Vodafone offers discounted
roaming for Dubai festival

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Vodafone Essar today announced discounted roaming rates for its pre-paid and postpaid subscribers traveling to Dubai for the world renowned Dubai Shopping festival. A Vodafone hand out said the customers can enjoy....more

Godrej Properties Q3 net dips 12 pc to Rs 15.5 cr

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Realty firm Godrej Properties today reported a per cent dip in consolidated net profit at Rs 15.51 crore for the October-December quarter of the current fiscal.The company had recorded Rs 17......more

Tata Motor global sales up by 21 % in December

BANGALORE, Jan 14: The Tata Motors Group global wholesales, including Jaguar Land Rover, were 90,294 units in December 2010, a growth of 21 per cent over December 2009. Cumulative sales during the nine months of the fiscal were higher by 29 per cent at 768,834 units, the company said in ....more

Australia flood clean-up starts, tough task ahead

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, Jan 14: Australia’s third-largest city started cleaning up stinking mud and debris today after some of the country’s worst floods on record, but in a sign of the task ahead, it could take six months to pump flood waters out of Queensland’s coal mines. ...more

Internet provider fails to deliver what they advertise: Study

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Majority of the broadband internet service providers have not been able to deliver the speed which they had advertised, a recent study says. According to a test conducted by Sri Lanka-based research firm LIRNEasia ‘Recent Quality of Service ...more

Potato rises 1.84 pc on spot demand

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Potato futures prices rose by Rs 12.80 to Rs 708 per quintal in futures trade today as traders enlarged their positions on pick-up in the spot market demand. Restricted supply from the producing regions ....more

Godrej Properties Q3 net dips 24.67

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Godrej Properties Ltd, the real estate development arm of the Godrej Group today said its net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 2010 declined 24.67 per cent to Rs 13.25 crore as compared to Rs 17.59 in the corresponding.....more

Cottonseed futures gain on low inventories

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Cottonseed futures prices surged by Rs 13 to 1,067 per quintal today on heavy buying by traders. Market analysts said traders enlarging their positions against low inventories mainly pushed up the prices in futures. Pick up in demand and restricted supply in spot markets ......more

Chana futures fall on profit taking ...

Crude palm oil futures turns weak on profit booking ..

Inflation rises to 8.43 pc, case for RBI to hike rates...

Kizashi set for debut next month, Maruti ready for bigger game...

 

Vodafone offers discounted roaming for Dubai festival

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Jan 14: Vodafone Essar today announced discounted roaming rates for its pre-paid and postpaid subscribers traveling to Dubai for the world renowned Dubai Shopping festival.

A Vodafone hand out said the customers can enjoy reduced call rates on all incoming and outgoing calls while roaming in UAE and this service would remain valid from January 15 to February 28.

The discounted rates would be applicable for all subscribers who have International Roaming activated on their plan. Through this, Vodafone customers could enjoy 30% reduction on incoming calls and an equal reduction on all local and international outgoing calls. Post paid customers could also apply a 30% discount on GPRS services.

Rajiv Kohli, CEO, J&K Vodafone Essar, said "Vodafone has always pioneered in bringing innovative and affordable services and our customers will now get the opportunity to stay in touch with their families and friends at discounted rates. This is another initiative that would ensure customers’ delight while staying at Dubai Shopping festival".

Godrej Properties Q3 net dips 12 pc to Rs 15.5 cr

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Realty firm Godrej Properties today reported a per cent dip in consolidated net profit at Rs 15.51 crore for the October-December quarter of the current fiscal.

The company had recorded Rs 17.63 crore net profit in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, it said in communique to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Income from operations, however, went up to Rs 48.17 crore from Rs 34.61 crore in the October-December quarter of the 2009-10 fiscal.

Godrej Properties had earned Rs 14.97 crore during the quarter by off-loading some stakes in two of its projects to India Realty Excellence Fund and HDFC Portfolio Management Services. (PTI)

Tata Motor global sales up by 21 % in December

BANGALORE, Jan 14: The Tata Motors Group global wholesales, including Jaguar Land Rover, were 90,294 units in December 2010, a growth of 21 per cent over December 2009.

Cumulative sales during the nine months of the fiscal were higher by 29 per cent at 768,834 units, the company said in a release here today.

Global sales of all commercial vehicles, Tata, Tata Daewoo and the Tata Hispano Carrocera range were 48,168 vehicles. In December 2010, a growth of 29 per cent. Cumulative sales for the fiscal are 362,677, a growth of 29%.

The company had passenger vehicle sales of 42,126 during the month, higher by 13 per cent yer on year. For the current fiscal the sales had ben 405,157 till December end.

Global sales of Jaguar Land Rover in December 2010 were 21,353 vehicles, higher by 1 per cent. Jaguar sales for the month were 4,332 nos., lower by 10 per cent, while Land Rover sales were 17,021 nos., higher by 4 per cent.

Cumulative sales of Jaguar Land Rover for the fiscal are 175,442 nos., higher by 28 per cent. Cumulative sales of Jaguar are 42,952 nos., higher by 18 per cent, while cumulative sales of Land Rover are 132,490 nos., higher by 32 per cent. (UNI)

Australia flood clean-up starts, tough task ahead

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, Jan 14: Australia’s third-largest city started cleaning up stinking mud and debris today after some of the country’s worst floods on record, but in a sign of the task ahead, it could take six months to pump flood waters out of Queensland’s coal mines.

Many suburbs in the state’s capital Brisbane, a city of two million people, remained submerged after floodwaters inundated the riverside city yesterday.

The floods in Queensland, which started in December 2010, have killed 19 people. Tens of thousands of homes have been inundated with floodwater and more than 60 people are missing.

"Right now we are still rescuing people, we are still evacuating people. So we are right in the middle of the emergency response," said Queensland state premier Anna Bligh, who has described Brisbane as looking like a war zone.

"We need to brace ourselves, when this goes down and its going down quite quickly, its going to stink—an unbearable stench," said Bligh.

The disaster has crippled Queensland’s infrastructure and its coal exports, pushing up world prices by around a third.

The event has been blamed on the strongest ever recorded La Nina weather phenomenon in the Pacific, which has also affected other countries.

Heavy monsoon rains and flooding across a third of Sri Lanka have killed 23 people, forced 100,000 to leave their homes and threatened food supplies on the island.

Sri Lanka’s agricultural ministry said at least a fifth of the nation’s rice crop had been destroyed, raising concerns over supply shocks and higher food inflation.

Rising food prices are stoking global inflation with many agricultural commodity markets driven higher by bad weather in key producing countries. Record food prices are also raising the risk of riots in developing nations and trade protectionism.

FLOODS STILL CUTTING COAL EXPORTS

Bligh said her government would concentrate efforts to help the state coal industry meet demand in Asia, after Commonwealth Bank estimated the floods would remove 14 million tonnes, or 5 per cent, of global coking coal exports this year.

"This is critical right now, to get that supply chain fully functional," Bligh told reporters.

Australia’s Gladstone Ports Corporation said today it will restart some coal export shipments yesterday as rail lines serving the terminal reopen and it begins to replenish stocks that have fallen to two days of supply.

Freight operator QR National said today that its Blackwater line serving Gladstone could resume service as earlier as January 20.

The line has been closed since December and serves the state’s biggest coal miners, including BHP Billiton , Rio Tinto and Xstrata . They have all declared force majeure, unable to meet export contracts.

Still, a lack of equipment means that it could be up to six months before mines can return to full operation, mining contractors said.

"There’s just nothing left to hire, all the pumps are working non-stop," said Dave Walker, who manages water pumping for Total Water Management. "It could be months before all the water is out."

Australia provides almost two-thirds of the world’s metallurgical coal exports, most destined for Asian steel producers. Ninety percent comes from Queensland.

CYCLONE THREAT STILL HIGH

Military aircraft and trucks fanned out across Queensland state, ferrying food and clothing over an area the size of South Africa, as the weather bureau warned the threat of cyclones and fresh rains would last until March.

But a cyclone forming in the Coral Sea, which had threatened the coast, had begun moving north into the Pacific, said state premier Bligh.

"We’ll keep watching it, but maybe our luck is about to change," she said.

The flooding, which started before Christmas, continued in other areas of Queensland, with the 6,000 residents of Goondiwindi, southwest of Brisbane, facing a record flood.

As the country’s wild weather continued, police evacuated communities in neighbouring New South Wales state overnight as flooding threatened the border towns of Boggabilla and Toomelah.

Torrential rain in Victoria state also led to evacuations in Halls Gap and Glenorchy, northwest of Melbourne, with a flood peak expected on Friday morning.

The town of Beaufort was also under threat with a nearby lake threatening to burst banks, police said.

CITY A STINKING MESS

In the centre of Brisbane, a drop in the swollen Brisbane River left foul-smelling mud covering areas beside the city’s cultural centre and Wheel of Brisbane tourist site.

Aerial views of the city showed a sea of brown with rooftops poking out, but the water was receding.

Boats have been used in many areas to reach houses, with sofas and fridges floating in water. Residents have no idea when they might be able to return to their homes.

"Nobody told me this would become this serious, this terrible," said Su Liu, a Chinese student studying marketing at the University of Queensland.

She fled her home near the riverside university on Tuesday as water poured into the second floor of her apartment building and was now sheltering in an evacuation centre.

Power has been restored to 170,000 homes, but power company Energex said 66,000 homes across southeast Queensland remained without electricity.

Bligh called on insurance companies to show compassion and flexibility. Many Queenslanders, thinking they were covered against floods, have discovered that is not the case, she said.

Economists have estimated the flood damage at 5 billion dollars, with 1 billion dollars (1 billion dollars) of that to be underwritten by insurers.

"It’s not in the interests of anyone in our community, including those companies, to stall or delay recovery," said Bligh, whose disaster handling has won wide praise, reviving ruling Labor’s flagging hopes of re-election in the state.

Polling last year showed only 28 per cent of Queenslanders would support Labor at elections due next year, while Bligh’s own popularity was so low that resurrecting her support was an "impossible mission", Brisbane’s Courier-Mail newspaper said.

(AGENCIES)

Internet provider fails to deliver what they advertise: Study

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Majority of the broadband internet service providers have not been able to deliver the speed which they had advertised, a recent study says.

According to a test conducted by Sri Lanka-based research firm LIRNEasia ‘Recent Quality of Service Experience (QoSE)’, majority of the packages tested within India, failed to deliver even 80 per cent of the advertised speeds, most of the service providers fail to deliver a mere 20 per cent of what was publicised.

In its report, the research firm compared download speeds, Round Trip Time (RTT, or the time delays in data transfer), Jitter (the variation in time between the arrival of data packets) and Packet Loss (the percentage of data packets that did not reach its destination) of eight broadband packages in four major cities across India.

Rather than comparing download speeds between packages in different locations, tests were performed during six time intervals on two weekdays in 11 locations across seven countries in south and southeast Asia.

LIRNEasia analyses package speed compared to what was promised by the operator, as well as the "value for money" (or Kbps per USD).

From a regional perspective, most Indian internet broadband services offer better value for money and perform well on delivering what was promised to the customers than other operators in Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

"The regulator should promote such transparency in order to boost competition in the broadband market and improve service quality," LIRNEasia Research Manager Shazna Zuhyle said. (PTI)

Potato rises 1.84 pc on spot demand

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Potato futures prices rose by Rs 12.80 to Rs 708 per quintal in futures trade today as traders enlarged their positions on pick-up in the spot market demand.

Restricted supply from the producing regions also supported the uptrend.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange counter, potato for delivery in May rose by Rs 12.80, or 1.84 per cent, to Rs 708 per quintal, with a business turnover of seven lots.

Potato for March-month delivery contract traded higher by Rs 9.30, or 1.36 per cent, to Rs 691.40 per quintal, with a business volume of 524 lots.

While April-month delivery up by Rs 8.60, or 1.29 per cent, to Rs 671.80 per quintal, with a business turnover in 126 lots.

Market analysts said increased buying by speculators on pick-up in demand in the spot market, led to rise in potato prices at futures trade.

They said restricted arrivals from producing belts in Agra and Haldwani also influenced the trading sentiment to some extent. (PTI)

Godrej Properties Q3 net dips 24.67

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Godrej Properties Ltd, the real estate development arm of the Godrej Group today said its net profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 2010 declined 24.67 per cent to Rs 13.25 crore as compared to Rs 17.59 in the corresponding period last year.

The company’s total income, however, has increased by 50.49 per cent to Rs 59.70 crore in Q3FY11 as compared to Rs 39.67 crore in Q3FY10, it said in a statement.

The Group has posted a decline of 12.02 per cent in its net profit at Rs 15.51 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 as compared to Rs 17.63 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2009.

Total Income has increased by 43.84 per cent from Rs 47.42 crore for the quarter ended December ‘09 to Rs 68.21 crore for the quarter ended December ‘10.

(UNI)

)

Cottonseed futures gain on low inventories

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Cottonseed futures prices surged by Rs 13 to 1,067 per quintal today on heavy buying by traders.

Market analysts said traders enlarging their positions against low inventories mainly pushed up the prices in futures.

Pick up in demand and restricted supply in spot markets further fuelled the uptrend in futures, they added.

At the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, Cottonseed prices for delivery in current month January hardened by Rs 13, or 1.23 per cent, to Rs 1,067 per quintal, with an open interest of 34,340 lots.

Prices for delivery in February also marked ahead by Rs 11, or 1.01 per cent, to Rs 1,095 per quintal, with an open interest of 84,920 lots. (PTI)

Chana futures fall on profit taking

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Chana futures prices declined by Rs 10 to Rs 2,400 per 100 kg today as speculators booked profits at higher levels, triggered by subdued demand in the spot market.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange counter, chana for delivery in January declined by Rs 10, or 0.41 per cent, to Rs 2,400 per 100 kg.

Market analysts said subdued demand against adequate supplies in the physical market mainly led to fall in chana prices at futures market.

They said higher kharif pulses production and rising arrivals pushed up prices, but ongoing festive season demand limited losses.

(PTI)

Crude palm oil futures turns weak on profit booking

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Crude palm oil futures prices turned weak by Rs 1.70 to Rs 544.80 per 10 kg today on profit booking, driven by subdued demand in spot market.

At the Multi Commodity Exchange counter, crude palm oil prices for delivery in January fell by Rs 1.70, or 0.31 per cent, to Rs 544.80 per 10 kg, with a business volume of 33 lots.

The oil for delivery in March eased by Rs 1.50, or 0.27 per cent, to Rs 553.10 per 10 kg, with a trading volume of 116 lots, while February month delivery eased by Rs 1.40, or 0.25 per cent, to Rs 550.60 per 10 kg, with a trade volume of 98 lots.

Traders said beside profit taking by speculators, fall in demand against adequate stocks in physical market mainly led to fall in crude palm oil prices at futures market. (PTI)

Inflation rises to 8.43 pc, case for RBI to hike rates

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Inflation shot up to 8.43 per cent in December, from 7.48 per cent in the previous month, as prices of certain food and non-food items continued to show an upward trend.

After moderating somewhat in November, the overall inflation, measured on the basis of wholesale prices, rose in December as vegetable, like onion, and other protein-based items became expensive.

With the inflation showing no signs of moderation, it is widely expected that RBI will raise the key policy rates during its quarterly monetary policy review on January 25.

For October, the figure has been revised upwards to 9.12 per cent from the provisional number of 8.58 per cent.

It may be recalled, the food inflation, which accounts for over 14 per cent in the overall WPI inflation, has remained high through December and stood at 16.91 per cent.

A worried government yesterday announced a slew of measures to contain price rise including de-hoarding operations and closely monitoring export and import of food items.

As per the WPI data, prices of primary articles—food, non-food articles and minerals—shot up by 16.46 per cent on an annual basis, official data released here showed.

However, prices of certain food items declined on an year-on-year.

While wheat became cheaper by 5.09 per cent, pulses fell by 10.89 per cent and potatoes went down by 26.57 per cent.

During the month, fuel and power prices went up by 11.19 per cent, while manufactured goods became expensive by 4.46 per cent on an annual basis.

Manufactured items have the highest weight of 64.9 per cent in the wholesale price index, on the basis of which inflation is calculated.

Within manufactured products, however, sugar prices eased by 9.91 per cent and leather and leather goods by 1.23 per cent on an annual basis. (PTI)

Kizashi set for debut next month, Maruti ready for bigger game

NEW DELHI, Jan 14: Gearing up to intensify its play in luxury segment, car market leader Maruti Suzuki India will be launching its sedan Kizashi on the second of next month.

The vehicle, to be imported fully from parent Suzuki’s facility in Japan, will be positioned between likes of Honda Accord and Toyota Camry at the upper end and Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta and Toyota Corolla at lower end. These cars are priced around Rs 12 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

"This (Kizashi) is our attempt to be future ready, as we believe the A4 and A5 segment (luxury) is going to grow. It is small at the moment but the way the economy is growing, this segment is going to be big," Maruti Suzuki India Managing Executive Officer (Marketing & Sales) Mayank Pareek told PTI.

As per industry estimates, the size of the A4 and A5 segment is over 55,000 units per year.

"In another 5-7 years time, this volume is going to be big and to sustain our leadership position in the market we are looking at this segment seriously," he added.

MSI currently commands nearly 50 per cent of the total Indian car market which was at 1.87 million units in 2010.

Pareek said MSI will consider the option of assembling the Kizashi in India in future if the demand justified but declined to give a time frame.

Kizashi is powered by a 2.4 litre petrol engine and will be available in both manual and automatic transmission options and will be formally launched on February 2.

He said the launch of Kizashi is not only aimed at sales volume but also to understand customer needs for the upper luxury segment so that the company can meet their needs better.

"There are nine million Maruti Suzuki customers at present. Many of them want to move up and have been asking after the SX4, what next? What we are doing here is to provide them options in luxury segment," Pareek said.

MSI has been trying to get into the bigger car segment. While its first attempt with Baleno in the past didn’t meet with much success, it has been able to make a mark with the mid-sized sedan SX4 in 2007. (PTI)

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