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Archive for May, 2008

Novartis’s Ranjit Shahani: Patenting Innovation ‘Is the Best Protection for Patients’

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

Concern is growing that patents hinder access to life-saving drugs in developing countries. While India clearly has made progress in advancing intellectual property rights, more needs to be done to align the country’s approach with international obligations and standards. In an interview with India Knowledge@Wharton, Ranjit Shahani, country president of the Novartis Group in India, spoke about the importance of safeguarding intellectual property and its impact on affordability and access to medicine. Novartis is challenging the denial of a patent for its cancer drug Glivec, as it is known in India. (In the U.S., the drug is called Gleevec.) Read the rest of this entry »


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Where Print Still Makes Sense: Business Publications Are Booming in India

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

A business daily is apparently good business in India. Though The Economic Times is the clear leader, India’s rapid economic growth has encouraged a sixth national contender. The emergence of small-town and rural India has similarly encouraged Hindi and other-language ventures. And what is happening in newspapers is being repeated in magazines.

In April, the Financial Chronicle, from the Hyderabad-based Deccan Chronicle group, joined the contest, starting with editions in Hyderabad and Chennai with a print run of 70,000. That is less than a tenth of the circulation of The Economic Times. But India’s changing demographics, and lower production costs than elsewhere in the world, make the economics of even a small business daily promising.

In most mature markets there is a single leader, whether it’s the Financial Times in the United Kingdom or The Wall Street Journal in the United States. That is the case in India, too. The Economic Times had average net paid sales of 750,621 in the July-December 2007 period, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Business Standard was a distant second with 170,378 and The Hindu Business Line was third at 146,925. Two others, The Financial Express and Mint — the product of a Hindustan Times-Wall Street Journal tie-up — did not participate in the ABC audits. Mint started in February 2007 with an initial print order of around 80,000. Source Knowledge@Wharton

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Retail in India: Capturing the Opportunities of a Complex Consumer Class

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

According to a McKinsey report, India’s consumer goods market is expected to reach $400 billion by 2010, which would place it among the five largest markets in the world.

Yet few subjects elicit both optimism and skepticism as much as the Indian consumer does. To the optimists, India represents a huge, untapped middle market, critical to any company with global aspirations. To the skeptics, India is still too poor by global standards — with most people living on less than $1 per day — for mass-market retailers to rush in. Read the rest of this entry »

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IDFC Plans to Raise Assets to $2 Billion for India Investments

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

May 30 (Bloomberg) — IDFC Private Equity Co., India’s largest infrastructure-focused private equity firm, plans to more than triple its assets for investments in roads, ports and power in the world’s second-fastest-growing major economy.

IDFC Private Equity will secure $700 million from overseas investors for a third fund soon, Luis Miranda, chief executive officer, said in an interview in Mumbai. He expects to raise another fund over the next three months for a combined $2 billion in assets. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oil India, consortium and Libya’s National Oil Corp sign exploration deal

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) – State-owned Oil India Ltd. and its consortium partners have signed an exploration and production sharing agreement with the National Oil Corp. of Libya to acquire four exploration blocks in Libya, a government release said.

The consortium partners are Sonatrach, the National Oil Company of Algeria and Indian Oil Corp., an Indian state-run company. The agreement covers contract area 95/96 in the Ghadames basin.

These blocks have a total area of 6,934 sq kms in the south western part of Libya around 700 kms from Tripoli, adjoining the Algerian border, and were allocated to the consortium in the public bid Round 4 for gas exploration.

Estimated reserves from the identified prospects indicated more than 2.0 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas and 95 million barrels (mmbbl) condensate with possible oil considered as an upside. The consortium is committed to a minimum work program of 2,000 km of 2D, 2600 square kms of 3D and 8 exploration wells, at an estimate cost of $152 million, the release said. Source CNBC

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India’s L&T to spend 20 bln rupees on shipyard project

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) – India’s engineering and construction conglomerate, Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (L&T) will invest about 20 billion rupees on the construction of a majority-owned shipyard project in south India, according to a senior company official.

MV Kotwal, senior executive vice president heavy engineering, L&T, told Thomson Financial News (TFN): “The company will spend 20 billion rupees to construct the shipyard near Ennore and the work will start by the end of the next calendar year.” The first ship will be rolled out by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, the official added. Read the rest of this entry »

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India’s Zydus Cadila buys Spain’s Laboratorios Combix for undisclosed sum

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) – Indian pharmaceuticals company Zydus Cadila Ltd. said it has bought Spain’s Laboratorios Combix for an undisclosed sum.

Laboratorios Combix has a portfolio covering 17 molecules and a range of products pending launch or in the pipeline, it added. Source CNBC

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India’s Glenmark gets U.S. FDA clearance to market skin disorder, diabetes drugs

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) – India’s Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. said its subsidiary Glenmark Generics Ltd. received U.S. FDA approval to market drugs that treat skin disorders and diabetes in the U.S.

The approval covers Mometasone Furoate ointment and cream, used to treat inflammatory skin disorders, and Metformin hydrochloride tables, used for lowering blood sugar levels, Glenmark said. Source CNBC

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Reliance may pay premium for MTN control

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – India’s Reliance Communications (RLCM.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) is prepared to pay a significant premium for control of South African mobile phone group MTN (MTNJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research), the FT Alphaville website said on Thursday.

The website said there were two options for the transaction: a straightforward cash and shares bid for MTN from Reliance, or a second plan under which MTN would retain its South African identity but Reliance Chairman Anil Ambani would own 34.9 percent of MTN. Read the rest of this entry »

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India’s Lupin gets tentative FDA nod for topiramate

Posted by Yogesh on Friday, 30 May, 2008

MUMBAI, May 30 (Reuters) – Indian drugmaker Lupin Ltd (LUPN.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday it had got tentative approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make and market multiple strengths of topiramate tablets.

The tablet, used for the treatment of seizures, is a generic version of epilepsy drug Topamax, owned by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

Lupin has got approval to market dosages of 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg, the company said in a statement.

Topamax had sales of about $2.2 billion in the year ended March 2008, Lupin said citing U.S. market research firm IMS Health. Source Reuters

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