As regards global markets, Asian indices closed higher today while European indices have opened in the positive. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.45 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel has decided to have a new organisation structure for its operations in India and South Asia to improve efficiency. Mobile, fixed-line, digital TV and other consumer businesses such as mobile commerce will be part of the business to customer (B2C) unit, while the business to business (B2B) unit will serve corporate. Bharti operates in 19 countries across Asia and Africa and is the world's fifth-biggest mobile carrier by subscribers. The company's key functions such as networks, technology and customer services are managed not by the company, but by specialist vendors. Such outsourcing initiatives have helped Bharti bring in scalability and agility in its business efficiencies. The stock of Bharti gained 4% and ended as the top gainer in today's trade.
Coal India (CIL), the world's largest coal producer, is likely to register mere 4.3% average annual production growth rate during the current five year plan ending in March 2012. This would be the second-lowest growth rate in the last seven Plan periods since the beginning of the Fifth Plan in 1974. CIL has indicated that it would be in a position to supply only 331 m tonne (MT) as against a required 426 MT. The coal ministry has blamed environment ministry for low production during current fiscal as former is unable to get consent for mining coal blocks already allocated to it.
The timely execution of the Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) has become a distant dream due to several roadblocks, prime amongst them being coal availability. The coal consumers from private sector import coal from Australia and Indonesia. However, Indonesia in view of rise in demand from Indian companies has made recent policy change which mandates all coal exporters to sell coal at market prices; Australia is expected to follow the same or may restrict the exports.