RIL's executive director R Ravimohan passes away

R Ravimohan, who was handling the proposed acquisition of global petrochemical major LyondellBasell Industries, was rushed to hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest while taking a walk outside his office

Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) executive director R Ravimohan died on Monday night following a cardiac arrest. Mr Ravimohan, aged 52, is survived by his wife Madhuralakshmi, daughter Hridaya and son Jagad. In September, he was appointed on the Board of directors of RIL.

In a release, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani said, "We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Ravimohan. He was a keen supporter of Reliance Industries and a very dear friend. On behalf of all of us at Reliance Industries, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Ravi's family and many friends."

Mr Ravimohan, who was handling the proposed acquisition of global petrochemical major LyondellBasell Industries, was rushed to hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest while taking a walk outside his office.

He was closely involved with the modernisation of the Indian financial system and pioneered the era of electronic stock markets in the country. Mr Ravimohan was involved in critical policy assignments including being a member of the Primary Market Advisory Committee of SEBI, Technical Advisory Committee and Financial Stability & Stern Test Assessment Committee of the Reserve Bank of India and the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms.

Mr Ravimohan was a chemical engineer and had also completed an Advanced Management Program from Harvard Business School. He served as chief executive officer of the Over-the- Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) from 1990 to 1994 and was also instrumental in setting up India's first electronic stock exchange.

He was also former chairman of CRISIL. Ravimohan served as region head of south and south-east Asia division and was managing director of Standard & Poor's Corp since May 2008. Mr Ravimohan served as country head of S&P India since 27 July 2007. He joined S&P in August 2007. He served as chief executive officer and managing director of CRISIL Ltd, a subsidiary of S&P, from 1994 to July 2007. He also served as director of CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Ltd, CRISIL Credit Information Services Ltd, Gas Strategies Group Ltd, Irevna Ltd and Irevna LLC. He was director of India Index Services & Products Ltd, Crisil Research & Information Services Ltd, CRISIL MarketWire Ltd, CRISIL Properties Ltd and Global Data Services of India Ltd.

He also served as director of the National Commodity And Derivatives Exchange Ltd.

Mr Ravimohan also served as director of Whistling Woods International Foundation. He had a long initial career with ICICI Ltd in the areas of project appraisal, systems design, credit administration and merchant banking.
 

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Tyre companies expect rapid growth, plan bigger investments in 2010

In line with the pickup in business growth, tyre companies are likely to make significant increases in their capex plans in 2010-11, to expand capacity and meet product demand

A healthy pickup in demand from the auto sector in the face of a visible economic recovery is likely to help the country's tyre industry to clock a 7% to 8% growth in FY11, reports PTI.

Also, in line with the pickup in business growth, tyre companies are likely to make significant increases in their capital expenditure (capex) plans in 2010-11, to expand capacity and meet product demand, top players said on Tuesday.

"The Indian tyre industry may grow at around 7%-8% at Rs27,000 crore in the next financial year from Rs25,000 crore presently, on the back of high demand from the automobile sector," AS Mehta, director (marketing), JK Tyre & Industries, told PTI.

JK Tyres, which is one of the leading players in the domestic market, is targeting a growth of 20% in the next one year. It has chalked out an investment plan of Rs1,200 crore over the next two years to expand production in its car and truck radial segment.

"Year 2010 is going to be a happening year for us. We plan to invest Rs1,200 crore over the next two years to increase car and truck radial production in India," Mr Mehta said.

Echoing a similar view, another leading tyre manufacturer Ceat Ltd said that it has targeted a revenue of Rs3,500 core in the next financial year.

"The industry is likely to grow over 7% and we are expecting over Rs3,500 crore revenues next year from both the domestic and global markets," said Ceat's executive director for marketing, Anarb Banarjee.

Ceat plans to set up a new plant by spending over Rs650 crore in the next financial year, besides expanding its existing plant in Nashik, he said.

"We will invest over Rs650 crore in 2010 to set up a new plant and will expand our existing plant in Nashik. The new plant is likely to start operations by September 2010," Mr Banarjee said.

The company expects the demand in the domestic market to pick up in the New Year and was hopeful of achieving a rapid growth in its business.
 

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SCI set to buy three container ships for $225 million

SCI plans to purchase three new container vessels along with its existing joint venture partner Mediterranean Shipping Company

State-run Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) plans to acquire three new container ships in the New Year, and has set aside $200 million-$225 million to fund these purchases, a top company official said.

"SCI plans to purchase three new container vessels, along with its existing joint venture partner Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). These (orders) will be executed after securing the necessary Board approval," a senior SCI official told PTI.

Presently, SCI has a total fleet strength of 76, which includes five container vessels.

The shipping major decided to strengthen its fleet strength taking into account a visible pick-up in trade volumes in the recent past, the official said.

"We have seen a significant pick-up in volumes in the recent past, on account of the recovery in the domestic and global markets. Volumes are expected to pick up further in the months ahead," the official said.

Reflecting the recovery and the corresponding revival in the export trade from Europe to Asia, shipments in the Europe-Asia trade route increased by 12.6% in October to 4,64,689 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), from 4,13,249 TEUs a year ago.

“In the long term, there is a huge potential in this business. The recovery in freight rates is most notable on the Asia-Europe routes, with all container routes showing signs of improvement," the official said.

A decline in vessel prices in the past few months could also facilitate the corporation to acquire more vessels in the near future, the official said, without giving further details.

However, SCI and its Geneva-based JV partner, MSC, have not decided on whether the latter will co-fund the proposed acquisitions of three container vessels, the official said.

In May, SCI had entered into an agreement with MSC to run its European service. "The discussions with our JV partner are on and it is too early to comment on the matter," the official said.

Presently, the five container vessels of the corporation cover the Far-east, China, UK and the Middle-east. The Middle-east covers Jebel Ali and operations in all the upper Gulf regions.

SCI also operates its feeder cargo vessels on the west coast of the country, besides operating Indian coastal cargo vessels in the coastal regions, pan-India.
 

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