Commerce ministry seeks reduction in import duty on natural rubber

New Delhi: With a view to help domestic tyre manufacturers, the commerce ministry has sought the reduction of import duty on natural rubber, reports PTI.

In a communiqué to the finance ministry, the commerce ministry has suggested that import duty on natural rubber should be lowered to either Rs20.46 per kg, or 20% of the consignment, whichever is lower.

"The objective is to harmonise the domestic and international prices," a commerce ministry official said.

As per the Rubber Board, prices of natural rubber, a key raw material for tyre manufacturing, are hovering at Rs169 per kg in the domestic market, as against Rs163 per kg in the global market.

At present, imports of raw rubber attract about 20% duty, whereas the import duty on tyres is 10%.

According to Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) estimates, the industry imports about 1.5 lakh tonnes of natural rubber every year. Imports of finished tyres for trucks and buses stands at about 1.25 lakh tonnes a month, while passenger car tyres account for 2.5 lakh tonnes a month.

Tyre manufacturers have been complaining about the high prices of rubber. They have hiked tyre prices by 10%-15% since January this year.

After China, India is the second largest consumer of natural rubber.

The increased area under cultivation and favourable weather conditions pushed up India's natural rubber production by 4.3% in September to 77,500 tonnes, compared to the same month last year.

The country had produced 74,300 tonnes of rubber in September, 2009.

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94% of PSU offerings since 2003 gained over 10% on debut trade

New Delhi: The forthcoming public offers of Coal India Ltd CIL and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) can be a roaring success if the debut history of 28 PSUs since 2003 is any indication, as 94% of these public sector companies (PSUs) listed with a premium of at least 10% on the bourses, reports PTI.

An analysis of 28 PSU stake sale offerings, starting from UCO Bank in 2003 to Engineers India Ltd (EIL) in 2010, shows that in comparison to the total issues, 63% of the offerings have generated significant value for investors over the issue price as of 29th September.

The analysis by investment banking Enam Securities concludes that although the gains registered by most of the PSUs on listing were not exorbitant, the majority of the offerings have provided over 10% listing gains (17 out of 26 companies), with 10 companies registering over a 20% gain on listing.

Moreover, PSU offers generally provide special discount for retail investors (usually 5%), which is an added attraction for PSU share offerings, Enam said.

"Unlike the general belief, history proves that PSU initial public offers (IPOs) have always left something on the table for retail investors to cheer upon," it said.

However, three PSUs (NHPC, NMDC and SJVN) — which hit the market during the last 13 months — were trading below their listing price as of 29th September.

"If we exclude these companies, considering their limited performance history, we arrive at a conclusion that all PSU offerings in the medium to long-term have offered significant positive returns, irrespective of listing day performance," the report said.

In the list of 28 companies, two entities (PNB and Allahabad Bank) suffered losses on debut listing, but even these companies' shares have gained 175% over their listing price as of 29th September.

Aiming to raise Rs40,000 crore through PSU disinvestment this fiscal, the government is divesting its stake in many state-owned firms, including Coal India, this financial year.

The government also plans to sell a 5% stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and 10% in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to raise about Rs21,000 crore (Rs210 billion) this fiscal.

The government had mopped up about Rs2,000 crore in the first half of the current financial year through disinvestment.

The public offers of Power Grid Corporation and SAIL are likely to hit Dalal Street in the next two months.

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Personal finance Monday

Birla Sun Life MF unveils Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series CF; HDFC Mutual Fund floats HDFC FMP 35D September 2010 (2); Citibank launches credit card for frequent flyers; Allahabad Bank increases base rate to 8.5%; Indian Bank hikes deposit interest rates on shorter maturities

Birla Sun Life MF unveils Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series CF

Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has launched Birla Sun Life Fixed Term Plan-Series CF, a close-ended income scheme. The Scheme seeks to generate income by investing in fixed income securities maturing on or before the duration of the scheme. The Scheme opens on 4th October and closes on 6th October.

The scheme has duration of 367 days from the date of allotment. The Scheme offers growth and dividend (payout) option. The exit load for the Scheme is nil. During the new fund offer (NFO), the units will be offered at face value of Rs10 per unit. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. The minimum target amount under the Scheme shall be Rs1 crore during the NFO period. CRISIL Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Kaustubh Gupta is the fund manager.  

HDFC Mutual Fund floats HDFC FMP 35D September 2010 (2)

HDFC Mutual Fund has launched HDFC FMP 35D September 2010 (2), under HDFC Fixed Maturity Plans-Series XV, a close-ended income scheme. The investment objective of the Plan is to generate income through investments in debt/money-market instruments and government securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the Plan. The Plan will invest 60%-100% of assets in debt and money-market instruments and the remaining in government securities.
During the new fund offer (NFO), the units will be offered at face value of Rs10 per unit. The new issue will close on 6th October. The exit load for the Plan is nil. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000. CRISIL Liquid Fund Index is the benchmark index. Bharat Pareek and Anand Laddha are the fund managers.

Citibank launches credit card for frequent flyers

Citibank has launched a new credit card that will give frequent flyers the chance to earn mileage points when they fly on more than 50 domestic and international airlines. Till now, air travellers could only accumulate mileage points by flying on a single airline.

The Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card offers frequent flyers a 'universal' mileage platform that enables them the unique freedom and flexibility to earn miles on their travel on over 50 domestic and international airlines. The key benefit of the credit card is that it frees customers from having to choose one airline loyalty programme over another. The card offers a superior earn rate of 10 PremierMiles per Rs100 on all airline spends and a preferential interest rate. With an annual fee of Rs5,000, card members will receive a first-year activation bonus of 5,000 PremierMiles.An annual spending of Rs4 lakh in a year earns cardholders a bonus 2,500 PremierMiles. All non-airline purchases on the card earn customers 2.5 PremierMiles for every Rs100 spent.

Allahabad Bank increases base rate to 8.5%

Allahabad Bank has increased its base rate to 8.5% from 8%. The Bank has raised its base rate by 50 basis points. The revised base rate will be applicable to all loans which are linked to the base rate. The existing borrowers, who are continuing under benchmark prime lending rate system and wish to switch over to this system of base rate before expiry of their contracts, can do so through their respective branches at no extra charge. Base rate is the minimum rate of interest that a bank is allowed to charge from its customers. Unless mandated by the government, Reserve Bank of India rule stipulates that no bank can offer loans at a rate lower than base rate to any of its customers.

Indian Bank hikes deposit interest rates on shorter maturities

Indian Bank has increased its deposit interest rates by 50 to 75 basis points on shorter maturities. The Bank had increased the rates for deposits above two years to 7.75% in August. It has also increased the base rate to 8.5%. The agricultural sector under interest subvention scheme and the Bank's special schemes under poultry and fisheries would be protected from the increase. Loans to micro industries were also exempted partially.

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