The project has a concession period of 20 years and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 2,519 crore
IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL), part of the IL&FS group, has received the Letter of Award from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for rehabilitation, strengthening and four laning of the Chenani to Nashri Section of the NH-1A in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
The project includes 9 km long tunnel (2 lanes) with parallel escape tunnel, on BOT (Annuity) basis, on the DBFO pattern. The project has a concession period of 20 years with a construction period of 1825 days and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 2,519 crore.
ITNL will receive a semi-annual Annuity of Rs 317.52 crore for the project. The company has been involved in the development, operation and maintenance of national and state highways, roads (including urban roads), flyovers and bridges in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) India have been washing each other’s dirty linen in public for quite some time now. But, as the dust settles down in this no-holds-barred clash between the two multinationals, some interesting facts are emerging out of the whole imbroglio.
According to informed sources in the advertising industry—who spoke to Moneylife on conditions of anonymity—HUL had been pulled up by the Madras High Court for using an off-white shirt for P&G’s Tide detergent and a brand new white shirt for its own Rin detergent, when the commercial was filmed to ‘judge’ the comparative whitening qualities of both detergents.
HUL has withdrawn the commercial, but the reasons for the same were not publicly known till now. Our sources said that if this ad had been aired with two similar shirts which were either off-white or white, the advertisement would have been justified. Plus, if HUL had backed the advertisement with laboratory data and certification that Rin is a product of superior quality, it could have been accepted by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as per its standards and code of conduct.
P&G refused to speak on this issue, saying that it does not “comment on its competitor’s strategy.” On the other hand, the HUL spokesperson said that the final court orders are still pending and will be announced in a day or two. In its defence, HUL said that these claims are “quite mischievous in nature” as the court had enquired about the difference in the greyness rather than the colour of the two shirts used in the commercial.
After the Madras High Court passed an order directing HUL to stop airing its ad, the multinational decided to move court again, on P&G’s advertisement which had scenes which seemed to suggest that ‘Tide Natural’ contains “natural sandalwood and lemon.”
In an interim order, the High Court asked P&G to remove those scenes. The Court had also asked P&G to carry a disclaimer saying that Tide Natural “does not contain lemon and sandalwood” throughout the commercial and these modifications were supposed to be implemented by 3 May 2010.
Industry sources claim that P&G is pleased with the order, since the High Court did not agree to HUL’s request for modifying the brand name or packaging of Tide Natural.
P&G told Moneylife, “We have never tried to communicate in our Tide Natural advertising that our product contains lemon and chandan (sandalwood). Our packaging continues to say ‘The freshness of lemon and chandan’, which we do have in the product through the fragrance of lemon and chandan. Usage of terms like these is industry practice and P&G is not drifting (away) from the norm. The Madras High Court believes that a few frames in our TV commercial misrepresent the presence of these ingredients and therefore need to be dropped from the commercial. We respect the court order and will fully comply with the actions and modifications requested of us.”
Interestingly, a decade ago, Unilever also faced flak for its Rin ad which claimed ‘nimbu shakti’ (lime power) when it had no lime, but only the fragrance of lime. Unfortunately, these companies manage to hoodwink customers because the law gives them a lot of leeway in making such claims that may be legal—but not quite ethical.
Institutional investors are not enthusiastic over current market valuations
The market sentiment was subdued today, dragging the indices lower. The Sensex ended at 17,368, down 172 points (1%) and the Nifty ended at 5,222, down 55 points (1%). The market started the day with a deep plunge. It rebounded from there and traded at a low range till the morning session. However, it again took a dip and touched the intraday low during the afternoon session.
Asian stocks declined on Monday on China’s announcement on 2nd May, raising the proportion of deposits that lenders must keep in reserve with the central bank. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan fell by 0.36% to 1.41%. The stock markets in China and Japan were closed for holidays. US stocks tumbled on Friday, (30th April) as news of a criminal probe into US investment bank Goldman Sachs dampened the sentiment of investors who are already worried about the prospects of heavy banking regulation. The Dow fell 158.71 points (1.4%) to 11,008. The S&P 500 lost 20 points, (1.6%) to 1,186. The Nasdaq dropped 50 points, (2%) to 2,461. Maruti Suzuki India's (up 0.2%) total sales rose almost 30% to 93,058 units in April 2010 over April 2009. Domestic sales rose 23.4% to 80,034 units. China has raised the lenders' reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points, effective 10th May, its third increase of that magnitude this year. That will take the bank reserve ratio for big lenders to 17%. This is to reduce inflation and tame liquidity. Chinese consumer prices rose 2.4% in the year to March, surpassing the 2.25% rate on one-year certificates of deposit.
Closer home, output growth in India eased a little in April. However, it still held near a 20-month high touched in February while factory activity in South Korea picked up after a dip, surveys by HSBC/Markit showed on Monday. India’s PMI was seasonally adjusted after input prices remained near multi-year peaks, suggesting official wholesale price inflation could pick up from a 17-month-high of 9.9% in the latest data for March. The output price index rose for a second month in a row to 55.8 from 54.6. It has risen nearly four points since February. Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs355 crore. Domestic institutional investors also bought stocks worth Rs217 crore. The rupee dropped due to the decline in the equity market and strength in the dollar against other currencies.
Tata Motors’ (down 2%) total sales including exports of commercial and passenger vehicles jumped 52% to 57,202 vehicles in April 2010 over April 2009. Domestic sales rose 49% to 54,065 units. Commercial vehicle sales in the domestic market rose 36% to 30,963 units. Passenger vehicle sales jumped 70% to 24,902 units. Passenger vehicle sales include distribution of Fiat cars by Tata Motors. Sales of the ultra-cheap car Tata Nano totaled 3,525 units in April 2010. Jyoti Limited (up 4.9%) has received an order worth Rs125.50 crore from the director general of the Mumbai Naval Dockyard through Hindustan Construction Company for Rs 85 crore for the reconstruction and dry docking at the city. The order includes supply, erection and commissioning of complete electro-mechanical works and pumps. The board of Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 0.1%) will consider a stock-split proposal along with the year ended March 2010 results on 11 May 2010. Sugar stocks fell after sugar prices were in steady decline after the government imposed various restrictions, including introduction of fortnightly non-levy sugar sale. Titan Industries (up 2.8%) has posted a growth of 49% and 81% in sales and operating profit respectively for the March quarter over the year-ago period.