Companies & Sectors
TDSAT disposes Tata Comm pleas against MTNL

The telecom tribunal denied the plea of Tata Communications to direct the state-run company to produce the internal letter based on which IUC amounts were paid by MTNL to the company

New Delhi: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has allowed the plea of Tata Communications and directed state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) to produce the documents showing the ISD call rates that it charged from customers in Delhi and Mumbai, reports PTI.


TDSAT however denied the plea of Tata Communications to direct the state-run company to produce the internal letter based on which interconnection usage charges (IUC) amounts were paid by MTNL to the company.


The pleas relate to the dispute Tata Communications and MTNL have over the payment of IUC charges for the period between May 2005 to May 2008 and the matter is before TDSAT.


In the first plea, the tribunal was of view that ISD rates were already available on MTNL's website and in public domain, and Tata Communications can get those by paying the charges.


"Without going into the merits and relevance of these documents and in view of the statement made by the learned counsel for the respondent (MTNL), it is directed that a copy of these published documents may be supplied to the petitioner (Tata Communications) subject to the payment of Rs2,000 by the petitioner," TDSAT said while allowing Tata's application.


Meanwhile, on the issue of internal correspondence on payment and adjustment of IUC charges, the tribunal was of view that there was no need for those documents at this stage as payments have been made.


TDSAT said: "I am of the opinion that any approval made internally by the MTNL may not be relevant for adjudication of this petition specifically when the Tata Communication is admitting the bills paid. The adjudication will depend upon whether the parties have made payments based on the existing terms and conditions of the contract.


"So, there is no need to call for the records of the respondent at this stage. However, if it is considered relevant, this Tribunal may consider calling for any record from the respondent at the time of final hearing."


AC market has been stagnant for past two-three years: LG officials

The air conditioner market has been almost stagnant for the last two-three years due to delayed projects in the real estate sector

Chennai: Slowing down of the economy and delay in real estate projects are among the reasons that have led to stagnation in the air conditioner market for the past few years, reports PTI quoting a top officials from consumer durables manufacturer LG India.


"The market has been almost stagnant for the last two-three years due to delayed projects in the real estate sector," Saurabh Baisakhia, Business Head, Air Conditioners, LG India, said.


LG Electronics' Head, Corporate Marketing, Sanjay Chitkara added that erratic weather, power cuts and slowing economy were the other reasons for the said market scenario.


Baisakhia noted that with an increase in possession of homes in the coming years, he expected the industry to look up as there is scope for "business to improve."


However, the commercial sector was doing well with an increase in office spaces and this segment contributed to about 15% of the South Korean company's total business, he said.


LG had set its focus on key buying factors and was therefore working to provide the right value proposition to the customer including good payback options, he added.


Announcing the launch of a new range of ACs including the Inverter V series, he said split AC segment contributed to 75% of the 3.2 million units strong AC market.


Responding to a question, he said he would "not rule out the possibility" of window ACs being phased out gradually in the coming years. Its market share has been constantly declining in the last few years, he added.


South India contributed to about 26% of the company's overall market share while it stood at 23% at the national level.


ING to exit from life insurance business in India

Exide Industries would buy ING's 26% and also another 24% stake from two other promoters for Rs550 crore in ING Vysya Life Insurance Co

New Delhi: The Netherlands-based ING said it will exit ING Vysya Life Insurance Company by selling its 26% stake to domestic partner Exide Industries which will also buy another 24% from two other promoters, reports PTI.


Exide Industries at present holds 50% stake in ING Vysya Life Insurance Company. Remaining 24% stake is held by other two promoters Hemendra Kothari Group and Enam Group.


Exide proposes to pay about Rs550 crore for 50% stake, thereby valuing the ING Vysya Life at about Rs1,100 crore.


"The company has in principle decided to acquire the remaining 50% of the equity capital of ING Vysya Life (26% from ING Group, 16.32% from the Hemendra Kothari Group and 7.68% from the Enam Group) for an aggregate consideration of Rs550 crore approximately," Exide Industries said in a statement.


ING's exit from the Indian life insurance joint venture is part of the previously announced divestment of ING's Asian Insurance and Investment Management businesses, the Dutch banking and insurance company said in a statement.


The process for the remaining businesses is on-going. Any further announcements will be made if and when appropriate, it said.


The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, it said, adding, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013.


Exide further said that it will look for a new foreign partner for its life insurance company.


"Post such acquisition Exide has in principle decided to identify and induct a new international player in the life insurance genre to infuse fresh equity into IVL for the company's expansion plans," it said.


As part of its restructuring process, ING Group last year had sold its insurance business in Malaysia to AIA Group Ltd (AIA).


ING in the statement said that the transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the Group's results.


"Today's agreement does not impact ING Vysya Bank, a publicly listed Indian bank in which ING has a 44% stake, nor ING's fund management business in the country," it said.


Headquartered in Bangalore, ING Vysya Life Insurance has over a decade of experience serving more than one million customers in over 200 cities in India.


The insurance company distributes its products through more than 30,000 advisers, bancassurance partner ING Vysya Bank, corporate agents and brokers.


This is the second exit by any foreign partner in the current fiscal.


In April 2012, US-based New York Life announced exit from Indian life insurance business venture by selling its 26% stake at Rs2,731 crore to Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance of Japan.


According to reports, Future Group and DLF Group are also planning to exit from their life insurance business. But it cannot be independently verified with the respective companies.


There are 52 insurance companies operating in India, of which 24 are in the life insurance business and 27 are in general insurance business. In addition, GIC is the sole national reinsurer.


Of the 24 life insurance players in the country, only two companies-- Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and Sahara India Life Insurance Co -- are running the business without foreign partners.


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