What Would King George VI Have Said About Singapore’s Rice Crisis?

Pest storms are devastating rice production in Singapore, which is no good for anyone since this grain is a staple throughout Asia.  This is becoming a threat to the country’s food security and could completely destroy rice farms throughout the region, according to Singapore scientists.  Indeed, there is talk that the pesticides used to counter this problem may be doing the opposite – making it worse.  The problem has partly been caused by trying to go cheap:  use of less expensive pesticides; poor farmer education and destruction of ecosystems around paddies, to name but a few.

Historically this wouldn’t have been the case.  Farmers took immense pride in their plots and ensured their produce was protected.  King George VI would have been ashamed at his Asian brethren and might not have so readily agreed to having his face emblazoned on a set of Singapore stamps issued in 1948.



Maruti Suzuki Sales Increase 14.74 percent at 109,743 Units

India’s automobile major Maruti Suzuki, the Indian  clocked a 14.74 percent rise in its sales that measured at 109,743 vehicles in January as opposed to 95,649 units during the like period of 2010.

9,321 units of these sales are exports, Maruti Suzuki said in a statement.

Maruti Suzuki’s A2 compact cars such as Alto, Wagon-R, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz witnessed a rise in sales of 23.8  percent equalling 72,479 cars as opposed to the same period in 2010 that witnessed the selling of 58,540 units.

The A3 sedan type cars also witnessed parallel trends in growth. These cars include the SX4 and Dzire which rose 32.6 percent. These cars’ sales equalled 11,930 unitsopposed to 8,995 units in December 2010.

Bears Take Over Indian Equities Due To Fear Of More Rate Hikes.

Bombay-Stock-Exchange1Indian stocks fell due to rising inflation and higher interest rates, causing the market to be bearish.

The Sensex, of the Bombay Exchange, finished the week down 3.22 percent at 18,395.97

The National Stock Exchanges’ 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty closed 3.23 % down at 5,696.5 points last week.

Five stocks gained on the Sensex during the last week: ONGC, up 0.1% to Rs.1,135.60, SBI, up 3. % to Rs.2,618.55; Tata Steel , up 0.7% to Rs.635.90, NTPC, up 1.2% to Rs.191.80; and Reliance Infra, up 0.9% to Rs.724.20;

The 30-scrip benchmark stocks that lost the most were DLF, down 12.2 % to Rs.223.10; M&M, down 8 % to Rs.696.85; Hindustan Unilever, down 9.5 % to Rs.272.45 and Hero Honda, down 7.1 % to Rs.1,657.45.

GAIL Is Looking To Invest In US Shale Gas Businesses

Shale-gasIndian state-owned gas marketer GAIL? Ltd is searching to acquire shale gas companies in the US. Gail is prepared to invest approximately $400-500 million. The company has publicized a request for proposals (RFP) from bankers who are able to help it identify targets and to close a deal. The RFP was publicized last month.

GAIL is also prepared to partner with other oil and gas companies for its international shale gas aspirations.

“Acquiring a shale gas asset company in the US would give the company the opportunity and the competence to bid for shale gas assets in India, as and when they come up for auctions,” according to Edelwiess Securities analyst, Niraj Mansingka.

CG Foods Is Looking For Acquisitions In India And Also Plans To Invest Rs.100 Crore In Building Factories.

Wai-Wai-Noodles1CG Foods, a division of the Cinnovation Group from Singapore, said it will invest Rs.100 crore over the next three years to enlarge its manufacturing capacity in India.

Nirvana Chaudhary, The managing director of CG Foods, said that ‘We plan to set up two new manufacturing plants in India this year and also expand the existing plants. By 2014, we will be investing Rs.100 core in India,’ CG Foods manufactures Wai Wai noodles which is a very popular brand. They plan to build a factory at Rudrapur in Uttarakhand, investing Rs.20 crore next month. At the end of 2011, they plan to build a second plant in Gujarat.

‘We are also looking for acquisition opportunities, especially to expand our business in southern and western parts of India,’ Chaudhary said. In addition, CG Foods is prepared to spend up to RS.1,000 Crore to strengthen its position in India, primarily through acquisitions.

Hyundai Makes Rs400 Crore Investment In New Indian DieselEngine Plant

HyundaiHyundai Motors has operated successfully in India and has solidified its operating procedures there over the past several years. During the next three years Hyundai will build a new diesel engine factory costing Rs400 crore. Recent feasibility research showed this to be an appropriate investment according to the CEO. Three different sized engines will be produced.

The new factory should be opened in 2013 or 2014. It will produce diesel engines for the Indian market. These engines will be in three sizes: 1.1 liters, 1.4 lit, and 1.6 lit. Hyundai’s Sales and Marketing Director said that this year Hyundai had to use all of its production to satisfy growing local demand. In previous years, Hyundai’s Indian division was able to produce enough cars for both the Indian and foreign markets.

Thakral Sets New Strategy For Real Estate Business

Thakral Corporation will partner as a financial investor with with developers to implement its new strategy for its real estate business.
In its filing with the Singapore Exchange, the company wrote that as a capital investor, it seeks to invest in affordable mid-sized residential developments located in cities in Asia Pacific and Australia.

Thakral indicated that its new strategy will generate a second revenue stream for the company.

The firm is seeking returns of 15 to 25 per cent, with an exit strategy in 12 to 36 months.

Mr Singh said, “We will receive our returns and capital when the projects are completed and all units already pre-sold to buyers are settled.”

Thakral already owns commercial and residential property holdings in Hong Kong and China.

In addition to real estate, Thakral also distributes consumer electronic products in Singapore, India, China and Japan.

Indian Oil tops Fortune India 500 list

Fortune magazine’s India list of the 500 largest corporations included four Government owned companies among the top five companies in terms of revenue. The first company was Indian Oil Corp. The other high ranked companies were Reliance Industries, the State Bank of India, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — all of which along with Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Tata Motors and Tata Steel which were also ranked in the Fortune 500 list of global corporations.

The rankings are determined by the company’s total revenues, year-on-year change in revenues, net operating income, profit, net worth, assets, dividends and total salaries.

India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd will issue a Rs 1200cr tax-free bond

India-Map2India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) will issue a Rs 1,200-crore retail infrastructure bond issue at the end of the year.

The bond issue would come in three stages of Rs 400 crore each between January and March, according to, managing director of IIFCL, S.K. Goel.

The IIFCL chief said the bonds that are AAA-rated will have a coupon rate of 8.5 per cent for 10 years and 8.75 per cent for the 15-year issue. At the end of five years both issues will have a put and call option.

The State Bank of India (SBI) bond issue received a great response from investors due to the high interest rates the bank is giving.

The Magix Touch

TouchMagix has developed the “MagixTable”. It is a multi touch interactive table, with an application suite, many easy customization tools and forty simultaneous touch points.

Mr. Anup Tapadia founded TouchMagix Media after working in Silicon Valley. He believes that interactive technology is the next generation in the space of interactive media and its applications are infinite.

Outside developers can also design their own content for use on the MagixTable. The MagixTable also consumes 60% less power than other surface computers.
The initial market is for brand and corporate communications. However, eventually these products will be used by consumers, and in other industries such as medicine and education.