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Top 10 Indian business news of the week [Oct29th-Nov4th 2012]

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Here’s a look at this week’s top 10 Indian business news.

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GM launches Chevrolet Sail U-VA for Rs. 4.44 lakh

General Motors (GM) launched its premium hatchback Chevrolet Sail U-VA for a starting price of Rs. 4.44 lakh. "The much-anticipated Chevrolet Sail U-VA hatchback is an important addition to GM’s small car portfolio in India. It brings a new sense of vitality to the largest, fastest-growing and most competitive segment in the domestic passenger car market" said Anil Mehrotra, VP and CFO, GM India.

The hatchback is available in petrol and diesel variants. The petrol version is powered by a 1.2 litre Smartech engine giving a company claimed average of 18.2 kmpl. The diesel variant is powered by a 1.3 litre Smartech Turbocharged engine with a claimed mileage of 22.1 kmpl. Sail U-VA is reportedly priced between Rs. 4.44 lakh to Rs. 5.57 lakh for the petrol variants and Rs. 5.87 lakh to Rs. 6.62 lakh for the diesel variants.

RBI leaves rate unchanged

RBI left interest rates unchanged amidst market expectations of a rate cut. The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) for banks was cut 25 basis points to 4.25%, expected to inject Rs. 17,500 crore into the banking system.

Wipro second quarter net profit Rs. 1,611 crore, up 24%

Wipro announced its earnings for quarter ending 30 September 2012 and logged a net profit of Rs. 1,611 crore, up 24% from the same period last year. Total revenues of India’s third largest IT company were Rs. 10,657 crore, up 17% from Rs. 9,007 crore in Q2 2011. "We have chartered a new course for Wipro by demerging our diversified Non IT businesses. I am confident that the demerger will enhance value for all our stakeholders and provide fresh momentum for growth for each of our businesses" said Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro.

Jet Airways’ second quarter after tax loss shrinks 86%

Jet Airways narrowed down its after tax losses by 86% from Rs. 713 crore in Q2 2011 to Rs. 99.7 crore in Q2 2012 while revenues amounted to Rs. 4,191 crore, up 25.8%. "We have focused on removing loss making routes, network rationalization and selectively adding routes which made economic sense" said Nikos Kardassis, CEO, Jet Airways in a press release.

GE Capital to invest Rs. 125 crore in research subsidy of Biocon

GE Capital, via its subsidiary GE Equity International Mauritius, has signed an agreement to invest Rs.125 crore in Syngene, a subsidiary of Biocon. The equity investment will give GE Capital a 7.69% stake in Syngene, a contract research organization with more than 1,500 scientists working towards drug discovery and other developmental services.

"GE Capital’s investment in Syngene, Biocon’s subsidiary, is a validation of our research services business model which has delivered consistent value to our partners as well as other stakeholders. This takes us closer to our commitment of taking Syngene through an IPO at the most opportune time" said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and MD, Biocon in a press release.

Jindal Steel and Power to invest Rs. 50,000 crore in Chhattisgarh

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) is set to invest Rs. 50,000 crore in Chhattisgarh over the next 10 years. "We have already invested Rs. 25,000 crore in the state and would add another Rs. 50,000 crore" said Navin Jindal, Chairman, JSPL. This is reportedly a part of MoUs worth over Rs. 1.22 lakh crore, signed by the Chhattisgarh government with companies including JSPL and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL).

Maruti Suzuki October sales zoom 86.6%

Maruti Suzuki clocked sales of 96,002 units in October 2012, an 86.6% increase from 51,458 in the same month last year. Sales of passenger cars across virtually all segments saw three digit percentile growth. Maximum sales in the passenger car segment for India’s largest auto maker came from the combined sales of M800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR, amounting to 42,223 units in October 2012.

The interruption in production in October last year at the company’s Manesar plant is believed to have contributed to the spike in sales figures. Overall, the company has achieved 8.5% growth in YTD sales figures in 2012 as compared to 2011.

Hinduja Group expected to buy US based Houghton for $1.1 billion

Reports said that Hinduja Group is set to buy US based oil, chemicals and lubricant manufacturer Houghton for $1.1 billion. The Pennsylvania based company services automotive, steel and metal industries with high quality oils, lubricants, chemicals and other fluids.

Reliance ADA Group to invest Rs. 25,000 crore in its integrated power plants in Madhya Pradesh

Anil Ambani led Reliance ADA Group announced plans to invest Rs. 25,000 crore in its integrated power plants in Madhya Pradesh. "We will sell power to the state at Rs 1.19 for the next 25 years" said Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance ADA Group. The announcement was reportedly made at the Global Investor Meet at Indore, MP.

Suzlon Group files for Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR)

Suzlon Group reportedly filed for Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) to restructure its debt after the wind turbine manufacturer defaulted on redemption of convertible bonds worth in excess of $220 million. "This is an important step towards stabilizing our business by enhancing liquidity and injecting additional working capital. We believe this will help us to safeguard the interests of our key stakeholders, including customers and vendors" said Kirti Vagadia, CFO, Suzlon Group.

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