No final bid yet from RIL, says LyondellBasell

LyondellBasell and RIL late last month disclosed a "preliminary non-binding offer" by the Indian company for taking a controlling interest in the world's third largest independent petrochemical maker. Going by industry sources, Reliance Industries' bid could be more than $12 billion

Amid reports that Indian corporate giant Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) was mobilising funds for its acquisition of LyondellBasell, the global petrochemical major has said that it has not yet received a final bid.

"Reliance has not made a final bid, (it has made) only a preliminary non-binding offer," said a spokesperson for LyondellBasell, which is currently fighting to get out of bankruptcy.

In reply to emailed queries, the spokesperson told PTI that a settlement agreement has been reached between LyondellBasell and the financial party defendants in the litigation brought by the unsecured creditor's committee on behalf of the bankruptcy estate.

"The proposed settlement, which must be approved by the bankruptcy court, calls for a cash payment of $300 million to unsecured creditors upon the company's exit from bankruptcy," he said.

LyondellBasell and RIL late last month disclosed a "preliminary non-binding offer" by the Indian company for taking a controlling interest in the world's third largest independent chemical maker. Going by industry sources, Reliance Industries' bid could be more than $12 billion.

Asked about the financial details of the proposed bid from RIL, the spokesperson said, "We are bound by a confidentiality agreement and will provide no further information."
 

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SEBI asks bourses to save records till a probe is completed

The original copy of a record is to be maintained till trial or investigation proceedings have concluded, instead of the current practice of keeping papers only for five years, the market regulator has said

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday asked bourses to preserve original records related to an investigation till the trial is completed, instead of the current practice of keeping papers only for five years, reports PTI.

"If a copy is taken by such enforcement agency either from physical or electronic record then the respective original is to be maintained till the trial or investigation proceedings have concluded," SEBI said in a circular to all stock exchanges.

The regulator said that enforcement agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), police and the crime branch collect a copy of documents during the course of an investigation but original records, either in physical or electronic form, are required at the time of the trial.

According to the SEBI (Stock Brokers and Sub-brokers) Regulations, 1992, every stock broker is required to preserve the specified books of account and other records for a minimum period of five years.

In case such documents are maintained in electronic form, provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, would have to be complied with, SEBI said.

Further, as per the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Rules, 1957, bourses and their members are required to preserve the specified books of account and documents for a period ranging from two years to five years.
 

 

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Indian aviation can absorb $120 billion in investments by 2020

India is one of the fastest-growing aerospace markets in the world, driven by continued economic growth, resulting in growing passenger traffic and domestic aircraft demand

The rapidly-expanding aviation sector of India can absorb as much as $120 billion in investments by the year 2020, civil aviation secretary Madhavan Nambiar has said.

"As per reports, the Indian aviation sector has the potential to absorb up to $120 billion of investment by 2020. Analysts predict that domestic traffic can reach 160 million-180 million by 2020, with the international traffic in excess of 50 million," Mr Nambiar said in his keynote address to the US-India Aviation Partnership Summit in Washington, reports PTI.

The summit is being attended by around 200 corporate leaders from the sector from both India and the US. "Airport infrastructure in India is the one area which has huge opportunity for investors. The airport upgrade action and modernisation plan, launched by the government of India, will see an investment of approximately $10 billion by 2010," he said.

Mr Nambiar said that the Indian aerospace industry is one of the fastest-growing aerospace markets in the world, driven by continued economic growth, resulting in growing passenger traffic and domestic aircraft demand.

"As per estimates, the Indian civil aircraft market is valued at $90 billion involving sale of 1,000 aircraft during the period 2008 to 2020. At present, the sector has around 407 aircraft with almost the same number on order as well," he said.

In 2008, scheduled operators and companies were given permission to import 62 aircraft.

"However, it is a fact that the current downturn has seen many deliveries being deferred, but significantly not cancelled. It is in this growth that lies our challenge in creating safe, secure, efficient and environment-friendly systems conducive to meet this growth," he said.

India is also emerging as a potential international hub for manufacturing and Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on the back of its talent and engineering workforce, manpower cost competitiveness, fast-developing engineering services, research and development (R&D) expertise and strategic position in South-east Asia.

"India’s MRO segment is estimated to grow at 10%, reaching $1.17 billion by 2010 and $2.60 billion by 2020," Mr Nambiar said.

Aerospace products have also emerged as the fastest-growing component of US exports to India. Mr Nambiar said that the successful retention of India in Category-I status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) has helped India bring back aviation safety into the spotlight. "This reaffirms that Indian safety standards are compliant with international safety standards," he noted.

The FAA audit under the International Aviation Safety Assessment Programme gives the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) a level playing field in the area of safety and maintenance standards.

This, Mr Nambiar said, paves the way for allowing Indian carriers to expand service into the US by adding flights through new access points and code-share agreements with US carriers.
 

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