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Wednesday, December 2, 1998

Executive Briefing 

Andhra Pradesh to set up international airport: The Andhra Pradesh government has announced its decision to set up an international airport in the private sector. State finance minister Ashok Gajapati Raju on Tuesday informed in a press conference at the secretariat that the cabinet has decided to allocate 5,000 acres of land near Shamshabad in the outskirts of twin-cities for the proposed airport, which will be set up as per international standards. The state will approach the National Airports Authority for the necessary guidelines to proceed with the project and global bids.

Exxon buys out Mobil for $80bn: Exxon Corp, the biggest US oil company, reached an agreement late on Monday to buy No. 2 rival Mobil Corp for at least $80 billion in stock in the world's largest industrial merger ever, a source familiar with the negotiations said. The source, who declined to be identified, said the deal could be worth up to $85 billion and an announcement was expected on Tuesday.

Total merges withPetrofina: France's Total SA said on Tuesday it planned to merge with Belgium's Petrofina to become the world's sixth largest oil group. In an all-paper deal, the new Total Fina group would have pre-forma 1997 sales of $52.96 billion, a net income of $1.92 billion and a combined market value of $38.8 billion based on Friday's share prices.

Business India award for Parvinder Singh: Ranbaxy Laboratories chairman and managing director Parvinder Singh has been selected for Business India's businessman of the year 1998 award. The selection for this award was made by an eminent panel chaired by Reliance Industries vice-chairman & managing director Mukesh Ambani and managing director Anil Ambani, joint winners of Business India's businessman of the year 1997 award.

VSNL's navratna formality completed: The government on Tuesday completed the formality of making VSNL a `navratna' company by appointing more directors on the board. This raises the number of directors on the board to nine. Thepart-time directors appointed on Tuesday are Eicher group chairman Subodh Bhargava, Infosys CMD NR Narayan Moorthy, Amit Ratan & Mama managing director Ashok Wadhwa and Telecom Commission former chairman HP Wagle.

State clears Nagpur mill land sale: The Maharashtra cabinet on Tuesday okayed MIDC's proposal to acquire 77,337 sq metres of land belonging to Empress Mills, Nagpur for a consideration of Rs 22 crore. MIDC will develop the land to set up infrastructure for readymade garment manufacturing and related textile activities. The sales proceeds will go towards revival of two sick textile units, Empress Mills at Nagpur and Narsingirji Mill at Solapur. The cabinet also cleared the proposal of giving Rs 10 crore to the Maharashtra State Textile Corporation to buy cotton.

Wockhardt to seek global pacts: Wockhardt Ltd has developed two new anti-infective compounds and is expected to seek global tie-ups for further clinical studies as part of its new drug discovery programme. The company'sprogress on the R&D front is backed by a 30 per cent growth in sales to Rs 220 crore for the five-month period ended November 30, 1998.

Mafatlal Industries suffers Rs 87 cr loss: Delay in the finalisation of Nocil's recast and downturn in the textile industry has led to Mafatlal group flagship Mafatlal Industries incurring a loss of Rs 87.01 crore for the year-ended September 30, 1998. The company had managed to rake in a net profit of Rs 3.20 crore during the same period last year despite adverse conditions.

Exide Industries seeks foreign tieups: Exide Industries Ltd, the Rajan Raheja-controlled storage battery major, is looking at technical alliances with world leaders as well as exports across its entire industrial portfolio. It is close to finalising a technical alliance for two of its industrial battery ranges.

Court order against Rashtriya Sahara newspaper: The first additional civil judge (SD) Agra in an order dated November 28 restrained the Rashtriya Sahara Hindi newspaperfrom publishing any defamatory news items against El Zee Television Pvt Ltd and the Zee TV group of companies, said a Zee Network press release.

Sebi right in price-rigging case upheld: The Mumbai high court has, in its interim judgment in the case relating to alleged price-rigging by brokers in Sterlite, Videocon and BPL scrips, upheld the right of Sebi to issue interim directions under section 11 (B) of the Sebi Act pending an inquiry.

SBI to focus on value-added products pricing: SBI has decided to push for "value-added" pricing of products, a shift from the existing concept of "cost-plus" pricing. Other priorities before the new chairman MP Radhakrishnan include paring the net NPAs level to below 5 per cent and turning the bank technology-savvy.

Centre to hike sugar import duty soon: The government will hike the import duty on sugar soon to protect the indigenous sector from cheaper imports, prime minister AB Vajpayee said on Tuesday. A remunerative procurement price would alsobe fixed for sugarcane, he told the BJP parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi.

BJP retains Broach LS seat: BJP candidate Mansukh Vasava retained the Broach Lok Sabha seat, the lone Lok Sabha constituency which had gone to the by-poll, by defeating his nearest Congress rival Iqbal Kakuji Patel by a margin of 51,488 votes. With every seat being important for the ruling BJP at the centre, the win should be a morale booster for prime minister AB Vajpayee as well as Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel.

Oil markets fall on plummeting crude: Distressed world oil markets lost yet more ground on Tuesday as a relentless slide in prices threatened more anguish for battered oil producers. London bellwether Brent futures traded at $10.40 a barrel, down six cents after touching a new 12-year low of $10.08 on Monday.

Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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