- Hutch-Essar imbroglio about right of first refusal. Essar feels that it has the first right of refusal (FROF) if and when Hutch decides to sell off its stake in Hutch Essar. FROF means that after getting the best bid for its stake, Hutch will have to inform that price to Essar and offer its entire stake to Essar if it is able to match that offer. Only when Essar is not able to offer that price, can Hutch go ahead with the divestment to the third party. But there is a problem in this sort of interpretation.
- Essar and Hutchison Whampoa never entered into a shareholders’ pack for Hutch Essar. They ran the joint venture on the basis of a term sheet signed in July 2003.
- A term sheet is a letter of intent, not a legally binding contract
- The rights in the term sheet were conditional upon the parties signing such a pact. Legal experts are asking whether Essar’s rights are enforceable in the absence of any contract.
- Hutch believes it can sell its 67% to an overseas buyer like Vodafone, an overseas private equity consortium or the Hindujas without asking Essar.
- Hutch thinks it can even sell to the RCL led consortium as long as RCL’s stake in the SPC is less than 10%
- Essar’s rights are not reflected in Hutch Essar’s articles of association. This could make it difficult for Essar to take the company to court.
- Ordinance on SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) fixing by RBI
- An Ordinance is proposed to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to give the RBI freedom in fixing the floor and ceiling levels of the SLR. Now the SLR ceilings and floor are fixed in the Act itself.
- The limited purpose of the Ordinance would be to remove the 25% floor and 40% ceiling stipulated in the act.
- SLR holdings of banks are now reckoned to be close to 30% of their net demand and time liabilities.
- SLR was brought down from an effective rate of 37.4% in 1992 to 25% in October 1997 in line with the Narasimhan committee recommendations.
- Nandigram violence
- At least 7 people were killed in a series of clashes in surcharged Nandigram near Haldia where
’s Salim Group is slated to set up two SEZs. The clashes followed the rumours that the Halida Development Authority was gearing up to acquire farmland in Nandigram for the Salim SEZs. Indonesia
- Rangaswamy passes away
- Rangaswamy who? He is the person who kept on contesting every election in Karnataka and earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. He founded the “Hotte Paksha” (meaning: belly party) to champion the cause of the poor and made his debut in 1967. Thereafter he contested 86 times!!! That’s ‘never say die’ for sure. He passed away on Sunday after a brief illness.
- Commission for juvenile abuse cases
- A commission for protecting the rights of children on the lines of the National Human Rights Commission will be in place by this month end.
- It will have the powers of a civil court and will be able to summon and enforce attendance of any person and examining him or her on oath and ask for production of any document.
- The Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 was passed in the winter session of the Parliament. The act provides for at least one children’s court in the state or one for each district.
- Death penalty in various countries
- Some 68 countries in the world have retained the death penalty in their laws.
- UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon’s remarks that death penalty is subject to individual nations has sparked criticism.
- World’s largest TV network
- It is not owned by a broadcaster!!! It is owned by WalMart. Its in-store TV network is estimated to have had a viewership of over 100 mn.
- An in-store TV network is an advertising platform that enables advertisers to influence consumers within the retail environment.
- Packaged water business
the market size for this estimated to be about Rs. 1000 crores. India
- This market is suffering from steep operating costs, thin margins, and is characterized by the presence of strong regional brands.
- PE brigade calls the shots at the bourses in 2006
- Last year, the PE deals were worth $7.86 bn as against $5.4 bn in the previous year.
- Centre’s policy on down-linking
- Its down-linking guidelines (which are questioned before the Supreme Court) provide for mandatory sharing of private broadcasters feed with Prasar Bharati. The Centre is arguing that it is providing the private broadcaster a wide terrestrial platform to enable them earn more profits by way of advertisements.
- It alleges that the acquisition of terrestrial rights in important events by the private broadcasters is designed to create monopoly for profits and wants the guidelines prevail.
- Digital real estate
- Companies are banking on video games to evolve new business models and understand customer behaviour. They are building virtual headquarters inside games to develop new platforms for interaction among employees, test out new products and get customer feedback.
- Second Life, a game which is played out by 1.6 mn players globally is one such platform being used by the likes of IBM. IBM has purchased 10 islands in this game.
- Anyone who owns such real estate in games have to pay maintenance fees to the game developers.
- Foreign companies queue up for Indian flag
- Coastal and offshore sectors are attracting many to the Indian shores
- The number of foreign vessels seeking permission from the government for waiver of the Cabotage law has been mounting
- Cabotage is the regulation of transport services between two points in the same country, restricting it to carriers from that country. Originally starting with shipping, it now also covers aviation and road transport.
- Indians making their presence felt in political arena abroad
- Many young Indians around the world are now moving beyond entrepreneurship and making an impact on public life. Some of them are also making career changes to politics from successful business roles. Some examples of this tribe include:
- Bobby Jindal: who got elected to the US Congress from Lousiana
- Satveer Choudhary, Swati Dandekar and Kumar Barve: Representatives of the state legislatures (
USA) in Minnesota, Iowaand respectively. Maryland
- Lord Karan Billimoria: British Upper House. He is the first ever Parsi to sit in the House of Lords.
- Parmjit Dhanda:
Britain’s MP from Gloucester
- Harinder Takhar: Elected to the legislature in the Canadian
- Ruby Dhalla: MP from
Brampton Springdalein . Canada to join the Hague convention India
- The convention is on Private International Law
- To alleviate the difficulties in settling cross-border marital disputes coupled with resolving inter-continental child custody litigations.
- Dr. Hans Van Loon is the Secretary General of the Hangue Conference on Private International Law.
- The convention facilitates the reciprocal recognition of orders of courts of signatory countries.
- KIOCL: Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited
- The Supreme Court has ordered a ban on all mining activities by this company at Kudremukh on environmental grounds.
- So this PSU (Public Sector Unit) is switching to IT from brick and mortar mining activities.
- This company has suspended all its mining activities with effect from December 31, 2005 in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directions.
- Some excellent comments on the turf war between judiciary and executive
- The twin problems of administrative unaccountability and political corruption should be ascribed to the preponderance of a traditional social structure that has stymied functional democracy and inclusive governance. No judicial fiat can set that right. An unaccountable body of environmental technocrats, or an autonomous police force could, in such circumstances, be as anti-people as any.
- These comments are made in the context of the Supreme Court detailing the contours of Police reform and its orders on inclusion of certain members in the Forest Advisory Committee.
- Category III B compliant runway
is the only airport in the country to have this type of runway. It allows flights to land at as low a visibility as 50 meters. Delhi
- Mumbai has Cat II landing systems. All others are with Cat I facilities.
- The oldest known board game
- Senet from
, which has been discovered in its dynastic burials. Egypt
- It has been discovered in Merknera’s tomb (3300 – 2700 BC).
- Uranium world market
Canadaand produce half of the world’s uranium; largest consumer is US. Australia
- Largest uranium mining facility in the world is at
where 16% fo the world’s production is handled. This is in Canda. McArthur River Australiahas 702,000 tons of reserves while has 333,834 tons. These figures relate to the year 2003. Canada
- Gini coefficient
- It is an indicator of income disparity. A zero indicates that the income distribution is very equal. A one represents the largest income disparity.
Indiaclinches GI cases for tea in US and France Darjeeling
- It is a landmark development.
Indiahas won the cases in the courts of US and France protecting the geographical indication (GI) of tea in those countries. Darjeeling
- 2007 is the water year
- The government has declared 2007 as the ‘water year’.
- At present the per capita storage capacity in
Indiais only about 207 cubic meters as compared to 1,111 cubic meters in . China
- It is envisaged to promote ‘more crop and income per drop’ of water scheme.
- Training of water masters in panchayats through effective use of electronic and print media
- To create infrastructure and adopt appropriate practices to augment the utilizable water resources.
- Art funds and SEBI
- Though the concept of ‘art fund’ is relatively new in
, more than a dozen art funds have come into existence in the past two years. India
- Some of the funds include:
- Osian’s Art Fund, Fine Art Fund, Fernwood, Crayon Capital, Yatra Art Fund etc.
- SEBI is examining the possibility of monitoring them. It is of the view that these funds come under the ambit of collective investment scheme regulations if investment in these funds is offered to the public.
- Exchange traded funds (ETF)
- An ETF is one in which the issued securities are backed by certain physical commodity; say gold. It is listed in stock exchanges and tracks the price of gold.
- Sharia compliant index
- Sharia indices are structured to offer investors a set of stocks that are Shaira compliant. Sharia compliant index includes only those companies whose business activities and financial ratios comply with the Sharia norms.
- Arab investors invest only in ‘clean stocks’ and avoid shares of alcohol, conventional financial services, cinemas and hotels, tobacco, pork, defence and weapons.
- According to the Sharia norms, interest is forbidden, but sharing risk and responsibility and sharing profits is allowed.