Boeing delivers combat jet with HAL gun-bay door to US navy

New Delhi: American aviation major Boeing on Tuesday said it has delivered the first F/A-18 Super Hornet fitted with Indian-manufactured gun-bay door to the US Navy. The aircraft was handed over to the US Navy on 20th July, Boeing officials said, reports PTI.

The Gun-bay doors are manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) at its facility in Bengaluru.

Boeing's F/A-18IN Super Hornet is one of the six contenders for the Indian Air Force's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft deal.

The gun-bay door contract is the first military contract between Boeing and HAL and is a direct result of Boeing's industrial participation commitment to India, which includes creating jobs with indigenous companies, the officials said.

The two companies are also working together on projects for the P-8I multi-mission maritime aircraft and also on the commercial Boeing 777 airplane, they said.


JFE to buy 14.9% stake in JSW Steel for Rs4,800 crore

Mumbai: JFE Holdings Inc, Japan's second- largest steelmaker, will pick up 14.99% stake in JSW Steel Ltd for over Rs4,800 crore, a move that may help the Indian company reduce its debt, reports PTI.

"The agreement provides JFE to maintain its shareholding at not more than 14.99% in JSW," JSW Steel said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Tuesday.

Both the companies have entered a long-term partnership under which the Indian partner will issue 32.0 crore equity shares to JFE at Rs1,500 each on 31st August.

"If the average closing price of JSW in two consecutive weeks or 10 consecutive days, or in case closing price during five consecutive trading days reaches or exceeds Rs1,365 between subscription agreement date and 31 August 2010, JSW will allot 32,004,798 equity shares at Rs1,500 a piece on the date of allotment," the statement said.

Otherwise, JSW will allot one fully convertible debenture of face value of over Rs4,800 crore, the statement added.

"The definitive agreement is a transformational step forward in its mission to move up the value chain in steel production and enhance its ability to weather the cyclicality inherent in the global steel industry," the JSW Steel vice-chairman and managing director, Sajjan Jindal, said.

JSW Steel's debt stood at about Rs16,000 crore at the end of the last fiscal and its debt equity ratio was 1.69:1.

The announcement has come after JSW Steel, the country's largest private steel producer by domestic capacity, informed BSE on 22nd July that it would consider a share sale to 'a strategic investor' to raise long-term funds.

Last year, the two companies had entered an alliance to jointly produce auto-grade steel and said they were considering investing in each other.


Strategic partner with 26% stake an ideal solution: BSNL CMD

New Delhi: Facing a sharp deterioration in its finances and market share, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on Tuesday said selling a 26% stake to a strategic partner, be it foreign or domestic, could improve its performance.

"In the interest of the company, we should have a strategic partner where they have a 26% stake," BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told PTI.

Mr Goyal, who is retiring on 31st July after a nearly three-year stint as CMD of BSNL, said a strategic partner can bring a lot of experience and vision that will help the public sector unit (PSU) compete with private players effectively.

A high-level panel led by Sam Pitroda had recommended 30% divestment in BSNL as part of steps to improve BSNL's financial health.

The proposal for a stake sale, which will pave the way for its initial public offering (IPO) and consequent listing on the stock exchanges, has been vehemently protested on various occasions by BSNL's employees.

However, Mr Goyal said they (the employees) should get a share in the stake sale so that they also feel that they own the company.

"A part (of the stake) should go to the employees so that they also feel that they own the company and that they have a stake in the company. That seems to be the best way forward for the government," he added.

The telecom veteran feels that the agitating unions can also be brought on board for this. "I think if a decision is taken, then it could be explained to them... Their fear is that it should not be privatised... That government should explain to them it will continue to have a 51% stake in the company. This categorical assurance, if it is given to them, I think they can be bought on board," Mr Goyal said.

"To begin with, dilution of 10% stake is a good amount, it should be gradually increased to 26% by the government," he said.

Asked whether the management has negotiated with any foreign player, Mr Goyal said no such talks have been initiated. But there are some good foreign players like Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and British Telecom who could be considered.

Citing the example of Tata Docomo, he said once Docomo tied up with Tata Telecom, their performance improved significantly.


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