Traders will be eyeing the debut Rail Budget of Pawan Kumar Bansal, on whether he yields to pressure of hiking passenger fares yet again or looks at other measures to mobilise resources to offset the burden of the recent diesel price hike. Railways related stocks like Kernex Microsystems, Zicom Electronic, Titagarh Wagons, Kalindee Rail, Bartronics India, Stone India, and BEML are likely to be in action.
Cairn India has commenced drilling of the first exploration well following endorsement of the exploration work programme for the Rajasthan block by the management committee two weeks ago. The company started exploration drilling after a gap of more than four years, in the prolific Barmer oilfields. Renewed exploration activity in the block will be beneficial for all stakeholders and will help the company to realize the estimated half a billion barrels of oil equivalent of risked recoverable prospective resource which amounts to about a third of the estimated ultimate recovery potential in the Rajasthan block. This will help the Cairn and ONGC joint venture to realize the basin production potential of 300,000 bpd from the block.
Kingfisher Airlines seem to have reached the end of the road with the government withdrawing all international flying rights and domestic slots from the carrier, terminating all hopes for the loss-laden airline to make a possible comeback. The government decided to take away these rights to free them up for use by other carriers. In an official statement, the ministry of civil aviation announced the withdrawal of all international bilateral traffic rights allocated to the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier with immediate effect. Kingfisher Airlines were allowed to fly the sky of eight countries namely Bangladesh (14 services per week), Hong Kong (14 services per week), Nepal (7 services per week), Singapore (7 services per week), Sri Lanka (14 services per week + 21 services per week from unlimited 18 destinations), Thailand (21 services per week), UAE Dubai (21 services per week) and UK (7 services per week each from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore). These traffic rights were allocated to Kingfisher Airlines between the years 2008 and 2011 and have been withdrawn from Kingfisher Airlines on account of non-utilization.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Railways and Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) for setting up of Greenfield MEMU coaches manufacturing facility by BHEL at Bhilwara in Rajasthan. Main Line Electric Multiple Unit Trains, popularly known as MEMU trains were first introduced in Indian Railways in the Year 1994-95, as a mode of rapid transit system, to cater to non-suburban passengers, residing in small towns and villages surrounding urban and industrial centres. MEMU trains have higher passenger carrying capacity and higher average speed as compared to conventional loco hauled passenger trains due to faster acceleration and braking characteristics. These rakes are now being manufactured with toilet facilities to take care of passenger needs. MEMU trains increase the line capacity utilization, and therefore are more suitable for running on high traffic density routes.
Battling mounting losses and declining sales, Tata Motors is considering to upgrade existing vehicles while looking at new launches that could include an all new sub four-metre SUV to take on models like Mahindra Quanto and soon-to-be launched Ford Eco Sport. Tata Motors, which saw net profit crash by 52% in the third quarter of this fiscal, is looking at a variety of new vehicles in the utility vehicle and SUV space to cash in on the rising popularity of such models. Sales of Tata Motors' UV portfolio of Sumo, Safari, Aria and Venture range fell by 3% in the April-January 2012-13 period at 41,166 units against 42,354 units in the same period last fiscal.
Realty firm Omaxe has recorded 34 percent year-on-year increase in sales bookings at Rs 1,574 crore in first nine months of this fiscal helped by higher volumes and improved realization. Omaxe achieved sales bookings of Rs 1,574 crore during April-December period of 2012-13 fiscal compared to Rs 1,174 crore in corresponding period of the previous year. Out of total sales bookings, built-up area contributed Rs 880 crore, commercial Rs 396 crore and plotted Rs 298 crore. In volume terms, Omaxe sold 7.9 million sq ft of area in the first nine months of this fiscal, up eight percent from 7.29 million sq ft in the year-ago period. Sales realization rose by 24 percent to 1,992 per sq ft from Rs 1,610 per sq ft during the period under review.
Hardware, services and distribution company HCL Infosystems will be outsourcing its manufacturing facility located at Ambattur in Chennai to Astra Global Private. The manufacturing facility specializes in networking racks, specialized custom designed sheet metal enclosures, Ticketing & self service kiosks and subsystems for Medical and Aerospace products. Through this partnership, Astra will supply products manufactured in the Ambattur facility to HCL for its internal requirements as well as to HCL's customers. The partnership will enable both HCL and Astra to focus on their respective core competencies. Astra is based out of Verna, Goa and is engaged in the business of manufacturing precision assemblies for the medical & engineering industries with over 20 years of experience.
Jaypee Infratech, the developer of the six-lane Yamuna Expressway, has raised Rs 6,600 crore in loans from IDBI Bank at reduced interest rates to repay its high-cost debt and improve profitability. Yamuna Expressway, better known as the Taj Expressway, is a 165-km stretch connecting Greater Noida to Agra. The expressway began collecting toll in August 2012. Jaypee Infratech had borrowed Rs 6,000 crore in 2010 at interest rates ranging from 13.50% to 14% from 11 banks. This month, it pre-paid the entire loan by raising from IDBI a long-term loan of Rs 4,600 crore and a fixed rate short-term loan of Rs 2,000 crore at interest rates ranging from 12% to 12.75%. IDBI has underwritten the entire loan and is in talks with existing lenders to down-sell the loan.
State-run Chennai Petroleum Corporation (CPCL) has to pay the price for having two directors from Iran on its board as Western re-insurers have refused to cover 15% of its assets, equivalent to the extent of Iranian equity in the company, because of US and European sanctions against Teheran for its nuclear programme. The company, a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), has two refineries with combined processing capacity of 11.5 million tonnes a year. Iranian firm Naftiran Intertrade Company has 15.4% ownership of CPCL, where IOC holds 51.9% stake and balance is with financial institutions and the public. Under pressure from the US and European Union, the foreign reinsures have stopped giving insurance cover to ship carrying Iranian crude oil and now they are also reluctant to cover risks of those refineries that are processing Iranian crude.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel will soon start offering voice call services for its 4G customers in India through its existing GSM network. The company has selected Nokia Siemens Network to deploy technology which will enable company offer voice services to 4G customers in Pune. It offers 4G services in the cities of Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune. Using NSN technology, Airtel network can transfer customers to GSM platform to make and receive voice calls and access voicemails while retaining the experience of data (internet) services on 4G smartphones. Besides, the country's largest private telecom company will launch 4G services in Chandigarh by the end of next month, expanding the footprint of its high- speed Internet service network. The only firm offering 4G services in India, covering cities of Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune, the company has roped in Chinese equipment maker ZTE to build and operate the 4G network in Chandigarh.
Tata Communications has denied having violated any international long distance licence norms as alleged by CBI, which has registered a case against the company for allegedly causing a loss to the exchequer. CBI has registered a case in a Delhi court against Bharti Airtel, Tata Communications and Singapore Telecommunications for allegedly causing a loss of nearly Rs 48 crore to the government since 2004 by illegally providing international long distance (ILD) services. In its FIR, the CBI has alleged that DoT noticed there is an unauthorized/illegal international long distance service provider Singapore Telecommunications, which was selling unauthorized ILD services to Indian customers since 2004 without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT in connivance with Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.
Taking a cue from Reliance Industries, Gujarat-government firm GSPC is seeking to price natural gas it will produce from KG basin block at a rate indexed to cost of imported liquid gas (LNG). Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) wants to price gas that it will produce from Deen Dayal West (DDW) gas field in block KG-OSN-2001/3 by third quarter of 2013, at a minimum of $8.50 per million British thermal unit, excluding local taxes and margin. GSPC, owned by the Gujarat government, will produce a maximum of 5.24 million standard cubic meters per day of gas from the offshore DDW gas field. The gas will land at Mallavaram, near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, and can be ferried to customers up to Gujarat through Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure's East-West pipeline.