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Monday, February 23, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Feb 23, 2009

Infosys eyes two European firms

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Infosys Technologies is eyeing European software firms BCC and Ciber Novasoft among others as potential acquisitions, the Economic Times said on Monday citing two people familiar with the development.

The paper said a final transaction could be some time away, quoting one source as saying there was no agreement yet on the valuations of the two firms.

Poland-based BCC, which has annual revenues of $180-200 million, could cost more than $300 million, the paper quoted a source as saying. Ciber had an annual revenue of almost $75 million, the paper said.

Officials at Infosys could not be reached for comment immediately.

Both BCC and Ciber provide services to companies using products of German business software maker SAP.

Lasy year, Infosys bid for British consultancy and SAP services provider Axon but lost to smaller Indian rival HCL Technologies.

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Cabinet to take a call on DoCoMo plan to pick 20% in Tata Tele unit

By Priyadarshi Siddhanta, Indian Express Finance

THE Union Cabinet is likely to consider Tokyo-based telecom giant NTT DoCoMo's proposal to acquire 20.25 per cent in domestic telecom major Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML), a subsidiary of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) in its meeting this week.

NTT DoCoMo had already made an open offer to the Tata Group company's shareholders in November last year to acquire a 20 per cent stake (384,241,919 equity shares) in the listed entity. The announcement came shortly after it acquired a 26 per cent in TTSL for Rs 13,070 crore. If fully subscribed, the offer (to acquire stake in TTML) will cost the Japanese firm more than Rs 800 crores. The closing date of the offer is now March 12, as against January 8 this year. The offer price is understood to have been fixed at Rs 24.70 a share.

But in December, DoCoMo deferred the offer after a delay in approval from Sebi, which is believed to have said that since both firms are operating in India and engaged in the same vertical, valuation for indirect acquisition should be the same as direct acquisition. Under Sebi acquisition rules, it is mandatory for DoCoMo to make an offer for an additional 20 per cent in any Indian listed company after it acquires a substantial stake in the target company.

"Cabinet is expected to discuss the issue at length and take a view on the matter in its meeting," a source said.

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DLF, Unitech books sketchy on subsidiaries

By Sunny Verma, Indian Express Finance

Audit trails of subsidiaries of India's two largest listed real estate companies are running dry. Annual reports of DLF shows the accounts of its subsidiary, Silverlink Holdings Ltd, acquired in January 2008 and having total assets of Rs 2,291.12 crore, have not been comprehensively audited despite the listing requirements of the stock exchanges.

Similarly, the annual report of Unitech Ltd show that the financial statements of many of its subsidiaries and joint ventures, with total assets of Rs 541.39 crore, were not audited as on March 31, 2008. (More ...)

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Cement dealers continue to face shortage

By Smita Joshi Saha, Indian Express Finance

Cement dealers in Mumbai continue to face shortage in supply of cement as producers seem to have shifted supplies for the infrastructure projects elsewhere in the country. Dealers now find it difficult to deliver the commodity for various residential and commercial projects within the metro on time.

A Mumbai-based dealer on condition of anonymity said, "Our delivery period has gone up to about 7-8 days from 1-2 days earlier, due to this short supply."

According to industry players, reasons for the short supply are insufficient railway rakes for transport and a sudden spurt in demand from the infrastructure sector. (More ...)

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Tea sector to prosper in recession, say experts

By Rajesh Ravi, Indian Express Finance

What do the people do in times of recession? Well, it seems that they sit more at home and drink tea, and drink more tea by shifting from Cola, Beer and Vodka, say commodity experts. And the penchant for tea in times of uncertainty and recessionary blues helps the tea industry. Perhaps, it may be the only sector and industry smiling and flourishing, while other markets shrink and crawl. Experts estimate it to grow handsomely in the years to come as people turn more health conscious.

In the US market, tea's appeal is immense and vibrant according to Joseph P Simrany of the Tea Association of USA. Import of tea into the US market is seen growing with green tea, in particular, growing by almost 200% in a decade. The total market has grown from $1.84 billion in 1990 to $7.3 billion in 2008. It is estimated to double in the next five years, Simrany said. (More ...)

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