Reliance Commissions Second Refinery at Jamnagar - Reliance Petroleum, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries has commissioned its second refinery in a special economic zone (SEZ) at Jamnagar, Gujarat. The Rs 25,000 crore refinery will add 20 per cent to India’s total crude oil refining capacity. This would be the 6th largest refinery in the world with a processing capacity of 580,000 barrels a day. (Business Standard)

Infrasoft Plans a $30 Million Buyout in Europe - Mumbai-based banking and financial solutions company, Infrasoft Technologies is planning an acquisition in Europe or the US in the range of $25 million to $30 million. The company is in talks with two banking solutions firms in Europe and four in the US. It is looking at buyout prospects in the West Asian region for a valuation of about $10 million. The firm is expected to close one deal either in Europe or the US by March 2009, and the West Asia buyout during the 2009-10 financial years. (Business Standard)

Bharat Forge to Cut Down Production - India’s largest auto components maker, Bharat Forge will cut its production as the demand from the car makers has gone down. It will accelerate its diversification into high growth areas including infrastructure and power, to overcome the cyclical nature of auto business. A large chink of cut in production is expected to be in the overseas market which contributes a significant portion of its revenue. Overall vehicle sales have dropped by more than 7% in Europe, where Bharat Forge owns 5 manufacturing plants. (Business Standard)

Unitech Lays Off 10% Employees - Unitech has laid off 10% of its employees as a cost cutting measure. The country’s second largest realty firm had a total headcount of 1,700 employees. Besides, the company is also not filling up vacancies that were left empty in the process of normal attrition. The company’s annual rate of attrition is 15%- 20% annually. Besides, Unitech has also shifted some employees to its newly-formed telecom venture from the real estate business. (Business Standard)

Japan Car Manufacturers Plan To Merge - Japanese Car Manufacturers are planning to combine to form three large companies as the global meltdown has hit vehicle sales. Japan’s vehicle sales next year may fall to the lowest in 31 years as unemployment, an aging population and the slowing economy lead to a sharp dip in vehicle demand.Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s largest carmaker, this week predicted its first loss in 71 years, and Honda Motor Co. cut its profit forecast. General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, the three-biggest US automakers, have cut output and two of them received $13.4 billion of federal aid to prevent running out of cash. Last month Suzuki slashed its production by 10%. (Business Standard)

Era Group Cancels Its Realty Arm- Entertainment Business Merger - New Delhi-based infrastructure, real estate, power and construction equipment player, Era group has cancelled its plans to merge its realty business with its entertainment and hospitality business due to the slowdown.  Last month, the group withdrew its application to the Bombay Stock Exchange to merge Era Landmarks with the listed Era E-Zone. (DNA)

Visakhapatnam Steel Plant Offers Rs 2,500 Discount - Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is offering a discount of Rs 2,500 on each tonne steel from December 23 to boost sales and clear old stocks. The steel plant had also reduced its product prices by Rs 8,500 per tonne in November. The company has announced a similar discount on December 1 as well. The decline in construction activities due to the slowdown has impacted the steel sales across the country. VSP produces about 300,000 tonne steel every month. The company sold 1,58,000 tonne products in November and expects to sell 2,30,000 tonne this month. (Business Standard)

Unitech to Merge All Its Telecom Subsidiaries - Unitech is planning to merge all its eight telecom subsidiaries to consolidate and better manage its telecom business. Each subsidiary has licences for three to four circles and together, they cover all 22 telecom circles in the country. The realty giant does not intend to form a holding company for its telecom venture. The merger is expected only after the services are launched. The firm plans to roll out its telecom services by mid 2009 and has already been allotted spectrum for 16 circles. (The Economic Times)

Satyam Board Member Resigns, Claims Moral Responsibility

Mangalam Srinivasan, who has been a director on Satyam’s board since July 1991 has resigned taking moral responsibility for voting in favour of the controversial acquisitions. The US based academic, Mangalam’s resignation has again put the focus on Satyam’s corporate governance failures that led to the company's abandoned bid to buy two firms linked to its founder’s family. (The Economic Times)

Satyam Demands World Bank Apology - Satyam Computer Services, which has been banned by the World bank for the next 8 years, has demanded an apology from the World Bank and has asked it to immediately withdraw certain inappropriate statements. World bank blacklisted the computer major over charges of bribery. (The Economic Times)




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