India Innovation Fund invests Rs2.5 crore in Mitra Biotech

India Innovation Fund (IIF)-led by IT industry body Nasscom and ICICI Knowledge Park Trust-has invested Rs2.5 crore in Mitra Biotech, a translational biotechnology company focussed on oncology.

Bengaluru-based Mitra Biotech had also received funding from Accel Partners and Kitven (Karnataka government-backed fund). Both Accel and Kitven had invested Rs2.5 crore each in Mitra Biotech.

The innovation fund, which currently has an investment corpus of Rs50 crore, had targeted a final close of Rs100 crore, when it was announced three years ago.

SIDBI is the latest contributor (Rs10 crore) to the fund, whose other investors include Tata Consultancy Services, Bharti Airtel Ltd, ICICI Knowledge Park Trust and the department of science and technology.


Govt confident of meeting Rs40,000 cr divestment target

New Delhi: Buoyed by the strong response to its public sector undertakings’ (PSUs) shares sales, the government today exuded confidence that it would meet the disinvestment target of Rs40,000 crore for the current fiscal, reports PTI.

“Of course, the government will achieve the target of Rs40,000 crore, which has been provided in the budget and the evidence is before us,” disinvestment secretary Sumit Bose told reporters.

He further said that the government had already mopped up around Rs21,000-Rs22,000 crore in the current fiscal and the public issues of MOIL (formerly known as Manganese Ore India Limited) and Shipping Corporation of India, which open this month, would take the disinvestment amount to over Rs23,000 crore.

“...Then we have next, issues of ONGC and SAIL lined up, so we will surely achieve what we are supposed to in terms of raising Rs 40,000 crore,” he added.

The Centre will dilute 10% stake in the country's largest manganese manufacturer MOIL, while Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments will shed 5% each through the public offer that will open on 26th November and close on 1st December.

Yesterday, the government fixed a price band of Rs340-Rs375 a share for raising up to Rs1,238 crore through initial sale of shares in Manganese Ore India Ltd, which will become the fifth state-run company to face government disinvestment this fiscal.

So far in 2010-11, the government has already diluted its stake in Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam, Engineers India, Coal India Ltd and Power Grid Cooperation of India Ltd. All these public issues were oversubscribed.

After MOIL, the follow-on public offer of state-owned Shipping Corporation of India is next in line. Its public offer would open on 30th November and close on 3rd December.

In 2009-10, the government had raised Rs25,000 crore through stake sale in Oil India, NMDC, REC and NTPC.


NABARD raises refinance interest rate by 50 basis points

Chandigarh: Long-term finance to farmers through cooperative and regional rural banks (RRB) has turned costly with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) raising interest rate on refinance by 50 basis points, reports PTI.

With the revision in interest rate, the new interest rate on refinance for cooperative sector is pegged at 8.25% per annum and 8.75% per annum for commercial banks.

"The rate (interest rate) has been revised upward in the wake of monetary police review undertaken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this month," a senior official of NABARD said here.

RBI had hiked key short-term lending and borrowing rates by 25 basis points each as part of steps to rein in inflation.

The long-term finance, disbursed to farmers through cooperative structure and RRBs is given for dairy development, farm mechanisation, horticulture, poultry, micro finance and fisheries etc. "The long-term finance is primarily given for capital formation in farm sector," he said.

A major chunk of credit, given to farmers in Punjab, is routed through cooperative sector, RRBs and commercial banks.

NABARD is aiming to disburse money to the tune of Rs1,000 crore through refinance window in Punjab in 2010-11 against Rs704 crore disbursed in 2009-10.

Of Rs1,000 crore, state cooperative banks, RRBs and commercial banks will disburse Rs550 crore, Rs150 crore and Rs300 crore, respectively in the current fiscal, he said.


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