, while elaborating on the
Foundation Day initiatives.
• IDBI Bank has extended 7-day banking services to customers in select branches in five
cities, that is, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Bangalore.
• The bank will also offer extended banking hours from 8 am to 8 pm in these five cities
with a view to providing convenience to its customers. A specifically designed ‘Women
International Debit card' is also being launched for its ‘Super Shakti' account holders.

Deora to pitch for India buying BP's Vietnam assets


• India will seek to “seal the deal'' for buying BP plc's stake in Vietnam gas fields when the
British energy firm's newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley visits India
next week.
• ONGC Videsh (OVL) wants to buy BP's 35 per cent stake in the $1.3-billion Nam Con
Son gas project in Vietnam. Mr. Deora is likely to pitch for India buying BP's Vietnam
assets. OVL has roped in Vietnam's PetroVietnam for buying BP's stake in two offshore
gas fields, a pipeline and power project — together referred to as Nam Con Son.
• Block 06.1, where the Lan Tay and Lan To fields currently produce about 14 million
cubic metres of gas a day, was originally allocated to OVL, but due to the foreign
exchange crisis of the 1990s, it had to farm-out some of its stake to BP. Lan To is now
under development.
• OVL has so far invested $217 million on the gas fields and has government approval to
invest up to $377.46 million, the official said

Mercedes to enter financing business


• Mercedes-Benz on Friday said it was planning to enter the financing services business in
India, a move aimed to further boost the sales of German luxury carmaker. “We are in the
preparation phase for a Daimler Financial Services operation in India to support all the
Daimler commercial vehicle and passenger car brands in the market,” said Mercedes
Benz India Managing Director and CEO Wilfried Aulbur, without revealing when the
operations will begin

Pratibha Patil calls for expanding the SCI fleet


• President Pratibha Patil on Saturday called upon the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI)
to expand its fleet within a timeframe, lay emphasis on technology and meet the country's
growing requirements.
• The President was speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of the SCI. Much in tune
with the exhortation of Ms. Patil, Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan announced the
acquisition of 118 new vessels by 2020.
• He said that orders for 28 vessels had been placed, eight of which would be inducted into
the SCI fleet by the end of the current financial year. The SCI will be acquiring 50 more
vessels by 2015 and 40 more by 2020.
• While congratulating the Navratna public sector undertaking (PSU) on completing 50
years and establishing the country as a strong maritime nation, Ms. Patil hoped that the
SCI would play a crucial role in meeting the country's energy requirements, expected to

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grow manifold in the coming years. She urged the SCI to gear up, underlining that India
was dependent on import of oil, gas and coal.

Aircel to invest $500 m in 3G


• After bagging 3G spectrum for 13 telecom circles, Aircel is now planning to launch the
advanced third generation mobile services early next year.
• Aircel, a joint venture between Malaysia's Maxis Communications and India's Apollo
Hospital Enterprise, where the former holds a majority stake of 74 per cent, is betting big
on 3G services for which it has already started upgrading infrastructure and is also
chalking out unique bouquet of services for its subscribers.
• Aircel has won 3G spectrum for 13 circles – Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat,
Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa, Rajasthan, Punjab,
UP (West) and UP (East).

Bridge & Roof in talks with BHEL for tie-up


• Public sector Bridge and Roof Company (B&R) has begun talks with Bharat Heavy
Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for a tie- up, which will be utilised in the pre-tender stage,
Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Jha said.
• he said the tie-up, if it takes place, would bring benefits in the form of reduction in
project cost and execution time. BHEL is one of B&R's major clients and the company is
now implementing nearly Rs.1,300-crore worth project for BHEL.
• B&R offers civil, structural and mechanical construction services as well as EPC and
turnkey packages for oil terminals. It operates in various industrial sectors including
hydrocarbon, fertilizers, chemicals, power projects including nuclear power projects,
steel plants and railways.

Centre in favour of more banks


• In line with the Reserve Bank of India's plans to open up the banking sector, the
government on Monday said it was in favour of more banks coming up in the country,
although the granting of new licences should be linked to the criterion of having branches
in un-banked areas.
• In August, the RBI came out with a discussion paper on new banking licences and
regulations to foster greater competition in the sector.
• It had sought feedbacks on the paper, as also the business model for new banks by
September 30, with a view to promoting financial inclusion.
• India has 27 public sector banks, 22 private sector banks, 31 foreign banks, 86 regional
rural banks, four local area banks, 1,721 urban cooperative banks, 31 state cooperative
banks, and 371 district central co-operative banks.

Website launched for feedback on XII Plan


• Seeking feedback from the general public, probably for the first time in its history of
formulating five-year plans, the Planning Commission on Monday launched a website to
elicit suggestions on the ‘Approach Paper' to the XII Plan (2012-17) so as to make the
final document more inclusive and effective.

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Sanofi makes hostile bid for Genzyme


• French drug-maker Sanofi-aventis on Monday made a $18.5-billion hostile takeover offer for
Genzyme Corp, attributing the move to the American entity's refusal to engage in ‘constructive
discussions'.

• The French firm had gone public with its offer to buy Genzyme in August, when it had also
hinted at the possibility of an unfriendly takeover attempt. Sanofi-aventis said it tried to engage in
“constructive discussions with Genzyme,” but the latter's continued refusal to do so led to the
hostile offer. A meeting between the two companies' CEOs on September 20 on the proposed deal
had failed. The transaction is valued at about $18.50 billion.

CA Technologies opens centre in Hyderabad


• CA Technologies, a leading IT management software and solutions company, has decided
to spend $600 million on R&D (research and development) during the current year with
focus on becoming one of the top companies in cloud computing and virtualisation
management segments.
• The New York-based company has opened a state-of-art India Technology Centre at
Hyderabad

Mahindra & Mahindra to set up tractor unit in Telangana


• Giving a major fillip to industrialisation in the backward Telangana region, Mahindra and
Mahindra (M&M) will soon set up a tractor manufacturing unit at its Zaheerabad facility in
Medak district of Andhra Pradesh.

• M&M has proposed to invest Rs.300 crore on the tractor manufacturing facility over the next
three years that will provide direct employment to about 2,000 people and indirect employment to
another 5,000 persons.

Elder Health Care ties up with Japanese firm


• Elder Health Care, part of the Rs.800-crore Elder group, has entered into an in-licensing
agreement with Japan's leading advanced skincare, body care and cosmetic manufacturing
company, POLA Chemical Industries of POLA-ORBIS group, to introduce POLA's skincare and
cosmetic products in India.

New director for Cisco Services India


• Cisco Services, the consulting and technical support arm of Cisco Systems, has announced that
Srivalsan Ponnachath has joined as director, Cisco Services India.

Tata Motors buys Italian design house for Rs.11 crore


• Tata Motors on Monday said it had acquired 80 per cent stake in Trilix Srl, an Italian design and
engineering firm, for euro 1.85 million (Rs.11.29 crore). Both companies have in the past worked
together on several projects, Tata Motors said in a statemen

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Cabinet approves 10 % divestment in SCI
• The Centre on Tuesday embarked on a two-pronged strategy, allowing disinvestment of
10 per cent of its stake in Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and allowing it to raise
additional equity of like quantum.
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Tuesday approved the continuation of
30 per cent reservation quota of the requirement of Bharat Sanchar Nigam and
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam for procurement of equipment from debt-ridden ITI,
Bangalore-based public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Communication and IT.

BMW launches financial services arm


• The BMW Group launched BMW Financial Services as a new business entity in India. It is
headquartered in Gurgaon. It will offer solutions for retail automobile financing for BMW and
multi-make customers and financing for fleet owners. The group will invest $50 million (Rs. 203
core) in BMW Financial Services in India, says a release.

Global recovery at a sluggish pace: IMF


• The economic recovery under way has been proceeding broadly as expected, but
downside risks remain elevated and the global financial system is the Achilles' heel of
this recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
• In releasing two key documents on the state of the global economy — the October 2010
World Economic Outlook (WEO) and the Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) —
the IMF provided a cautious outlook that comprised both gradual improvements in
economic conditions and significant uncertainty in Western economies.

India-EU trade agreement by December: Sharma


• The much delayed India-EU Free Trade Agreement for opening up trade, investment and
services is likely to be signed by December as bilateral negotiations have been put on the
fast track, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said.
• He is heading India's high-level delegation of industry to Germany steered by the
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (FICCI).
• India had started negotiations with its largest trading partner in June, 2007, which were to
conclude by the end of 2008. However, differences on the inclusion of items, which
Indian negotiators described as non-trade issues, bogged down the talks.
• India and the EU had bilateral merchandise trade worth $75 billion in 2009-10.

Maran buys 5 p.c. in SpiceJet as part of deal


• Kalanithi Maran promoted KAL Airways has bought 5 per cent equity in low-cost air carrier
SpiceJet for Rs.91.52 crore, as part of the deal to acquire 37.7 per cent stake in the company
signed this June.

• This was an off-market transaction, following which the Chennai-based industrialist's direct stake
in SpiceJet has now increased to 17.72 per cent, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock
Exchange.

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• The airline, India's second largest low-cost carrier.

Horlicks gets new brand identity


• GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH), a leading player in the health food
drinks industry and an associate of GlaxoSmithKline of the U.K., unveiled its Horlicks
brand in a new avatar.

Bajaj Allianz launches JiyoFit initiative


• Bajaj Allianz has launched a new initiative ‘JiyoFit' that helps customers maintain a healthy
lifestyle and incentivises them in adopting healthy practices and being fit. The JiyoFit card will
also serve as an identity card at Bajaj Allianz network hospitals. The JiyoFit program will provide
Bajaj Allianz customers additional benefits of the association with Yes Bank and Visa, says a
release.

• The world should have their shares,” Mr. Pranab Mukherjee told PTI here on Wednesday.

Tata Communications expands into cloud computing space


• Tata Communications on Thursday launched InstaCompute and InstaOffice to offer
productivity enhancing services to Indian businesses. This marks the company's
expansion in to the cloud space to deliver self-service, pay-as-you-use IT application and
data centre infrastructure services, accessed through the Internet.
• Instant data centre infrastructure, InstaCompute, provides secure and elastic, on-demand
computing and storage resources to businesses over the network, as and when they need
them. Computing and storage is based in India, can be paid for in Rupees or global
currencies and provides the user with governance and cost controls.
• InstaOffice (powered by Google Apps) brings global Internet-based collaboration and
office tools to Indian companies, with on-demand ease of use and pricing. InstaOffice
tools include email and calendar, instant messaging, voice and video chat, as well as
office document applications which are accessible to businesses when and where they
need them.

$1-billion innovation fund mooted for inclusive growth


• A $1-billion fund to facilitate innovations for inclusive economic growth in India has
been proposed.
• The proposal, yet to be approved by the Centre, was agreed to at a recent meeting of the
National Innovation Council , according to Sam Pitroda, Adviser to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on Information Infrastructure and Innovations.

Pranab rules out cap on FDI


• Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday ruled out any cap on foreign direct
investment in India.
• Addressing the Woodrow Wilson Center here, Mr. Mukherjee added that while it was the
responsibility of the Reserve Bank of India to “watch the situation and as and when it is
necessary to intervene appropriately,” he did not believe that the inflow of FII or FDI had
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distorted market sentiments. “Therefore there is no question of putting any cap,” on such
flows, he said.

IMF warns countries against currency wars


• The head of the International Monetary Fund on Friday warned global finance ministers
that they should not use the value of their currencies as an economic weapon.
• IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that the global economy was
continuing to struggle as it tries to emerge from the worst recession since the end of
World War II.
• “We are gathering at a pivotal moment facing a very uncertain future,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn
said in remarks to the annual meetings of the 187-nation IMF and its sister lending
organisation, the World Bank.

34 blocks on offer under NELP-IX


• The government will offer 34 areas, including eight in deep-sea, for exploration of oil and gas in
the ninth round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), Oil Minister
Murli Deora said on Friday.

• NELP-IX will be announced on October 15 and the first road show will be held in Mumbai on
October 18. The last date for bidding is March 18.

• The NELP rounds have secured $14 billion investment, he said, adding that the last round, NELP-
VIII, attracted investment commitment of $1.1 billion.

• Reliance Industries' Dhirubhai—1 and 3 gas finds in the D6 block in Krishna Godavari basin off
the east coast has been the biggest success of NELP. The block is currently producing 60 million
standard cubic meters of gas per day, which has increased the domestic gas production by about
72 per cent over that of 2008—09, he said.

Kharif acreage up by 6.9% this year


• Thanks to good monsoon, the area under rice cultivation this kharif season has gone up
by 6.4 per cent. Last year, paddy cultivation had suffered owing to drought in 399
districts during the same period.
• As per the official data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, paddy had been sown in
35.8 million hectares till October 7, compared to 33.14 million hectares in the
corresponding period last year, showing an increase of 2.7 million hectares over the same
period.
• Kharif crops have been sown in 102.19 million hectare area as against in 95.75 million
hectares last year, registering an increase of 6.9 per cent.
• There has been a major enhancement in the cultivation of pulses that have been sown in
11.59 million hectares this year. This is 1.8 million hectares more than that in the
corresponding period last year.
• The area under coarse cereals is also higher by 2.91 per cent at 21.2 million hectares
against 20.6 million hectares sown last year.

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• The area under sugarcane is higher by 20.41 per cent, while the area under cotton
increased by 8.9 per cent and jute acreage went up by 9.68 per cent over last year.
• The cultivation of oilseeds has shown a marginal increase of 0.32 per cent. The oilseeds
acreage is 17.5 million hectares this year compared to 17.4 million hectares sown last
year.

No change in open offer price for Cairn: Vedanta

• In the wake of Cairn Energy forming a panel to secure the interest of minority
shareholders in the sale of its Indian interest, its suitor Vedanta on Monday ruled out
raising the open offer price for minority stakeholders.
• Its open offer itself failed to take off on Monday in the absence of clearance from the
Securities and Exchange Board of India.
• Vedanta is paying up to $8.48 billion for 40-51 per cent stake in Cairn India that operates
the country's largest oilfields, and its group firm Sesa Goa was to make an open offer on
Monday for an additional 20 per cent stake at Rs.355 a share to minority shareholders of
the target firm.
Bridgestone to invest Rs. 2,600 cr
• Japanese tyre major Bridgestone is planning to produce truck and bus radial tyres at its facility in
Kheda, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh. The company is also planning to set up a new factory at
Chakan near Pune to increase the capacity of PSR (passenger car radials) and truck tyres.

• Addressing presspersons here on Monday, Hiromi Tanigawa, Managing Director, Bridgestone


India, said the total investment in both the facilities would be of the order of Rs. 2,600 crore.

SBI Life launches Saral Maha Anand


• SBI Life Insurance launched its new unit-linked insurance plan, Saral Maha Anand. The product,
with a minimum annual premium of Rs. 15,000, has been designed to cater to investment and
protection needs of the middle and low-income segments. The premium can be paid monthly,
quarterly, half-yearly or annually. The product is exempted from medical examination and offers
four fund options — Index, Equity, Balanced and Bond — says a release. Investors in the 18-55
age group can invest in the product.

IIFCL to buy Rs.1,500 cr loans from Union Bank


• State-owned infrastructure lender India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL) on
Tuesday inked a pact to buy loans worth Rs.1,500 crore from Union Bank of India (UBI)
so that the state-run bank can utilise the funds for other projects in the crucial sector.
• This is the first-ever major agreement on ‘takeout' financing in the country, a procedure
under which loans made by banks to infrastructure firms are sold to other institutions so
that the banks recover their much-needed funds ahead of the payment schedule under the
loan agreement.
• This is done to address the asset-liability mismatch, because loans are made to
infrastructure projects on a long- term basis, whereas deposits of banks are generally of a
short or medium tenor.
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• The company would do takeout financing of Rs.25,000 crore over three years, he added.
• “Out of the Rs.25,000-crore takeout financing, we can expect Rs.100 crore of profit,” he
said.
• Mr. Goel said memorandums of understanding had also been signed with Allahabad
Bank, Indian Bank, Punjab National Bank and UCO Bank for takeout financing.

RBI chief to head FSDC sub-panel


• Even as the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is to be headed by the
Finance Minister, the government on Tuesday sought to allay the apprehensions of the
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over the autonomy of regulators by appointing the apex
bank's Governor as the head of a sub-committee of the body being set up to maintain
financial stability.
• “It [formation of FSDC] will be announced shortly,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
said after his meeting with various regulators in the financial sector, namely, the RBI,
SEBI (for markets), IRDA (for insurance) and PFRDA (for pensions) on the proposed
FSDC.
• “The Council would have one sub-committee which would be headed by RBI Governor,”
a Finance Ministry statement later said.
• Following the turf war between SEBI and the IRDA over the jurisdiction on mutual
funds, the RBI Governor's position was elevated in a recently formed joint panel that was
set up to resolve the controversy.
• The apex bank's Governor was made Vice-Chairman of the committee, a higher position
from the earlier status of just being a member.

Industrial growth slumps to 5.6%

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• To the disappointment of the government and concern of India Inc., the growth in
industrial production plummeted to 5.6 per cent in August — the lowest in 15 months —
from 10.6 per cent in the year-ago period, mainly owing to negative growth in capital
goods stemming from a slump in manufacturing output. The official data on the Index of
Industrial Production released here on Tuesday revealed that the manufacturing sector,
which accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the IIP numbers, witnessed a sharp dip in growth
to 5.9 per cent during the month from 10.6 per cent in August 2009. Worse still, the
capital goods segment strayed into negative territory and slipped by 2.6 per cent as
compared to a robust growth of 9.2 per cent posted in the same month last year.
• The lowest growth in factory output in previous months was in May last year at 2.7 per
cent. The slump in August this year, however, may be viewed as a one-off aberration as
economic analysts had earlier projected a likely dip in industrial growth to single digit
owing to the high base effect of August 2009. Moreover, the marginal growth of 3.7 per
cent posted by the six infrastructure industries during August this year was also seen as a
signal of lower overall industrial output growth for the month.

India explores joint venture with Russia for silicon wafers


• India will be seeking Russia's assistance in setting up a national disaster management centre
modelled on a Russian facility, Union IT and Communications Minister A. Raja said.

• The Minister was ‘highly impressed' by the high-tech National Emergency Management Centre
he visited here. The centre gathers online information about natural and manmade disasters all
over Russia and coordinates relief and mitigation efforts.

• The two sides agreed to explore the possibility of setting up a joint venture in India to produce
silicon chips and telecom equipment. The idea came up during the Minister's visit to the Moscow-
based Micron Company, which boasts an integrated chip-making facility.

• Priority areas

• “We are looking to Russia, which is among the few countries manufacturing 3G and WiMax
chips, to assist India in achieving self-sufficiency in this field.

Vodafone selects Nokia Siemens, Ericsson for 3G


• Telecom service provider Vodafone Essar on Wednesday announced that it had finalised
equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Ericsson for deploying and
managing its countrywide 3G network infrastructure.
• According to the contract, the two vendors will enable swift 3G deployment, create
synergy between GSM and 3G networks and maintain high speed packet access (HSPA)
networks in the circles where Vodafone had bagged 3G spectrum, Vodafone said in a
statement here.
• Vodafone has spectrum to offer 3G services in nine circles across the country, including
in Delhi and Mumbai. While Ericsson has been selected to provide exclusive 3G services
in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, NSN will implement and manage its 3G network in the
balance six circles of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh (East), rest of
Bengal and Haryana.

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• Vodafone will utilise this latest HSPA technology to deliver services such as video
telephony, mobile broadband, mobile TV and others.

RBI divests stake in Nabard


• Amid debate over whether the Reserve Bank of India should hold stake in lending
institutions or only be a regulator, the central bank has sold almost all its holding in the
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), to the Central
Government.
• “The RBI divested its stake amounting to Rs.1,430 crore in Nabard on October 13. With
this, the RBI's holding in Nabard has come down to one per cent of shareholding in the
bank. The Central Government now holds 99 per cent of the stake,” the central bank said
in a statement here.
• The move comes more than three years after the central bank sold its entire stake in the
country's largest lender State Bank of India to the government.
• Cabinet nod
• The RBI held 72.5 per cent of equity in Nabard, amounting to Rs 1,450 crore. The
remaining shareholding worth Rs.550 crore was with the Centre.
• Now, the only major institution where the RBI holds a stake is the National Housing
Bank (NHB). The central bank holds 100 per cent stake in the housing finance regulator.
• Nabard is the apex rural and farm development bank, whose role is to promote credit
growth in these areas.
• The move was in line with the Narasimham Committee II report which held that it was
inconsistent with the principles of effective supervision that the regulator was also an
owner of a bank.

Tata Aria launched


• Tata Motors has launched Tata Aria, a luxury car having features of a ‘sedan' and SUV
(sports utility vehicle), in Kerala. It has in-dash GPS-based navigation system, which
offers guidance to find the destination, and traction control system to maintain stability
under situations of sudden acceleration. Other features include height-adjustable driver's
seat, anti-lock braking system, automatic climate control system, darkness sensing lights
and rain sensing wipers.

India launches IX round of oil, gas assets auction


• India on Friday kicked off the IX round of auctioning under the New Exploration Licensing
Policy (NELP), offering 34 oil and gas blocks, including eight deep water ones, sans tax
exemptions to investors.

• “The New Exploration licensing Policy round IX is being launched in the background of positive
economic conditions, including revision of the administered price mechanism (APM) gas price
and market determination for price of petrol,'' Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora
told reporters at the launch programme here. The 34 blocks, which include 15 re-cycled blocks,
cover a sedimentary basin area of 88,807 sq. km. The deadline for making a bid for the blocks is
March 18, 2011. The previous eight rounds of NELP in 235 blocks have fetched an investment of
around $14 billion.
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• The IX round of auction comes amid indications that the government is doing away with tax
incentives under the new Direct Tax Code (DTC) proposed to be implemented from April 1,
2012.

• “Investors basically want clarity in NELP IX. The position is absolutely clear,'' Petroleum
Secretary S. Sundareshan. The DTC, once in force, would apply to all production sharing
contracts in the future including under NELP IX, he added. Till it does, the production sharing
contracts will be governed by the existing income-tax laws.

• Under the current Income-tax Act, companies that started crude oil production before April 1,
1997, are exempted from paying taxes on profits for seven years. Refineries, which started
operations after October 1, 1980, and before March 2012, are also eligible for the same level of
incentive.

• However, no tax breaks are given to natural gas finds, except for the gas that is to be produced
under NELP VIII blocks and the four coal bed methane (CBM) blocks. The first roadshow for
NELP IX will be held in Mumbai on October 18. “The discoveries made under the NELP have
resulted in in-place hydrocarbon reserve accretion of a staggering 642 million tonnes of oil and
oil equivalent gas,'' Mr. Deora said.

• The VIII round, which closed on October 12, 2009, attracted investment commitment of $1.34
billion for 36 blocks that received offers. Under NELP VIII, 70 areas or blocks for exploration
were offered, the biggest licensing round in India. Of the 36 areas bid for, the government had
awarded 33 blocks to successful bidders.

RBI panel to study functioning of MFIs


• The Reserve Bank of India on Friday announced constitution of a sub-committee to look
into the functioning of micro finance institutions (MFIs), as they have drawn flak for
using strong-arm tactics to recover loans.
• The MFI tactics have even prompted the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet to approve an
ordinance to rein them in.
• “We have constituted a sub-committee to look into the functioning of the MFIs sector and
what bearing they have on RBI policy to take further action,” RBI Governor D. Subbarao
told reporters here after the meeting of the central bank board.

Tata gifts $50 m to Harvard Business School


• India's Tata Group has given a huge $50 million to the prestigious Harvard Business School
(HBS) here to fund a new academic and residential building on its campus, the largest gift
received by the institute from an international donor in its 102-year-old history.

Nippon Pipe to set up unit in Rajasthan


• Nippon Pipe India Pvt. Ltd. of the Nippon group will set up a steel tube components project for
automobiles and motorcycles in the Japanese Zone at Majrakath in Neemrana in Rajasthan. This
is the first such project by a Nippon subsidiary in India.

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• Nippon Pipe is a subsidiary of Siam Nippon Steel Pipe Company India Ltd., Thailand, which, in
turn, is a subsidiary of Nippon Steel of Japan.

• The Japanese Zone has been developed by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and
Investment Corporation Ltd. (RIICO).

• The annual installed capacity of the unit would be 10,000 tonnes in 2012, which would increase
to 25,000 tonnes in 2015. In the Neemrana's Japanese Zone, 22 companies (including Nippon)
have been allotted 303 acres.

Mumbai gets world's largest diamond bourse


• The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), the world's largest, was inaugurated here on Sunday
by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.
• “As on today, in 2009-2010, the export of diamonds in this industry from Mumbai is Rs.
61,000 crore and I am hopeful that within a year, this bourse will achieve a turnover of
over Rs. 1,00,000 crore,” he said.
• The BDB has been set up to establish infrastructure for promotion of diamond export,
including jewellery, and provide all support and service facilities to eventually make
India an international trading centre for gems and jewellery.
• Spread over a 20-acre plot, the complex is designed to house around 2,500 small and
large diamond traders in addition to a Custom House, banks and other service providers
who will cater for the gem and jewellery trade.

Policy on shale gas before the end of 2011


• The Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry is likely to sign a memorandum of
understanding with the U.S. in the area of technology related to extraction of shale gas
during the forthcoming visit of President Barack Obama to India.

BIPA with Sudan comes into effect


• The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) between India and
Sudan came into effect from Monday with the exchange of instruments of ratification
(IoR) between the two countries.
• According to an official statement here, BIPA seeks to promote and protect investments
from one country in the other country. Such agreements facilitate bilateral investment
flows and grant benefits of national treatment (NT) and most favoured nation (MFN). So
far, India has inked BIPA with 79 countries of which 68 are already in force. Sudan is the
69th nation with which the provisions of the agreement have now come in to effect.

Sub-panel to submit report on MFIs in three months


• Amid growing criticism over the use of coercive ways of micro finance institutions
(MFIs) to recover loans, the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said its sub-panel looking
into the functioning of such lenders would submit its report in three months.
• “The sub-committee will submit its report in three months,” the central bank said in a
statement.

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• The RBI has set up a sub-committee of the Central Board of Directors of the central bank
to study the issues and concerns of the microfinance sector, including interest rates
charged by the lenders in this area. “Y. H. Malegam, a senior member on the Central
Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India, will chair the sub-committee,” the
statement added.

IOC to commission Paradip refinery by early 2012


• Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Tuesday said its Rs.29,777-crore Paradip refinery in
Orissa would be commissioned by March 2012 and cater more to the domestic market
rather than exports due to rise in domestic fuel demand.
• “The refinery will start producing fuel by March 2012 when it will commission the
primary units like the crude distillation unit.
• The 1,100-km pipeline will carry fuel produced in the unit to consumers in Orissa,
Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Dr. Reddy's to launch Lansoprazole in U.S.


• Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) will be launching Lansoprazole delayed-release capsules (15 mg
and 30 mg), a bio-equivalent generic version of Prevacid delayed-release capsules, in the U.S.
market, says a release. Launch preparations are complete and shipments will commence shortly,
adds the release.

Emaar-MGF bank guarantee ordered to be confiscated


• The Rs.183-crore bank guarantee furnished by Commonwealth Games Village builder Emaar-
MGF was on Wednesday ordered to be confiscated on charges of irregularities, as the
Enforcement Directorate prepared to question top officials of the Organising Committee for
alleged foreign exchange violations.

• A Rs. 760-crore bailout package given by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to Emaar-
MGF, a private builder, also came under the scanner.

Eurocopter forms subsidiary


• Eurocopter, which belongs to European consortium EADS, on Wednesday, announced the
setting up of a new subsidiary in India, sensing a huge business potential and aiming to
capture 50 per cent of the market share in helicopters.
• Established as the 25th worldwide subsidiary and 10th in Asia, Eurocopter India Private
Ltd. has decided to take an aggressive plunge. It hopes to expand its market share from
the current 30 per cent to 50 per cent by 2015.
• “The Indian helicopter sector has been growing at an annual rate of 20 per cent and our
ambition is to become the country's number one supplier for the civilian, government and
para-public markets,'' Executive Vice-President (Commerical Helicopters) Joseph
Saporito told a news conference here.
• Eurocopter is also competing for the Indian Army/Air Force bid to procure 197 light
utility helicopters.

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• At present, Eurocopter said, its AS365 Dauphin was serving for off-shore, para-public
and government transport, while it offered the EC135, EC145 and AS350 Ecureuil for
medical emergency and law enforcement duties including in naxal-affected areas.

LIC, SBI among largest bidders for CIL pie


• Government-owned companies in the banking and insurance segments have together put
in bids worth nearly Rs.30,000 crores in the initial offer of Coal India, which closed for
qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) on Wednesday after getting a 22 per cent
oversubscription for this segment.
• On the third day since its opening, the issue was subscribed 10 times generating over
Rs.1.50 lakh crore against the targeted amount of Rs.15,500 crore. The IPO, whose
response has taken everyone by surprise, closes on October 21. The allotment will be on a
proportional basis. The issue is set to get listed on November 4, a day ahead of Diwali.

Vodafone Essar to launch 3G by early 2011


• Third-largest mobile carrier Vodafone Essar will launch third-generation (3G) services in the
January-March quarter of 2011 and plans to spend up to $500 million over the next few years on
its 3G network, according to Managing Director Martin Pieters.

• Vodafone is the second mobile operator to announce specific plans for 3G after Tata Teleservices,
which earlier announced plans to launch the service on November 5.

• Vodafone owns 67 per cent of Vodafone Essar, with the Essar group holding the balance. The
Essar group has an option to sell its entire stake to Vodafone for $5 billion by May 2011.

Rs. 11,218 cr tax notice slapped on Vodafone


• The Income-tax department on Friday asked telecom major Vodafone to pay Rs.11,217.95 crore
in taxes within a month for the acquisition of Hutchison's stake in its telecom joint venture with
Essar in India in 2007.

• “The IT department on Friday issued an order raising a tax demand of Rs.11,217.95 crore on
Vodafone International Holdings BV, treating it as an assessee in default under Sec. 201(1) of the
Income-tax Act, 1961, (the Act), for failure to deduct tax as required under Sec. 195 of the Act
before making a payment of $11.076 billion (around Rs.55,000 crore) to Hutchinson
Telecommunications International Ltd. The tax demand is to be paid within 30 days of the receipt
of the notice of demand,” an official statement said.
Polaris launches learning centre

School of Financial Technology facility in Hyderabad.

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• Polaris Software Lab, a leading financial technology company, on Friday announced the launch
of first phase of The School of Financial Technology, with the acquisition of a 50-acre facility
owned by Catalytic Software Ltd., (CSL) Hyderabad, principal shareholder of CSL being
Catalytic Software, headquartered in Seattle, U.S.

FDI dips to $1.33 billion in August


• Foreign direct investment (FDI) dipped by almost 60 per cent to $1.33 billion in August
this year from $3.26 billion in the year-ago period, says the latest government data.
Significantly, this is the lowest FDI inflow in this fiscal.
• Industry Department data reveal that in the first five months of 2010-11, the inflows
declined by 35 per cent to $8.88 billion from $13.76 billion in the same period last year.
Notably, though there was a smart recovery in the domestic economy and exports, inflow
of overseas investment has been on the decline since June.
• The overseas investment in June was at $1.38 billion, while that in July was $1.78 billion.
The FDI in the first two months of this fiscal, April and May was $2.17 billion and $2.21
billion respectively. Interestingly, a recent UNCTAD survey projected India as the second
most important FDI destination only after China for multinational corporations.
• As per the data, the sectors which attracted higher inflows were services,
telecommunication, construction activities and computer software and hardware.

Pepsico granted relief


• The Gujarat high court has granted relief to the soft drink manufacturing company,
Pepsico India Holding Limited, and quashed a criminal complaint against the company
for having provided drinks “unfit for human consumption.”

Exports at 2-year high


• Reaching a two-year high, exports registered a jump of 23.2 per cent at $18.02 billion in
September compared to the same month last year, while the massive rise in imports raised
concerns over widening of the trade gap.

• Asserting that India was on track to surpass the $200-billion exports target, Union Commerce and
Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Monday that during the April-September period of this
fiscal, exports aggregated $103.30 billion, a 27.6 per cent increase compared to last year.

New ULIP from ING Life


• ING Life India, an ING Group company, has announced the launch of its new unit linked
insurance product, ING Prospering Life.
• The new scheme has several features allowing customers to maximise their returns even
while having adequate protection. It has a variety of fund options and fund strategies
providing customers the convenience and control to maximise their returns.

Tata Steel forms venture with NML


• Tata Steel has incorporated a joint venture company in accordance with the terms of a
joint venture agreement it had signed with New Millennium Capital Corp (NML) of
Canada in November last.
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• Tata Steel had entered into the agreement through its wholly-owned subsidiary Tata Steel
Global Minerals Holdings Pte. Ltd.
• The joint venture company (JVC) — Tata Steel Minerals Canada Ltd. — will acquire all
the direct shipping ore (DSO) mining claims and related assets and carry out detailed
engineering and construction of facilities and will be responsible for the operations of the
DSO project. At closing, Tata Steel will own 80 per cent of the joint venture and NML
the balance.
• NML controls the emerging Millennium Iron Range, located in the Province of
Newfoundland and Labrador and in the Province of Quebec, which holds the world's
largest undeveloped magnetic iron ore deposits.
Tata buys into U.S. beverage firm
• Tata Global Beverages has said that a U.K.-based subsidiary has acquired a minority stake in the
equity of ‘Activate', a U.S.-based performance beverage and bottled-water company.

• In a statement to the stock exchanges TGB (erstwhile Tata Tea) said the subsidiary had an option
to increase its stake in the next 12 months.

Bank of India ties up with Karvy


• Karvy Stock Broking Ltd. has partnered Bank of India (BoI), for providing state-of-the-art online
trading services to the bank's customers enabling them to make investments in equities anytime,
anywhere. BoI's customers with savings/current accounts along with depository participant
account either with NSDL/CDSL could avail themselves online trading account from Karvy.

India-China trade set to reach $60 billion target, says Zhang


• China's Ambassador to India Zhang Yan on Wednesday asserted that trade between Indian
and China was set to achieve the $60 billion target fixed by the two sides by the end of
this year.
• Trade between the two Asian giants had already reached $45 billion in the first nine
months of 2010, a 50 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

ONGC interests will be protected in Cairn deal'


• Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora on Wednesday asserted that interests of
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) would be fully protected while considering the
application for acquisition of Cairn India by Anil Aggarwal-owned Vedanta Group.

• The Petroleum Ministry has maintained that Cairn Energy, which had on August 16 announced
the sale of 40 to 51 per cent stake in Cairn India to Vedanta for $8.48 billion, has to seek specific
approval for transfer of control in each of the ten properties it has in India.

• On its part, Cairn Energy had in mid-September applied for specific approvals in seven
exploration blocks it had won under the New Exploration Licensing Round (NELP) since 1999
and sought an overarching consent in the case of its three pre-NELP producing properties
including the giant Rajasthan fields as contracts for them do not have specific prior-approval
clause.
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Biocon to invest $161 m in Malaysia


• India's biotechnology major Biocon on Wednesday announced an investment of $161 million in
Malaysia for setting up of a bio-manufacturing and research and development facility, marking
the biggest foreign direct investment in this sector in the country.

• The facility will be established in Bio-XCell, a biotechnology park in Iskandar, through a


strategic partnership with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, according to the decision
announced during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here. The facility, targeted to be
operational by 2014, would focus on research and development and production. The documents
between the two parties were exchanged in the presence of Dr. Singh and Malaysian Prime
Minister Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak.

The most expensive car Bugatti Veyron is here


• Volkswagen Group company Bugatti Automobiles on Thursday launched its super
premium sports car ‘Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport', the most expensive car in India so far
with a price tag of Rs.16 crore onwards. Packed with many exclusive safety and luxury
features, the sports car will reach the top speed of 407 km an hour and speed of 360 km
an hour with the roof off.

Centre's fiscal position shows improvement in April-August


• The Centre's fiscal position has improved in the first five months of the current fiscal,
mainly owing to buoyant revenue collections coupled with a sharp increase in non-tax
through sale of 3G spectrum.
• In its quarterly report on ‘Public debt management' for the July-September period this
fiscal released here on Friday, the Finance Ministry said: “The fiscal position of the
government during April-August 2010 showed improved performance in terms of key
deficit indicators due to buoyant revenue collections.”
• The report said that while the increase in non-tax revenue was mainly on account of
telecom receipts, “tax revenue was added by buoyancy in excise collections which
showed a growth of 43.3 per cent during April-August 2010.”
• It may be recalled that the government mopped up a whopping Rs.1.08 lakh crore from
the sale of 3G spectrum and broadband wireless access (BWA), way higher as compared
to the target of Rs. 35,000 crore. Alongside, with the revival in consumer demand and
increase in excise duty by way of stimulus withdrawal, indirect tax collection also turned
buoyant.

Swiss firm to set up grain management academy


• Swiss grain processor company, Buhler, that provides machinery and technology for rice, pulses
and wheat processing industry in India, plans to set up an academy near Bangalore to upgrade
skills and offer world-class training in food grain management sector.

• The company, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary, is to invest in India Rs.100 crore in an
integrated manufacturing unit and other expansion projects in the next four years as part of its
plans to achieve a turnover of Rs.1,000 crore by 2014.

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RBI to examine recovery mechanism of MFIs


• The Reserve Bank of India appointed sub-committee will examine the recovery mechanism of
microfinance institutions and their interest rate practices, amid criticism of these lenders charging
exorbitant loans rates and using strong arm tactics for recovery.

• “To examine the prevalent practices of MFIs regarding interest rates, lending and recovery
practices, to identify trends that impinge on borrowers' interest,” the RBI said in a notification.

• Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank had appointed a sub-panel, under the Chairmanship of Y. H.
Malegam, to look into the functioning of MFIs. The committee will submit its report in three
months. The RBI will examine the conditions under which loans to MFIs could be classified as
priority sector lending and give appropriate recommendations.

• At present, MFIs charge up to 34 per cent interest rate a year on loans.

PFC to help NPCIL set up nuclear plants


• The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and the Nuclear Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) have
entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate NPCIL to set up nuclear power
projects. The MoU was signed in New Delhi on Thursday by PFC Chairman and Managing
Director Satnam Singh and NPCIL Chairman and Managing Director S. K. Jain.

• Under the MoU, PFC plans to offer debt financing, equity financing and consultancy services to
NPCIL to facilitate the latter's large capacity addition programme. While PFC is a leading
financier in the electricity sector, NPCIL is the only player operating nuclear power reactors in
the country.

• NPCIL now operates 19 nuclear electricity reactors in the country with an installed capacity of
4,560 MWe. Three reactors, with a total capacity of 2,220 MWe, are in an advanced stage of
construction. They are two units of 1,000 MWe each from Russia under construction at
Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and an indigenous pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) of 220
MWe at Kaiga in Karnataka. In addition, excavation is under way for 700 MWe indigenous
PHWRs, two each at Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhatta in Rajasthan. The NPCIL's installed
capacity will reach 9,580 MWe by 2017, 20,000 MWe by 2020 and 60,000 MWe by 2032, says a
press release from NPCIL.

• PFC's asset base, cumulative loan sanctions and disbursements as on June 30, 2010 stand at
Rs.85,597 crore, Rs.2,88,932 crore and Rs.1,47,056 crore, respectively, says the release.

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