Sucheta Dalal :At A Glance
Sucheta Dalal

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At A Glance  

November 5, 2009


The Indian government on Thursday decided that all listed central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) will increase the public holding to 10% and all unlisted profitable state-owned entities should go public, reports PTI.
"All profitable listed CPSEs should need the mandatory listing of 10% public ownership," home minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) in New Delhi.
The government has also decided that all unlisted CPSEs, which have made profit in the past three years and have a positive net worth, should get listed on stock exchanges, he said, adding that CPSEs will enter the market at an "appropriate" time.
The decision will have a bearing on mineral major NMDC and MMTC, as the public shareholding in these companies is 1.62% and 0.67% respectively.
Listed companies are required to divest a minimum of 10% of the equity to the public, according to SEBI regulations.
The Minister further added that the proceeds of the disinvestment will straight away meet the capital expenditure of the government's social sector programmes, without being routed through National Investment Fund (NIF).
In pursuance of its disinvestment programme, the government had offloaded its stake in Oil India and NHPC in the current fiscal. It has also unveiled plans to reduce its shareholding in NTPC, Sutluj Jal Vidyut Nigam and Rural Electrification Corp.
During the current fiscal, the government raised Rs2,013 crore by offloading stake in the hydro-power major NHPC and Rs2,247 crore from stake sale in OIL.
The government is committed to offloading equity in public sector undertakings while retaining 51% stake, according to the disinvestment policy of the UPA.
"The public sector undertakings are the wealth of the nation, and a part of this wealth should rest in the hands of the people. While retaining at least 51% government equity in our enterprises, I propose to encourage people's participation in our disinvestment programme," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said in his Budget speech in July.
Primary inflation declines 0.1%; new monthly index next week
 The Indian government on Thursday introduced a new mechanism for monitoring the wholesale price movement under which the inflation for primary articles, including food grain, pulses and vegetables, declined 0.11% during the week ending 24th October.
As per the new system, the weekly wholesale price index data would cover only primary articles and commodities in the broad group—fuel, power, light and lubricants, an official statement said.
Besides, the monthly price index covering all commodities for October would be released on 12th November, in accordance with the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs.
As per the data, the inflation for fuel, power, light and lubricants remained unchanged at 6.2%.
The prices of primary articles rose by 8.94% in a year with potatoes showing an increase of 100%, onion by 50%, pulses by 23%, rice by 12% and milk by 10%.
Among the food articles, prices of fruit and vegetables declined by 2%, fish-marine products by 3%, barley and jowar by 1% each during the week. However, prices of moong rose by 3%, wheat and bajra by 2% each. At the same time, prices of raw silk rose by 6%, raw rubber by 3% and mustard seed by 1%.
Wipro buys select Yardley business for $45.5 million 
Wipro Ltd said it has signed an agreement to buy the Yardley business in Asia, Middle East, Australasia and certain African markets for about $45.5 million, from UK-based Lornamead Group. The transaction is expected to complete by mid-December 2009.
Yardley is a strong heritage global brand established since 1770 in the personal care category with fragrance products, bath & shower products and skin care products. As per the agreement, Lornamead retains the Yardley business in Europe and US.
Vineet Agrawal, president, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting said, "This transaction adds a very strong brand to our portfolio of personal care products. It fits into our strategy of increasing sales and brand presence in the Middle East."
Earlier in 2005, the Lornamead Group acquired Yardley from Procter & Gamble and invested in the brand's product development, distribution channels and merchandising across international markets, significantly increasing Yardley’s overall sales and profitability.
GVK Power buys 12% stake in Bangalore Airport for Rs484 cr
 GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd said it bought 40.6 million shares or 12% stake in Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) from Flughafen Zuerich AG for Rs484 crore.
The company also entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Unique Airports Worldwide AG (Zurich Airport) to collaborate for new airport projects in the Indian sub-continent, it said in a release to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

-- Sucheta Dalal