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Top stories this week…

May 12, 2001

The slow down stems…
Bajaj Auto Limited has posted a 57 percent decline in net profit to Rs 2,626 million (US$ 56 million) in 2001. The company's gross sales declined by 3 percent to Rs 36,900 million (US$ 785 million) on the back of a 14 percent drop in volumes during the year. The fall in profits in 2001 is mainly attributable to the overall shrinkage of the geared scooter market, which registered a fall of 41 percent to 436,667 units in FY01. Read more…

Revenue shortfall hits…
India’s fiscal deficit for the fiscal year 2000 has increased to 5.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as against the budgeted target at 5.1 percent of GDP. The 0.2 percent slippage is primarily on account of a shortfall in receipts by around Rs 90 billion (US$ 2 billion). Out of this, Rs 80 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) is because of revenue shortfall and about Rs 10 billion (US$ 0.2 billion) due to shortfall in disinvestment proceeds. Read more...

The growth story…
HDFC has reported a 18 percent jump in net profits for the year ended March 2001 to Rs 4,737 million (US$ 101 million). The company's topline however, grew at a slower pace of 18 percent. Operating margins also improved by 30 basis points to 28.9 percent for 2001. HDFC's approvals during the year grew by 30 percent to Rs 69 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) and disbursements by 29 percent to Rs 58 billion (US$ 1.2 billion). Read more...

The Bharti spree...
Bharti Enterprises has received an equity investment of US$ 460 million from Singapore Telecom, Warburg Pincus, Asian Infrastructure Fund and International Finance Corporation. This is supposed to be the largest foreign direct investment in the Indian telecom sector. The aggregate investment of Singtel and Warburg Pincus, two of the majority partners in Bharti, has risen to US$ 650 million and US$ 300 million respectively. Meanwhile, Bharti also has plans to tap the primary market to mobilise close to US$ 200 million. Read more...

The gateways are open…
The government has raised the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in some of the key segments that include defence, pharmaceuticals, telecom, infrastructure, hotels and tourism. The government has permitted an automatic FDI route for drugs, pharma, hotels, tourism and courier services to 100 percent. Besides, FDI limit in the banking sector has also been raised to 49 percent from 20 percent earlier. Read more...

VSAT norms announced…
The government has announced the guidelines for Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) service providers for operations in KU band. The players not only have to pay an entry fee of Rs 3 million (US$ 0.1 million) but have to also pay 10 percent of revenues as annual license fee. The license would be granted on a non-exclusivity basis for a period of 20 years, which is extendable further by 10 years. Read more...

Another diversification…
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Tata Engineering (Telco) are planning major forays into the defence equipment sector following the Union Cabinet’s decision to open up the defence sector to both the domestic as well as the international players. While M&M has plans to enter this segment through its division, Mahindra Defence Systems, Telco and Larsen & Toubro have yet to finalize any concrete strategies. Read more...

Maruti consolidates…
Maruti Udyog Limited, the market leader in the passenger car segment, has devised a four-pronged strategy to bring back the company into profits in fiscal year 2002. This includes introduction of new models, increasing car prices, increasing the local content across all the segments and a new human resources policy to motivate employees. These strategies in the first month of the current year seem to have paid off with the company gaining market share across all segments. Read more...

Depreciation rates hiked…
The government has raised the rate of depreciation on new commercial vehicles from 40 percent to 50 percent for vehicles acquired after 1st April 2001. Besides, the deprecation rate for textiles and shipping companies has also been raised to 50 percent and 25 percent respectively. The increase in depreciation rates for textile and shipping companies is expected to boost investments. Read more...

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