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ULTRATECH CEMENT

Ultratech Cement leads race to take over Binani Cement

Offers around Rs 6,200 cr, 20% stake in co to unsecured financial creditors

Dalmia Bharat offers Rs 6,300 Cr

Dalmia seen to lose as UltraTech offering equity stake to creditors

Final decision on winner to be ratified by NCLT

Business Standard Reporst

IRB INFRA

4 companies put in bids for 9 operational national highways under ‘toll-operate-transfer’ model

Brookfield Asset mgmt, Macquarie, IRB Infra and Roadis- NIIF are cos in fray

NHAI hopes to generate more than Rs 6000 cr Under TOT model

auction will involve five highways running across Andhra Pradesh and four in Gujarat
total length of these highways is just under 700 km

Successful bidder to get toll collection rights for 30 years

BALAJI AMINES

Ministry of Commerce recommended Central Govt Anti dumping duty on Dimethylacetamide

Recommend duty for 5 Yrs on DMAC originating from China and Turkey

ADANI TRANSMISSION

Co bags Rajasthan Project

Received a LOI to construct, own, operate and maintain Fatehgarh-Bhadla transmission project in Rajasthan

Received LOI from PFC Consulting Ltd, an arm of Power Finance Corporation

With this project, ATL will strengthen its existing presence in Rajasthan with 2 operational transmission projects and 4 under construction assets

On completion of this acquisition cumulative transmission network will reach 12000 ckt kms, out of which ~9000 ckt kms under operation

Transformation capacity of ATL will also increase to 19,300 MVA from 35 substations

FORTIS HEALTHCARE

To be out of F&O if it does not declare quarterly results by March 1

All existing F&O contracts will expire on March 28

No fresh contracts will be available if the firm fails to submit results for quarters ended September and December 2017 by March 1

  • SENSEX

    34,142.15 322.65   (0.95 %)
  • NIFTY

    10,491.05 108.35   (1.04 %)
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News In Brief

 

    US expected to open embassy in Jerusalem in May: Official

    Washington: The United States is expected to open its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem in May, a U.S. official told Reuters on Friday. 

    U.S. President Donald Trump announced last year that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, setting in motion the move of the embassy to Jeruslaem from Tel Aviv.

    (Reuters)

    Shell Convent refinery to shut gasoline unit in June for overhaul: Sources

    Houston: Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) plans to shut the gasoline-producing unit at its 227,586 barrel-per-day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana, refinery for a planned overhaul, said sources familiar with plant operations. 

    The 92,000 bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit and 16,500 bpd alkylation unit are scheduled to be shut for about six weeks of work, the sources said.

    (Reuters)

    Pentagon makes recommendations to White House on transgender individuals

    Washington: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has made his recommendations to the White House on transgender individuals and military service, the Pentagon said on Friday.

    Major David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendations had been made earlier on Friday and the White House would make any policy decisions. In September, the Pentagon said it had created a panel of senior officials to study how to implement a directive by President Donald Trump to prohibit transgender individuals from serving.

    (Reuters)

    Former Trump campaign aide expected to plead guilty in Russia probe: Reports

    Washington: Rick Gates, a former adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, was expected to plead guilty as soon as Friday in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, the New York Times and ABC News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. 

    Gates’ expected plea is a sign he will likely cooperate in Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in Moscow’s alleged election meddling. Mueller filed new criminal charges against former Trump aides Gates and Paul Manafort on Thursday, stepping up pressure in a legal battle that started last year.

    (Reuters)

    Russia says ready to agree on UN resolution on Syria but with caveats

    Moscow: Russia is ready to agree on a U.N. Security Council draft resolution in Syria but it needs guarantees on a ceasefire, Foreign Minister Lavrov said on Friday. 

    “There are no guarantees that (the rebels) will not continue shooting at Damascus residential areas,” Lavrov said in a briefing about discussions on a U.N. ceasefire resolution for Syria.  “That’s why for the resolution to be efficient -- and we are ready to agree on the text which would make it so -- we propose a formula which would make the ceasefire real, based on the guarantees of all who are inside eastern Ghouta and outside eastern Ghouta,” Lavrov said.

    (Reuters)

    EU calls for ceasefire in Syria's eastern Ghouta, urgent aid access: Statement

    Brussels: The European Union called on Friday for an immediate ceasefire and access for aid trucks, using a strongly-worded statement to express its anger at bombing of Syria’s eastern Ghouta. 

    “The European Union is running out of words to describe the horror being experienced by the people of eastern Ghouta,” the bloc said. “Unhindered humanitarian access and the protection of civilians is a moral duty and a matter of urgency ... the fighting must stop now,” the EU said in its statement agreed by all 28 of the bloc’s governments.

    (Reuters)

    Hungary wants at least half a billion euros for protecting borders: PM

    Budapest: Hungary wants at least half of the more than 1 billion euros (879.2 million pounds) it has spent on border protection to be reimbursed from European Union funds, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. 

    “We have spent over 1 billion euros on border protection. We are not only protecting ourselves, but Europe as well. At least half of this sum should be reimbursed,” Orban said in a video posted on his Facebook page ahead of a summit of European leaders in Brussels. He also said Hungary would propose to EU leaders a “red card” procedure to enhance the sovereignty of national parliaments that would give national parliaments the power to stop debates in Europe if they are perceived to be violating the national interest.

    (Reuters)

    Tech stocks pull Wall Street higher at open

    Bengaluru: Wall Street’s main indexes opened higher on Friday, led by gains in technology stocks. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.91 points, or 0.57 percent, to 25,104.39. The S&P 500 gained 15.52 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,719.48. The Nasdaq Composite added 51.44 points, or 0.71 percent, to 7,261.53.

    (Reuters)

    US dollar ends sharply cheaper against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar ended sharply cheaper against the rupee at 64.73/74 per unit but the pound sterling finished higher at Rs 90.25/27 per pound at the close of the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here today.

    Following are the Interbank forex and RBI rates: (In Rs per unit) Unit Interbank RBI Reference US Dollar 64.73/74 US Dollar Rs 64.8227 Pound Sterling 90.25/27 Euro Rs 79.7643 Euro 79.59/61 Japanese Yen (100) 60.59/61

    (PTI)

    Brazil's Temer says he will not run in October presidential election

    Brasilia: Brazil’s President Michel Temer said on Friday that he will not run in the October 7 election and denied that a federal security intervention in Rio de Janeiro state was designed to improve his low approval ratings.

    “I am not a candidate and I won’t be a candidate,” Temer, a former vice president who took office when leftist Dilma Rousseff was impeached in 2016, said in an interview with Radio Bandeirantes.

     (Reuters) 

    NCLT issues moratorium order against Orissa Minerals Development Co

    New Delhi: Orissa Minerals Development Company today said that National Company Law Tribunal has issued moratorium order against it for starting the corporate resolution process following the petition filed by Orissa Stevedores.

    "NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) has issued a moratorium order against the company for the purpose referred to in section 14 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 for initiating the Corporate Resolution Process pursuit to the petition filed under Section 9 of the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016 by Orissa Stevedores Ltd," the company said in a statement. Shares of the company were trading 0.72 per cent higher at 1,700.90 apiece on BSE.

    (PTI) 

    Romania's president expresses support for anti-graft chief

    Bucharest: Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Friday expressed support for the country’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, saying he had seen no evidence to justify a request by the justice minister to sack her. 

    Justice Minister Tudorel Toader called on Thursday for Laura Codruta Kovesi to be dismissed for “excess of authority”, triggering street protests and potentially destabilising a crackdown on graft.

    (Reuters)

    RBI sets rupee reference rate at 64.8227 against US dollar

    Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 64.8227 against the US dollar and 79.7643 for the euro.

    The corresponding rates were 65.0458 and 79.8307, as on yesterday. The according to an RBI statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 90.4017 and 60.59 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The SDR-rupee figure will be based on this rate, the statement added.

    (PTI) 

    Russia, Iran should stop Syrian government violations, Turkey says

    Istanbul: Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that Syrian government air strikes in eastern Ghouta were unacceptable, and called on Russia and Iran to put pressure on Damascus authorities. 

    “Russia and Iran need to stop the Syrian government,” Cavusoglu said, adding that an offensive by pro-government forces in the northern Syrian province of Idlib also violated an agreement between Turkey, Iran and Russia.

    (Reuters)

    Trump urges Mexico to block illegal immigrants from El Salvador

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday called on Mexico to do more to prevent violent illegal immigrants from El Salvador from entering the United States, again pushing his long-proposed border wall but stopping short of saying Mexico would fund it.

    Trump, in a post on Twitter, said U.S. law enforcement was removing gang members from El Salvador but that they continued to return, adding: “El Salvador just takes our money, and Mexico must help MORE with this problem. We need The Wall!”

    (Reuters) 

    Northern Ireland abortion laws violate women's rights, UN body says

    Geneva: The United Kingdom violates women’s rights in Northern Ireland by unduly restricting their access to abortion, a report by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women said on Friday. 

    “Denial of abortion and criminalization of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations,” the committee’s vice-chairwoman, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, said in a statement.

    (Reuters)

    Army repulses BAT attack near LoC in J-K

    Srinagar: The Army has repulsed an attack by the Border Action Team (BAT), a mix of Pakistani regulars and militants, near the Line of Control in the Tangdhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, officials said today.

    No casualty was reported in the incident that took place last night, they said. A BAT team attacked Indian troops near the LoC in the Tangdhar sector, prompting the Army to retaliate. The exchange of fire continued for nearly an hour and the attack was effectively repulsed, an Army official said.

    (PTI)

    General Mills to buy pet food maker Blue Buffalo in $8 billion deal

    Bengaluru: U.S. packaged foods company General Mills Inc (GIS.N) will buy natural pet food maker Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc (BUFF.O) in an $8 billion cash deal, Blue Buffalo said on Friday.

    The deal values Blue Buffalo at $40.00 per share, representing a premium of 17 percent to Blue Buffalo’s Thursday closing price.

    (Reuters)

    Saudi oil minister says oil market is rebalancing

    New Delhi: Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Friday oil markets are rebalancing and he expected inventories to continue declining this year. 

    “The oil markets, it’s clear, are rebalancing,” said Falih, who is on a two-day India visit since Thursday. “This is a period of soft demand as we all know because of seasonality. Refineries are undergoing maintenance as well as low consumer demand but the data speaks for itself.” “Many agencies have documented the decline in inventories and I think that’ll continue in 2018,” Falih said, adding that he hoped markets would stabilise.

    (Reuters)

    United States tells WTO of concerns over China's new web access rules

    Geneva: The United States told the World Trade Organization on Friday that Chinese internet access rules coming into force on March 31 appeared to create significant new restrictions for cross-border service suppliers and should be discussed at the WTO. 

    “The United States urges China to address these concerns quickly and pursue new policies that promote rather than disrupt cross-border transfers of information and trade in services,” it said in a statement to the WTO’s Services Council.

    (Reuters)

    Experts to discuss possibly regulating crypto-currencies: EU vice president

    Berlin: A group of high-ranking experts will next week discuss the possibility of introducing regulation of crypto-currencies, European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Friday. 

    Speaking during a visit to Berlin, Dombrovskis also said he did not see any threat to Latvia’s creditworthiness in view of a probe into whether its central bank chief accepted a bribe, allegations Ilmars Rimsevics has denied as his lawyers fight for him to keep his job. “It is more a question of damage to the reputation,” he said, adding that the European Union was looking at the issue.

    (Reuters)

    Putin is heir to Russia's long disinformation experience

    Moscow: Vladimir Putin doesn't tweet and he claims he doesn't have a smartphone. At first sight, the Russian president's reluctance to adopt the hyperconnected world's technology might seem at odds with the widespread belief that he signed off on a campaign to undermine the United States via social media.

    From the czarist secret police to the present, Russian operatives have adroitly exploited humans' biases and their capacity to believe the unlikely. The elaborate campaign of bogus identities and inflammatory statements alleged in last week's US indictment of 13 Russians used new technology and platforms, but drew on a century-old spirit.

    (PTI)

    UN envoy calls for urgent ceasefire in Syria hours before vote

    Geneva: The United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura renewed his urgent call on Friday for a ceasefire to stop both the “horrific” bombing of besieged eastern Ghouta and indiscriminate mortar shelling on Damascus. 

    The ceasefire needs to be followed by immediate, unhindered humanitarian access to eastern Ghouta and evacuation of sick and injured, de Mistura said in a statement read out by U.N. spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci to a Geneva briefing. The three guarantors of the Astana process - Russia, Iran and Turkey - must meet urgently to re-install the de-escalation zones in Syria, he said, speaking hours before a U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution on a 30-day truce.

    (Reuters)

    India offers Saudi Arabia stake in second phase of strategic oil reserve

    New Delhi: India has offered Saudi Arabia a stake in the second phase of the south Asian nation’s yet-to-be-built strategic oil reserves, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in New Delhi on Friday. 

    The government also discussed with Saudi Arabia investment opportunities in a proposed oil refinery with 1.2 million barrels per day of capacity on the west coast of India and a petrochemicals project in the south of India, Pradhan said. Pradhan said India has sought reasonable oil prices from Saudi Arabia that will make crude economical to Indian state-owned refineries without hurting the ‘interest’ of Saudi Arabia.

    (Reuters)

    Spain's Sabadell raises profitability target to 13% by 2020

    Banco Sabadell (SABE.MC) said on Friday it aimed to increase its return on tangible equity ratio (ROTE) to around 13 percent by 2020 from 7.27 at end-2017, buoyed by higher interest rates as it cuts non-performing assets as part of its new strategic plan. 

    In the 2017-2020 period, Sabadell said it expected net interest income (NII) - profit from loans minus funding costs - to register a compound annual growth rate of over 4 percent after it fell 1 percent in 2017 due to pressure from ultra-low interest rates.

    (Reuters)

    BMW, Great Wall sign letter of intent for electric Mini JV

    Frankfurt: German premium carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) and Great Wall Motor Co. (601633.SS) have signed a letter of intent to set up a joint venture for the production of electric Mini vehicles in China, BMW said on Friday. 

    “Next steps will be to agree on the details of a possible joint venture and cooperation agreement and clarify aspects such as the choice of production location and concrete investments,” BMW said. It said it would separately further expand its existing Chinese manufacturing venture with Brilliance (1114.HK).

    (Reuters)

    HKEX to offer concessions for US and UK-listed firms to list in Hong Kong

    Hong Kong: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) (0388.HK), the city’s exchange operator, said on Friday it plans to offer concessions to U.S. and UK-listed companies considering a secondary listing in Hong Kong. 

    The plans are part of the exchange’s efforts to woo blockbuster Chinese companies to its market, including tempting home tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.N) and Baidu (BIDU.O) that are listed in New York.

    (Reuters)

    UK's Gove says May's Brexit meeting 'agreed on the way forward'

    London: British Environment Secretary Michael Gove said Thursday’s meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and her senior ministers on Brexit went well with agreement on strategy reached.

    “I had a very good meeting with the rest of the cabinet sub-committee,” Gove told Sky News on Friday.“There was a very, very good atmosphere and we agreed on the way forward,” he said.

    (Reuters) 

    Sonia Gandhi to visit Raebareli on Saturday

    Raebareli: Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be on a day's visit to her constituency tomorrow to attend a meeting of the district vigilance and monitoring committee.

    She will also inaugurate various schemes from MP's discretionary fund at Bhuemau guest house and will meet party leaders, KL Sharma, Gandhi's representative, said here. "Sonia Gandhi will be on a day visit to her constituency on February 24. During the visit, she will be attending the meeting of the district vigilance and monitoring committee," he said.

    (PTI)

    CVC weighing IPO for Dutch firm Stage Entertainment: report

    Amsterdam: Dutch company Stage Entertainment is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of shares, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Friday.

    Owners CVC Capital Partners [CVC.UL] and founder Joop van den Ende have hired Goldman Sachs to investigate a possible IPO, with the process still in an early phase, sources close to the matter told the newspaper. They estimated the value of Stage Entertainment at up to around 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

    (Reuters)

    Wheat futures rise 0.68% on uptick in demand

    New Delhi: Wheat prices were up 0.68 per cent to Rs 1,785 per quintal in futures market today as speculators built up fresh positions amid pick up in demand in the spot market.

    At the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, wheat for delivery in March moved up by Rs 12, or 0.68 per cent,to Rs 1,785 per quintal with an open interest of 6,870 lots. Similarly, the wheat for delivery in April contracts was also trading higher by Rs 7, or 0.40 per cent, to Rs 1,750 per quintal in 330 lots.

    (PTI)

    Phoenix Group to raise 950 mn pounds to fund Standard Life Aberdeen deal

    Phoenix Group on Friday said it would raise 950 million pounds in a rights issue to finance the acquisition of Standard Life Aberdeen’s European life insurance business for 2.93 billion pounds.

    The deal would create an enlarged group with 240 billion pounds of legacy assets and 10.4 million policyholders, Britain’s largest owner of closed life assurance funds said.

    (Reuters)

    Standard Life Aberdeen sells insurance unit to Phoenix for 3.24 billion pounds

    London: Standard Life Aberdeen said on Friday it would sell an insurance division to Phoenix Group for 3.24 billion pounds, as it posted 2017 pretax profit of 1 billion pounds. 

    “This transaction completes our transformation to a capital light investment business,” Chairman Gerry Grimstone said in a statement, published alongside the company’s first set of annual results since it formed last year through the 11 billion pound merger of two Scottish rivals.SLA said in a separate statement that Grimstone would stand down as chairman at the end of 2019.

    (Reuters) 

    IAG profit rises 19 percent, to return 500 million euros through buyback

    London: British Airways owner-IAG posted a 19 percent rise in annual profit on Friday, broadly in line with expectations, and said it expected a further improvement in profit this year, as it announced a 500 million euro (441 million pounds) share buyback.

    IAG’s operating profit before exceptional items rose to 3.015 billion euros in 2017, compared to a consensus forecast of 3.046 billion euros, and ahead of the 2.535 billion euros it made last year. The airline said it would return 500 million euros to shareholders during 2018, in its second share buyback in two years.

    (Reuters)

     

    Australian deputy prime minister resigns after affair with staffer

    Sydney: Australia’s deputy prime minister said on Friday he will resign as leader of his party after weeks of pressure over an affair with a staffer that brought him into open conflict with his premier and threatened to shatter a decades-old coalition.

    Barnaby Joyce said he will step down on Monday as leader of the National party, the junior partner in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s centre-right coalition, after resisting earlier calls to quit over the affair with his former media secretary, with whom he is expecting a child.

    (Reuters)

    Modi greets Trudeau with hug at ceremonial reception

    New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau on Friday welcoming him with a hug ahead of a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, putting to rest speculations about the government cold-shouldering the visiting dignitary.

    After Trudeau, his wife Sophie, and children Xavier, Ella-Grace and Hadrien, alighted from a car on the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi shook hands with Trudeau and then hugged him.

    (IANS)

    Important for BOJ to keep current policy framework: Japan Finance Minister

    Tokyo: Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday that it was important for the Bank of Japan to maintain its current monetary policy framework.

    Aso also said he wanted to raise the national sales tax as scheduled in October 2019, to 10 percent from 8 percent now. He spoke in response to questions from an opposition lawmaker in the lower house of parliament.

    (Reuters)

    N Korea's Chol 'right person' for inter-Korean, denuclearisation talks: Yonhap citing spy agency

    Seoul: The official North Korea is sending to South Korea’s Winter Olympics closing ceremony, Kim Yong Chol, is the “right person” for inter-Korean and denuclearisation talks, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported on Friday citing a lawmaker briefed by the country’s spy agency.

    “It’s possible to speculate but it cannot be stated clearly that Kim Yong Chol gave the order (to torpedo the Cheonan),” said Kang Seok-ho to Yonhap and other reporters after being briefed by the spy agency.

    (Reuters)

    Oil higher on drop in US inventories

    Oil prices edged up on Friday, supported by lower U.S. crude inventories, but gains were capped by a surge in U.S. exports that dragged net imports in the world’s biggest fuel consumer to a record low.

    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.89 a barrel at 0206 GMT, up 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude futures were up 5 cents, at $66.44 a barrel.

    (Reuters)

    Gold slips on dollar strength

    Gold prices slipped on Friday and were headed for their sharpest weekly drop in 2-1/2 months as the dollar strengthened during the week.

    Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,328.90 an ounce as of 0338 GMT, heading for a fifth session of fall in six. It has shed 1.4 percent so far this week, its biggest since the week ended Dec. 8, 2017. US gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,331.2 per ounce.

    (Reuters)

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