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MARKET NEWS HIGHLIGHTS MAR 10th, 2010

Minister of state for Petroleum and Natural Gas Jitin Prasada told Rajya Sabha that ONGC plans to invest Rs265bn in the next fiscal for exploration, production and related ventures. (FE)

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Jitin Prasada, said that IOC has “regretted its participation” as equity partner in the proposed Barmer refinery due to financial constraints. (BL)

The European Investment Bank had agreed to a £340mn loan to the Jaguar and Land Rover brands of Tata Motors. (BS)

Daimler sold its 5.34% stake in Tata Motors for nearly €300mn (Rs18.6bn). (ET)

A group of British Members of Parliament launched a scathing attack on the mothballing of Corus’s Teeside Cast Products plant in northern England. (BL)

NMDC is expected to increase its production to 50mt by 2013-2014 from the present 30mt and also plans to introduce a new pricing mechanism from April 1. (BS)

Wipro Technologies, the global IT services business of Wipro, announced that it has signed a Microsoft business productivity online suite “dedicated advisor” agreement with Microsoft Corp. (FE)

Wipro Infotech, the India and West Asian IT business of Wipro, won a turnkey project from the Financial Intelligence Unit – India (FIU-IND) of the Union Ministry of Finance to implement the FINnet project. (BS)

Hindustan Unilever has appealed against the Calcutta High Court’s interim injunction, which restrained it from airing a particular commercial for its washing soap/powder, Rin. (BS)

FMCG major Marico plans to launch its beauty and wellness chain, Kaya in the Middle East by opening 4-5 clinics in the region in FY11. (ET)

The Steel Ministry said it will send the 20% share sale proposal of SAIL to the Cabinet this week. (ET)

IDBI Bank hoped to raise US$250-300mn through a medium-term note program, but would wait until market conditions were more favorable. (BS)

Indian Hotels is mulling the possibility of completely doing away with its Residency brand luxury hotels and gears up for a stronger push of its Vivanta brand. (BL)

The QIP issue of India Cements, launched late on Monday, is said to have a received good response from institutional investors to raise US$75mn. (ET)

Tata Teleservices has acquired 75,000 sq ft built up space for Rs280mn in the newly built IT building named ‘Prince Infocity II’ near Chennai. (ET)

Binani Cement plans to venture into commercial real estate development in order to cash in on its idle land bank and to reduce dependence on the cyclical nature of the cement business. (ET)

Patel Engineering has received coal linkage for its proposed 1,050MW thermal project at Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. (BL)

Aditya Birla Minacs part of the Aditya Birla Group, has acquired the UK-based firm Compass BPO for an undisclosed sum. (ET)

Bosch Ltd declared a lock-out at its Naganathpura production plant near Bangalore, after workers resorted to a flash strike and assaulted an officer over wage revision. (FE)

Even as reports of Bt cotton 1 developing resistance to pink bollworm create concern in the farming community, Monsanto has begun work on two new technologies Bollgard III, the third generation Bt cotton technology, and Roundup Ready Flex, a technology that gives herbicide tolerance to the plant. (BL)

Garware Offshore Services bagged a contract worth Rs225mn from ONGC. (FE)

CCCL Infrastructure Ltd, part of the Chennai-based Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd, plans to raise Rs15-20bn through private equity. (BS)

Singareni Collieries Company Ltd, India’s second-largest coal producer, and also a state sector undertaking, plans to foray into power generation by setting up 1,200MW thermal power plant in Adilabad for an investment of Rs56bn. (BS)

The Railways carried over 800mt of freight, an increase of 6.95%, in the ongoing financial year to February. (ET)

The government plans to carry out bulk of its targeted borrowing for fiscal 2010-11 in the first six months, the country’s top policy adviser has said. (ET)

The RBI plans to amend its rules to pre-empt NBFCs from misusing the liberal rules governing limited liability partnership firms. (BS)

India and Russia are expected to sign four agreements in the fields of business and economy and one of the pacts includes fertilizers. (FE)

After de-controlling the prices of fertilizers containing phosphorous and potash from April 1 this year, the government is planning to encourage their free imports. (FE).

According to leading developers in the housing segment, home buyers are set to face higher prices due to the imposition of service tax as well as an increase in cost of various inputs like cement. (BS)

The Central Board of Excise and Customs has recommended to the Director General of Foreign Trade that the norms for issuing export/import licenses be more stringent. (BS)

The Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission’s plan for the deployment of 20,000MW of solar power by 2022 needs an investment of Rs3trn, based on a capex of Rs150mn/MW. (BS)

The government will provide Rs95bn for recapitalisation of public sector banks in the first quarter next year, while about Rs70bn will be infused during the rest of the financial year 2010-11. (BS)

Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh may cross 4.5mt during the ongoing 2010-11 season as cane yields surpass expectations. (BL)

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