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RIL, Tata Motors and BHEL may grab investors' attention today

Oil regulator DGH has questioned the drastic cut in natural gas reserves at Reliance Industries' (RIL) main gas field in the flagging KG-D6 block saying the downgrade was unprecedented and unconvincing. RIL had in late-August filed a revised field development plan (RFDP) for discoveries Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1&D3) in KG-DWN-98/3 cutting gas reserves to 3.10 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) from 10.03 Tcf approved in 2006. The company based its reserve downgrade based on data of over three years of production. The fields hit a peak of 55 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) in August 2010 before the decline set in and are now producing less than 20 mmscmd.

Tata Motors, country's largest vehicle maker has launched its three passenger car models - sedans Indigo eCS, Indigo Manza and hatchback Indica Vista in Bangladesh marking its foray in Bangladesh passenger car market. These vehicles will be available in Dhaka with a single showroom and three other cities will be covered with one showroom each by 2013. It has appointed NITOL Motors as its distributors for the Bangladesh market.

Making a strong case against cheaper imports, state-run power equipment maker BHEL has stated that most of the domestic manufacturing capacity remains under utilized on account of various power sector woes. The domestic power gear makers, including BHEL are well equipped to meet the 88,000 MW generation capacity addition target set by the government for the 12th Plan (2012-17). BHEL itself has got 20,000 MW, while Larsen & Toubro has about 5,000 MW. Besides, Bharat Forge-Alstom and other joint venture companies for power equipment have also committed capacities. Land acquisition problems, environmental clearances, funding constraints and poor health of discoms, among other issues, are hurting the domestic power sector. Earlier this year, after much deliberation, the government slapped 21 percent duty on imports of power equipment, mainly to protect domestic companies from cheap Chinese shipments.

Apollo Tyres will be investing $1 billion about Rs 5,545 crore in the next five years to expand its global footprint, which will include setting up two new plants in South East Asia and Eastern Europe. The company will also be converting its Kalamassery plant in Kerala into a dedicated unit for production of off-highway tyres (OHTs) with about 85 percent of the output aimed to cater to export markets, including the US, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Moreover, the company will also be hiking the production capacity of its factory in the Netherlands to 7.5 million units a year from the current 6 million units per annum. The tyre major will be focusing on setting up the plant in South East (SE) Asia and only after completion of the first phase of the project, the East European plant will follow.

Fertilizer major Coromandel International has been shortlisted for mining and manufacturing of phosphoric acid project in West African city Togo that could entail an investment of $500 million. Coromandel, a part of Rs 22,000-crore Hyderabad-based Murugappa Group, is participating in the bidding process through its Singapore-based joint venture firm Coromandel Getax Phosphates and the company expects to win this project as it is already buying rock phosphate from there. As per the bid document, the Togo project involves mining of 5 million tonnes of rock phosphate and manufacturing capacity of 1 million tonnes of phosphoric acid. Currently, Coromandel International has a fertilizer production capacity of 3.2 million tonnes, which would go up to 3.65 million tonnes with the commissioning of fertilizer plant in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh in January.

The Anil Ambani group's Reliance Power has received the first stage forest clearance for the Chhatrasal coal block attached to the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project, a step closer to start extracting coal from the mine. The first unit Sasan project is scheduled to be commissioned in January. Two other mines of the project, Moher and Moher-Amroli, have already started production. Together, the three mines have enough coal to fire both Sasan and Chitrangi power projects. The environment ministry has granted stage 1 or in-principle forest clearance to a project, after which the company needs to fulfill certain conditions to get the final clearance. The final approval can take up to 6 months. Reliance Power plans to produce five million tonnes of coal a year from the Chhatrasal coal block, which has reserves of about 160 million tonnes, to fuel the Sasan project and also its 4,000 mw Chitrangi Thermal Power Project.

Loss-making Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) has asked the government not to withdraw its Navratna status as it is working on a plan to start making profits by March 2013 that will include giving up wireless broadband airwaves and selling surplus land. The state-owned firm, which operates in Delhi and Mumbai, has been incurring losses since 2009-10 which disqualifies it from being a Navratna unit. MTNL had posted loss of Rs 2,610.97 crore in 2009-10, Rs 2,801.92 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 4,109 crore in 2011-12. To retain the coveted Navratna status, the PSU firm has to be a profit-making company. In case, it makes losses for two consecutive years, the company loses the Navratna tag. The status allows PSUs certain operation freedom. Besides, MTNL has offered to surrender broadband wireless access (BWA) to the Department of Telecom and has sought refund for the same. MTNL paid Rs 4,533.97 crore for the BWA spectrum in 2010.

Jet Airways and American Express have launched a credit card with a proposition that enables card members the quickest way to earn free travel with Jet Airways. The platinum credit card offers members 6 JPMiles for every Rs 100 spend. This is the fastest ongoing JPMiles earn rate on all spending. The card rewards members with 20,000 JPMiles and a complimentary one-way base fee waiver domestic ticket on the very first charge on the Card, plus 10,000 JPMiles for applying before December 25.

Bharti Airtel has launched international roaming plans for post-paid customers who are visiting the United States, offering up to five hours of free incoming calls and back home calls at a discount of up to 87 percent. With a tariff pack of Rs 8,500, users will get 300 free incoming minutes, while the outgoing charges for local calls and calls to India stand at Rs 20 per minute. There are also tariff packs of Rs 3,500 and Rs 1,000, where customers will get 60 and 10 free incoming minutes, while outgoing calls can be made with Rs 35/minute and Rs 60/minute. All the three tariff packs have a validity of 30 days. Airtel's standard rate for incoming calls in US range between Rs 61 per minute to Rs 77 per minute, while calls back to India can be charged between Rs 120 per minute to Rs 160 per minute. After the free minutes are over, users will be charged Rs 60 per minute for Rs 1,000 pack, Rs 35 per min for Rs 3,500 pack and Rs 20/min for Rs 8,500 pack for incoming calls.

US market regulator SEC charged four Indian brokerages -- Ambit Capital, Edelweiss Financial Services, JM Financial and Motilal Oswal Securities -- for violating registration rules and they have agreed to pay over $1.8 million to settle the charges. In a statement, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that it has charged Ambit Capital, Edelweiss Financial Services, JM Financial Institutional Securities and Motilal Oswal Securities. They were charged for providing brokerage services to institutional investors in the US without being registered with the SEC as required under the federal securities laws.

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