Coal India has indicated that its production during October-December period may see some slippage as Nilam cyclone and festivals impacted the mining activity in November. The state-run firm, which enjoys a near monopoly in the country's coal production, had set 125 million tonnes production target for October-December quarter of the current fiscal. During the April-October period, Coal India's production grew by nine percent at 208.3 million tonnes over the same period last year. Coal India has set a target to produce 464 million tonnes production for the current fiscal. Last fiscal, it had produced 435.84 MT and envisages taking its production to the level to 615 MT by 2016-17, the terminal year of the 12th Five-Year Plan.
Domestic steel companies are up in arms against the country's largest miner state-owned NMDC's pricing mechanism that is threatening to choke off ore supplies to the sector at a time when mining restrictions in key states like Karnataka, Goa and Odisha have nearly throttled all other miners. Last year, in the wake of the ban on illegal mining in Karnataka, NMDC emerged as the sole supplier since the Supreme Court directed the company to produce 12 million tonne per year in Karnataka to ensure uninterrupted supplies to domestic steel players. However, supplies from Karnataka have remained far below the monthly demand of 2.5 MT. Also the e-auction mechanism too failed to cater to the needs of the steel company since prices were speculative. This has forced a number of companies to shut down furnaces and cut back production.
Bharti Airtel has completed a network transformation programme across its mobile operations in 16 African countries in partnership with Ericsson. The programme involved upgradation and expansion of network elements on all of Airtel's African operations, including switching, radio, network management, data, charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems. The programme, under which Ericsson has deployed wireless technologies, will enhance Airtel's network capacity and robustness and help deliver services to customers at affordable rates. The company has implemented a full upgrade of the charging platforms across all operations using Ericsson's Charging System, which will enable it to offer services like 'mobile wallets' to the subscribers.
Watchmaker Titan Industries is aiming to clock a profit before tax of Rs 1,000 crore this fiscal and plans to spend about Rs 200 crore in retail as well as manufacturing initiatives. Besides, the company also plans to launch its e-commerce website in January to tap the growing demand from online-shoppers. The company expects that the portal should contribute around Rs 100 crore of revenue in the next three years. Titan, a joint venture of Tata Group and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), has over 340 exclusive stores in 133 towns and is on a new retail identity drive with new look and style stores. Besides retailing watches, Titan also sells men's wallets and belts at an average price of Rs 1,100 and would soon launch women's handbags and belts.
Bank of Maharashtra is targeting a minimum 50 percent growth in net profit in the current financial year. The bank had posted net profit of Rs 430 crore in the previous fiscal ended March 31, 2012. Bank's gross NPAs were 2 percent of loan assets as on September 30, 2012, against 2.15 percent during the same period a year ago. The agriculture and small and medium enterprises are the main sectors that have contributed towards NPAs. Both the sectors have 35 percent contribution (each) to the NPAs. Besides, the bank has requested Finance Minister P Chidambaram for an additional capital infusion of about Rs 800 crore this fiscal.
The Union home ministry has allowed Essar Ports and Adani Ports to bid for the mega container terminal project in Chennai, clearing the decks for the shipping ministry to begin the process of awarding the 4,000-crore project. While Adani Ports had earlier secured the clearance, when it was the lone bidder for the project in 2011, Essar Ports had to seek clearance from the ministries of home, defence and external affairs after it merged its subsidiaries with its holding company. This is the second time that the Chennai Port Trust is looking to award the project after it rejected a lone bid in 2011 by Adani Ports, which offered just 1.5 percent revenue share to the port. Adani and Essar were the only companies that bid again for the project after the port asked the seven companies that were active during the qualification stage to bid.
Domestic three wheeler-maker Atul Auto reported a 23 percent jump in its net profit at Rs 6.21 crore in September quarter driven by an increased penetration of dealership network and now plans to double the capacity at Rajkot plant by year end. The company's current capacity stands at 24,000 units per annum which will be scaled up to 48,000 units by year-end or January next year. As against the industry's anticipated growth of 3-4 percent, the company is confident of clocking 20 percent growth this year. The company has set a target of achieving Rs 1,000 crore turnover by FY 2015-16 from Rs 300 crore in the last fiscal. The company also expects its market pie to go up to 6 percent this year from the current five percent. The company, which also exports its vehicle to Bangladesh, Kenya and Tanzania, will soon enter the Sri Lankan market as well.
Financial services major Reliance Capital group has begun talks to sell 26 percent equity in its general insurance arm to a foreign partner, and is open to selling further stake in life insurance and mutual fund units. The company is already in talks for sale of 26 percent stake in general insurance business to a foreign strategic partner. Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, has already sold 26 percent stake in each of its mutual funds and life insurance units to Japanese financial services major Nippon Life. Nippon holds 26 percent stake in Reliance Capital Asset Management, which it acquired for about Rs 1,450 crore. Besides, Nippon has also purchased a 26 percent stake in Reliance Life Insurance for over Rs 3,000 crore.
Turning bullish on the countries only listed microfinance company, foreign investors have hiked their stake in SKS Microfinance to an all-time high of 31.77% in the July-September quarter from a record low of 8.33% at the end of preceding three months period. On the other hand, the total promoter holding dipped to 29.58 percent during the quarter from 37.62 percent in April-June 2012.