Gammon moves towards total buyout of Indira Container Terminal

Gammon Infra is likely to finalise signing of both the immediate 24% and the subsequent 26% stake-purchase deals in Indira Container Terminal from Spain-based Dragados in April

Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd (GIPL)—which currently holds 50% stake in Indira Container Terminal Pvt Ltd (ICTPL)—will be finalising the signing formalities by April for an additional 24% stake purchase in this terminal company, and the planned (subsequent) 26% stake purchase.
“The sign-off ceremonies for both the transactions should happen by next month,” said Parvez Umrigar, managing director, GIPL. “It is our partner’s desire to sign out on both the transactions together, so (that) they can be assured of a complete exit and not a halfway one,” added Mr Umrigar.
ICTPL is the special purpose vehicle (SPV) which is developing the offshore container terminal at the Mumbai Port Trust on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. GIPL and Dragados SPL are the partners in the SPV. In December 2009, GIPL had announced its decision to purchase an additional 24% stake in ICTPL from Spain-based Dragados.
The first stake purchase of 24% will take GIPL’s total stake in the SPV to 74%. As Dragados plans to completely exit from the project, another 26% stake is on offer for GIPL. However, due to the concession agreement signed for the BOT project for developing the terminal, this additional 26% stake purchase can be completed only after six years.
“The 24% stake purchase is an immediate one, which does not involve any issues. However, as Dragados plans to exit the project completely, we require giving the company some understanding for the future 26% stake purchase. This additional 26% stake purchase needs some statutory formalities to be taken care of,” explained Mr Umrigar.
Dragados plans to globally exit from all of its shipping, ports and logistics projects, to focus on energy-based projects. “Their decision to exit gave (us) an opportunity,” added Mr Umrigar.


Toyota sees strong growth in India

Toyota Kirloskar Motor official claims that the recent troubles with global Toyota recalls have had no Indian impact and that sales continue to surge

Brand Toyota may have taken a beating after the Japanese carmaker had to recall millions of vehicles in the US, but in India the company sees no impact. In fact, the carmaker is eyeing strong growth, reports PTI.

"(There will be) no impact in India. Our sales have doubled. It's limited to the US. Each of our vehicles is in short supply (in India),” said Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director (Marketing) of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), the company's joint venture with the Kirloskar Group in India.

"(Over the) last two months, we have grown by 100%,” he said, referring to cumulative sales for January-February 2010 which stood at 11,982 units, a 109% increase over the same period last year.

TKM, in fact, is aiming for more than 25% growth in India in the current calendar year (2010) as it targets to sell a minimum of 70,000 units. TKM sold 55,497 units in 2009.

But Singh acknowledged that the growth in the first two months was over a very low base.

"As we go along (in the rest of the calendar year), growth may not be 100%. It will taper down,” he told PTI.

TKM expects growth to slow down in April-May as some states have raised VAT and road tax, while the Centre has hiked excise duty, but believes that "sales should be all right if the economy continues to do well.”


India Inc may grant 12% pay hike in 2010-11

Ernst & Young reports that India Inc may hike salaries by 9%-12% in the next fiscal amid revival in the job market

India Inc may grant salary hikes in the range of 9%-12% in the coming financial year to retain talent amid revival in the job market, according to consultancy firm Ernst & Young, reports PTI.

Most companies are expecting higher attrition levels over the next few months on jobs coming back into the economy resulting in salary hikes being used as a tool to retain talent.

"At an overall level, extraordinary jump in increments do not seem probable and the average salary increase is likely to be in the range of 9%-12%," Ernst & Young partner and national head (People & Organisation) N S Rajan said.

However, Mr Rajan cautioned that along with the pay hikes, companies are likely to follow a cautious approach of keeping tight monitoring and controlling of any additional salary costs. In spite of excitement around economic recovery, average pay hikes across sectors would be slightly conservative.

"While on the one hand, pharma and FMCG companies will lead the space with increments in the range of 10%-13%, the IT and technology companies will give reasonable increments close to 8%," Mr Rajan added.

Moreover, the telecom sector is expected to give above-average salary hikes in the range of 12%-15%.

The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector is likely to have maximum disparity in terms of future increment levels compared with current ones, with projected salary hikes of 10%-12% against nil during the downturn, Ernst & Young believes.

Meanwhile, it said that it would be a while before the economy returns to the boom phase of 2007, despite the sentiment being optimistic across sectors.

Mr Rajan further stated that a lot of innovation in designing compensation packages may be seen, as there would be a stronger linkage to pay for performance.

"Individual performance, coupled with company performance will be the most commonly used criterion for determining performance bonus. Across levels, variable pay component of compensation packages is likely to go up," he said.

At the senior management level, compensation packages may be linked to the company's performance and there would be a renewed focus towards balancing out executive compensation through a focus on retention and reward.

Recently, global HR consultancy Hewitt had forecast that Indian companies may provide an average of 10.6% salary hikes—the highest in the Asia-Pacific region in 2010.


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