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Top stories this week… - Views on News from Equitymaster
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  • Jul 7, 2001

    Top stories this week…

    ‘Universal’ bank in the making…
    HDFC Bank is considering a public filing of its offer documents for the maiden American Depository Receipt (ADR) issue around second week of July. The filling with the US Securities and Exchange Commission will be followed by road shows for the US$ 150 m issue soon after. The listing is scheduled for the second fortnight of July. Read more…

    Tumbling estimates…
    The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has drastically cut the gross domestic output (GDP) estimate of the economy to 5.2 percent as against 6 percent earlier. The economy, which grew by 6 percent in the first half of 2001, grew by 5 percent and 3.8 percent in the third and the fourth quarters respectively. This was primarily on account of a slowdown in agricultural and industrial production. The CSO has also estimated that the fiscal deficit would be 5.8 percent of the GDP. Read more…

    The cement ‘saga’ continues…
    The Associated Cement Companies (ACC) has reported a robust 9 percent volume growth in cement despatches for June 2001. Despatches stood at 1 million tonnes as compared to 0.9 million tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year. The pre-monsoon demand coupled with the commissioning of its new plant has added to the topline growth. Also, the rehabilitation work in the earthquake-affected parts of Gujarat could also have led to this rise in cement demand. Aggregate volumes grew by 5.5 percent during April-June 2001 to 3 million tonnes. Read more…

    Power packed plans…
    BSES, the utility major, has chalked out a mega investment plan of US$ 8 bn for the next 10 years. The company plans to add 9,000 MW in generation capacity in the next decade. Other plans are to enter the transmission business and to add five more areas to its existing distribution business. This is one of the most ambitious plans drawn by a private company in the power sector in India. Read more…

    Once again UTI ‘fails’…
    In a move that shook the trust of small investors, Unit Trust of India (UTI) banned the sale and repurchase of US 64 units for the next six months. According to the UTI, this step was needed to restructure the scheme that had lost heavily in the past few months due to what UTI claimed to be ‘aberrations created by non-individuals’. The scheme declared its lowest dividend in the past two decades. The UTI chairman, Mr. P. S. Subramanyam, resigned owning moral responsibility for the debacle of the scheme. The Finance Ministry is looking into the affair and is considering all options to protect the interest of millions of investors hurt by the US 64 episode. Read more…

    First cut of the auto policy…
    The cabinet committee on the new auto policy has stipulated that investment in component manufacturing by an overseas automobile maker would be considered a part of the minimum foreign investment made by it in an automobile manufacturing subsidiary in the country. Reportedly, the minimum investment limit has been fixed as US$ 100 million for four wheelers and US$ 25 million for those making two and three wheelers. Read more…

    TCS expands capacity…
    Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is buying a 22-acre property from group company Rallis India for US$ 27 m. The single plot of land located at Andheri, North Mumbai will be used to develop a software campus. TCS will relocate employees from its 12 offices to the new facility. In all about 4,500 software professionals are expected to be housed at this facility. Read more…

    Streamlining markets…
    The Indian stocks markets shifted to the rolling mode on July 2nd, 2001. Hence, trades in most stocks would be settled daily. Also, bourses saw the introduction of individual stock options on 31 stocks. These stocks along with those, which are a part of the stock market indices (Sensex on the Bombay stock exchange and Nifty on the National stock exchange) would not have circuit filters. In their place, circuit filters of 10%, 15% and 20% have been introduced on the indices. The transition was not without a hitch. Some shares of ACC (market price around US$ 3) was traded by mistake at 22 cents. The next day, Zee Tele stock (market price around US$ 2.2) was traded for 1 cent. On Wednesday, one share of Reliance Petroleum (market price around US$ 1) was sold at US$ 6. This caused the Nifty to jump by 424 points (40 percent). Consequently, trading was suspended for an hour. Read more…

    Ketan boxed in…
    The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has frozen the Swiss Bank account of Mr. Ketan Parekh, one of the main accused in the multi-million dollar pay order scam. The amount of money in the account is not yet known. According to the CBI, Mr. Parekh in collusion with senior MMCB (Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank) executives had defrauded the bank of millions of dollars in the past few years. While investigations are still on, CBI is confident that a part of the money could be ill gotten gains from the fraud. Read more…



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