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SC to Vodafone: Deposit Rs2,500 cr, bank guarantee Rs8,500 crore

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked Vodafone LLC to deposit Rs2,500 crore and a bank guarantee of Rs8500 crore in its ongoing case here in which the UK-based telecom giant has challenged capital gains tax of Rs11,000 crore from its acquisition of Hutchison shares, reports PTI.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia, directed Vodafone to deposit Rs2500 crore within three weeks and a bank guarantee of Rs8500 crore within eight weeks.

The bench, which also comprised justices KS Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar, also held that if the case goes in favour of Vodafone then the govt will have to return the amount to the telecom giant along with interest.

The apex court is expected to start its final hearing in this matter from 5 February 2011.

The apex court also directed the Director General of International Taxation to file an undertaking before the court that the government would refund the amount along with the interest to Vodafone if the UK-based telecom giant succeeds in the case.


Monday Closing Report: Bulls counterattack

Buying on select counters in the post-noon session perked up the market, enabling it to close in the green, halting the three-day losing streak. Monthly inflation data for September also aided the bounce-back.

The market opened flat this morning on mixed global cues. A bout of minor
profit-taking surfaced in early trade but the indices recovered soon to trade higher. Choppiness continued despite the monthly inflation numbers for October showing a marginal decline over the previous month. However, buying on select counters in the post-noon session sent the market on a higher trajectory resulting in a close near the day's high.

The Sensex closed 152.80 points (0.76%) higher at 20,309 today. The barometer touched a high of 20,335 and a low of 20,046, mid-session. The Nifty surged 50 points (0.82%) to end the session at 6,121. The index touched a high-low of 6,128 and a low of 6,039 today.

The market breadth improved as the day progressed. The Sensex ended with 20 gainers versus 10 losers. The Nifty had 34 advancers while 16 stocks ended in the red. The broader indices ended mixed today; the BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.19% while the BSE Small-cap index lost 0.30%.

The top gainers on the Sensex included State Bank of India (up 4.41%), Cipla
(up 4.15%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 3.30%), HDFC Bank (up 2.84%) and Wipro (up 1.87%). The top losers were Reliance Infrastructure (down 1.69%), DLF (down 1.68%), NTPC (down 1.25%), Maruti Suzuki (down 1.19%) and Reliance Communications (down 1.12%).

In the sectoral space, BSE Bankex (up 2.43%), BSE Healthcare (up 1.07%) and BSE IT (up 0.86%) were the top gainers while BSE Realty (down 1.43%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 1.13%) and BSE Power (down 0.20%) were the sectoral losers today.

Inflation fell for the second consecutive month to a nine-month low of 8.58% in October, which together with a slowdown in industrial growth may prompt the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to halt its monetary tightening stance.

The 0.04% decline in inflation from 8.62% in September is significant, given that inflation stood at just 1.48% in the same month last year. As a result of the low base in September, 2009, the rate of inflation in September, 2010, appears elevated, which is known as the "base effect".

Commenting on the latest inflation data, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the RBI's monetary actions have helped to bring down the rate of price rise, but supply side constraints were exerting pressure.

Markets in Asia settled mixed today. The Japanese bellwether index - Nikkei 225 - surged on better-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) for the September quarter. Japan's GDP rose an annualised 3.9% in the three months ended 30th September, following a revised 1.8% expansion in the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said in Tokyo today. However, concerns about ongoing financial woes in Ireland, part of the European Union, spooked other regional bourses.

The Shanghai Composite gained 0.97%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.12%, Nikkei 225 surged 1.06% and Seoul Composite added 0.04%. On the flip side, the Hang Seng tanked 0.81%, Jakarta Composite was down 0.26%, Straits Times declined 0.47% and Taiwan Weighted fell 0.91% at the end of the session.

India's merchandise exports shot up by 21.3%, year-on-year, to $18 billion in October this fiscal, while imports grew by 6.8% to $27.7 billion, widening the trade gap to $9.7 billion, according to commerce secretary Rahul Khullar.

During April-October 2011, exports have aggregated to $121.4 billion, increasing by 26.8% while cumulative imports for the same period went up to $194.2 billion leaving a large trade gap of $72.8 billion.

The US markets declined on Friday to end the worst week in the last three months. With the outcome of Group of Twenty (G-20) summit of not much use to the US as it failed to persuade world leaders to come up with plans to strengthen global growth, the markets ended lower. The markets also took a hit from the Chinese bourse as the government there said that the pace of inflation hit a more than two-year high in October, raising speculation that China would hike rates to ease inflation. The Dow tumbled 90.52 points (0.80%) to 11,192. The S&P 500 declined by 14.43 points  (1.18 %) to 1,199. The Nasdaq fell by 37.31 points (1.46%) to 2,518.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers worth Rs782 crore in the equities segment on Friday. Domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs 245 crore on the same day.

The Tata Motors Group today said its global sales jumped 18% at 86,705 units in October this year, as compared to last year. The Group comprises of Tata, Tata Daewoo and Hispano Carrocera range of commercial vehicles, Tata passenger vehicles along with distributed brands in India and Jaguar and Land Rover. The Tata Motors stock ended 0.54% higher today.

The company sold 40,750 units of commercial vehicles in October 2010, clocking a growth rate of 20%. Its cumulative sales for the fiscal are 2,74,323 units, growth of 52%, a statement issued here said.

State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) (up 2.54%) plans to invest Rs13,000 crore to almost double the capacity of its Vizag oil refinery in Andhra Pradesh to 15 million tonnes a year by 2013-14.

The decision to expand the Vizag refinery follows steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal group and French oil firm Total SA walking out of a proposed $4 billion project to build a 15 million tonnes per annum refinery and a 2.5 million tonnes per annum petrochemicals plant near HPCL's 8.3 million tonnes per annum refinery at Visakhapatnam.

Private sector lender YES Bank (up 2.37%), today said that it has availed a $25-million term loan from the US-based Wells Fargo Bank.

The loan will be exclusively used to finance the small-and-medium enterprise (SME) clients of the Indian lender is and guaranteed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the US government, the bank said in a press release.


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