Hindustan Zinc to pay record Rs 736 crore dividend

The amount of interim dividend paid to Government of India is Rs187.19 crore

Vedanta Group firm Hindustan Zinc today said it will pay a record interim dividend and corporate dividend tax of Rs736.62 crore to the Government of India.

"The amount of interim dividend paid to Government of India is Rs187.19 crore. The total contribution by Hindustan Zinc to the government on account of interim dividend and corporate dividend tax would be Rs736.62 crore," the company said.

The Anil Agarwal-led firm claims to be the world's largest integrated producer of zinc and lead.

The Board of Directors of the company, in its meeting held on October 19, had declared interim dividend of 75% -- Rs1.50 per equity share of Rs2 each for the year 2011-12. The Government of India holds 29.53% equity shares in the company.

"Our partnership with the government continues to scale new heights. Not only do we run a robust business, but our partnership with the government for running sustainable and development projects ... Touches the lives of over half a million people across Rajasthan," Hindustan Zinc chairman Agnivesh Agarwal said.

The company had reported a 41.74% jump in its net profit to Rs1,344.69 crore for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, on the back of higher prices of zinc, lead and silver in international markets. It had reported a net profit of Rs948.72 crore for the same period a year ago.

Net sales of the company stood at Rs2,593.49 crore, registering a growth of 19.92% during the quarter under review from Rs2,162.88 crore in the July-September quarter of FY11.

During the quarter, the company's revenues from its refined zinc and lead businesses increased 12.21% to Rs2,320.31 crore, while its silver business reported a growth of over 120% to Rs239.39 crore.

In the late afternoon, Hindustan Zinc was trading at around Rs126.90 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.94% down from the previous close.


PAC meeting on 2G deferred amid sharp differences

The BJP and other opposition parties insisted that former DG (Audit) RP Singh should be summoned as he has differed with the figures of loss incurred by the government in the 2G scam. Mr Singh, who has now retired, has stated that the loss is merely of Rs6,000 crore while the CAG had maintained that it was to the tune of Rs1.76 lakh crore

New Delhi: The second generation (2G) spectrum controversy rocked the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting here Monday with opposition parties demanding that former DG (Audit) RP Singh be summoned and asked why he differs with CAG on the quantum of loss while Congress members opposed the move, reports PTI.

With differences persisting, the meeting was adjourned.

The meeting scheduled for tomorrow has also been postponed reportedly on as Chhath festival falls Tuesday.

Sources said the BJP and other opposition parties insisted that Mr Singh should be summoned as he has differed with the figures of loss incurred by the government in the 2G scam. Mr Singh, who has now retired, has stated that the loss is merely of Rs6,000 crore while the CAG had maintained that it was to the tune of Rs1.76 lakh crore.

Prakash Javadekar (BJP) demanded that not only Mr Singh but others like telecom minister Kapil Sibal—who said there was zero loss- among others, should be summoned by the PAC and asked how they had arrived at figures different from that of the CAG. AIADMK member M Thambidurai insisted that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director should also be called as the agency had arrived at a different loss figure.

BJP, BJD, SAD and AIDMK referred to the letter written by Congress member Sanjay Nirupam asking that the 2G issue be discussed and said the questions which have not been addressed should be gone into.

Caught in a bind over Mr Nirupam’s letter, Congress members on Monday argued that Mr Singh cannot be asked to present his views in front of the CAG and his team—which is present in every PAC meeting—as he does not concur with them.

Some Congress members in the PAC were later heard saying that Mr Nirupam had caused an unnecessary hassle by writing this letter. The matter is now with the JPC and PAC could have avoided getting into the issue afresh.

Opposition members demanded that since Mr Singh has retired he has nothing to fear and so can freely depose before the PAC. One member even maintained that there have been several instances where those summoned by the committee have differed with the CAG.

With no consensus in sight, PAC chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi adjourned the meeting on the ground that the legal and constitutional aspects related to the issues raised by the members Monday will be looked into and then brought up for discussion at a later meeting.

RP Singh, who had come prepared to attend the meeting and make his presentation, was not called in on Monday.


MF Global faces a run, could file for bankruptcy. Its Indian arm is silent—and so are regulators

Beleaguered giant MF Global has been trying to restructure its assets, and clearing houses are trying their best to get out when they can. But if MF Global does go bankrupt, market volatility will go up even further. Indian investors are now just watching the saga unfold

On 28th October (See: MF Global Holdings crushed by $6.30 billion exposure to European sovereign debt ), Moneylife had reported on how MF Global had overexposed its trading beyond futures (commodities, interest rates and indices) and has been crushed due to its $6.30 exposure to the euro-zone sovereign debt. At this juncture with the EU looking down at a bottomless abyss of debt, which financial entity would place bets on countries like Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain and throw good money after bad?  

Despite the position that the fund (a leading global broker of exchange-listed futures & options, with $7.30 billion of customer assets as of 31st August) finds itself in, and the possibility of MF Global filing for bankruptcy, there is absolutely no indication (so far) on the future of its India arm, MF Global Sify Securities.

One would have at least thought that MF Global Sify securities would issue a communiqué for its investors (as MF Global has done)—or, indeed, the market regulator would take some action to safeguard the interest of investors. But both remain tight-lipped on this issue.

The MF Global saga is similar to the subprime mortgage crisis that rocked the US and subsequently global markets in the sense that both the US Fed and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) failed to see the tsunami that was coming their way.

So what happens to individual customers if MF Global goes belly-up? Huge entities like the CME Group would be able to capitalise on the outstanding trading positions. Individual investors have already started pulling out their money. Rival trading houses are trying their best to rope in former MF Global customers.

MF Global may face more ratings cuts. Though the market buzz has it that Goldman Sachs is interested in snapping up the firm, this just remains a rumour. MF Global had important bourses in India and Singapore among its clients. By today evening when US markets open for trade, the picture will be much clearer. Will Indian customers—and the regulator—finally try a rescue job?


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