LN Mittal-Uttam Galva on course to set up more projects By Sucheta Dalal
On 4th September, Uttam Galva Steels Ltd informed bourses about its co-promotion agreement with ArcelorMittal Netherlands BV, the world’s largest steel producer. Under the agreement, Mittal with purchase a 5% stake (at Rs120 a share) in Uttam Galva followed by an open offer to acquire another 29.4% making ArcelorMittal an equal partner with the Indian promoter Rajinder Miglani. Uttam Galva has a steel production capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum.
 
However, very reliable sources told Moneylife Digital that Miglani and Mittal have another bigger project on the anvil. They say ArcelorMittal will partner with Miglani to set up a 2 million tonne Hot Rolled Coil (HRC) project at Redi near Goa. Miglani already owns 750 acres of land there, which once belonged to Usha Ispat, controlled by Vinay Rai. Usha Ispat had a pig iron plant at Redi, which was auctioned under the provisions of the Sarfaesi Act, 2002. The land is also located near a jetty and is close to the raw material source.
 
The advantage to the deal between Miglani and Mittal, say our sources, is that Uttam Galva has all the permissions in place to get the project off the ground very quickly. We learn that LN Mittal will be dominant partner in the Goa project with a 70% holding while Miglani will own 30% to start with. The company may raise public funds to finance the steel project.
 
With this partnership, Uttam Galva, a standalone galvanizer will enter the big league of steel players in India. This project is probably what Rajinder Miglani had in mind when he told a newspaper that “the whole purpose of the joint venture is to grow the business in India and transform Uttam Galva Steel from a galvanized player to an integrated steel maker”.
 
The change is reflected in the stock market’s reaction to the announcement. The Uttam Galva stock rose nearly 10% to close at Rs113.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.

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Apple, LG rank highest in JD Power study

Apple has been named number one in consumer satisfaction in the consumer and business smartphone market while LG is number one in the traditional feature phone market, according to the JD Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Consumer Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study.

Surprisingly, in the overall customer satisfaction rank, Nokia, the world's largest mobile handset maker, is placed at the bottom along with Kyocera. Similarly, in the smartphone category, the Finnish mobile maker couldn't even find a place among seven handset makers.
 
A smartphone is a phone with an operating system that is able to run more than the built-in applications while a feature phone is a phone with pre-set applications that can allow downloads but is not considered a smartphone. BlackBerry is a smartphone while Nokia Supernova is a feature phone.
 
The study pointed out that satisfaction among consumer smartphone owners has increased by 14 index points (on a 1,000-point scale) from just six months ago, while satisfaction among business owners has increased by 43 index points from 2008 as these devices have become more stylish, customisable and user-friendly.
 
Among traditional mobile phone owners, overall satisfaction has declined by six index points from April 2009, likely as a result of heightened awareness among traditional mobile phone owners of advanced features available on smartphones, the study said.
Apple ranks highest among manufacturers of smartphones used primarily for personal reasons, with a score of 811, and performs particularly well in ease of operation, operating system, features and physical design. LG (776) and RIM BlackBerry (759) follow Apple in the rankings. HTC, Motorola, Palm and Samsung were rated as "The rest".
 
Among customers who use their smartphones primarily for business purposes, Apple ranks highest with a score of 803, followed by RIM BlackBerry (724).
LG ranks highest in overall wireless customer satisfaction with traditional handsets with a score of 723, performing well across all factors, particularly battery function, features and operation. LG is followed by Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Samsung and Sanyo. Nokia is just few points ahead of Kyocera due to its better battery performance.
 
The study also pointed out an interesting trend about landline phones that are facing a slow death at the hands of mobile phones. JD Power says more than 40% of smartphone owners have entirely replaced landline calling with mobile phone calling, while only 27% of traditional handset owners have done the same.
 
Among business smartphone owners, more than one-half report downloading third-party games for entertainment, while 46% report downloading travel software such as maps and weather applications—indicating that business users are also integrating their devices into their personal lives. In addition, nearly one-half of owners (46%) report downloading business utility applications to increase productivity.

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