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India Infoline Weekly Newsletter – October 19, 2012

India Infoline News Service/ 18:16 , Oct 19, 2012

The world economic order is undergoing an evolution, with the risks being spilled over from one economy to another through integrated global financial systems.

Top Stories

RIL Q2 net profit at Rs53.76bn
Reliance Industries Ltd has posted results for the second quarter ended 30th September,2012. Its net profit stood at Rs53.76bn as compared to Rs57.03n YoY. RIL's Q2 sales stood at Rs903.35bn as compared to Rs785.69bn YoY. Total Income has increased from Rs. 796710 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to Rs. 924470 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012. For the half year ended 30th September 2012, RIL achieved a turnover of Rs188,191 crore ($ 35.6 billion), an increase of 14.4% on a year-on-year basis. Higher prices accounted for 15.2% growth in revenue partly offset by decrease in volumes by 0.8%. Exports were higher by 10.6% at Rs112,667 crore ($ 21.3 billion) as against ` 101,872 crore in 1H FY12. Higher crude oil prices resulted in consumption of raw materials increasing by 21.7% to Rs157,131 crore ($ 29.7 billion) on a year-on-year basis. Employee costs were at Rs1,691 crore ($ 320 million) for the half year as against Rs1,593 crore. Other expenditure increased by 31.4% from Rs 8,743 crore to Rs11,490 crore ($ 2.2 billion) due to higher power & fuel expenses and higher chemicals and stores consumption.

Operating profit before other income and depreciation decreased by 26.9% from Rs19,770 crore to Rs14,452 crore ($ 2.7 billion). Net operating margin was lower at 7.7% as compared to 12.0% in the corresponding period of the previous year due to the base effect. Other income was higher at Rs4,016 crore ($ 760 million) as against Rs2,180 crore on a year-on-year basis primarily due to higher average liquid investments. Depreciation (including depletion and amortization) was lower by 23.6% at Rs4,711 crore ($ 0.9 billion) against Rs 6,164 crore in 1H FY12 due to lower production of Oil & Gas. Basic earnings per share (EPS) for the half year ended 30th September 2012 was Rs30.3 ($ 0.57) against Rs34.7 for the corresponding period of the previous year. Outstanding debt as on 30th September 2012 was Rs70,059 crore ($ 13.3 billion) compared to Rs68,259 crore as on 31st March 2012. RIL had cash and cash equivalents of Rs79,159 crore ($ 14.9 billion). These were in fixed deposits, certificate of deposits with banks, mutual funds and Government securities / bonds. RIL is debt free on a net basis as at 30th September 2012. The net capital expenditure towards projects for the half year ended 30th September 2012 was Rs8,528 crore ($ 1.6 billion). However, cash outflow on account of capex for the first half amounted to Rs4,479 crore ($ 847 million). RIL retained its domestic credit ratings of AAA from CRISIL and FITCH and an investment grade rating for its international debt from Moody’s and S&P as Baa2 and BBB respectively...
Read More

IIFL Institutional Equities recommends 'Reduce' on Reliance Industries

RIL’s Q2 performance satisfactory: Mukesh Ambani

Reliance's first-half results soft, but within expectations: Moody's


Indian Hotels, Charme II Fund proposes to combine with Orient-Express
The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (‘Indian Hotels’) announced that it along with Charme II Fund, an Italian Fund managed by Montezemolo and Partners S.p.A, has sent a letter to Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. ("Orient-Express") proposing to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Orient-Express’ Class A common stock for US$12.63 per share in cash. Indian Hotels’ and Charme II Funds’ proposal, which would create one of the world’s preeminent portfolios of luxury hotels and resorts, is valued at approximately US$1.86bn, including Orient-Express’ net debt. The all-cash offer represents a 40% premium to Orient-Express’ closing stock price on October 17, 2012,the last trading day prior to this announcement, a 45.2% premium to Orient-Express’ 10 trading day average of closing stock prices, and a premium to the 52-week closing high of US$10.90 per share. Indian Hotels has been a shareholder of Orient-Express for over five years and currently holds approximately 7% of Orient-Express’ Class A stock. As such, U.S. securities laws require that Indian Hotels publicly disclose its offer. The Indian Hotels has filed the proposal letter with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"); as part of an amendment of its Statement on Schedule 13D it can be found on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

"Indian Hotels has great respect for Orient-Express and its collection of unique luxury hotel properties around the world and we are very excited at the prospect of bringing our two great companies and brands together," said R.K. Krishna Kumar, Vice Chairman of Indian Hotels. "We believe this premium all-cash offer represents a compelling and immediate value proposition for Orient-Express’ shareholders and provides Orient-Express with access to the additional capital necessary to preserve its properties and heritage while potentially expanding its footprint." Krishna Kumar continued, "While we would have preferred to negotiate confidentially with Orient-Express, US securities laws required public disclosure of our proposal. However, we are prepared to devote all necessary resources to expeditiously complete due diligence. We look forward to Orient-Express’ prompt reply and the opportunity to engage in further discussions that will result in a mutually beneficial transaction for both companies’ shareholders and other constituencies." A senior IHCL spokesperson together with a Montezemolo Partners’ spokesperson assured Orient-Express stakeholders of their deep commitment to the company. "Orient-Express would remain an independent and autonomous company with its own Board of Directors"...Read More


INDIA INC. REPORT CARD

TCS Q2 cons net profit at Rs34343.70 mn

The Group has posted a net profit of Rs. 34343.70 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 23010mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

Total Income has increased from Rs. 117561.80 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to Rs. 159490.80 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

The company has announced that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on October 19, 2012 have declared a Second Interim Dividend of Rs. 3 per Equity Share of Rs. 1 each of the Company.

Commenting on the Q2 performance, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, N Chandrasekaran said: "We have delivered a strong performance with well-rounded growth across industries and geographies. Our execution excellence is winning recognition and our service offerings remain relevant for customers. He added: "As the global operating environment continues to evolve, there is little doubt that technology is playing a more pivotal role to shape the future of every industry than ever before. Our investments and capabilities make TCS extremely relevant to participate in imagining and co-creating this future with our customers."

S. Mahalingam, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, said: "In the current operating context, it is important for us to remain efficient, keep a healthy grip on expenses, conserve cash and at the same time invest for the future. In this quarter, TCS has posted a credible margin performance at the operating level and we have also expanded our net margins by managing the ongoing currency volatility". He added: "We will continue to focus on maintaining our strategy of profitable growth to maintain margins to ensure we can invest on an ongoing basis as technology adoption cycles continue to get shorter."

New CFO to take over in February 2013: TCS announced that Rajesh Gopinathan, vice president, business finance will take over as the next Chief Financial Officer of the company when S Mahalingam retires on February 9, 2013. He has been appointed Deputy CFO effective today. Rajesh has been with TCS since 2001 when he joined from the Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG). He currently heads the Business Finance function responsible for financial management of the company’s operating units. He has held several positions in finance, strategy and sales during his career with the company and worked in multiple geographies. He is an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad and an engineer from REC (Trichy).


Mastek Q1 net profit at Rs65mn Strides Arcolab Q3 net profit at Rs524.929 mn Zee Entertainment Q2 cons revenue at Rs9,535 mn
Adani Power Q2 net loss at Rs2609.10mn
 
Petronet LNG Q2 net profit at Rs 3147.90 mn
 
Adani Ports Q2 net profit at Rs2755.60 mn
 
Ambuja Cements Q3 net profit at Rs. 3039.70 mn Mahindra Lifespaces Q2 total income at Rs1.13bn Syntel Q3 revenue up 11%

Magma Fincorp Q2 net profit up 33%

 
ACC Q3 net profit at Rs2419.60 mn Hindustan Zinc Q2 net profit at Rs15397.90 mn

Sterling Holiday Q2 total Operating Income at Rs262mn

 
Dish TV Q2 net profit at Rs550.90 mn Sterling Holiday Q2 total Operating Income at Rs262mn

WNS (Holdings) Q2 revenue at US$113.1 mn

 
Somany Ceramics Q2 net profit at Rs80.2mn Infotech Enterprises Q2 net profit at Rs503 mn

Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Q2 net profit at Rs217.7mn

 
Zensar Technologies Q2 revenue up 31% Mindtree Q2 net profit at Rs722 mn

Steelcast Q2 net profit up 108%

 
Shree Cement Q1 net profit at Rs2.28bn Shree Cement Q1 net profit at Rs2.28bn
NIIT Technologies Q2 cons revenue up 6.5% Axis Bank Q2 Net Profit rises 22% YoY CMC Q2 net profit up 51%

Domestic News


To be sustainable, banking has to be social: KC Chakrabarty, RBI

Following are the highlights of the Keynote Address by Dr. K C Chakraborty, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India on Monday:

  • The topic on Social Banking has become even more relevant today in the context of the financial crisis, Dr. K C Chakrabarty, said in his session regarding Social Banking and Financial Inclusion.
  • He mentioned that financial inclusion is a global phenomena and not limited to India alone.
  • To be sustainable, banking has to be social and it cannot be segregated from the development needs of the society, he said.
  • Social banking focuses on investing in the community with an endeavor to do good for the larger society, and bringing social and economic sustainability through sustainable lending, he concluded.


Axis Bank Q2 Net Profit rises 22% YoY


Indian banks provide strong conduit to expedite policy induced economic recovery: Dr Rana Kapoor

Dr. Rana Kapoor, Summit Chairman, and Founder, Managing Director & CEO, YES BANK set the tone for the session by emphasizing on the changing global economic world order that is undergoing an evolution, and how the global financial system needs to reboot itself to emerge more powerful in the coming decade.


Following are the key takeaways of Dr Rana Kapoor’s address:

  • The world economic order is undergoing an evolution, with the risks being spilled over from one economy to another through integrated global financial systems. The ensuing volatility underscored the significance of an additional dimension of policy, viz financial stability - as a key pillar for sound monetary policy framework

  • In the long winding economic turbulence globally, the policy makers have struggled to find an appropriate combination of policy tools, to facilitate a sustainable recovery. A combination of conventional and unconventional policy tools has put monetary policy into unchartered territory

  • Amidst this background, shaping the financial sector to build a better foundation for stability and growth in the future, is critical

  • While globally the banking system remains a weak link as a facilitator for an early recovery, India’s relatively resilient banking sector provides a strong conduit to expedite policy induced economic recovery.

  • Further, the domestic impetus to revive growth has been triggered by the government’s recent high adrenaline bold push for economic reforms.

  • The thrust going forward should be on implementation and maintaining the ongoing pace of reforms momentum to raise both actual and potential growth of the Indian economy.

  • While the global economy is not out of woods yet, India and rest of Asia have the potential to serve as global growth stabilizers, through a positive multiplier impact from the region’s relatively unimpaired financial sector.

Apple cuts prices of iPhone 4, iPhone 4S in India

Apple is planning to re-launch its previous two iPhone models with a slash in prices, preparing the way for the latest version, the iPhone 5, according to reports. Reports stated that the company is slashing the prices of its previous models — iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S — by an average of about Rs 2,000. The 8GB iPhone 4 will be available at Rs 26,500 and the 16GB iPhone 4S at Rs 38,500, reports said. There are reports that the 16GB iPhone 4S was previously available for Rs 41,500 and the iPhone 4 costs Rs 28,300.


Bharti Airtel to likely merge India, Africa operations by 1H2013

Telecom giant Bharti Airtel is planning to merge its India and Africa operations into a single business entity under a global CEO, reports said. The new organisational structure that is likely to be in place by the first half of next year and may also see global heads of key functions such as marketing, IT, finance and sourcing & procurement reporting to the global CEO. Manoj Kohli, the joint MD of Bharti and CEO of its African operations, could be the frontrunner to head the combined telecom business of the company across both continents. Kohli has led Airtel's evolution in both India and Africa. After joining Airtel in 2002, he rose through the ranks to become its CEO in 2007, and was at the helm for the next three years, when the company registered record growth and profits and expanded its footprint to become a pan-India player. Kohli took over as the chief executive of Bharti's international business group in 2010 as the telco looked to expand to other continents.


Sanjay Kapoor, the current CEO of India and South Asia and Gopal Vittal, who joined Bharti from Hindustan Unilever and was elevated earlier this year as director (special projects) could head either its Indian or African operations.At present, both Kohli and Kapoor report to Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal. But under the new structure, the chief executives of India and Africa will report to the global CEO. The world's fourth-largest telco by customers is currently organised into two separate units — India & South Asia, which accounts for 75% of revenues, and Africa, where it has operations in 17 countries. In August this year, Bharti finished executing the 'One Airtel' structure in India and South Asia. The year-long exercise involved collapsing all its businesses and functions under two consumer heads. Implementing this across all geographies will enable the company create a new organisational structure that pivots around the consumer, not its many businesses. Bharti insiders and consultants advising the company say the move towards 'One Airtel', which is aimed at bringing synergies and cutting costs, is also part of a larger game plan that will see Airtel's transformation from a voice-led business model to one that is oriented towards data and lifestyle offerings.


Not considering merger or acquisition of any bank: ICICI

With reference to the news item appearing in a leading financial daily titled "ICICI Bank looks to acquire Karnataka Bank", ICICI Bank Ltd has clarified that the Bank is currently not considering merger or acquisition of any bank. Earlier reports stated that Kotak Bank too had evinced interest in the old and listed private sector bank, but it is not clear if it has approached the banking regulator with a formal proposal. As on September 30, 2012, Kotak Mahindra Investments Ltd held 3.37 per cent in the bank. Karnataka Bank’s total business crossed the Rs 500bn mark in 2011-12 and its net profit grew 20.26% to Rs 2.46bn. Its capital adequacy ratio stood at 12.84%, and its gross NPAs were 3.27% of total advances. The company hasn’t had talks with anyone to sell a stake, reports said citing Karnataka Bank’s non-executive Chairman Sarvashri Ananthakrishna.


ITC Q2 net profit at Rs18.36bn

ITC Ltd has has posted a net profit of Rs. 18364.20 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 15143.10 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. Total Income has increased from Rs. 62752.30 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to Rs. 74115.60 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.


FMCG


Branded Packaged Foods

The business recorded significant growth during the quarter across all major categories. An enriched sales mix combined with smart commodity sourcing and supply chain optimisation helped enhance profitability. Sunfeast biscuits sustained its robust growth trajectory led by a portfolio of differentiated and innovative products such as Dream Cream, Dark Fantasy Choco Fills. The brand has emerged as the clear market leader in the highly competitive premium cream biscuits segment. Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles and the Bingo! range of savoury snacks continued to enhance consumer franchise during the quarter, leveraging a highly innovative product portfolio. The business has built a healthy pipeline of innovative variants and product formats to further enhance its market standing in these high growth categories. Aashirvaad atta further consolidated its leadership position across markets aided by increasing consumer traction for the value added and premium offerings viz. 'Select' and 'Multi-grain' variants. The business continues to invest in disaggregated manufacturing and distribution infrastructure with a view to optimising supply chain costs and improving market servicing.


Personal Care Products

The business sustained its impressive growth trajectory during the quarter with the Soap category garnering significant consumer franchise driven by the 'Vivel Luxury Creme' and 'Vivel Clear' variants. Product portfolio was strengthened during the quarter with the launch of a new variant - ‘Exotic Dream’ transparent gel bar - in select markets under the Fiama Di Wills brand. The business rolled out its products in the Skin Care and Shampoo categories to target markets during the quarter. Consumer response to recent launches such as 'Vivel Summer Fair', a differentiated summer offering for fresh and fair skin, has been encouraging. The business continues to focus on Research & Development to launch high quality and innovative products. 'Laboratoire Naturel' - the state-of-the-art consumer and product interaction centre set up by the business in Bengaluru - is being increasingly leveraged to connect the R&D and brand teams to the Indian consumer with a view to launching products with unique and differentiated benefits...Read More


No permission to RIL till it agrees to CAG audit: report

Reliance Industries gas production in KG-D6 fields has been falling, according to reports. Reports stated that Prime Minister’s Office recently called for a meeting to take stock of the situation of the oil and gas sector. The petroleum secretary apprised the PMO that the management committee, which oversees the development of the gas block, "has agreed to all development proposals made by the contractors",reports said. RIL has submitted a gas price formula and said the price needs to be linked to international crude prices. Gas production in KG-D6 has fallen to about 26 million units a day (mmscmd). There are reports that finalization of the decision is pending due to the contractor’s (RIL, BP and Niko) refusal to allow audit by CAG.


BP surrenders 9 out of 21 gas blocks in RIL JV on poor prospects

UK’s BP Plc has given up 9 out of 21 oil and gas blocks of Reliance Industries’ KG-D6 and NEC-25 blocks in which it holds 30% stake after initial assessment due to poor hydrocarbon prospects, reports said. The joint venture is currently focused on reviving the flagging eastern offshore KG-D6 fields and bringing the Mahanadi basin NEC-25 discoveries to production. BP India head Sashi Mukundan said output from the main Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) gas fields in KG-D6 block would increase in 2015 after the joint venture puts up additional gas compression facilities and revives some of the six closed wells, reports cited. The output from Reliance Industries’ biggest gas fields in the KG-D6 block have touched a record low of 21-22 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd), from 53-54 mmscmd in March 2010, as the company closed some wells due to water and sand ingress.


DLF-Vadra deal: Haryana official cancels mutation

Haryana official Ashok Khemka has reportedly cancelled the mutation of the Rs 580mn land deal between realty major, DLF, and a firm owned by Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Reports stated that the immediate fallout of the reported cancellation would be that DLF would not be able get the title of the prime land, measuring over 3.5 acres, transferred. The land was sold to DLF on September 18 though the agreement to sell was executed in June 2008. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the action would be taken against anyone found guilty if the bureaucrat’s assertions on land deals were found true, report said. Reports says that Ashok Khemka was transferred on October 11 as Director General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum-Inspector General of Registration office, to the Haryana Seeds Development Corp.


Godrej Properties launches Godrej E-City in Bengaluru

Godrej Properties Ltd, the real estate development arm of the Godrej Group, announced the launch of its residential project, Godrej E-City, in Electronic City Phase-1, Bengaluru. Spread over approximately 15 acres, this project will be launched in 3 phases. Phase 1 will consist of eight 5-storey buildings and offer about 280 homes across 3.6 lakh sq. ft. Customers can choose from 2, 2.5 and 3 BHK apartments, ranging from 964 sq. ft. to 1,625 sq. ft. at prices starting from about INR 37 lakhs. The entire development is expected to have approximately 800 apartments across 1 million sq. ft. of real estate.


The location offers excellent connectivity due to its close proximity to NICE Road and the Elevated Expressway on Hosur Road. Major junctions like Sarjapur / ORR and Silk board can be easily accessed through the well developed road network. Furthermore, major IT/ITes/Industrial work places like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, HCL, Bomassandra industrial area and Sipcot Industrial area, are located in the vicinity thereby making the location a vibrant economic hub for Bengaluru.


Godrej E-City will offer various amenities including a modern clubhouse, a well-equipped gymnasium, swimming pools, a health club, a conference hall, and a convenience store. Sports facilities such as an indoor squash court, a badminton court, a children’s play area and a jogging track will be provided besides indoor game facilities like table tennis and snooker.


Godrej E-City is designed on the principles of sustainability. The project will use eco-friendly material and will integrate environment-sensitive passive architectural solutions to minimize the carbon emission associated with the development. Features like electric car charging facility, rainwater harvesting, solar heating, usage of hydrogel for water conservation, low VOC paints and water efficient fixtures will be incorporated in the project design. Also, 70% of the project will be covered in landscaped gardens and open spaces.


As is the case for almost all Godrej Properties’ projects, Godrej E-City is also being developed through a partnership model. The project will be developed by Universal Builders and Godrej Properties will act as development manager.


Maruti Suzuki launches all-new ALTO 800

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki unveiled its best seller Alto in an all new form ‘Alto 800’ here . New Alto 800 sports a fresh look, is roomier, is over 15 per cent more fuel efficient and is even better "geared" for city conditions. At the launch, Mr. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director & CEO Maruti Suzuki India said, "The all new Alto 800 is an expression of our gratitude to all those customers who posed deep confidence into this model. Known for the defining values in the entry segment in India, customers’ love for Alto has made it India’s top selling car for eight years. The new Alto 800 promises to be even more significant with its stunning new looks, refined driveability combined with superior fuel efficiency of 22.74 kmpl. The availability of CNG variants adds to Alto 800’s attraction. We are sure new Alto 800 will be cherished by the value conscious customers across India."


Maruti Suzuki along with its vendors have invested over Rs 470 Crore towards developing the Alto 800. Alto 800 will be manufactured at Company’s state-of-the-art Gurgaon facility and will be available in 3 Petrol variants and 3 factory fitted CNG variants. Additionally, driver airbag will be available as an optional feature.


More mileage in petrol, more options in CNG

At 22.74 kmpl the fuel efficiency of the Alto 800, is up by a whopping 15 per cent. This has been possible with focused efforts in engine engineering. Major factors that have helped increase the fuel efficiency are increased compression ratio and improved volumetric efficiency. These are achieved through significant improvements in engine intake systems. The use of new generation engine and transmission lubricants helps to reduce frictional losses and further to enhance performance.


In the CNG range, branded ‘Green’, the patented intelligent Gas Port Injection (i-GPI) technology which comes as a factory fitment, achieves a fuel efficiency of 30.46 km/ kg on the new Alto 800 Green, an improvement of over 13 per cent compared to the outgoing Alto Green.


The i-GPI technology offers more power and a peppier ride experience along with reliability and safety as compared to the aftermarket CNG fitment.


New Wavefront design

Alto 800 comes with a characteristic Wavefront design that goes perfectly with an entry level car that enjoys wide appeal. The elegant and smooth long curves and the prominent wheel arches add volume to the side stance.


Fresh & Spacious Interiors

With enhanced head room, shoulder room and utility space the New Alto 800 comes across as a roomier model. Ingress and egress is easier. In addition, with the scooped out back of the front seat, the rear leg room is enhanced by over 15 mm.


Smooth handling and ease of drive

The all new Alto 800 will be a driver’s delight. A refined engine that delivers a torque of 69Nm @ 3500 rpm, improved by 11 per cent, will prove valuable for city driving that requires better pick-up and frequent gear changes.


The new cable shift transmission with detent-pin technology and a Diagonal Shift Assist lead to precise gear shifting to make driving much smoother and more convenient.


The suspension of the Alto 800 has been better tuned for optimum performance on Indian roads.

The New Alto 800 will also be exported to Latin American and African countries from January 2013 onwards.


Maruti to begin exports of new Alto from January

Force Motors launches new Traveller 26


JSW Steel strongly refutes all criminal conspiracy charges

Certain sections of Print and Electronic Media relying upon a CBI press release have reported that JSW Steel Ltd (Company) had allegedly entered into criminal conspiracy with certain persons including the then Chief Minister of Karnataka during 2006-2010 for not insisting on recovery of Rs. 8.90bn from the Company for causing alleged loss to Mysore Minerals Limited (MML), a Government of Karnataka Undertaking. While the company and its officials are yet to be served with a copy of the chargesheet, the media coverage on this issue is absolutely misleading causing irreversible loss/ harm to the reputation of the company. The Company wishes to notify to all its esteemed stakeholders that the allegation are without any basis as till date MML or any other authority including Hon’ble Karnataka Lokayukta have never demanded or made allegation against the company regarding alleged loss amounting to Rs. 890 Crores while the joint venture with the said MML is in operation for over 10 years spanning the tenure of successive governments in state of Karnataka. On the contrary the Company has filed a law suit against MML for recovery of principal claim of Rs 216 crores illegally recovered from the Company.


Following facts bear out that allegations made are speculative and without legal basis:

  • By order dated 11.10.1994, the Government of Karnataka (GOK), with approval at its highest level at Cabinet, promised to the Company viz. land, power, infrastructure facilities including captive iron ore mines to the extent of 110 Million Tons with a view to promote economic growth of a backward area of Bellary District by establishing integrated steel plant, which is otherwise a land locked area.

  • As allocation of promised iron ore leases was unduly delayed and the steel plant was in an advanced stage of implementation, GOK decided in its Cabinet Meeting in 1996 to direct MML to enter into a joint Venture with the company to manage its Thimmappanagudi Mine (TIOM) to meet part requirement of iron ore of the company to the extent of 40 million tons, which TIOM was estimated to possess at the relevant time, while the balance 70 million tons was promised to be met by recommending grant of mining lease at alternate site/s.

  • The Company and MML entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 17.1.1997 after prolonged negotiations on finalization of the commercial terms, which was duly approved by then Government. A joint venture company M/s Vijaynagar Minerals Pvt Ltd (VMPL) was incorporated to give effect to directions of the GOK and to raise iron ore in terms of MOU.

  • The said TIOM mine was non-functional at the relevant time and MML was unable to operate the same. Company made significant expenditure in making TIOM mine operational including creation of mining infrastructure, discharge of VRS liability towards its workforce and other statuary dues and also investment in beneficiation plant to make certain low grade iron ore extracted from the said mine usable, which otherwise had no marketability.

  • During the period 2001-2010, VMPL extracted iron ore from TIOM mine to the extent of 10.67 million tons, generating revenues of Rs 115 Crore besides dividend of Rs 1.73 crores to MML...Read More

Arvind Kejriwal targets BJP President Nitin Gadkari: reports

Activist Arvind Kejriwal has targeted BJP President Nitin Gadkari and alleged that Gadkari's factories have robbed the farmers of Vidarbha in Maharashtra of their land and water, according to reports. Reports stated that Kejriwal's charges came down to four allegations and accused that 100 acres of extra land that belonged to small farmers was transferred to companies owned by Nitin Gadkari in the garb of an irrigation project in Vidarbha. BJP chief Nitin Gadkari reportedly dismissed the allegations levelled against him by India Against Corruption's Arvind Kejriwal, saying his assets have remained unchanged in the last four years.


Mahindra unveils SsangYong Rexton

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M), a part of the US US$ 15.4 bn Mahindra Group, unveiled the much anticipated SsangYong Rexton, a luxurious, powerful and premium global SUV by Mahindra, at Mumbai. Designed and developed by SsangYong in Korea, this is the third generation Rexton, most suitable for the discerning Indian customer. Available at Mahindra dealerships in Delhi NCR and Mumbai from October 18th 2012, the SsangYong Rexton by Mahindra will retail at a price of Rs. 17.67 Lac, ex-showroom Mumbai* for the RX5 version with manual transmission and Rs. 19.67 Lac, ex-showroom Mumbai* for the RX7 version with automatic transmission. The SsangYong Rexton is manufactured and assembled at Mahindra’s Chakan Plant near Pune by sourcing components from SsangYong Korea and from India. The SsangYong Rexton by Mahindra boasts of superior on and off-road driving performance, modern technologies and contemporary styling, and indulgent conveniences and comfort.


New Ford Figo version at Rs 3.85 lakh

Ford India on Monday unveiled face-lifted Figo hatchback, which is all set to grab attention in the B segment this festive season with a range of cosmetic changes, updated specifications and features. he Figo is now priced at Rs.3.85 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while the diesel base variant will cost Rs 4.81 lakh. The new Ford Figo justifies its punch line "change is a wonderful thing" both in its external and interior design with new front bumpers, headlamps, tail lamps and hexagonal front grills. Ford has also added two new colours to the Figo line up as well, bright yellow and kinetic blue. Inside, Figo gets new upholstery and new steering column mounted audio controls. Ford Figo has sold more than 2,35,000 units in India and around the world. Separately, the US-based auto major plans to expand its dealership network in India to 500 outlets by 2015. It currently has 230 sales and services outlets across the country. Refreshed Figo will give competition to Maruti Suzuki Ritz and Nissan Micra.


The face of modern refinement and sophistication…classy exteriors

It’s a powerful statement that you make when you step out of the Rexton. Right from the classy chrome grille to the projection headlamps configured to resemble the eyes of an eagle, the SsangYong Rexton is unmatched. Coupled with this, is its stainless steel beltline and chrome moulding which creates a well-balanced flow overall. The classy exteriors are showcased in the following elements:


Projector headlamps with L-shaped parking lights
  • Chrome radiator grills
  • LED tail lamps
  • Stylish ORVMs with LED turn indicators
  • 10-spoke alloy wheels
World Class Interiors…A Plush Cabin

Sit inside the SsangYong Rexton and you are transported into a different world altogether. Starting with the premium, dual tone, beige and black interiors complemented by metal grain accents and plush leather seats. This is coupled with Automatic Climate Control ensuring your drive is a breeze. In addition the elegant centre console, convenient center armrest and the AC vents and rear cup holders give the SsangYong Rexton’s interiors a world-class feel.


Technology that works like a charm

When you ride in the Rexton you have technology at your service all along the way. The driver’s seat not only adjusts itself electrically but also stores your preference in the memory. Just as it retains your setting of the outside rear view mirror. The navigation system comes preloaded with maps and the auto headlamps and rain sensing wipers function without having to be told. But what immediately catches your eye is the infotainment touch screen that supports all widely used audio and video formats. So sit back and enjoy the show. To summarize, the best of technology in the SsangYong Rexton includes:

  • Electrically adjustable driver’s seat
  • 3 memory presets for driver’s seat and ORVM
  • Class-leading Infotainment System
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Auto headlamps...Read More

Reliance Power announces Boiler Lightup performed at Sasan plant

Reliance Power announced that Boiler Light Up has been achieved for its first 660 MW unit at the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant. This is a critical milestone of the boiier commissioning activities for the unit. The Boiler Light Up was achieved in a record time of just 15 months and the unit is expected to be commissioned five months ahead of schedule. This would also be the first integrated coal mine and super-critical power plant to be commissioned in India. A super-critical unit has more efficiency and produces cleaner electricity through lower emissions. As announced earlier, coal production has already commenced from the 20 million tonnes Moher and Moher-Amlohri coal mines. Thus, both the power plant and coal mines would be ready for operations well ahead of schedule. The plant has also been connected to the National Grid by 400 KV transmission lines of PowerGrid.Corpn. The Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, is the largest integrated power plant and coal mining project in India with an estimated investment of over Rs. 200bn.


Suzlon Group wins cumulative orders of 140 MW

Suzlon Group, the world’s fifth largest* wind turbine maker, achieved cumulative orders of approximately 140 MW over a two-month period, excluding orders announced separately. These cover various orders from Eastern Europe, France, Germany and India. Speaking on the orders, Mr Tulsi Tanti, Chairman – Suzlon Group, said: "These orders clearly underscore the continuing momentum in the wind sector across developed and developing markets. This also highlights our strong outlook and long-term business visibility driven by our strong competitive global positioning as a Group." These cover various firm orders secured between 13th August and 13th October, 2012 and represent a strong customer–mix, covering international utilities, PSUs, large corporates and SMEs. Some of the key names include the Baidyanath Group, Rajasthan Gums (P) Ltd., Gujarat Alkalis and Chemicals Limited (GACL), and BredeKop Wind bvba (Belgium). The projects include several wind farms featuring REpower’s latest 3.4M104 and 3.2M114 turbine models, with 3.4 and 3.2 MW of rated power respectively. Other orders feature turbines of the Suzlon S88, S82, the REpower MM92 and MM82 types


Reliance Infra SPV commences widening and tolling of Delhi Agra road

Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RInfra), part of the Reliance Group, through its Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) DA Toll Road Private Limited, announced the commencement of four to six lanes widening and tolling of Delhi Agra road. The 180 km long Delhi Agra corridor is RInfra’s 8th road project that is revenue generating. The project is executed on DBFOT (Design, Build, Operate, Finance and Transfer) pattern under the aegis of National Highways Authority of India. RInfra has been awarded the contract to construct, operate and maintain the road for a concession period of 26 years. The four to six lanes widening of Delhi-Agra road will cost Rs. 2,945 crore involving construction and renovation of 16 flyovers, 2 overpasses, 14 vehicular underpasses, 8 bridges on service road, 10 pedestrian underpasses, etc. The Delhi-Agra road starts from Badarpur border and ends before Yamuna bridge of Agra city connecting major tourist’s destinations like Surajkund, Badkhal Lake, Shivling at Hodal, Shani Temple, ISKON temple, Banke Bihari and other major temples of Mathura and Vrindavan.


A car would have to pay Rs 80 for a single trip, but local residents could use this corridor any number of times in a month for Rs. 200 only. Commuters traveling from T3 international airport to Agra on RInfra’s Gurgaon-Faridabad-Delhi-Agra road will spend Rs. 196 on tolling, compared to Rs. 347 if they travel on Yamuna expressway, thereby saving almost 50% on their tolling charges. For the security and safety of passengers, all toll plazas will act as response centre during any emergencies. Each Toll plaza will have a Control Room that will help in locating the accident site and provide required emergency services within minimum response time. Emergency helpline number (05653051010) will also be displayed at every Toll Plazas. Two ambulance services will be available 24x7 on the corridor to handle any emergency situations. Four patrolling cars will regularly patrol (24x7) the entire stretch of Delhi Agra road to ensure the safety and security of commuters. A medical centre will also be located at Mathura Toll Plaza where basic medical aids will be provided during emergency...Read More


Nykredit Bank, Denmark rolls out Finacle from Infosys

Nykredit, a leading financial institution in Denmark, and Infosys, a global leader in consulting and technology, announced the successful implementation of Finacle™ core banking solution across the bank's corporate lending business. Built on new generation technologies, Finacle underpins the bank's business transformation program aimed at growing its corporate and retail business across its home market. In the first phase of this initiative, Nykredit's corporate customers are already enjoying the benefits of personalized offerings and one of the bank's newest capabilities: multi-currency loans. Nykredit is Denmark's largest mortgage lender with a 42.6 percent market share and 5.2 percent commercial banking market share. In recent years, it has focused on transforming both its corporate and retail businesses across Denmark. A strategic ingredient for success was the selection of a banking technology partner that would work in a collaborative manner to co-create new products and processes. The result: In 2010, Nykredit chose Finacle™ as its business transformation partner.


Investing in a Pre-launch residential Project: JLL

Regardless of the state of the economy, associated market sentiments and on-going funding trends, developers need to generate initial capital to successfully launch and complete their projects. Only by doing so can they maintain the kind of churn that makes the real estate development business profitable. However, lending to the real estate sector is currently in a low-sentiment phase. Interest rates are high for funding that is still available, and some developers do not meet the required eligibility norms for funding at all. In such circumstances, they may seek to raise interest-free capital from the market by pre-launching their projects. A pre-launch (or 'soft' launch) is a situation where a developer apprises an inner circle of brokers and investors of the availability of properties in a project that has not been officially put on the market yet. Word of such an arrangement spreads by word of mouth and via email, but does not figure on the developer's website or in other marketing media. The kind of buyers who show interest for pre-launch projects are usually opportunistic investors and end-users who seek to benefit from the price advantage and can wait for a couple of years before getting possession of their flats. Investing in pre-launched projects is a high-risk undertaking which can pay off as long as one has factored in all possible variables. It makes most sense to investors who have a high risk appetite and the ability to weather an eventual setback. Investing in pre-launches is, generally speaking, not a route that end users are advised to take unless there is a high degree of certainty implied in the builder's brand and track record. The price advantage of buying into a pre-launch project can be anything between 5-20%, depending on various market factors. However, the high risk factor must not be ignored. The project may not be cleared for home loan approvals, or the developer may not have obtained all the required permissions for the project. Also, the funds generated by pre-launching the project may not cover the total cost of construction and the project may be delayed or even shelved.


Investors into pre-launched projects need to do a fair degree of due diligence before deciding to go ahead:

They must establish whether the builder has free and clear ownership of the land on which the project is being built. An agreement between builder and the original owner of the land is not sufficient.


The project needs to have a IOD (intimation of disapproval). This is a set of instructions that a developer needs to comply with so that he can legally construct the project. The IOD is valid for one year and needs to be reissued if the project has not been completed in a year’s time.


The project also needs to have a commencement certificate in place. While considering a pre-launch option, it is certainly necessary to establish the trustworthiness of the builder. This includes investigating his track record for transparent dealings and compliance with legal formalities, his overall track record for timely project completions and the magnitude of experience he has had in the industry. Established builders with good reputations in the local market are generally safer bets, since they are able to bring in the necessary approvals and attract a healthier response from the market. The latter fact is important because the developer's ability to complete the project depends at least partially on bringing in a certain critical mass of sales when he pre-launches a project.


Om Ahuja, CEO - Residential Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India


International Stories

Global financial crisis has given way to slower growth: Bernanke

U.S. Monetary Policy and International Implications

Thank you. It is a pleasure to be here. This morning I will first briefly review the U.S. and global economic outlook. I will then discuss the basic rationale underlying the Federal Reserve's recent policy decisions and place these actions in an international context.


U.S. and Global Outlook

The U.S. economy has faced significant headwinds, and, although the economy has been expanding since mid-2009, the pace of our recovery has been frustratingly slow. The headwinds include the effects of deleveraging by households, the still-weak U.S. housing market, tight credit conditions in some sectors, spillovers from the situation in Europe, fiscal contraction at all levels of government, and concerns about the medium-term U.S. fiscal outlook. In this environment, households and businesses have been quite cautious in increasing spending. Accordingly, the pace of economic growth has been insufficient to support significant improvement in the job market; indeed, the unemployment rate, at 7.8%, is well above what we judge to be its long-run normal level. With large and persistent margins of resource slack, U.S. inflation has generally been subdued despite periodic fluctuations in commodity prices. Consumer price inflation is running somewhat below the Federal Reserve's 2% longer-run objective, and survey- and market-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained well anchored.


The global economic outlook also presents many challenges, as you know. Fiscal and financial strains have pushed Europe back into recession. Japan's economy is recovering from last year's tragic earthquake and tsunami, and it continues to struggle with deflation and persistent weak demand. And in the emerging market economies, the rapid snap-back from the global financial crisis has given way to slower growth in the face of weak export demand from the advanced economies. The soft tone of global activity is yet another headwind for the U.S. economy.


Looking ahead, economic projections of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) participants prepared for the Committee's September meeting called for the economic recovery to proceed at a moderate pace in coming quarters, with the unemployment rate declining only gradually. FOMC participants generally expected that inflation was likely to run at or below the Committee's inflation goal of 2% over the next few years. The Committee also judged that there were significant downside risks to this outlook, importantly including the potential for an intensification of strains in Europe and an associated slowing in global growth...Read More


Statement by EC, ECB and IMF on Greece

"Staff teams of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have concluded their visit to Greece to discuss with the authorities the set of policies that could serve as a basis for the completion of the first review of the country’s economic adjustment program.


"During the visit, the EC/ECB/IMF staff teams and the authorities had comprehensive and productive discussions on the policies needed to restore growth, employment and competitiveness, secure fiscal sustainability in a socially balanced manner, and strengthen the financial system.


"The authorities and staff teams agreed on most of the core measures needed to restore the momentum of reform and pave the way for the completion of the review.


Discussions on remaining issues will continue from respective headquarters and through technical representatives in the field with a view to reaching full staff level agreement over the coming days. Furthermore, financing issues will be discussed between the official lenders and Greece."


Euro area BoP in August 2012

In August 2012 the seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €8.8 billion. In the financial account, combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net outflows of €3 billion (nonseasonally adjusted). At the end of the second quarter of 2012 the international investment position of the euro area recorded net liabilities of €836 billion vis-à-vis the rest of the world (approximately 9% of euro area GDP). This represented a decrease of €176 billion in net liabilities in comparison with the revised data for the first quarter of 2012.


Balance of payments in August 2012

The seasonally adjusted current account of the euro area recorded a surplus of €8.8 billion in August 2012 (see Table 1). This reflected surpluses for goods (€10.2 billion), services (€7.0 billion) and income (€3.2 billion), which were partially offset by a deficit for current transfers (€11.7 billion). The 12-month cumulated seasonally adjusted current account recorded a surplus of €72.4 billion in August 2012 (0.8% of euro area GDP; see Table 1 and Chart 1), compared with a deficit of €21.6 billion a year earlier. This change resulted from goods shifting from deficit (€2.4 billion) to surplus (€65.2 billion) and from increases in the surpluses for services (from €54.4 billion to €82.7 billion) and income (from €27.0 billion to €32.9 billion), which were partly counterbalanced by an increase in the deficit for current transfers (from €100.6 billion to €108.5 billion).


In the financial account (see Table 2), combined direct and portfolio investment recorded net outflows of €3 billion in August 2012, as a result of net outflows in direct investment (€11 billion) that were only partly offset by net inflows in portfolio investment (€8 billion).


The net outflows for direct investment resulted from net outflows in both other capital (mostly intercompany loans) (€7 billion) and equity capital and reinvested earnings (€5 billion). The net inflows for portfolio investment were accounted for by net inflows for equity (€13 billion), which were partly offset by net outflows for debt instruments (€5 billion).

The financial derivatives account was close to balance. Other investment recorded net outflows (€7 billion), reflecting net outflows for MFIs excluding the Eurosystem (€10 billion) and general government (€1 billion), which were partly offset by net inflows for other sectors (€3 billion) and the Eurosystem (€1 billion). The Eurosystem’s stock of reserve assets was €716 billion at the end of August 2012, down from €725 billion at the end of July 2012, mainly on account of valuation effects. Transactions in August 2012 contributed to an increase of €2 billion in the overall position. In the 12-month period to August 2012 combined direct and portfolio investment recorded cumulated net outflows of €45 billion, compared with net inflows of €282 billion in the preceding 12-month period. This shift was the result of lower net inflows for portfolio investment (down from €349 billion to €62 billion) and higher net outflows for direct investment (up from €67 billion to €107 billion)...Read More


UK inflation slips to nearly three-year low

Inflation in the UK slowed to the lowest level in nearly three years in September, as electricity and gas price increases of last year dropped out of the index. Consumer prices rose by 2.2% from a year earlier, the least since November 2009 and down from a 2.5% gain in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in London. That matched the median forecast of economists. Utility bills, mostly electricity and gas prices knocked 0.43% off the inflation rate. From the previous month, British consumer prices rose by 0.4% in September, the statistics office said. Core annual inflation, which excludes alcohol, food, tobacco and energy prices, remained at 2.1% in September from August. Retail-price inflation, a measure used in wage negotiations, slowed to 2.6% from 2.9%. The retail-price index excluding mortgage-interest payments also rose at an annual pace of 2.6%. Factory-gate prices rose 0.5% in September from August and were up 2.5% on the year, the biggest annual increase since May, the statistics office said in a separate report. The biggest contributor to the monthly increase was petroleum products. Input prices fell 0.2% in September from the previous month and dropped 1.2% on the year.


US retail sales rise 1.1% in September

US retail sales reportedly climbed 1.1% in September, as spending rose for every segment except department stores, according to the Census Bureau. According to reports, sale of electronics and appliances were pretty strong, partly boosted by the release of the new iPhone. Gasoline-station sales rose 2.5% and auto sales increased 1.3%. Car sales in the month reached their highest level in more than four years, reports said. Only department stores and the catch-all miscellaneous store retailers suffered a decline from August levels. US retail sales growth in August was revised higher to 1.2% - the fastest rate in almost two years - as against the earlier estimated 0.9% gain. The rise in July sales was revised up to 0.7% from 0.6%, reports added. Retail sales is an important indicator of spending by American consumers. Consumer spending makes up almost three quarters of the GDP for the US.


Gold returned 11.1% in the third quarter: WGC


Quarterly statistics commentary Q3 2012

This commentary summarises gold’s price performance in various currencies, its volatility statistics and correlation to other assets, and the macroeconomic factors that influenced gold’s behaviour during the quarter. It provides macroeconomic context to the investment statistics published at the end of each quarter and highlights emerging themes relevant to gold’s future development. In this issue, we explore the influences that unconventional monetary policy has on financial markets. In particular, we discuss the effect of central bank policy actions on gold.


Q3 2012 in summary

  • Gold (USUS$/oz) returned 11.1% in the third quarter as investors responded to further central bank measures aimed at stimulating the economy. Volatility decreased during the period, with gold prices experiencing little movement in the first half of the quarter; correlations to other assets, generally low, remained similar to those seen in Q2.
  • Central banks announced a continuation of their unconventional monetary policy programmes in Q3.
  • Central banks have numerous rationales for undertaking unconventional monetary policy, including lowering borrowing costs and supporting financial markets.
  • Financial assets have responded to central bank policy announcements, but gold’s reaction has been the strongest.

There is a consensus that these policies drive investment into gold purely due to inflation-risk impact. We believe that there is not one but four principal factors that provide further support to the investment case for gold:

  • Inflation risk
  • Medium-term tail-risk from imbalances
  • Currency debasement and uncertainty
  • Low real rates and emerging market real rate differentials

Third quarter review

By the end of September, gold (USUS$/oz) was up 16% year-to-date with two thirds of the gains generated in Q3. This performance was echoed in most currencies with returns ranging from 5.0% to 11.1%, using end-of-period gold price data, and 0.7% to 5.2% using average prices. The difference between these two measures reflects gold’s sharp price rise towards the end of the quarter. Exchange rate shifts had a notable impact on some key regional gold prices. During the first half of the year Indian rupee depreciation caused the local gold price to breach a key psychological threshold, generating the strongest return of the 19 different currency-denominated gold prices monitored by the World Gold Council. That currency weakness reversed in the third quarter, leading to a modest return of 5% for gold in rupee terms. Consequently, the year-to-date performance of the rupee gold price ranked only 11th (+15.7%) as of the end of Q3...Read More


Tata Steel Europe plans to invest 1.5 bn pound: reports

Alcatel-Lucent plans to slash 1,000 people: reports


Microsoft Q1 revenue at US$16.01 bn

Microsoft Corp. announced quarterly revenue of US$16.01 bn for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were US$5.31 bn, US$4.47 bn, and US$0.53 per share. These financial results reflect the deferral of US$1.36 bn of revenue and US$0.13 of diluted earnings per share, due to the Windows Upgrade Offer, pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, and the Office Offer.  The Server & Tools business reported US$4.55 bn in first-quarter revenue, an 8% increase from the prior year period, driven by double-digit revenue growth in SQL Server and more than 20% growth in System Center revenue. In September, Microsoft continued to enrich its server offerings with the launch of Windows Server 2012. The Microsoft Business Division posted US$5.50 bn in first-quarter revenue, a 2% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Office Offer, Microsoft Business Division non-GAAP revenue increased 1% for the first quarter. Microsoft’s productivity server offerings – including Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange – continued double-digit revenue growth. 

The Windows & Windows Live Division posted revenue of US$3.24 bn, a 33% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Windows Upgrade Offer and pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, Windows division non-GAAP revenue declined 9% for the first quarter. Windows 8 will become generally available October 26, 2012. "We’re incredibly excited to be approaching general availability of Windows 8 and Windows RT," said Kevin Turner, Microsoft chief operating officer. "We’ve already certified more than 1,000 systems for Windows 8 from our hardware partners, ranging from the smallest tablets and convertibles to touch-enabled ultrabooks and all-in-ones to the most powerful desktop computers." The Online Services Division reported revenue of US$697 million, a 9% increase from the prior year period. Online advertising revenue grew 15% driven primarily by an increase in revenue per search. The Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of US$1.95 bn, a decrease of 1% from the prior year period. Xbox continues to be the top-selling console in the U.S., where it now has 49% market share. Windows Phone 8 will launch this fall with an expanded array of products, prices, carriers, and markets. Skype continued its rapid growth and now has over 280 million users.


Google Q3 cons revenue at US$14.10 bn

Google Inc announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012. "We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45% year-on-year, and, at just fourteen years old, we cleared our first US$14 bn revenue quarter," said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "I am also really excited about the progress we’re making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices."


Q3 Financial Summary

Google Inc. reported consolidated revenues of US$14.10 bn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, an increase of 45% compared to the third quarter of 2011. Google Inc. reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the third quarter of 2012, TAC totaled US$2.77 bn, or 26% of advertising revenues.

Operating income, operating margin, net income, and earnings per share (EPS) are reported on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP measures, as well as free cash flow, an alternative non-GAAP measure of liquidity, are described below and are reconciled to the corresponding GAAP measures at the end of this release.

GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2012 was US$2.74 bn, or 19% of revenues. This compares to GAAP operating income of US$3.06 bn, or 31% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP operating income in the third quarter of 2012 was US$3.80 bn, or 27% of revenues. This compares to non-GAAP operating income of US$3.63 bn, or 37% of revenues, in the third quarter of 2011.

GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2012 was US$2.18 bn, compared to US$2.73 bn in the third quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2012 was US$3.01 bn, compared to US$3.18 bn in the third quarter of 2011.


GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2012 was US$6.53 on 333 million diluted shares outstanding, compared to US$8.33 in the third quarter of 2011 on 327 million diluted shares outstanding. Non-GAAP EPS in the third quarter of 2012 was US$9.03, compared to US$9.72 in the third quarter of 2011.


Non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin exclude stock-based compensation (SBC) expense, as well as restructuring and related charges recorded in our Motorola business. Non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS exclude the expenses noted above, net of the related tax benefits. In the third quarter of 2012, the expense related to SBC and the related tax benefits were US$715 million and US$155 million compared to US$571 million and US$116 million in the third quarter of 2011. In the third quarter of 2012, restructuring and related charges recorded in our Motorola business were US$349 million, and the related tax benefits were US$76 million.


Q3 Financial Highlights

  • Revenues and other information – On a consolidated basis, Google Inc. revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was US$14.10 bn, an increase of 45% compared to the third quarter of 2011.

  • Google Revenues (advertising and other) – Google revenues were US$11.53 bn, or 82% of consolidated revenues, in the third quarter of 2012, representing a 19% increase over third quarter 2011 revenues of US$9.72 bn.

  • Google Sites Revenues – Google-owned sites generated revenues of US$7.73 bn, or 67% of total Google revenues, in the third quarter of 2012. This represents a 15% increase over third quarter 2011 Google sites revenues of US$6.74 bn.

  • Google Network Revenues – Google’s partner sites generated revenues of US$3.13 bn, or 27% of total Google revenues, in the third quarter of 2012. This represents a 21% increase from third quarter 2011 Google network revenues of US$2.60 bn.

  • Google International Revenues – Google revenues from outside of the United States totaled US$6.11 bn, representing 53% of total Google revenues in the third quarter of 2012, compared to 54% in the second quarter of 2012 and 55% in the third quarter of 2011...Read More

IBM Q3 net income at US$3.9 bn

IBM announced third-quarter 2012 diluted earnings of US$3.33 per share, a year-to-year increase of 4 percent, or US$3.44 per share, up 8 percent excluding the impact of UK pension-related charges. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings were US$3.62 per share, compared with operating diluted earnings of US$3.28 per share in the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 10 percent. Third-quarter net income was US$3.8 bn, flat year-to-year; or US$3.9 bn, up 3 percent excluding the impact of UK pension-related charges. Operating (non-GAAP) net income was US$4.2 bn compared with US$4.0 bn in the third quarter of 2011, an increase of 5 percent. Total revenues for the third quarter of 2012 of US$24.7 bn were down 5 percent (down 2 percent, adjusting for currency) from the third quarter of 2011. Currency negatively impacted revenue growth by nearly US$1 bn. "In the third quarter, we continued to drive margin, profit and earnings growth through our focus on higher-value businesses, strategic growth initiatives and productivity," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Looking ahead, we see good opportunity with a strong product lineup heading into this quarter and annuity businesses that provide a solid base of revenue, profit and cash. We are reiterating our full-year 2012 operating earnings per share expectation of at least US$15.10."


Third-Quarter GAAP – Operating (non-GAAP) Reconciliation


Third-quarter operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings exclude US$0.29 per share of charges: US$0.12 per share for the amortization of purchased intangible assets and other acquisition-related charges, and US$0.17 per share for retirement-related charges, including US$0.11 per share for the impact of UK pension-related charges.


Full-Year 2012 Expectations

IBM is adjusting its expectation for full-year 2012 GAAP diluted earnings per share to at least US$14.29, to reflect the impact of UK pension-related charges. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings per share expectations remain at least US$15.10. The 2012 operating (non-GAAP) earnings expectations exclude US$0.81 per share of charges for amortization of purchased intangible assets, other acquisition-related charges, and retirement-related charges.


Geographic Regions

The Americas’ third-quarter revenues were US$10.4 bn, a decrease of 4 percent (down 3 percent, adjusting for currency) from the 2011 period. Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa were US$7.2 bn, down 9 percent (down 1 percent, adjusting for currency). Asia-Pacific revenues increased 1 percent (up 2 percent, adjusting for currency) to US$6.5 bn. OEM revenues were US$538 million, down 28 percent compared with the 2011 third quarter.


Growth Markets

Revenues from the company’s growth markets decreased 1 percent (up 4 percent, adjusting for currency) and 35 countries had double-digit revenue growth, adjusting for currency. Revenues in the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — increased 4 percent (up 11 percent, adjusting for currency).


Services

Global Technology Services segment revenues decreased 4 percent (up 1 percent, adjusting for currency) to US$9.9 bn. Global Business Services segment revenues were down 6 percent (down 3 percent, adjusting for currency) to US$4.5 bn...Read More


Syntel Q3 revenue up 11%


Citigroup Q3 total income at US$468 mn

Citigroup Inc reported net income for the third quarter 2012 of US$468 mn, or US$0.15 per diluted share, on revenues of US$14.0 bn. CVA/DVA was a negative US$776 million in the third quarter, resulting from the improvement in Citi’s credit spreads, compared to a positive US$1.9 bn in the prior year period. Third quarter results also included a pre-tax loss of US$4.7 bn (US$2.9 bn after-tax) from the previously announced sale of a 14% interest and other-than-temporary impairment of the carrying value of Citi’s remaining 35% interest in the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MSSB) joint venture. In addition, third quarter results included a US$582 million tax benefit related to the resolution of certain tax audit items. Excluding CVA/DVA and the loss on MSSB, third quarter revenues were US$19.4 bn, up 3% from the prior period. Excluding CVA/DVA, the loss on MSSB and the tax benefit, earnings were US$1.06 per diluted share, up 26% from the prior year period. Vikram Pandit, Citi’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "Our core businesses showed momentum during the quarter as we increased lending and generated higher operating revenues. These earnings highlight the strength of Citicorp and its diversification by product and region. For the third straight quarter, we had positive operating leverage in each of our three core businesses. Citigroup in total also had positive operating leverage as Citi Holdings had a smaller impact on our overall results.


"Last month’s price agreement on MSSB has given us more certainty on our exit from that business and added to the reduction of Citi Holdings, which is now only 9% of our balance sheet. We generated additional capital during the quarter, and our Tier 1 Common Ratio was estimated at 8.6% on a Basel III basis at the end of the period. We are managing risk very carefully given global economic conditions so we can continue to grow our businesses safely and soundly," concluded Mr. Pandit. Citigroup revenues of US$19.4 bn, excluding CVA/DVA and the loss on MSSB, were 3% above the prior year period, driven by 5% growth in Citicorp revenues, offset by a 10% decline in Citi Holdings revenues primarily resulting from the ongoing wind down of those assets. Citi Holdings revenues represented 5% of total Citigroup revenues, excluding CVA/DVA and the loss on MSSB. Citicorp revenues of US$17.6 bn in the third quarter 2012 included US$(799) mn of CVA/DVA reported within Securities and Banking. Excluding CVA/DVA, Citicorp revenues were US$18.4 bn, 5% above the prior year period with 15% growth in Securities and Banking revenues and 2% growth in Global Consumer Banking (GCB) revenues, partially offset by a 2% decline in Transaction Services revenues.


Citi Holdings revenues of US$(3.7) bn in the third quarter 2012 included US$23 mn of CVA/DVA and the US$4.7 bn pre-tax loss on MSSB. Excluding CVA/DVA and the loss on MSSB, Citi Holdings revenues were US$971 million compared to US$1.1 bn in the prior year period. Lower revenues in Local Consumer Lending and in Brokerage and Asset Management drove the decline in Citi Holdings revenues from the prior year period, partially offset by an increase in Special Asset Pool revenues. The decline in Local Consumer Lending revenues reflected the ongoing decline in assets while the decline in Brokerage and Asset Management reflected a lower equity contribution from MSSB and lower private equity marks. The Special Asset Pool revenues grew versus the prior year period due to lower funding costs as well as an improvement in asset marks. Total Citi Holdings assets of US$171 bn declined US$76bn, or 31%, from the third quarter 2011. Citi Holdings assets at the end of the third quarter 2012 represented approximately 9% of total Citigroup assets...Read More


Moody’s confirms Spain’s rating at 'Baa3'; Outlook negative

Moody's Investors Service has confirmed the Kingdom of Spain's Baa3 government bond rating and assigned a negative outlook to the rating. In addition, Moody's has confirmed Spain's short-term rating at (P)Prime-3. 's rating action concludes the review for possible further downgrade of Spain's rating that Moody's had initiated on 13 June 2012.


The decision to confirm the Kingdom of Spain's sovereign ratings reflects the following positive developments since June:

  1. Moody's assessment that the risk of the Spanish sovereign losing market access has been materially reduced by the willingness of the European Central Bank (ECB) to undertake outright purchases of Spanish government bonds to contain their price volatility. The rating agency believes that Spain will likely apply for a precautionary credit line from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). This should in turn help sustain demand for Spanish government bonds by allowing the ECB to activate its Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program of secondary market purchases. Entry into an ESM precautionary program would not in itself lead to a downgrade as long as the rating agency believes that the government is likely to retain access to private capital markets.

  2. Evidence of the Spanish government's continued commitment to implement the fiscal and structural reform measures that are needed to stabilize its debt trajectory, as indicated by the package of fiscal measures announced in July, the changes to the institutional framework for regional government finances and, more recently, the announcement of further structural reforms to be implemented in the coming months. In this respect, Moody's considers the external monitoring of the Spanish government's implementation of its plans that would accompany an ESM precautionary credit line to be a positive factor. The rating agency's base case assumes that the Spanish government will be successful in gradually reducing its large budget deficit and arresting the rise in its debt burden.

  3. The ongoing progress towards restructuring the Spanish banking sector and enhancing the solvency of the affected banks, which should help to restore market confidence in Spain's banking system as a whole...Read More

Russia invites ONGC to buy stake in Magadan 2 field

Russia has invited Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd to consider buying a stake in the Magadan 2 field operated by Rosneft in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk,according to reports. Reports stated that India, is on the hunt for supplies to power its near-US$2-trillion economy, while Russia is keen to tap its vast offshore reserves. New Delhi government has told state firms to secure energy assets overseas as the country's own output is well below demand in an economy expected to grow 6.5% this year, reports said. There were reports that Rosneft recently teamed up with Norway's Statoil in four new joint ventures, including exploring the Magadan 1, Lisyansky and Kashevarovsky license blocks, with prospective recoverable resources at more than 1.4 bn tonnes.


OECD warns world about low growth, high unemployment

The world faces a dangerous cocktail of low growth and high unemployment, OECD chief Angel Gurria said on Tuesday. "You have a problem of high unemployment especially among the youth - growing inequalities and low growth - and in some cases contracting growth," Gurria said at an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference in New Delhi. In its latest global economic review earlier this month, the Paris-based think-tank said that leading economic indicators for the 34-nation body point to weakening growth in coming quarters for most major economies. "Like the James Bond cocktail - when you shake together and do not stir - you have a very, very dangerous combination," he said in the Indian capital . Some 50 million people are unemployed in OECD countries - 15 million more than in 2008, Gurria said. "Five years on (after the onset of the global financial crisis), it is still ongoing," said the secretary-general of OECD.


Global Crude Oil Price of Indian Basket Declines to USUS$ 111.25/BBL
The international crude oil price for Indian Basket as computed/published by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas went down to USUS$ 111.25/barrel (bbl) on 18.10.2012. This was lower than USUS$ 111.79/bbl on the previous trading day’s figures 17.10.2012. In rupee terms however the crude oil price declined only marginally to Rs 5892.91 per bbl on 18.10.2012 as compared to Rs 5896.92 per bbl on 17.10.2012. The rupee depreciation with rupee-dollar exchange rate on 18.10.2012 at Rs 52.97/USUS$ against Rs 52.75/USUS$ on 17.10.2012, eroded most of the gains of account of fall in crude oil prices in dollar terms...Read More

S&P Dow Jones Indices launches S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend Index

S&P Dow Jones Indices launched the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend index which applies a low volatility screen on a high yield basket of securities drawn from the universe of S&P 500. The Index is the first of its type designed to identify high yielding securities with low levels of volatility. The S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend index has been licensed to Invesco Power Shares, for the creation and launch of an exchange traded product. Invesco Power Shares is also the licensee for the closely followed S&P 500 Low Volatility index.


The S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend index is designed to serve as a benchmark for income seeking equity investors. The Index seeks to measure 50 high yielding companies within the S&P 500, while meeting diversification, volatility, and tradability requirements. "Income has been a primary focus for many investors in 2012 as dividend funds continue to draw an increasing amount of interest; however, volatility is still at the forefront of investor minds as market uncertainty continues to factor into their investment decisions," says Vinit Srivastava, director of strategy indices at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "The S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend index captures these two trending investment themes into one unique design and concept."


A brief synopsis of the selection of constituents for the S&P 500 Low Volatility High Dividend index is as follows:

  • All stocks in the S&P 500 are ranked in descending order by their 12-month trailing dividend yield.

  • The top 75 stocks with the highest dividend yield are selected, with the number of stocks from each GICS sector capped at 10.

  • Using available price return data for the trailing 252 trading days leading up to each index rebalancing reference date, the realized volatilities of the 75 selected highest yielding stocks are calculated.

  • The 75 selected highest yielding stocks are then ranked in ascending order by their realized volatility. The top 50 securities with the lowest realized volatility form the index.
IATA calls for collaborative approach to boost efficiency

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called upon aviation stakeholders to work together to create greater value for customers across the travel experience while enabling greater efficiency for industry participants. "Airlines expect to carry some 3 bn passengers in 2013. And that number will double by 2030. Connectivity is a critical component of modern economies. Serving that growing demand will require innovation. We need to understand what consumers expect and what they value enough to pay for. Aviation is team effort. And that is a challenge for all industry stakeholders. Travel agents, airports, air navigation service providers, regulators, manufacturers, ground service providers, global distribution systems (GDSs) and many others must work together to make each passenger journey as safe, secure, seamless and convenient as possible," said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Tyler made his comments in an address to the World Passenger Symposium which opened in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


Tyler highlighted three priority areas for cooperation to create a more seamless and more interactive modern travel experience:  

  • Simplifying airport processes with Fast Travel

  • Implementing a Checkpoint of the Future (CoF) for passenger security

  • And developing a New Distribution Capability in line with modern retailing practices

Fast Travel: IATA is working with industry stakeholders to implement self-service options with its Fast Travel program. This gives passengers more control over their airport experience in six key processes: check-in, bag check, travel document scanning, boarding, flight re-booking and baggage tracing. "IATA’s Global Passenger Survey reveals that 52% of travelers are eager to print out their own bag tags at home and 77% would prefer to use a self-boarding gate at an airport. Fast Travel responds to these and other consumer demands for more control over their journey," said Tyler.


"Our 2020 vision is for a fast, seamless curb to airside experience that is predictable, repeatable, secure and globally consistent. An important component of that vision is ubiquitous one-click access to Wi-Fi at airports. This will enable travel services providers to exchange data in real-time with passengers," said Tyler. Such interaction will provide a channel to provide passengers with options to add value to their journey as well as facilitating a smoother process when there are delays or other irregularities.


CoF: The CoF project will enable a walk-through security checkpoint experience without stopping, removing items of clothing and liquids, or taking computers out of bags. "CoF will replace ’s one-size-fits-all approach to screening with a model based on risk assessment. By focusing resources where the need is greatest we will make the system more secure and reduce the hassle for our customers," Tyler said. According to IATA’s Global Passenger Survey, queuing time is the most frequent complaint with security...Read More


London holds taxi top spot as voted by global travelers: Hotels.com

London cabs have been voted the best taxis in the world for the fifth year in a row, according to the annual global taxi survey from Hotels.com. London claimed 11% of the votes, followed by New York with 6.4% and Tokyo with 5.6%.


The world’s best taxis:
Rank City % of votes
1 London 11%
2 New York 6.4%
3 Tokyo 5.6%
4 Shanghai 4.8%
5 Bangkok 4.3%

Travellers voted according to seven categories, of which London’s iconic black cabs headed up five – friendliness, knowledge of the area, cleanliness, safety and quality of driving – while simultaneously being voted worst for value. New York pipped London to the post as the best city for availability with their famous yellow cabs, while Bangkok topped the list for best value.  Despite London and New York holding onto first and second place, taxis in Asia Pacific countries are rising in popularity, with Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok all qualifying for coveted spots in the top five. The Hotels.com taxi survey also revealed some of the unconventional activities that  travellers from around the world get up to on their taxi journeys.   Over half of all respondents (56%) have fallen asleep in a taxi, while almost a fifth (19%) said they use the journey to touch up their hair and makeup an additional quarter (26%) of those surveyed admit to having kissed in the backseat of the taxi in the past. The survey also revealed some of the strange items left behind in cabs including a single shoe and a raw fish!


Other findings:

  • 15% of respondents claimed they would never tip their taxi driver, while 39% only round up to the next whole number
  • Safety was voted as the quality most valued in the a taxi, followed by knowledge of area and value
  • The world’s biggest spenders on taxis are Australia, while Italy splash out on this mode of transport the least
Best according to category:
Category Best % of votes
Cleanliness London 13%
Knowledge of the area London 14%
Quality of driving London 16%
Friendliness London 10%
Safety London 12%
Availability New York 11%
Value Bangkok 10%

Alison Couper, Senior Director of Communications, Hotels.com, comments "It is great news for London to be the home of the best taxis for the fifth year running. London’s iconic black cabs are recognised around the world as being the highest quality and it’s due to the impressive expertise of London taxi drivers that they’re seen to have the best local knowledge compared to any other city in the world!"


MakeMyTrip launches SMS-based service: reports

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