Nikko Defers JV Plans with Ambit – Nikko, the Japanese financial services firm has deferred plans for a joint venture with the Ashok Wadhwa promoted Ambit group to launch an asset management company (AMC) in India. Nikko Asset Management had received an in-principle approval for the joint venture from market regulator SEBI late last year. However, due to the current market conditions, the plan for the joint venture was delayed. (The Economic Times)
BNP Paribas Hikes Stake in Geojit Financial – French bank BNP Paribas had increased its stake in the broking firm Geojit Financial Services after the conversion of 1.4 crore warrants issued to the former on preferential basis in March 2007. BNP Paribas’s stake in Geojit Financial Services has increased from 27.1% to 32% post the conversion of the warrants. The warrants have been converted at a price of Rs 26 per share against Thursday’s closing price of Rs 23.2. (The Economic Times)
IDBI Defers Sale of IDBI Home Finance – The IDBI Bank board, which met yesterday, has decided to defer on the proposal to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, IDBI Home Finance. It is, however, still not clear whether the deal has been cancelled or postponed. The proposed sale was prompted by a view that a separate subsidiary is not required for mortgage lending when the same business is also undertaken at IDBI Bank. (The Economic Times)
Sony Pictures Entertainment to Buy Bangla Entertainment for Rs 60 Crore – Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is planning to buy Bangla Entertainment, run by Kolkata based entrepreneur, Ashoke Surana, for around Rs 60 crore. SPE and its entities currently own 62% stake in Sony Entertainment Television, which has been renamed multi screen media (MSM). SPE is looking to buy Bangla entertainment through its subsidiaries, South Asian Regional Investment Singapore and South Asian Regional Investment Singapore II. Sony has also applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) seeking clearance for acquiring the stake. The I&B ministry is still examining the transaction, therefore the proposal is yet to get a green signal. Bangla Entertainment owns Bengali movie channel, Channel 8 Talkies. The owners of Bangla Entertainment had been looking to sell the firm as they were not able to generate sufficient revenues. The Economic Times
Munich Re to Buy 0.2% Stake in Apollo Energy for Rs 73.6 Crore – World’s largest reinsurance firm by revenues, Munich Re is picking 0.2% stake in Apollo Energy for Rs 73.6 crore, valuing the firm at $7.5 billion (Rs 36,835 crore). Apollo Energy is a privately held holding firm of the power and health insurance business of Apollo Hospitals Group. Apollo Energy is now valued double than Tata Power and 50% more than reliance power. Apollo Energy holds 74.5% in the health insurance joint venture Apollo DKV Insurance Company. Munich Re holds 25.5% in this JV through a wholly owned health insurance subsidiary, DKV International Health Holding. Through this deal Munich re will also hike its stake in the health insurance business. The Economic Times
Price Waterhouse to Defend Itself Under 1986 HC Ruling – Price Waterhouse will defend its role as the auditor of the fraud hit Satyam Computer Services, citing the 1986 verdict of the Bombay High Court, which says that an auditor should not be held responsible for tracking down ingenious and carefully-laid schemes of fraud in a company. According to sources, as per the contract between the auditor and Satyam, the onus of providing accurate information was on the Computer services giant. According to the SEBI officials, the auditors should accept fewer assignments if they cannot verify all the documents they rely on. The auditing fraternity, however, describes this as an expectation gap. (The Economic Times)
Canara Bank Declares Rs 400 Crore Exposure to Ratnagiri as NPA – Canara Bank has declared its Rs 400 crore exposure to Ratnagiri Gas & Power project (earlier known as Dabhol), as a non performing asset (NPA). The Power Ministry has said that the gas is likely to be tied-up soon and financial closure of the 2150 MW project would be soon achieved, post which the bank will not treat the exposure as NPA. The bank has made a provision of Rs 513 crore which includes Rs 357 crore for NPA. (The Economic Times)
Wheels India to Invest Rs 45 Crore to Make Steel Structural Plant in Maharshatra – Wheels India (WIL) plans to invest Rs 45 crore in Maharashtra, to make steel structural plant. Wheels India, part of TVS group, has proposed to set up a plant for the manufacture of steel structural parts used in power plants. WIL has taken 30 acres of land in Maharashtra on a long term lease for setting up the plant with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes of steel structural parts. The project will entail an investment of Rs 45 crore over three years. The land in Wardha district was taken on lease from Maharashtra industrial development corporation. The plant is expected to start commercial production in Q2 of 2009-10. (The Economic Times)
Unitech Seeks Nod for GDRs to Raise Rs 5,000 Crore – Unitech, India’s second largest realty company, has sought government approval to float global depository receipts (GDR) to raise a maximum of Rs 5,000 crore ($1 billion). The promoters stake in Unitech could get reduced to 36.7%, if the company is able to raise the entire amount using the GDR pricing formula. Promoter stake in Unitech has already dropped 7% to 67.4% in the three months to December 2008. (The Economic Times)
Pfizer in Talks to Buy Wyeth – World’s largest drug maker by revenue, Pfizer is in talks to acquire its rival Wyeth. The deal is expected to be valued at more than $60 billion. The two firms have been in discussions for a month, the deal is not imminent. The talks are fragile given recent market volatility and weak global economic conditions and could collapse. Industry experts said a big acquisition by Pfizer would not be a surprise, given the huge loss of earnings it faces with the expected arrival of generic versions of its flagship cholesterol drug Lipitor in 2011. (
NHAI to Raise Rs 850 Crore Through Bonds in Three Months – The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will raise Rs 850 crore through bonds in next three months. Though the bonds will not be tax free but the money invested in these bonds from sale of properties will not be taxed. The authority plans to raise about Rs 4,000 crore in 2009-10. It has already raised Rs 1,150 crore in the current fiscal. The authority has also borrowed Rs 400 crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The Planning Commission has also asked NHAI and the ministry to restructure road sector projects so that it would become attractive for bidders. It has also advised the authority to bid projects in small trenches for their faster implementation. (The Economic Times)
SRSR Holding GM Gopal Krishna Raju Arrested – Gopal Krishna Raju, general manager of SRSR Holding, through which Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju’s family held a stake in the IT firm, has been arrested by the Andhra Pradesh CID. The family of B Ramalinga Raju had held 8.27 per cent stake in Satyam through SRSR Holdings at the end of September quarter. However, the stake had fallen to 2.34 per cent as of January 8 following the share sale by lenders, with whom all the promoter’s equity had been pledged. (The Economic Times)
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