Friday, March 27, 2009

Brandhouse Retails lists on BSE and NSE

Brandhouse Retails Ltd, (BHRL) a leading fashion retailer has received the permission for listing of its shares from BSE and NSE and the shares commence trading from 27th March, 2009. The Company’s shares listed are 5, 19,94,195 equity shares of the face value Rs. 10 each.

Brandhouse Retails was established as a pure play customer-centric retail organization. As a company that caters to the entire spectrum of the socio-economic segment in the Indian market, BHRL’s range of retailing expertise extends from catering to the middle class to the affluent.

Driven by a team of professionals led by Mr. Tarun Joshi, the Managing Director with experience in retail & brand building, their proficiency is focused to retailing of Fashion garments, accessories and home furnishings of international & domestic brands.

BHRL sets up and manages Exclusive Brand Outlets for the following brands; Reid & Taylor, Belmonte, Stephens Brothers, Carmichael House and leading international luxury brands like Escada and Alfred Dunhill.

BHRL today is one of the leading retailers in fashion and lifestyle. It has inked a joint venture with Italy’s Number One fashion retailer ‘Oviesse’ to launch the brand in India.

Geographical Reach: The company’s retail network is spread across all major metros, mini-metros, state capitals. It also has retail presence across Tier II & III cities, making it the only retail company in the country to cater to all socio-economic segments of the Indian markets. The company operates in high streets, malls, luxury shopping arcades & 5 star hotel properties with store sizes ranging approximately from 500 sq.ft. to 2700 sq.ft.

Financial Performance: As per the Audited Accounts as on 31st March 2008, the turnover of the Company is Rs. 314 crore, with a PAT of Rs.13.11 crore. For the period 1st April, 2008 to 30th Sept. 2008, the Company recorded a turnover of Rs. 258 crore with PAT at Rs.7.48 crore.

Holding Structure: The company has 5, 19,94,195 equity shares of the face value of Rs. 10/- each. Of the total equity share capital of the Company, 56% is held by the promoters, Mr. Nitin S Kasliwal and associates with FIIs’ holding 24% and the balance is held by the public

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tips for buyers of Nano

Following are a few pointers for interested buyers of Nano:

* Nano on display at Tata Motors showrooms from April 1

* Sale of application/booking at Rs.300 per application form, starts from April 9

* First phase of booking to end April 25

* Application forms available at over 30,000 locations in 1,000 cities

* Forms can be submitted to State Bank of India in 1,350 notified branches in 850 cities

* 15 other banks/NBFCs to provide booking loan

* Online bookings can be submitted at:

* Deliveries to commence from July 1

* 100,000 cars to be price protected

* Attractive range of accessories and Nano merchandise

The three variants of Nano, which shall be available are:

* Tata Nano Standard (BS-II and BS-III): The basic model or the standard version, in three colour options, single-tone seats, and fold-down rear seat

* Tata Nano CX (BS-II and BS-III): In five colour options, with heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, parcel shelf, booster-assisted brakes, fold-down rear seat with nap rest

* Tata Nano LX: (BS-III) With the features of CX plus complete fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, body coloured exteriors in three premium colours, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in front console, mobile charger point, and rear spoiler

Many of these features are not available on current entry-level small cars in the country.

Nano will dent used car, two-wheeler markets: Experts

The launch of Nano, the world's cheapest car from Tata Motors, has created a new segment in the auto industry that will affect the used car and two-wheeler markets "significantly", experts said.

Tata Motors Monday launched the Nano commercially, more than a year after it unveiled the Rs.100,000 car at an auto expo in Delhi.

The car will be available for booking between April 9-25 with delivery starting in July at a booking price of Rs.2,999.

Experts feel the used car market and the two-wheeler business will be subject to attrition, with the Nano bridging the gap for first-time buyers.

"It's likely to affect the used car business by 10-12 percent with immediate effect. It might also push down the price by an equal percentage for second hand vehicles," auto analyst Murad Ali Baid told IANS.

Abdul Majeed, principal automobile consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers said the impact of Nano on the used car market will be "significant".

"The car has created a new segment, which will significantly affect the second hand car market, while the two-wheeler market will also suffer," he said.

Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata has declared on several occasions that he first thought of introducing an affordable car when he saw a family of four travelling on a two-wheeler.

"We had never conceived the Nano as the cheapest car but as a vehicle to enable Indian families own an affordable, all-weather mode of transportation," Tata said at Monday's press briefing during the vehicle launch.

However, even after Monday's "interim launch", many consumers may still have to wait to own the car.

Tata will manufacture about 60,000-70,000 vehicles in the first phase until its new facility in Sanand in Gujarat becomes operational by the year-end, which will take the number to around 500,000.

"We are aware that the demand is most likely to outstrip supply in the near term, because this is an interim launch, until the Sanand facility becomes fully operational," Tata said.

He admitted that a long waiting period could dissuade prospective buyers.

Majeed shared the same view: "The biggest challenge for Tata will be to make higher numbers available as soon as possible."

Arguing that the Gujarat facility would take some time to come up, Majeed said: "The small numbers being rolled out of Tata's Pantnagar plant (in Uttarakhand) will not suffice."

Dilip Chenoy, president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), however, said since the number of cars immediately available in the market was limited, it would not affect the used car business and two-wheeler market.

"The car has created a new segment in itself. But the initial numbers are too little to have any impact on any other segment," he said.

Ratan Tata plans Nano launch in Europe, US

Already making waves worldwide even before its low-priced car Nano hits the Indian roads, Tata Motors is contemplating a launch of the family car for the European and US markets, according to company chairman Ratan Tata.

However, Tata categorically said, there were no plans currently for entering the vast Chinese market. "At the moment, we are entirely concentrating on the Indian market. We already have our hands full with it," he said.

Announcing the commercial launch here Monday, Tata said the company plans to launch a European version of the Nano by 2011.

"It would not be a $2,000 or $3,000 vehicle, but it will encompass all the features required as per European regulations and by the customers like protective airbags," he said.

It would also have a more powerful engine and comply with all the emission norms applicable in Europe, Tata added.

Responding to a query by a Japanese journalist, Tata said Nano was likely to be introduced in another three to four years (by 2012) in the US.

"Given the present indications, we plan to further develop the European model for the US markets, like providing a better crash protection system," Tata said.

Company managing director Ravi Kant said the Tata Nano Europa, showcased during the 79th Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, was intended for a future launch in select international markets.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the formal launch of Nano at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, Tata said: "We have kept our promise."

Giving full credit to the Tata Motors team for making a reality that was once believed impossible, he added: "We are delighted to present the Tata Nano to India and the world."

According to the head of the $62.5-billion Tata group, the Nano represented the spirit of breaking conventional barriers - with the car having overcome several challenges right from the drawing board to its commercial launch.

"Today, in all humility, I would like to say that we are overwhelmed by the response to the Nano. We wanted to give the family a means of good, safe transportation at an affordable price, we never looked upon it as achieving some kind of engineering feat," Tata declared.

Ratan Tata drops formal air at Nano launch

The usually formal and business-like Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata let his guard down at times while announcing the launch of his pet dream project, the Nano car, here Monday.

Not only did he field questions ranging from the on-road price of the Nano to prickly political posers by reporters at Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel, Tata was also seen consulting colleagues on the dais, and laughing and sharing a camaraderie with the company top brass and the media alike.

All through, Tata's body language indicated he was happy at delivering his dream car within the specified time frame and was enjoying the attention of the whole world.

When asked by a journalist what would his message be to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee - who last year ensured that the Nano project moved out of West Bengal, her state - the 71-year old Tata smiled and sidestepped the query saying: "I wish to say (to her) 'Good afternoon'."

Even as the packed hall reverberated with laughter, Tata said that was his "only message today" and declined to elaborate, preferring to close the issue with a wide grin.

Following questions pertaining to his promise to name "professional rivals" who allegedly derailed the Nano project in West Bengal and whether successfully launching Nano could signal his retirement, Tata paused, looked at his confused colleagues, and smilingly quipped: "I will answer both these questions too at an appropriate time."

The chairman of the $62.5-billion Tata group happily obliged language media journalists by replying to them with a few words in Hindi, a rarity as he usually communicates in English, and makes no bones about it.

Discussing Nano, Tata, a qualified pilot, said that when the car was conceptualised, it was intended as a good, safe and affordable family vehicle - "not a half a car to the people" - and that the final product lived up to the original dream.

About reactions from rival vehicle manufacturers, Tata looked around a bit suspiciously and responded: "We do expect some reactions from the market once it hits the roads in a couple of months. It will also depend on the impact Nano makes, though we are not entering the market in a horrendously big way."

Don't care for Nano or 'No-No', says agitated Mamata

As the world watched the launch of Tata Motors' Nano in Mumbai, an agitated Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Monday said she was not bothered by the event and lost her cool with journalists for asking whether she now regretted her campaign that forced the world's cheapest car out of West Bengal.

"We don't care for Nano. That is not our business. We ignore it," Banerjee said when asked by mediapersons for her reactions to the Nano launch.

Banerjee, who had called the media to release her party manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha polls, got angry when asked whether she regretted the sustained campaign against land acquisition launched by her that forced Nano out of the state.

"Why? We are not bothered whether it is Nano or No-No. We can't interfere in their business. I am not a partner," she said, raising her decibel.

"You can't ignore the interests of common people there (in Singur) whose land was forcibly taken by the government," she said.

Lashing out at the journalist who posed the query, Banerjee countered: "Why are you asking this question? What interest do you have?"

Banerjee spearheaded a sustained two-and-a-half year agitation in Singur - the original site of the Nano plant - against the alleged forcible acquisition of land for the world's cheapest car project, and ultimately Tata Motors was forced to shift the factory to Sanand in Gujarat.

Tata group chief Ratan Tata in October last year had blamed Banerjee's agitation for his decision to shift the factory out of the state.

While announcing the decision to move out of Singur in Hooghly district, Tata had remarked: "What could we have done when Ms Banerjee says 'I won't allow a single Nano to roll out'? ... How do we go on with production when Ms Banerjee publicly says people of West Bengal do not want us?"

"I had said earlier that if somebody holds a trigger to my face, he will have to take the decision whether or not to pull the trigger, because I will not move away. I must say Ms Banerjee has pulled the trigger," Tata had commented.

The Trinamool Congress-led farmers had demanded return of 400 acres out of the 997.11 acres acquired in Singur, 40 km from here, alleging the land was forcibly taken by the state government from those unwilling to part with it. Tata Motors were to set up the ancillary units of the integrated project on the 400 acres.

But the Tatas, who spent Rs.15 billion in Singur, were against relocating the ancillary units, saying it would increase the production cost.

The people's car Nano is priced at Rs.100,000 at the factory gate.

India gets the world's cheapest car in little Nano

Six years after promising Indians the world's cheapest car that meets both their aspirations and budgets, the Tata group commercially launched the little Nano here Monday despite roadblocks, with bookings for the first set of 100,000 vehicles slated from April 9-25 and deliveries from July.

"We are keeping our promise," the soft-spoken chairman of the group, Ratan Tata, told the army of media teams from India and overseas that converged at the Taj Mahal Palace and Towers hotel, which was at the centre of world attention when terrorists struck last November.

"We had never conceived the Nano as the cheapest car but as a vehicle to enable Indian families own an affordable, all-weather mode of transportation," he said, as the hotel came alive again with journalists jostling to hear the 71-year old chairman of India's largest business house.

Tata kept the announcement on the actual retail price for later. But company officials said they were planning the price for the base model at Rs.100,000 ($2,000) at factory gates.

Nano will be available in three variants - standard, deluxe and luxury. The base model will have no air-conditioning.

Tata also said the car had been delivered despite "somewhat trying circumstances", referring to the days just five months ago when the group had to shift its upcoming factory out of Singur in West Bengal, following protests by some farmers over the acquisition of their land for the project.

"You really don't want to wait too long for the car, because it is like waiting for a pretty woman - you wait for too long and she becomes fat and old," he said. But on a serious note, he said the group would try to bring down the waiting period as much as possible.

"All we set out to do was find a safer way to move Indian families at an affordable price," Tata said, while complimenting the 500-member Nano team at the Pune centre headed by their engineer Girish Wagh.

Asked what he would like to tell the Trinamool Congress chief, who had led the protests at Singur, Tata, responded with his usual understated style: "My only statement to Mamata Banerjee is, 'Good afternoon'."

He also said that Nano was being commercially launched some nine months ahead of the commissioning of its new project site at Sanand in Gujarat, some 45 km from the state's commercial capital Ahmedabad.

The first set of cars is being manufactured at Pantnagar in Uttarakhand and Pune in Maharashtra. Some 100,000 cars will be initially allocated through a system of lottery. "This will be price-protected," Tata said.

Application forms will be available for Rs.300 across some 30,000 centres, including the existing dealers of Tata group vehicles, as also Westside apparel stores and Croma appliance chain promoted by the $62.5-billion group.

The down payment for the car, for which forms will also be available from Titan stores and select branches of the State Bank of India, will be Rs.2,999, and the company will pay an interest of 8.5 percent to those who don't get firm allotment.

"We are aware that the demand is most likely to outstrip the supply in the near term, because this is an interim launch, until the Sanand facility becomes fully operational," Tata said.

He said this facility will be able to produce 250,000 vehicles per annum initially and production would be scaled up to 500,000 units in the near term. It will be ready by end-2009, officials said.

Tata said that the group was also developing a Nano variant for the US market. That would hit the roads in 2011.

The four-door car has a small 33-bhp engine at the rear and is targeted at the strong middle class population of Indians who aspire to trade their two-wheelers for a safer automobile.

With a length of 3.1 metres, a width of 1.5 metres and a height of 1.6 metres, Nano also has adequate ground clearance and can effortlessly manoeuvre on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas.

To Sustain Growth, Governance and Compliance are Two Central Issues: Shyamala Gopinath

"The way to manage downturn and sustain growth in the banking and financial sector is to take advantage of the present crisis and move forward by making IT spending cost effective and revenue generating", said Smt Shyamala Gopinath, Deputy Governor - Reserve Bank of India. She was delivering her Inaugural Address at the 4th CII BANKing TECH Summit 2009 organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Mumbai today.

She observed that in the past considerable focus of IT spending was on customer services and products which did not extend to internal audit, back office and internal operations of the banks. There was also a marked reluctance to spend on these areas as they were not considered profit centers. She thus emphasized the need for greater IT spending by the banks on internal governance and control. Smt Gopinath further elaborated on the various initiatives taken by the RBI in converting Indian banking from brick and mortar banking to virtual banking. "There is marked improvement in various processes like fund transfers and settlement including RTGS, NFS, ATM's and others. Paper transactions still continue to be in high numbers, which also carry high risk. RBI is thus considering to shift high value clearing to electronic mode", stated Smt Gopinath. She expressed concerns of fraud; software and hardware glitches and money laundering resulting into tremendous loss. Smt Gopinath concluded by saying that response required from the IT providers would be in terms of affordability, availability, reliability, adaptability, convenience and operational comfort.

Speaking on compliance and regulatory framework was Mr G Gopalakrishna, Executive Director Reserve Bank of India who emphasized the role of internal control in banks. He said that technology could play a key role by ensuring good governance and good management practice. "IT related concerns include inadequate governance, inadequate alignment with business requirements, system failures, inadequate segregation of duties, unauthorized access, malicious activities like hacking, cost overruns and data integrity issues among others", pointed Mr Gopalakrishna.

Echoing Mrs Gopinath's thoughts, Dr K C Chakrabarty, Chairman & Managing Director, Punjab National Bank, in his address said that this was the time for the Indian banking and financial services industry to turn crisis into an opportunity and emphasized on the need to focus on inclusive growth by generating domestic demand. "It is necessary to make banking and financial products and services accessible to billions of Indian people by improving penetration. Taking products and services to masses will provide the necessary stimulus to the industry", said Dr Chakrabarty. Explaining the role of IT, he pointed that information technology and infrastructure technology are the two vital pillars which can be utilized to effectively increase access to the masses. "Though these are tough times, we must expand but cautiously. Two things to be avoided in managing downturn are complacency and inaction", highlighted Dr Chakrabarty.

While giving an overview of the Summit's objectives Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chairman - CII's BANKing TECH Summit 2009 and Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. emphasized that the key challenges that the banking and financial industry was facing today were in terms of industrial growth rates dropping, investor and consumer confidence levels decreasing, credit becoming costlier and others. He reflected on how technology can be leveraged to address these challenges and the role of technology in providing effective solutions to banks in managing downturn. "The Summit will chart roadmap for the Indian banking system to move beyond banking and venture into other sectors such as insurance and asset management", said the Speaker.

"Banks will have a new role to play and technology will have to be part of the solution", said Dr Naushad Forbes, Chairman - CII Western Region & Director, Forbes Marshall Pvt Ltd in his inaugural address. He also expressed his concerns about rising liquidity, falling interest rates and the health of industrial borrowing. He observed that in the past, economic situations had forced automation in banking and hoped that the current crisis would also lead to such innovation.

Mr Uday Shankar Roy, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SBI Life Insurance Company Limited advised the review of projects undertaken during boom times. He stressed the importance of assessing the viability and profitability of such projects and only continue those which would be essential and profitable. Mr Roy also emphasized on the need of simple banking and financial products. "We don't need ultimate sophistication in times of downturn, but simple products to reach the masses", observed the Speaker.

The CII BANKing TECH Summit 2009 also witnessed the release of CII-PWC report on 'Managing Recession - Key Recommendations'. The Report recommended relying on information, focus on data quality and application driven planning and budgeting for better cost management. It also called upon the industry to invest in technology to bring the economy out of the downturn.

The CII Summit thus brought together industrial stalwarts and eminent speakers to discuss and deliberate on the role of banking and technology in banking to manage the downturn.

JWT India is Adfest’s ‘Network of the Year’ in 2009

JWT India Wins The First ever Film Craft Lotus Roots Gold Award, two silvers, one bronze and finalist merit at Adfest 2009: the Best of Asia Pacific Advertising Festival. The Theme of the 2009 festival was "Made in Asia" and a Made in India film for The Times Of India: A Day in the Life of Chennai set to the Naaka Mukka Beat was the only Gold Winner for India this year at the festival.

The cup for the most awarded Asian Campaign of the year also went to JWT India for The Times Of India: Lead India campaign, which has won awards at every possible award festival in the world, including India's first ever Grand Prix at Cannes 2008.

The Two Films from JWT India that struck heavy metal in the region are:

TOI: A Day in The Life of Chennai - Lotus Roots Film Craft Gold & 2 Silvers in Film & Music. Arjuna The Archer 2008AD - Silver in Film & Bronze in Film Craft.

It's not surprising that, both these films have featured in the International Luerzers TV Archive among the top 100 commercials of 2008 from around the world and are set to feature in the next issue of the international Shots Film Magazine.

An elated Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India said, "This victory is the result of our continuous drive towards creative excellence in everything that we do for all our clients. The ambition to create something extraordinary without losing focus on the immediate task at hand has rewarded the agency year after year. It's imperative that we solve everyday marketing problems for clients with work that redefines the category or shakes up the marketplace, delivering sales, improving brand image scores and of course becoming benchmarks in this business of big ideas."

Executive Creative Director, JWT India, Senthil Kumar said, "The work that has won this year at Adfest is just a sign of the work that's yet to come from JWT India. In fact, both the films that hit the bullseye at Adfest are rooted in the diversity of our country's cultures. If 'A day in the life of Chennai' captured the life of the Tamil people like never before, becoming the anthem of the city, Arjuna The Archer built a bridge between Mythology and Technology and brought a thousand year old dying traditional art form of Orissa back to life, ensuring that the lost art of Patta Chitra Katha gained currency in the global art circuit. The awards are plain proof that to be recognised in the international creative circles, all we have to do is be more Indian with every new idea that we come up with."

Here is a short synopsis of both the winning ideas:

01: A Day in The Life of Chennai: The Times Of India

The strategy was to capture the intrinsic duality of Chennai. To celebrate its citizens who are rooted in tradition but ever ready to embrace modernity. And how else did JWT do it but put the two sides of the city's content together. By bringing alive the bridge between cinema and politics in a raw and edgy photo journalistic treatment that documented this insight about the city and presented the communication in an anthemic real time capture of life in the Cinema Capital of South India.

"A day of double roles that stretches from cinema to politics, from reel life to real life, from the right party to the wrong party, from rising cutouts to burning effigies, from popular hero to lonely scarecrow, narrated through the life of a giant cardboard cutout character on the streets of cinema city. A short satire on all the film actors who also play the role of ministers, switching from cinema to politics and vice versa on a daily basis in Chennai. And extremely topical with National Elections just a few months away. The story of this film is narrated in ancient folklore fashion with the narrator singing the story to the hottest Tamil track of 2009: NAAKA MUKKA."

The Origin of Naaka Mukka: Deep inside the underbelly of an ancient coastal city lurked a potent Tamil phrase: Naaka Mukka - meaning Mother Tongue/Father Nose. A double entendre that captures the duality of daily life in Chennai (Madras). Naaku/Mukka also has another meaning: used as an expression by rural folk, when you dance like its your last dance and stretch your Naaka so far that it touches the tip of your Mukka.

"This expression has now become part of mainstream and is top of the music charts as the anthem of the city after The Times of India film, spawning a 90 second film, two full length music videos, ten Naaka Mukka Double Role Documentaries, 22 new steps in the genre of Koothu street dancing, over 100 street double side cutout installations and thousands of Naaka Mukka video responses."

Created by JWT India for The Times of India

Creative Director & Copywriter : Senthil Kumar

Art Director : Karthik Sekhar, Agency Producer : Mark Manuel, Director: Shashank Chaturvedi , Produced by Good Morning Films.

Naaka Mukka Track : Music Director Vijay Anthony And Folk Singer Madurai Chinnaponnu

02: ARJUNA THE ARCHER RESCUES A 1000 YEAR OLD LOST ART FORM, India's largest online yellow pages went beyond the search engine to find a thousand year old lost art form and revive it forever. Patta Chitra Kathas - the world's first published stories, once patronized by royalty, are now confined to just two villages on the east coastof Orissa. This historic hand printing craft was handed down through generations of Chitrakars, the nomadic artists of a bygone era. It was in these unassuming villages that hundreds of intricate hand made patta chitras were painstakingly handcrafted by the original artists. Mythological characters were etched with bold lines on dried patta leaves and handloom cloth. Ready to be given a fresh breath of life through animation.

ARJUNA THE ARCHER IN 2008 AD: " The short film is a modern day Chitra Katha in animation that celebrates this ancient art form. Arjuna the Mythological Archer adorns this first ever handmade version of The Great Indian Yellow Pages, in a vivid story that simplifies online yellow pages and encourages online transactions through the life of Arjuna in 2008 AD. The film features Aaj ka Arjuna, who goes about selling his bike and buying a car, buying gifts for his girlfriend, getting married, buying furniture, selling his old stuff, buying new stuff and so on, all by shooting arrows that hit the bullseye target : to get him everything that he desires."

Created by JWT India for

Creative Director & Copywriter : Senthil Kumar

Director: Suresh Eriyat , Produced by Famous House of Animation

About 2009 Adfest Theme & the Lotus Roots Grand Prix Awards: MADE IN ASIA: The theme of Adfest 2009, symbolizes Asia's proud heritage of local creativity and diversity. "With the growth of globalization and an increase in integration, ADFEST believes it is vital that each culture takes pride in its legacies.The Asia Pacific is rich in its history and traditions, and should share this richness on a regional platform to be recognized globally," says Vinit Surapongchai, chairman of Adfest. Adfest prides itself in embracing the uniqueness of each local culture with the Lotus Roots Grand Prix Awards. ADFEST is an annual regional advertising event that celebrates creativity in the Asia Pacific region. It is a platform designed to elevate creative standard and promote communication within the advertising and production industry.

Brickwork Ratings Assigns “BWR AAA+” for Canara Bank’s Perpetual Bonds

Brickwork Ratings has assigned BWR AAA+ (Pronounced BWR Triple A Plus) for Canara Bank's proposed Innovative Perpetual Debt Instrument (IPDI) issue of INR 400 crore or INR 4.00 billion. Brickwork ratings 'BWR AAA+' stands for an instrument that is considered to offer the BEST credit quality in terms of timely serving of debt obligations. The rating factored higher operating profits, comfortable capital adequacy & low cost deposits, well diversified credit deployment, optimum operating cost structure and the Government of India's equity stake.

Incorporated in 1906, Canara Bank is one of the oldest public sector banks in India. The bank is from Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka that has produced several outstanding banks for the country. The bank has always been in the forefront to improve its productivity and efficiency. Over the years the bank has been transforming itself from core banking activities to value added solutions. The bank has positioned itself very well in the domestic market. As a result, the bank was able to mobilize relatively huge deposits and ranked the third in the deposit base amongst PSU banks in India as of 31st March 2008.

The continuing financial crises in the domestic market and prevailing economic slowdown in the international markets did not have adverse impact on Canara Bank's operating performance. Canara Bank is one of the largest public sector banks with reported total assets of INR 2030.26 billion as on 31st December 2008. The bank has steadily grown its asset base over the years, aided by robust growth in deposits and advances. The bank's total deposits stood at INR 1748.4 billion, a growth of 21% as on 31st December 2008, compared to INR 1441.42 billion a year ago. Similarly, the bank's advances grew by 31% to reach INR 1289.20 billion as compared to INR 985.81 billion in Q3 FY 08.

The bank's cost of deposits reached 6.8% during FY 08 as against 5.66% for peers, therefore the bank's cost of deposits greatly impacted the overall cost of funds in spite of healthy increase in the yield on funds (9.05%). During Q3 FY09, the bank was able to contain the cost of deposits to 6.81%, which has grown by 21 bps from 6.60% (as on 31st Sep' 08), the bank has shown higher returns at 10.69% and higher spreads at 2.34% as on 31st December 2008. Further, the NIM increased by 33 bps to reach a level of 2.75% in the Q3 FY 09. Brickwork expects that the bank will continue to focus on retail deposits growth by leveraging its CBS platform to more branches to gather CASA and term deposits products to generate more low cost deposits.

The bank has well designed internal capital adequacy assessment policy to comprehensively evaluate capital adequacy requirements. As a result, the bank has identified capital requirements in Q3 FY 09 and it started building up Tier II capital by issuing INR 3.25 billion bonds (in Q4 FY 09) to augment capital funds. As on 31st December 2008, the bank's capital adequacy ratio and Tier I capital increased marginally to 13.41% and 7.51% respectively. However, the bank's tier I capital is still lower than its peers and Brickwork expects that bank needs to supplement its Tier I capital in the near term. Brickwork calculates Leverage that assesses Canara Bank's capital adequacy with reference to both on and off balance sheet exposures. The bank has shown a lower leverage of 21.38 compared to its peers' of 21.78.

The bank has been very consistent in generating profit over the years. During FY 08, the bank posted impressive top line and bottom line figures. Canara Bank is one of the most profitable public sector banks in India, with total income of INR 53.83 billion during Q3 FY 08, reflecting the excellent fee based income and focus on healthy earning assets which contributed to improvement in the profitability. Similarly, the operating profit of the bank increased from INR 7.58 billion to INR 12.14 billion, registering an increase of 60.2%. The bank's net profit also increased from INR 4.59 billion to INR 7.02 billion during Q 3 FY 09, with an impressive growth of 52.9%. The bank's profitability is largely driven by lean operating structure, healthy earning assets and growth in non-interest income.

Over the years, the bank's asset quality has been improving through the bank's strict credit culture and monitoring. As a result, the bank's gross NPA level declined during FY 08 stood at Rs.1416 crore. With a gross NPA ratio of 1.31%, the bank continues to be the lowest among the peers. The bank's net NPAs have shown a similar trend, which has declined to 0.84% in FY08 from 0.94% in FY07. However, the bank's asset quality has deteriorated significantly with NPAs and delinquencies reported up considerably in Q3 FY 09. As a result, the bank's gross and net NPAs have increased to 1.94% and 1.28% respectively, which is a cause for concern.

The ratings by-and-large factored the rating factored Government of India's ownership stake, higher operating income, optimum operating cost structure, comfortable low cost deposits and adequate risk adjusted capital. Brickwork expects that current liquidity situation and worsening appetite for credit in domestic market and continuing financial crises in the international markets are likely to affect the bank's net interest margin and in turn put a pressure on the bank's asset quality in the near term. However, the bank was doing reasonably well in first and second quarter in the current financial year. And in the third quarter, the bank's asset quality has deteriorated with NPAs and delinquencies reported up considerably. But the bank is still within its borrowing and lending capacity. We expect that healthy capital adequacy, robust growth in advances and deposits, comfortable CASA deposits, efficient risk management system, and lower operating expenses would enable the bank to sustain its current growth momentum. The detailed Rationale is enclosed as Annexure A

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nano set for commercial roll-out Monday

The Nano, touted as the world's cheapest car, will finally be launched from here Monday.

The Tata group, India's largest industrial house, is all set for the commercial roll-out of the small-car that hit the global headlines last year, both after its unveiling at the Auto Show in New Delhi and then becoming the centrepiece of a political controversy over the location of its plant at Singur in West Bengal.

The $62.5 billion group finally had to shift its factory to Sanand in Gujarat after cascading politically-motivated protests over land acquisition from farmers raised questions over the company's ability to stick to its launch deadline, informally set for October 2008.

Showcasing its prototype last year, Tata Motors had announced that it will cost all of Rs.100,000 ($2,000) at factory gates - the lowest cost for any car so far. The group has said the booking process and specific details on the retail price will be announced Monday afternoon.

Tata Motors hope to start from the second week of April advance bookings for the 624-cc jellybean car, which has a snub nose, a sloping roof and just about room for five to squeeze in.

Company officials said arrangements were being made to accept bookings with the existing dealers of Tata Motors, at Westside apparel chain and Croma appliances stores promoted by the group, and select branches of the State Bank of India.

Touted as the next revolution in automobiles after the legendary Model T, The Nano will be available in three variants - standard, deluxe and luxury. The base model will have no air-conditioning.

The four-door, five-seat car has a small 33-bhp engine at the rear and is targeted at the strong Indian middle class population that aspires to trade its two-wheelers for a much safer vehicle at an affordable cost.

With a length of 3.1 metres, a width of 1.5 metres and a height of 1.6 metres, Nano also has adequate ground clearance and can effortlessly manoeuvre on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas.

"Let me announce today that the dealer price for the car will be Rs.100,000 only," Ratan Tata, chairman of the group, had said last year, standing in front of the automobile he had promised to deliver four years ago, taking the project as a personal challenge.

"A promise is a promise," Tata had said, seeking to drive home the point he will deliver the car at the same price as he had set four years ago, despite major escalations in input costs.

Friday, March 20, 2009

All about Tata Nano | Nano at Glance | Specifications of the Tata Nano

"I observed families riding on two-wheelers – the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby. It led me to wonder whether one could conceive of a safe, affordable, all-weather form of transport for such a family. Tata Motors’ engineers and designers gave their all for about four years to realise this goal. Today, we indeed have a People’s Car, which is affordable and yet built to meet safety requirements and emission norms, to be fuel efficient and low on emissions. We are happy to present the People’s Car to India and we hope it brings the joy, pride and utility of owning a car to many families who need personal mobility.”

Thats what Ratan Tata said at the unvieling ceremony of Tata Nano at Auto Fair.

Tata Nano Interiors

The interiors are not anything world-shattering and you are not going to chuck your Civic for the Nano. But it’s minimalistic, and efficient - and for those of us weaned on the Maruti 800 and Alsto, perhaps they are a step up.

Nano designed with a family in mind, has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space and head room. It can comfortably seat four persons. Four doors with high seating position make ingress and egress easy.

Yet with a length of 3.1 metres, width of 1.5 metres and height of 1.6 metres, with adequate ground clearance, it can effortlessly manoeuvre on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas. Its mono-volume design, with wheels at the corners and the powertrain at the rear, enables it to uniquely combine both space and manoeuvrability, which will set a new benchmark among small cars.

When launched, the car will be available in both standard and deluxe versions. Both versions will offer a wide range of body colours, and other accessories so that the car can be customised to an individual’s preferences.

Fuel-efficient engine

Nano has a rear-wheel drive, all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 623 cc, 33 PS, multi point fuel injection petrol engine. This is the first time that a two-cylinder gasoline engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft. The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. Performance is controlled by a specially designed electronic engine management system.


Nano's safety performance exceeds current regulatory requirements. With an all sheet-metal body, it has a strong passenger compartment, with safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body. Tubeless tyres further enhance safety.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meet the woman who groomed Freida Pinto

Indian actress Freida Pinto is making waves internationally for her walk down the Oscar red carpet, her designer gowns and gracing the covers of popular magazines, thanks to "Slumdog Millionaire". But not many know the woman who helped groom her and introduced her to British director Danny Boyle.

Sushma Puri, a grooming instructor and owner of Elite Model Management India in New Delhi and Mumbai, groomed and launched Freida when she began her career in modelling in 2005. Freida's photograph was among those of a few others that Puri had sent to Loveleen Tandon, the casting director of "Slumdog Millionaire". And now she just can't stop praising here protege.

"My agency has worked very closely with the casting team of 'Slumdog Millionaire'. We received a call from Loveleen Tandon's office when they were casting for the movie.

"We sent pictures of some of the girls who fit the brief. Freida was immediately put on the short list. She went on to audition for the part. Over the next six months, we were asked to send Freida many times over for various screen tests. Finally, Boyle personally selected her for the role," Puri told IANS.

Born Oct 18, 1984 in Mumbai, Pinto was a professional model before starring in "Slumdog Millionaire" as Latika. She also hosted international travel show "Full Circle" on Zee International Asia Pacific between 2006-2008.

"Freida began her modelling career in mid 2005 with Elite. She had never modelled before she signed up with us. She visited the Elite office in Mumbai with some pictures shot by her friends. We realised that she was good and offered her a modelling contract. We have also featured her on the Elite calendar for two years," Puri said.

Freida had an edge over "newcomers" because she was confident and articulate. She was naturally comfortable in front of the camera, said Puri.

Six years ago, Puri decided to set up Elite India after she realised that the country required grooming schools and more modelling agencies because the profession was becoming a mainstream career option for girls in metros.

"We represent some of the best and biggest names in fashion and commercial modelling," she claimed.

Anushka Sharma, who starred in "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" opposite Shahrukh Khan, former Miss India Neha Kapur, and top models Vipasha Agarwal, Sonalika Sahay and Diana Penty are some of the other faces launched by Puri's Elite agency.

"I don't know how many Indian girls will see that level in Hollywood although I believe this has opened up doors for others. However, Bollywood is within reach. A good example is Anushka Sharma," Puri said.

ONGC refutes Goldman Sach's negative rating

State-run upstream major Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Sunday refuted concerns raised by investment banker Goldman Sachs over corporate governance issues, saying the bank's analysis was "devoid of basic facts" and based on "non-comparable benchmarks".

"Corporate governance remains the highest priority for the management at all times. More than adequate disclosures are made on all operational as well as non-operational issues," said ONGC in a press release here.

In a point-by-point reply to the concerns raised by Goldman Sachs that led to a fall of two percent in ONGC shares, the company said: "A perusal of their report reveals that their analysis is devoid of basic facts and certain analysis is based on non-comparable benchmarks."

Goldman Sachs in its last week report said: "Since FY04, ONGC's promoters have taken almost $20 billion cash from the company without consulting minority shareholders." The diverted funds were used to subsidise loss-making state-owned downstream companies, it added.

The government holds 74 percent stake in the oil exploration major.

However, rejecting the allegations, ONGC said: "Subsidy discounts are applicable to crude produced from nominated blocks only, where there is no production sharing/profit oil sharing with the government. The decision on subsidy discount is understood to be sharing of these upsides in the absence of production sharing or profit sharing agreements."

ONGC noted that its retention price per barrel had steadily increased over the years, despite the increasing subsidy burden. In 2003-4, it was $26.46 per barrel, which increased to $49.31 in the first nine months of 2008-09. This had been largely due to the sky-rocketing price of oil in those months.

Some of the other issues raised by Goldman in its report were ineffective overseas growth strategy, unexciting execution track record in domestic business and limited focus on cost control.

ONGC, however, stated that production from overseas properties had grown from 3.87 million tonnes oil in 2003-2004 to 8.80 million tonnes oil in 2007-08. The percentage of overseas production to total production of ONGC Group moved from 7.23 percent in 2002-03 to 15.42 percent in 2007-08.

The company added that despite largely matured and depleting fields, production levels had been maintained or had marginally gone up.

ONGC's average lifting cost between 2002-06 was $4.83 per unit as against the global peers average of $5.37 per unit and ONGC's average finding cost (2002-06) was $2.29 per unit as against the global peers average of $3.05 per unit.

G20 must reject protectionism: Mandelson

World leaders set to gather for an economic summit in London next month must give out a clear signal that they reject protectionism, Britain's business minister said ahead of a meeting of international businessmen next week.

"Above all they need to mean it when they say that it's a bad thing that needs to be avoided," Peter Mandelson told The Sunday Telegraph ahead of Wednesday's Group of 20 (G20) business meeting and the April 2 summit of G20 leaders including US President Barack Obama.

"While it might seem the right response to the anxiety that comes with a downturn, it actually puts a structural check in the way of the global economy expanding again, and it is that expansion of demand that will be critical to recovery," Mandelson said.

Mandelson added: "It's right and perfectly possible for governments to act to boost demand and help businesses and families without a return to protectionism or economic nationalism. The G20 have to make that very clear."

The British minister's call follows a row in Europe over French plans to bail out its car industry, which was labelled by the Czech prime minister as "protectionist" and "unacceptable".

The April summit will discuss ways to revive the ailing global economy.

The Sunday Telegraph, which supports the opposition Conservative Party, said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown hopes to "emerge glorious from the summit with news that world leaders have reached an international agreement on co-ordinated actions to stimulate growth and employment".

"We need to make sure that national stimulus packages reinforce each other so they boost total global demand, which we all depend on in a global economy," Mandelson told the paper.

Friday, March 6, 2009

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