TNPCB issues closure notice to Orchid Chemicals’ Chennai plant

The state pollution control board cited non-compliance with regard to the disposal of solid waste as reasons for issuing the closure notice

New Delhi: Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals today said its Chennai-based manufacturing facility has been issued a closure notice by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), reports PTI.

The company's Cephalosporin producing facility at Alathur in Chennai was issued a closure notice by the TNPCB citing some non-compliance with regard to the disposal of solid waste, Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals said in a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

"The company is in active dialogue with the TNPCB officials and is confident of resolving the issues and bringing the plant to a fully operational stage at the earliest," it added.

Last month, the US health regulator had inspected and cleared Alathur facility, paving the way for continuous supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from the plant to the global markets.

The Alathur facility manufactures a range of oral and sterile Cephalosporin APIs and caters to developed markets like the US, Europe and Japan. Cephalosporins are a newer class of antibiotics used in treating infections in different parts of the body.

Shares of Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals were trading 0.10% lower at Rs248.30 on BSE in post-noon trade today.


Slowdown in approval of new projects in Mumbai intensifies drop in registration of property sales in June

Nomura report says slowdown could lead developers to cut prices in the coming festive season, but this will be easier on new launches rather than existing projects

There has been a sharp 30% drop in registrations of property sales in Mumbai in June 2011 year-on-year, which confirms the worsening slowdown in the realty sector in the country's commercial capital.

According to an industry note by Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities, while high prices continue to deter new purchasers, it now seems that approvals for new projects are also slipping, resulting in a lower number of registrations.

Overall, in the first half of the year (January to June 2011), property registrations were down 20% year-on-year, in Mumbai, Nomura stated in the note published last week. A total 684 property purchase agreements were registered in the six-month period.

Prices in Mumbai city are up 15-20% on an average since January 2010-June 2010. Taking this into account, for a developer the total value of projects registered in Mumbai during January 2011-June 2011 is down only 4-8%, assuming that the product mix has remained the same.

Nomura points out that the slowdown in sales may have intensified further due to higher interest rates, which could pressure developers to bring down prices. Overall, even though the fall in registration volumes may not signal a very worrying situation for developers in the Mumbai property, the demand slowdown may have intensified further in the interim, pressurising developers to cut prices when the festive season starts in October 2011. For this to happen though, the authorities will have to release approvals for new projects, so that supply increases. For a developer, too, it is easier to price a new launch lower than it is to cut prices on an existing project.

Also, there is no need to be worried by a price correction in the Mumbai property market as it could generate a positive sentiment amongst buyers, even in the face of high mortgage rates. It is expected that volumes will move up once a price correction of 15% sets in.



Car sales post slowest growth in 27 months in June

Higher interest rates, rise in fuel prices and the 13-day strike at Maruti's Manesar plant affected consumers' decision to buy vehicles," SIAM president Pawan Goenka noted

New Delhi: Domestic passenger car sales saw its slowest growth in 27 months in June this year at 1.62%, mainly due to hikes in lending rates and production loss due to the 13-day strike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar unit, reports PTI.

Car sales in the country stood at 1,43,370 units in June this year against 1,41,086 units in the same month last year, according to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) today.

"This is the slowest growth rate since March 2009, when the increase was just 1.16%," SIAM senior director Sugato Sen told reporters here.

The auto industry has started slowing down in this fiscal with the passenger car segment growing by only 7% in May. Before that, that car sales grew by just single digit was in June 2009 at 8.23%.

"All segments grew moderately. Interest rates hike and rising fuel prices have affected the consumers' decision to buy vehicles," SIAM president Pawan Goenka said.

The passenger vehicle segment's lower than expected performance was also because of the 13-day long strike at the market leader Maruti Suzuki's plant in June that had resulted in production loss of about 12,600 units.

"Maruti is the market leader in the car segment. The production loss due to the major strike at its plant affected the entire segment's performance. Another major car maker Tata Motors' sales were also down," Mr Goenka said.

During the month, Maruti Suzuki India posted a 6.39% decline in domestic car sales at 57,653 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales grew by 10.73% at 30,302. Tata Motors saw a decline of 23.49% in sales to 18,522 units during the month.

According to SIAM, the total two-wheeler sales increased by 14.59% last month to 10,71,425 units from 9,34,975 units in June 2010.

Motorcycle sales grew by 14.97% during the month to 8,25,323 units from 7,17,859 units in the corresponding month last year.

Hero Honda continued its impressive performance with a 19.55% increase in sales to 4,68,310 units. Rival Bajaj Auto also posted a 12.06% increase to 2,08,883 units during the month, while Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales grow by 4.31% to 61,435 units.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its motorcycle sales falling marginally to 50,835 units during the month.

The scooters segment witnessed a growth of 10.99% in sales during June this year to 1,82,653 units from 1,64,567 units in the same month last year.

HMSI's scooter sales during the month were down 2.87% to 76,310 units, while that of TVS Motor Co grew by 12.46% at 41,012 units. Hero Honda's scooter sales during the month grew by 35.10% to 33,253 units.

Three-wheeler sales during June grew by 4.33% to 40,550 units as against 38,868 in the same month last year.

Sales of commercial vehicles jumped by 17.83% to 62,009 units from 52,627 units in the year-ago period.

Light commercial vehicles sales grew by 29.35% to 34,393 units from 26,590 units last year. Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales stood at 27,616 units as against 26,037 units in June last year, up 6.06%, SIAM said.

Total sales of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 12.84% to 13,62,984 units in June compared to 12,07,934 units in the same month last year, it added.


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