TVS Motor will not hike prices next month

The prices for TVS Motor vehicles will not increase from next month. However, by April 2010, analysts believe that the consumer may have to spend more for TVS vehicles

India’s third largest two-wheeler maker TVS Motor Co Ltd has said that it is not going to increase prices despite rising steel costs. However, analysts believe that the company would increase prices from the next fiscal.

A senior official from TVS Motor said, “I don’t think that TVS Motors will increase the prices of its vehicles in January despite higher steel prices. However, the company may review prices in the next two-three months.”

Automakers are planning to go for price hikes in a phased manner—the first hike will be in January followed by another hike in April next year.

Analysts said that TVS Motor may not be affected by the current rise in steel prices because the company has contracts for steel supply till the first quarter of next year.

However, with the replacement of Bharat Stage Norms (BSN)-II by BSN-III in April 2010, the company may make the consumer spend more due to the improvement in its engines, the analyst said.

According to a PTI report, TVS Motor, which started exports of its three-wheelers a couple of months back, is also planning to venture into new markets like Bangladesh, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala.

"Our plan is to enter the diesel passenger market in the auto-rickshaw category of three-wheelers and we should be able to accomplish this within 18-24 months," HS Goindi, TVS Motor’s president for marketing told the media. The diesel three-wheeler will target the semi-urban and rural markets, he said, without disclosing details.

Mr Goindi said that the company had a presence in two-stroke and four-stroke engine segments in petrol, LPG and CNG variants.

According to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), TVS Motor sold 11,36,344 units of two-wheelers in the domestic market in 2008-09.
 

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What will SEBI decide today?

The directors of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will meet under the chairmanship of Mohandas Pai (director of Infosys Technologies Ltd) to decide on the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) issue after its controversial decision to declare two orders of the Mohan Gopal-V Leeladhar (both SEBI board members) committee as void or 'non est'.

All these manoeuvres are to protect SEBI chairman CB Bhave, who used to head the NSDL and has adopted the posture that the depository is virtually beyond criticism. When Mr Bhave took over as SEBI chairman, the finance ministry devised a ‘ring fence’ to shield him from the punitive action against NSDL that was initiated in the aftermath of the IPO scam of 2006 (where some investor cornered a big chunk of shares reserved for retail investors by using trickery to file multiple applications). The NSDL was accused of failing to detect tens of thousands of multiple applications even when the scamsters brazenly consolidated them into seven or eight accounts prior to issue opening.
 
It may be recalled that SEBI had suppressed the orders of the Gopal-Leeladhar committee for almost a year and made them public only after a public interest litigation was filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court forcing their disclosure. Even then, the board decided to declare the orders 'non est' on the rather dubious excuse that the committee had exceeded its powers by criticising SEBI itself. It then decided to hear the NSDL issue afresh and 'dispose of the case'. It is largely believed that the SEBI board will give NSDL a clean chit.
 
This view has since been criticised by Justice JS Verma, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India. Justice Verma had opined that "the recent decision (of the) SEBI board to review and declare as ‘non-est’ two quasi judicial orders of SEBI violates established legal and Constitutional principles. These quasi judicial orders may be reviewed only by a judicial forum with requisite jurisdiction, at the instance of a petitioner with standing to seek relief."
 
When the SEBI board meets today under Mohandas Pai's leadership, it will have to discuss Justice Verma's opinion, while earlier, it has acted on an opinion by C Achuthan, former presiding officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). Opinion among legal circles as well as the capital market is that Justice Verma's reputation and the succinct views in his opinion carry far more weight. The question is: Will the SEBI board ignore all this?
 
There is also another issue about Mr Achuthan's opinion that will have to be considered by the board. The SEBI committee which obtained Mr Achuthan's opinion, had omitted to take into account that he is a director of the National Stock Exchange (NSE). More pertinently, his firm has represented the registrar Karvy and several other firms indicted by SEBI in the IPO scam. There is a strong view that this represents a conflict of interest that was not openly disclosed to the board by SEBI officials who are working overtime to protect Mr Bhave or follow his diktat.
 
There is also an opinion among legal circles that the entire SEBI board cannot act as a quasi-judicial body to decide matters that are controversial.
 
It now remains to be seen if the SEBI board, which includes representatives of the finance ministry, ministry of company affairs as well as the Reserve Bank of India decide to brazen it out and dispose of the NSDL issue under Mohandas Pai's chairmanship.

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Spirituality for the masses, now wrapped in print

In India, the spiritual route has always been an easy way to make money. Now, the Times Group wants to cash in on this trend by launching a weekly newspaper based on ‘The Speaking Tree’, a spiritual column that is published in the inside pages of the Times of India (TOI).

According to sources, Narayani Ganesh, a senior editor at TOI, will be editing the newspaper. Moneylife contacted the management of Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, the publishers of TOI, but they were not willing to comment on this development.

Spirituality is a booming business in India. The Times Group won’t be starved for content as there are enough spiritual and religious entities spread across the country which lean on the media for publicity.

 “The Speaking Tree is for a niche market and is written by variety of writers. Since it is written by different writers, some writings are interesting and some are boring. It (the quality) totally depends on who writes it. By and large, people tend to skip the column because it is not very well written. They (TOI) need to work on the writing style to reach the masses,” said Prahlad Kakkar, a renowned advertising guru.

Sources say that the TOI Crest edition, which was recently launched by the company, has not taken off. However, supplements which are clubbed along with TOI like Bombay Times or motoring magazine Zigwheels are doing good business, as they are propped up by expensive advertorials.  

Crest is now given away free at most Crossword outlets. This means that they (the Times Group) will eventually give it away free of cost as a weekend supplement (to TOI),” said PK Ravindranath, a senior journalist. “I read three issues of Crest very carefully and found that it is as good or as bad as TOI itself. It has shallow content and mostly paid advertorials,” he added.

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COMMENTS

Shibaji Dash

6 years ago

If they combine Speaking Tree with ' Cosmic Uplink' of the Eco Times it will make great business sense. Indians excepting those BPLs at the bottom of the pyramid are highly stressed/depressed etc to lap up anything from the venerable Ramdev's massive ayurvedic concoctions to any tablet for tranquility against the irritable bowel syndrome. Only thing missing from the market is a spiritual mag to read in the car while travelling or to take mind off at home or hotel.

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