THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Monday, October 23, 2000

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News

Banking and Finance
IDBI may review offshore listing
IDBI's poor performance on the bourses is likely to force the institution to reconsider its plans for an overseas equity listing.

Recovery of NPAs -- Ministry drafting law for ARCs
ASSET reconstruction companies (ARCs) are finally set to become a reality in the financial sector. After several years of vacillation, the Government has set in motion the process of drafting fresh legislation to facilitate the setting up of such compani es.

Corporation Bank board meet
THE board of directors of Corporation Bank is scheduled to hold its next meeting on October 31 to, among other things, consider a ``limited review'' of the bank's financial results for the half-year ended September 30.

Norms for bank investment valuation, classification
BANK investments under `held to maturity '(permanent category) should not exceed 25 per cent of their total investment portfolio while the balance 75 per cent have to be held in the `available for trade' and `available for sale' (Current category).

SBI bonds to garner 45 pc from Gulf NRIs
SBI has received ``tremendous response'' from various centres all over the world to the India Millennium Bonds, and is expecting 40-45 per cent of the total amount to be raised from the NRIs in the Gulf states, according to the bank's Chairman, Mr G.G. V aidya.

Corporate
Reliance seeks nod to divest thru GDRs/ADRs
THE Reliance group has sought the approval of the Finance Ministry to disinvest its shares abroad through issuance of either global depository receipts (GDRs) or American depository receipts (ADRs).

Renaissance to raise offer
THE Delhi-based Renaissance Estate Ltd is prepared to further up the revised open offer price of Rs 27 per share for the shares of Gesco Corporation, if necessary, Mr Abhisek Dalmia, a Director of the bidding company, has said.

Indal to centralise decision-making
IN a major exercise, the new promoter of Indian Aluminium Co Ltd (Indal) -- Hindalco Industries of the Aditya Birla group -- has decided to introduce a new corporate culture in the company.

`CII meet on competitiveness
IN a bid to help Indian companies take advantage of emerging opportunities in a highly competitive scenario, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising a two-day seminar entitled ``Competitiveness India 2000'' here on November 6 and 7.

Ispat puts up 5 bulk carriers for sale
ISPAT Industries has put up five Panamax bulk carriers for sale, according to demolition market sources.

Financial Performance
Cummins India net rises
PUNE: Cummins India Ltd net profit rose 25 per cent to Rs 28.21 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, 2000 from Rs 22.58 crore in the same period last year.

Digital Equip posts 78 pc rise in Q2 net
BANGALORE: Digital Equipment India Ltd has posted a 78 per cent growth in net profits at Rs 13.42 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2000 as against Rs 7.53 crore in the same period last year. Revenues went up by 67 per cent to Rs 43.3 cror e as compared to Rs 25.87 crore. For the first six months, the company's total revenues stood at Rs 75.94 crore.

Finolex Cables net up 34 per cent
Pune: Finolex Cables Ltd's net profit has risen 34 per cent to Rs 25.09 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2000 from Rs 18.79 crore during the corresponding period last year. Turnover rose 39 per cent to Rs 190.49 crore (Rs 137 crore).

VJIL Consulting net at Rs.1.29 cr
HYDERABAD: VJIL Consulting Ltd, the Hyderabad-based software solutions company, has recorded a total income of Rs 6.10 crore with a net profit of Rs 1.29 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2000 as against revenues of Rs 4.10 crore and a net profit of Rs 88.50 lakh for the corresponding period last year.

Foreign Trade
Export tariff on raw hides hiked to 60 pc -- Licensing restrictions scrapped
THE Government has hiked the export tariff on hides, skins and leathers -- both tanned and untanned -- from 25 per cent to 60 per cent. It has also removed the licensing restrictions on export of leather including raw hides and skins in the wake of objec tions raised by the European Commission (EC), officials said.

Infrastructure
Germany-aided Rlys project set to go on track soon
THE Railway Ministry is set to utilise the 185-million-Deutsche mark loan sanctioned by the German Bank, KFW, for modernisation of the signalling systems on the Delhi-Kanpur section, following the submission of a fresh design and feasibility report on th e project by De-Consult.

Miscellaneous
IT driving real estate business now
BUY now! Prices of properties are the best in a long while and will not go down further. After a four-year recession that almost crippled the market, a slow and gradual interest in real estate is being seen, say real estate consultants.

Mutual Funds
MFs: Awaiting entry into big league
TILL a couple of years ago, the mutual fund industry had been lobbying for greater investment freedom abroad, on par with their sophisticated counterparts in other major markets.

Petroleum
Oil India to widen area of operation
OIL India Ltd (OIL) is gearing up to meet the competition by consolidating its core areas and also by venturing into new areas of operation, according to Mr B.B. Sarma, Chairman and Managing Director.

Pharmaceuticals
IPA initiative to check fake drugs
THE Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, a consortium of nine companies -- Alembic, Cadila Healthcare, Nicholas Piramal, Cipla, Dr Reddy's, Lupin, Ranbaxy, Sun and Wockhardt, has announced initiatives to tackle the menace of spurious drugs. The consortium, which is funding the operations, has appointed former Director-General of Police-Punjab, Mr Julio F Ribeiro, to head a task force to track down the perpetrators.

Power
Road-map for Vijaynagar LNG project -- ICICI moots selection of partner by year-end
ICICI has suggested that the selection of the joint venture partner be completed by this year-end for the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) power project to be set up at Vijaynagar, near Bellary. This project is to be taken up on a joint venture basis along with the State-owned generating company, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL).

States
`Coimbatore fast emerging as IT hub'
THE Director, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Chennai, Ms Rajalakshmi, stressed the need for a consortia approach by the IT players in Coimbatore region, to tackle the stiff competition that this industry is likely to face from the emerging se condary towns such as Tiruchi and Madurai.

I-T dept appeal to PAN applicants
HYDERABAD: The Income-Tax department of the State has appealed to all the assessees who have applied for the permanent account number (PAN) and not received the PAN cards so far to contact the Office of the Chief Commissioner of I-T here.

`MV tax system must help fund N-E highways'
THE Assam Chief Minister, Mr Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, has urged the adoption of a national policy on motor vehicle tax for the benefit and acceptability of all the States.

Steel
Freight ceiling policy may be scrapped
IN a move that is expected to benefit steel majors Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL), the Government proposes to discontinue its `freight ceiling' policy that has been denting their bottomline.

Taxation
Bengal tax-payers seek extension
THE Direct Taxes Professionals' Association (DTPA) has urged the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to extend the due date for non-corporate tax-payers of West Bengal (for assessment year 2000-2001) to November 30 from October 31, on account of the flo ods.

Telecommunications
Cell-phone operators hail mobile PCO proposal
CELLULAR-PHONE service providers have hailed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)'s recommendations on allowing mobile public phone services using cellular handsets.

Textiles
Textile course revamp
THE Nodal Centre for Upgradation of Textile Education (NCUTE) set up by the Ministry of Textiles to assist the textile industry in improving its human resource base is expected to suggest to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to revamp textile courses offered by technical education centres.


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