Kotak Mahindra Bank net profit rises to Rs433 crore in Sept quarter

Kotak Mahindra Bank’s advances zoomed 35% to Rs50,581 crore in the second quarter ended 30 September 2011

Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) said that its consolidated net profit stood at Rs433 crore in the second quarter ended 30 September 2011 against Rs364 crore in same period last year. The bank’s advances zoomed 35% to Rs50,581 crore in the second quarter from Rs37,515 crore in the same period previous year.

The bank’s consolidated income, which includes revenue from securities business, insurance and asset management, declined 7% to Rs2,740.83 crore largely due to a decline in insurance premium collection. Expenses came down 12% in second quarter of FY12. The net interest income of the bank on a stand-alone basis rose to 18% to Rs605 crore against Rs512 crore in Q2 of 2011. Deposits were up 29% to Rs36,390 crore at the end of second quarter.

In the late afternoon, KMB was trading at around Rs507.95 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 2.8% up from the previous close.

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Maruti faces 2-4% cancellation of Swift orders

MSI managing executive officer (marketing and sales) Mayank Pareek accepted that some people had cancelled their bookings while favouring other models. “A total of about just 2% people may have cancelled their bookings in favour of other models. We are delighted that even in the times of such situations, customers are staying with us,” he added

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is feeling the pinch of labour strikes, with about 2%-4% of the prospective customers of one of its successful models, Swift, deciding to cancel orders due to the long waiting period, reports PTI.

Alarmingly for the firm, dealers said, is the fact that around half the customers who cancelled orders have opted for rival brands such as Toyota Liva and Volkswagen Polo.

The new model of Swift, one of the top selling cars from MSI, was launched in August. The firm has about one lakh undelivered booking orders of Swift.

Depending on petrol and diesel options, and geographical locations, buyers are waiting for two to seven months to own a Swift.

“There is a huge waiting period for the Swift, mainly because of the impact on production at Manesar due to the strikes. The petrol Swift has a waiting period of about 22-24 weeks, while the diesel version currently has waiting period of about 24-26 weeks,” an executive at a Delhi-based dealership said on the condition of anonymity.

He said for the last one to two months, no Swift model has been delivered by the company to the showroom.

“Because of the long waiting period, many people are cancelling their bookings. In our showroom, 2%-4% people have cancelled their Swift bookings and shifted to other models like Ritz. Some people have even moved to other car makers,” the executive said.

Expressing similar experience, a Guwahati-based dealer said his outlet has seen 1%-2% of the people changing their decision from Swift to other compact cars such as Toyota’s Liva and Volkswagen’s Polo.

“Another 1%-2% of the buyers shifted to the Ritz,” the dealer said, adding that Swift was having waiting period of about three months for both petrol and diesel engine options.

When contacted, MSI managing executive officer (marketing and sales) Mayank Pareek accepted that some people had cancelled their bookings while favouring other models.

“...but this percentage is very small. A total of about 2% people may have cancelled their bookings in favour of other models, including those of Maruti’s. We are delighted that even in the times of such situations, customers are staying with us,” he added.

Mr Pareek said MSI currently has about one lakh undelivered Swift orders, and the car is having waiting periods of about two months for petrol version, while it is four to five months for a diesel variant.

This year MSI had witnessed three instances of labour unrests at its Manesar plant, which mainly produces the Swift.

In June, a 13-day strike brought production to a standstill.

This was followed by another standoff on 29th August between the management and the workers, which lasted for 33 days.

This month, the company again saw its workers going for a 14-day strike that ended last week after the signing of a tripartite agreement between the management, workers and Haryana government representatives.

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Inbound tourism sector to suffer due to travel advisories from five countries

Experts say such travel advisories against India are “misguiding” and would significantly affect tourist inflow, both in the business and leisure categories 

The travel advisories issued by five countries—the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand against India, are likely to impact the inbound tourist inflow. Experts warn that such advisories are unnecessary and unethical, and would severely impact (both leisure and business) travellers who plan to visit India. Historically, tourists from these countries have the highest footfalls.

Currently, the US government has issued travel advisories against 33 countries including Mexico, Libya, the Philippines, Iran, Nepal and Columbia, while the Australian government has issued such advisories against 11 counties. Interestingly, the UK government has issued travel advisories against three countries including Somalia, Syria and Yemen and has advised against all travel to parts of 33 other countries—including India.

Criticizing such advisories, Iqbal Mullah, president, The Travel Agents Association of India told Moneylife, “We strongly condemn such advisories. Today Bangkok is flooded, but there is no such advisory against Thailand. While here India is peaceful, festival celebrations are taking place, and there are major events that are happening which have seen positive support from other countries. These advisories may or may not affect tourism, but they are definitely misguiding (travellers).”

According to experts from the travel & tourism industry, such advisories are harmful for the inflow of tourists. “The inbound tourism market would be hit by such an advisory. This comes at a time when the number of foreign tourists is likely to increase in December. Travellers who have already made arrangements, for instance, visitors for the Formula 1 race, would be committed to visit. But for those who are planning to visit, they likely to change their plans,” said Manoj Gurshahani, director of travel, Travelmartin.com.

On Wednesday, seeing the seriousness of the impact of these advisories on the tourism sector, India appealed to Australian authorities to withdraw the issuance of such advisories.  

Zeelam Chaubal, director of Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd, feels that such advisories have always been a setback for tourism and business investment. “This is a common phenomenon for the tourism industry. And this would be bad news for the inbound tourist inflow. Though the impact may not be immediate, we might feel the pinch in the coming season. Travellers like leisure tourists, and business class executives would have to think twice before visiting, directly affecting investment opportunities in India.”

According to the ministry of tourism, foreign tourist arrivals in the period between January to September 2011 stood at 42.20 lakh, a growth of 10% as compared to the same period a year earlier.

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