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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stock Market News, Financial News - Mar 4, 2009

Stanchart bucks downturn, posts profit on strong India operations

By ENS Economic Bureau

Standard Chartered Bank, the largest foreign bank in India, has announced a 37 per cent rise in 2008 operating profits to $943 million, led by a 33 per cent increase in income to $1.75 billion. The results include proceeds of $146 million from the sale of the asset management business. The Indian arm is the second largest contributor to group profits after Hong Kong, with a 21 per cent share. Standard Chartered plc reported a 13 per cent rise in profits for 2008 to $4.5 billion. (More ... )

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Inflating AUM: MFs will soon have to specify fund source

By Chirag Madia, Indian Express Finance

Mutual funds will soon be asked to specify the money invested in their schemes by their parent bodies, corporates and retail investors. This is expected to bring an additional level of transparency to the mutual fund business in the country. Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India is readying guidelines to the effect.

Disclosing the sources of the assets under management (AUM) is, however, expected to be resisted by the industry, as funds now need to disclose only their total investments. The larger the fund house the more is the draw for the new investors to park their funds in it.  (More ... )

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Sugarcane crop, crushing fall in 3 states

By Financial Express Bureau

Three of the biggest producers of sugarcane in India are grappling with a dip in production, primarily due to a fall in the area under cultivation.

Sugar production in Uttar Pradesh, the country's second largest producer after Maharashtra, has declined by 21% at 35.29 lakh tonnes till mid-February in the 2008-09 season, against 44.5 lakh tonne in the 2007-08 season. In the wake of the dip in production, the year's target, which was initially set at 60 lakh tonne, has been revised to 45 lakh tonne.

Reduction in the area under sugarcane cultivation was a major reason for the dip in production. The area under sugarcane reduced by almost 7.1 lakh hectare (ha) this year from 28.5 lakh ha in 2007-08 to 21.4 lakh ha in 2008-09. With the slump in cane production, a number of sugar mills in the state have downed shutters. The story is no different in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.  (More ... )

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Yes Bank urges RBI to take more steps to ease liquidity

By Financial Express Bureau

Private sector lender Yes Bank wants Reserve Bank of India to take more measures to ease liquidity before deciding to cut lending rates, although public sector banks are continuously slashing rates.

RBI has already infused 3,88,000 crore into the banking system since October 2008 to increase the liquidity. It has cut short-term lending rate (repo) and borrowing rate (reverse repo) by 350 basis points to 5.5% and 200 basis points to 4% respectively, while cash reserve ratio has been brought down to 5% from 9%.

(More ... )

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