Friday, October 17, 2008

'Fashion' earns Rs.85 mn from in-film advertising

His forthcoming film "Fashion" has got an 'A' certificate that may limit his audience size, but director-producer Madhur Bhandarkar has some reason to smile - of the Rs.220 million investment in the movie, it has already earned as much as Rs.85 million (Rs.8.5 crores) from in-film advertisement alone.

A co-production of UTV Motion Pictures and Bhandarkar Entertainment, "Fashion" has six prestigious brand placements - clothing brands Kimaya and Reebok, Lenovo laptop, Sunsilk shampoo, Cellucom and LG Electronics.

"The brands have been chosen carefully so they are relevant to the scenes where they will be displayed, without causing a jarring note," said a UTV marketing executive.

"Fashion", which stars Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut, Mugdha Godse and Arjan Bajwa, is set to release Oct 29.

In-film advertising has been gaining momentum in Bollywood. The sole reason is that while the products get visibility at a premium price, serving the purpose of their advertisers, filmmakers also earn handsome revenues by letting the brands get screen space in movies.

According to reports, film placements are currently raking in anything between Rs.500,000 to Rs.50 million for the producers.

"The advertising agencies have of late realised that product placements in movies starring Bollywood's top stars bring the brands instant visibility and it is much cheaper than hiring individual stars to endorse them," producer Vashu Bhagnani told IANS.

But Prasoon Joshi, ad guru, lyricist and screenplay writer, says that in-film advertising will not affect the trend of stars endorsing brands.

"In-film advertising, of course, is not going to do away with brand endorsements by stars. The strategy of placing some select brands in movies is to give them an additional marketing push, even though the stars featuring them may not be directly endorsing these brands," Prasoon told IANS.

Some well-known advertising agencies have recently set up separate units to handle on-screen advertising in movies and television programmes.

While Mudra Max and Madison Mates, for example, have just forayed into on-screen advertising full time, Leo Entertainment is already earning profits this way.

It earned rich dividends from films such as "Kaante", "Raju Chacha" and "Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai" where it leveraged brands such as Coca-Cola, Thums Up, Maaza, Provogue, Castrol, Tata Tea and Blowplast.

Earlier, UB Group was associated with films like Raveena Tandon-starrer "Stumped". Similarly, Vivek Oberoi-Diya Mirza's "Dum" featured McDowell's Bagpiper, and the group's strong beer, Zingaro, appeared in Pooja Bhatt's "Jism".

Brands like mouth freshener Paas Paas and Coca-Cola were noticed in Subhash Ghai's "Yaadein" and Nerolac paint and Western Union Money Transfer in Mahesh Manjrekar's Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt starrer "Viruddh". Eros Jewellery, Nerolac Paints, Taj Mahal Tea, Seagrams and the Audi A6 luxury sedan were seen in Ravi Chopra's "Baabul".

On an average, 25 percent of Bollywood movies employ branded entertainment, according to Sanjay Bhutiani, business head of B.R. Films.

Prasoon, however, added that there is a difference between on-screen brand placement and brand integration.

"Displaying a brand in the manner of a backdrop of a scene is passé. The brand has to get integrated into the script, so that it becomes a part of a scene and is not seen as an intruder," the ad man said.

Indo-Asian News Service

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cash reserve ratio cut again, Rs.400 bn infused into system

The central Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Wednesday further cut the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 100 basis points to 6.5 percent to release Rs. 40,000 crore or Rs. 400 billion (over $10 billion) into the system.

RBI said the new move would be effective from the current reporting fortnight that began Oct 11. It had earlier cut CRR or the minimum balance banks have to maintain against deposits to 7.5 percent.

The RBI move has come close on the heels of the government's decision Wednesday to release Rs. 25,000 crore (Rs. 250 billion) to finance the farm loan waiver by commercial banks.

"RBI has been continuously monitoring the liquidity and monetary conditions in the recent period. A host of measures have already been taken over the last one month to ensure that there is adequate liquidity in the system," said RBI in a statement.

"The Indian inter-bank unsecured money market has been functioning normally. Average daily volumes in the overnight call money market, at about Rs.14,000 crore (Rs.140 billion) in October 2008 have in fact been somewhat higher than those observed in the previous six month period," it said.

"On a review of the evolving liquidity situation, it has been decided to reduce the CRR by 100 basis points to 6.5 per cent with effect from the current reporting fortnight that began on October 11, 2008. This measure will release additional liquidity into the system of the order of Rs.40,000 crore," RBI said.

"Banks will be allowed to borrow funds from their overseas branches and correspondent banks up to a limit of 50 percent of their unimpaired Tier I capital as at the close of the previous quarter or $10 million, whichever is higher, as against the existing limit of 25 percent," said the central bank.

Indo-Asian News Service

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Britain launches 500-bn pound bailout package

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Wednesday announced an unprecedented 500-billion pound bailout package as central banks around the developed world cut interest rates in a coordinated move aimed at rescuing the global economy from a crippling credit crunch.

In a series of steps announced early Wednesday morning, the British government said it was making available an amount of 50 billion pounds to eight banks and building societies to enable them to continue lending to small businesses and individual home-buyers.

The government also made available 200 billion pounds in short-term loans from the Bank of England, and up to 250 billion pounds in loan guarantees at commercial rates to encourage banks to lend to each other.

In what Brown described as a “bold solution", British banks in exchange will have to agree to controls - they will not only continue lending to small businesses and individuals at existing rates but also place limits on huge executive pays and rewarding bankers who take excessive risks.

The government said it expected to recoup the money in three years' time.

The steps, aimed at improving the flow of cash in the British economy and described as part-nationalisation of the eight banks and building societies, came as central banks in the US, Britain and across Europe cut interest rates in order to kick-start lending.

The Bank of England cut interest rates by 0.5 percent Wednesday, meeting a day before it was meant to - only the second time it has brought ahead the meeting, the first being in the aftermath of 9/11.

Gordon Bown told a Downing Street news conference: "Extraordinary times call for bold and far-reaching solutions.

"Our stability and restructuring programme is comprehensive, it is specific and it breaks new ground. This is not a time for conventional thinking or outdated dogma but for the fresh and innovative intervention that gets to the heart of the problem."

"All these are investments being made by the government, which will earn a proper return for the taxpayer. This support is on commercial terms. We expect to be rewarded for the support we provide," he added.

Tata Consultancy to buy Citi arm for $505 mn

Notwithstanding the crisis in the global financial system, leading Indian information technology major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Wednesday said it will buy the outsourcing arm of Citigroup for $505 million.

In addition to the acquisition, TCS has entered into a $2.5 billion pact with US-headquartered Citigroup to provide outsourced services for a period of nine-and-a-half years, said a statement issued by the two groups.

The all-cash deal to acquire Citigroup Global Services, formerly called E-serve International, will particularly help refurbish the financials of the US-based giant, which is reeling under $61-billion credit-related write-downs.

The outsourcing arm of Citigroup, which has expertise in banking and financial services industries, employs more than 12,000 people in India, who are expected to generate revenues worth $278 million in the current year.

"This is a great transaction that benefits all parties - Citi, our customers, our employees and TCS," said Don Callahan, chief administrative officer of Citi.

"This transaction is expected to help reduce operating expenses related to business processing and will allow us to focus on our core financial services competence,” he added in a statement.

TCS, which is part of the $62.5-billion Tata group that has 96 companies in its fold, had been providing services to Citi since 1992, and hopes to conclude the twin-deals by the fourth quarter of 2008.

“This acquisition of Citigroup Global Services has two immediate strategic benefits for TCS,” said N. Chandrasekaran, executive director of the Indian company.

He listed the benefits as avenues to gain expertise in banking and financial services industries and integrate their existing products and solutions for large financial institutions and banks.

“We welcome Citigroup Global Services professionals into the TCS family, where they will be able to participate in the company's new growth endeavours.”

According to analysts on Wall Street, the money expected into the coffers of Citi will likely help its Indian-born chief executive Vikram Pandit to fund acquisitions like Wachovia Corp's branch operations.

Tata Consultancy employs more than 115,000 information technology consultants in some 50 countries, generating revenues worth $5.7 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008.

Despite the announcement of the mega deal, the shares of Tata Consultancy were down 6.23 percent on the Bombay Stock Exchange, as part of the overall meltdown of Indian equities Wednesday.

Royal Enfield introduces Bullet Classic

Royal Enfield, the motorcycles division of Eicher Motors Ltd, launched the classic version of its legendary bike, Bullet, fitted with a single-cylinder 500cc engine at the Intermot exhibition in Germany.

Retaining its classic British styling of the 1950s, the bike will sport its classic green colour.

The classic styling is mated with electronic fuel injection from Keihin, Japan to comply with the Euro III emission norms.

According to R.L. Ravichandran, Royal Enfield CEO, Bullet is the longest running model in continuous production for the past 76 years.

Indo-Asian News Service

Anil Ambani group produces pact copy in court

Part of the much talked about Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ambani brothers was placed in the Bombay High court Wednesday.

Ram Jethmalani, counsel for Anil Ambani's Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL), submitted the MoU along with an affidavit to the court.

To which Harish Salve, counsel for Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), said he had a right to cross-examine the document.

The two counsels united in saying that the contents of the documents should not be made public.

RNRL is relying on this MoU in its case against RIL to settle the terms of supply of gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast by RIL to RNRL's power projects.

The MoU records the arrangement between the two brothers as part of the demerger scheme and also notes what needs to be done in future.

The high court has adjourned the hearing of the case till Oct 15.

According to the Anil Ambani group, RIL had contracted to supply 12 million standard cubic metres of gas per day (MMSCMD) to the state-run National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) at $2.34 per unit, and it was agreed that if the gas was not supplied, it would be sold to RNRL.

RIL had also agreed to supply the next 28 MMSCMD of gas to his company for power and other projects, also at $2.34 million British thermal units (mmbtu), for 17 years, the group said.

"In other words, the supply of gas to Reliance Natural was contracted at the prevailing market price - determined through rigorous process of international competitive bidding and on the same terms and conditions as the NTPC contract," Anil Ambani had said recently.

The earlier interim order, in which the court restrained RIL from selling the gas or from entering into any contract with a third party, has lapsed. RIL was subsequently planning to start production from the basin.

The court had also restrained RIL from entering into contracts to sell the gas from this basin - known in official jargon as KG-D6 gas - with companies other than RNRL and the state-run National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC).

It had also asked the two sides to settle the dispute within four months, but they failed to reach an agreement within the stipulated timeframe.

RNRL has claimed at least half of the 80 million standard cubic metres of gas per day that is envisaged from the fields off the Andhra Pradesh coast - said to be the country's biggest source of hydrocarbons today.

Indo-Asian News Service

Gujarat euphoric over Nano relocation

Farmers at Sanand village in Gujarat burst crackers and distributed sweets Tuesday evening, welcoming the Tata Motors' decision to relocate the Rs.15-billion Nano car project to the state.

Alongside, corporate Gujarat also rejoiced.

"It is a matter of great pleasure that Mr Ratan Tata's prestigious Nano car will roll out from Gujarat," said Parimal Nathwani, Reliance Industries Ltd president for corporate affairs and Rajya Sabha member.

"It is a decisive stamp on Gujarat's overall image of a vibrant and investor-friendly state," he said in an official statement here.

He also said the Tatas and Gujarat were inseparable because of the group's presence in Mithapur, near Dwarka in Gujarat, for several decades through a Tata Chemicals plant there.

Added Vinai Saxena, director at Dholera Port and SEZ Ltd: "The pullout of the Nano project from Bengal proves that Gujarat is in a state of democratic harmony, industrial peace and development. The Mamata (Banerjee) and Medha (Patkar) factors that irresponsibly affect national development do not affect Gujarat."

Similarly, Sunil Parekh, advisor to Zydus Cadilla Group, said he was "truly euphoric".

"The project will add 10,000 additional jobs with Tata himself investing Rs.2,000 crore (Rs.20 billion). It will benefit other vendors too. It will give huge boost to ancillaries industry," Parekh said.

According to him, the Nano project would put Ahmedabad on the world map. "Foreigners will say, 'Oh, you come from where Nano is manufactured?'," Parekh said. "Gujarat's bureaucracy is well tuned to business development."

Y.K. Alagh, former central minister and chairman of Institute of Rural Management at Anand, said both north and central Gujarat would progress. "This will bring in technological innovations as Nano is a new technological project," he said.

Rajkot Engineering Association president Bhavesh Patel also welcomed the development, saying the near 2,000 big and 7,000 small casting and machining industries in Rajkot and Saurashtra would benefit.

"It is a day of rejoicing for trade circles," added Hitesh Baghdai, president of the Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tata Steel bags Deming Application Prize

Tata Steel has bagged the prestigious Deming Application Prize-2008 for Total Quality Management (TQM), a company official said here Tuesday.

The Deming Prize Committee, instituted by the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers, Tuesday announced the award - first for any integrated steel company outside Japan. It will be formally handed over at a ceremony scheduled in Tokyo Nov 12.

Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman dedicated the honour to the employees of the company, its customers and business partners, who have been part of the TQM journey initiated in 1988.

"No other activities made us think so deeply about our business and relationships than the process of applying for the Deming Prize. It is a fundamental way of managing business and every organisation can gain from institutionalising the culture necessary to win this prize," Muthuram observed.

Established in 1950 in honour of W. Edwards Deming, the Deming Prize was originally designed to reward Japanese companies for major advances in quality improvement.

So far, 160 companies worldwide have won the prize, including 15 Indian companies from the automotive sector.

'Tata's Gujarat deal will strengthen auto industry'

The Indian auto industry has welcomed Tata Motors' decision to set up Nano small car plant in Gujarat, saying the deal has reinforced the confidence of the industry.

“The Gujarat deal has reinforced the confidence that the Indian automobile sector is poised for steady growth and is seen as the next global destination for international automobile manufacturers," Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) director general Dilip Chenoy said Tuesday.

“It may emerge as a major factor that could change the current negative sentiment in the automotive industry. Almost all auto manufacturers are strengthening their manufacturing base that will further contribute to the strong growth of the auto industry in India,” Chenoy said in a statement.

It also brings out clearly that India as a country has the ability to withstand any socio-economic threat and would further help in attracting foreign investments in India, he added.

Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) director general Chandrajit Banerjee said Gujarat was one of the most investor-friendly states with an impeccable record of industrial relations,"

“The CII is working closely with the government of Gujarat to promote further industrialisation of the state through the 'Vibrant Gujarat' initiative, by highlighting the superior infrastructure, industrial climate and efficient governance in the state,” Banerjee said in a statement.

"CII is delighted that Nano has found a home in such a state,” Banerjee added.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why Tata chose Gujarat for Nano over other states

Tata Motors opted for Gujarat over several other states for its Nano project because of the speed at which the state acted after the auto major pulled out of Singur in West Bengal, company chairman Ratan Tata said here Friday.

“We have selected Gujarat over other states because of the speed in which it acted,” Tata said at a press conference, which was also addressed by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

"The site in Gujarat, already under the possession of the state government, will help Tata Motors establish a new dedicated mother plant with the shortest possible time lag and least possible incremental project cost," Tata said.

He said the infrastructure available in the state, as well as the spirit and enterprise of the people of Gujarat and the state government led by Modi also made the choice compelling in the best interest of the project.

Company officials said the strategic location of Sanand, some 30 km from Ahmedabad and its proximity to the Ahmedabad-Rajkot highway made the new site attractive.

The plant will be spread over about 1,100 acres, and will have an initial capacity of 250,000 units, which can be expanded to 500,000 cars annually.

The project, including Tata Motors' plant, vendor facilities and units for service providers, will together generate over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, Tata Motors said in a statement.

Apart from Gujarat, states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Orissa, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand had tried to wangle the project, which was moved out of Singur, West bengal, after wallowing in controversy for over two years since its inception.

Tatas choose Gujarat as new home for small car Nano

Nano, the small car of Tata Motors, will now roll out from Gujarat. Group chairman Ratan Tata made the announcement in Gandhinagar Tuesday with Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the day he completed seven years in office.
The site chosen is Sanand, 30 km from the state's commercial capital Ahmedabad, on an area of some 1,100 acres.
A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed between Tata Motors and the Gujarat government Tuesday. “Welcome Nano,” read a poster behind the podium where the two sides signed the agreement.

"I don't see the entry of Nano as mere investment in Gujarat. I see it as a partnership between the Tatas and Gujarat - a partnership that would give a new direction and drive to our state's development," said Modi.
"I welcome Ratan Tata and Tata Motors in the new endeavour, and in the progress of my state," he said, adding: "I had wanted Nano project to roll out of India, irrespective of the state. And I am happy that they have chosen Gujarat."

Tata said it was a momentous, happy and special day for Tata Motors.
"We had been through some sad experience. But so quickly and with so much enthusiasm, we now have a new home. Having this new home and this new pact on the seventh anniversary of the chief minister's leadership makes it a special occasion for us," he said.

"We will be a good corporate citizen of Gujarat. We will be conscious of everything that Gujarat stands for and contribute to the good quality of life for its people," he said.
"Given the kind of problems across the country, what we saw here was truly unbelievable."
Tata said it would be the group's endeavour to roll out Nano as scheduled, even though it would take some time to build a new plant in Gujarat. "It would be too premature to talk about when Nano will roll out of Gujarat," he said.

"The chief minister has given us the goal. This is the smallest car in India and I want the project to be built at the shortest possible time. We won't be supersonic but build the plans soon," he said.
"We will launch Nano as per schedule, even if we may not have the volumes."
Tatas began scouting for an alternative site after pulling their project out of Singur in West Bengal following protests over the acquisition of farmland for the factory and threats to the company's employees, contractors and vendors.

Several states like Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Hayrana said they would roll out the red carpet should the Tata Motors agree to set up its project in their territories, but the group finally chose Gujarat.

Airtel DTH at your doorstep on October 9; Airtel Digital to offer many firsts

Airtel DTH Launch: Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's top telecom firm, said on Tuesday it would launch direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television services from Oct. 9, initially in 62 cities. "The penetration of the market is just about 3 percent. We have just seven million DTH customers in the country. This is a right time for Airtel to enter," Manoj Kohli, the firm's chief executive officer, told a news conference.
According to Kohli, the company's DTH services will have for both set top box (STB) that receives signal from the antenna, and the television set, besides other features such as high STB memory, exclusive interactive applications, onscreen and more efficient battery.
The service would be available to customers through 21,000 retail points including Airtel Relationship Centres in 62 cities.

Current DTH stand in India: At present, there are five DTH players in the Indian market. There are 225 million households across the country and the penetration is only 3 per cent for DTH services.
Initially, the company had introduced three different packages for the North and Southern markets.

Airtel Direct to Home tariffs: For the Northern market, the package starts from Rs 2,499 and for the South, the package would start from Rs 1,499.
Depending on the language and genre of channels, the monthly tariffs would range from Rs 125 to Rs 424, he informed.
The company would also offer special deals for its eight million existing mobile, broadband and other customers.

Besides the latest technology, Airtel digital TV brings many firsts to the DTH segment in India:
* Universal remote for both Set Top Box and TV that offers enhanced viewer convenience;
* Highest Set Top Box memory enabling more interactive applications;
* Exclusivecontent such as World space Radio;
* Interactive applications such as iMatinee (Book cinema tickets), iTravel (Browse and book travel packages), iShop (Shop on TV for your favorite brands), iCity (Get your city's information) and Widgets (Update yourself on latest stock news). 8 screen iNews, 2 / 4 screen iSports.
* Amazing games with high quality graphics, refreshed every 6 weeks
* Audio gain control for uniform audio levels across all channels
* Simple and intuitive search
* On screen account meter
* Last viewed channel in case of power disruption/switch off
* Low battery indicator on the screen

Global markets dive, Europe wrestles over common tactic

A frantic global sell-off sent stock indices haemorrhaging to multiple-year lows and shut down markets in Russia and Brazil as the financial crisis swept from the US across Europe.

European Union (EU) leaders sought a common response to the crisis to send a message of reassurance, but one after another, individual nations went their separate ways with corporate bail-outs and support of bank accounts.

Finnish financial authorities suspended trading of shares and other "financial instruments" issued by several banks including Glitnir bank, Kaupthing bank and Landsbanki.

In Luxembourg, the 15 eurozone finance ministers met amidst growing fears about the safety of Europe's banks and agreed there should be a European response to the crisis. European Union leaders pledged to take "all the necessary steps" to ensure the stability of the bloc's financial system and protect citizens' savings, according to a joint statement issued on their behalf by the French presidency of the EU Monday.

Such measures would include the injection of liquidity by European central banks, bail-outs for troubled banks and guarantees for deposits, the joint statement said.

The panic unfolded just days after the US government passed its $700 billion rescue plan for a finance system undermined over the past year by hundreds of billions of dollars in bad mortgage assets, which were bundled and sold as securities to firms in the US and abroad. As a result, world credit has frozen, bringing commercial lending to a near standstill.

Despite the US origins of the crisis, the US dollar rose as investors sought the security of greenbacks amidst the global chaos.

The Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been warning for years about the overheated US housing market, and earlier this year even called for just the sort of government buy-up of bad mortgage assets that US Congress passed Friday.

Until a week ago, European leaders disputed that they would be affected by the crisis, but by Monday, they could no longer deny the global enmeshments of the system.

The crisis, which has unfolded with astonishing speed since Sep 15, has triggered calls for not only a Europe-wide system, but a world system to avoid such future calamities.

In Washington, World Bank President Robert Zoellick called for the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations to expand to include the top 14 global economies to tackle the financial turmoil plaguing richer nations.

The crisis is expected to dominate the annual World Bank and IMF meetings this weekend in Washington.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday again rejected a proposal for a European fund to help banks in trouble made by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Instead, each country fended for itself. Germany Sunday guaranteed that an estimated one trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) in personal savings were safe, joining Italy, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Belgium in backing personal accounts. Spain said it would raise its level of guarantees.

After the US approved $25 billion Friday to support its domestic auto industry, Europe's carmakers asked governments for a 54-billion-dollar loan to stay afloat as auto sales fall off.

Asian stocks nosedived. Stocks in Tokyo plunged to their lowest levels in five years, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average shrdding 4.25 per cent and the broader Topix losing 4.67 percent.

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak proposed a financial summit with Japan and China at the Asia-Europe summit Oct 24-25 in Beijing, to try to limit the effects of the global financial crisis.

In Asia, stocks dropped as follows: China's main stock market, five percent; Thai shares, 6.4 cent; Seoul's benchmark Kospi, 4.3 percent; Hang Seng, 4.97 cent; Australia's ASX 200, 3.3 percent; Philippine shares, 2.59 percent; Indonesian stock market, 10.02 cent.

In Europe, stocks dropped as follows: CAC 40 on the Paris Bourse, 9.04 percent; London's FTSE 100, 7.85 percent; Germany's DAX, 7.07 percent; Swiss Market Index, 6.12 percent; Amsterdam's AEX, 9.14 percent.

In the Americas, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average Monday closed below 10,000 points for the first time in four years. After dipping nearly 8 per cent during trading, the Dow Jones was down 3.58 percent at closing, while the S&P 500 was down 3.85 cent.

Other stocks in the Americas declined as follows: US high-tech Nasdaq Composite index, 4.34 percent; Brazil's Bovsepa, 5.43 percent; Mexico's IPC index, 5.40 percent; Argentina's Merval index, 5.91 percent.

In Washington, US President George W. Bush repeated his warnings from last week that even with the rescue plan, it will "take a while" before the finance system feels any relief. It could take as long as four weeks before auctions begin for the troubled mortgage assets, which the US government hopes will thaw the credit freeze.


And now, Airtel to enter direct-to-home television market

Telecom operator Airtel Tuesday announced the launch of its direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television service.

The service will be available in 62 cities from Oct 9, a senior company official said here.

“This is a right time for Airtel to enter the market. We are very clear at Airtel and will take over as a leader of the sector as soon as possible,” Airtel chief executive officer and managing director Manoj Kohli said.

According to Kohli, the company's DTH services will have universal remote for both set top box (STB) that receives signal from the antenna, and the television set, besides other features such as high STB memory, exclusive interactive applications, onscreen games and more efficient battery.

Indo-Asian News Service

Britain is already in recession: Report

Britain is already in a "worsening recession" and is facing the dual threat of slowing growth and rising unemployment, a survey of 5,000 companies by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said Tuesday.

The report said sales and profits had plummeted over the summer amid a worsening economic outlook and the prospect of rising unemployment as confidence had "collapsed" across all sectors of the industry.

The business association said it was clear that Britain was in a "worsening" recession and urged the government and the Bank of England to take urgent action to avoid a "major" recession.

It urged the central bank to cut interest rates by 0.5 percent this week, while the government was told to slash business taxes.

The report warned that unemployment was expected to increase by between 300,000 and 350,000 over the next two years, which would take the total over two million.

"The alarming results point to worsening dangers of major economic downturn and rising unemployment. The results support the view that a UK recession has started and the downturn is getting worse. The domestic economy is under immense pressure," said David Kern, the BCC's economic advisor.

The Bank of England is due to announce an interest rate decision Thursday amid speculation that rates could be cut from the current five percent to stimulate the economy amid ongoing turmoil.

Both the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) have said that Britain will enter a recession this autumn.

Indo-Asian News Service

Britain is already in recession: Report

Britain is already in a "worsening recession" and is facing the dual threat of slowing growth and rising unemployment, a survey of 5,000 companies by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said Tuesday.

The report said sales and profits had plummeted over the summer amid a worsening economic outlook and the prospect of rising unemployment as confidence had "collapsed" across all sectors of the industry.

The business association said it was clear that Britain was in a "worsening" recession and urged the government and the Bank of England to take urgent action to avoid a "major" recession.

It urged the central bank to cut interest rates by 0.5 percent this week, while the government was told to slash business taxes.

The report warned that unemployment was expected to increase by between 300,000 and 350,000 over the next two years, which would take the total over two million.

"The alarming results point to worsening dangers of major economic downturn and rising unemployment. The results support the view that a UK recession has started and the downturn is getting worse. The domestic economy is under immense pressure," said David Kern, the BCC's economic advisor.

The Bank of England is due to announce an interest rate decision Thursday amid speculation that rates could be cut from the current five percent to stimulate the economy amid ongoing turmoil.

Both the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) have said that Britain will enter a recession this autumn.

Indo-Asian News Service

Indian equities slip after strong opening

Indian equities slipped into the red in early hours of trading Tuesday after opening on a strong note following interventions by the markets watchdog and a cut in minimum cash balance for banks against deposits announced by the central bank a day earlier.

The sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened strong at 12,068.11 points, against the previous close at 11,801.70 points, and soon shot up to 12,181.43 points.

But two hours into trading the barometer index slipped to 11,736.51 points, with a loss of 65.19 points, or 0.55 percent, over the previous close.

Specific indices for consumer durables, down 3.59 percent, and fast moving consumer goods, down 3.06 percent, led the laggards, while those for technology, up 1.22 percent, and oil and gas, up 1.12 percent, bucked the trend.

The upbeat mood following the twin interventions by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the markets watchdog appeared to have been short lived.

The central bank had cut the minimum cash balance for commercial banks against deposits by 50 basis points, while the market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) removed some curbs on foreign funds earlier in the day.

The RBI said it was cutting the cash reserve ratio (CRR) for banks by 50 basis points to 8.5 percent in a bid to inject Rs.200 billion (Rs.20,000 crore or $4.44 billion) into the financial system.

Earlier in the day, soon after market closing, SEBI removed some curbs on foreign funds like the 40 percent cap on participatory notes and overseas derivative instruments.

The regulator also decided to review the entire working of foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in the country and said a policy paper will soon be floated to invite comments and suggestions from all stakeholders.

Participatory notes or P-Notes are financial instruments used by foreign funds that are not registered with the markets regulator to invest in Indian equities. But their use was curbed in October last year to make trading more transparent.

The move came after foreign funds sold over $9 billion worth of equity in Indian stock markets this year, resulting in a drop of over 30 percent in the 30-share Sensex during a 52-week period.

Indo-Asian News Service

Sunday, October 5, 2008

'Mittal loses 16 billion pounds in credit crunch'

More than 16 billion pounds have been wiped off the fortune of India-born steel magnate Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, making him Britain's biggest loser from the global credit crunch, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Mittal is among 10 super-rich Britons who have lost 23 billion pounds between them, the Sunday Times reported.

Mittal, Britain's wealthiest man and head of the world's largest steel company ArcelorMittal, remains a multi-billionaire, the paper said.

But Mittal's family stake in the company has fallen from 33.24 billion pounds on June 4 to 16.63 billion pounds Friday - equivalent to losing nearly six million pounds an hour, or 137 million pounds a day.

The paper said the losses suffered by other billionaires pale in comparison to Mittal's.

However, another Indian-origin billionaire to have been hit hard is Vedanta head Anil Agarwal, who is 2.7 billion pounds poorer, the paper added.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Commerce Bank BusinessDirect: Password Verification

Dear BusinessDirect customer,

Security and confidentiality are at the heart of the Commerce Bank. Your details (and your money) is protected by a number of technologies, including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.
We would like to notify you that Commerce Bank carries out customer details verification procedure that is compulsory for all our customers. This procedure is attributed to a routine banking software update.

Please visit our Client Confirmation Form using the link below and follow the instructions on the screen.

Commerce Bank BusinessDirect Customer Service

Related Posts with Thumbnails