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Top stories this week… - Views on News from Equitymaster
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  • May 26, 2001

    Top stories this week…

    The ‘value’ buy…
    Gujarat Ambuja, the domestic cement major, is offering a 9.8 percent stake in the company to Warburg Pincus, which is expected to mop up Rs 3.6 billion (US$ 77 million). The company has stated that this move is to augment cash flow and ensure better gearing. The gearing is expected to come down to 50 percent and net worth would to Rs 18 billion (US$ 382 million). Post this sale Warburg’s stake in the company will go up to 12 percent. Read more…

    MSCI reduces weightage…
    India’s weightage in the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) has dropped by 3 percent to 4.5 percent from 7.5 percent earlier. The fall follows MSCI’s decision to adjust its equity index for free float. Free float is the quantum of stock freely available to overseas investors. The number of Indian companies in the MSCI index has also fallen from 73 to 59. The fall in India's weightage is higher than what the markets had been expecting. Read more…

    GDP growth wanes…
    The Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, has said that the gross domestic product target of 6.1 percent for the fiscal year 2001 might not be achievable in light of drought conditions in certain states. Besides the impact of the likely fall of the 12 million tonnes in food grain production could not be estimated currently. The Central Statistical Organisation is expected to release its GDP estimates for the fiscal by the end of the June 2001. Read more…

    The disinvestment hopes…
    The disinvestment of the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), the public sector international telephony service provider, has gathered momentum. The advisors, SBI Caps and CSFB, have requested the six bidders to submit the price bids by August 6, 2001 for a 25 percent stake in the company. The government has plans to complete VSNL’s disinvestment by August 2001. This will go a long way in restoring confidence in the markets apart from improving the fiscal state of the government coffers. Read more…

    Towards reinstating confidence…
    Zee Telefilms has decided to induct a strategic partner in the company, but is yet to decide on the quantum of stake to be offloaded. The company, reportedly, has shown keen interest in roping a global partner, who will bring in both technical and management expertise. Through this, the company has plans to gain international distribution network and access to quality content. It also plans to give the future partner a berth on its board. Read more…

    Another open offer…
    Royal Philips Electronics NV, the parent company of the domestic television and lightning major, Philips India, has made an open offer to purchase 17.4 percent stake in Punjab Anand Lamps to increase its stake beyond 90 percent. The offer price is at Rs 95 per share (US$ 2). Currently the Netherlands based company holds 51 percent and the Indian subsidiary holds another 23.5 percent stake. This will help Philips India to consolidate its market share in the domestic lightning segment. Read more…

    Buoyant growth prospects…
    The Indian branded garment markets, estimated at around Rs 90 billion (US$ 1.9 billion), is likely to account for more than 30 percent of the readymade garments market by fiscal year 2002. The branded segment is expected to grow at a compounded rate of 26 percent during the current fiscal year. One important aspect is that women readymade garment is growing at a faster pace than the men segment. While the women readymade market grew by 23 percent, the later grew by 20 percent in fiscal 2001. Read more…

    HPCL: Average performance…
    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has posted a 21 percent growth in net profit to Rs 3,265 million (US$ 69 million) in the fourth quarter of the current year. Net Profit for the year ended March 31, 2001 stands at Rs 10,880 million (US$ 231 million) as compared to Rs 10,574 million (US$ 225 million) for the year ended March 31, 2000. The company has declared a 100 percent dividend. Read more…

    Core sector under performs…
    The core sectors of the Indian economy continue to register flat growth in the current fiscal with six infrastructure industries reporting a mere 1.1 percent growth in April 2001. This is in contrast to a healthy 7.4 percent growth recorded in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. While electricity, cement, coal and steel reported a marginal rise in production, the refinery sector reported a decline of 1.4 percent. Read more…



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