Essel Group stake close to IVRCL promoter-holding level

Essel Group had said that it had hiked its stake in IVRCL to 10.19%. It had added that it was keen to hike the holding further.

Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group has bought additional shares in infrastructure company IVRCL to bring its shareholding close to 11%, the level held by promoters led by E Sudhir Reddy.

Market analysts said there is risk of control of the company changing hands. According to brokerage firm Zen Securities, the stake held by IVRCL promoters is very less and “if they do not take this seriously there is risk of taking over control of the company”.
 
IVRCL, however, sounded confident of support from financial institutions and lenders. “I have received messages from other infrastructure companies willing to extend support and personally chairmen of some banks also said they will help, if required,” IVRCL chief financial officer Balram Reddy told PTI.

“Our chairman is having talks with other FIIs and (we are) fully backed up. We are ready to resist the move to any extent,” Reddy added.

Essel Group had said that it had hiked its stake in IVRCL to 10.19%. It had added that it was keen to hike the holding further.

Promoters of IVRCL held 11.18% stake in the company while FIIs and DIIs held 37.11% and 5.4% respectively as per the shareholding pattern recorded on 31 December 2011. The rest was with public.

According to SEBI's new guidelines, the takeover trigger limit has been increased from 15% to 25%.

Essel's stake acquisition in IVRCL through secondary market triggered the possible takeover threat fuelled by its statement.

“In line with its philosophy to grow its infrastructure business to match and benefit from the rising proportion of infrastructure investment by India, the Essel Group has acquired a 10.19% stake in IVRCL and is keen to increase it and is in the process of increasing it,” Essel had said in a statement.

IVRCL reported net profit of Rs6.79 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2011 down 84% over the same quarter last year. Its total income decreased by 15% to nearly Rs1,203 crore in the quarter.

IVRCL shares closed at Rs64.75 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 7.83% up from the previous close.

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Follow time limit to decide sanction for prosecution: CVC

“The grant of sanction is an administrative act and the purpose is to protect the public servant from harassment by frivolous or vexatious prosecution and not to shield the corrupt,” the Central Vigilance Commission said

Annoyed over inordinate delay in graft cases, the Central Vigilance Commission has directed all government departments to follow a four-month time limit to decide grant of sanction for prosecution against a corrupt public servant.

In a latest directive issued today, the anti-corruption watchdog has cited Supreme Court judgements to expedite cases pending permission to prosecute a corrupt government official and told all ministries/departments to adhere to the CVC and apex court's guidelines in "letter and spirit".

"The grant of sanction is an administrative act and the purpose is to protect the public servant from harassment by frivolous or vexatious prosecution and not to shield the corrupt," the Commission said. It clarified that the question of giving opportunity to the public servant at that stage does not arise and the sanctioning authority has only to see whether the facts would prima facie constitute the offence.

The CVC advised all concerned competent authorities that while processing requests of sanction of prosecution, the "time limits laid down by the Apex Court are adhered to in letter and spirit". Citing a verdict by the apex court, the probity watchdog said that "time limit of three months for grant of sanction for prosecution must be strictly adhered to.

However, additional time of one month may be allowed where consultation is required with the Attorney General or any other law officer in the AG's office".

According to a latest data, the CVC is awaiting sanction to prosecute 47 officials from various central government departments/ministries in 29 cases of alleged corruption.

“The delay in giving sanction for prosecution act as a hindrance in processing a case of corruption against accused official. The Commission has been concerned over serious delay in according the sanction by departments concerned. The latest directive would help in expediting the graft cases," a CVC official said.

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BRICS nations sign pacts to promote trade in local currency

“The agreements signed today by development banks of BRICS countries will boost trade by offering credit in our local currency,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said

In an initiative to promote trade in local currencies, the BRICS nations on signed two agreements to provide line of credit to business community and decided to examine the possibility of setting up a development bank on lines of multilateral lending agencies.

The agreements were signed by officials of five countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- at the fourth BRICS summit in New Delhi.

“The agreements signed today by development banks of BRICS countries will boost trade by offering credit in our local currency,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a media statement after the meeting.

The Master Agreement on Extending Credit Facility in Local Currency and the Multilateral Letter of Credit Confirmation Facility Agreement are being perceived as a step towards replacing the dollar as the main unit of trade between them.

Such intra-BRICS initiatives, according to officials, will not only contribute to enhanced trade and investments among the nations but would also facilitate economic growth in difficult economic times.

As regards the initiative to set up a BRICS Development Bank on the lines of multilateral lending agency, Singh said the proposal would be examined by the finance ministers.

“A suggestion has been made to set up a BRICS development bank, we have directed our FM to examine the proposal and report back by next summit,” Singh said.

The initiative to set up a BRICS Development Bank on the lines of the World Bank would allow the member countries to pool resources for infrastructure development and could also be used to lend during the difficult global environment.

Intra-BRICS trade is about $230 billion and has the potential of more than doubling to $500 billion by 2015.

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