JSW Steel issues shares on preferential basis to Japan’s JFE

Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Steel Ltd said it has got shareholders nod to issue over 9.7 lakh equity shares on a preferential basis to Japanese steel-maker JFE Steel.
With the approval, the stake of the Japanese steel-maker in the Indian company will go up to 14.99%.

The move is in line with the deal inked between the two steel firms earlier this year, under which JFE Steel will pick up a 14.99% stake in JSW Steel for Rs4,800 crore. This will help the domestic company reduce its debt.

JSW Steel said it got shareholders approval by postal ballot for the "issue of up to 9.7 lakh equity shares to JFE on preferential basis," and "issue of 30 lakh global depository receipts to JFE, Steel Corporation Japan on a preferential basis," the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Both the resolutions "have been passed by requisite majority," the filing added.
In October, JFE had acquired 32 lakh shares (about a 14.61% stake) in JSW Steel through the conversion of convertible debentures on a preferential basis.

The Indian company plans to quadruple its annual capacity to 32 million tonnes by 2020 from the current 7.8 million tonnes, starting with a 3.2 million tonne expansion project at its Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka by the end of the current fiscal.

JFE will invest Rs900 crore more in JSW Steel by 2012 to help finance the Indian company's growth projects and reduce its debt, which is currently in excess of Rs16,000 crore.

On Tuesday, JSW Steel ended 0.30% up at Rs1,171.95 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed 0.23% down at 19,934.64 points.


Employers in India to begin New Year with robust hiring plans

New Delhi: India is all set to welcome the new year with strong hiring intentions, with every industry sector and every region expected to increase staffing levels in the next three months, reports PTI.

“Hiring pace in India has remained at a brisk to dynamic level since the fourth quarter of 2009,” staffing services firm Manpower India head-sales operations and marketing Namr Kishore said.

He said Indian employers in every industry sector and every region surveyed indicate they plan to continue adding to their payrolls in the first three months of the New Year.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, India had a net employment outlook of 42%, a jump of five percentage points year-on-year.

All seven industry sectors and all four regions, report positive hiring plans in the coming three months, says Manpower India.

Services and manufacturing sector can look forward to the most vigorous hiring pace, while the weakest—but still robust—hiring plans are reported by employers in finance, insurance, real estate, mining and construction and wholesale and retail trade sector, the report added.

Meanwhile, other consultancy firms such as—Antal International and Naukri.com—are also bullish on their outlook for the Indian labour market.

According to recruitment firm Antal International, the July-September period has witnessed a smart surge in hiring activities that is likely to remain bullish in the December quarter as well.

HR consultancy Naukri.com believes hiring would start looking up in the next three months with new budgets and plans kicking in from January onwards in many companies.

Mr Kishore said 2010 was a significant year with India reporting a robust growth momentum and the domestic market picking up.

“We are moving into 2011 with a lot of confidence that it will be a better year than 2010,” he said.

Hiring sentiment in 2011 will only improve or would remain stable, because there are no signs of a slowdown in domestic demand.

“People can expect in 2011, a better scenario for earnings both for corporates and individuals,” Mr Kishore added.

Employer hiring expectations in Asia Pacific continue to be strong, he said.

Regional hiring plans continue to be strongest in India, China and Taiwan and weakest in Japan, despite a cautious optimistic forecast from employers, the Manpower report says.

Over the world, employers in 32 of 39 countries and territories surveyed expect varying degrees of positive hiring activity in the first three months of 2011, with those in India, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Turkey and Singapore reporting the strongest hiring plans.


24x7 food. Do you have the appetite for it?

Another lifestyle channel, and it is all about food. What more will the TVwallahs dish out next year?

Malayasian media group Astro All Asia Networks is launching 'FoodFood', a full-fledged TV channel that will dish out programmes about what we eat and drink, round the clock. While the company has been involved in the media in India for some years, this will be the first venture in which it has a controlling stake. The channel will go on air in the first quarter of 2011.

Astro has an 80% stake in the venture with Turmeric Vision (TVPL), owned by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor and wife Alyona, that will run the channel. The company plans to distribute 'FoodFood' widely, like a general entertainment channel (GEC), through both analog and digital platforms. The initial investment is a stupendous Rs122 crore.

Astro is no stranger in the Indian market. The group has stakes in many ventures, like Sun Direct-the DTH venture with the Sun group-Red FM and NDTV Good Times. It has said that it is also interested in the regional space and is open to acquisitions.

Astro's new venture may seem strange, as the lifestyle channel of NDTV in which it has a 49% stake also has food-related programming. Raghavendra Madhav, executive director of Astro's India wing, believes that the market is big enough for many players, though he did not say how profitable it would be to compete with one of their other joint ventures.

"The market is huge and has space for many players. 'FoodFood' will concentrate largely on food. It is also the first Indian channel that's entirely shot in high definition. The content will be produced and packaged in India, making the shows relevant to the Indian audience," Mr Madhav said.

When asked the business rationale for an exclusive food channel, he explained, "Food today is what news was five years back. People could consume news through the print medium till it expanded its reach via the digital or electronic route. Today the news channels are booming. Each channel has its own distinct features and target audience, and there is space for more. We see food going the similar route."

But despite the suggestion of a boom, news channels are not really an encouraging example. With a couple of exceptions, nearly all the news channels have been struggling in a highly competitive market.

While Astro is enthusiastic about food being the "new thing", it's unlikely that 'FoodFood' will fare better than other lifestyle channels. For one, who would be so excited to view food 24x7? In mild doses, cookery shows may interest a handful, but round the clock would be difficult to digest. Mr Madhav said he would ensure that all other entertainment programmes and reality shows on the 'FoodFood' channel would keep viewers hooked.

'FoodFood' is a bilingual channel that will target the urban middle class viewers. According to financial analysts, a restricted niche viewership might not be enough for a good performance. An analyst said, "It is definitely banking on a specific audience, but it will be difficult for it to break even soon."

Besides, there are other food channels that are also preparing for launch, from ZEE and Real Lifestyle Network. Very few foreign investors have notched up decent returns on their investments in television channels. So, despite the brilliance of Sanjeev Kapoor, there is only a slim chance that a 24x7 food channel will deliver appetizing returns.




6 years ago

If the response at AADHAR 2011, the food and restaurant exhibition at Delhi's Pragati Maidan closing today is any indication, then food on tv is going to be big business.

Ofcourse, it will need dance, reality shows and other such add-ons.

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