HCL BPO Looks For Buyouts in US, UK and Australia - HCL BPO is is looking for acquisitions of platform based BPO firms in the US, UK and Australia with revenues of up to $250 million. The IT major is looking at de-linking revenue growth from head count growth, hence it is looking at acquiring companies in English speaking countries that derive revenue from output or outcome based pricing and platform led services. The IT major is confident of closing at least one buyout this year. The firm’s strategy is buy loss making or marginally profitable entities at low prices and turning them around. HCL BPO is not looking at increasing its exposure to the domestic market at this stage. The Economic Times

Essex County Cricket Club to Lure Investors in India - Representatives from a cash-strapped English county cricket club are in India trying to lure investors for an ambitious $100 million project to rebuild its stadium and develop a real estate project on five hectares of land belonging to the county. Essex County Cricket Club (ECCC) chief executive David East and the club’s ambassador and former England captain Graham Gooch are touring world cricket’s financial powerhouse to raise $70 million to fund the real estate project and $30 million to develop cricket infrastructure. England’s cricket board is also talking to BCCI, to replicate the Indian Premier League Twenty20 championship in the UK. (The Economic Times)

Vedanta to Buy Back Shares Amounting to 20% Stake - Anil Agarwal promoted Vedanta Resources Plc has offered a maximum of Rs 105 per share to buy back shares from the general public amounting to 20% stake in its BSE-listed subsidiary Madras Aluminium Company (Malco). Vedanta currently owns 80% stake in the company. Ina filing with london Stock Exchange, Vedanta said that the minimum floor price in accordance with Indian regulations is Rs 74.77 per share. The company will spend a maximum of Rs 236 crore to buy back 2.25 crore shares owned by the public. The buyback will begin on March 17 and end on March 20. The offer is being made by Twin Star Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vedanta. (DNA Money)

ITI Eyes JVs for Manufacturing Telecom Equipment - Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Ltd, the state-owned telecom equipment manufacturer, is talking to foreign firms such as Huawei and ZTE for joint ventures in manufacturing advanced telecom equipment. The loss-making public sector unit will float a tender inviting quotations from telecom equipment manufacturers within a month. ITI is seeking partnerships in three new product categories --Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) equipment, optical transmission and switching equipment, and IP core network systems. (DNA Money)

Fidelity Hikes Stake in Satyam - Foreign institutional investor Fidelity increased its stake in the beleaugered IT firm, Satyam Computer Services to 8.89% by purchasing additional 30 lakh shares through open market purchase, on Thursday. Post acquisition, Fidelity Management and Research LLC (FMR LLC) now holds 5.99 crore shares in Sataym. Last month, Fidelity had acquired 6.79% stake in the beleaguered IT firm representing over 4.57 crore shares of the company through open market transactions.(DNA Money)

Manish Dhir Quits AOL, Phil Nelson to Take Over - Maneesh Dhir, who started and headed the India unit for AOL LLC, has quit after a decade-long stint with the Internet firm, to start a new venture. Dhir was the executive vice-president (international) and managing director of AOL India, in charge of expanding AOL’s presence outside the US in two years from four to 38 countries. He joined AOL, when it acquired browserfirm Netscape. He joined Netscape after it acquired Kiva Software, a US internet startup he co-founded. Phil Nelson, senior vice-president and general manager, who was reporting to Dhir, would now lead the India operations.(LiveMint.Com)

RBS to Put India Retail Opeartions on The Block - The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has decided to move its India retail and commercial banking operations into a for-sale, non-core division, thus effectively declaring its intention to exit that business. The announcement came as part of the UK-based bank’s annual results, which showed a record £24.1 billion (Rs1.73 trillion) loss for fiscal 2008. The bank follows a calendar year for financial results. RBS, which is largely owned by the UK government, is selling non-core businesses in select markets to raise funds. In India, it is present through 31 branches and has 10,000 employees. (LiveMint.Com)

India’s Inflation Falls To A 14 Month Low - India’s inflation fell to a 14-month low in mid-February as cheaper fuels fed into a slowing economy. The Wholesale Price Index, the most widely watched inflation measure, rose 3.36 % in the 12 months to 14 February, lower than the previous week’s 3.92% but slightly above a forecast of 3.31% in a ‘Reuters’ poll. This turned out to be the lowest reading since 24 November 2007 when inflation stood at 3.11%. It was 5.66% a year ago. Wholesale prices, which peaked at close to 13% in early August, have fallen tracking drops in prices of commodities, cuts in state-set fuel prices and lower factory gate duties. The commerce ministry on Thursday revised the inflation rate for the week to 20 December to 5.91% from 6.38%. (LiveMint.Com)

Dish TV to Sell Stakes to PE Firms - Dish TV India Ltd is planning to sell its stake to private equity (PE) investors. It is already in discussions with PE firms for the stake sale. The direct-to-home satellite services operator is also passing on the 2% service tax cut to its consumers. Jawahar Goel, Managing Director, Dish TV, ha said he would not be able to disclose any more details regarding the stake sale for the next two months. (Reuters)

SpiceJet Plans Airline to Connect Small Cities - SpiceJet Ltd., the Indian discount carrier backed by billionaire Wilbur Ross, plans to set up an airline connecting smaller cities in the country to lure rail passengers. The carrier is looking at providing a connectivity provided by the trains. Acording to analysts, Setting up a regional airline that feeds into the discount carrier’s network will enable SpiceJet to win some of the 15 million passengers who take trains every day in the country. The New Delhi-based carrier, the only Indian discount airline to fly an all-Boeing fleet, may lease aircraft with a capacity of 40 to 60 seats to set up the feeder service. The carrier has started a study to assess the potential for this business. ()

India Seeks $5.2 Billion Loan from World Bank - India has asked the World Bank to give it a loan of $5.2 billion (around Rs26,200 crore) for two years to June 2010 to help fight an economic slowdown, interim finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday. India has borrowed Rs2.56 trillion from foreign governments as of 31 January, and the interest payable is Rs4,313 crore. (LiveMint.Com)


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