Monday, 11 January 2016

Investors in Andhra will not make losses, promises Chandrababu Naidu

Addressing the CII Partnership Summit in this coastal city, he urged the captains of industry and businessmen not to return without signing at least one MoU with the state.
Noting that Andhra Pradesh recorded double-digit growth rate of 11.77 percent during the first half of 2015-16 as against national average of 7.2 percent, Naidu said the state had all the advantages to reach 14-15 percent growth rate.
He told the industrialists that the government has brought a new policy under which all industrial clearances will be given in 21 days.
Stating that the World Bank has ranked Andhra as number two in ease of doing business, Naidu said the state would like to become number one.
He cited the 974-km long coastline, minerals, abundant water resources, availability of vast land and good governance as the strengths of the state. He said development of new state capital Amaravti offer huge opportunities to investors.
Comparing the growth in Andhra Pradesh with China, he explained how the manufacturing wing has been catering to the requirements of not only the domestic market, but also serve the international markets.
Referring to the problems faced by the state after bifurcation, he urged the central government to do the hand-holding through tax incentives and financing the revenue deficit.
The inaugural session saw announcement of some MoUs. Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani told the gathering that his company has signed a MoU to set up a naval shipbuilding facility in Visakhapatnam with an initial investment of Rs.5,000 crore.
Bharat Forge Ltd announced that it will set up an integrated auto component park in the state with an investment of Rs.1,200crore. Bharat Forge chairman Baba Kalyani they signed another MoU for defence, aerospace manufacturing park.
Top industrialists including Ambani heaped praise on Naidu, describing him as a visionary leader. They recalled the role played by him in developing Hyderabad as IT hub when he was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
They lauded his efforts in organising the partnership summit with makeshift arrangements in the absence of any major convention centre here.
Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lauded Naidu for conducting the summit in Visakhapatnam.
“Though rich in endowments and resources, Andhra Pradesh is in dire straits. But it did not prevent the CM to host such international event in Visakhapatnam. This is what the dynamic leadership means,” she said.
Amitabh Kant, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said Andhra Pradesh has the potential to grow at 12-13 percent annually, which will enable India to grow at 9-10 percent.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Bharat Forge to set up Rs.1,200crore auto component park in Andhra

The Pune-based multinational has signed two MoUs with the state government, announced chairman Baba Kalyani at the inaugural session of the 22nd CII Partnership Summit here.
The company will set up the auto component plant in Nellore district. The second MoU is for for a defence, aerospace manufacturing park which it proposes to develop in Anantapur district.
“We plan to set up a fairly large integrated automotive component manufacturing hub in Nellore district with an investment of about Rs.1,200 crore and will employ 3,000-odd people directly and almost similar amount indirectly and hopefully create a substantial ancillary economic structure,” he said.
“We also propose to make a multi-modal manufacturing facility for industrial components, defence and aerospace components including a supply chain and this will be located in Anantapur district,” he said.
The company has finalised the land for both the projects. Kalyani was confident that in the next few weeks, it will get physical possession of the land and start the work.
Bharat Forge, a part of $2.5 billion diversifies Kalyani Group, is the world’s largest forging company with manufacturing facilities spread across India, Germany, Sweden and France.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Reliance Group’s Sasan power project gets nod for higher tariff

The approval, based on what is called a change in law petition filed by the Reliance Group, has been awarded by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission to Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, set up in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh.
“A one time compensation of Rs.271 Crore is also granted by regulatory commission till 31st July 2015,” the company said in a statement, adding the regulator’s directive also eases the way for future pass-through of compensation for the power project.
This, by way of a mechanism for the future payments toward changes in electricity duty rates and energy development cess that has also been approved by the regulatory commission in its 46-page order.
Reliance Power has a large largest portfolio of power projects in the private sector, based on coal, gas, hydro and renewable energy, with an operating capacity of 5,945 MW.
In April last year, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group had announced that it had fully attained commercial operations of the Rs.27,000-crore Sasan ultra mega power project, 12 months ahead of schedule, with all the six units generating 3,960 MW of electricity.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Key Indian share market indices open sharply lower on Monday

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 24,787.11 points, against the previous close at 24,934.33 points. Minutes into trading, the barometer index was ruling at 24,677.10 points with a loss of 257.23 points or 1.03 percent.
At the National Stock Exchange the broader 50-share Nifty, which had closed at 7,601.35 points on Friday last, was ruling 7,514.00 points, with a loss of 87.35 points or 1.15 percent.
In the past week, the 30-scrip Sensex had lost as much as 1,226.57 points or 4.68 percent, while the Nifty shed 361.85 points or 4.54 percent. The Indian bellwethers were hit by the developments in China, notably the disappointing macro-economic data and a sharp devaluation of the yuan.
“The US markets closed about 1 percent lower Friday, ending the year’s first trading week with sharp losses as concerns about China and global economic slowdown persisted,”brokerage Angel Broking said, ahead of the opening bell.
“European markets finished in negative territory on Friday, in what has been a turbulent week for markets, as investors focused on China, oil prices and a strong monthly jobs report in the US,” the brokerage added.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Saturday, 9 January 2016

SC to hear plea on ban of diesel-run vehicles

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice T. S. Thakur on Monday said the matter would be heard on Tuesday after senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Gopal Subramaniam appearing for the automobile manufacturers Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes and Toyota sought modification of its December 16, 2015 order prohibiting the sale and registration of diesel vehicles above a 2000 cc engine capacity.
The court has imposed the ban in the wake of alarming air pollution during the winter season.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Myanmar discovers gas reserve in southwestern region

At a location about 48 kms off the beach, the company found the gas reserve in a test well known as Shwe Yee Htun-1 at a depth of 5.3 kms below rotary table and two kms below the surface of the water, Xinhua reported.
The local company, the only independent energy company led by Myanmar nationals, began drilling the well in November 2015.
The country’s oil and natural gas export earned over $4.6 billion in the fiscal year 2014-15, ranking first in the year.
The gas, produced from the Yadana, Shwe, Yetagun and Zawtika gas fields, were mainly exported to China and Thailand.
A number of companies from Britain, Australia, Japan, Italy and India last year signed production sharing contracts with Myanmar to explore oil and gas at blocks off Rakhine coast, Taninthayi coast and Mottama in south Andaman basin.
Myanmar has abundant natural gas resources especially in the offshore areas.
Foreign investment in Myanmar’s oil and gas sector amounted to $19.641 billion as of the end of September 2015 since late 1988 when the country opened to such investment, accounting for 34.16 percent of the total and ranking first sectorally in the country’s foreign investment line-up, statistics show.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Moto 360 men’s collection now available on Amazon

The men’s collection includes cognac leather, black leather and black metal variants.
The black collection is available in 46 mm with black metal band and in 42 mm with black leather band variants while the silver collection is available in 42 mm in the cognac leather band.
While Flipkart is selling the silver metal and gold leather versions, apart from above three variants, the American handset-maker have announced the large 46 mm Cognac Leather variant for the first time in India, exclusively on Amazon.
The new Moto 360 (2nd Gen) is compatible with both Android and iOS platforms, and comes with an improved battery life delivering over 36 hours of battery life.
The watch requires a phone running Android 4.3 version or above and iPhone 5 and above.
It has a backlit LCD Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display and runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU assisted by 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage.
The cognac leather (46 mm) variant is available for Rs.20,999, the cognac leather (42 mm) for Rs.19,999, black leather for Rs.19,999 and black metal Rs.23,999.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Differential pricing of data shouldn’t be market dominance tool: Nasscom

“Differential pricing should not become a tool that facilitates market dominance or enables anti-competitive behaviour by either TSP or platform provider. It should not offer direct or indirect commercial benefit including leveraging the value of customer data generated in the process,” Sanjiv Bikh chandani, chairman of the NASSCOM Internet Council, said.
“Further it should not offer lower prices for own or partner content or service. Instead of differential pricing for select data services for wide access, transparent business models should be adopted without segmenting the internet or skewing competition,” he added.
“We reiterate our firm commitment to net neutrality that guarantees users rights to unfettered choice of content and to the creation of a conducive environment for continuous innovation,” said NASSCOM president R. Chandrashekhar.
“We strongly oppose any model where TSPs or their partners have a say or discretion in choosing content that is made available at favourable rates, speed,” Chandrashekhar said.
The regulator on December 9 said differential pricing of data services by various operators might potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff and sought comments or opinions from stakeholders.
It said some service providers were offering differential data tariff, either free or discounted, on certain contents of particular websites, applications or platforms.
“The objective of offering such schemes is claimed to be the desire of various service/content/platform providers to enable consumers, especially the poor, to access certain content on the internet free of charge,” the sector regulator said.
It said potentially, both positive and negative effects arise from an economic and regulatory perspective where reduced rates are tied to specific content.
“On the one hand, it appears to make overall internet access more affordable by reducing costs of certain types of content. On the other hand, several negative effects might ensue. Differential tariffs result in classification of subscribers based on the content they want to access. This may potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff,” it added.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Punj Lloyd wins four highway contracts of Rs.1,555crore

While the projects in Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha were awarded by the National Highways Authority of India, the Punjab project was allotted by the union ministry of road transport and highways, a company statement said here.
The company said the Bihar project of Rs.567 crore entails four-laning of 60 km of the Simaria-Khagaria section of the National Highway-31. It earlier developed 140 km of the Khagaria-Purnea section of the highway.
“The Chhattisgarh project pertains to four/six laning of 48 km of the Raipur-Simga section of NH-200 at an estimated Rs.513 crore, including building a bypass and 22 supporting structures like flyovers, vehicular underpass and bridges,” it said.
In Odisha, Punj Lloyd has been entrusted with the Rs.392 crore four-laning along with paved shoulders on 50 km of the Talebani-Sambalpur section of NH-6.
The Punjab contract, won in joint venture with VRC Constructions Pvt. Ltd., is for the four-laning of 35 km of the Tallewal-Barnala section of the NH-71.
The construction of the Barnala bypass and 13 supporting infrastructure like flyovers, underpass, overbridges and bridges also comes under the project scope.
The projects fall under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV aimed at widening the major highways in India.
“The year 2016 will unfold multiple opportunities for Punj Lloyd in the infrastructure segment, both in India and abroad. These orders, won pan-India, are a strong attestation to the Punj Lloyd’s delivery in infrastructure,” said ShantanuKarkun, chief executive, buildings and infrastructure, Punj Lloyd.
With these four contracts, the group’s order backlog stands at Rs.21,838crore, Punj LLoyd said.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Manufacturing activity slips to 28-month low in December

A Markit-compiled Nikkei PMI reading below 50 indicates contraction, and this was the first time since October 2013 that it fell below the 50 threshold.
“India’s manufacturing sector took a turn for the worse at the year-end, with already gloomy internal demand further hampered by floods in the south of the country,” Markit economist Pollyanna De Lima said in the report released on Monday.
“Ending a 25-month sequence of growth, production plummeted in December. Such was the extent of the decline that the rate of reduction was the sharpest since financial crisis,” she added.
The contraction in December is the worst since the financial crisis of 2008. Flow of new work orders contracted for the first time since October 2013.
The survey said December’s unprecedented rainfall in Chennai impacted heavily on the sector, with fall in new work leading the companies to scale down output at the sharpest pace since February 2009.
Inflation was at a seven-month high in both input costs and output charges, the report said.
“The continued depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar pushed inflation higher, with PMI price indicators pointing to stronger increases in both input prices and output charges,” De Lima said.
“Following the Fed rate hike and expectations of further increases, more currency weakness is anticipated, adding strain to businesses’ dollar-priced debt and import costs,” she added.
The consumer price indexed (CPI) inflation in 2015 remained well under control hovering in the range of 3.66-5.4 percent while the wholesale price indexed (WPI) inflation stayed in the negative zone for the entire 2015 and there was no inflation at all.
While the fall in commodity prices eased cost pressures, higher transport and import costs more than counteracted falling commodity prices resulting in purchase prices rising in December. Part of the increase in costs was passed on by manufacturers, the report said.
It said new work and output fell in both intermediate and investment goods segments.
Despite India’s exports continuing to contract due to sluggish global demand, participants reported an increase in new business from abroad during December, which was attributed to a weaker rupee leading to enhanced pricing power in global markets.
The government’s mid-year review released last month sharply lowered the economic growth forecast for the current fiscal to the 7-7.5 percent range, from the previously projected 8.1-8.5 percent, mainly because of lower agricultural output due to deficit rainfall.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Railways seeks suggestions on proposed regulator

“Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu in his speech for Rail Budget 2015-16 had said that for orderly development of infrastructure services, enabling competition and protection of customer interest, it is important to have a regulation mechanism independent of the service provider,” said a ministry statement.
The National Transport Development Policy Committee (NTDPC) Report of 2014 and Bibek Debroy Committee Report had also recommended a regulator with overarching functions.
The key functions of the envisaged regulator encompass fixing tariff, ensuring a level playing field for private investment in railways, determination of efficiency and performance standards and dissemination of information among others, the statement said.
Encouraging market development and efficient allocation of resources would also be some of its added functions.
Through an executive order, the future regulator will have a chairman and four other members with experience and knowledge in railways, infrastructure, finance, law, management and consumer affairs, the statement added.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

UP rolls out red carpet to Indian diaspora at Agra

Addressing the NRIs and PIOs, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the meet was a beginning of a never-ending dialogue between them and the state government and assured them of all help.
He said that the whole idea behind the UP Pravasi Diwas was to reconnect the diaspora with their roots in the state and work on a common and meaningful dialogue of development of the state. “I am overjoyed to see such large number of NRIs here and must admit that the gathering has exceeded my expectation,” he added.
Announcing that the event would now on will be an annual affair, Akhilesh Yadav said that only the venues will change and would rotate among the major cities of the state. “We are here not only to welcome you in the Taj city but also to make you partners as the state endeavours to get its rightful place in the country,” he added to a round of applause.
Earlier, Prisons Minister Balwant Singh Ramuwalia, who coordinated the NRI Diwas, heaped praise on Akhilesh Yadav, saying that it was for the first time that a chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had thought about the descendants of people who lived in the state many centuries ago.
Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan detailed on various infrastructure and development projects undertaken by the state government and said that the state was undergoing a never before turnaround.
Later 16 eminent people with roots in Uttar Pradesh and now living abroad were given the ‘UP Ratna’ awards by the chief minister and his wife, Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, while 13 MoUs were also signed at the event. Also present during the event, among others, were members of Bollywood that included film directors Sudhir Mishra, Muzaffar Ali, veteran actor Sanjay Khan and Zayed Khan.
Over the next two days, the NRIs and state ministers and officials would interact and have a composite dialogue on how and in which sectors, investment can be explored, said Principal Secretary (NRI) Sanjeev Saran.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

LuLu group offers Rs.1,000crore investment in Lucknow

Making this announcement, Lulu Group managing director M.A. Yousuf Ali told Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at a gathering of the Indian diaspora at the first UP Pravasi Diwas in Agra that he was impressed by the work being done in the state and was ready to invest.
He urged Yadav to inaugurate two sporting facility complexes constructed at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) with a donation of Rs.5 crore each given by him.
LuLu has over 35,600 employees of various nationalities and is one of the largest retail chains in Asia and is the biggest in the Middle East with 118 outlets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and one in Kochi in Kerala.
Research firm Deloitte recently placed it among the world’s 50 fastest growing retailers.
Responding to the offer, Yadav said the state government would extend all possible help in the shortest time to ensure that LuLu Group sets up base in the state.
“I assure you that very soon the state government would do its bit in facilitating the investment proposal,” Yadav said.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

US manufacturing activity contracts in December 2015

The manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index (PMI), fell to 48.2 in December, the lowest since June 2009, after registering 48.9 in November, Xinhua cited the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) as saying on Monday.
A reading above 50 indicates the sector is generally expanding, while a reading below that level indicates contraction.
Contraction in new orders, employment and raw materials inventories accounted for the overall softness in December, said the ISM.
The ISM’s new-orders index rose 0.3 percentage point from the previous month to 49.8 in December, while the employment index dropped 3.2 percentage points to 48.1.
The dismal data show that the strong US dollar and a weak global economy continue constraining factory activities.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, only six reported growth which included printing, textile mills, paper products, miscellaneous manufacturing, chemical products, as well as food, beverage and tobacco products.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Mary Barra chairman of GM Board of Directors

Mary Barra will succeed Theodore (Tim) Solso immediately, who will continue serving as the Board’s Lead Independent Director, Xinhua cited Monday’s statement published at GM’s official website as saying.
Barra has served as GM CEO since January 15, 2014.
“At a time of unprecedented industry change, the Board concluded it is in the best interests of the company to combine the roles of Chair and CEO in order to drive the most efficient execution of our plan and vision for the future,” Solso said.
“With GM consistently delivering on its targets and on track to generate significant value for its shareholders, this is the right time for Mary to assume this role.”
Barra has set a clear vision for the organisation over the past two years, delivering strong operating results and leading the introduction of breakthrough vehicles and technologies by forming a strong leadership team from inside and outside the company, according to Solso.
Prior to being named CEO in 2014, Barra served as executive vice president for Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain since August 2013, and as senior vice president for Global Product Development since February 2011.
She began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute co-op student and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1985.
General Motors Co. and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries. GM, its subsidiaries and joint ventures sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Seoul keeps longest current account surplus for 45 months

Current account surplus reached $9.40 billion in November, up from a surplus of $9.12 billion in October, Xinhua cited the Bank of Korea (BOK) data. It marked the longest surplus for 45 straight months since March 2012.
During the January-November period, the surplus amounted to $97. 99 billion, boosting expectations to top $100 billion for the whole year of 2015.
The longest surplus trend came from faster reduction in imports than exports. The import decline was attributable to lower oil prices and slowing facility investment, which may lead to the weakening of corporate competitiveness.
Trade surplus for goods amounted to $9.98 billion in November, down from $10.61 billion in the prior month.
For the first 11 months of 2015, the trade surplus came to $109.12 billion, exceeding $100 billion for the first time in the country’s history. The previous yearly high was $88.88 billion tallied in 2014.
Exports of ships and telecommunication devices, including smartphones, jumped 135.5 percent and 17.4 percent each in November from a year earlier, but those for oil products tumbled 36.5 percent amid lower crude prices.
Deficit in the service account balance, which measures the flow of travel, transport costs and royalties, narrowed down to $1.28 billion in November from $1.7 billion in October.
Other investment income, including trade credit and foreign debts, registered an outflow of $1.66 billion in November from an inflow of $0.93 billion in October owing to financial institutions repaying foreign debts.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Letv launches 3D helmet in Indian market

The devices were launched by Dickson Lee, general manager, APAC smart device of the company.
According to officials, the 3D helmet and the bluetooth headphones, designed to enhance users’ entertainment experience, will offer a unique video and audio experience to consumers.
The super cycle, an internet-enabled self-powered transport system, will take fitness to newer levels, a top official said.
According to officials, Letv’s entry into India will provide local consumers with an exciting and refreshing new alternative of ecosystem based products consisting of platform, content, devices as well as applications.
Founded in November 2004 and headquartered in Beijing, Leshi Internet Information and Technology, also known as Letv, is engaged in a rich array of businesses, spanning from Internet TV, video production and distribution, smart gadgets, and large-screen applications to e-commerce and internet-linked super-electric cars.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Chinese regulator probes Microsoft’s anti-monopoly case

State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) task force launched an inquiry for Microsoft to clarify major problems found in electronic data during the probe, Xinhua reported.
The company needs to submit a complete explanation after the inquiry, the SAIC said in a statement.
In 2014, Microsoft was suspected of not fully disclosing information of its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office application, causing incompatibility problems.
According to Chinese law, incompatibility without advance warning to customers could be regarded anti-competitive.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business

Pakistan, Sri Lanka sign MoUs for bilateral cooperation

The MoUs and agreements for cooperation in the fields of health, education, trade, science and technology, tourism, and gems and jewellery were signed during delegation-level talks between the two countries, Dawn online reported.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena warmly received Sharif and his wife Kulsoom Nawaz.
Sharif said his visit to Sri lanka “is a testimony to strong bonds of friendship between our two countries”.
He said Pakistan was keen to follow its goal of increasing bilateral trade volume with Sri Lanka to $1 billion. Both the countries will jointly work to curb money laundering, he said.
Sirisena for his part said political disturbances in Pakistan were being eliminated under Sharif’s leadership.
Source : IndianMediaBook - Business