Ireland’s banking bill: €24 billion

Dublin is working on a multi-billion euro bailout package to prop up its troubled lenders. In fact, this might lead to the effective nationalisation of the Irish banking system.

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MindTree appoints Hieronimus as new chairman on Soota’s exit

Albert Hieronimus was chairman of Bosch; Ashok Soota resigned in January to pursue a new business venture

New Delhi: Mid-size IT firm MindTree today announced the appointment of Albert Hieronimus as its new chairman with immediate effect. Before joining MindTree, Mr Hieronimus was chairman of Bosch Ltd.

MindTree chief executive officer and managing director Krishnakumar Natarajan said, "In line with good governance practices, we are segregating the roles of the chairman of the board and the company's CEO and MD."

In January this year, co-founder Ashok Soota resigned as executive chairman from the company to pursue a new business venture. He was relieved from his duties on March 31, 2011. However, Mr Soota said he did not have plans to divest his stake in the company, PTI reports.

MindTree offers IT services, product engineering services, independent testing and infrastructure management and technical support.

The MindTree stock, which has shed about a third of its value in the past three months, climbed about 6% to Rs419 in the first hour of trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, following the announcement.

Founded by former Wipro leaders like Mr Soota and Subroto Bagchi, the company posted a 40% year-on-year decline in net profit at Rs30.49 crore for Q3FY11 from Rs50.47 crore in the previous corresponding quarter.

Mindtree acquired Kyocera India's R&D centre in October 2009 to work on IPR in the 4G long-term evolution wireless infrastructure and 3G smartphone. However, a year later, the company said it would convert that business into R&D services for network infrastructure and handset firms.

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Exports cross $200 billion mark in Feb; to touch $235 billion in 2010-11

Exports went up by 49.7% year-on-year during February to $23.5 billion, taking the April-February 2010-11 figure to $208.2 billion, an increase of 31.4 % over the year-ago period and past the yearly target of $200 billion

New Delhi: India's exports grew by an impressive 50% in February, crossing the $200 billion mark during the first eleven months of 2010-11 on the back of rising demand from the US and other markets, reports PTI.

Exports went up by 49.7% year-on-year during February to $23.5 billion, taking the April-February 2010-11 figure to $208.2 billion, an increase of 31.4 % over the year-ago period and past the yearly target of $200 billion.

Imports also increased by 21.2% in the month under review to $31.7 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $8.1 billion, according to the commerce ministry data released today.

During April-February 2010-11, imports grew by 18% to $305.3 billion over the same period last year. The trade gap for the period stood at $97 billion.

The exporting sectors which performed well during the 11 months of fiscal include engineering (81%), petroleum and oil lubricants (34%), cotton yarn and made-ups (43%), chemicals (22%) and electronics (40%).

"The growth which we are seeing is basically from the markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa. In these new markets demand for our products are increasing," Ramu Deora, president of India's apex exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), said.

However, Mr Deora said that demand is still weak in several European markets.

The US and Europe were the traditional markets for Indian exporters, but after the global economic crisis, exporters increased their engagement in new markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The government is providing duty incentives to exporters for these new markets.

Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had said that going by this trend, the country's exports are expected to touch the figures of $230-$235 billion. Imports may end up to $350 billion and balance of trade to $105-$115 billion by the end of 2010-11.

Oil imports in February dipped by 0.3% to $8.21 billion from $8.24 billion in February 2010. However, non-oil imports grew by 31% to $23.48 billion from $17.9 billion.

During April-February 2010-11, oil imports grew by 12.4% to $88.17 billion from $78.41 billion in the same period last year, the data said.

Non-oil imports during the period also went up by 20.4% to $217.12 billion from $180.33 billion in the corresponding period last year.

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