Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Sunanda Pushkar found dead after row on Twitter

Sunanda Pushkar, who was upset over an alleged extra-marital affair between her husband Shashi Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist, was found dead in the hotel last night

The body of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, was on Saturday shifted to AIIMS for post-mortem as police continued to probe various angles, including suicide, in the case.


According to sources, a post-mortem would be carried out around noon by a team of doctors and the report could be available later in the evening.


The body of 52-year-old Pushkar was taken from the Leela Palace Hotel to AIIMS at around 3:30am. The body of Pushkar, a woman entrepreneur who married Tharoor in August 2010, was found in mysterious circumstances in luxury Leela Palace hotel in South Delhi.


Pushkar, who was upset over an alleged extra-marital affair between her husband Shashi Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist, was found dead in the hotel last night.


Pushkar and Tharoor were at the centre of a raging controversy in the last two days when reports emerged that she was upset over reported text and tweet messages between her husband and Mehr Tarar, Pakistani journalist.


Police had last night questioned a number of hotel staff and checked the CCTV footage of the lobby of the third floor of the luxury hotel where she was staying.


According to police sources, the call details record of Pushkar was also being checked as part of the probe into her death. Pushkar was found dead inside the suite No345 where she and her husband had checked in on Thursday.


Investigators said that they are screening the call details record of Pushkar as well as her tweets in the last few days.


They said a number of hotel staff, including those who had gone to the suite were being questioned to corroborate the version of Tharoor and his staff.


Police were also searching the suite thoroughly to see whether Pushkar had used any medicine.


Police sources speaking on condition of anonymity said that they suspect it could be a case of suicide.


Pushkar and Tharoor were at the centre of a raging controversy when reports emerged that she was upset over reported text and tweet messages between her husband and Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist.


A joint statement from the couple on Thursday said that they were 'happily married' but distressed by 'some unauthorised tweets'.


Sensex, Nifty headed down: Friday closing report

Unless the Nifty manages to keep itself above the day’s low we may see the index going further down

Yesterday, we had mentioned that the market looks tired and the first support is at 6,300 for Nifty and the second support is at 6,280. A fall below 6,233 would mean a deeper decline. Today, except for a few minutes of trading in the green when the indices hit their day high the benchmark witnessed a gradual fall. The index broke both the supports. If the Nifty goes below 6,233 over the next few days, the index may head for 6,130 and below.


The Sensex which opened at 21,237, moved down from the 21,270 to the level of 21,016 and closed at 21,064 (down 202 points or 0.95%). The Nifty which opened at 6,306 reached to 6,246 after hitting a high of 6,327 and closed at 6,262 (down 57 points or 0.91%). Today’s fall on the Nifty has been almost at the same level of volume as yesterday. The NSE recorded a volume of 55.69 crore shares.


All the other indices on the NSE closed in the negative. The top five losers were Realty (2.58%); I T (2.4%); Smallcap (2.16%); Service (1.82%) and Finance (1.69%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 18 ended in the green. The top five gainers were BPCL (2.92%); Cipla (1.89%); Bajaj Auto (1.38%); Hindustan Unilever (1.34%) and M&M (0.82%). The top five losers were TCS (5.55%); DLF (4.26%); PNB (3.31%); Wipro (2.60%) and ICICI Bank (2.30%).
Of the 1,502 companies on the NSE, 355 companies closed in the green, 1,071 closed in the red while 76 closed flat.
TCS net revenues grew at 35% for the December 2013 quarter over the year ago period. Its operating profit growth rate was at 57% to Rs5,779.19 crore. Growth in Q3 was driven by industries like life sciences & healthcare, manufacturing, media, travel & hospitality, and telecom. TCS reported a 48% increase in its net profit at Rs4,776.76 crore for the third quarter ended December 2013.

US indices had a mixed performance on Thursday. The 0.3% gain in the US consumer-price index was the biggest since June and followed no change the prior month, a Labor Department report showed. Prices rose 1.5% in 2013, the smallest calendar-year gain in three years. Fed Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart, who doesn't vote on monetary policy this year, said yesterday that he expects inflation that's been “too low” will accelerate toward the Fed's 2% target.


The number of Americans who applied last week for unemployment benefits fell lightly and is now back to a level that prevailed shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday.


Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben S Bernanke said at a forum in Washington that quantitative easing had helped the U.S, economy and that there is no immediate sign of it creating a bubble in asset prices.


Market now awaits the US housing data and industrial production which to be released today.


Except for Hang Seng (up 0.64%) and Straits Times (up 0.22%) all the other trading Asian indices closed in the negative. Shanghai Composite (fell 0.93%) was the top loser.


European indices were trading in the green and the US Futures too were trading higher.


Reliance Ind Q3 net profit flat at Rs5,511 crore

Even though revenues were up 10.5%, Reliance Industries net profit remained flat due to high oil prices and a disappointing output from its biggest gas field KG-D6

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the country’s largest company from the private sector, on Friday reported a flat third quarter net profit on higher oil prices and poor volumes from its refining segment.

For the quarter to end-December, RIL said its net profit increased marginally to Rs5,511 crore, while total revenues, including sales, rose 10.5% to Rs1.06 lakh crore from same period last year. During the quarter, RIL’s gross refining margin (GRM) stood at $7.6 per barrel for the December 2013 quarter compared with $7.7 per barrel in September quarter.

In a statement, Mukesh D Ambani, chairman and managing director, RIL said, “Reliance’s robust refining configuration enabled it to deliver stable refining profits in 3Q FY14, against the backdrop of declining regional benchmark margins. Even as we invest to further strengthen our energy businesses, this quarter demonstrates the outstanding quality of our refining and petrochemical business resources and their ability to deliver creditable performance in a period marked by cyclicality and uncertainties. We are happy to announce the commissioning of our new polyester facility in Silvassa, the first amongst a series of projects that underpin RIL’s industry-leading competitive position. Our retail business continues on its rapid growth trajectory with 38% revenue growth during the quarter.”

RIL’s outstanding debt as on 31 December 2013 was Rs81,330 crore ($13.2 billion) compared to Rs72,427 crore as on 31 March 2013. However, RIL had cash and cash equivalents of Rs88,705 crore ($14.4 billion) at the end of the third quarter, in bank deposits, mutual funds, CDs and government securities/ bonds.

Refining and marketing

During the quarter, RIL said its revenues from refining and marketing segment increased 10.1% to Rs95,432 crore from Rs86,641 crore in 3Q FY13. Growth in revenue was accounted by 1% higher volume and 9.1% increase in prices.

During 3Q FY14, RIL Jamnagar refineries processed 17.0 MMT of crude, an operating rate of 110%, sequentially lower due to maintenance turnaround. With turnarounds, post the driving season, the third quarter utilizations in North America, Europe and Asia were 83.5%, 74.3% and 85.8% respectively.

KG-D6 field produced 1.45 million barrels of crude oil, 0.2 million barrels of condensate and 135 billion cubic feet of natural gas for the nine month ended December 2013, a reduction of 38%, 44% and 51%respectively on a year-on-year basis. Fall in production is mainly attributed to geological complexity and natural decline in the fields.


RIL 3QFY14 Petrochemical EBIT declined 15.2% Q-o-Q to Rs2,124 crore impacted by poor domestic demand for polymers and polyester, sequential decline in regional deltas for key products–PP, PVC and fibre intermediates.


During the quarter, domestic demand for polymer products was lower by 5% on year-on-year basis. This was primarily due to lower demand in key end-use sectors like infrastructure, fertilizer, automobile, pipes etc.

Overall, PP demand was moderately higher as there was growth in some of the end-use packaging applications. However, PP demand was negatively affected by poor demand from cement packaging and automobile sector.

During the quarter, the polymer business saw a mixed-trend in terms of product margins in polyolefin products. PP deltas were lower on Q-o-Q and Y-o-Y basis as propylene prices rose sharply on account of lower supplies from Middle East region.

Reliance Retail

Reliance Retail registered a growth of 38% in turnover over the same quarter last year. Gross revenues grew to Rs3,927 crore in the third quarter compared to Rs 2,839 crore during the same period in the previous year. Retail business achieved PBDIT of Rs106 crore for 3Q FY14. As on 31 December 2013, Reliance Retail operated 1,577 stores across 141 cities.

Some of the highlights of the quarter were:

  • * The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas notified the Domestic Natural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014 for all domestically -produced gas, including conventional, shale, coal bed methane (CBM). These guidelines will be applicable from 1 April 2014;
  • * In August 2013, RIL and BP announced a new gas condensate discovery off the east coast of India in the Cauvery basin. The discovery, in the deepwater block CY-DWN-2001/2 (CYD5), is situated 62 kilometers from the coast in the Cauvery Basin and is the second gas discovery in the block. RIL is the operator with 70% equity and BP has a 30% share. Well CYIII-D5-S1 was drilled in a water depth of 1,743 meters, to a total depth of 5,731 meters, with the primary objective of exploring Mesozoic-aged reservoirs;
  • * In July 2013, RIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to explore the possibility of sharing RIL’s infrastructural facility in the East Coast. In line with global practice of sharing infrastructure, the MoU aims at working out the modalities for sharing of infrastructure, identifying additional requirements as well as firming up the commercial terms.

RIL closed Friday flat at Rs884 on the BSE, while the 30-share benchmark ended 0.95% down at 21,063.

For more information on earnings releases, do check out our stocks section.


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