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Top 10 Indian business news of the week [16th-22nd 2012]

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

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Rupee falls below 55 mark, Sensex slips 212 points on Friday

The rupee dropped 21 paise to close at 55.06 against the US dollar on Friday. Commentators have attributed the drop to a sustained demand for USD from importers and concerns over the US fiscal cliff. The Sensex also witnessed its largest drop in over two months, plunging 212 points to close the week at 19,242.

The top Group A losers on BSE were Jet Airways (India) Ltd (-7.03%), Adani Power Ltd (-6.65%), Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd (-5.65%), IFCI Ltd (-5.56%) and Strides Arcolab Ltd (-4.85%).

Mahindra & Mahindra to buy out Navistar International Corp’s stake in Mahindra Navistar

Navistar International Corporation announced Mahindra & Mahindra’s intentions to buy out its stake in Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd (MNAL) and Mahindra Navistar Engines Pvt Ltd (MNEPL). Mahindra will take complete ownership of the two joint ventures in a deal worth Rs. 175 crore.

"While the Indian market has not expanded as we had originally expected and industry challenges there continue in the near term, we still see promise in India going forward. But given Navistar’s 2013 priorities, our capital and focus needs to be allocated to other business opportunities in the near term" said Troy Clarke, President and CEO, Navistar.

Uninor to shut down operations in West Bengal

Uninor announced its intent to shut down its operations in Kolkota and West Bengal circles as a result of license cancellation and the unavailability of new spectrum. The telecom operator will be issuing a public notice to customers in these circles to exhaust their balance and port their numbers to other operators.

"We have all been a part of an extraordinary fight back for which I credit our employees and partners and remain grateful to our customers in each of our circles. In Kolkata and West Bengal our focus now is on conducting the process of closure with full transparency and responsibility to minimize the negative impact this outcome has on all those affected by it" said Sigve Brekke, MD, Uninor.

Reliance Power Ltd promoters complete Offer of Sale (OFS), raise Rs. 1,500 crore

Reliance Power Ltd (RPL) announced the completion of an Offer of Sale (OFS) which saw its founders and promoters offloading 5.42% of the privately owned power generation company. The OFS raised nearly Rs. 1,500 crore and shares exchanged hands at a gross price of Rs. 95 per share. The stake sale will increase public shareholding in the company to 25%, helping it meet a regulatory requirement. RPL’s shares closed the week at Rs. 91.70 on BSE.

BGR Energy Systems awarded Rs. 1,548 crore order from NTPC ltd

BGR Energy Systems announced that it had been awarded orders to supply 2 x 800 MW Steam Turbine and Generators for NTPC Ltd’s Lara super thermal power project in Chattisgarh. The order is valued at Rs. 1,548 crore and the Chennai headquartered EPC company said that its order book stood at Rs. 14,077 crore.

Ratan Tata appointed Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry to be appointed Chairman

The Tata Group conferred Ratan Tata with the honorary status of Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons. This makes him the third family member to be given the title. Tata Sons is the holding company of the Tata Group with a bulk of shareholding across its various business domains.

Ratan Tata will reportedly be giving up his responsibilities from 28 December 2012 when he turns 75. He will be succeeded by 44 year old Cyrus P Mistry.

DLF Ltd sells Aman Resorts to founder Adrian Zecha for $300 million

DLF Ltd announced the sale of Aman Resorts, a luxury hotel chain back to its founder Adrian Zecha for $300 million or approximately over Rs. 1,600 crore. India’s largest realty player will still hold ownership over the Aman New Delhi property which was formerly known as Lodhi Hotel.

The deal is said to be a part of DLF’s strategic exit from its non-core assets.

State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur apply to RBI for online branch

State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (SBBJ) has reportedly applied to the RBI for an online branch at SBBJ.com. Customers who hold accounts at SBBJ.com will be serviced from any other branch of the bank. "We have made an application to RBI for a virtual branch on December 12 and if we get permission, it will be the first such branch" said Shiva Kumar, MD, SBBJ.

RBI leaves rates unchanged

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) left policy rates and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 8% and 4.25% respectively.

"Furthermore, the easing of international commodity prices, particularly of crude, is expected to impart some softening bias to the evolving inflation conditions if it is not offset by the impact of rupee depreciation" said the bank’s mid-quarterly monetary policy review. It expects moderation of core inflation as a result of excess production capacity in certain industry sectors.

Gulf Oil completes $1 billion acquisition of Houghton Group

Hinduja Group owned Gulf Oil completed its acquisition of US based Houghton International for $1.045 billion or approximately Rs. 5,747 crore.

"We are delighted that we have been successful in acquiring Houghton in the face of strong competition and shall strive to strengthen and support Houghton in the coming days" said Sanjay G Hinduja, Chairman, Gulf Oil. Houghton International manufactures metal working fluids.

The acquisition will reportedly make Gulf Oil the world’s 9th largest lubricant company.

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