Financial Daily
from THE HINDU group of publications

Thursday, April 20, 2000





Draft aviation policy for more private role
THE draft of the new Civil Aviation Policy seeks to enhance private sector participation in more areas of the sector.

BAA experience: Lesson for Indian airports
THE BAA plc's experience in corporatisation and then privatisation, particularly its success in retailing, could well become a role model, for international airports in India, as they head towards the same flight plan, drawn up by the Ministry of Civil A viation.

Banking and Finance
Why ANZ may throw in the Indian towel
THERE is no official word yet on the takeover by Standard Chartered Bank of the banking business of ANZ Grindlays in India. But if ANZ Grindlays does throw in the towel in so far as its Indian operations are concerned, reasons for that will have to be so ught in developments back home in Australia.

Govt may not allow foreign companies to list in India
THE Government is set to spike the proposal of the Securities and Exchange Board of India to permit foreign companies to list in India by saying that no benefits would accrue from such a move.

MRF half-year net down 26.5%
MRF Ltd has reported a net profit of Rs. 40.93 crores for the half-year ended March 31, 2000, which is 26.5 per cent lower than its net profit of Rs. 55.72 crores for the corresponding period of last year.

Escorts to dilute stake in Yamaha venture
THE Escorts group is planning to restructure its equity-holding in Escorts Yamaha Motors Ltd (EYML), its 50:50 joint venture with global two-wheeler major, Yamaha Motors of Japan, to enable the overseas partner to gain control over the joint venture comp any.

FIIs can buy up to 40% in Satyam Comp
MUMBAI: The RBI has notified that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) can now purchase equity shares and convertible debentures of Satyam Computer Services Ltd up to 40 per cent of it paid-up capital through primary and secondary markets in India.

Sundaram-Clayton posts higher turnover, net
SUNDARAM-CLAYTON Ltd has reported a higher turnover and net profit for the year ended March 31, 2000, over the previous year.

Metal Box `accord' with Worli workers
THE management of Metal Box India Ltd has claimed in a statement here today that it has achieved a major breakthrough in resolving the stalemate over the company's Worli property.

UTV signs animation deal with Universal
UTV Toons, a division of UTV, has signed a $65-million agreement with Fun Bag Animation, a subsidiary of Universal Studios. The deal was signed on April 11 at Cannes, France.

Export Watch
Time period extended for excise code
ALL excise assesses will be required to mandatorily quote the new Excise Control Code only from May 15, as the Finance Ministry has accepted the Commerce Ministry's demand to extend the time period for moving to the new system, senior Finance Ministry of ficials said.

Information Technology

PentaMedia Graphics pact with US co
PENTAMEDIA Graphics Ltd, the Chennai-based entertainment, animation and special effects company, and the US-based 3dMaxMedia Inc, a Web 3-D animation company, have formed a 50:50 joint venture which will develop digital animation software to produce 3-D animation movies. This venture will use technology to bring to life stars of yesteryear. The new company is yet to get a name.

UK bid to lure Indian film-makers
SCOTTISH castles and the mist on the moors are not just backdrops for Mel Gibson films, it is also the case for the Aiyshwarya Rai starrer Rajiv Menon's Kandukondein Kandukondein.

Bonds under gold scheme -- Law Ministry no to stamp duty relief
THE Law Ministry has put a spoke in the plans of the Finance Ministry to exempt bonds issued under the gold deposit scheme (GDS) from levy of stamp duty on the grounds that a blanket exemption cannot be given for the scheme.

Running with the hare ...
WITH Parliament back into business after a month-long recess, the BJP-led NDA Government is again faced with the onerous task of holding on to the price increases of various commodities that have been announced outside the Union Budget in rece nt months.

Reliance Power, CEPA sign pact
RELIANCE Power Ltd and Southern Energy Asia-Pacific Ltd, formerly Consolidated Electric Power Asia Ltd (CEPA), have signed an agreement to develop a 3960-MW coal-based thermal power project with equal interest, at Hirma, Orissa.

Hotel Whales to set up amusement centre
THE zone between Chennai and Mahabalipuram along the East Coast Road (ECR) continues to attract investment in the entertainment sector. The ECR, which connects Chennai with Pondicherry, has a number of leisure and entertainment activities. The latest is a family entertainment centre with a three-star hotel which will come up about 35 km from Chennai.

Unions oppose TNEB revamp move
ALMOST all the unions representing the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) employees have expressed themselves against any move to either privatise or unbundle the electricity board. They are, however, not against creating profit and responsibility centr es under the existing structure of the board itself, according to union sources.

ISDN Internet server soon in Kochi
ERNAKULAM Telecommunications will soon commission an Internet server with ISDN capability in Kochi.

Bengal to open up municipal operations to private sector
THE West Bengal Government has made two policy initiatives in regard to municipalities. First, it would introduce reforms in the municipal administration. Secondly, it would seek to involve the private sector in certain areas of municipal operations.

Pension fund for Karnataka staff
A separate fund on the lines of the railway pension fund is to be set up for meeting the pension liabilities of the erstwhile employees of the Karnataka Electricity Board.

HC admits union's petition, issues notice to Binny
THE B & C Mills Staff Union, representing the work force of Binny Ltd in Chennai, has, in a writ petition filed in the Madras High Court, sought immediate orders restraining the company from going ahead with the reported move to sell its textile machiner y.

Plea to ban mining in Kudremukh National Park
THE fourth National Consultation on Wildlife Conservation and People's Livelihood Rights has unanimously called for total ban on mining in the Kudremukh National Park.

20 pc rise in CEPZ exports
EXPORTS from the Cochin Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) during the last fiscal had shown a growth of over 20 per cent to touch Rs. 241 crores, and at this trend, the total exports during the current financial year are expected to cross Rs. 300 crores.

Power project by local body
THE Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has signed a letter of intent for purchase of power from Meenvellam small hydel project developed by the Palakkad district panchayat.

SIDBI venture capital funding for Aarvee Info
AARVEE Information Systems is among the beneficiaries in the country to have direct equity participation from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) under its venture capital scheme.

SAIL divestment move on EGM agenda -- Plan to vacate alloy & special steel area
ARMED with the two-component _ financial and business _ restructuring package cleared by the Union Government in mid-February, Steel Authority of India Ltd has initiated the process of securing shareholders' approval for the business recast part of the p ackage at an EGM it proposes to hold in New Delhi on May 9.

IPO underwriting back
UNDERWRITING initial public offerings (IPOs), which was considered a no-no in the capital market till recently, seems to have made a comeback.

BSE signs MoUs with Chittagong, Colombo SEs
THE Bombay Stock Exchange has signed MoUs with Chittagong and Colombo stock exchanges.

LS okays Rail budget
THE Lok Sabha today approved the 2000-01 Railway Budget by voice vote after the Union Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, assured the members to take on board their concerns for improving the quality of services and ruled out any hasty sale of lands v ested with the system to overcome the financial odds.

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