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Top stories this week… - Views on News from Equitymaster
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  • Nov 11, 2000

    Top stories this week…

    Gesco teams up with the Mahindra’s…
    Gesco Corporation has teamed up with the Mahindra’s to make a counter-offer to thwart the hostile takeover bid launched by the Dalmia’s controlled Renaissance Estate. The price of the counter-offer is Rs 36. If the counter offer goes through the stakes of the two promoters would be in the ratio of 3:2 in favour of the Mahindra’s. Dalmia’s, reportedly, are also looking for a partner. The stock price declined sharply as the price quoted by Sheth’s was at discount compared to the market price. (Nov 7)

    SBI clinches new highs…
    The State Bank of India (SBI) launched India Millennium Deposit scheme has mopped up US $ 5.2 billion against the original size of US$ 2 billion estimated by the bank. As per the arrangement, SBI would bear one percentage point of the rupee depreciation every year and the rest would be borne by the government. The receipt is expected to add to the country’s forex reserves, which has been on the downtrend ever since oil prices started to flair up. (Nov 7)

    Software to the rescue…
    The Indian software industry generated revenue of Rs 171 billion (US$ 3.5 billion) during the first half of the current financial year, registering a growth rate of 58 percent over the corresponding period of last year. NASSCOM has projected the software industry to gross Rs 395 billion (US$ 8.2 billion), which includes an export target of Rs 285 billion (US$ 5.9 billion). (Nov 8)

    FDI slows down…
    Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from the US have declined by 21 percent in the first three quarters of the current year compared to the corresponding period of last year. However, FDI from Mauritius and Italy has gone up significantly by 37 percent and 139 percent respectively. US continues to be the second largest investor in the country. However, since major US companies en-route their investment through Mauritius, which is a tax heaven, a clearer picture has not emerged regarding this. (Nov 9)

    A much needed framework…
    The primary market advisory committee of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recommended a reduction in minimum size of a public issue. The reduction is from 25 percent to 10 percent with the condition that the issue size should not be less than Rs 2.5 billion (US$ 5 million). (Nov 10)

    Siemens – On the move…
    The domestic engineering major, Siemens Limited, has reported a 139 percent increase in net profits to Rs 840 million (US$ 17.5 million), for the second quarter ended 30th September 2000. However, turnover grew by just 3 percent. A substantial reduction in interest costs from Rs 278 m to Rs 49 m has added to the bottomline growth. The company has utilised the share premium from rights issue during the year to redeem preference shares to the extent of Rs 26 m. (Nov 10)

    IA – Flying high…
    Indian Airlines has posted a 245 percent growth in net profits for the current year from Rs 131 million (US$ 2.7 million) in FY1999 to Rs 453 million (US$ 9.4 million) in FY00. The domestic airlines had been suffering from losses for eight consecutive years till financial year 1997. With disinvestment underway, this might possibly notch up valuations of the airline. (Nov 10)

    Australian colour…
    Asian Paints, the market leader in the Indian paint industry, has acquired the entire paint business of Pacific Paints Co (PPC) of Australia for a consideration of Rs 90 million (US$ 1.8 billion). The acquisition is made through its Australian subsidiary, Asian Paints (QLD) Limited. The company has been scouting for acquisitions abroad to enhance its presence in the international market. Asian Paints has targeted to be amongst the top five decorative companies in the world by FY07. (Nov 10)

    Samsung – On to monitors…
    Samsung India has planned to invest around US$ 35 million in a green field colour monitor-manufacturing project at Noida with an installed capacity of four million units. This is one of the seven manufacturing units that Samsung has outside Korea. Samsung has already invested substantial amount in setting up television manufacturing facility in Noida. The company has gained significant market share in the Indian consumer durable industry within a year and a half. (Nov 10)

    Started ringing…
    The disinvestment commission has proposed a strategic sale of the public sector telecom majors MTNL and VSNL. Reportedly, the government has decided to bring its stake down to 26 percent from the current level of 51 percent. This is expected to give a big push to the government disinvestment programme, which has been languishing for quite some time. The government has set a (conservative!) target of Rs 100 bn as receipts from disinvestment for the current year. (Nov 11)



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