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Top stories this week…

Apr 21, 2001

The ‘tech’ effect…
The Association of Mutual Fund Industry (AMFI) has estimated that the total assets under management of the Indian mutual fund industry has come down by 19 percent to Rs 910 billion (US$ 19.3 billion). This is substantially lower than the assets under management in the previous year amounting to Rs 1,024 billion (US$ 21.7 billion). The steep depreciation in the software stock prices seems to have done the damage. As a result, investors are now flocking towards debt and balanced schemes. Read more...

Will it sustain?
HCL Tech posted a sequential quarter-on-quarter growth of 6 percent in revenues (consolidated numbers) to Rs 3,632 million (US$ 77 million). For the third quarter, 77 percent of the revenues were from high value added services that include technology development services, software product engineering and networking services. The company has added 28 clients for the quarter of which 6 are from the Fortune 500 club. Read more…

On a optimistic note…
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated the Indian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow by 6.2 percent in fiscal year 2001 and a higher rate of 7 percent in 2002 in its Asian Development Outlook. Despite a slow down in the world economy, exports are expected to record 12 percent in 2001 and 13 percent in 2002. Read more…

Zee ‘focuses’…
Zee Telefilms Limited has dropped its plans to start a KU-band direct-to-home television services in India. The management has cited that the current regulation for providing such services is ambiguous. It also plans to strengthen its position in the television segment, where it has been losing to rivals like Start TV. Zee Networks has targeted a viewership of 40 percent of the cable market from the current level of 32 percent. Read more…

Towards international standards…
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unveiled its lean period monetary policy. A slew of measures have been initiated to regulate the financial markets and bring them at par with international standards. The RBI, for the first time, has allowed banks to lend below the prime-lending rate. Besides, interest rates on cash reserves held by the banks with RBI has been increased to 6 percent from 4%. It has also proposed to divest its stakes in subsidiaries. Read more…

The true growth story…
HDFC, the leading housing finance company in India, has reported a 30 percent rise in loan approvals to Rs 69 billion (US$ 1.4 billion). Loan disbursement also grew by 29 percent to Rs 58 billion (US$ 1.2 billion). The encouraging aspect is that the retail loan approvals and disbursements registered a growth of 53 percent and 48 percent respectively. Read more…

Verdict, at last…
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has barred BPL Limited, Videocon International and Sterlite Industries from accessing the capital markets for four, three and two years respectively. Besides, the defamed broker Harshad Mehta has also been banned from dealing in stocks. The judgment has been passed for their involvement in the price rigging scandal during fiscal year 1998. However, the decision to this effect has been taken after two years. Read more…

Wipro beats estimates…
Wipro Limited has reported a 151 percent year-on-year growth in net profits to Rs 2,175 million (US$ 46.2 million) in the fourth quarter of the current year. For the full year ended 2001, the company has recorded a net profit of Rs 6,679 million (US$ 142.1 million), a growth of 169 percent. It posted a hefty sequential growth in total income of 20 percent clocking Rs 9,338 million (US$ 198.6 million) in the fourth quarter. The company has also managed to de-risk its client concentration during the year very effectively. The contribution from top five clients came down to 27 percent from 39 percent last year. Read more…

UTI still manages it, inflows up…
Unit Trust of India’s flagship scheme, US-64, has reported a mixed sales performance in the first quarter of the current year. The scheme has recorded a net inflow of Rs 3 billion (US$ 63.8 million). Cumulative sales under all schemes of UTI for the fiscal year 2001 stood at Rs 73 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) as compared to cumulative purchases of Rs 76 billion (US$ 1.6 billion). As of April 2001, the sale price of US-64 stood at Rs 14.5 per unit. Read more...

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