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Wipro believes that sales opportunities are huge in France for an IT outsourcing company and it is keen to expand its footprint in that country with stepped up investment
Indian information technology (IT) services provider Wipro Ltd has said that it is keen to expand its footprint in France as the country offers huge potential for growth and has stepped up its investment in the region, reports PTI.
"We invested in a senior leadership team. We are seeing excellent progress and we are extremely confident of our future in France," Wipro chief financial officer Manish Dugar said in a statement released in Dubai.
Wipro believes that sales opportunities are huge in France for an IT outsourcing company, it said.
The French government has undertaken a series of measures in recent years to make it easier and more profitable to do business in France. These far-reaching reforms have changed the equation for existing companies and new investors.
"It is a large under-penetrated market for offerings that take advantage of the global delivery model. But more critically, some of the world’s biggest and best corporations represent France. And French companies are becoming more and more international and global," Mr Dugar said.
Last week, French minister for the economy, industry and employment, Christine Lagarde and Michel Mercier, the minister for rural and regional development, presented the 2009 report on job-creating foreign investment in France.
"Against the backdrop of a worldwide downturn in foreign direct investment flows, the IFA and French regional development agencies recorded 639 job-creating foreign investment projects in 2009, an increase on the figure in 2007 (624), and nearly as many as in 2008 (641). The results for 2009 are the fourth-best in the last 15 years," the report said.
These investments will enable 29,889 jobs to be created or maintained (versus 31,932 jobs in 2008), which is broadly in line with the annual average since 2000 (30,400).
The UN report finds that 227 million people in the world have moved out of ‘slum conditions’ since 2000. At the same time, the study also stresses that 55 million new slum-dwellers have been added to the global urban population since 2000
India and China have together lifted at least 125 million people out of slums between 1990 and 2010, and improved the lives of slum-dwellers more than any other countries, a new report released by the United Nations said, reports PTI.
India has lifted 59.7 million people out of ‘slum conditions’ since 2000. Slum prevalence fell from 41.5% in 1990 to 28.1% in 2010. This is a relative decrease of 32%, the study found, according to the report called ‘State of the World’s Cities 2010/2011’.
"Lessening poverty and improving conditions in slums are part of India's urban development policy," the report said, pointing out four main reasons for it.
These reasons are: building the skills of the urban poor in their chosen businesses, and by providing them micro-credit; providing basic services and development within slum settlements, thus improving living conditions; providing security of tenure to poor families living in unauthorised settlements, improving their access to serviced low-cost housing and subsidised housing finance and encouraging the poor to take part in decision-making and community development efforts.
China has made the greatest progress on this front with improvements in the daily conditions of 65.3 million urban residents, the report said.
Proportionally, China's urban population living in slums fell from 37.3% in 2000 to some 28% in 2010, a relative decrease of 25%.
"Despite growing inequality due to the country's rapid economic advance, China has improved living conditions by embracing economic reforms and implementing modernisation policies that have used urbanisation to drive national growth," the report said.
Overall, the report finds that 227 million people in the world have moved out of ‘slum conditions’ since 2000. At the same time, the study also stresses that 55 million new slum-dwellers have been added to the global urban population since 2000.
"However, this achievement is not uniformly distributed across regions," said Anna Tibaijuka, head of the UN Human Settlements Programme.
"Success is highly skewed towards the more advanced emerging economies, while poorer countries have not done as well," she said.
Overall, the UN report finds that the number of people living in slums has risen from 777 million in 2000 to 830 million in 2010, and warns that unless urgent steps are taken, the number could rise to 900 million in 2020.
While cement prices have been on the upside over the past few months, analysts suggest that they will start falling from next month with the recently added capacities by various players boosting utilisation levels
Cement prices have skyrocketed over the past few months. However, analysts predict a fall in prices in April-May due to more capacity addition. Though the fall is likely to be gradual, the long-term movement of prices will depend on the decisions taken by the major players in the cement sector.
The recent increase in cement prices over the last couple of months with improved off-take due to a pick-up in infrastructure activity is a positive phenomenon for the domestic cement industry. "On the volume front, we expect a sequential improvement due to a pick-up in urban construction and real-estate activity. However, with the stabilisation of the new capacities, the supply is expected to surpass the incremental demand, which will create pressure on utilisation and consequently on cement prices," said Sharekhan Ltd in a research note.
During February, the Indian cement industry posted a moderate 4.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in despatches, riding on healthy demand from the central and western regions. The cement despatches were up by an impressive 13.9% and 8.5% in the central and western regions, respectively.
However, during the same month, all-India capacity utilisation declined to 83% from 92% in the same period a year ago. The decline was highest in the southern region, which recorded utilisation of 69% from 88% last year. The central region however, registered an increase of about 10% to 107% in capacity utilisation buoyed by strong demand arising from the infrastructure and real-estate segments.
According to an analyst with a leading brokerage, who preferred anonymity, companies that have commissioned their capacities in January will witness an increase in capacity utilisation which will in turn impact the volumes in April-May. Till January 2010, 10 million tonnes (MT) of new capacity has been added at an all-India level, he said.
Any planned capacity in cement takes around three to four months time to start operating at higher capacity utilisation levels. Dalmia Cements, India Cements, JP Cement and Grasim Cement are some of the companies that have commissioned their capacities in the past few months.
"Capacity utilisation will increase to 50%-60% in a matter of six months. Also, as we enter the April-May 2010 period, the cement demand that is growing at double-digit growth of around 11%-12%, will also be subdued," said Amit Srivastava, research analyst, Karvy Stock Broking Ltd. He further stated that region-wise, demand in the northern region will start decreasing, as demand from the Commonwealth Games construction activities will end by June-July 2010.
On a long term, basic cement demand is likely to grow at 9.5% to 10% in FY2011. While cement prices are likely to fall owing to capacity additions, the fall is expected to be a gradual one.
"The fall in cement prices would be gradual. Also, companies will start planning their capacity utilisation levels depending on the demand. In the long term, if they are able to achieve this demand-supply equation, cement prices will stabilise. However, companies will be able to reduce their utilisation levels only up to the point that their fixed costs allow them to do so," added Mr Srivastava.
Emkay Global Financial Services Ltd, in a note said, "Though we remain bullish on cement demand (factoring in 10% y-o-y demand growth over FY2010-12E), we expect the bunching up of capacities in Q2FY11-Q3FY11 to put pressure on cement prices. We expect close to 48MT per annum of new capacities to be added over H2FY10 and H1FY11. The steady ramp-up in utilisation of new capacities coupled with the onset of the monsoon is expected to see a reversal of the sector’s recent pricing power by Q2FY11. Overall, we expect the cement surplus in FY2011 to jump three-fold to about 22MT per annum as compared to 6MT per annum in FY2010. Hence, we believe that cement prices are unlikely to cross the previous highs of Rs257 (reached) in mid-July 2009."