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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Indian Markets Being Dragged Into Global Turmoil: BofA-ML

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New Delhi: Indian equity markets are being dragged into the global turmoil and there is little end in sight as the Union budget is unlikely to be a meaningful catalyst for the markets, says a Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) report.

The findings of the report came a day after the benchmark Sensex crashed 807 points to drop below 23,000-mark on Thursday. The index closed 34 points higher at 22,986 on Friday.

Referring to the ongoing correction, the global financial services firm said Indian market is being dragged into the global turmoil.

“While it is most likely impossible to catch the bottom, we believe the ongoing correction provides a good opportunity to add equity in India,” BofA-ML said in a research note.

There is heightened anticipation in the market for the budget 2016-17, as the external environment is weak and corporate earnings growth is muted.

“In our view, the Budget for 2016 is unlikely to be a meaningful catalyst for the markets,” the report said, adding that the limited spending headroom and the imperative to support the rural economy means the Budget is unlikely to provide any substantial boost to economy.

Meanwhile, Asian markets ended weak on Thursday following Federal Reserve Janet Yellen’s testimony which suggested that the bank is likely to continue on the gradual rate hike path. European shares were also lower with indices in France, Germany and the UK staring at losses of up to 4 per cent as global selloff intensified.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said there was no need for “exaggerated panic” and investors should keep the economy’s inherent strength in mind while investing. The minister said major selloff in global markets created a chain reaction impacting the markets world over including in India.

Centre identifies five loss-making India Tourism-run hotels for disinvestment

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The Centre has identified five ITDC-run hotels, including Hotel Janpath in New Delhi for privatisation as part of its plan to disinvest eight such loss-making properties.

“Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi held a review meeting on February 8, 2016, in which it was discussed that five properties will now be taken up for disinvestment,” the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) said in a regulatory filing on Friday.
Besides Hotel Janpath, other properties in which the stake will be offloaded are — Hotel Patliputra Ashok; Hotel Bharatpur Ashok and property at Kosi; Hotel Donyi Polo Ashok and Hotel Pondicherry Ashok.

Hotel Janpath and Hotel Patliputra Ashok are ITDC properties while Hotel Bharatpur Ashok and the property at Kosi are owned by the Tourism Ministry and managed by the corporation. Hotel Donyi Polo Ashok and Hotel Pondicherry Ashok are properties of ITDC’s joint venture subsidiary companies.

Currently ITDC, a public sector unit under the Tourism Ministry, runs 16 hotels in the country, including three in Delhi and the rest in Jammu, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Patna, Bhopal, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Guwahati, Pondicherry, Mysore and Itanagar.

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During the National Democratic Alliance’s first stint between 1999 and 2004, the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had divested 18 ITDC hotels bringing down the number of state-run hotels from 34 to 16. Besides, a network of hotels, ITDC also runs 11 transport units, nine duty-free shops at airports and seaports.

On Friday, the stock of ITDC closed down 2.40% or Rs 3.70 at Rs 150.40 on the BSE.

Finolex Industries Posts Over Rs 42-Crore Net Profit in Q3

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New Delhi: Finolex Industries on Saturday reported a net profit of Rs 42.97 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, on account of lower expenses.

The company had posted a net loss of Rs 43.81 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal.

Net sales during the quarter under review declined by 15.18 per cent to Rs 540.87 crore as against Rs 637.68 crore in the same period a year ago, the company said in a BSE filing.

The company’s overall expenses stood at Rs 475.8 crore, down 28.61 per cent, compared with Rs 666.5 crore in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Last month, Finolex Industries, which is into manufacturing of PVC-U pipes and fittings, had said that it plans to invest Rs 100 crore to add 1,00,000 tonnes of pipes capacity over the next three years.

The Rs 100-crore expansion will be funded through internal accruals only as the company generates around Rs 150-200 crore cash flows every year.

The company’s current debt is estimated at Rs 500 crore and it aims to become debt free in three years, the company said.

The Pune-headquartered company has manufacturing plants located at Urse and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Masar in Gujarat.

Sun Pharma may ask USFDA to re-inspect Halol facility in next fiscal

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Drug major Sun Pharmaceutical Industries may ask the US health regulator USFDA to re-inspect its Halol facility in Gujarat in the first quarter of the next fiscal. The company is currently undertaking remidiation measures to make the plant compliant with good manufacturing practice norms.

“We hope to be able to request USFDA in the first quarter of FY17 for re-inspection of the Halol facility,” Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi said during an investor conference call on Friday. The company is undertaking remediation efforts at the facility, he added.

On being asked if the company was considering the production of some products manufactured at Halol facility at some other plant, Shanghvi said, “We are currently not considering site transfer for the Halol products”.
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The warning letter sent by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) over the Halol facility in December last year had mentioned that its inspectors had “identified significant violations of current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations for finished pharmaceuticals.” Besides, the US health regulator found that Sun Pharma “failed to establish appropriate controls over computers and related systems to assure that changes in master production and control records or other records are instituted only by the authorised personnel”.

The significant violations included the company’s failure “to maintain floors, walls, and ceilings of smooth, hard surfaces that are easily cleanable in aseptic processing areas”.
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“Our investigator documented the presence of leaks in the form of water stains and ceiling damage in the parenteral manufacturing area personnel corridor”, the letter had said.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on Friday posted an over three-fold jump in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,416.60 crore for the December quarter, driven by robust sales in domestic as well as international markets.

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The drug major, which had posted a net profit of Rs 395.33 crore during the same period last fiscal, also said that it will ‘mutually wind down’ its joint venture with MSD Pharma’s wholly-owned subsidiaries.

On Friday, the stock of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries closed down 2.09% or Rs 17.40 at Rs 848.35 on the BSE.

‘Black Box on Whitefield Road’ Unveils Inaugural Whitefield Art Collective, Bengaluru’s Largest Community Art Festival

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Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Virtuous Retail’s second flagship in India, VR Bengaluru announced details of the inaugural edition of the Whitefield Art Collective, a month long initiative to catalyse civic pride in the city’s heritage, art & culture.

Staying true to its core philosophy of ‘Connecting Communities’, and in the build up to the official launch in May 2016, Virtuous Retail’s flagship lifestyle destination VR Bengaluru will launch the Whitefield Art Collective presented in association with artchutney.com on February 13, 2016 . This initiative, which will be open to visitors from February 13 – March 13, 2016 aims to celebrate art, culture and sustainability following in the footsteps of the annual Dumas Art Project in VR Surat, Virtuous Retail’s flagship in Gujarat that opened in 2013.

The Whitefield Art Collective has a compelling vision to bring art to the community in an accessible and engaging format outside of traditional galleries. “Whitefield Art Collective, much like the Dumas Art Project, is a reflection of our strong commitment to provide a unique experience beyond shopping to our customers,” said Sumi Gupta, Director, Virtuous Retail. “Public art can enhance and transform space,” she added.

Dubbed by Bengalureans as the ‘Black Box on Whitefield Road’, VR Bengaluru has created a thoughtful destination that takes pride in the culture and heritage of its host city. VR Bengaluru (a play on ‘We are Bengaluru’) boasts a unique permanent art collection inspired by the city; these include a Channapatna toys installation, a 100 ft. mural depicting the history of the city, the ‘I LOVE BLR’ installation in an outdoor plaza fittingly named Garden City, Synergy by Dimply Menon The Capsule by Thara Thomas and Seeds on the Left Bank of The River by Murali Cheeroth.

Complementing the permanent collection, Whitefield Art Collective features a wonderful collection of installations created by the most prominent and promising artists from across India namely Vikash Kalra, Murali Cheerooth, Dimpy Menon, Subodh Kerkar, Ravi Shah and many more. An Art Bazaar featuring affordable art and photography by emerging artists will encourage and enable budding connoisseurs to start their own collections. A Video installation featuring the work of eleven artists will be screened in a pop-up lounge. Art Cinema by award winning artists such as Babu Ishwar Prasad’s “Gaali Beeja” will be screened during the festival.

To mark the launch of WAC on February 13, VR Bengaluru will unveil the VR Green Project, an attempt to focus attention on the issue of environment pollution. The project features an electric vehicle painted by renowned artist Farhad Hussain, in an effort to celebrate a solution that offers citizens a mobility choice that is more sustainable. The completed work of art will be auctioned at a later date with the proceeds being donated to a non-profit organization working on sustainability.

The Launch will also feature Thaalavattam, Live at Garden City. Thaalavattam which means ‘a circle of rhythm’ is a unique percussion project that harnesses the universal power of music to inspire people to REDUCE, REUSE and RETUNE. They fashion their musical instruments from ‘found objects’ such as paint cans, PVC pipes etc. and mimic street drummers to create cutting edge sounds that inspire creative action for the planet. The concert is open to public and will commence at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, 2016.

About VR Bengaluru

VR Bengaluru is one of Virtuous Retail’s 5 Lifestyle Centers in India’s top cities. As a first-of-its-kind community-centric integrated lifestyle destination, VR Bengaluru plays host to a boutique hotel, collaborative communal ​work spaces for startups and entrepreneurs, a multi-level premium retail arcade, a nine-screen multiplex including an IMAX, several pubs, cafes and restaurants along with an upscale food court, community event spaces, public art, a fitness club, spa and salon, and a rooftop pool alongside a unique banqueting space equipped with a large-scale LED screen.

The nickname ‘Black Box on Whitefield Road’ is inspired by the striking black façade, which makes VR Bengaluru stand out from the generic building landscape on Whitefield Main Road. Equally compelling is the unique mix of experiences and the integrated design of the development that enables customers to move seamlessly among the different uses.

With a series of other brand launches and community events planned throughout March and April, including the launch of The Waverly, a 60-key boutique hotel, and The Hive, a unique communal workspace, the ‘Black Box on Whitefield Road’ is set to become fully operational by May 2016.

Dates for the Whitefield Art Collective: 13 February to 13 March, 2016
Timings for the Whitefield Art Collective: 11 am to 10 pm

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