Bank Muscat Sells 81% Stake in HDFC Bank - Bank Muscat on Sunday sold 81% of its stake in India's second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank and has received around 39 million rials ( Rs 507 crore) in pre-tax profits from the sale. The remaining balance in HDFC bank is held in depository form and the bank will consider further disposals over time subject to market conditions. Bank Muscat held 9,051,724 equity shares representing 2.13 per cent stake in HDFC Bank as on December 31, 2008. (The Economic Times)

Credit Suisse Plans India Focused Offshore Fund - Switzerland-based global financial services major Credit Suisse is looking to set up an offshore fund to invest in Indian equities. According to the sources, to start with, the fund size would be around $100-$150 million and would be scaled up gradually. It is likely to be launched by the next quarter. The fund will invest in equities across sectors, depending on the sectoral view at that point of time. (The Economic Times)

Essar Group May Go Private - Essar Group is planning to become totally private, and none of its group companies will be listed. The reason for such a move has not yet been disclosed. However, a spokesman for the Essar Group said there were no current plans to delist any of the group companies, which include Essar Oil, and Essar Shipping Ports and Logistics. ()

Subhiksha Expects To Close Debt Restructuring by April - Beleaguered retail chain Subhiksha expects the ongoing corporate debt restructuring (CDR) process in the company to be completed by mid-April, following which it is hoping to secure debts to re-start business. the company expects to secure debts to revive its operations once the CDR is over. The company had earlier said it needed Rs300 crore injection immediately to kick-start operations again. Subhiksha had closed operations of its 1,600 stores across the country in January due to liquidity crunch. (

UnitedHealth Looks for an Indian Partner to Set Up Health Insurance JV - UnitedHealth Group, the biggest US health insurer is scouting for an Indian partner, to set up a standalone health insurance joint venture (JV) in the country. The proposed venture would pitch UnitedHealth Group against other global rivals Bupa and DKV Group who have recently entered India hoping to tap the highly underpenetrated local health insurance market. The firm has already shortlisted some names. The JV is expected to be launched this year itself. (The Economic Times)

S Kumars to Form JV with DKNY - S Kumars Nationwide (SKNL), a leading textiles and apparels firm, is close to forming a joint venture with global fashion accessory company DKNY, in order to ensure more than half of its revenue from the JV. According to sources, both the firms are in final stages of discussion and an announcement is expected in a fortnight. The broad contours of the deal suggest that SKNL will pick up the majority stake in the JV, which will exclusively procure textiles worth over $250 million from the city-based firm. The JV will have the right to appoint all future franchisee of DKNY, a brand owned by the French luxury corporation Louis Vuitton. The financial contribution of the parties would be linked to their equity ownership. (The Economic Times)

ADAG SPV Raises Rs 2,500 Crore for Delhi Metro Link - Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group-owned Delhi Airport Metro Express, a special-purpose vehicle floated by Reliance Infrastructure for building the airport metro express line connecting the heart of the capital with the international airport, has managed to raise Rs 2,500 crore as part funding for the project. The company has raised a debt of Rs 2,500 crore against a total debt requirement of Rs 2,020 crore, which includes a dollar component of 55 million. The 23-km project is expected to cost Rs 2,885 crore with a debt to equity ratio of 70:30. The upcoming metro line is scheduled to be commissioned in 2010 ahead of the Commonwealth Games. (The Economic Times

DLF to Buy SEZ Arm - DLF Ltd, the country’s largest listed realty company, will acquire DLF Asset Ltd (DAL), the real estate investment trust owned by promoters K P Singh and his family, for an enterprise value (equity plus debt) of around Rs 7,000 crore. The move is aimed at repaying some of DAL’s debt and to bring commercial properties under the flagship company to generate an annual income of around Rs 600 crore in the form of lease rentals from 2009-10. DAL currently earns around Rs 325 crore from lease rentals. DAL had acquired four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) from DLF Ltd with a built-up area of 4.5 million square ft, which will increase to 9.5 million sq ft by the end of this month and to 19 million sq ft when fully ready.Under the proposed deal, DLF will raise debt of around Rs 2,500 crore from banks and financial institution by mortgaging receivables from the lease rental of these SEZs, mainly to repay leading hedge fund DE Shaw, which had invested $400 million in 2007.(Business Standard)

Adani Wilmar Eyes Rs 600 Crore Expansion Over Next Year - Adani Wilmar, a Rs 6,000 crore company and owner of Fortune, the edible oil brand, is eyeing aquisitions of greenfield and brownfield assets from companies in central and south India. It plans to invest close to Rs 600 crore in these projects over the next year.The firm is also planning to invest in new factories that it can build closer to the markets as this would help it in bringing down logistics costs and hence automatically pass on the lower cost benefit to consumers. (Business Standard)

Mistral May Rope in a Strategic Partner for a 15% Stake - Mistral Solutions, the Bangalore-based product realisation company in the embedded space, is understood to be in an advanced stage of roping in a strategic partner. The company is understood to be looking at a valuation of Rs 150 crore for the divestment and is expected to divest up to 15% stake. According to the market sources, discussions with at least two firms are in an advanced stage and the move to divest stake is hitting a wall obviously on valuations. Mistral posted topline of Rs 70 crore and net profit of Rs 10 crore in fiscal 2008. (Business Standard)

Singareni to Invite Fresh Bids for Power Projects - State-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) will invite fresh tenders for upgrading its 6Mw power plant to 20 Mw at Kothagudem in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh. The project is estimated to cost about Rs 100 crore. The company is revising the specifications of the project and would call for fresh tenders for the project in a month as the earlier attempt received a lukewarm response. Meanwhile, the company has called for expressions of interest for forming a joint venture for an underground coal gasification project in Andhra Pradesh. It would take about three months for the notice inviting tenders (NITs) to be processed. (Business Standard)

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