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Thursday, July 26, 2001

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News

Advertising & Marketing
The dragon tempts the Indian Eve
LIPSTICK for Rs 40, eye pencil for Rs 20, a 12-shade eyeshadow set for Rs 130 and much more! All snazzily packaged. No, this is not a roadside shop selling sub-standard stuff. This is the dragon spitting more fire -- this time targeted directly at the fa irer sex.

Airlines
Sri Lankan Airlines planes return to base
CHENNAI: The Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft, which were diverted to Chennai on Tuesday, returned to base on Wednesday, according to the Chennai Airport Director, Mr Sudhir Kumar.

Banking and Finance
5 executives sacked, says Tata Finance
THE Tata group, investigating into the mismanagement of funds at Tata Finance Ltd, today indicated that there is a "prima facie case of criminal breach of trust, falsification of accounts and cheating" against those involved.

Rajesh Goenka firms acquire 4.6 pc stake in South Indian Bank
KOLKATA-based AKG Finvest Ltd and Uno Metals Ltd, both unlisted companies, have jointly acquired 16.5 lakh shares or 4.64 per cent equity stake in South Indian Bank (SIB), a Trissur-headquartered private bank.

ICICI Home's FD plan
ICICI's home loan subsidiary, ICICI Home Finance Company Ltd, has launched a fixed deposit programme with interest rates ranging from 9.30 per cent to 9.85 per cent under different options.

Corporate
Vital file on UTI deal with Reliance missing
IN a new twist to the controversial private placement of equity by the Unit Trust of India in Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), aggregating Rs 775 crore, the file relating to this case has been reported missing in the Government.

2:5 swap for Aban Loyd Hitech Drilling merger
THE Chennai-based Aban Loyd Chiles Offshore Ltd is to merge Hitech Drilling Services India Ltd in which it holds an 86.5 per cent stake with itself.



Tata Coffee buys 34.3% in Barista for Rs 26 cr
THE less-than-a-year-old Barista Coffee Company Ltd, currently operating a chain of 38 espresso bars, merited an enterprise value of ``a little under Rs 100 crore'' in the deal involving Tata Coffee Ltd's (TCL) acquisition of 34.3 per cent equity in the company, Mr Rana Kapoor, Managing Director, Rabo India Finance Pvt Ltd, said here today.

Modi Rubber may defer board meet again
THE crucial board meeting of Modi Rubber Ltd (MRL) convened for July 28 is set to be deferred once again, following the significant changes in the course of events since July 16 and its impact on the outcome of the open offer made by the Modi Brothers' - - Dr B.K. Modi and Mr V.K. Modi.

Kidnappers abduct Khadim director
A DIRECTOR of the closely-held Khadim group of companies, Mr Partha Roy Burman, was abducted from the eastern fringes of the city today.

Modis' control of MRL hinges on HC ruling on LIC suit
THE attempts by the Modi brothers-- Dr B.K. Modi and Mr V.K. Modi -- to gain management control of Modi Rubber Ltd (MRL) hinges to a large extent on the view that the Mumbai High Court takes on Life Insurance Corporation's (LIC's) tender of its 10.8 per cent holding in MRL in the open offer that closed on Monday. The court is expected to hear the matter during the course of this week.

Economy
`Centre keen on development of poor districts'
THOUGH there has been a multiplicity of schemes to reduce regional imbalances and bring about amelioration in the backwardness of districts among States, the Government is keen on effecting convergence of these packages to minimise pockets of backwardnes s.



Unions claim success in Govt staff strike
THE nation-wide strike by Central and State Government employees to protest against privatisation and other labour related issues has been described a success by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).



`Govt to modernise patent offices'
THE Government proposes to halve the processing time for clearing patent applications by modernising patent offices in the country, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Murasoli Maran, has said.

Financial Performance
SBI first quarter net up at Rs 580 cr
State Bank of India has registered an increase of 25.58 per cent in net profit to Rs 579.78 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2001 as compared to Rs 461.7 crore in the corresponding period in the previous year.

Philips net loss up at Rs 8.73 cr
PHILIPS India Ltd has recorded a net loss of Rs 8.73 crore on an operational income of Rs 360.96 crore during the quarter ended July 1, 2001. During the quarter ended July 2, 2000, the company had recorded a net loss of Rs 3.49 crore (profit before tax o f Rs 7.39 crore) on an operational income of Rs 364.05 crore.

Insurance
Declining incomes, hike in staff wages -- Insurance PSUs may overshoot management expenditure limit
PUBLIC sector insurance companies faced with declining incomes are likely to overshoot the statutory ceiling on management expenditure.

Miscellaneous


Delhi traders demo
Activists of the Delhi Vyapar Sangathan at a demonstration demanding the removal of anomalies in the Rent Amendment Bill, 1997, in the Capital on Wednesday.

Mutual Funds
Cyberspace Infosys promoter remanded to CBI custody
A CBI Special court today remanded the Cyberspace Infosys Ltd promoter, Mr Arvind Johari, to CBI custody till August 2. Mr Johari has been arrested in the ``UTI case'' involving the former Chairman, Mr P.S. Subramanyam, and Executive Directors, Mr M.M. K apur and Mr S.K. Basu.

Petroleum
Govt to seek Rs 500-cr bank guarantee from IBP bidders
THE Government is set to seek a Rs 500-crore bank guarantee from bidders seeking to acquire a 33.9 per cent stake in IBP Ltd. This follows a climbdown by the Petroleum Ministry which had earlier proposed a Rs 2,000-crore bank guarantee from the bidders.

Pharmaceuticals
Pharma R&D fund may be modelled on TDB lines
EVEN as discussions on the structure and implementation of the Rs 150-crore research and development (R&D) fund for the pharma sector runs into the final lap, the expectation is that it may be modelled on the fund administered by the Technology Developme nt Board (TDB).

Policy
Report on Freedom of Information Bill tabled
THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs today placed its report on the Freedom of Information Bill 2000 in both Houses of Parliament.

Rubber
Revised duty on NBR imports from S Korea, Germany
THE Designated Authority in the Commerce Ministry has recommended the imposition of revised anti-dumping duty on imports of acrylonitrile butadiene rubber, also called nitrile rubber or NBR, from South Korea and Germany.

SSI
`Creativity crucial for SMEs' success'
TECHNOLOGY and management are crucial for human development and creativity is at the core of success of any organisation, said Dr U.B. Raju, Director of the Centre for Promotion of Advanced Management Practices, here today at a meeting on `SME's developm ent -- role of professionals'.

States
Pune -- a destination for discerning tourist
FROM a pensioner's paradise to IT hub to tourism destination of the new millennium, the Pune Vyaspeeth, an organisation floated by the Rajya Sabha MP, Mr Suresh Kalmadi, has taken up a project which will promote the city as the destination for the discer ning tourist.

IPPs in AP seek time for financial closure
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has requested the Union Government to extend time for achieving certain milestones in terms of natural gas supply agreements and finalisation of fuel allocations and naphtha supply and to pave the way for `financial closure' of the pipeline independent power producers (IPPs).

AP scheme to settle ST cases
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has come out with a one-time settlement plan under the AP Sales Tax Act Settlement of Disputes Scheme for arrear taxes, penalties and interest pending before any appellate authority including the Supreme Court as on March 31 , 2001.

Kerala asks banks to set up Rs 20-cr growth fund
THE banks operating in Kerala have been asked by the State Government to set up a corpus fund of Rs 20 crore for conducting studies on investment possibilities to speed up the development of the State.

Assam annual Plan pegged at Rs 1,810 cr
ASSAM finalised an overall annual Plan of Rs 1,810 crore for 2001-02. Announcing this at a news conference here, the Chief Minister, Mr Tarun Gogoi, said the Planning Commission approved an annual Plan size of Rs 1,710 crore for the State. This was Rs 19 0 crore more than the size of the previous year's Plan of Rs 1,520 crore. This includes a one-time additional Central assistance of Rs 70 crore.

TN: SSIs annual meet from July 28
MADURAI: The eleventh State-level annual conference of the small and tiny industries of the State -- Sticon -- will be held for two days, on July 28 and 29. The convention would discuss the role of small-scale industries in economic development.

Kerala: Plea to scrap turnover tax
KOCHI: Members of various chambers of commerce have met the Finance Minister and impressed upon him the necessity to withdraw turnover tax and additional sales tax and also the proposed changes in the procedure of shop inspection, registration and dispos al of the Appellate cases.

Stocks
India can't stay isolated on derivatives: FICCI
THE Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) survey on badla mechanism has stated that the complete withdrawal of the badla financing has created a big void in the stock market which is not in the interest of investors. This has alr eady led to steep fall in volumes and also withdrawal of market participants.

NYSE -- Offering global visibility to Indian cos
THE turning point for Indian companies listing on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Mr Georges Ugeux, NYSE's Group Executive Vice-President and Head of International, came on October 19, 2000. Wipro Ltd listed on the Big Board that day, and Mr Az im Premji rang the closing bell with Mr Jack Welch of GE and Mr Douglas Warner of J.P. Morgan. ``I know the elephant God was smiling then,'' said Mr Ugeux.

Dollar version of Sensex launched
THE Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has launched the Dollex-30, the dollar version of the BSE-30 shares Sensitive index (Sensex). The new index will enable tracking Sensex performance in terms of foreign currency (dollar).

Technology
Insat 3C launch may be delayed
THE recent freak launch by Arianespace may push back the launch of India's forthcoming telecom satellite Insat 3C.

Travel & Places
Tap rural India's tourism potential, says FICCI
NEED a change from the travails of urban life? Rural attractions could just be what tourists are looking for. And the bait to attract more tourists, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), is to tap this segment, for after all, India lives in her villages.


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