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Top stories this week… - Views on News from Equitymaster
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  • Apr 28, 2001

    Top stories this week…

    The Reliance ‘strategy’…
    Reliance Infocom and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) are exploring the possibility of forging an alliance for VSNL’s proposed national long distance telephony foray. VSNL will run its services through Reliance Infocom’s fibre optic backbone for the next 25 to 30 years if the deal materializes. Read more...

    Stagnating topline…
    HLL has posted a growth of 29 percent in net profits for first quarter of fiscal year 2002. This net profit figure included a one-time exceptional income of US$ 5 million on account of sale of the animal feeds business. Without this income the company’s growth in net profits would have been 21 percent. The company’s net sales grew by a small 1 percent. The company has attributed the flat topline growth to the slowdown in rural demand. Read more…

    Cloudy merger…
    The finance ministry had proposed a merger of IFCI (Industrial Finance Corporation of India) with IDBI (Industrial Development Bank of India). This motive behind this was to create a mega institution with an all India spread. IFCI was keen for the merger, as this would improve its financials. IFCI’s financials have been weakened by 20 percent of its loan disbursements turning bad. IDBI on the other hand opposed the proposed merger. The merger could erode up to US$ 41 million of IDBI’s profitability. Read more…

    The slowdown concerns…
    The Indian economy is surely slowing down. Six of the key infrastructure industries have reported just a 5.3 percent growth for fiscal year 2001 as compared to 9.1 percent in the previous year. These industries reported almost nil growth in March 2001 at 0.1 percent compared to 7.6 percent in the corresponding month previous year. However, coal production during the year reported positive growth from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent. Read more…

    The merger effect…
    ICICI Bank has recorded a 53 percent jump in net profits to Rs 1,610 million (US$ 34 million) for the year ended 31st March 2001. The profit and loss account of the bank reflects standalone figures of ICICI Bank till 9th March 2001 and that of combined entity with Bank of Madura (BOM) as the merger became effective from March 10. The spurt in net profit was primarily on account of lower deposit cost. Cost of deposits fell by 95 basis points to 7.8 percent primarily buoyed by the spurt in incremental savings account. Read more…

    Hindalco net rises…
    The Aditya Birla flagship company, Hindalco Industries has reported a staid operating and financial performance for the fiscal year ended 2001. The company has posted a growth of 12 percent in revenues to Rs 22,754 million (US$ 484 million) and 11 percent rise in net profits to Rs 6,781 million (US$ 144 million) for the fiscal year ended 2001. The growth in sales is commendable considering that the aggregate growth in production has been only 1 percent. Growth in production was constrained as the company already operated above rated capacity. For the current fiscal the company clocked a capacity utilisation of 104 percent as compared to 103 percent in the previous year. Read more…

    Favoring the PSUs…
    The Group on telecom and information technology has suggested a reduction of the revenue share of the basic telecom service providers from 60 percent to 5 percent, which is the existing rate for the cellular operators in the country. The report also restricts the mobility in the Wireless in Local Loop (WiLL) services to a radius of 25 kilometers. However, the tariff for WiLL has been retained at Rs 1.20 (US$ 0.3) per 3-minute call for outgoing calls and free incoming charges. Read more…

    The ‘cartel’ effect…
    Gujarat Ambuja Cements has posted a 17 percent growth in topline to Rs 3,863 million (US$ 83.1 million) for the third quarter ended March 2001. The company has benefited from a rise in operating margins, as cement realisations have remained firm over this period. Cement volumes for the quarter were put at 1.54 million tonnes, an increase of 2.9 percent year-on-year. The sluggish growth in volumes can be attributed to the initiative taken by cement producers to limit supply in the market. Read more…

    Systematising markets…
    The Securities Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) governing panel has recommended for the abolition of the present system of carry forward on the bourses. This is done on the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) and NSE (National Stock Exchange) through BLESS (Borrowing and Lending Securities Scheme) and ALBM (Automated Lending and Borrowing Mechanism) respectively. The panel has proposed the use of derivatives in place of the carry forward systems from 2nd July 2001. Read more…



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