RCom posts consolidated net of Rs250.89 crore in June quarter

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (AGAG)-led telecom services company Reliance Communications (RCom) has posted a consolidated net profit after adjustment of minority interest and associates of Rs250.89 crore in the quarter ended 30 June, 2010, as compared to Rs1,636.61 crore in the year-ago period, down a huge 84.67%.

Total consolidated income for the quarter in review was Rs5,109.20 crore, down from Rs6,145.18 crore, a fall of 16.85% year-on-year.

On a standalone basis, RCom posted a net loss of Rs490.81 crore in the reporting quarter against a net profit of Rs370 crore in the corresponding previous period. Total income stood at Rs3185.91 crore over Rs 3197.07 crore a year earlier, down 0.35% on a yearly basis.


US move to hike visa fee 'discriminatory': Nasscom

New Delhi: The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) today said the US Border Security Bill, which has been passed by the Senate, has logical flaws and is discriminatory in nature, reports PTI.

"From India's perspective, I think it has been done ahead of November Congressional elections. It is based on flawed logic and is discriminatory in nature. But it did clarify that it is not targeting any particular nation...

"It (this Bill) shows the fact that Indian IT industry is posing significant competition to the US companies," Nasscom president Som Mittal said in a media conference call.

The Bill seeks to increase application fee for H-1B and L visas by at least $2,000 for the next five years. The move is aimed at raising funds for the $600 million spending plan to boost security at the porous US-Mexico border.

The US president, Barack Obama, will sign the bill into law today.

The fee hike would help in mopping up about $550 million of the total amount. Further, the increase would be applicable only for companies with more than 50 employees and for whom the majority of their workforce are visa-holding foreign workers.

"We are in talks with the US authorities to make separate visa categories for the services sector," Mr Mittal added.

Indian software firms, including IT biggies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro and others, avail H-1B and L-1 visas to fly their employees to the US for working at their clients' locations as on-site engineers.

The $50-billion Indian IT export industry earns over 50% of its revenue from the US market.

When asked about the immediate impact of the Bill on Indian IT companies, Mr Mittal said that these entities would have to change their business models.

"The US is our largest IT market and will remain our largest market. The US trade bodies are very supportive. In terms of revenues, there would be no huge impact," Mr Mittal noted.

IT companies from countries such as China and the Philippines would also be impacted by the Bill.

As per Nasscom's estimates, Indian companies (mostly IT) apply for 50,000 visas every year, including H-1B and L1 visas, besides renewal of old visas.


Friday Closing Report: Bulls live to fight another day

The market opened flat this morning on mixed global cues. It soon gained strength after its Asian peers began trading firm. The momentum was further supported by a good opening by the European markets. However, the benchmarks trimmed some of their gains in the noon session as profit-booking was evident at higher levels.

At the end of the day, the Sensex closed higher by 93 points (0.5%) at 18,167. However the index shed 93 points from its session-high of 18,260. The Nifty closed at 5,452, up 35 points (0.6%). The benchmark gave up 24 points from its intraday high of 5,476.

Of the 30 stocks on the Sensex, 20 closed with gains while 10 declined. On the Nifty, 36 advanced, 13 declined and one stock closed unchanged. The broader indices outperformed the benchmarks; the BSE Mid-cap index added 0.98% while the BSE Small-cap index gained 0.67%.

The top Sensex gainers included State Bank of India (SBI) (up 2.3%), DLF (up 2.1%), ITC (up 2%), Maruti Suzuki (up 1.8%) and Jaiprakash Associates (up 1.4%). The top Sensex losers were Sterlite Industries (down 4.2%), Reliance Communications (RCom) (down 3%), Reliance Infra (R-Infra) (down 1%), Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) (down 0.8%) and Tata Motors (down 0.6%).

Among the sectoral indices on the BSE, realty was up 2.3%, consumer durables (CD) was up 1.8%, bankex was up 1.4%, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) was up 1.1% and oil & gas was up 0.7%. The metal index was the lone loser, shedding 0.1%.

Markets in Asia, with the exception of Hang Seng, ended with decent gains on the last trading day of the week. The rally was supported by strong earnings reports and the 2.2% rise in Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) in the June quarter (on a q-o-q basis). Shanghai Composite was up 1.2%, Jakarta Composite was up 1%, KLSE Composite was up 0.8%, Nikkei 225 was up 0.4%, Straits Times was up 0.4%, Seoul Composite was up 1.4% and Taiwan Weighted was up 0.8%. On the other hand, Hang Seng lost 0.1% in trade today.

The Parliament on Thursday passed a Bill allowing the government to reduce its stake in State Bank of India (SBI) to the bare minimum of 51%. The stipulation so far has been that the government can dilute its stake up to 55%. If the government chooses to dilute its stake, from 59.41% to 51%, it can raise around Rs15,000 crore, going by the prevailing share price of the State-owned lender.

Wall Street closed lower for the third day in a row on Thursday on a rise in jobless claims. The number of US workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to nearly a six-month high, stoking ongoing fears about the weak labour market. Cisco Systems forecast sales below consensus, prompting several analysts to downgrade the stock. Besides, last month, 325,229 US properties got a notice of default, auction or bank repossession, RealtyTrac said in a report. The Dow fell 58 points (0.5%) to 10,319. The S&P 500 fell 5 points (0.5%) to 1,083. The Nasdaq fell 18 points (0.8%) to 2,190.

Germany's gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for seasonal effects, rose 2.2% in the June quarter from the first quarter, when it had gained an upwardly revised 0.5% in Q1, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. That's the fastest growth since records for a reunified Germany began in 1991.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Rs218 crore in the equities segment on Thursday. Domestic institutional investors were net sellers of Rs656 crore on the same day.

Udaipur-based Bank of Rajasthan (BoR) today became part of the country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank (up 1.2%) following the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval to merger proposal of the two lenders.

All 463 branches of BoR have started functioning as ICICI Bank's as per the directive of the RBI. With this, ICICI Bank will have a branch network of about 2,500 branches, by far the largest among private sector banks.

Global ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) today raised Tata Motors' (down 0.6%) credit ratings to positive citing improved performance by auto maker's premium brands Jaguar Land Rover.

The upgrade to 'B+' from 'B' comes few days after Tata Motors clocked a consolidated net profit of Rs1,988.73 crore for the quarter ended 30th June on the back of strong sales in the domestic market and good show by Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR).

Subex Ltd (up 0.6%), a provider of operations and business support systems for communications service providers, along with key partner IBM India Pvt Ltd, has won a multi-million dollar contract from Idea Cellular Ltd.

Subex and IBM will implement Subex's ROC for interconnect billing for the telecom major. The solution will be implemented through IBM, who is Idea's strategic IT outsourcing partner.


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