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April 30, 1999

Amit Jatia of McDonald's Bombay tickles city's tastebudsAmit Jatiya of McDonald's Bombay tickles city's tastebuds

Sinha swears by reforms, moots regulatory role for RBI, quarterly budgets
The finance minister called for a central value added tax and expansion of the automatic approval route for foreign investment.


WB reaffirms resolve to be pro-poor, RBI urges it to alleviate poverty
The World Bank's 182 member-nations said its Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the IMF should be reformed to provide quicker, deeper and broader debt relief for the world's poorest countries.


Government calls for industry involvement in WTO talks
There is only a limited timeframe in which the Indian industry can submit its issue-based demands.

Sum assured by LIC in 1998-99 rises 18.4 pc
The growth rate in terms of sale of individual policies was 11.5 per cent, the best in the last eight years, and new business income was Rs 26.90 billion.

Tobacco beneficial to national exchequer, says ITC chief
Consumption of tobacco enables a whopping Rs 10 billion to trickle into the national kitty. This has a multiplier effect on the economy, especially the rural sector which reaps the maximum benefits from the tobacco trade,'' Y C Deveshwar said.

National movement against western consumerism from May 1
The drive will commence at Andaman and Nicobar Islands and will continue till October 2 across India.

BSE: Sensex 3325.69; up 53 points
NSE: Nifty: 966.60, up 23 points
Rs 42.81 vs $
Rs 45.35 vs euro
Rs 69.09 vs pound
Rs 35.95 vs yen (100)

April 29, 1999

Coconut industry pins hopes on futures tradingFalling demand crushes coconut industry

Caretaker govt will carry forward reforms, invigorate economy: PM
''We shall not allow the normal affairs of governance to slacken. We shall return to accomplish our unfinished agenda -- the fundamentals of the Indian economy are strong,'' Vajpayee told the Confederation of Indian Industry.


Lesson for the next govt: agriculture matters, but industry and foreign investment spur growth
If Congressmen form the next government, possibly with good old Dr Manmohan Singh as finance minister once again, it will also rub foreign investors on the right side. This is one reason why the stock market always perks up in the wake of rumours of a Congress-led ministry at the Centre, says
Jay Dubashi.


ACC's 1998-99 net soars to Rs 568.4 million, 15 pc pay-out again
For three years in succession, the company was able to hold the variable costs without any increase in spite of the inflationary impact affecting the input prices.


Bimal Jalan asks First World to step up aid for Third World
''Unfortunately and paradoxically, the decline in aid-flows in recent years has coincided with exceptional improvement in reforms and policy environment, particularly in countries of south Asia,'' the RBI governor told the World Bank.

WB 1998-99 aid to total $2 billion before June 30, claims India
India was critical of the World Bank deciding loans on political considerations like nuclear tests.

BSE: Sensex 3272.71; up 27 points
NSE: Nifty: 943.50, up 12 points
Rs 42.82 vs $
Rs 45.66 vs euro
Rs 69.30 vs pound
Rs 35.89 vs yen (100)

April 28, 1999

Mallya-Chhabria duel for Herbertsons rages

Caretaker govt may skip policy issues at CII annual meet
Last year, the government chose the CII platform to announce the 13-point economic agenda. This year, only broad issues like 'preparing for the next millennium' may be addressed.

India presses for new world financial body at WB-IMF meet
RBI governor Bimal Jalan has called for establishing an ''international lender-of-last-resort,'' independent of the International Monetary Fund and financed by additional resources, to provide a lasting solution to any financial crisis in future.

Maruti projects nil export growth for 1999-2000
''The euro has made our cars expensive, thereby affecting our performance on the export front. Besides, all our products in the export basket are old models when compared to international standards,'' an MUL official said.

India, China, south Asia to halve poverty by 2015: WB report
Regional GDP growth will recover to 5-6 per cent a year in the next decade. The main risks in India and south Asia are domestic: more political will is needed to accelerate economic reforms, the World Development Indicators 1999 noted.

BSE, NSE and forex markets remained closed on April 27 on account of Moharrum

April 27, 1999

Amitabh Bachchan's ABCL is going thru a bad patchAmitabh Bachchan's ABCL is going thru a bad patch

ICICI net up 7 pc to Rs 10.01 billion, declares 55 pc pay-out
The net non-performing assets of ICICI were 7.8 per cent for 1998-99 (7.6 per cent last year). The asset base increased by 27 per cent to Rs 585.47 billion.

Industry relieved over snap poll; BSE market cap down Rs 691.18 billion in April
Leading chambers of commerce, trade and industry said the mid-term poll is a huge burden on a weak economy but better than the one thrust upon the country by political instability.

Coke feels the heat as Goa slaps notice over chill-out summer trick
Trial production without the Goa pollution board's consent has landed the soft drinks MNC in trouble. It is said Coca-Cola sought to make the most of the summer time demand for 'cool drinks'.

Divorce government from economic activity, says Mukesh Ambani
"Whenever the government sought to exercise control on economic activities, it only resulted in stifling private initiatives and creating road-blocks to economic development."

BSE: Sensex 3245.27; crashes 161 points!
NSE: Nifty: 931.35, plummets 50.65 points!
Rs 42.85 vs $
Rs 45.45 vs euro
Rs 69.09 vs pound
Rs 35.99 vs yen (100)

April 25-26, 1999

Rakesh Gangwal has turned around US Airways


Made-in-India Santro to be exported to SAARC countries from June
For the first time, an international product was first launched in India and then taken across the shores to the mother company's domestic market, said Hyundai officials.

Ind Auto to cut waiting period for Fiat Uno to one week
The company will try to produce 26,000 cars in 1999, 45,000 cars in 2000 and 60,000 units in 2001 at the Kurla (Maharashtra) plant, Fiat India's MD Gianni Ravina said.

Ford announces nationwide service campaign
Ford India's 22 dealers would provide comprehensive car-care with focus on Ford Escort at special rates.


Oberoi group to launch five-star venture in Bahrain
It will be a 51:49 joint venture of EBH Holdings of Bahrain and the Oberoi group. The project is expected to lead to more collaborations between Indian and Bahraini business houses.

A M Naik to succeed S D Kulkarni as L&T managing director
As president (operations), Naik has been incharge of the engineering and projects business. He has also led the company's thrust into power plants sector.

GDR Weekly Review: Skindia GDR Index up 10.13 points to 607.15
BSE and NSE Weekly Review:Sensex recovers 80 points, Nifty up 15.5 points

April 24, 1999

World Cup has spawned an ad blitz in IndiaWorld Cup has spawned an ad blitz in India


WB, IMF say ties with India are 'terrific' despite sanctions
"What the World Bank had done for India actually is pretty damn good. It had managed to keep up the funding for the essential programmes," WB's president James Wolfensohn said.

Political uncertainty has hampered economic recovery, says I-Sec study
The flow of foreign investment is also likely to be affected till a stable government emerges, the analysis said.


SC admits SL petition against transfer of Mukta-Panna oilfields to consortium
The bench admitted the special leave petition "in order to have a closer look at the contract" that allegedly handed over the oilfields at a throwaway price to Reliance, Enron, GAIL and ONGC.

Mormugao port seeks to overcome Asian flu effect, attract traffic elsewhere
Hit by declining exports of iron ore, Goa's port is gearing up to compete with Jawahar Lal Nehru Port, Bombay.

Rajya Sabha approves Budget
With the upper house returning the Budget to the Lok Sabha as approved, the process of getting Parliament's nod to the Finance Bill has ended successfully.

BSE: Sensex 3406.59; down 2.15 points
NSE: Nifty 980.00; steady
Forex: Rs 42.83 vs $
Rs 45.48 vs euro
Rs 69.09 vs pound
Rs 35.77 vs yen (100)

April 23, 1999

1999-2000 Union Budget passed without any debate!1999-2000 Budget passed without any debate!

Reliance 98-99 net up 3 pc to Rs 17.04 bn, production up 26 pc
Reliance has posted good results in perhaps the most challenging times of petrochemicals industry and at the bottom of its cycle, said the company's MD Anil Ambani.


Expansionary policy from a Governor in tune with government
Bimal Jalan is lucky. By the time the new government comes to grips with the economic situation, the monsoon trends would be known, and the RBI will be better placed for further monetary action, says
R C Murthy.


Madras court freezes Anubhav group assets on investors' plea
The Anubhav Investors' Association wants the ongoing probe to be transferred to the CBI and action against 26 directors who are "on the run".

Don't worry, assets exceed liabilities, Kuber group tells investors
To discharge its obligation towards investors, the company is taking "all necessary steps" to generate necessary funds from its assets.


IRA chief allays Indian investors' fears over foreign equity
International insurance companies would help local professionals in gaining world-class expertise. Competition would lead to more customised products, Rangachary said.

Bombay high court admits Parekh's plea against SEBI
The bench directed the BSE not to fill any vacancy on the governing board and granted no ad interim relief to Parekh. The case has been adjourned till July 31.

Gamang seeks to transform Orissa thru small-scale sector
Orissa will be a pioneer in promoting Mahatma Gandhi's doctrine of development of India through development of small-scale industries, CM Giridhar Gamang said.

BSE: Sensex 3408.69; down 56 points
NSE: Nifty 980.70; down 16 points
Forex: Rs 42.75 vs $

April 15-22, 1999