News Flashes

Stresscrete India - Open Offer

31st December 2005: Ashika Capital Ltd ("Manager to the Offer"), for and on behalf of Mr. Rajesh Babulal Vardhan ("Acquirer") along with Mr. Babulal Mishrimal Vardhan, Mrs. Diwalibai Babulal Vardhan, Mr. Ramesh Babulal Vardhan, Mrs. Manju Ramesh Vardhan, Mrs. Aruna Rajesh Vardhan and Mr. Dilip Babulal Vardhan ("Person Acting in Concert" / PACs"), has issued this Public Announcement, pursuant to regulation 10 & 12 in compliance with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 1997 and subsequent amendments thereto ("Regulations"), as below:

The Offer:

The Acquirer & PAC are making an Open Offer to the Public shareholders of Stresscrete India Ltd ("Target Company") to acquire 14,80,000 Fully Paid-Up Equity Share of Rs 10/- each, representing in aggregate 20.77% of the Post issue Voting Capital of the Company at a price of Rs 15.25 per equity share ("Offer Price") payable in cash.

Schedules of Activities

Specified Date: December 31, 2005

Date of Opening of the Offer: February 15, 2006

Date of Closing of the Offer: March 06, 2006

IVRCL raises $65mn via FCCBs

2nd December 2005: IVRCL Infrastructures and Projects have raised $65 million via foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs). According to a release issued by IVRCL Infrastructures and Projects to the BSE today, the zero coupon bonds have a tenure of five years and one day, and are convertible into equity shares at a premium of 55% to the NSE closing price of Rs 754.95 on November 30, 2005. "The proceeds are to be used for capital expenditure and investment in build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT)/build, operate and transfer (BOT) projects," E Sudhir Reddy, vice-chairman and managing director of IVRCL Infrastructures and Projects, said.

JBF Industries raises $34.5mn via FCCBs

2nd December 2005: JBF Industries has raised $34.5 million via foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs). According to a release issued by JBF to the BSE today, the five-year bonds are convertible into shares at Rs 90 per share. Jefferies International was the sole manager for the transaction, the release added.

Dawn Mills open offer at 13% premium

30th November 2005: Ambit Corporate Finance, on behalf of Alltime Mercantile Company and others acting in concert, today made a public announcement for buying up to 50,000 shares of Rs 50 each, representing 20% shares of Dawn Mills Company, at Rs 4,644 per share.

According to a release issued by Dawn Mills to the BSE today, the specified date of the offer is December 16, 2005. The offer will open on January 13, 2006 and close on February 1, 2006, the release added.

The shares of Dawn Mills closed at Rs 4,104 on the BSE today. The offer is thus at a premium of 13% (Rs 540).

Government zooms in on seven sectors for liberal FDI

15th November 2005: The big-bang liberalisation of the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, promised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has taken final shape, with the commerce & industry ministry identifying seven sectors for removing barriers to foreign investment.

The sectors chosen include petroleum, coffee & rubber, mining, coal & lignite, power trading, airports and trading. While there are some differences of opinion in liberalising FDI in wholesale trading of telecom products, and mining of precious stones, a broad consensus within the government has been arrived at in all other areas.

The FDI liberalisation roadmap, recently forwarded to the Prime Minister by commerce & industry minister Kamal Nath, includes permission for 100% foreign investment in gas pipelines meant for natural gas through the automatic route.

As of now, the government permits only 74% FDI in this segment through the automatic route and prior permission is required to exceed this limit. A similar proposal has been made for infrastructure related to marketing of petroleum products.

Mr. Nath has also proposed 100% FDI in airports under the automatic route compared with the current 74%. The government's earlier position was that 100% FDI can flow into greenfield airports, but that can be done only with the government's prior permission.

The letter to the Prime Minister also calls for 100% FDI through the automatic route, for exploration and mining of diamonds as well as precious stones. However, the department of mines is of the view that the status quo should be maintained in this sector - restricting FDI under the automatic route to 74%.

Mr. Nath is also of the opinion, that 100% FDI should be allowed under the automatic route for processing and warehousing facilities for coffee and rubber. Ownership of plantations would be excluded from this liberalisation, which will be restricted only to processing and warehousing facilities as this can lead to value additions.

The recommendations from Mr. Nath follow a call by the Prime Minister for FDI liberalisation to boost economic growth. An inter-ministerial group carried out a thorough review of the FDI policy for all sectors before the suggestions were finalised. All the concerned ministries and departments were also consulted.

For coal & lignite as well, Mr. Nath has suggested that FDI up to 100% be allowed for captive mining under the automatic route. As of now, FDI is allowed only to the extent of 74%, except in the case of captive mining by power plants. The liberalisation available to the power sector is now being extended for all other purposes.

In case of trading, the commerce & industry ministry feels the policy should be rationalised, while retail is still being kept out of the FDI ambit in view of opposition from the Left.

Therefore, Mr. Nath has suggested that FDI in trading be allowed under the automatic route for all purposes, including wholesale trading and imports for re-exports. This facility is already available for units located in SEZs.

Currently, FIPB permission is required to trade, and views of government departments may differ depending on the nature of the permission required.

Cash & carry trading, export trading, and trading of high-tech products would all be viewed as wholesale trading, attracting similar treatment under the new dispensation.

The only exception to liberalisation of FDI in wholesale trading could be telecom, where the department of telecom feels 100% foreign investment should not be allowed under the automatic route.

Allowing wholesale trading under the FDI route and paving the way for foreign investment in institutional sales would discourage investment in manufacturing of telecom equipment, the department feels.

There is considerable opportunity to attract FDI in telecom equipment manufacturing and the potential should not be wasted, the department has argued. The final view on the issue would be taken on the basis of directions from the PM, it is understood.

While carefully avoiding sensitive areas like insurance and retail, Kamal Nath has gone full-throttle in power trading, proposing 100% FDI through the automatic route.

Though such clearances would be subject to compliance with sectoral regulations, there will be no need to approach the FIPB. The proposal is based on the Electricity Act of '03, which permits trading in electricity as a licensed activity.

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