Vodafone to discontinue services on inactive mobile numbers

“Vodafone India will discontinue mobile services for pre-paid customers on numbers that have no usage i.e. no voice calls (incoming or outgoing), SMS and data for any continuous period of 60 days,” the company said in a statement

New Delhi: Faced with shortage of numbers, telecom major Vodafone India today said it will discontinue services on mobile numbers of pre-paid customers that have not been in use for a continuous period of 60 days, reports PTI.

“Vodafone India will discontinue mobile services for pre-paid customers on numbers that have no usage i.e. no voice calls (incoming or outgoing), SMS and data for any continuous period of 60 days,” the company said in a statement.

Vodafone’s steps follow the guidelines by the Department of Telecom (DoT) for allocation of a new number series that are based on subscribers on visitor location register (VLR). The Vodafone statement added that the stringent norms have created an acute shortage of numbers for any telecom company.

This means that after discontinuing services to the customer, Vodafone will be able to allocate the same number to a new user.

There was no clarity, however, on the issue with regard to subscribers with life-time tariff package.

New customers will be intimated of the deactivation process in their starter kits, while existing customers will be informed via SMS and out-bound calls wherever possible, it said.

According to the data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the mobile subscriber base increased to 881.4 million by October-end from 873.61 million in the preceding month.

However, the number of active mobile subscribers, according to the visitor location register (VLR) data, during the month of was 626.18 million.

VLR numbers provide details on active customers at any given point of time, excluding switched-off and out-of-the- coverage area customers.

With the explosive growth in the Indian mobile telephony space, there is a concern among telecom operators running out of mobile numbers for allocation.

In the past, the government has examined the option of migrating to 11-digit cellular number from the current 10-digit in order to accommodate more users.

However, the government later opened up other series, allowing operators to move from the ‘98’ series to other series like ‘88’ and ‘78’, among others.

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Exclusion of bank mergers from CCI purview not good: CCI chief

“Such exclusions or exemptions are not good. Because when you have a competition regulator, merger issues should come to only that regulator,” CCI chairman of Ashok Chawla said on the sidelines of an Assocham event

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today said the proposed exclusion of bank mergers from its purview is "not good" as other sectors may also claim such exemptions, reports PTI.

“Such exclusions or exemptions are not good. Because when you have a competition regulator, merger issues should come to only that regulator,” CCI chairman of Ashok Chawla said on the sidelines of an Assocham event here.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee, in its report on the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, tabled in the Lok Sabha earlier this week, has supported the government’s proposal to keep bank mergers outside the purview of CCI temporarily but with certain caveats.

While it supports the government’s proposal to keep bank mergers outside CCI’s purview, it recommended that this exception should be considered as a special case.

Sections 5 and 6 of the Competition Act, 2002, empower CCI to approve high voltage mergers and acquisitions.

Earlier addressing the gathering, Mr Chawla said intra- corporate group restructuring will alter the country’s economic architecture and ultimately benefit consumers as more Indian companies get involved in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) than ever before.

“What I think is likely to happen and pay off is a fair amount of intra-group corporate restructuring which will generally clean up the manner in which business activity takes place and benefit consumers eventually,” he said.

He further said that the inter-play of market forces calls for a broad regime to avoid adverse practices and improve businesses for consumer satisfaction.

“We would like to encourage creation of entities which can deliver faster and better goods and services,” he added.

Minister of state for corporate affairs RPN Singh said emerging markets are compelling places to be in for international companies.

“M&A activity is likely to pick up worldwide in years to come due to higher growth and the desire of companies to invest the cash hoarded during recession,” the minister said.

He further said that the industry leaders must gather confidence, and facilitate regulators and policymakers to ensure sustainable inclusive growth for the well-being of all stakeholders in the society.

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Share prices may stabilise if today’s low holds: Monday Closing Report

Nifty may head for 4,425 if it goes below 4,550. A close above 4,685 is needed to hit 4,820

Concerns about the domestic slowdown and the weak Asian markets resulted in the Indian bourses closing lower for the fourth straight day. Today the Nifty crossed the second level of support of 4580, by hitting a low of 4,556, the lowest since 3 November 2009. If the index breaks the level of 4,550, we may see it going down to 4,425. However, for the benchmark to regain some strength, it has to close above 4,685, after which we may see some gains up to 4,820. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 60.30 crore shares, which is above its 10 day moving average.

Extending its losses into the fourth day, the Indian market opened lower tracking the weak Asian markets in morning trade. A possible downgrade of France’s sovereign rating by Fitch, amid the unending Eurozone debt crisis, also made investors jittery. The Nifty fell 29 points to open trade at 4,623 and the Sensex resumed trade at 15,440, a loss of 51 points over its previous close. The opening figures on both benchmarks were their intraday highs.

All sectoral indices led by banking were in the negative in early trade. The market was range-bound in subsequent trade in the absence of any domestic triggers.

The market fell to its intraday low in post noon trade following reports that research firm CLSA downgraded India to ‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’ in its Asia-Pacific relative-return portfolio. In a note the agency said that India’s problems were self-induced and the government sought to blame on the European crisis for its ills.  At the lows, the Nifty touched 4,556 and the Sensex declined to 15,191.

Value-picking after the indices touched the day’s low helped the market paring some of the losses in post-noon trade. However, the market settled in the red for the fourth day in a row. The Nifty erased 39 points to end the day at 4,613 and the Sensex declined 112 points to close at 15,379.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 303:1421.

The broader indices underperformed the Sensex today as the BSE Mid-cap index declined 1.99% and the BSE Small-cap index tanked 2.50%.

The marginal recovery in the post-noon session enabled three of the 13 sectoral indices— BSE Oil & Gas (up 0.96%); BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.61%) and BSE Auto (up 0.22%)—close in the green. The laggards were led by BSE Capital Goods (down 3.48%); BSE Bankex (down 3.08%); BSE Realty (down 2.89%); BSE Power (down 1.60%) and BSE PSU (down 1.59%).

Tata Motors (up 4.44%); Coal India (up 1.89%); Reliance Industries (up 1.78%); Hindustan Unilever (up 1.07%) and ITC (up 0.95%) were the top gainers on the Sensex. The key losers were Larsen & Toubro (down 4.06%); BHEL (down 3.70%); Jindal Steel (down 3.32%); DLF (down 3.05%) and State Bank of India (down 2.91%).

Tata Motors (up 4.41%); Cairn India (up 4.06%); SAIL (up 3.48%); Coal India (up 1.98%) and RIL (up 1.96%) topped the Nifty list. The main losers on the index were Axis Bank (down 5.91%); L&T (down 4.13%); Punjab National Bank (down 4.05%); Reliance Communications (down 3.51%) and Jindal Steel (down 3.49%).

The Asian pack settled lower following reports of the demise of North Korean leader Kim Jong il. The news, which raised concerns about political instability in the region, saw the Seoul Composite plunging as much as 4.4% in intraday trade. Stocks in China fell as data over the weekend revealed that housing prices increased at the slowest pace in a year.

The Shanghai Composite lost 0.30%; the Hang Seng declined 1.18%; the Nikkei 225 fell by 1.26%; the Straits Times tanked 1.55%; the Seoul Composite tumbled 3.43% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 2.24% lower. Bucking the trend, the Jakarta Composite added 0.05% and the KLSE Composite rose 0.14%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of equities totalling Rs220.25 crore on Friday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of shares amounting to Rs335.30 crore.

Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance, the home finance subsidiary of Sundaram Finance, is set to garner home loan disbursement business target of Rs1,800 crore for the fiscal 2011-12. The company has already crossed home loan disbursements of Rs1210 crore in less than three quarters and is confident of achieving its full year target. Sundaram Finance added 0.03% to close at Rs505 on the NSE.

Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals has received sanction of $100 million (around Rs532 crore) by way of external commercial borrowings (ECBs) from a consortium of Indian banks to redeem its outstanding Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs), which falls due in February 2012. The ECBs and the internal accruals would support the company to redeem the outstanding FCCB of $117 million (Rs622 crore), the company said. The stock plunged 9.26% to settle at Rs122.50 on the NSE.

Cardiac Science Corporation, a subsidiary of medical equipment-maker Opto Circuits is supplying cardiac devices to various football clubs in Australia as part of a campaign to reduce deaths from sudden cardiac arrest under the ‘Defib Your Club, For Life’ campaign. The campaign ‘Defib Your Club, For Life’ was sparked by the on-field death of a young player, Stephen Buckman, in May 2010. Buckman, 19, collapsed from SCA during training. Opto Circuits declined 3.99% to end at Rs187.50 on the NSE.

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