IBM wins contract worth Rs298 crore from India Infoline

IBM has entered a 10-year strategic outsourcing agreement with India Infoline that will help IIFL deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction

Technology major IBM on Monday secured a contract from India Infoline (IIFL) worth Rs298 crore to transform the latter’s IT infrastructure and manage IT costs.

IBM has entered a 10-year strategic outsourcing agreement with IIFL, that will help IIFL deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction, strengthen its IT security framework and control IT operations, IBM said in a statement.

Under this agreement, IBM will take over the complete IT operations of IIFL, which will entail managing more than 700 IIFL branches spread across India. The IT infrastructure at IIFL comprises more than 450 servers spread across five data centres and nine local server rooms with over 15,000 end user assets distributed across its branches.

The project will also include a wide area network that connects all IIFL offices to the corporate offices in Mumbai. This collaboration will significantly improve customer experience for IIFL’s end customers.

This is by ensuring higher uptime for its broking platform ‘Traders Terminal’, speedier response and resolution of any technology related issues, the statement said.

The scalable technology deployment will enable IIFL to roll out enhanced functionality in shorter time frames. IBM will also set up a centralised help desk, roll out a pan-India desk side services capability to support users, applications and infrastructure in branches, and deploy service management processes to cover assets, IT security, and technology, among others.

On Monday, IIFL ended 0.72% up at Rs76.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.24% to 18,240.11.

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NMDC signs deal with Australian firm Minemakers

NMDC will take a decision on acquiring 50% stake only after completion of the feasibility study, which would take about a year to complete

NMDC said it has signed an agreement with Australian firm Minemakers to develop Wonarah phosphate deposit of the company and would buy a 50% stake in the project after a joint feasibility study.

“Upon successful completion of the feasibility study, NMDC proposes to acquire 50% equity in the Wonarah project and participate in the development of the project,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

The announcement has come within a fortnight of NMDC agreeing to acquire 50% stake in another Australian firm—Legacy Iron Ore.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two firms envisages preparing of road map for NMDC’s participation in development of the Wonarah phosphate deposits, the filing said.

“This will enable us to enter into Australia’s largest known undeveloped phosphate deposit and bringing it to India for the domestic fertiliser industry,” NMDC Director (Technical), Mr NK Nanda said over phone.

He added that the company will take a decision on acquiring 50% stake only after completion of the feasibility study, which would take about a year to complete.

“The proposed Wonarah development will include a mine and downstream processing facilities to produce beneficiated rock phosphate for export; phosphoric acid (an intermediate product); and finished fertiliser products such as DAP and MAP (Diammonium Phosphate and Monoammonium Phosphate),” Minemakers said in a statement.

It added that after the feasibility study, both the companies may form a joint venture for the development of the asset and NMDC will have full responsibility to raise finances for the project through debt.

However, Mr Nanda said, “There has not been any investment commitments made so far and it will depend upon the findings of the study”.

The terms of the JV agreement will be negotiated during the advancement of the feasibility study, which is expected to begin during fourth quarter of 2011, the Minemakers statement said, adding that NMDC will also repay some of the project costs incurred on the Wonarah project to it.

Wonarah is also the only Australian rock phosphate project that has been granted Government’s ‘Major Project’ status and enjoys important traditional owner and stakeholder support, Minemaker’s website said.

A positive Direct Shipping Ore Feasibility Study and bulk sampling operation were completed in 2010, it added.

On Monday, NMDC ended 0.13% up at Rs236.15 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.24% to 18,240.11.

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India among preferred FDI destinations: E&Y

According to the ‘9th Annual European Attractiveness Survey’ by Ernst & Young, India will rank fifth among the most attractive destinations for European firms within the next three years, mainly on account of its perceived specialisation as a hub for low-cost outsourcing business

According to the ‘9th Annual European Attractiveness Survey’ by Ernst & Young, India will rank fifth among the most attractive destinations for European firms within the next three years, mainly on account of its perceived specialisation as a hub for low-cost outsourcing business

New Delhi: Despite regulatory hurdles, India continues to be among the preferred destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) due to the country’s high economic growth, with both Mumbai and Delhi being touted as among the cities likely to produce the next Microsoft or Google, reports PTI.

According to the ‘9th Annual European Attractiveness Survey’ by Ernst & Young, India will rank fifth among the most attractive destinations for European firms within the next three years, mainly on account of its perceived specialisation as a hub for low-cost outsourcing business.

“Foreign investors are not deterred by current regulatory issues to invest in India... India’s perceived specialisation as a low-cost business process outsourcing (BPO) hub continues to appeal investors across the globe,” the report said.

As per the E&Y report, a huge number of respondents felt that India would be the home to the next big brand name in the IT sector.

“... Eight per cent of global respondents named Mumbai and 4% named New Delhi as the best cities to produce the next Microsoft or Google,” it said.

Around 800 executives from top-level global firms participated in the survey.

As per the survey, 31% of the participants each felt that Western Europe and China would be among the attractive markets for investing within three years.

“India ranked at the fifth position, with 17% of respondents believing the country to be a profitable economy for expansion of business,” E&Y said.

Experts have been warning against regulatory hurdles and a slowdown in the reform process, including failure to liberalise the retail and insurance sectors further, as likely irritants in attracting FDI.

FDI into the country fell to $19.43 billion (Rs88,520 crore) in 2010-11 as against $25.83 billion (Rs12.31 lakh crore) in the previous fiscal, a decline of 25%.

“India is undergoing a transition in terms of investor perception of its market potential, bolstered by economic growth projected to surpass 8% annually,” the report said.

The Indian economy expanded by 8.5% in 2010-11, up from 8% in the previous fiscal. The Reserve Bank of India, in its annual monetary policy, said that growth is likely to slow down a bit but still clock around 8% this fiscal.

The survey also found that Asian countries find Europe to be a good investment destination, with India ranking 11th among the top investors globally to the continent.

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